Archives for November, 2009

Pumpkin Muffin

 When fall comes with Halloween and Thanksgiving, Pumpkin is the King of the vegetable and, Food related TV shows, magazines starts to spotlight on Pumpkin.

 In Japan, I have never seen orange skinned pumpkin, which you use to carve for Halloween. I have tasted fresh American Pumpkin (Not canned) but, it tastes different. I feel it has a little more moisture, and a little bland taste compare to Japanese pumpkin.

 Japanese pumpkin is called ” Ka bo cha” and it has green skin and inside is orange part. It tastes much similar to butter cup. Kabocha is very good candidate for Tempura.

 You can read more on Ka bo cha at wikipedia here. I used to like to eat Kabocha flan.

 You can read more on how to make Tempura  dish from our previous entry here.

 This Thanksgiving day, I wanted to make something special using Pumpkin. I decided to whip up Pumpkin Muffin for special day. And,I thought I would share the recipe with you. It was big hit among family and every time somebody in our family grab the one pumpkin muffin, Palette followed hoping to have nibble.

 Here is how you make it.

1>To a big bowl, put 2 Cups of unbleached all purpose flour, 1 table spoon of Baking powder, half tea spoon of table salt, 1/2 cup of table sugar, 2 tea spoon of ground cinnamon, 2 tea spoon of ground cloves, 2 tea spoon of ground ginger and mix well

2> Prepare one bowl and put 5 oz of evaporated milk, 1 oz of milk, 1 large egg and mix well

3> To bowl of <1>, pour liquid mixture of <2> and mix gently

4> To <3>, add 3/4 cup to 1 cup of mashed plain pumpkin or canned plain pumpkin, capful of vanilla extract or real vanilla beans *, and 2 table spoon of unsalted melted butter and mix gently

** Real vanilla beans is very expensive but flavor is superb. If you use real vanilla bean, make a slit on string and scrape off the black colored poppy seed-like vanilla beans with back of knife. The skin of vanilla beans can be stored in your sugar canister.It makes real nice vanilla flavored sugar.

5> Point here is not to over mix the butter. And pour the butter to muffin tin cup fill at about 80%. Then,bake at 400F about 40-50 minutes or till baked through.

** You can check if it is done with toothpicks. If your toothpicks comes out with bits, it still needs to be baked.If it came out clean, it is done

When you bake this muffin, your house would smell like fall. Especially cloves in the muffin butter gives off strong smell while baking. And THAT must be torture for our dog “Palette”.

** My husband suggested that maybe, next time, I could put chopped walnuts to give the muffin texture. That maybe works great with this muffin.


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Nov 29, 2009 | 0 | Uncategorized

Attention – how to keep dogs’ attention to you

 What is the most important thing you would like your dog to know solid?

 “sit”, “stay”,”leave it”, “come” … I think I would have answered to the above question with answer like these if you had asked me 4 years ago.

 Some of you have already know that Palette came to our family 4 years ago, and she is my first dog ever. Everything about dogs was new things to me and I learned quite a lot about them through Palette for 4 years.

 We enrolled to puppy training class with Palette and, that is when I learned about clicker training and basic training commands.

 Many people tend to put more focus on teaching basic command rather than teaching solid “watch me” command. I was one of them. I was looking this “watch me” command as sub command to other basic command you are aiming to achieve with your dog. I thought “stay”,”come” etc is more important command than “watch me” command. But now, after 4 years with Palette, I feel that “watch me” command or getting dogs’ attention is most important command in training. After all, no matter how hard you try, if you could not get dogs’ attention, you cannot teach anything to them. I think that dog training is not just about teaching basic command like “come”, or to try to curb the unwanted behavior. 

 So,how can you get dogs attention?

 I do daily training session with Palette. I have no set-up training time to do and, training time can be in the morning,can be afternoon, it depends. Then,I have personal rules for training Palette.

 My rules are..

 1.Make the training time short (we probably do training about 10 min or so) and fun

*Teaching anything new to dogs takes time, even if dogs did not get what you want them to do right away,be patient and be calm.

 2. Always finish the training with her succeeded command, and play game – Find it game.

 *I usually hide small bits of treats while letting Palette stay at one place, but occasionally,I let her find her own toys and in exchange, I give her jack pot treats.(*unexpected big rewards!*)

 I personally think that becoming interesting person, becoming unpredictable person to dogs are also important to get quick attention from them.

 So, I usually keep bag of training treats near me when I am reading books etc and, she usually be resting on her favorite cool bed or gnawing heaven with Deer Antlers,maybe staring outside. I say “Palette” and she perks up and come to me,I give her treats.

 It is not during training time and it is not daily events and it is something that happens now and then. Of course,I would not give one big piece of treats to her.Just about lentil sized very small training treats. Sometimes,I give her nice good massage to her when she comes. Rewards does not have to be food treat at all. Every time she comes to me, either food treats,or nice massaging, or maybe play with her favorite Frisbee or balls.. something she likes happens, and when I call her for training, she soon comes to me.

 Here are things you can do to make yourself interesting/fun person for your dogs.

 * Whether massaging or playing or walking or grooming, spending time with your dogs is important

 * When you go for walk, you can go brisk walk first,slow walk next, later mid pace walk,jog etc.. Your dogs need to be paying attention to you by walking like this. It is like a game for Palette and I. When we see cars coming,we walk to side of the road,stay still, after cars passing, we continue our walk. This is another game with Palette on walk. Also, we never go for walk the same direction all the time or same route. We have a couple of different routes for walk and we walk different direction per route.

 ** As side note, I also make sure everything she loves: meal,walk,play,training,ball etc, happen after she sits nicely,and I never put leash on her if she were not sitting. She brings her leash,toss to my hands,she turns around sitting and I put leash on her

 * I give her chore. Close door after me, bring leash for walk, call family when dinner is ready etc.. By giving them something to do, you have more opportunity to praise them. They will be happy to be on call When I do laundry, she lay on floor waiting for me unload the laundry and folds. Then,as soon as she knows I am ready to out, she stands up and go behind the door. She does her job without me asking her. How she does it? Lets watch her in action-close the door.

 Palette thinks she can lend her paws for me, because I got handful!

* When I play ball with Palette, I sometimes do fake throw: I make myself look like throwing ball for her but ball is,in fact, in my hands still and it is behind my back. Palette usually turn around, try to look for imaginary and invisible ball. I can’t keep myself quiet so,I giggle and then, she knows, and she goes search around me,find ball behind my back,bark at it a couple of times and come front of me, sit,look me up, quiet waiting for hopefully visible ball be thrown.

 * When you train your dogs, after you know for sure your dogs are reliable for command you are trying to teach, you can give them rewards at random. Sometimes, after 2 success or maybe 3 success, or sometimes petting,sometimes quick short play…

* Even simple task you can do by yourself like taking trash out, checking your mail box, going outside to get a newspaper, take your dogs along.  I say “Lets go check mail” and Palette perks up and come right to me

* Even if there is no reason you need to go to, occasionally,take your dogs for car ride. They can enjoy different smell in the Air,can meet other dogs,can meet other people and great opportunity for socialization and fun and maybe getting used to be in the car quicker that way. We never take
Palette for car ride just for going to vet. If you limit the time for car ride,they could associate car with vet clinic where they normally not excited to visit. Car ride for Palette does not happen everyday,but when she feels she can come with us wearing her cool looking doggy car seat belt harness, she gets jumpy and dash to car door,sit in front of it. Very ready for ride.

 “come” or other training commands can become life saving command for dogs in some situations, and very important for dogs to know them, but foundation to teach them solid important commands will be build with better result if you could get your dogs’ attention/focus fast and quick.

 Training your dogs is not just happening during your training session but rather, throughout their daily life. Become an unpredictable and interesting person for your dogs and build stronger bond with them each day.

 Did you notice that everyt
hing you do for your dogs can teach something? You’ve got a cute puppy eyes when you have meal and you reach over bits of people food and give them? Now, you were trained by your dog to give them food when they look up to you with cute irresistible puppy eyes They are very good at training humans!

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Nov 26, 2009 | 0 | Uncategorized

Japanese Diet Part III

 In previous entry titled “ Japanese Diet Part I“, I wrote that Japanese
diet staple has been rice, and you can find many variety of rice dish
in Japan,and listed examples style of dishes you can find in Japan. In “Japanese Diet Part II“, I wrote about Miso and Miso soup.

 Here,I like to write about seasoning in Japanese diet.

 Imagine you hear the word “Japanese food/Japanese cooking”, what seasoning/condiment pop into your head? I bet most people would imagine “Sushi” for Japanese food and many would answer “soy sauce”.

 Soy sauce is center of the seasoning/condiment in Japanese cooking. Many of the dishes have soy sauce in it. It plays important role in Japanese cooking. To read more on sushi and soy sauce, please click here.

 When I started cooking with my mother back in Japan, she told me there is an order in seasoning/condiment to enhance the flavor. I do not think I have heard/read about how you add seasoning will enhance the flavor over here in the states though.

 She said, “Put the condiment in order sa-shi-su-se-so”

 It is one line of Japanese alphabet (we have more than 50 letters in alphabet) just like you go a-b-c-d-e-f-g in English alphabet.

 If you were unfamiliar with Japanese language,you may say ” come again?”

 What it means is that,put condiment with the order listed bellow.

Sa is from Japanese word “Sa to u” – meaning sugar
Shi is from Japanese word “shi o” – meaning salt
is from Japanese word “Su” – meaning vinegar
Se is from Japanese word “Syo yu” – meaning soy sauce
So is from Japanese word “Miso” – meaning Miso

 Basically, sa,shi,su,se,so is from the first phonemes of Japanese word and by remembering alphabet-like, it is easy to remember.

 Next important condiment to soy sauce is probably sake and mirin(Japanese sweet rice wine). You can find them in local grocery at International aisle Or, at Asian store.

 There are some other spice you would see in Japanese dish.

 For example, we use seven spice pepper for Udon (thick wheat flour noodle). Seven spice pepper is basically a blend of spice just like Indian’s Garam masala spice bottle, and usually used to sprinkle over hot Udon or soba noodle. Seven spice pepper is called Shichimi in Japanese and it has red pepper,sansho,sesame,hemp seed,orange peel,dried seaweed,poppy seed.

 Sansho is another spice also find in some of Japanese dishes. It also is used in seven spice pepper, and commonly sprinkled over grilled sweet teriyaki sauce covered eel dish. When I looked it up in wikipedia,it seems it is called sichuan pepper in English.I might have seen this pepper at grocery store at spice aisle.

 Next is Wasabi. Green pasty thing you find in sushi roll. I would guess many people know how hot it is. Too much wasabi makes your eyes watery,and you may have running nose if you had very large amount of Wasabi. It is really really hot. Little goes loong way.

 In Japan, I always saw pasty wasabi not powder wasabi bottles. When I make sushi rice (vinegary rice for Sushi), I add sugar,vinegar,soy sauce AND wasabi powder(just a bit) to give it a kick,but not overy hot. By mixing wasabi into rice part rather than put the grab of wasabi paste on top of rice, you never bite into chunk of wasabi paste at one time.And hint of wasabi flavor goes all way through the dish and maybe much more enjoyable. Other way you can serve sushi with wasabi is that,you make vinegary rice without wasabi and serve mixture of soy sauce in dipping sauce dish and just put tiny grab of wasabi on edge. That way,each person can mix wasabi as much as they want to soy sauce itself and they can control the heat. This way is especially works better if you have kids in the family.This is also common way to serve as dipping sauce for Sashimi (raw seafood).

 Many people think Sashimi equal to raw fish. It is partly true but not fully. Sashimi is raw seafood and you can find all variety in Japan from salmon,tuna,squid(sometimes cooked),mackerel,horse mackerel,octopus(sometimes cooked), scallop,and cooked shrimp etc. I am a big fan of Tuna Sashimi but,taste of Tuna Sashimi is not as good as one in Japan. Maybe Japan is surrounded by sea and fish is much fresh? Japan (To be specific,Tokyo) has great fresh seafood market called “Tsukiji fish market” (If you have seen “Next Iron Chef” at Food Network,on and off,this Japanese fish market appeared on show). If you had a chance to visit them,visit fish market there.You would surprise how big the market is,how much of fresh seafood you can find.

 Today,you have learned some of Japanese words and alphabet as well. Tomorrow,you can ask your family or friends “Please pass me sa to u, please” (Please pass sugar to me) when you are making a cup of tea or coffee. You would get a puzzled face Then, you can teach them some of easy Japanese words you have learned here.

 It is always interesting and fun to learn other culture and their language.

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Nov 24, 2009 | 0 | Uncategorized

Run like wind again: Palette’s limping story

 “Lets go for walk!” We said to Palette,who perked up her ears and butt wagging from excitement to hear her one of her favorite words “Walk”. It was around her 1 year old birthday and, we went for a little longer distance walking route all around community lake (took about one hour to back home). We enjoyed new scenery and she enjoyed new smell on the new walking route.

 A couple of days later, I have noticed she was not putting much weight on one of her hind legs and, we took her to local vet clinic.

 The local vet took her leg’s X-ray and she was sedated for him to be able to see abnormal function of the legs which is called “drawer sign”.

 What he did was manipulating her leg to see if she had any abnormal sliding motion. He showed us X-ray picture and told us she might have torn ligament considering she had drawer sign when he tested it. So, we were off to see Orthopedic Special Vet.

 After we heard that Palette might have torn ligament, I searched a lot on possible surgeries to how they recover and what medication are commonly available,what you would expect if we did surgery  and so on.

 Listening to animal care specialist (vet)  is good,but it is also important for you to be informed what you can do to help your furry friends to get better, and know pros and cons for surgeries, know about medication pros and cons. And ask the vet if you had any questions regarding care.

 At the special clinic, Special Orthopedic Vet touched her legs,which Palette was not happy about, and checked how Palette walks (it was not as bad as hopping with one leg, but she barely put her weight on one of her legs and limping) and checked X-ray picture and she too thought it must be a ligament tore.

 So, what are ligaments?

 When Palette is diagnosed as possible ligament tore, our vet showed us plastic dog knee model to explain what is going on with her knee joint.

 Ligaments are at knee cap area and they are crossing each other. It holds two major leg bones: femur bone and shin bone. When one or both of the ligaments is tore, bone can slide abnormal directions. Thus,dogs feel funny when they want to put weight on particular legs and they limp or keep holding bad leg up in the air when standing up.

 I am not sure what cause Palette limping, but here are our doubting points as cause.

 * Dogs run fast and especially Palette being a herding dogs,she loves to do quick turn while running around. When she tried to change direction,she might have put extra stress on her joint and it could have caused her limping.

 * Maybe stress put on her joints overtime via jumping,changing direction at mid herding play run

 * Or, we used to have slippery bottom floor from bottom stair step, and I wonder if she coming downstairs running and slipped on bottom floor to change direction and pulled muscle.

 * Or, we went for walk a bit longer than usual on that particular walk and she put too much stress on her joints on that day enough to cause limping?

 I wrote “pulled muscle” in later 2 possible causes I could think of because after she went through surgery, vet found out that Palette’s ligament was perfectly fine. Ligament was not torn at all.

 Therefore,what special vet did was just looked at her ligament, closed her leg up. And limping still continued. After all, our orthopedic vet was unsure why she was limping, and they could not stop her limping. They were scratching their head to come up with the cause of her limping and treatment.

 Anyway, while we were with the special vet, we talked about surgery. At that time,both vet (local vet and special vet) thought her ligament must be torn.

 Common surgery for dogs with torn ligament is TPLO ( Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy ). What vet does is basically cut the bone to make it flatten tip, and secure bones with screws.

 Let’s watch what TPLO surgery is and what pros and cons it has with video.If you are a blog subscriber,please click  here.

 As you heard on the video, it seems many of TPLO surgery is done for large dog like Rottweiler. When our vet was talking about TPLO surgery,she did not recommend it to us.

 Major reason why was the screw and bars were too big/long for stumpy Corgi like Palette and size does not match well. So, what she recommended was to do non screw method, which involve suture to secure the bone and suture itself would dissolve into body overtime.

 It did not involve cutting bones,and it sounded less invasive. So,we were back and forth between thoughts of restricting Palette’s activity and more resting to avoid more stress on her knees and hoping for natural recovery or going for surgery and hope for Palette does not need to limp anymore.

 You can read more on what ligaments are, what are options for treatment at marvistvet website here.

 Watching Palette limping was painful for us, and especially when we know she loves running around the house or loves compete running to house on walks with me. We chose to go with non invasive surgery with suture and, Palette went under surgery.

 After hours later,we got a call from orthopedic vet telling us they found no ligament tore and,they checked possibility of Patella luxation,which is common knee problem among small dogs (knee cap pops out)  but she did not see it either. So, she told us she would close Palette’s leg up.

 That night, it was heavy rainy day, and it was the day Palette had to go through all the recovery process just like other dogs who went through the same surgery for ligament tore.

 Only difference was that, Palette’s limping problem still was there and nothing has improved after surgery. It made us worry more about her. And,it was the only day we have heard of her howling in her crate at night. Palette never howl, at least we have never heard her howling except the surgery night.

 When we went to vet clinic to pick her up, we could tell she was happy but she was in pain. She came out with Plastic Elizabeth collar and fully shaved leg. We went home with pain medication and Palette had long period of recovery time ahead of her.

 Below is her leg picture after surgery.

 Vet told us followings.

* Palette can eat all she wants (No restriction as to diet)

* Let Palette wear Elizabeth collar to avoid her chewing or licking the incision area. Licking,chewing can cause irritation/infection and can cause delay for healing

* No running, no jumping, no stairs. This applies to inside/outside house both

* No slippery floor.

 Some of the things vet told us is hard to keep like no jumping, no running. However,most of the time, her pain medication “tramadol” seems to make her sleepy and I remember she spent quite time nappin
g near us.

 Many vet would prescribe Remadyl (Non-steroid Anti Inflammatory drug) for pain medication because it is such a common drug to be prescribed to for pain control.

 However, make sure you are informed about pros and cons on this medication. Long term on this medication can cause kidney/liver failure. Side effects for this drug include,change of appetite,diarrhea,vomiting etc. And make sure to tell your vet  if you give other medicine,herbal medicine etc other than medication your dogs was prescribed to.

 Some drugs cannot be administered at the same time, and could cause serious problems. I personally stay away from Remadyl but if Palette had to be on it for any reasons, I will keep an eye on any small changes in her.

 Then, if anything alarming is found,I would stop the drug right away, and take her to vet clinic. You can read more on Remadyl at Startribune website here.

 To avoid running/jumping,we put Palette on short leash and made sure she cannot run,and less convenient to jump. She was on leash to go potty as well. We did not crate her, and we just let her be near us all time with short leash and restricted her activity.

 During the recovery time,of course,there was no walk. As she got better about a couple of months,we backed to routine but from very very short distance walk and no jog involved.

 Then gradually,we backed to regular distance walk.That walk was not daily walk. Looking at her  thigh, I still can feel difference from one thigh to the other.One side is a little thicker feeling than other leg.

 It is not very noticeable but when you touch her legs,you can feel the difference. Maybe because during limping time or recovery time,she was favoring one of the legs and bad leg was not used as much as it should.It might have led to muscle loss on one of her knee a bit. 

 Now,we have stairs. She needed to use stairs to go up and down. So, we picked Palette up and to go to potty or going to other room,if there were any stairs on the way,we picked her up and made sure she does not use stairs at all.

 If you have a large dog and not the size of dogs you can carry him/her up to destination area,you can leash them short and go slow one step by step. We could have done that way, but Palette need to bunny hop in order to go one step up, one step up and we thought it would be better for us to carry her for stairs.

 Lastly, we have put bigger rug on bottom of the stairs, so that she would not skid when she come running downstairs after recovery.

 So, Palette had restricted activity for 2 months or so and,I am sure it felt like forever for her.

 After everything we went through with her for her recovery from surgery, more search for the cause of limping has began. Yet,real cause remain mystery.

 We think Palette must have pulled her muscle during play or run in the house. And maybe,with restricted activity and Glucosamine condroitin supplement, without surgery, her limping could have improved some.

 What made her limp free after all? It was Glucosamine/Chondroitin/NZ Green lipped muscle joint care tablet. It was something I started giving her after reading about joint health and benefit of Glucosamine/Chondroitin. She was on it for 1 week or so, and voilà,she was limp free.

 Now,she is not on the tablet at all. However,I make sure I give her natural source of Glucosamin such as poultry feet (chicken feet etc),Gullet, Trachea regularly and give her fish oil capsule (not the one that has omega6 along with omega3).

 And, it is not that she is arthritis dogs,but I use Orthopedic bed for her. Orthopedic bed, which has egg crate in it, is very gentle to joint. And, last but not least,I make sure she gets exercise (walk, Frisbee, training, ball etc) and make sure she stays fit.

 She is a long back dog, and especially, extra weight on joint is not good for her. Many of dog food or treats are salty or sugary and highly processed. Choose them wisely. This is another reason for you to read the label of everything you give to your dog.

 Below is Palette’s bolster bed that has egg crate inside. She loves to put her head on side. This particular one is for daily resting not inside the crate.

Palette on bolster bed

 She also has Orthopedic bed that has pillow attached.Yes,she has her bed with pillow The bed is called Microsuede Ortho Mat with pillow. This is one of her favorite bed.And,favorite bed for me to wash. Because the cover is easy to take off and it does not take space in washing machine.

 For 3 years from her limping time, she is limp free. For her, giving her Glucosamine tablet worked, and limping was not via torn ligament. No one knows for sure what was causing her limping.

 I am happy she can run again,but I still wonder what was the problems, every time I see her doing her business (potty) putting more weight on one of her used to be her good leg. She does not limp but she got habit of doing potty putting some more weight on used to be her good leg.

 On the side note, this picture below is Palette wearing “Comfy cone”. It is soft Elizabeth collar and I did not get to use this when she was going through all this long recovery time, but I used it when she had hot spot some falls ago.

Picture from front

Picture from side

 With Plastic classic style Elizabeth collar,she tend to dig up the dirt with tip of the Elizabeth collar because making sure safety of where she does potty is very important to her
(she sniffs very good to make sure her spot is safe), and every time she dug to sniff area,I had to remove the Elizabeth collar with my half eye on her to make sure she does not secretly chew on spot while I wash it. I after all decided to take it off when we go for potty and put it back on after potty.

 With classic plastic Elizabeth collar, I had to fight with holes to snap it on for long time, and it was really frustrating.

 With comfy cone, it is easy to put it back on. You just need a second. And it is not as hard as plastic one and seems comfortable. Supposedly,you can fold back when you feed your dogs for easy access for meal.

 I think, as for meal,it is more comfortable for dogs to be able to eat meal without the collar because they would not be chewing/licking anyway but eating. And,you maybe supervising them.

 I am not endorsing any of these but, I found it to be one of my favorite items for Palette.

 This is the story of Palette. < /font>I am happy to see her run like wind again with her tongue hanging out.

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Nov 22, 2009 | 0 | Uncategorized

Traveling without flying

 Visiting foreign countries and see interesting things, experience cultural stuff you never get to experience in your home country are fun and exciting for everyone. However, you still can feel like you have traveled to foreign countries without flying.

 How? Easiest,and budget friendly way is to cook food that would be served in the particular countries. For example, you can cook Greek food  such as Spanakopita (spinach & Feta cheese in phyllo pastry) or maybe Gyro (seasoned meat and vegetable in pita bread with tzatziki sauce) and maybe baklava (phyllo pastry filled with nuts,honey).  Authentic food can make you feel like traveling. And even more so if decoration around you or things you wear were something related to the particular country.

 I have actually found very interesting place called “British Pub”. In our area, the pub is located  near the mall, and decors there had Great Britain feel to it and waiter and waitress there were wearing kilts.

 Just like you would not find every Japanese people in Japan wearing Kimono in daily life except sumo wrestler or someone with specific job such as people working for Inn or for special occasion such as wedding, I would think kilts is not daily life clothing in Great Britain, but it was fun to dine in at an unique restaurant.

 I have ordered popular British food “Fish and Chips”. It was really good. Fish was fried crispy and it was almost 8″-10″ long fish fillet with fried potatoes.  I really liked their special tartar sauce. My family ordered Shepherd pie and it was interesting. It had hint of curry and had Motzarella cheese and it was different from regular Shepherd pie I have made/seen on TV. You can peek their menu here.

 Another thing you would find at the pub is that, they have all kinds of beers,martinis, wines.. It is too bad I don’t drink. I have many bottles of beer,wines,liqueur etc at home but those are for cooking/baking. I would imagine if I drink, I would be impressed with long list of beverage menu. I am not sure if those beer is good or not but,it would be interesting to try out all kinds of beer. You can see their beverage menu here.

 In main menu, I saw “Tempura shrimp” (Classic Japanese dish) and I am not sure about how authentic their menu would be, but we liked their food  and service (we did not wait long for food to be served ), and we may back there again to try other food.

 You can visit their website here and, see if you like them.

 Do you have any favorite restaurant you like to go to for instant travel experience? (Without flying)

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Nov 19, 2009 | 0 | Uncategorized

Palette’s note: Buffalo Trachea

 When you pick up treats for your dogs, what would you look at?

 Ingredients? Fancy looking pictures?Description of the products?

 Have you ever wondered if you could actually see how other dogs are enjoying them? Not pictures,but in video so that you can actually HEAR and feel the treats’ textures?

 Some of you may have already recognized I have been putting up treats’ video on youtube so that people can hear the sound,see Palette in action and get more detail on products.

 With “Palette’s Note” series,I like to put taste test videos. This time, “Buffalo Trachea“.

 Buffalo Trachea is Buffalo version of Windee or Moo-tube. This Buffalo Trachea is 6″ in length and made in Colorado state, and made from buffalo that received no antibiotic or growth hormone in their life.

 As you can see in the picture above, Buffalo trachea is heaviest and thickest of the three kinds of Trachea  (You can get Beef Trachea, Lamb Trachea, Buffalo Trachea ) we offer.

 Buffalo Trachea weigh 2 times more or so and thicker in general than regular beef trachea.

 Just to show you the difference between the two, here is a picture of the beef trachea and buffalo trachea.

 Left hand side is Buffalo Trachea,and right hand side is Beef trachea. You can see the difference.

Left is Buffalo Trachea, right is beef trachea

 Trachea is great natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin, which is good for joint. And this trachea treat is crunchy treat. Since Buffalo trachea is a little thicker than regular beef trachea, it require a bit more chewing.

 Our k9 executive chef “Palette” is a moderate chewer. When she eats this Buffalo Trachea, you will sometimes see her face like this.

 Since Trachea is not something you can break into small bits to use as training treats, this is more of chews that requires a bit of chewing action.

 They are great small snack as jack pot for “job well done” for your dogs.

 Palette would follow you with wet nose and tries to sit nicely in front of you before you tell her anything if you were holding this treats in your hands. She knows how to get to the yummy treats faster.

 Palette used to limp before and,now she is limp free and runs like wind,but I make sure she gets natural source of Glucosamine, Chondroitin such as gullet, cartilage ( such as poultry feet) , and trachea in her main diet and, now and then, I give her Trachea treats as well.

 I know there are Jerky treats targeted for joint health with added glucosamine and chondroitin, but I prefer to give Palette Glucosamine, Chondroitin through natural source rather than synthetic forms.

 Ingredients: Buffalo Trachea

 Let’s watch Palette in action with Buffalo trachea taste test. If you are a blog subscriber,please click here to watch the video.

 Can you hear the sound of crispiness? Can you see how much less progress she made in 3 minutes videos despite the number of chewing exercise? She gets very excited for this treats and, her nose get wet in a second.

You can see her nose is very wet in this picture

Palette enjoys her Buffalo Trachea

And I found it funny she likes carrying her trachea like this.

 ** On side note, here is trachea storage tips for you. **

**When you buy trachea, store them in freezer. That is the best place for the storage. Trachea can be stored at room temperature but make sure to store with the way they can breathe.

What I recommend is to empty box and put them in without any bagging or sealed containers and keep the box lid open so that trachea can breathe. Store them in cool area away from direct sun light.


To visit our store,please click here or paste and copy the link below into your browser.

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Nov 17, 2009 | 0 | Uncategorized

Japanese Diet Part II

 In previous entry titled “ Japanese Diet Part I“, I wrote that Japanese diet staple has been rice, and you can find many variety of rice dish in Japan,and listed examples style of dishes you can find in Japan.

 Here, I like to write about another staple dish in Japan: Miso Soup.

 These days, you can buy a packet of instant miso soup at local grocery store,and many of you would probably be familiar with term “Miso” or “Miso soup”. However,you may not know what it is, what dishes you can make out of Miso, or maybe how to make Miso Soup.

 What is “Miso”?

 Miso is made from fermented steamed soybeans with malted rice and salt. So, if you buy a tub of Miso and scoop a bit with spoon and lick it, you can see how salty it is. Miso is not meant to be used the way it is. Always, water or sugar or something that dilute the saltiness is added to make tasty dish out of it.
You can read more detail on Miso at wikipedia (Please click here)

 Miso is not just one kind. There are variety of Miso: Aka miso (red miso), Shiro miso(white miso), dark or light colored shinshu miso(shinshu is area of Japan), Sendai Miso(sendai is prefecture name),Mugi miso(barley miso),Haccho Miso.. list goes on. Over in US, probably what you find at Asian stores will be limited to white or red miso. Those 2 kinds are basic type of Miso. You can see picture of Miso for each kind and Miso soup made out from each different kind of Miso with different ingredients here. (The site is in Japanese but you can see pictures and easy description in English). Certain area people prefer one type of Miso over the other and depending on where you visit in Japan, Miso soup ingredients,miso used for soup is very different. I think white miso is more mild flavor and red miso is very strong flavor. If you buy 2 kinds and, compare taste,you will notice big difference in flavor not just color of final products.

 Miso soup is served very frequently in Japan at home or at restaurant.Very basic staple soup in Japan.

 Making Miso soup on your own is not difficult.

 How do you make Miso soup?

1. wash wakame(seaweed) under running water to get rid of salt,and soak wakame (seaweed) in water up to one hour. Then,chop to small piece

** This soften up the wakame(seaweed) and after soaking,you chop them into small pieces. Maybe one ounce of wakame will be enough for 2 serving. You can eyeball wakame amount. If you soaked more than necessary for soup, you can use it for something else like vinegary cucumber salad

= Cucumber salad=
A. Slice cucumber(prefer English cucumber) into thin round. sprinkle table salt knead the salt into cucumber slice and after 2 min or so,let it sit and after that,wash it under running water in sieve,squeeze the cucumber hard to get water out of it as much as you can.

*soaking with salt make cucumber tender not crunchy

B. Grate about finger nail size ginger into small bowl and add 3tbs of sugar,3 tbs of rice vinegar, 1-2 tbs of soy sauce and mix well and pour it over cucumber and add leftover wakame(seaweed) and mix

Voilà,you made easy cucumber salad!

2. Cut Tofu (I prefer to use firm Tofu) into dice.

** If you had leftover Tofu,you can pan fry them in skillet,drizzle soy sauce and voilà,you got very easy side dish

3. Chop green onion

Now,you make dashi (stock/broth)

* Dashi (broth/stock) is also another thing you find variety of way to make it and variety of ingredients to be used. Konbu dashi(kelp broth),Niboshi dashi (dried sardine broth),Ichiban dashi,Niban dashi etc etc. If you find making dashi is too time consuming,you can just buy a bottle of dashi powder called Hon Dashi and you can find it at Asian store.If you use powder,all you need is dashi powder and water

1. Most popular dashi making method and the way you learn at cooking class at junior high school in Japan will be Ichiban dashi. Add about size of 5 inch long konbu (kelp) to about 900 ml water and put it on mid heat.

2. When kelp is coming to surface,take the kelp out from water and add about 1 ounce of Katsuo bushi (bonito flakes,which you can buy at Asian store) into the kelp water. And when it boil, turn off the heat right away and let it sit til Katsuo Bushi sink down to bottom of the sauce pan

3. Prepare bowl,place sieve over it, place cheese cloth on top and pour the kelp bonito flake water over and there you have it. You just made ” Ichiban Dashi”

Now, the soup making part

1. If you do use dashi, use Dashi as is.If you use dashi powder,you need to make quick dashi for soup using water and dashi powder

2. Boil the Dashi and put miso paste in it. Best way to dissolve miso is to use small sieve and press the paste against it with wooden spoon over boiling water.

3. After miso is dissolved,turn the heat to simmer (no boiling at this point), and add wakame (seaweed) and Tofu. When Wakame,Tofu came to surface,add chopped onion,turn off the heat right away and serve.

 What would you do if you had leftover Miso soup??

I like to add cooked rice (prefer Kokuho Rose rice) into Miso soup and eat like porridge.


** You can click each unique ingredients’ names to see what the products look like. You can see picture of products and Chinese characters on products and that would make identifying ingredients easier at Asian stores. Please note that I am not endorsing those products in any ways. This is sorely for purpose of your ingredients hunting easier.

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Nov 15, 2009 | 0 | Uncategorized

What kinds of treats are best suited for ..?

 What kinds of treats are best suited for ..? I’m looking for treats for teeth cleaning but what do you recommend? What do you recommend for long lasting chew?

Now and then, people send me questions like that, and I thought I would write about it here for others who have same questions.

1. What do you recommend for training treats?

Training treats do not have to be food treats at all, for starter. Look for what excite your dogs most, look for what get your dog’s attention quicker. It can be food treats, it can be short tug of war play, can be ball or Frisbee, maybe pet on heads.

For our dog “Palette”, it is food treats, and I use it for training. When you train your dog, give small bits to reward your dog not one whole piece of treats. Treats is small part of diet but it still does add kcal and giving whole piece of treats often is too much. How small the one bit of training treats will be? It is about lentil size. You can see pictures I have taken a while back in the entry titled “Clicker is your friend

Also,it is also good if you rotate the treats to reward. That way, dogs do not know what they get and more motivation from them if they were food oriented. And, for Palette,I don’t give free treats. She always get something after she does something. “No free treats” rule gives more power to treats and great tool to catch the attention faster. Another thing that works for Palette is that limiting the access to special treats.For example, she gets special treats as jackpot in “Find it” game or maybe after bathing or maybe after nail trimming time .. and she gets small snack type of treats like bully sticks,trachea,tendon etc.

Now, not all food treats are equal. If you use it for training, look for treats that are easy to break into small pieces, and things that dogs can swallow it in a second. Biscuits type treats are not suited for this type of purpose because dogs need to chew them and it slows down the training.Biscuits are small snack. For Palette,it is “before bed” snack. Sometimes,it changes to other small snack,but giving small snack before bed helps prevent vomit bile in the early morning from hunger.

My favorite type of training treats are Jerky made from meat without fillers or dehydrated lung treats.Dehydrated lung treats can come with either cubed or flat sheet type. Cubed one can be cut into small bits with scissors and flat sheet type can break into pieces with your hands. Cubed lung treat we carry is Kangaroo lung treats, and flat sheet type lung treats are Dogitos line products (Beef,Lamb available).

Dehydrated meat strip that are thick, that are made along the grain is not suited for the training although it is meat Jerky because it is thick and hard to break into pieces with hands or with scissors.

Surf Turf Jerky (made from fully grass-fed buffalo meat with wild caught salmon) and Wild West Cowboy Jerky (Grass-fed Beef Jerky)  is easy to break into pieces and suit for training treats.You can read more on Surf Turf Jerky here.

There are many Jerky dog treats or treats sold as training treats,but all treats are equal?

Answer is “No”. Many dog treats contains  sugar, salt, preservatives, garlic, food additives etc etc list goes on.

For example,Molasses,kosher salt,garlic.. many treats contain these things but salt is natural,thus people can sell them as “All natural dog treats”.

And many of those treats can contain mixed tocopherols,which is natural Vitamin E (Vitamin E is mainly delivered from soybean oil and some dogs,mine included, react to it.Palette gets itchy,start chewing paws etc.) or Rosemary extract (which can trigger seizure for EPI dog) as natural preservatives. Some Freeze dried products contains mixed tocopherols too. We do not offer treats fortified with any vitamins or salt,sugar,garlic etc.

In previous entry titled “Do you really know what’s going into your dog’s stomach? Part II“,I wrote that it is important to read ingredients list on treats, and it really is the first step to decide what to give to your dogs. Not all treats dogs show interests is good for them. Case in points: Antifreeze is toxic to dogs, yet it is sweet in taste and dogs are attracted to it.

And, some stores including box pet supply store still carry treats made in China. So far,I have found duck fillet treats,rabbit meat strip treats made in china but sold at big store or online store where they do not list origin of the products (usually,those site seem to not list ingredients either). It is tiny prints on back. Knowing not only ingredients but also where they were made is also good idea to choose better treats for your furry friends. We, at Yassy’s Gourmet Dog Kitchen, list all ingredients and origin of the products but if you encounter website where you do not see those information,ask the store and know before you buy them.Our rabbit ear treats is made in USA.No treats offered on our website is made in China.

 2. What treats do you recommend for teeth cleaning?

 This question is one of the top inquiries we get. It is interesting to look around and find so many of the products claim effect of teeth cleaning even sandy textured kibble piece size treats. And 99% of stores sell bully sticks for teeth cleaning:removing tartar build-up.

What I recommend for teeth cleaning is NOT handing out chews. Rather, make a habit to brush your dog’s teeth. That is best way to clean the teeth. And if you could provide something they need to sink in their canine teeth and rip and tear to consume such as big hunk of meat,it helps more. Bully sticks,Deer Antlers are good chews but they alone do not give you  the same result you can get with teeth brushing.

 Bully sticks, Deer Antlers are often times gnawed by dogs using molar,and if you look closely,they would not chew/gnaw it with canine teeth or other teeth. So, those teeth that is not used will not be cleaned at all if you do not brush their teeth.

To make a point, you can see Palette chewing bully sticks and Deer Antlers bellow.

* To watch /read about teeth cleaning,please click here.

* To watch /read about Deer Antlers,please click here.

So, for me and Palette, bully stick is jackpot treat and small snack. Deer Antlers is for chew to satisfy dog’s urge to chew and long lasting chew. Bully sticks,Antlers are definitely not training treats because it cannot be break into pieces, not sorely for teeth cleaning either because she just use molars to gnaw. It “would help” to clean molars to some degree but that is not enough for me to recommend it as treats/chew fully for teeth cleaning.

On the talk of teeth cleaning, you maybe interested in knowing about anesthesia. If your dogs needed professional dental cleaning,look for clinic that does cleaning without anesthesia.To read on anesthesia and dogs,please click here.

 3. What do you recommend for long lasting chew?

My recommendation for long lasting chew is Deer Antlers.

Many stores emphasize bully sticks as great long lasting chew but for me, it isn’t. It is a small snack,not long lasting chew. Palette is 33lb Corgi,moderate chewer and if I give 6″ long bully stick,she would finish it in 30 min or so at most. With braided bully sticks 11″,it took her about 1 hour 5 minutes.With Deer Antlers though, despite her religious gnawing sessions, the same Antlers we got more than 1.5 years ago still be enjoyed by Palette. So, for me, or for her, Antlers win over bully sticks. Of course, how long Antler will last is depend on how long time is spent on it, how dogs gnaw it etc but it will last lot longer than bully stick.

Antler is not cheap. However, our Antler gives variety of shapes to chew on;some are “y” shaped,some are straight,some are thicker than others.. and since it lasts lot longer than bully sticks, from cost aspect, you will be spending on Antlers less in the same period of time with repeated bully sticks purchase.

That being said, most dogs jump for Antlers but some may need time to get used to it;weird shape,unfamiliar smell etc.. If you find your dogs show no interest in Antler,try rub against sandpaper to give more scent out and see if it works. Also, it is good idea to buy just one first even if you got more than one dog and see if any of your dogs like them. With any treats,if you were not sure if your dogs would love them,buy small first and if the products were hit among crews,buy big to stock up.

*To read about long lasting chew,please click here.

Some people ask me recommendation of Antler size and, I would suggest to use recommended size information on website’s Antler section. Size is decided by weight,not length,but to give you rough idea how long the Antler will be,we have length information there as well.

4.What do you recommend for skin and coat?

 Feeding omega3 rich food is good for dog’s skin and coat. Treats is small part of diet but if you are looking for treats with benefit, choose the treats made from grass-fed meat or wild caught salmon. With main diet,feeding grass-fed red meat, omega3 rich fish such as Mackerel,sardine,salmon is great way to bump up the omega3 amount in the diet through food.

If you choose,for example, fish treat between white fish treats and wild caught salmon treats, choose wild caught salmon treats because it has much more omega3 in it and,if the choice was between farm raised fish and wild caught fish,choose wild caught fish treats. I am not sure why cod treat is sold as source as treats for omega3(treats good for skin and coat). It does have some omega3 but not as much as salmon does.Mackerel is best (if I feed 10 oz worth of mackerel plus some red meat,poultry in a week, Palette gets 8 fish capsule worth ;about 8000mg of omega3 just from food.) but I think on dog treats market,you would probably not find one.And if you were to choose treats that has just salmon as ingredients and the other that has vegetable mixed  in, choose the one without vegetable because by adding the vegetable, it downgrade the benefit of omega3 that comes from salmon. It does not matter whether the vegetable is organic or not.

With all “Omega3 is good for dogs” trend,many stores offer fish oil bottle or fish oil capsule these days. Fish oil is another way to bump up the omega3 amount in the diet but,make sure what are in it,how much of what are in it. With most diet method, I would imagine you would be feeding more than enough omega6 and all you need is omega3 not both if your dogs needed any to bump up. It, of course,would depend on what you feed,how you feed, and each individual diet menu plan, omega3 amount that are preferred to be bumped up will be different.

Some of well known fish oil brands bottles do have omega6 in it too not just omega3. If you plan to buy fish oil bottle or fish oil capsules,read the ingredients, make sure what you will be getting,and make sure you will get just omega3. If you had hard time finding the information,ask the manufacturer. That is the easiest way to get the information you are looking for.

5.Question regarding coupon code,GDK points

Sometimes, I get question about coupon code or GDK points. When you order,coupon code box will appear on payment page. If you misplaced/forgot coupon code,simply use contact form and contact us.We can reply back with code and expiration date, and also can tell you how many GDK points you currently have.

Also,if you become a fan on Yassy’s Gourmet Dog Kitchen at Facebook, you can get fan only offer and discount and you can save even more.

And 24 hours a day 7 days a week,you can get free shipping with order over $100. Time to time,you can get free shipping with order over $50.

6.Question regarding bulk menu

You can see bulk treats menu and price here.

7.Question regarding wholesale

We do NOT offer wholesale.

 ** On side note, here are some tips for you. **

** When you buy trachea, which is well known with name “Moo-tube”, “Windee” if beef trachea, store them in freezer. That is best place for storage. Trachea can be stored at room temperature but make sure with the way they can breathe. What I recommend is to empty box and put them in without any bagging or sealed containers and keep the box lid open so that trachea can breathe. Store them in cool area away from direct sun light. We have 3 kinds of trachea available: Beef,Lamb,Pork. Good natural source of glucosamine and good for joint. Dogs love crunchy texture and dance for it. You can find them here.

Enjoy treat hunt for your furry friends

Nov 12, 2009 | 0 | Yassy's Gourmet Dog Kitchen

Chipotle Menu “Yassy’s version”(Revised on Nov 10th)

 One of the thing I like doing is to re-create the flavor I tasted at the restaurant. I like going out to eat great meal,and have fun trying to pick the flavor ingredients and, sometime later,I try re-create the same dish with my imagination. It is fun.

We like to go to Mexican restaurant “Chipotle” a lot. We usually order “barbacoa” (Spicy shredded beef) with bean,rice and vegetables. At home,I tried couple of ways to be closer to Chipotle’s barbacoa but,it does not come closer to what we taste there. However,I think I make quite closer for bean,vegetable and cilantro rice.

 When I make meal Chipotle Yassy style, I make grilled flank steak,cilantro rice,bean and vegetable.It is quite easy and you can make your own at home too.

Here,I would like to share the recipe with you.


Chipotle rice bowl Yassy’s version..with zesty Grilled NY strip steak

Ingredients for Grilled steak:

Flank steak 1 lb
Grill Mates Montreal Steak seasoning

Ingredients for Zesty Grilled NY Strip steak:

NY strip steak
bit of dried Oregano
bit of paprika
bit of ancho chili powder
bit of lime juice
bit of Extra virgin olive oil
sprinkle of steak seasoning (MacCormic)
2 cloves of garlic grated
3-4 chipotle chili in adbo chopped fine
1 tbs juice from chipotle chili in adobo sauce in the can

Ingredients for Black beans and corns:

1/4 red onion chopped
1 can of black beans (drained)
1 can (15oz can) of whole corn (drained)
pinch of garlic powder
1 Bayleaf
pinch of kosher salt
Ingredients for Cilantro rice;

1C Jasmine rice
pinch of kosher salt
1 tbs chopped cilantro
pinch of kosher salt
fresh lime juice from 1/2 lime
lime zest

Ingredients for pepper and onion;

1/2 red onion sliced
1/4 red pepper sliced
1/4 green pepper sliced
Morton’s Natures Seasons
fresh lime juice from 1/2 lime
1 tbs chopped cilantro

<Grilled Flank steak>

0. Put out the Flank steak on counter to come to room temperature

1. Season the Flank steak with “Grill Mates Montreal Steak seasoning”,and place the skillet on stove top and pour some Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I like cold press Extra virgin Olive oil.It just taste better.)

2. Wait til you see the smoke/steam coming out from the skillet,which tells you that the skillet is screaming hot

3. Add 1 lb flank steak int the skillet

** Do NOT Touch. Let it caramelize its surface.Just leave it alone.

4. After about 4-5 minutes,flip it over cook for another 4-5 minutes or until desired doneness.

 We like medium rare so,I cook until temperature goes to about 125F or so.

** IF the meat were quite thick cut and,inside temperature were below 100F and outside were all brown and  crusty,you can cook the meat in the 350F oven gently.  I usually bake about 2-5 minutes to see how much temperature rise to rough estimate the cooking time in the oven.

5. Place the steak on the plate, cover it with foil and let it rest for another 15 minutes or so

** Remember that steak temperature rise about 10F while it is resting so,you want to consider when to pull the meat to rest in the plate.

6.  After the meat is rested enough, slice the beef against the grain very thin

Makes; 2-4 servings

 If you like to make Adobo marinaded steak like theirs,here is you can do. I have tried a couple of times with guessed seasoning and,I think I came to pretty close to theirs.

 <Zesty Grilled NY strip steak>

0. Put out the NY strip steak on counter to come to room temperature

1. In the small container, mix bit of Oregano, bit of paprika,bit of ancho chili powder,bit of lime juice, bit of Extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle of steak seasoning (MacCormic) and grate 2 cloves of garlic and mix well.

2. Season the steak with the rub and let it sit for 30 minutes or so

3. Wait til you see the smoke/steam coming out from the skillet,which tells you that the skillet is screaming hot

4. Add the steak int the skillet

** Do NOT Touch. Let it caramelize its surface.Just leave it alone.

5. After about 4-5 minutes,flip it over cook for another 4-5 minutes or until a little shy from desired doneness.

We like medium rare so,I cook until temperature goes to about 120F or so and then move on to the next step so we do not over cook them.

6. Add about 3-4 chipolte chili in adobo sauce chopped into the skillet,1 tbs juice from chipotle in adobo sauce can  and flip the steak over once or twice to let the steak absorb/coat the flavor.

Place the steak on the plate, cover it with foil and let it rest for another 15 minutes or so

** Remember that steak temperature rise about 10F while it is resting so,you want to consider when to pull the meat to rest in the plate.

7.  After the meat is rested enough, cut the steak into bite size pieces against the grain

<Black beans and corns Yassy’s version>

1. In the sauce pan, add 1/4 red onion chopped, 1 can of black beans (drained), 1 can (15oz can) of whole corn (drained), about 1/4C water or so, and sprinkle pinch of garlic powder and put 1 Bayleaf in there and sprinkle pinch of kosher salt to it and stir and bring to boil

2.  Once it gets bubbly, lower the heat down to simmer

** I recently discovered it makes nice bean dish when you put 1-2 tbs worth of Green jalapeno salsa called  ” Mr’s Renfro’s” (You can find them in International ail at local grocery store.) into the bean dish. It gives a little bit of zing to it and nice variation if you like to try different but easy Chipotle-like bean dish.

** IF you wanted to make like their corn,heat the skillet, and add touch of extra virgin olive oil, 1 can of corn (drained), 1 jalapeno chopped fine and cook for a bit.Then, add fresh lime juice from 1/2 lime,and sprinkle pinch of kosher salt, and chopped cilantro leaves and stir and you are done. You may want to control the heat that comes from jalapeno by adding little by little and taste to your liking.

Makes; 3-4 serving

What would you do if you had leftover jalapeno??

When you have easy night like making burgers,you can make jalapeno poppers.

Ingredients for Jalapeno popper;

cream cheese
dash of garlic powder
dash of onion powder
dash of fresh lemon juice
dash of Emeril’s Essence (Bayou blast)
unbleached all purpose flour
Panko bread crumbs
pinch of kosher salt

<Yassy’s Jalapeno popper>

1. Cut the jalapeno into half, and take the membrane and seed off, and rinse them under the water very good

2.In the small ball,put some cream cheese,dash of garlic powder,dash of onion powder,little bit of  fresh lemon juice,dash of Emeril essence,mix well and stuff this mixture on top of the cut jalapeno

3. Dip it into flour,and shake off the extra flour, and dredge them into lightly beaten egg, and roll them on Panko ( Japanese style bread crumbs),and fry them up.

 Since Emeril essence (bayou blast) has already salt in it,I don’t add salt to cream cheese mixture. I lightly sprinkle kosher salt right after they are fried.If you did not have fresh jalapeno but wanted to make poppers,you can use pickled jalapeno in a jar.

<Cilantro rice>

1. In the sauce pan, add 1C Jasmine rice, 1 3/4C water, pinch of kosher salt and bring it to boil

2. Once boiled, stir and put the lid on and cook them at medium low heat for 10 minutes, and once 10 minutes is out, lower the heat to simmer and cook them for another 10 minutes

3. When rice is done, add about 1 tbs cilantro chopped, pinch of kosher salt and fresh lime juice from 1/2 lime, a bit of lime zest

4. Adjust the taste

Makes: 2-4 serving

<Pepper and onions>

1. In the skillet, drizzle extra virgin olive oil and add 1/2 Red onion sliced, 1/4 red pepper sliced, 1/4 green pepper sliced and sprinkle “Morton’s Nature’s seasoning”.

2. When vegetables got tender, add fresh lime juice from about 1/2 lime

3. Add 1-2 tbs chopped Cilantro and stir

4. Taste and adjust the seasoning

Makes; 2-3 serving

 We sometimes have this restaurant-like menu for fun,and with Chipotle menu,we have grilled beef,bean and corn,and green pepper,red pepper Red onion satay,and cilantro rice. Then, we sprinkle shredded Monterrey jack cheese to hot meal to melt and we enjoy the meal.

 If you had leftover from this menu,you can chop the beef to strip,mix it with rice and everything,and warm the Tortilla and put the rice mixture and eat as Britos,and maybe Salsa on the side.

 If you had left over Buritos,you can freeze it. Wrap it with saran,then,wrap it with Foil. When you need one,unwrap the saran,wrap it with paper towel very loose on microwaveable plate,then, probably 1 minutes to heat up,then, re-wrap with foil,put it in oven at 350F about 10 minutes or so and it comes out nice.

 If you needed to keep the food warm for any dish,you can set up the oven to 200F,keep the meal in the oven til you need it.

 Enjoy my version of Chipotle meal at home
 If you have not tried their meal,try visit their store and enjoy tasty Mexican food. Their website is here.

Nov 10, 2009 | 0 | Restaurant Challenge

Why do dogs love to chase cars, bicycles, joggers..

 Dogs love to chase moving objects such as ball,Frisbee, lizard, squirrels etc And some dogs love to chase  joggers, bicycle, cars… something that might put them into dangerous situation.

What can you do about them?

 Our dog is, as you already know, Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Palette is herding breed who loves to herd toys and treats.

She used to nip my heel as puppy.

Herding and nipping are not problems anymore, but she loves chasing ball, Frisbee, lizard, squirrels.. She showed interests in chasing after cars,bicycles as puppy a little but not much interests in chasing cars, bicycles etc now.

 We go for walk daily, and since she was a puppy, I called her to grassy area (side of the road ) and stay still every time we saw a car.

Then, I gave her bits of treats every time we walked to side and stay still and car passed by.

For 4 years, we had been doing this and, she does pretty good when she sees the cars.

Letting her recognize the presence of the cars and stay still on side of the car is something that does good for her safety and, to me, it is important to let her understand that she should not jump out in front of the cars and important training aspect,but for her, it can be fun game.

Every time car passes by, she looks up to me with smile as if she were proud herself for her “stay still on side” game. Sometimes, she notice the car before I notice and she pulls me to side. When that happen,I give her extra petting and praise.

 Another thing I taught her was  “wait” command.

Wait for door open,wait for step out from door, wait to dig in to her meal .. Teaching her to wait for entrance door open, and step out from door without dashing out was also one of the important things I taught her that involve cars and her safety.

 Here is how I taught her.

 Very first thing I taught her was “sit” and, I let her sit before everything she loves.

Sit to get leash connected to her collar for walk ( Later, I taught her “turn around ” command and she sits facing out to get her leash connected to her collar.Now, she sits facing out without me telling her to do so. ), sit quiet before I throw balls or Frisbee or maybe play tug, sit before brushed, sit before being pet, sit before meal, sit before door open etc..

 Then, I let her sit in front of the door, slowly opened door. If she starts standing up, I said “Try again”, and just closed door and  slowly open door again.

By repeating this over and over,she got ideas that as long as her butt is on the floor,door open wide. And after being able to let her stays sit till door widely opened, I stepped out from entrance, and let her learn to step out without dashing out.

 As for joggers, bicycles etc, I called her name, grabbed her attention and let her focus on me, not moving object and she got nice click of clicker and bits of treats.

Once she became reliable and she turned her face on me whenever I called her, I randomly gave her treats or praise and eventually treats were faded away and she ignored joggers (she was not so much interests in chasing them,but rather, she did not like to be passed by them).

 Dogs do things that were rewarded or things worked for them. With behavior like this that might put them into dangerous situation especially, better not to encourage them to chase cars etc.

 When we go for walk, when closer to home and turn to straight road, I race with Palette. She runs very fast and occasionally, slow down after checking up on me. She hangs her tongue out and with biggest smile on her face, she races with me and enjoy running with me.

At home,she gets to play ball, find it game, Frisbee… I think it is important to give your dogs opportunity to use their instincts in play with you or activities they do.

 And, maybe teaching them good reliable recall ” come” can also be a life saver.

 To teach ” come”, simply run to opposite direction from your dogs. Dogs naturally love to chase. They would most likely chase after you. So, when they come to you, give them nice treats and big praise.

IF just you running away from your dog was not enough to encourage them to chase after you, maybe you can squeak toys and let them get excited for the toys before you taking off, and finally run away from  your dogs squeaking your dogs favorite toys. When they come to you, give them good praise.

 When “come” command is under practice, never call your dogs to tell them negative things. Always call them when something good is coming. When they know that their name is called by you, always good thing happens, they sure would come trot to you in a second.

 Also, have you had experience that your dogs stole family member’s socks and run away from you?

When dogs got something that should not be in their mouth, never try chase after them.It becomes fun game for them. Just ignore, and since stealing thing did not get your attention,they would get bored and abandon the items.

 Some website suggests to use electric shock collars or water balloon or water spray bottle to stop the chasing behavior, or any unwanted behavior for human for that matter, but I do not agree with those method.

By using electric collars or water spray, it maybe quick to stop whatever behaviors that were under way. Dogs stop doing things just because something bad happens.

Dogs stop doing things from fear. It is possible that those fear created by such tools could effect bond with your dogs or maybe create another behavior problems. Would that be worth it?

 I am not a dog trainer, but dog training is not quick work. You need to commit yourself, and be consistent, be patient, and be calm. Achieving the training goal can take long. You need to understand your dogs and review yourself too.

 When there are ways to teach them what to do positively, why need to take aversive method to achieve the goal? Also, we need to understand many of the behavior problems can be natural dog behaviors: barking,chewing,digging, chasing etc etc.

We are the one that need to help them adapt to our life style.

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Nov 08, 2009 | 0 | Miscellaneous (dogs)