Archives for March, 2011

Palette’s note: Free Range Moo! Braided Bully sticks

 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, “Free Range Moo! Braided bully sticks 6″.

 Free Range Moo! Braided bully sticks
is Moo! Odor Free line products and they are made in Argentina. It is made from
beef that received no antibiotic or growth hormone in their life.

 Our K9 executive chef “Palette” the Corgi, loves this bully sticks, and she gets so excited and chew on them very enthusiastically with very wet nose and some drool bubbles around her mouth.

 Many dogs adore bully sticks. Palette is one
of them, but don’t underestimate her. She actually is a tough judge. She
gave me nosed up,paws down on some of bully sticks I got to try out.

 Paws down bully sticks did not make it to the store to offer others.
After all, she is k9 executive chef who control the quality of menu to
be served to others, along side with me. And only Palette’s approved
menu is served to others.

 What I like about this bully sticks, and
what separate this bully sticks from other bully sticks is that, it does
not emit stinky odor when dogs chew on these.

 I can sit right next to
our dog while she is working on her bully sticks. Before giving this
bully sticks to our dog as taste test, I sniffed at it, and I feel it has a little smell
to it but much much less smell and not stinky to my nose.

 People smell
things differently but, if you compare this bully sticks and other bully
sticks from pet supply store, you would find the difference in smell.
Especially when your dogs start chewing on it. Some brands’ bully sticks stink up the room so badly.

 If you have read the previous entry titled “Long lasting chew/recreational bones for dogs“, you would already know that what makes the bully sticks less odor.

 For those, who haven’t, not all bully sticks are made same way. Some are made vertical, some are made horizontal. The one made flat tend to have stronger smell to it. Reason why is that, by hanging and making
the bully sticks vertical, the fluid in the bully sticks drain more and
the longer baked bully sticks has less odor than the one made flat.

 Although I do not give bully sticks daily,
I give her this bully sticks as occasional jackpot treat when we play
“Find it” game – when I give really good jackpot treat like this one,
she usually have to find her toy I hide in our house rather than
sniffing out the treat itself.

 More challenging for her to find the toy,
thus I give her higher valued treats to her. She is moderate chewer,
and in average, with other brand’s braided bully sticks, she spend about 5-15 minutes or so on 6″one, but with this, she spent about 20-30 minutes.

 How long it would last will be
depending on each dog’s jaw strength.

 If you were looking for long lasting chew, I would recommend Deer Antlers.
With our Corgi “Palette”- moderate chewer, with L size Deer Antler, it
is with her for more than one year with the same Antler.

 She religiously
spend about 15-20 min 2 sessions per day but still gnawing the same
one. Antlers are more economical overall and one Antler lasts much
longer. Since she now got 3 kinds of Antlers:Regular Antlers, Antler with some velvet left on, and Antler bottom,
the time she spend on regular one is less than before (she seems to
gnaw one by one alternating among the three Antlers) , but she enjoys
her gnawing time.

 No matter how long/thick the bully stick is, one bully
stick will be gone much faster than Deer Antlers would. Therefore, Deer Antlers will be more economical for long lasting chews for your dogs.

 Ingredients: Beef

 Let’s watch Palette in action with Free Range Moo! Braided bully sticks taste test. ,if you are a blog subscriber or reading from facebook,please click here to watch video Part I, and please click here for video Part II.

 Palette and Free Range Moo! Braided bully sticks Part I


 Palette and Free Range Moo! Braided bully sticks Part II

 Can you see she is very excited for the Free Range Moo! Braided bully sticks? With Part II video, since she was so excited for the bully sticks, she chewed the bully sticks a little stronger than she should and it stuck to molar teeth and, she had to retreat to chew more.

 She worked on this bully sticks for
about a couple of minutes or so and then, she gave me a pause for picture.

Smize with Free Range Moo! Braided bully sticks

** Smize; smile with eyes

Now, is serious chew time..nom,nom,nom…

Mom,please leave my nose alone…

I know you want to take a picture of wet nose

Hmm…. Pawsome tweats!

 If you ask me what shapes of bully sticks I would like to give to Palette, it might surprise you but, I would say I prefer the traditional “straight” bully sticks just like Free Range Moo! Supreme bully sticks.

 Reason why is that, I like the concept of the manufacturer trying to offer various shapes of bully sticks, but after all, traditional straight one can last lot longer than braided one for example,and it does not get broken into pieces.

 To make the braided bully sticks, manufacturers use 3 skinny bully sticks to make the braid. Then, yes, a first couple of minutes dogs can chew tougher chew but then, when they chew down to about half length of the bully sticks, it gets broken into 3 thin wavy bully sticks.

separated braided bully sticks piece..

 When Palette chew 6″ braided bully sticks, right about 3″,4″ length left, it gets broken into 3 separate wavy bully sticks.

 It is nice that she can enjoy two shapes of bully sticks in one bully sticks, but once it gets separated, she can chew up the piece pretty fast.

 This is the reason why I prefer to give one size up braided bully sticks (in her case, 12″ one) more often than 6″ braided bully sticks for Palette. With 12″ braided bully sticks, she can spend more time on braided bully sticks.

 With Free Range Brazilian braided bully sticks 12″, she spent 2-3 days. You will see the difference.

Now is wavy bully sticks fun time!

 

Chewing on the separated piece of braided bully sticks..

I can enjoy wavy bully sticks with one braided bully sticks!

2 Fun in one!

Hmm… Wavy fun! *Smize*

 This
bully sticks is one of my favorite because it does not stink up the
room, and this is also Palette’s favorite as you can see in videos and
pictures.

 This is like  piled high bacon strips for Palette, and she enjoy every inch of it.

 Please note that due to natural products,
thickness of the bully sticks can vary.

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

http://yassysgdk.com/main.sc

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Mar 29, 2011 | 0 | Uncategorized

Bath in Japan; Ofuro (Private bath),Sento (Public bath),Onsen (Hot spring)

 In the previous entry titled “Toilet in Japan“, I wrote that, in Japan, every train station has bathroom, and we have toilet slippers to wear to use the bathroom at home and school. And I also wrote that toilet manner is different from the one in the states.

 If you visit Japan, you would notice one more big difference in bathroom culture in Japan. If you hear the word “Bathroom”, you would imagine the room with toilet and shower tub right next to it.

 In Japan, toilet room and shower room is separated. One room for toilet, and one room for shower room. When you first walk in to shower room in Japan, you will be in the compact changing room with bath mat on, in front of the door that lead to the shower room.

 Once you step into the shower room, you would be at wash room, where you find wash bowl, small stool to sit on, body soap, wash towel, shampoo/conditioner, mirror and shower head.

 First thing you do is to wash your body there, and floor has drain. Then, right next to the shower floor, you will find deep bath tub so you can sink your body in to warm up. The tub is filled with hot water, and top is covered with bath tub cover. Often times, there is a gas heater panel on the wall so you can re-heat the water.

 I came across youtube video on Japanese shower room (We call the bath tub room “Ofuro”). You can see what Japanese bathroom looks like.

Ofuro in Japan (Bath in Japan)

If you are a blog subscriber or reading from face book,please click here to watch the video.

 I saw someone was asking as comment under the video as to what would happen if the lady was happened to be on period.Usually, ladies with period would take just shower and not going in to tub.

 There is also public bath place called “Sento”. If you go to Sento, you will pay for entrance, and keep the clothes in locker and walk in to wash room. Usually, wash room is separated by gender, and there is lined up faucet,mirror,soap,wash bowl etc. Then, with Sento, you will see different kind of bath tub from Jacuzzi, to regular deep tub.

 One thing that is very unique to Japan will be presence of Onsen (hot spring). You will find many Onsen in Japan.

 Water used for Hot spring is hotter than regular bath water, and they are natural hot spring water.

 In Japan, it is believed that hot spring water is good natural water for chronic disease such as rheumatism due to mineral content in the water.  Each hot spring place offer water from natural hot spring with different minerals and each has known for its specific characteristics for health. 

 Some people enjoy spas especially located in open air bath (roten buro) with natural scenery.

 Hot spring in Japan

If you are a blog subscriber or reading from face book,please click here to watch the video.

 If you look more into hot spring areas,you would find all kinds of bath from cave bath, bath that has floating citrus fruits, suna buro (sand bath) etc..

 We are not the only one that enjoy hot springs. There is a famous spot for Wild Monkey taking hot spring bath in Nagano prefecture during winter time. The area is called “Jigokudani Yaen koen (Jigokudani Monkey Park). It is part of national park, and one of the popular tourist spots in Japan.

Monkeys take Hot spring

If you are a blog subscriber or reading from face book,please click here to watch the video.

 I like taking bath in Japanese way, and every time I back home in Japan, Ofuro is  one of the things that I enjoy during the stay with my family.

 If you had a choice to pick from Japanese bath and American bath, which do you think you would pick?

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Mar 27, 2011 | 0 | Uncategorized

Reverse sneezing

 Have you had an experience that your dogs became frozen up and made something similar to gagging sound, and appeared to have breathing problems?

 Very first time our stumpy dog “Palette” had such incident, it was very alarming to me and,I felt helpless because I had no idea how to help her to stop them. Also, I did not know what it was.

 Asking fellow dog lovers around as to what this is, and how to help the awful situation to stop, one lady has told me that it is called “Reverse sneezing” and it helps them stop if you cover the nose hole to help her breath through mouth,rather than through nose, and rub the neck.

 It helped, but it lasted longer than I wish I could stop it. Later on, I noticed that if I sit next to her right hand side and, cover her nose hole with my left hand; my thumb over one hole, second finger on other nose hole and support her chin with my palm and hold her chin with up angle (So, Palette will be looking up with my palm support under her chin), and with my right hand, slowly,gently rub her neck up and down and to calm her down, I talk to her gently “You will be all right.” and after a few seconds, the awful gagging goes away.

 It seemed a little quicker for the gagging goes away. For our dog “Palette”, it does not happen all the time, rather once in about 6 months or so. However, it is one scary moment when it happened for the first time before. Now, I can be calm, and help her calm and stop it for a few seconds. I see that if we human were nervous, dogs could see the emotion in you and, you would like to be calm to let them be calm.

 A few weeks ago, this “reverse sneezing” happened to Palette again. It happened right after she has inhaled the fish body oil capsules she gets sometimes along with her meal.

 I quickly went to her side,and helped her reverse sneezing to stop. It stopped after a few seconds as usual, but it got me thinking what really cause this horrible reverse sneezing.

What is reverse sneezing?

 According to vetinfo.com website, it is a spasm that occur when soft palate or throat becomes irritate. This “reverse sneezing” is also called “pharyngeal gag reflex” because when this condition occur, it seems dogs rapidly pulling air into their nose, while regular sneeze, air gets pushed out when dogs sneeze.

 They also explains that when “reverse sneezing” occur, dogs will freeze up, and extend their head/neck,and they will make loud snorting sound.

 To read more on reverse sneezing at vetinfo.com, please click here.

 For those who are not familiar with “reverse sneezing”, bellow is the reverse sneezing youtube video.

Reverse sneezing dogs

  If you are a
blog
subscriber or reading from Facebook,please click here to watch video.

 What cause dogs to have “reverse sneezing” episode?

 According to peteducation.com website, they point out a few causes.

** Irritation of soft palate,which cause spasm. When spasm occur, dogs have hard time to breath normally.

** excitement

** rapid eating/drinking,exercise

** physical irritation in the throat

** allergy

** irritation by chemical such as perfume,household cleaner

 To read the full article at peteducation.com website,please click here.

 Considering the situation when Palette had an episode of reverse sneezing, it is most likely be after inhaling something just like recent episode when she inhaled fish body oil capsules or when we went for walk and she was sniffing on the ground and she suddenly froze up and started reverse sneezing,which I can see it could be something got into her nose when she was sniffing the ground on our walk.
 
 If your dogs have reverse sneeze episode very frequently, it maybe good idea to take them to the vet.

 I saw youtube comments under another reverse sneezing videos that read to leave the dogs alone and the reverse sneezing will go away on its own eventually. However, when we can help the reverse sneezing episode go away much quicker than let them be and suffer for 1 minutes,2 minutes, would you choose not to help them stop the reverse sneezing?

 I would choose to help Palette to stop reverse sneezing. Not being able to breath normally even for a minutes is painful.

 Have your dogs had “reverse sneezing” episode?

 If so, what situation it occurred?

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Mar 22, 2011 | 0 | Uncategorized

Roast beef with roasted vegetables, Yorkshire pudding

 When I was in Japan, eating steaks were rare occasion. This is simply because our diet is based around rice, and most common setting for dinner table would be everyone gets a bowl of rice, Miso soup, and you will see a couple of big plate of side dishes.

 Side dish has more vegetables compared to the common dish you find here in the states and, sometimes, the side dish is made with some vegetables and meat together.

 Coming over here in the states, I must say I learned a lot about cooking steaks. If you ask my husband about steaks I make, he would show you two thumbs up. It is one of the things he says I do good at. I am happy to see our family eating steaks with big grin.

 Recently, I made roast beef with roast vegetables and, since one of my friends were talking about eating Yorkshire pudding, I felt like I would like it too, and I made the Yorkshire pudding also instead of serving rolls to go with the meal.

 If you were not familiar with Yorkshire pudding, it is one of the traditional/staple  dish from England that is served along side with roast beef. It is almost like skin of cream puff with more eggy taste to it. It is basically batter is poured into pan that had preheated oil in it and, it will puff up as it cooks. Yorkshire pudding is one of my favorite side dishes to eat.

 So,how do you make “Roast beef with roasted vegetables”, and “Yorkshire pudding”? Here is how.

Roast beef with roasted vegetable

Roast beef with roasted vegetables..

0.Preheat the oven at 450F

1. Dry the Beef prime ribs (bone-in) 3 lb, and sprinkle Montreal steak seasoning (McCormic)

2. Place the roasting pan on the stove,drizzle Extra virgin Olive oil, and preheat the pan with medium high heat

3. When you see the slight steam is coming out from the pan, sear the ribs to make all round nice brown to seal the flavor

4. Set the seared prime rib on aside on the plate, and turn off the stove, and add some baby carrot, cut up small red potatoes and peeled garlic cloves from one bulb to the roasting pan, and stir to coat the oil around them

5. On top of the vegetables (carrots,potatoes), set the roasting rack and set the prime rib (bone side down), and put the pan into the preheated oven

6. After about 15 minutes, take the pan out from the oven and check the doneness of baby carrots. If it were soft enough with some crunch, take them out from the pan and set them aside on plate,put the beef and potato back in the oven.

** With baby carrots, no seasoning necessary because garlic oil in the pan, and dripping from the beef season the carrots nicely,and if you add more seasoning,it can get salty.

7.  Another 15 minutes later, scoop out all the garlic cloves from the roasting pan, and mash them in a bowl, drizzle extra virgin olive oil in a bowl, add chopped fresh rosemary (about 1 string; 1 tbs)  and mix

8. To the garlic oil-rosemary mix in a bowl, put the semi-roasted potatoes, and stir them to coat the potato

** Roasted rosemary potato is one of my favorite. It adds an extra nice taste to the potato.

9. Put the rosemary garlic oil coated potato back in the roasting pan and cook until crisp on edge and tender inside. (It will be about 15 minutes later)

10. When potato became crisp on edge,tender inside,set the potato aside on plate

11. Another 15-30 minutes later, take the roasting pan and check the temperature for desired doneness,and if the meat was at right temperature to pull, take it out and set them aside covered with foil to rest.

** We like medium rare and, I usually take the steak off from the skillet when meat thermometer reads about 135F. When the meat is cooling down on a plate, it will still continue cooking, and final temperature will be about 10F higher.
 
** Temperature of the meat off from the skillet for desired doneness**

Rare; 125F
Medium rare; 135F
Medium; 140F
Medium well; 155F
Well done; 165F

** If the beef was at desired temperature, set the beef aside on plate covered with foil, and let them rest about 15 minutes

** DO NOT slice the beef until meat is rested.Otherwise, when you cut the meat, the meat juice will run all over the cutting board and you will get the dry cut of beef.

 I know that when you watch the cooking shows, chefs sometimes tell you to use the fist to feel the doneness of the meat. It is fine, but I personally feel that checking the temperature with meat thermometer is sure way to serve the perfect steaks every single time without fail. So, use the thermometer to serve the perfect steaks to your family.

 My favorite meat thermometer is called “Super fast thermapen” by thermoworks. It reads the temperature very fast and always accurate and,I really like this tool.

 I used to use meat thermometer that has probe and temperature reader head is placed on top of the probe. It was okay, but it ate the battery so fast, and it was not that accurate temperature plus reading the temperature was rather slow compared to the thermapen. I had to buy a thermometer over and over in short time,too.

 I do not get any endorsement for this, and I just like the tool so much.

Thermapen

 

Super-Fast Thermapen..

While yummy roast beef is resting,work on the Au jus, and saute onion.

<Red wine Au jus gravy for the roast beef>

1. To the beef dripping, add 1.5 tbs of unbleached all purpose flour, and stir and cook the flour a little in the roasting pan.

2. De-glaze the pan with 1/2C red wine. Scrub off the brown bits in the pan. That bit is yummy part. It is the one that makes the Au jus gravy so good.

3. Add 2C of Beef broth and stir and set at medium heat and cook down to thicken the sauce a little. When it reached desired thickness, lower the heat to simmer.

4.When everything is ready to serve, pour them through the kitchen sieve for the smooth Au jus gravy to gravy boat and serve it with meal.

<Saute onion>

1. Slice 1/2 White onion.

2. Set the skillet at medium high and add 1 tbs butter and let it melt

3. When butter is melted, add sliced onion and stir and sprinkle Morton Nature’s Seasons with blue cap and cook them till it gets translucent.

4. Set the onion aside

 work on the Yorkshire pudding.

Yorkshire pudding

Yorkshire Pudding..

 <Yorkshire pudding>

1. To a bowl, add 1C unbleached all purpose flour, 1/4tsp table salt, and mix

2. To second bowl, add 1/2C milk,1/2C heavy cream, and 4 eggs and mix well

3. Pour the egg-milk-cream mixture into the flour-salt bowl and stir well

4. You will see a little bubbles in the batter and stop stirring and let it sit for 10-15 minutes on counter

5.While the batter is resting, to the cake pan (or muffin tin pan. If you use the muffin tin pan, add about 2 tbs of vegetable oil in each tin.And make sure the tin pan is greased on side so that batter would not stick to it.) , add about 12 tbs of vegetable oil or enough to cover the pan surface about 1/4″ or so, and put the pan in the preheated 450F oven for and 5-10 minutes , and pull the pan out to pour the batter into the pan.

** When you are preheating the oil in the pan, watch out the pan in the oven.

** When you are ready to pour the batter into the pan, it will be at about smoking point. Very hot oil,and be careful to pour the batter into the pan.

** If you were using the muffin tin for this,when you pour the batter to each tin, fill it to about 80%

5. Carefully, pour the batter into preheated oil pan, and bake for 15-20 minutes until it gets puffed up and it gets brown.

** DO NOT open the oven to peek them,or it would not puff well.

** I usually make in 8″x8″ Pyrex pan or 8″ round cake pan for easy bake. However, if you use tin pan, it will puff up more on center because it does not get much weight of the batter.

** When I pulled the pudding out from the oven,it was more puffy than you see in the picture, as it sits, it sunk down a little..

 Now, serve up on plate and enjoy!

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Mar 20, 2011 | 0 | Miscellaneous (Cooking)

Palette’s winter treats diary;March 17th,2011

 You all know by now that our dog, “Palette”, becomes so excited when she hears me say “Go get a leash” for walk. Then, on our way back to home, she tends to try to do walking race to home since she gets excited about her cool
down
treats.

 For a couple of days, we had rainy days, sometimes with heavy rain followed by loud thunder, and she could not get to enjoy her favorite activity of the day. She lays on her doggy bed that is set on top of the stairs,staring through the windows hoping for the better weather next day.

 Then on next sunny day, she knows,she gets to go out go read all the missed doggy news on the ground and, she becomes restless, and throws a leash to my hands.

 She really likes walkie and she loves to meet many people. As soon as she spots someone outside working on something, her ears go flat,head set to low, butt in the air,moving left to right and send her charms to get their attention and being pet.

 People in the neighborhood talk to her very nicely with happy voice, and she gets more excited with big grin on her face saying *Pet me,pet me,pet me*. She knows many people consider her puppy due to size, and kids in the neighborhood think she is a puppy for long,long time It is an advantage of being a stumpy dog,I guess.She is definitely making the most out of it

 When we go for walk, she is pretty good at loose leash walk manner and, I feel like I am carrying an empty bag in my hands. When she was a puppy, she was a puller, and I was amazed to feel how strong she can pull with such a small body, but she learned how to walk nicely with me via clicker and yummy treats,and we both now can enjoy the walk without me being taken for a walk.

 If you were taken for a walk, instead of you are taking your dog for a walk, try  
teaching your dogs to heel;walk right next to you,not walking ahead of you
or pull you.

 To teach Palette for nice walk, I brought clicker and treats with me for walk,and every
time she pulls or go ahead of me,I turned around and walked to the different
direction and  when she walks at heel position,I kept click treat, click
treat, and headed to correct direction.

 Walking at that time was for
both bonding time with health benefit but,at the same time,it was time
for her to learn nice walk as well with nibble on its way to her mouth.
First some walks took long time to back since we go back and forth
zillions of times with shortest route,but it helped Palette to learn
better and,we now walk without me feeling I have leash on my hand.I feel
like..as I stated above,feel like me  carrying an empty bag.

 (To read the previous entry on loose leash walk, please click here.)

 It might take longer to reach the goal when you train your dogs something, but be patient,be consistent, be calm and you will see the improvement gradually.

 There are tools sold for quick fix, but it never teach your dogs what to do, and it would be short lived success. Teach your dog what to do, instead of what not to do, and train your dog positively.

 Positive training method a.k.a clicker training is fun for both of us, and you will see your dogs eyes are brighten up, and eager to learn new stuff from you. I train Palette with clicker and,I like the fact that clicker training let her “think” what to do to make me click.When she hears the sound *click*, it means she did right. So, it is kind of like a game for her rather than the feel to be in the doggy boot camp.

 As soon as she hears/sees me touching the treat bag and clicker, she will come right behind me in a second. No need to call her for training.She enjoys the training time that much

 With
“Palette’s winter treats dairy” series, I thought it would be
interesting for you to tour around our kitchen to see what kinds of cool
down treats she is getting, and share her cool down
treats’ recipes.

 Since
we
go for walk daily except on rainy days or snowy days, cool down
treats are actually given after each walk or each bathing time or
occasionally, I give cool down treats after physical activity inside the
house such as fetch ball/Frisbee all year
round. So, we will have the series all year round and keep introducing
new recipes of her cool down treats. Now, I will pass a pen to Palette
to write her diary here.

 March 17th,2011

 Dear diary,

 I am very excited to think spring is just around the corner. Official first day of spring is March 20th, so 3 days to go.

 Back in mom’s home country, spring is the month for cherry blossoms (Sakura). The place where her parents live has sakura festival (cherry blossom festival) along the river bank, and you get to see all kind of vendors selling all kinds of things; grilled corn basted with soy sauce, Okonomiyaki
(savory pancake), Yakisoba (Worcester sauce flavored fried noodle
with vegetables),Takoyaki (savory ball shaped pan cake batter with chunk
of octopus), and mitarashi dango (Japanese dumplings made from rice
flour, and skewered and basted with sweet soy sauce flavored sauce),yakitori etc.

 Mom told me how beautiful the cherry blossom was, and if you walk along the road right
next to the river,you will feel like you are walking under the cherry
blossoms arches. It is very special time of the season for scenery.

 One day, I would like to go for walkie under the cherry blossoms arches. It must be so beautiful.I wonder what doggy news I would sniff out. I am sure that I would be able to sniff out all the yummies there, and give my mom and dad *sad eyes* and hope for a nibble That is my plan.

 Mom came across the video of Sakura (cherry blossoms), and you can see how beautiful they are. Some families do picnic under the Sakura tree.

Sakura (Cherry blossoms) in Japan

 If you are a
blog
subscriber or reading from Facebook,please click here to watch video.


 Anyway, when
we back home, as soon as my mom took the leash off from me, I ran upstairs, and
headed to kitchen. Sit pretty in the imaginary line for cool down treats

 I already knows what cool down treats I would get because I already did taste testing the ingredients. It was yum!

 Now, wait for it, wait for it.. purple potato and blueberry!

 Mom found a couple of purple potato sold at the grocery store and got some for me too. I love potato, and when my mom makes baked potato, I will be all over it. I will never leave my mom in sight! I follow her everywhere with wet nose.

 Mom says, they were not for mine, but who knows, I know how to get a nibble. Go for dad for nibble, and you will get some nibble. I am just too cute for him to ignore my request I do not get nibble much but, better than nothing.I am being hopeful.

 Mom took a picture of purple potato.

Purple potato..

 Mom thought inside the potato would be all purple but,she was wrong. Some part was white.It is very interesting thing,isn’t it?

 If you have read mom’s previous entry titled “History of carrots” here ,mom has written a little bit of purple carrots in the entry and a little bit about purple cauliflower in her comment. And, like the purple
carrots, red cabbage, red wine, purple color of the purple potato and blueberry
is caused by presence of antioxidants (anthocyanin).

 What
is good about antioxidants is that antioxidants help you to protect
against cancer,heart disease etc. You would hear a lot that blueberry is
good.That is because they are rich in antioxidant.
And they are one of purple super fruits that has a lot of health
benefit for humans such as helping against cancer,diabetes,heart disease
etc..

 Mom made potato chips for mom and dad,which I did not get to taste, and she said it was yum! Blue potato tasted same to the regular russet potato,and just the color was different.

 For my cool down treats, she steamed the potato. It smelled so good,and I could not wait to taste it.

 While potato was cooling down in the bowl, mom let me taste test the blueberry.

What are you having there?

Oops,sorry,I did not know you were taking a picture of blueberry.

My bad..

Hmm..smell good.. See my wet nose?

Ohh.. is this for me??

Uh-oh.. Would I take it or leave it.. That is the question..


I can reach it there..there.. hmm..

Trying to reach it from other side.. I won!

 This time, mom made Frozen blueberry purple potato yogurt treats.

Frozen blueberry purple potato yogurt treats..

 Here is how you make them.

1. To the mixer, add blueberry 5 oz , Purple potato 7.5 oz steamed, 6.5 oz of Redwood Hill Farm plain Goat milk yogurt and puree
them.

2. Pour those onto ice cube tray and freeze

** This will be about 13 blocks of treats in ice cube tray with my mom’s.

** Frozen blueberry purple potato yogurt treats whole amount is roughly about  367 kcal (you can see more detail at nutritiondata.com website here). So, each ice cube given is about 28 kcal.

**
Mom wanted rough kcal to be as close to real one, and she used
Nutrition fact food label on the back of yogurt she used. She typed in
the information provided in the nutrition label on the yogurt.

** Mom could not find the data for purple potato,also steamed method.So, potato’s  data used is “regular potato, boiled without salt”.

**
Mom  used potato to make my treats, but she would not use potato as
staple in the frozen treats because night shade family plants such as potatoes,eggplant, peppers, tomatoes could aggravate the inflammation if dogs were arthritis.

 I am not arthritis but,I used to limp in the past, and potato is very rare occasional ingredients in the treat.

Hmm… nom,nom,nom..This is good one!

Hmm… GOOD!
 
 The fresh
blueberry were so yummy, and so was cool down
treats. This is the best part when I go for walkie

 I really enjoy mom’s homemade treats. I have a good plan to get more of these cool down treats, but I will save it for next time.

 I hope you all would enjoy the treats! And have fun on walkie with your mom and dad!
 

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Mar 17, 2011 | 0 | Uncategorized

Toilet in Japan

 When you travel to foreign countries, there are always something that are quite different from what you are familiar with.

 My very first trip to outside Japan was to Washington state,USA, and it was about 20 years ago through home-stay program. I have experienced different kinds of food, different cultural stuff etc.., and I had so many great but different experience through the program.It was so much fun finding the cultural difference and learn the new things here in the states.

 One of the things I found it very different from things I am familiar with was bathroom.

 First, in Japan, every train station has bathroom, and you do not have to exit the station just to use the bathroom in the town.

 Second, we have toilet slippers to wear to use the bathroom at home and school. Kindergarten to high school, bathroom in the school has their own toilet slippers ready for you to wear at the bathroom. So, when you go to bathroom in the building, you will take off your slippers and switch to the toilet slippers and use the bathroom.

 As you may know, in Japan, you will take off your shoes inside the house. It applies to school as well,and students wear slippers inside the school.

 Third, another difference is toilet manner. Here in the states, inside the house, you are suppose to leave the bathroom door open to let others know that the bathroom is available. In Japan, bathroom door should be closed when you are done, except when you use the public bathroom. You can tell if anyone is inside by looking at the door knob whether it has green/open mark on it.

 Fourth, here in the states, when you go to bathroom, bathroom is combined with shower room. In Japan, they are separated.
 
 Fifth, another difference is we have two kinds of style; Japanese style toilet or western style toilet. Japanese style toilet is the one that you would standing over and squat. Western toilet is just like the one you are familiar with, but more advanced.

 Western style toilet cover opens when the toilet sensed your presence or in public western style toilet case, there are switch panel to press and you can touch the button and it opens up the cover.

 Then, when you sit on the toilet and do your business, you can press the button marked with butt (Oshiri, in Japanese) picture and metal stick would comes out from under the seat and it starts watering like fountain and it will wash your butt nicely.

 If you press the button with another spray water mark with lady on the button, it is called “Bidet”, and it is for ladies to wash their area when they have period.

 If you press button marked with air, you will feel the air comes out around your butt and dry your area.

 The western style toilet also has faucet on top of the toilet itself and, you can wash your hands there and wipe your hands with towel.

 Our family’s toilet back in Japan is western style toilet and it has all kinds of buttons. Theirs has button for temperature of the water that comes out to wash your butt etc, and it also has pressure of the water, and also has temperature of toilet seat.

 I remember the very first day I had to explain to my husband to-be at the time what button would do what kind of things and went over with him.   

 I came across Japanese toilet youtube video and you can see what the toilet is like. I noticed some people who have uploaded their video on Japanese western style toilet have no clue what the “Bidet” is, but like I stated above, it is for ladies to wash their area when they have period.

Japanese style toilet

 If you are a blog subscriber or reading from face book,please click here to watch the video.

 I saw one comment under the video above at youtube about what would do if the person who would use the toilet was senior citizens.

 There are bars on the wall for them to support themselves. The stool door should be marked.

 Also, we sit on floor a lot with knee bend (sei za);holding legs under the thighs and rest the butt on heels. So, for me, it is not difficult to squat  much lower than the lady in the video. I found that my husband also cannot squat as lower as I can. It is funny to find interesting fact sometimes.

 Western style Japanese toilet 1

 If you are a blog subscriber or reading from face book,please click here to watch the video.

 With the video above, one thing that was sort of correct, but sort of misunderstood by him is where he says “big flush,little flush”. Japanese western style toilet has two kinds of buttons to flush. One is marked for “poop”; the one he pointed as “big flush”, and the other button is marked for “pee”;where he pointed as “little flush”.

 Japanese western style toilet 2

 If you are a blog subscriber or reading from face book,please click here to watch the video.

 Second video is probably common Japanese western style toilet you would find in Japanese house. The video was a little blur and I could not read the Chinese character when he pointed at the bubble button. If the video was much clearer, I could have being able to explain what it was for.

 Since American toilet does not have temperature control for the toilet seat, if you sit on in cold month, it is not that comfortable. So, we bought a toilet seat cover in Japan and using it. If you ever visit Japan, toilet cover seat maybe something interested/useful for you to bring back.

 Lastly, some public bathroom does not have toilet paper. So, if you visit Japan, make sure to keep the tissue paper in your purse all time. Also handkerchief. We usually carry handkerchief and wipe our hands with it,not with paper towel.

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Mar 15, 2011 | 0 | Uncategorized

Raw feeding 911 Part VII:Raw food souce,Green tripe

 One thing I am passionate about is to provide my family and our furriends healthy meals/snacks. I cook for my family everyday, and I make lunch for my husband to bring to work, and we barely have process food on our plate/in his lunch box.

 For our stumpy little dog “Palette” the Corgi,we have switched her diet to fresh food diet a.k.a. raw diet 4 years ago, and you would not find processed food items on her feeding mat on her meal time.

 As I have written in the previous entry titled Cooking with fresh ingredients Part II “, since celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has started  Food Revolution campaign;bring
fresh food to school lunch menu, I have started noticing many more
celebrity chefs such as Rachael Ray etc.. are working on their own project to encourage people to
eat fresh food not processed food.

 First lady Michelle Obama has started organic garden at the White house, and hope to encourage people to eat fresh food more. According to cbs news article (For the full article, please click here), the organic garden has 55 kinds of vegetable,berries,and herbs.

 I have grown sweet peppers,herbs etc and,I must say that sweet peppers right off the plant tastes much better than the one you will get at grocery stores.

 I think that bringing the fresh food more on our plate is good thing,and better for our health. Less preservatives,less sodium,less sugar, less additives..all of these  benefit for our health.

 So,why not for our furriends? If you have read in the previous entry titled “Dog food history“, very first dog food was introduced from England to the states in 1890, and dog food history is not that long.

 Modern people today
are in busy life-style. So,many may not think about taking a moment and read the
label of the products,but I personally think that knowing what you
really are giving to your dogs is very important.After all, good diet will be the base of their health.

Today’s desert; Duck feet! Yum!

Did you know poultry feet has natural source of glucosamin and good for joint health?

Today’s half of entree; a whole sardine! I love seafood!

Did you know that oily fish such as sardine,mackerel,salmon are great natural source of Omega3,which is good for skin and coat?

 In the previous entry titled “Raw feeding 911“, “Raw feeding 911 Part II“, Raw feeding 911 Part III“, Raw feeding 911 Part IV, I wrote basic of the the diet such as what to feed, how much to feed, what to do when your dog had digestive upset, what to do when traveling, and other tools that is good to have such as freezer. Also, you have found the videos of our dog “Palette” eating her meals in the entry Raw feeding 911 Part IV.

 As you see in those entries, with fresh food diet, your dogs can eat various kinds of protein source. and they can get all different kinds of nutrients from each protein source. Therefore, it is not just about food being less preservatives,additives etc. They can dine on wide variety of meals with this type of diet.

 Through previous entry “Raw feeding 911” to “Raw feeding 911 Part VI”, you would get some ideas how raw feeding works, what to expect, what to do for vacation etc.

 Here, I would like to write about where to get all of those food.

Where can you get food for dogs on raw diet?

 When you just start feeding raw diet, you would hear such such people feed this or that, and you would see all kinds of protein source mentioned by fellow raw feeders, and you may start wondering about whether your menu is varied enough.

 However, when you just start feeding the raw food, getting your dogs used to the new diet is the top priority. Variety comes later.

 When I switched Palette’s diet to raw diet,this is how I have put priority to introduce varied items.

1. Decide the very first protein source (For Palette, it was Chicken) to introduce, and focus on getting her used to the new diet

** Raw food tastes different, and texture is different and some dogs may need time to getting used to the diet menu

2. I knew by the end of week 1 that “Liver” is very nutrient dense items and need them to be included. So, getting her used to “liver” was my second priority.

On week 2, I kept her on chicken menu and started adding very small amount of chicken liver to the meal.

3. I have written down what other protein source I would like to feed and introduced one at a time,very slowly with baby step.

** During the introduction to other protein source, if I see Palette does good on “Beef” for example, next week, I kept her on Beef and started introducing very small amount of “Beef liver”, and by this time, I could rotate liver ;chicken liver or beef liver.

** By week 3, I knew that oily fish such as salmon,herring,mackerel,sardines provides omega3,which is good for skin and coat, and I have set the next priority to “Fish”.

** After week 5, I kept introducing new protein source one at a time and when everything on the “would love to feed” list was introduced, I went back to chicken and started adding miscellaneous items such as Egg, green tripe, fish body oil one at a time.

 So, by the time I started introducing the miscellaneous items, I knew that Palette does good on everything listed on “would love to feed” list and also knew by then that what she hates and what takes long time to feeding through.

 With Palette, for example, I had problem with Quail. I got it from Quail farm but she just had hard time to be enthusiastic about eating them, and with the very last quail I fed, she vomited out the whole quail. So, Quail is no longer on her menu.

 She loves quail eggs though. You can get them at Asian store.

 With second round of “would love to feed” list, I started feeding mixed and match. Then, third round of the list, I started offering big meal once a month. Palette loves the diet and does good on the fresh food diet.

 Some may wonder where we raw feeders would get the varied food items from, but most basic items such as Chicken, Pork, Beef, Turkey, you can get them at regular grocery stores.

 The grocery stores we go to also has Venison,Duck, Rabbit occasionally. If you did not find what you were looking for, ask the meat guy at the grocery stores and see if he can do special order for you. You can also look at freezer section. Sometimes, stuff I see at fresh meat shelves, but sometimes I see Duck etc in freezer. I sometime find liver kept in the freezer too. So, look around the store.

 If you follow the season, you can shop smart too. Turkey is best stock up after Thanksgiving, and ribs and other BBQ items gets price down in summer time. Lamb price goes down around Easter. And, as usual, watch out for sales.

 Some odd items such as chicken feet, organs etc are most likely be found at Asian stores or Ethnic stores. You may find Duck at Asian stores too.

What is green tripe?Where do you find them?

 One thing you would not find at regular grocery stores is green tripe,which is unwashed stomach from ruminants such as cow and lamb. Ruminants animals have 4 stomachs; rumen, reticulum, omasum, and abomasum.

 According to greentripe.com website, when animals swallow grass, the grass goes to rumen and reticulum, and grass gets regurgitated,chewed,and regurgitated grass goes down to 3rd,4th chamber,namely, omasum and abomasum. There,grass gets broke down with gastric juice,enzyme,and amino acid.

 To read more on green tripe at greentripe.com website,please click here.

 You may find the scalded,deodorized white colored tripe at grocery store, but it is not what we raw feeders would feed to our dogs.

 The one we feed is unwashed,unprocessed tripe, and it cannot be sold as human consumption. You would never find those at grocery stores near you.

 The color of the tripe is brown/grey and sometimes it has green tint from grass cow has eaten.

 Good thing about green tripe is that it still has enzyme in the tripe and it helps your dogs to digest their food. It also has good bacteria for guts (lactic acid bacteria),which you would often find in yogurt or probiotics.

 I feed the green tripe as side dish about size of ice cube. It is just my preference. When you feed the small sized green tripe, its smell is minimized. I heard a lot about green tripe has its specific smell to it before I start feeding the green tripe. And, I was wondering how it smells and I know now.

 It smells like .. barn in hot humid summer. Since I feed small sized tripe, I barely smell the tripe. I usually cut to ice cube size when I get them and then, bag them up to freeze. Current tripe I have is ground tripe mixed with spleen. Palette loves it.

Ground green tripe mixed with spleen..

One cube is one side dish to go with Palette’s entree..

 Since many dogs adore green tripe, some may tend to feed green tripe a lot. However, as with any food items, more is not always better. As I understand it, green tripe lacks in tyrosine (amino acid), which you can find a lot in red meat. So, even if you will feed the green tripe, you will still need the variety of food on their menu.

 Also, because of the popularity of green tripe, now pet food industries start offering more variety in tripe products.

 There are canned version of green tripe, but canned items whether they are canned soup or canned anything, it is cooked with heat. This means, enzyme may be destroyed and nutrient might be less than the amount your furry friends can get through raw green tripe. Not only that, tripe is not the only ingredients.

 Ingredients goes.. tripe,garlic,and vegetable gum.

 Too much garlic can cause anemia in dogs, and when you have choice of getting the plain raw green tripe, why do you choose processed tripe?

 I noticed some of the canned tripe has fish oil in it, but as I understand it, supplement like Fish oil gets effected by heat,light,and air. So, I wonder if the fish oil in the tripe does not get effected by the heat during the production process.

 I would,personally prefer to give omega3 by “real” fresh oily fish (sardine,mackerel,salmon) or give fish body oil capsule.


Where can you find raw food suppliers?
 

 I get those green tripe and things I cannot get locally from raw food suppliers. Google “raw food suppliers” and you will get plenty of search result.

 Since I am on east coast of the states, I get my green tripe from Haretoday in PA. I find that the owner of the place is very good at communication with customers, and if I find errors in my orders, she fixed them promptly, and it is one good thing about them. I do not get any endorsement. I am just one happy customer for them. They also carry Duck,Pheasant, Goat, organs etc.. and I usually get some along with tripe.

 I have tried some other suppliers, too.

 In the past, I had experienced one place ships food without gelpak in hot summer, and I have got meat with room temperature. Also, I had one place I had to call many time to find out the order status, and only to find out they say they did not get the order detail..good thing it was set to pay after order was arrived.. I never got order from them,after all (even after they said on the phone they got my stuff,and when I did not hear from them,I kept asking about order via e-mail,no e-mail reply,no order delivered..,although I was ready to pay if the order was arrived)..

 One thing I found it hard to find are whole mackerel, and whole sardines. They both good fish to feed due omega 3. I thought that I would find them easy at Asian stores because I used to eat those fish a lot back in Japan but, no luck. I found one that were smoked etc but no luck finding the plain fresh one.

 Someone has told me in the past the she can get fresh sardine at fish market. So, if your area had fish market, it is worth looking around and see if you find any.

 Therefore,I ended up ordering those fish online. I used to have great fish place in CA specialize in fish often used for sushi. Their fish were very clean, no cloud/white eyes on fish and I was very happy, and Palette loved those but they have changed their business to catering and stopped online fish stores so, I had to try another…

 I have tried a couple of online fish place. One place with sardine; their sardine was not in good shape; bruised, cloudy-ish eyes, and I did not feel their fish were as fresh as other fish place in CA. Palette was not that enthusiastic about it too. Good thing I just ordered small amount to experiment with.

 Another fish place for Mackerel. Their mackerel was okay, but when I got the order, some of the mackerel I got were with guts squeezed out from body. Body had no bruise but it was not a pleasant experience to find the frozen fish with guts squeezed out from body. Palette was not as enthusiastic as the one from CA,but she ate it ok.

 Later on, I have found a place that offer fresh fish such as sardine and, I liked their sardine a lot. Their sardine is individually quick frozen and each sardine is very plump,no bruise on skin and Palette loves them. The bag says “Nigel” brand, and it is product of Portuguese. You can look and see if you can get the brand of sardine near you.

 I used to think I was very lucky to find the place I can get the fish from but, I recently had nightmare experience with the supplier. It took almost one month to complete my single simple order.

 When I was wondering about my order status, I even wondered if I ever get the order shipped as it should, there were no contact from them despite my e-mails asking about the order status. I e-mailed them one week from the date order placed, and no reply. And e-mailed them again, no reply. Then, I found out that they have got a social media account for the store so, I ended up asking about my order on their page, and finally I got the reply on the page with possible delivery date.

 However, I did not get the order on the possible delivery date. Then,17 days later, I finally got my order but they said Duck feet was out of stock so,I did not get the full order.Before they bring the topic on refund, I had to ask about refund.. and after 24 days later from the order placed, I finally got my refund and my order was completed.

 It was the distributor of raw food company and, turned out they were using the drop ship method,which means, you will place an order on their website, and they would turned around and order at other place and they are the one to ship the products not the one you have placed an order from.

 I was not happy about late delivery but, more so about lack of communication with customers. They say they might look for another place that ships the products or discontinue the frozen food entirely, but as long as they would stay with the same communication manner, I do not think they would do any better.

 If I were them, I would let the customer know about delay of the order, and let them know that the portion of products ordered were out of stock right away at the time I noticed,and not wait until days later. I would also not use the drop ship method to take an orders from customers.

 My point is, if you were to order something from distributor of raw food company,  make sure that you can contact with them with prompt reply from them, and consider the fact that some distributors may use the drop ship method. 

 After the bad experience, I have experienced great one.

 I found a raw food coop in our area and the coop actually order from raw food company that carry the sardine I was happy about. It is a big score for me. It is great idea to look for raw food coop near you. Since many people order items together, price you would pay for stuff will be much cheaper than you would order online by yourself.
 
 So, this week, I have experienced ordering through a raw food coop for the first time. It is nice to meet other people that feed raw food to their dogs too. One thing I learned is that when you go pick up the food at coop pick up area, it helps if you have gloves. I will remember that next time

 Palette had no idea what to expect when we were back from the raw food coop pick up. I must say, she was delighted with what she saw when we came into the house. I could see her nub was moving right to left with nose glued to the box I brought in.

 I brought in one box that had 10 Mackerel, and one box that had 30lb of Duck feet. Considering one Duck feet weigh around 1.5 oz per feet, I probably got 300 Duck feet to deal with. It took long time to separate the feet and bag them up to put in the freezer,but it was worth it. I am happy with what I got.

 I found that the coop can offer mackerel I had hard time to find, and although I knew Palette loves seafood, I was not sure if their mackerel gets her excited about, how she does on them, so I ordered small amount this time, but she was over the top joy. She loved them. I plan to get more next time.

 When you start feeding raw food to your dogs, buying in bulk sounds good idea to all, but I think that it is best to buy small first, just to be sure your dogs do fine on them,and they love the stuff you get for them.

 After that, you can buy in bulk and look for more ways to save big. It is not fun to have huge amount of stuff that you have just found your dogs would turns their nose up.

 I usually buy small if I change the suppliers,too. Sometimes, it makes difference to dogs. I have experienced that Palette went nuts for stuff from one supplier, and one same products from other supplier not so much.

 Now, I can show you how Palette’s day (raw food pick up day) was like. You can see how excited she was.She just had to taste test the products (occupational habit being a K9 executive chef at Yassy’s Gourmet Dog Kitchen ) even though I knew she liked it.
 
 Bellow picture is the Mackerel I got through a coop. Very clean,plump, no guts squeezed out, no bruise, no cloudy/white eyes.. looks very good. It was a little smaller than the ones I used to get (I used to get the one that one fish weigh about 1 lb 8 oz. This one weigh about 10 oz to 14 oz per fish) but it was nice looking fish.

Mackerel..

Mackerel closer look…

 The fish was frozen, and a little bit of ice on its eye and a little reflection make it look like cloudy eyes but it is not.Nice looking plump Mackerel.I was really happy.If the fish quality stays the same, this will be the way for me to order Mackerel for Palette.

What is that? Did you get it for me?? *Sniff,sniff*

Just a nibble..

Hmm.. THAT is what I am talking about!

*Tasting deliciousness (Umami) with closed eyes*

Hey,Mom. What is that? Is that for me too?

I cannot believe what I see…

I want one!

I can help you opening the box

Let me sniff at them very..very.. good..

Nom,nom,nom..Frozen Duck feet!! Love them!

Thawed Duck feet tastes as good as frozen Duck feet.Yum!


Mom and Dad says it looks funny when webbed Duck foot is hanging out from my mouth


 Lastly, I will leave the tips on what to look for to buy a fresh fish.

<What to look for to buy a fresh fish>

** If you could smell the fish, choose the one that smells like ocean. It should not have fishy smell.

** Fish eyes should be clean, it should not be cloudy/white-ish eyes.

** Fish eyes should not have sunken.

** Gills should be reddish

** Fish should have plump,firm body without no bruise on skin

** If you were to purchase packaged fresh fish, press the fish to feel the firmness of the fish. If it were firm,it is fresh

** Also,when you purchase packaged fish, inspect the package and see if the package has any blood or juice running out from the fish. If you see the blood is running out in the package, it means, it has been long since the fish was prepared to be packaged up.
 

 With stuff from grocery stores, coop, online raw supplier, you can get nice variety of food items. If you know farmers, it is a plus too.

 I enjoy watching how much Palette enjoy her meals, and I hope she lives longer with good health..

 Also, I hope that more and more dogs get to eat the fresh food diet meals and stay healthy, and live long..

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Mar 13, 2011 | 0 | Uncategorized

People food for thought Part X; Eggs

 Eggs are basic ingredients in many of your recipes from omelet to cakes, and many of you would have eggs as staple item in your fridge. We have eggs in our fridge all the time and we, including our stumpy little dog “Palette”, enjoy the eggs on menu.

 Our dog “Palette” adore eggs and, eggs are one of the food I feed her. She is on fresh food diet, a.k.a. raw diet, and she gets 2 eggs per week as side dish. Show her an egg, and you will get the biggest doggy smile on her face with wet nose.

 I sometimes crack an egg into her doggy bowl,and sometimes just give the whole thing to her and let her figure out how to crack an egg and enjoy the egg. She is pretty good at cracking an egg gently.

 She gently hold the egg and give some gentle pressure to it and make a small hole in the center of the egg;making it look like cradle, and lick the egg through the hole.

Lick,lick,lick.. Hmm.. Egg!

Mom,Can I have more,please??

 Eggs are great protein source and, very nutritious food by itself. In fact, Eggs are one of the few sources you can get Vitamin D from.

 Vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium better and, good natural source other than eggs are fatty oily fish (such as sardine, mackerel, salmon), beef liver and sun light.

 I think that eggs are simple ingredient,yet, it is mystical ingredients that makes us wonder so many things about them. How well do you know about eggs?

How to read the egg carton label..

 When you go to grocery store to buy a carton of eggs, how do you pick the egg carton you would put into your shopping cart? Do you go by brand names? Do you go by how hens were raised;cage free etc? Do you go by sales?

 I personally pick my favorite brand’s Cage free Egg with the one that has more days till the imprinted “Best by date”. My favorite brand is Eggland’s Best. I have tasted other brand’s eggs too, but I found their eggs are tastier and I always pick their eggs whether they were on sale or not.Maybe the fact that their hens do not get to eat processed feed is contributing to the taste of the egg?

 When you go to egg section at the grocery store, you find that there are several egg size choices;Jumbo,Extra Large, Large,Medium etc.. but do you know how size of the Eggs are determined?

 This is something I leaned new but, sizes are determined by total weight of the eggs in the carton, and not by the size of single egg. This is why, on occasion, you find one egg is a little bit smaller or larger than the other.

 For example, Eggland’s Best egg size are determined as “Jumbo” when the dozen eggs in a carton weigh more than 30 ounces.

 To see the full chart that determine the size of egg for Eggland’s Best egg, please click here .

 Another thing you may want to check before buying a carton of egg is “Best by” date.

 According to Eggland’s Best website , if you purchased an egg carton imprinted with “Best by” date, you should consume them within 30 days from the date imprinted.

 I happened to come across youtube video that explains well about egg carton label, and I thought I would share with you.

How to read the egg carton label..



 
 If you are a blog subscriber or reading from face book,please click here to watch the video.

Brown egg vs White eggs, are there any difference in nutrition?

 In  the past, I always thought that brown eggs were better than the white eggs, but turned out, shell colors are determined by breed of hens that lay the eggs.

 Nutritionally, if hens that laid an brown egg and hens that laid white egg were fed the same diet, nutrient you will get from the eggs are the same.

 So, this principal applies to another colored egg such as green eggs. It just that some breed of hens lay colored eggs.

 One thing I leaned new through the next youtube video is that hens with white earlobes lay the white eggs. Did you know that?

Brown Leg horns chicken..



 

 If you are a blog subscriber or reading from face book,please click here to watch the video.

 More about type of chicken eggs..

 If you are a blog subscriber or reading from face book,please click here to watch the video.

 Caged chicken vs Free Range chicken, how are they raised?

 If you are a blog subscriber or reading from face book,please click here to watch the video.

 Now you know a little bit more about eggs. One thing that I learned from my mother to see if the egg is fresh or not is that, she said to crack an egg into a bowl and if you see the nice round, high height yoke in the center, it is fresh. If the yoke goes spread out and not round top with high height, it is a little old egg.

 Lastly, I have found a youtube video of hen laying a colored egg. I personally have not seen a colored egg, but I like to see it,hold it,taste it someday..

Chicken laying green egg..

  If you are a blog subscriber or reading from face book,please click here to watch the video.

 When I watched the video of green eggs, I remembered that the Emu lays a green egg and, I have heard it is sold with $29.99 per egg One egg can serve many people. Emu egg has very dark green and very heavy egg.

 Emu lays an egg..

 If you are a blog subscriber or reading from face book,please click here to watch the video.

 Can you see how big the Emu egg is? Here is some Emu egg facts.

Emu egg facts..

  If you are a blog subscriber or reading from face book,please click here to watch the video.

 
If you live in NY, try and see if Whole Foods near you carry this huge Emu eggs. According to the article written by Linnea Covington at New York serious eats website, you can find the Emu egg and other exotic eggs at Whole Foods located on East Houston street.

 To read the full article written by Linnea Covington at NY serious eats website, please click here .

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Mar 08, 2011 | 0 | Uncategorized

How far dogs can jump?

 Dogs are amazing in many ways. Especially when they showcase their ability through canine sports, it maximize their ability, and fascinates the people who catches the spectacular moment.

 In the previous entry titled “Amazing high jumping Greyhound “Cindy” “, I wrote that she broke the previous Guinness world record at Purina Incredible Dog
Challenge competition with double bar spread high jump that was set at
68″!!

 Since the time I have written how high dogs can jump, I wondered how far they can jump. Can you guess how far dogs can jump?

 Turned out, there is a canine sports called “Dock jumping” that compete how far dogs can jump.

 According to wikipedia website , it is a sports that dogs compete in the distance or  height from a dock into the water. It seems this is relatively new canine sports considering the event started in 2000 in the states.

 Competition starts by handler and dog climb up the stair that leads to the dock and handler throw the toy as far as she/he can. Then, as the toy flies in the air, dog jump off a dock into water as far as she/he can to get the toy.This is the dock jumping that measure the distance.

 Another one that measures the height from a dock into the water is called “Extreme vertical” and with this height competition, toy is hang in the air over the water, and dog jump off a dock into the water as high as possible to grab the toy hang in the air.

 I have watched the Dock jumping videos at youtube and, it was jaw dropping to see how far dogs can jump. It is always nice to see how much dogs have blast in the events,too.

 Let’s watch the Dock jumping dogs in action.

Dock jumping; standard

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 Dock jumping; standard/vertical

 If you are a blog subscriber or reading from facebook,please click here to watch the video.

How far dogs can jump?

 According to the article at dogchannel website , current top record holder of standard dock jumping is 29″1′ with a Chesapeake Bay Retriever named “Smoke”. He broke the previous Guinness world record 28″10′ hold by Country (Mixed/Greyhound) in July 2010 at UKC Premier (Richmond,Indiana).

 I could not find the Dock jumping footage by “Smoke”, but I have found footage of “Henry” who jumped 28″ at the dock jumping competition in 2008.

 Dock jumping Chesapeake Bay Retriever “Henry”

 If you are a blog subscriber or reading from facebook,please click here to watch the video.

 28″ is amazing record. It seems, sporting breeds such as Retrievers,Labs seem to excel in this sports.

 I know that our stumpy Corgi “Palette” loves chasing objects such as balls, Frisbee, toys, and she loves tricks that require her to go retrieving objects.

 However, I think she would not be a dog for dock jumping at this moment considering she was so careful not to go all the way into the kiddy pool when I tried kiddy pool with her to have fun jumping into the pool by throwing her favorite Frisbee into the pool.

 She does not mind being bathed, and she enjoys all the neck scratches,head scratches, and good massaging while I shampooing her but, not loving the water enough to make her want to jump into the pool

 Watching the dock jumping videos, I felt that in a way, it showcases their jumping ability of their own, but I felt that ability of throwing the toy as far as he/she (handler) can also matters.

 Palette loves playing Frisbee with me, and we play it a lot, but I feel that throwing the Frisbee nicely also matters to how well she can run and catch in the air. If Palette were a dog that loves water enough to make her want to jump in, and if we participate in the dock jumping competition, toy of choice will be Frisbee if it were allowed to use it. Because it is light in weight and flies well, and Palette loves it most.

 With wide variety of Canine sports getting popular, it would be nice to have one facility dedicated to canine athletes to practice for variety of competitions from Agility to Dock jumping, just like fitness center for humans.

 If Palette and I have decided to participate in Dock jumping competition, where would we practice the jump? We maybe can practice retrieving the toy, but since we do not have a pool, it will be difficult for us to practice timing of the jump etc.

 For more information on Dock jumping, you can visit Dockdog.com here .

 Do you enjoy canine sports with your furriends?

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Mar 06, 2011 | 0 | Uncategorized

Meatball sub, and Aurora vodka pasta

 About 10 years ago, when I was still in Japan, I cooked dishes with wines, but variety of wines I used was much narrower than now. Partly because I did not get to try out all kinds of dishes made with variety of wine, except the ones with sake.

 Here in the states, I was introduced to all kinds of dishes made with variety of wines and,I really enjoy the flavor. Now I use all kinds of wines and, you will see wide variety of wines at our house. I do not drink, but I do use a lot of wine in my cooking or baking. I like to make dishes with wine because it really enhance the flavor of the dish, and it gives the dish more characteristic.

 One of the dish my husband likes is vodka pasta. Have you had it before? It is basically a pasta dish with marinara sauce that has splash of vodka in it.

 Recently, I made meatball sub with roasted red pepper marinara sauce. Then, next day, I made vodka pasta. Since it came out good, I thought I would share the recipe with you.

 So, how do you make meatball sub with roasted red pepper marinara sauce and  Sausage,pepper, onion pasta with Aurora vodka sauce? Here is how.

Meatballs with roasted red pepper marinara sauce..

Meatball sub with roasted red pepper marinara sauce..

<Roasted red pepper marinara sauce>

1. In the wide sauce pan, add 28 oz crushed tomato, 1/2 C pureed roasted red pepper,3 tbs table sugar, and sprinkle dry oregano and mix well and set the heat to simmer

** You can buy a jar of roasted red pepper but, you can make it on your own. It is very easy.

< How to make a roasted red pepper>

1. Set the broiler “High”

2. Line the baking sheet with non stick foil

3. Wash the red pepper and place them on the lined baking sheet

4. Place the baking sheet with red peppers under the broiler and wait till the skin gets blisters. Time to time, rotate the pepper and wait till all sides are with blisters and bubbly, take it out from the oven and toss them into a bowl and seal it with saran.

5. Cool it down a little and when it is at temperature you can handle, uncover the bowl and take the pepper out and peel the skin off, take seed off and cut off the stem.

** After a while in the sealed bowl,your red pepper would be looking like the picture bellow.The picture is before the skin and seed are removed.

Roasted red pepper..

** You can make roasted red pepper with big batch if you prefer, and you can puree them and freeze them in the ice cube tray and pop it out as needed.

** Also,you can keep the roasted red pepper “as is” after skin and seed removed, you can just thaw them and cut to strips to use for your homemade pizza or puree them if you need to get it puree as needed.

<Meatballs>

1. To a bowl, add 80/20 ground beef 1 lb,1 Egg, 1/4 Onion grated, 2 cloves of garlic grated, 1/2C grated Pecorino Romano cheese, about 2tbs Italian Parsley.

** When you go to grocery stores, you will see 80/20, 85/15, 90/10 etc on ground beef label. Do you know what it means?

– 80/20 label means 80% lean meat, and 20% fat, usually from chuck cut.

– 85/15 label means, 85% lean meat, and 15% fat and usually from round cut.

– 90/10 label means 90% lean meat, and 10% fat and usually from sirloin cut.

** Personally,when I make burger or meatball, I usually use 80-20, and if I make chili or something similar, I use 90-10.

** With Pecorino Romano cheese, don’t buy pre-grated ones in the container.Buy a block of cheese and grate it as needed. You can keep the cheese in the freezer. My favorite brand of Pecorino Romano cheese is called “Locatelli”.

2. Let 1/4C Italian bread crumbs soaked in milk a little and after a while, squeeze the milk out from the bread crumb and add to <1>.

** Secret of my mother’s moist meatball are grated onion and milk soaked bread crumb. She uses “Japanese Panko bread crumb” but if she did not have any at home, she uses regular white bread instead.

** You can also make “Panko bread crumb on your own as you have seen in the previous entry titled “People food for thought VIII;Panko bread crumbs “.

3. Mix well and make balls. This should yield about 14 counts of meatballs.

4. Drop the meatballs into the sauce and cook through (about 15-20 minutes).

** For the sub, I have pressed meatball top a little before putting them into the sauce to keep them from rolling off from the sub.

5. While meatball is cooked in the sauce, start preparing the bread.I used semolina bread. Cut it into half length wise and take some bread out from bottom part.

** Digging out/cutting off some bread out from bottom ensure that the sauce would not run off to side, and keep the meatballs in place

6. Place the meatball,pour some sauce over, and put mozzarella cheese and place the bottom of sub onto lined baking sheet (baking sheet with non stick foil on), and put them under the broiler until top of the cheese is melted,bubbly

7. Take out from the oven and place the top and enjoy!

** I served rest of the meatballs in plate with sprinkle of fresh basil on top.



Sausage,pepper, onion pasta with Aurora vodka sauce..

<Sausage,pepper, onion pasta with Aurora vodka sauce>

1. Set the skillet with medium high heat, and split the casing of 1/3 of “Roasted garlic &Herb chicken sausage rope” and add to the skillet by break them up to small bits

** Sausage gives off enough oil and you do not need to add oil to the skillet beforehand

2. Add 1/4 white onion sliced,1/8 red pepper sliced,1/8 Green pepper sliced, 2 cloves of garlic grated, and as the vegetables cook, sprinkle Morton’s Nature’s Seasons with blue cap

3. Add 12 oz of roasted red pepper marinara sauce to the skillet,1/4 C vodka, and let it be gentle boil for a couple of minutes,and take it off from heat

4. Cook 6 oz wt spaghetti (for 2 adult servings) to al dente,and reserve the pasta water in measuring cup a little

** I figured that roughly 3 oz weight of dry pasta is about one serving. So, if you cook 6 oz wt dry pasta, you will get about 2 servings.

** When you make pasta dish, pour water in the deep pan and let it start first. While water is boiling, you can prepare the vegetables etc and after vegetables etc are done, you can start cooking the pasta.

5. Drain pasta, put the pasta back in to the big pan and, add about 2-3tbs of reserved pasta water, sausage,pepper,onion that were cooked in the skillet, and add 1/8C heavy cream and mix well

6. Grate some Pecorino Romano cheese over the pan and mix and plate them up and grate Pecorino Romano cheese again over the plate and serve

** If you did not have enough leftover roasted red pepper marinara sauce, you can make marinara sauce itself from scratch and use it as substitute.

My marinara sauce is easy.

To the sauce pan, add 32 oz canned crushed tomato, 1-2 tbs of table sugar and sprinkle of dry oregano.

Enjoy!

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Mar 03, 2011 | 0 | Uncategorized