Japanese Hamburger Steak

This past weekend, I was craving hamburger steak, so I decided to go to a Japanese restaurant called Midoh Japanese Kitchen in Rowland Heights. When you hear ‘Japanese Restaurant,’ most people assume it’s sushi. This restaurant, however, doesn’t sell sushi – they have Hamburger Steak, Tonkatsu dishes, Curry, Udon, and many more. There was a long wait because they were short on staff, but in the meantime, it’s nice to watch some Hayao Miyazaki movies while you wait.

Their Hamburger Steak comes in the hot skillet during dinner time. I went to Midoh for lunch, so it’s served on a normal plate. The patty is made of pork and beef, and cooked well-done. It comes with rice, and some potato wedges, steamed carrots, and string beans on the side. You also get a small salad, and your choice of miso soup or corn soup. You also have four different sauces to choose from – Demi-glace, Onion, Teriyaki, and Ponzu. I went with the ponzu sauce. 

– Cindy

Monday morning cooking – Penne with vegetables in tomato sauce

Happy Monday! Today, I woke up at 6 a.m. to take the dog out and make lunch. This past weekend I went to 626 Night Market again, and ate a lot of (unhealthy) food. So to start off the work week, I decided to make some very quick and easy veggie pasta using tomato sauce and whatever vegetables I had in my fridge. I made this for my sister and I to bring to work, and my sister loves it! This meal is very light yet filling, so you wouldn’t have to worry too much about going into food coma after lunch. It took about 35 minutes to cook everything, and you can even make a large batch so you have lunch for the next day (I made enough for the next two days haha). I basically used whatever I had in my fridge.

Ingredients used:

1/2 bag of penne pasta
2 cloves of garlic (chopped)
1 can Tomato sauce (15 oz)
1/2 onion (medium diced)
1 pack of shimeji mushrooms
1/2 cup of green beans
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp oregano

  1. In a large pot, boil some water. Once the water boils, add some salt and dump the pasta into the pot (follow the cooking time on the pasta box/bag).
  2. When pasta is done, drain and rinse with cold water.
  3. In a separate pan, add in some oil, chopped garlic and onion, and stir-fry on medium heat. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and oregano.
  4. Once all the ingredients softens, add in the tomato sauce. Stir occasionally until sauce is heated.
  5. After the sauce is heated, turn off the stove, add in the pasta and mix well.
  6. Optional: top it with some crushed red peppers and parsley flakes.

Yeah, I’m horrible at giving recipes. Most of my friends and family loves my cooking,  so I’m trying to make an effort at explaining it better for them by writing out my recipes on my blog. I hope I can improve, and remember to take more photos as I’m cooking.

– Cindy

A Mango Tart to Brighten Up My Day

Work has been crazy. It’s that time of the year where everyone in the office is stressed out. I decided to buy a few of my co-workers coffee from Starbucks, and when I gave it to them they had the biggest smile on their faces. It made them feel a bit more motivated and happy to continue their work.

Today, I got my vanilla latte with soy. But that mood was suddenly ruined because I had to clean up after another co-workers’ mess in the break-room. What was ironic about this situation was that we recently signed an acknowledgement form to keep our break-room clean – basically clean-up after ourselves. I sent out an email to the company (hoping to find the culprit haha), and my moody self literally gave an aura stating, “do not talk to me.” It was amusing hearing some of my co-workers yell out “it wasn’t me!”

About 10 minutes after I sent out that email, my mood suddenly changed after a co-worker walked into the office and handed me a mango tart from 85 Degrees Bakery (my co-workers really likes to spoil me with food). It’s amazing how food can really brighten up your day, and make you feel more positive. So for breakfast, I had a vanilla latte and a mango tart which made me very hyper from all the sugar haha.

– Stories by Cindy

Sharing some of my life moments

Diving into the world of film photography

During my junior year of college, I had the opportunity to be a student assistant in my professor’s film class. I learned a lot about film photography, especially developing black and white film in the dark room. Being a student assistant in that class, gave me a new perspective in photography. When enrolled in the class, students were able to borrow a film camera for the entire quarter. This class really got me into film photography, but I never really went through with buying a film camera of my own. Two-years later, I finally bought my first film camera. When taking photos, I usually use my iPhone 7, and sometimes my Canon T5i (when traveling). Starting film is a bit nerve-wrecking because I won’t really know how my photos will turn out until it’s developed. But as a beginner, I’m not that afraid of making a mistake because every mistake I make is a lesson. I can’t wait start shooting, and learning more about film.

Canon AE-1

Monday Motivation – Bread

Over the weekend, I made the mistake of looking over some work related stuff. I started feeling a little stressed, and decided to watch a movie (Your Name) to get my mind off of it. This morning, my sister wanted to get some bread before we head off to work. We stopped at Paris Baguette, and I picked up some mini croissants, chocolate filled croissants, and a bread where it may or may not have any filling in it (no label).

Monday mornings is the hardest day of the week. You just had a relaxing weekend – sleeping in, or spending time with family and friends. But, by treating yourself to something at the beginning of the work week, you’ll feel a bit more positive and motivated. Whether it’s a cup of coffee from your favorite coffee shop, or a favorite pastry, get something that will spark a bit of joy and happiness.

– Stories by Cindy

Sharing some of my life moments

Japanese food & snacks from Tokyo Central Market

It’s Saturday, and I have the whole apartment (and dog) to myself since my sister and her boyfriend went to San Diego. I asked a good friend of mine from college to come over to watch movies. Last time, we tried to marathon The Hobbit – extended edition, and I did not make past the second movie (got sleepy). We did consider to marathon Lord of the Rings (extended edition) today, but that might go well into Sunday.  Instead, we’re just going to watch any movies that came out early 2017. For food and snacks, I went to Tokyo Central Market to grab some chips, onigiri, cold ramen noodles, salad, lemon tea, etc.

Yasai Salad chips are one of my favorite corn chips. It’s seasoned with vegetable powder, parsley, and Asian spices. The texture is very similar to cheese puffs chips. Yasai Salad Chips can be addicting, so I usually purchase 1 to 2 bags max.

Next, lemon ice tea. What I like about this lemon tea, is that it is not too sweet. It’s very nice and refreshing to drink during the summer.

Ochazuke is a dish made by pouring hot tea over rice. Sometimes late at night, I get hungry. I do not like to eat past 8:00 pm, but eating ochazuke is light enough as a snack for me. I bought the instant packet seasoning – salmon and pickled plum flavor. These individual seasoning packets contains the tea powder, nori, dried bits of salmon/pickled plum. All you need to do is pour the seasoning on top of your rice, and add hot water. But this these instant packs contains a lot of salt, so it’s better to only eat once in a while.

Many Japanese markets sells Onigiri or rice balls. I bought two – salmon and spicy tuna mayonnaise. There are many other different flavors that you can find in the market such as pickled plum, tuna mayonnaise, katsuo (dried bonito flakes), and mentaiko (seasoned cod roe).

Lastly, I bought spicy cold ramen noodles and beef shabu shabu salad. Since the weather has been very hot and humid, I wanted something cool to eat.

– Cindy

Common Questions Twins Get Asked All the Time

A while back, I did a very short post about being a twin. After talking about it with my identical twin sister (Wendy), we realized that we still get questions that ranges from normal to outright ridiculous. Here are some frequently asked questions that we usually get from friends, co-workers, and relatives.

Have you guys ever switched places when you were in High School/College? 

No we did not. I know some twins who did switched places. But for my sister and I, we have subjects that we’re better at. For example, in High School I was better at English, Math, and Physics while my sister was better than me in Biology and Chemistry. When we attended college, she majored in Business while I majored in Communication. Switching places would give us so much anxiety because we would be constantly worrying about what might happened.

Do you do the freaky twin thing? Like answering at the exact same time.

One time, someone asked my sister and I if we do the “freaky twin thing” and followed up with, “when is your birthday?” We both obviously have the same birthday, so we both naturally gave an answer at the same time since the question was directed at both of us. They were astonished by our response and said, “that was freaky.” If we both know the answer to something, and you ask both of us at the same time, you’re going to get two same answers at once.

Do you two always finish each other’s sentences?

Not always. But when we do, it’s because we are both well-informed of the given topic, or we just have the same interest. For example, we both used to do competitive figure skating so we know all the technical rules and regulations of the sport, and as a result we are more likely to finish off each other’s sentences. Because of this, it usually leads to the next question of- Continue reading Common Questions Twins Get Asked All the Time