Thursday, May 18, 2017

Throwback Thursday. Good eats from May 2008...

Happy TBT everyone! I thought today would be a good day to share a handful of pics of my family sitting down at the dinner or breakfast table enjoying some family time and some good food. I like to cook and also bake as you know. And I like it when my family gathers around the table to sit down for a good home cooked meal. So here's just a miscellaneous bunch of pics from May 2008, okay? : ) This day, we all had our own salads and we all had my ginger karaage on top of rice. Like a karaage bowl basically. Also, I used to *really* love this salad dressing in Japan. It was like a very garlic-y Italian type deal and it was so delicious. I really miss this salad dressing. : ) 

For those in the know. Know that Ibaraki prefecture is like superly famous for their melons. They're super sweet and super cheap in price. I mean like honey dew, watermelon, cantaloupe. You name it...if it's a melon Ibaraki sells it and it's super sweet and delicious. Also we live like seriously teeter tottering the Cbiba and Ibaraki border. And we live about 5 minutes from Ibaraki. So melons of any kind around where we live... are always super cheap. And frankly...any fruit around our part of Japan is super cheap. Also, in the Spring and Summer we BBQ at least once a week. We BBQ burgers, ribs, yakiniku. You name it...we'd gladly throw it on the BBQ grill. : ) This day our family was just kicking it with some yakiniku, some lettuce for wrapping out meat with. And some superly sweet watermelon of course. 

Another day, I baked the fam a coconut cake. 

Just a little whipped cream on the top and because fruit is super cheap around here, like I said, I added some super sweet fresh strawberries. 

Cooking is a life skill, same as swimming (which is why my boys have gone to swim school since age 3 for Noah and age 4 for Bran and why they grew up swimming and even both swam competitively in elementary school). So, I always taught my kids how to help in the kitchen. How to peel potatoes, slice veggies, crack eggs, dredge chicken. You name it, they grew up learning how to do it. Here Bran was chopping veggies for our salad. Same day as the coconut cake btw. : )

And even the teeniest tiniest not quite even 3 years old yet Noah, helped clean the spinach in the salad spinner. Look how happy he was. Kids really do love to help. It helps them feel useful. 

Fantastic job Noah! 

And the 3 of us ate dinner this night. Noboru was at work. But, we enjoyed the gorgeous salad Branden made for us all. And enjoyed the super clean spinach Noah helped with. And the homemade chicken cutlet, I made. And of course, we had Ibaraki melon on the table too for the boys to enjoy and some cake for the kiddos to enjoy too! Our dinner this night was a real family effort. 

Weekends, both Saturday and Sundays always mean 2 things. I will sleep in until 7am. And I will be making a nice leisurely breakfast for us all. Everyone in our house looks forward to my weekend breakfasts. This day we had blueberry pancakes.

Oh my good helpers were back for more helping! : ) 

Crispy American bacon on the table from Costco in Japan. Melon of course because melons are super cheap around here. And fresh fruit is so good for kids. And you see some pancake toppings. Blueberry jam, some margarine and some pancake syrup.We also had whipped cream.

Good morning family. Noboru diving right into that coffee. : )

Aha, whipped cream now we see you! See, I knew you were there. And Noah tucking right into that bacon! 

Branden had like 2 melon slices that morning besides the pancakes and bacon. 

Philly cheesesteaks. I miss those good ol' American sandwiches. However ever since we moved to Japan, I have been making my own version of it for my family. Now days the kids prefer beef too. But back in the day Noboru preferred the beef and the kids and I preferred the chicken. I also have sliced up bell pepper, onion and mushrooms. And a little cheese to top it off when it's done. And I use the teeniest tiniest teaspoon of this yakitori sauce. Not so much you think...am I eating yakitori? But just the tiniest teaspoon like I said... to give your meat and veggies a tiny bit of flavor. Nobody even knows what I add. But I'll tell you guys. Put it this way....if your family can tell...you used yakitori sauce...you officially used too much. If they go..."hey, this is so good...I wonder what she used" Then you used the right amount. : ) 

Noboru hates onions as you know, so he just wanted mushrooms and beef. I placed it in a fresh bakery baguette and called it done! : )

Chicken done, veggies just trying to get cooked...

The tiniest amount of sauce. Little salt and pepper. And I added a small handful of cheese. And plated it up for Branden and also for Noah and myself. 

Gorgeous! And everything is available here in Japan. And it's a good meal to add in your regular recipes. Just gives you 1 more thing to try out. Plus it's super easy to make. If you like it, that makes me happy and if you don't...truly no worries. As always...just always trying to help. : )

A little handful of fries. And the whole family enjoy whenever I make my version of Philly steak sandwiches. : ) I make these about 5-6 times a year, even now. : ) 

Branden was a pika pika ichinensei (first grader) and he and all his classmates had to show up Monday with an increased number of jumps that they could jump with their jump rope. So all afternoon long, Noboru and Noah were outside encouraging and cheering Branden on! I was meanwhile in the house making supper for the fam-bam, garlic bread, meatballs, we were having spaghetti and meatballs that night. But, I was watching and giving Bran the thumbs up a lot. And would open the door periodically and tell him...what a good job he was doing! 

Garlic bread nicely done, but not time to whack in the oven yet. The onion nicely caramelized for the meatballs. The veggies diced for the salad. And the mushrooms and bell peppers for the up and coming spaghetti sauce. Meanwhile Bran was outside with his little brother and dad and counting how many jumps he could make with his jump rope. : ) Hahaha. 

Another breakfast. A cheese omelet with crispy bacon inside a croissant. And a hash brown toasted in the toasted oven. And I'm pretty sure... we had some melon to go with this breakfast too. 
Backyard BBQ happened again. And yes that is watermelon as our dessert. : ) 
This day the kids and I made chocolate peanut butter chip cookies from scratch. 

I love their cheesy innocent grins. True and honest happiness. And quality time with their mama (me)

And of course they wanted to try 1 cookie from each batch. I think we had about 3 dozen cookies when we finished. : )

Eggs, bacon, rice and some peaches for breakfast. And some juice. I like knowing they eat very filling meals 3 times a day. With yes some snacks in between because hey...they're kids. : )
Ebi fry night. With some fresh fruit and a delicious cabbage and mini tomato salad on the side. And I'm sorry to bring this up again...but I really miss this salad dressing. I wish they'd bring it back. : (
You know you have an American mom when you are outside on a weekend in your backyard in Japan on your American jungle gym and it's lunch time and you and your brother are eating grilled cheese sandwiches. LOL. : )  Anyway have a good night everyone! : )

Anything to add from today? I went to Costco today. And did my weekly shopping today too. I'm now all nicely stocked up until next Thursday.  From the regular grocery store and Costco too. : ) I also bought my summer bag from Costco today too. A huge navy blue tote from Ralph Lauren, with great big red polo player and horse on it. The red plaid one I bought for winter that is like wool scarf material or whatever..it's too warm looking for the weather now. And I have been wanting a basic bag that's big/huge. That's nicely made. And it has to be under ichiman yen (US$100) So nice, but not outrageously fancy shmancey and expensive, if ykwim. Anyways, I'm happy to have a bag for Spring weather and Summer weather now. : )

Noah got off school today at 2:50pm. He's home. He just finished his homework. Bran will be home around 5-ish. And I am making yakisoba tonight for dinner. As soon as I end this post. I'm going to go in the kitchen and kick on my music. And get dinner made. Omg... Bran just LINED me just now...he's already on his way home... right now. Holy smokes. I better get dinner kicked into gear right now.