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

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

Garden of fresh vegetables & herbs

This past weekend I went home to visit my parents. Usually, I would stay indoors and be lazy while my mom spoils me with her amazing food. I have yet to reach her level of cooking skills, but a lot of my friends (and ex-boyfriends) has complimented my cooking skills (lets just say my ex gained a few extra pounds when we were dating haha).

It’s amazing how fresh vegetables and herbs can really transform your dishes, and I really appreciate it when my mom gives us bags loaded with veggies/herbs for my sister and I to bring back to our apartment. It saves us time on grocery shopping, and on grocery expenses. But sometimes, our mom gives us a little too much. She would usually give a bag of cucumbers, herbs, or zip lock bags of Thai Chili Peppers (which I still haven’t used them all up yet). When we tell her we don’t need any of it she says, “I still have more in the garden, so take it.” And often, she would make us feel guilty by saying, “do you want me to finish all these ingredients by herself?”

Currently, my parents’ garden consist of a mango tree, tomato tree, lime tree, and orange tree. Corn, Lemon grass (mom uses this for her amazing Thai curry/soup), cucumber, Thai basil, Thai chili peppers, mint, green onions and many more. One of my favorite vegetables from my parents’ backyard is green papaya. I love it when my mom asks me if I want to make Thai papaya salad. When I feel like making it, she would then go out to pick a papaya (I was too short to reach for one myself), and we would start preparing the dish.

It’s a very nice feeling to just go out into a garden and carefully pick your vegetable/ herb. I’m still a newbie at picking vegetables and herbs, so when my mom asks me to go out and pick stuff for her, I’m yelling across the garden into the house, “mommy how can you tell which one is good or not?!” and she would respond by telling me to look at shape, size, color etc.

Note: this is only a small portion of my parents’ garden. I was too scared to go to the other side because of the bees.

This week, my mom gave us eight cucumbers. She said to just eat them on the side with ours meals or something. Eight cucumber is a lot, and on top of other vegetables that I would like to eat, I’m worried that I won’t use them all in time before it spoils. I’ve been looking up some recipes online but I haven’t really found something that I’m interested in making. For now, I might buy humus, and eat it with the cucumbers. Hopefully, when I visit my parents again they won’t give us too much stuff to bring back.

– Stories by Cindy

Sharing some of my life moments

Work outfit: 4’10 & wearing a midi skirt 

When you’re short, it can be very intimidating to wear a skirt that’s passed your calves. I bought this skirt from Uniqlo back in December 2016, and this is my first time wearing it. When I bought this online, I misread the measurements and the skirt ended up dragging around on the floor even with heels on. It is listed as a midi skirt, but it looks like a maxi skirt on me. For work, I pulled this skirt up to my waist – literally up to where my elbow is. Surprisingly, it stayed up pretty well throughout the day. I’m thinking about getting it altered by about 5 inches shorter in length so I wouldn’t have to wear it super high-waisted. On Uniqlo’s website the color is listed as grey, but it looks more like a lilac color in-person.

Skirt: Uniqlo (similar here) | Top: Liz Lisa | Heels: Yesstyle – size 4.5

– Cindy