Thursday, December 29, 2011

Visiting friends in SF

We are in SF to see our friends in San Francisco. This is me and Bay bridge.
San Franciscoの友人を訪ねに行きました。まずはワタクシとベイブリッジの写真をぱちり。

We went to Ferry Terminal and grab a bite. They had Farmer's market there and everyrthing looks yummy. Steven and Clark got pizzas and Dennise got a humburger.

I got a ramen!! Tell you the truth, I was not expecting a lot at this stand but IT WAS GOOD! I had pork ramen with soft boiled egg. Yum! We sit on the grass and had our lunch. Oh,Yeah.While I was waiting for my ramen to serve, I ran into my running friends! Small wrold!

They had a skate link there and I wanted to skate!!!

Clark is going to college next year and has grown up like the pic above. He was a little boy 7 years ago. Time flies…。

After the lunch, we went to Green Apple book store and stopped by their house. They have a beautiful Victorian house near the Golden Gate Pan handle. Love the ceiling and their old furniture. 
ランチの後はGreen Appleの本屋さんにいって、そして彼らの家に行きました。とても美しいVictorianハウスで、何とGolden Gate Pan handleのすぐそば。天井やモルディング、古い家具が美しい。

I also love their dogs, Lucy and Ziggy. They showed us their new tricks and soooooo cuuuuute!
We had a great time this afternoon. Dennise and Clark are so funny together and we laughed too much...We are so bummmed because Allyson couldn't join us because of her work. Next time you all need to come down to visit us!
Lucy とZiggyもかわいい。どんどん、大きくなるこの人たち。いろいろな芸を見せてくれました。DenniseとClarkの二人は本当におもしろくて今日は笑いすぎ。お仕事中のAllysonに会えなくてとても残念ですが、今度は皆さんでウチにいらしてねえ。

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Breakfast on Steven's days off

Steven has been off this week so we are weekend mode everyday. We usually have a brunch on weekend so we have been brunching (?!) everyday this week. Yesterday, we had scramble egg on English muffin. We sprinkled Truffle salt which Sumiko gave us. Ohhh, it was soooooo gooooood! Thank you, Sumiko san!! The orange fruit on the plate is very riped persimmon.


Now, today was different. We had a Japanese brunch! We were very lucky that we got some home made mochi from our friend. I made natto mochi with grated daikon. Ohhhhh, this was heaven!! Thank you Nakano san!

Now we have six mochi left. We need to save five for New Year's soup so I could have one when Steven is not looking....Yeah, he is focused on the book he is reading in the living room now. Now is the time!! :)

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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

We were a little busy around the holiday so we decided to not have a Christmas tree this year. However, I decorated inside of the house here and there.


We have pretty Christmas cards on the mantel.

in the living room and kitchen....

in the hallway....

Steven has just got home from a long business trip so we had a nice quiet Christmas by ourselves. Scalop appetizer, avocado cream canapé , and Dungeness crab with crab butter sauce. I made the sauce with crab butter (That's right, it is Crab guts!), butter, onions, garlic and herbs. The dessert was cream puff from Beard Papa. Mmmmmm delicious.
Stevenが長い出張から帰って来たばかりだったので、クリスマスは静かに2人ですごしました。ホタテの前菜、アボカドクリームのかなっぺ、カニとカニ味噌のソース。ソースはかに味噌、バター、にんにく、玉ねぎ、ハーブで作りました。デザートはBeard Papaのシュークリーム。ああ、おいしかった。

Hope you had a great Christmas, too!!

By the way, at night of the day Steven came home, our couch was very crowded. Hey, it looks like I didn't take care of you guys while he was gone. Stop that look!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

BAJR Year End Party

My running team, BAJR had a bonenkai (Year End Party) today.

I brought appetizer and dessert.

We did a white elephant and I got a portable DVD player!! Who doesn't want this?! Now I can watch movies ANYWHERE. There were a lot of goofy gifts with laugh after laugh. I brought $1 plastic daikon grater in an iPad box & an Apple store bag. :) I felt bad that I got a DVD player for that! Oh, well I was lucky this year, I guess.

Good food, Good people, Good laugh. How fun was that!?
Look at me and Marie chan in our team shirt. Don't we look like promo-girls? Hee, hee, hee...

I had great running time/experience with them this year. It is almost a life changing encounter. Thank you, guys!!

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Sunday, December 04, 2011


I went to see Nutcracker today. It is not an ordinary one. It is the one that my friend is in!! Well, she is my friend's daughter. She got a relatively big role which is one of Clara's friends. Considering she has just came from Japan and joined this ballet school, it is a very big deal!

She was VERY cute and good on the stage. Too bad I could not take pics. After the show, I waited outside of the back stage to see her. I saw a lot of adoreble little dancers.

Here she comes! She is holding the flowers I gave her! Great job!!

I took a pic with this little princess who is going to be Clara in 5 years. I promised her I will come to see her in Clara role.

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Another turkey dish and Christmas decoration

After Thanksgiving I re-arranged my door wreath like this. See, it is very Christmacy, isn't it? :)

A lot of people make sandwich, soup or caserole with leftover turkey but we did this. Turkey hot pot! Turkey is already cooked so didn't get broth from that but still tasted goooood. We had it with mushroom, backweat noodle, napa cabbage, and green onions. Mmmmmmm. Winter dish.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving leftover party

Thanksgiving always lefts us a lot of food so we had a leftover party with our lovely neighbors. I made turkey dip with crackers (up-right in the pic above). Bob brought a deepfried turkey and it was very tasty. He marinated it in soysauce instead of brine liquid. Yum!

My favorite kids in neighborhood D and G was there. They were already excited about Christmas wich is one month away. :) Cute.

The Norton family had fun with good chat and good food as usual.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving dinner

Happy Thanksgiving! We are ready to have guests.
Happy Thanksgiving! 用意はできて、後はゲストの到着を待つばかり。

Mr. Ni, Mr.&Mrs Na and their kids, No-kun & Yu-chan are here! We had a toast with bubbly drink. The kids had apple cider though. First we had Ceviche Japonesa made by Mr. Ni. The scallops marinated in olive oil and sweet peppers was sooooo tasty.


I know, honey. Scallops are your most favorite seafood. Enjoy!

Hey, turkey is also ready finally!! Looks great, doesn't it? Mrs. Na brought her dishes, green bean casserole, mashed potato, and beautiful fruit tart!! Ohhhhh, everything was delicious. Mr. Na curved a turkey on the mashed potato and it is very cute. Didn't know you had a talent like this. Brussel sprouts+bacon(no photo), chestnut+bacon stuffing, and green pea soup+truffle oil were good, too. Ohhh, forgot to take a pic of Mr.Ni's bruschetta :( His Tiramisu was the most tastiest one I have ever had! He learned this in France. No wonder....Thank you everybody for your contributions.

Say cheese!!

No-kun and Yu-chan are very cute and also teenagers with the best attitude. Great kids!

Not only attitude. They are very talented! Yu-chan played 2nd Menuet from L'Arlesienne! She was shy and she didn't want us to look at her while she was playing. CUTE!! Nice to listen to the pretty sound. No-kun showed us how to do "modern yoyo". It was not the same with the one I was using when I was a kid. It doesn't come up easily. He showed off his high leveled technique. Thank you both of you.It was very entertaining!

We had a great night and 4 bottles are gone. The Italian one on the left was survived. :) Thank you everybody for the great time and thank you for your help, Steven!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Prep

We are having guests for Thanksgiving dinner this year and started prepping! First I made an center piece for table. Well, I didn't get a turkey figure but got some orange colors at least. I also made a door wreath and got some Christmas-like greens for the kitchen. Why kitchen? I cannot place ANY flowers/plants in the place cats can reach. Grrrrr!!!! Cranberry sauce came out good, too. I cooked them in orange juice.

Steven insisted to buy a roasting pan so we went to Sur la Table and got this!
Stevenがどうしてもロースト用のパンを買うというのでSur La Tableでこれを買ってきました!

Since we went to Santana Row, let's have lunch here!! We went to our favorite one, Straits.

せっかく、Santana Rowに行ったのだもの、ランチして帰りましょ!私達の好きなStraitsに行きました。

It will be the first time for me to cook a whole turkey by myself. I did legs or breast or some parts of the bird but never did a whole turkey. Seven of us are eating so got 12lb turkey.

I brined the bird with salt, sugar and herbs. Good night turkey, sleep tight and be tasty. :)

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Beaujolais nouveau 2011

Yes, today is the third Thursday of November. It means Beaujolais nouveau day! I know, I know. Some people (especially people here in US) don't care about this but I am a Japanese (it is a HUGE deal in Japan) and marride to the guy who has French descent ( my last name is French, you know...) I cannot pass this event even I am busy. Well, I knew I needed to go out and don't have much time to cook in the evening so I went to Wholefoods 9 in the morning. (Remember my BN day in 2009? It is the ONLY place you can get Beaujolais nouveau today around here.) I walking in the wine department with crossing my fingers....where is the baby? I couldn't find them. I was worried and I might not be able to get it. I couldn't find a wine guy either. I was standing there and a cheese guy asked me if he can help. I told him what I am looking for and he said "Well, they may not coming this year." I literary screamed there," Whaaaaat? No Beaujolais nouveau ? It can't be right." He was scared of my enthusiasm towards this wine and he said "Ahh, let me check the back." I thanked him thinking"Damn right! You check the back and tell me you are wrong!" After a LONG few minutes later, he came out from back holding a bottle of the wine! I gave him a special smile and thanks.

今日は11月の第三木曜日。ボージョレイヌーボーの日です。毎年言ってますがここ、アメリカではあまり馴染みのないイベント。私は日本人でしかもフランス人の血がちょこっとまざった人と結婚しているので、(Burkeという苗字はフレンチらしい。フランスに行くとマダムブーケと呼ばれる。)この日を普通に過ごすことはできません。今日は外出して忙しく、夕方そんなにお料理の時間が取れないことはわかっていたので、Wholefoodsに朝9時過ぎに行きました。私の2年前のこの日をお忘れではないでしょう。 ここがこの辺唯一置いてあるお店なのです。あってくれよと祈りながらワイン売り場をうろうろしていましたが、ない。まさかの事態か?いつもはうるさいワイン専門の販売員も見当たらない。私はボーっとしてそこに立ちすくんでいたら、横のチーズ売り場の人が何かおさがしでしょうかと声をかけてくれる。探しているものを言ったら「あー、今年は入って来ないかもしれないですね。」私は文字通りそこで叫んでしまいました。「えええええええええ?ボージョレイがないんですか?それはありえないでしょう。」彼は私のワインに対するあまりにも大きな思い入れにちょっと引いて「あ、ちょっと裏を見てきます。」私はありがとうと微笑みながら心では「当然でしょ!早くストックをチェックしてきなさいよ!間違いでしたって証明してよね。」と怒りながら待ちました。長い2-3分後、彼はバックルームから出てきました。ワインボトルを提げて。私は特別の「にっこり」と引き換えにそのワインを受け取りレジスターへ。

Well, it didn't end my struggle today. I prepared everything before I went out. That's what I thought at least. I came home around 5:30 pm and checking my fancy Thomas Keller's French cook book and guess what I missed this morning. "Reduce red wine, veggies, and herbs for AN HOUR." I needed to sit down on my kitchen stool and think. Well, we both hungry and cannot wait 1 hour plus time so I decided to make easy appetizer (Pâté on mini toast and smoked salmon +Yogurt sauce on mini toast.) and serve them with wine before the dinner! (What a clever wife I am!!)
しかしながら、私の苦悩はそこでは終わらなかったのです。お出かけする前に全てばっちり、準備したの。少なくてもそう思っていました。5時半頃に帰宅して私の大事なThomas Kellerのフレンチ料理本を見たら、ナンと…。何を見落としていたでしょう?「赤ワインと野菜とスパイスで1時間煮詰める」の一行。私は愕然としてキッチンスツールに座って考えました。二人ともお腹すいてるし、1時間以上は待てない。それで簡単なおつまみを作って夕食の前にもうワインをあけてしまうことに決めました。なーんて賢い妻でしょう!(自画自賛)おつまみはパテをミニトーストに塗ったもの、そして同じくスモークサーモン+ヨーグルトソース。

After the reduction and prep....

Tada! French dinner is ready.
Skirt steak with caramelized shallots and red wine Au Jus
Scalop gratin (Shhhh! I bought this and ONLY baked in the oven)
Green beans and carrot glaze

It is proper to use French table mat for today. What? Table mat is provancal (South France)and the wine is from North east? Ohhh, you are so picky!

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