Archives for February, 2013

Domino’s Pizza dough; Yassy’s version with Cheese pizza and Hoisin peanut chicken pizza

 Pizzas are America’s favorite food, and it is probably one of the food that I would imagine when I hear the country name “America”.

 I did not grew up with pizza. It is not that there are no pizza stores in Japan,but rather it did not appear on our table back home as much as it does to our tables here in the states. It is probably because our diet is based around a bowl of rice,not bread.

When I was a kid, I had time when I really liked the cheese but,then, I started not liking them much.So,I did not eat cheese or pizzas as much as I do now here in the states.

 It is very strange that I do like cheese and love pizza now. It seems my taste buds for cheese has changed and, I really enjoy variety of cheese and pizzas.

 I do not eat/make pizza often,but they are definitely one of the foods that I like to eat.

 One of the things that I learned coming over to the states is to make a loaf of bread from scratch.

 Using “yeast” was intimidating at first even if I had experience with bread making with my mother when I was a kid.

 However, I have learned a lot about bread/pizza making and a little bit of tricks here and there over the years,and I started baking pizzas/bread etc at home.

 As you know, my pizza ultimately became one of holiday family tradition during Christmas time.

 I love creating new kinds of flavors on pizzas,and you can see that if you browse through past pizza recipe entries.

 I can tell America loves pizzas,too because many people seem to enjoy pizza recipes that I shared in the past.

 If you are interested in my variety of pizza recipes, you can find recipes of ” Italian chicken pizza “, ” Sea scallops chowder pizza“,” Whole wheat Beer sauce pizza with smoked Duck breast“.

 The other night,I was planning to have pizza night and thought what if I try doing  “Restaurant challenge” entry on Domino’s pizza,where we love to eat pizza from.

 We used to order pizza from Papa John’s Pizza, and we liked them. I like their soft dough with tad sweeter pizza sauce, but we started noticing that the taste of the pizza can vary from one store to the other and sometimes, we did not care for as much as we did with other Papa John’s pizza store.

 Once we moved to here, we tried order pizza through them,but we found out that the closest Papa John’s pizza does not deliver to our area,so it ultimately lead us to try out other closest new pizza chain “Domino’s Pizza” that we can do both;pick up or delivery. Back then,we had never had pizza from them before.Therefore, we did not know what to expect.

 We both liked Domino’s pizza.I think overall they have got good variety of pizza or sandwiches etc to choose from.

 For example, Papa John’s have variety of pizzas, but it seems to me that their focus is on more meat,more cheese rather than wide variety of unique flavors and menu  like Domino’s pizza.

 My favorite menu in Domino’s Pizza is “Chicken Bacon Ranch” sandwich.I like it  over their pizza, if I had to pick only one menu,but my husband loves their pizza more.

 I also think I like their crust better than other stores even though sandwich and pizzas both looks greasier in the box than other pizza store’s.

 I think they do well with Boneless chicken bites as well.They are crispy,tender and flavorful. They have desert such as chocolate lava crunch cake, but they are way too sweet and tastes like eating block of sugar so,when it comes to desert,I am not a big fan of their desert menu.

Other than Papa John’s pizza,and Domino’s pizza, I have tried Pizza Hut’s at the Airport or other places long, long time ago, but I think their pizza is too salty to eat. One try and I never went back trying again.

 For now, when it comes to pizza, I mostly make it on my own but when we order pizzas from stores, go-to store has been Domino’s pizza.

 Now and then, as you already know, when we
go to restaurants, me and my husband find interesting sauce,dips, or
dishes and we love to taste them and guess what are in the sauce/dip

 Sometimes, it is easy to guess,but other times, it is
quite complex flavor, and cannot put my fingers on,but it is fun to
guess what are in the sauce.

 When we have interesting dishes at
restaurants, I get inspired by those dishes/soup/sauce/dip etc.. and I
like to re-create the flavor with twist. 

 After each bite of Domino’s pizza, I  start thinking about what are used for this pizza, what flour is used, what about amount of yeast in the dough, and how I can make it with my own twists.

 I knew that I got the baguette-like texture part down fine because it has always been my favorite texture in the homemade pizza, and I knew what makes chewier dough.

 My task now was to figure out how not to make the dough puffed up as much as many of mine did in the past and learn the order of the toppings.

 I tried using less yeast in the dough, and used the slow rise method.Also, I have tried baking them on the pizza pan that has small holes on the bottoms and it made such a delicious pizza dough.

 Overall, I think I made it closer to theirs when it comes to flavor of the dough. One thing that I did as “twist” was to make the dough crustier outside,softer,and a tad chewier inside so it is like you are biting into a loaf of artisan bread, and pizza came out much more sturdier than floppy slice of pizzas you get from many pizza stores.

 My husband gave 2 thumbs up.He loved them.

 Needless to say,”Palette” loved the pizza crust too and, she would stare at you long and hard with very wet nose. She loves freshly baked bread, and loves pizza night.

 If you have ordered pizzas from Domino’s pizza, you will notice strong smell of garlic. Sometimes, I see small puddle of something on top of the pizza. When you eat the pizza, it has garlic butter like flavor.

 So,I figured,maybe they are drizzling garlic butter or something similar after pizza is being baked,which ultimately made their pizza looking greasy.

 For that, I had good inspiration of mine from my mother-in-law’s “Green stuff” she calls it. It is basically a garlic butter mixed with herbs such as dill,parsley and so forth.She brushes it on bread and bake them to make garlic bread. It is my husband‘s favorite garlic bread.

 Thus, I thought I could make my “Green stuff” to brush over pizza crust to make a little less greasier but has similar flavor to their pizza.

 I had a few more tricks under my sleeves and, I did experiment the method a bit.

 I also made 2 kinds of pizzas: Cheese pizza, and my own made up fusion pizza; Hoisin peanut chicken pizza,which was my inspiration from Chinese-Thai cooking, with the same dough ingredients but made a tad differently to experiment of the dough.

 Cheese pizza dough had different steps in the method to compare rising effect of the dough.

 It was knead to the ball,and rested about 15 minutes at the room temperature and then, the dough was greased,placed on the greased bowl.Then, it was covered with plastic wrap loosely so it can rise in the fridge.

 Then,the bowl was covered with another layer of plastic wrap.

 It was then put into grocery shopping bag (Because freezer bag did not fit),and it was tied on its end.

 I have kept the dough in the fridge for 8 hours.Then, took it out about 2 hours before roll out dough time.

15 minutes rest time with slow rise method after 8 hours in the fridge..

 It was to see how differently dough will rise if it was not given much rising time at room temperature.

 I have seen recipes that they basically mix all the ingredients and knead the dough and it was loosely wrapped with plastic wrap in the greased bowl and kept in the fridge for slow rise method.

 In the past,I have tried that without any resting time;as soon as finished kneading the dough,I have put the ball of dough into the fridge and it did not rise well.

 Therefore,I wanted to see if I gave more time to rest first, it would rise slow but steadily in the fridge.

 With 15 minutes rest after kneading, it did rise in the fridge,but it did not rise as much as other way I did (I let the dough go through 1st rise in preheated but turned off 200F oven for 90 minutes first and after bowl came to room temperature,I kept it in the fridge til next day. I took the dough out 2 hours before roll out dough time.), and the dough was a little bit resistance to roll out to 1/4″ thickness that I wanted.

 I do not know if I gave the resting time at room temperature for more such as 30 minutes, or kept in the fridge much longer time,or gave the dough to wake up a little bit more time than 2 hours outside the fridge, it might have made difference,but I am not certain.

 I saw the difference in how easily it can roll out and amount of rising,but as flavor goes, I think both came out tasty.

 Here,I would like to share the recipe of Domino’s pizza inspired “Cheese pizza” and my own made up fusion pizza; “Hoisin peanut chicken pizza”.

 With this entry, I will share the recipe of pizza dough that was made with over night slow rise method that I let them go through 1st rise in the turned off oven first, and kept in the fridge over night.I found that the dough under this method was very easy to work with and also got nice flavor and texture.

 Since the dough was rising slowly at good rate inside the fridge, flavor of the dough got developed better,and I think you would like them too.

 If you prefer softer outside on pizza dough just like Domino’s Pizza, bake the pizza shorter time,or adjust the oven temperature to 425F, and omit dill in the garlic herb sauce recipe.

Cheese pizza..

Ingredients for the dough for 1 pizza 14″;

3/4C        water
3/4 tsp    dry yeast
5tsp          sugar
1 1/4C      Unbleached All purpose flour
1 1/4C      Unbleached bread flour
1sp            salt
1.5 tbs     Extra virgin olive oil + some extra for drizzling to oil the bowl
yellow cornmeal

Ingredients for cheese pizza toppings;

pizza sauce * (recipe follows)
2 C    low moisture shredded Mozzarella cheese
   1/2″ dice fresh mozzarella cheese

1        Fresh basil leave chopped fine (for garnish)
Garlic butter herb sauce * (recipe follows)

Ingredients for Hoisin chicken;

4 oz boiled/roasted shredded chicken
2 tbs Hoisin peanut sauce* (recipe follows)

Ingredients for Hoisin peanut chicken pizza topping;

4 oz shredded Hoisin chicken* (recipe follows)
2C low moisture shredded mozzarella cheese
6-8 off 1/2″ dice Fresh Mozzarella cheese
1/8 red pepper sliced
1/8 green pepper sliced
1/4 carrot stick sliced thin
1.5 tbs frozen green bean thaw and chopped*

** For the green beans,in the small container,put 1.5 tbs frozen green beans and pour hot water over it to soften up and pour the water out and chop the green beans

Ingredients for Hoisin peanut sauce;

1 tsp      sesame oil
2 cloves garlic chopped
1/2C      Hoisin sauce
2 tbs     soy sauce
2 tbs     white sugar
1 tbs     sake
1/8 tsp Chinese five spice powder
1 tbs     creamy peanut butter

Ingredients for pizza sauce;

28 oz        canned crushed tomato (recommend “Furmano’s”)
3tbs plus 1/2 tsp white sugar
1/4 tsp     kosher salt
3/8tsp     dried oregano
1 leaves   fresh basil chopped (chopped fresh basil 1/4 tsp)
1/4 tsp     garlic powder

Ingredients for garlic butter herb sauce;

4 tbs butter
1/8 tsp     garlic powder
5/8tsp     dried dill
1/8 tsp    dried parsley
1/8 C       grated Parmesan cheese

<Pizza dough>

** Make the dough one day before the pizza night. I made the dough late at night,and baked it next day afternoon.

0. Preheat the oven at 200F and when it reached to 200F,turn off the oven

1. To a microwave safe bowl, pour 3/4C water, microwave about 30 seconds or so

2. Take a temperature of the water and if the temperature was at
110F-115F, add 3/4 tsp of dry yeast, 5tsp sugar, and mix well and let it sit a
while (about 5-10 minutes)

** If you use jar of dry yeast, make sure the yeast is at room temperature. Cold yeast would not make your dough rise properly.

** The warm water to rise the dough (proof the dough) should be at 110F-115F.
Lower temperature water would not proof the dough properly, and higher
temperature water would kill the yeast and would not proof the dough

You should see the frothy stuff on top like this..

3. To a big bowl, add 1 1/4C Unbleached All purpose flour, 1 1/4C
Unbleached bread flour, 1tsp salt,and 1.5 tbs Extra virgin olive oil and
mix well

4. Pour the frothy yeast-sugar- lukewarm water mix to flour-salt-EVOO mixture
a little at a time and stir.

5. When dough became to form a ball, toss
them onto lightly floured surface, and start kneading the dough

** You might feel like it got not enough water but as you knead,it comes together and it is enough water in the dough

** Using silpat mat is easy to work with

6. Knead the dough until smooth surface and elastic. I usually knead for about 8 minutes.

You can test your dough to see if you knead it more. Do the Windowpane test.

What is windowpane test??

Windowpane test is the test the gluten development in the dough.

you do is to cut off small piece of dough,and gently stretch
out/pulling to see if it will hold a paper-thin membrane.If it tore
apart,you would knead a bit more and do the test again.

7. When dough became smooth surface and elastic and not sticky, drizzle
Extra Virgin Olive Oil onto empty bowl and smear it around side and
inside bottom to make easy for you to take the dough out later to roll

8. Place the dough into the bowl,drizzle some more Extra Virgin Olive Oil over the dough and smear the oil all around the dough

9. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and place the dough in the turned off oven,set the timer for 90 minutes

** Using the preheated/turned off oven to rise the dough (proof the dough) is perfect weather proof method.

10. 90 minutes later, dough should be double in volume

** Please note that dough rising pictures below and above are from another pizza making time and, size of the dough for this recipe should be much smaller than what you see in the picture although it should rise to double in volume.

Dough should be double in volume..

11. Once the dough gets double in volume, take it out on the counter to get the bowl come to room temperature and once it reached to room temperature, place one layer of plastic wrap right over the rise dough and place another layer of plastic wrap to cover the bowl itself.

Then, put the dough in the bowl into the fridge over night.

Mine had at least 16 – 18 hours in the fridge to slowly rise more.

12. Take the bowl out on the counter next day at least 2 hours to let the dough to wake up.

13. Preheat the oven at 450F

14. While waiting for the oven to preheated,pour some generous amount of yellow corn meal onto the surface

15. Punch down the dough in the bowl and put the dough over the corn meal dusted surface

16. Roll out the dough to 14″ circle,about 1/4″ thickness and make dented impression around 1″ from the edge

17. Pour some Extra virgin olive oil onto paper towel and wipe the pizza pan with it and sprinkle cornmeal evenly

** Pizza pan (The pan with little holes on the bottoms) is great tool you can have to bake nice crusty pizza since it can heat the surface evenly,and heat can reach to all sides of pizza without being blocked by materials like it would with sheet pan

 Pizza pan using was my very first but I really liked them. The one I used is from calphalon and it is called “16” Pizza pan”.

 They are non stick but I liked using oil and cornmeal to ensure the easy release of the dough.You cannot use non stick spray on this. The instruction says it is hard to remove the non stick spray.

 You can find the 16″ pizza pan at the maker’s website here.

 Bed bath and beyond carry them and use the 20% off coupon if you receive those in the mail. You can get them at around $15.00.

18. Place the pizza pan on the surface,and transfer the dough

19. Brush only crust area with Garlic butter herb sauce* (recipe follows)

20. Pour pizza sauce* (recipe follows) in the center of the dough with ladle and draw circle with back of ladle so you can evenly distribute the sauce over the dough.

21. Sprinkle about 2C of low moisture Mozzarella cheese, and sprinkle 6 – 8 of 1/2″ dice of fresh Mozzarella on top

22. Bake the pizza at 450F for 15 minutes or till the cheese is melted and crust becomes brown

23. Sprinkle chopped 3 leaves of fresh basil

24. Enjoy!

A slice of cheese pizza..

Makes: 1 count of 14″ Cheese pizza

<Pizza sauce>

1. Add 1 can of 28 oz crushed tomato (recommend Furmano’s brand), 3 tbs and 1/2 tsp white sugar, 1/4 tsp kosher salt, 3/8 tsp dried oregano,1 fresh basil leaves chopped, 1/4 tsp garlic powder,and mix well and place the lid on and let it come to boil

2. Once boiled,turn the heat down to simmer,and once spattering stopped, take off the lid and keep on simmer with occasional stir for 90 minutes

** When sauce pan is not covered with lid, the flavor gets concentrated and the tomato sauce would get reduced down to almost half the amount

3. Taste and adjust

<Garlic herb butter sauce>

1. To a sauce pan, add 4 tbs butter,1/8 tsp garlic powder,5/8tsp dried dill, 1/8 tsp    dried parsley and stir and let it melt on the low heat

2. Add 1/8 C grated Parmesan cheese and stir

3. Use this sauce to brush the crust

<Hoisin peanut chicken>

1. Boil the chicken breast in the water with McCormic steak seasoning and when it comes to room temperature, shred them and keep them in the small container

Or, if you have leftover roasted chicken meat, you can boil the chicken in the water with steak seasoning a short time and shred them

You would need 4 oz of shredded boiled/roasted chicken

2. Mix 4 oz shredded boiled/roasted chicken with 2 tbs Hoisin peanut sauce* (recipe follows)

3. Keep in the small container till ready to use

<Hoisin peanut sauce>

1. In the sauce pan, add 1 tsp sesame oil and add 2 cloves of garlic chopped and let it cook a bit till it gets fragrant

2. Add 1/2C Hoisin sauce,2 tbs soy sauce, 2 tbs white sugar, 1 tbs sake, 1/8 tsp Chinese five spice powder and stir and let it gets bubbly

3. Take the pan off from the heat and add 1 tbs creamy peanut butter and let it melt,and put the pan back on the stove till it gets bubbly and taste and adjust

Makes: 1/2 C sauce

<Hoisin peanut chicken pizza>

1. Make the pizza dough the same way for cheese pizza dough recipe (over night cold rise method),and take it out 2 hours before roll out the dough time

2. Prepare the topping,sauce etc..

3. Preheat the oven at 450F

4. While waiting for the oven to preheated,pour some generous amount of yellow corn meal onto the surface

5. Punch down the dough in the bowl and put the dough over the corn meal dusted surface

6. Roll out the dough to 14″ circle,about 1/4″ thickness and make dented impression around 1″ from the edge

7. Pour some Extra virgin olive oil onto paper towel and wipe the pizza pan with it and sprinkle cornmeal evenly

8. Place the pizza pan on the surface,and transfer the dough

9. Brush only crust area with Garlic butter herb sauce* (recipe follows)

Pour Hoisin peanut sauce* (recipe follows) in the center of the dough with
ladle and draw circle with back of ladle so you can evenly distribute
the sauce over the dough.

11. Sprinkle 4 oz Hoishin chicken evenly over the pizza

12. Sprinkle about 2C low moisture shredded mozzarella cheese

13. Sprinkle vegetable topping; 1/8 red pepper sliced, 1/8 green pepper sliced, 1/4 carrot stick sliced thin, 1.5 tbs frozen green bean thaw and chopped (in the small container,put 1.5 tbs frozen green beans and pour hot water over it to soften up and pour the water out and chop the green beans)

14. Bake the pizza at 450F for 15 minutes or till the cheese is melted and crust becomes brown

15. Enjoy!

A slice of Hoisin peanut chicken pizza..

Makes: 1 count of 14″ Hoisin peanut chicken pizza

** If you had leftover pizza, wrap it up with foil and put them into
freezer bag and freeze them. Next time you want pizza, all you need to
do is just heating them up

** Since Extra virgin olive oil is in the dough, as pizza sits,crust
gets firm.When you want to eat the unfrozen pizza slice, wrap the piece
of pizza with paper towel,place it on the microwavable safe plate and
microwave for about 17 seconds or until crust gets softer.

This pizza crust is very nice crust texture (quite crusty outside,soft
inside) and nice brown color outside because of the extra virgin olive
oil in the dough plus the use of Pizza pan.


Feb 27, 2013 | 0 | Uncategorized

Have fun with your dogs; Lure Coursing

 When you have fun with your dogs, what games/sports do you play?

 Agility? Dock Jumping? Frisbee? Fetch ball game? Find it game? Or something else?

 When Palette and I have fun together, we play all kinds of fun games.

 One thing we play a lot is “Find it” game after training time-Palette
is supposed to sniff the treats,and then she “stays” at the spot where she cannot see where I
hid the treats and,with “Go find it!” release call, she goes sniff out
the yummy with nose up in the air, nose on the ground.

 After a while, I have leveled it up to “Find the toy” game- Palette
is supposed to sniff the toy,and then “stay” at the spot where she cannot see where I
hid the toy and,with “Go find it!” release call, she goes sniff out the
toy I hid and then, she has to get it and bring it back to me.

 By doing
so, she is eligible for the exchange with jackpot treats.

 You can see her playing “Find it” game in the previous entry titled “Find it” game here .

 Another game we play a lot is fetch ball and Frisbee. When she sees
balls,Frisbee, she gets so talkative and I can see her little nub/butt
moving left and right and it is always fun to play with her.

 You can see her playing ball/Frisbee in the previous entry titled “Playing game of Fetch ball/Frisbee” here.

 Some years ago, I got Palette “weave pole” for her birthday so
that we can have fun at home. It is one of the obstacle in the sports
called “Agility”.

 Agility is a canine sports that dogs goes through all kinds of
obstacles with direction of handlers such as tunnels, A shaped obstacle
called “A frame”, dog walk,weave pole, jumping bars,teeter etc..and
compete the time to finish the course, and how precisely completed the
each obstacles.

 It is very exciting to watch team work of one handler and one dog and
also exciting to see performance of the dog going through the obstacles.

 Recently, I came across the youtube video where dogs are having so much fun with the another k9 sports called “Lure coursing”.

 Do you know what “Lure coursing” is

 What  is lure coursing?

 According to wikipedia website,”Lure Coursing” is the k9 sports where dogs are set to chasing after the mechanically operated lure (also called “bunny”);plastic bags,across the field following patterns to stimulate live coursing.

 It exaplains that typical coursing is 600 yard to 1000 yard,but in Europe,the length can be more than 1,000 yards,and many people incorporate the obstacles or jumps in the coursing.

 It sounds like European lure coursing seems to be combination of Agility and lure coursing and,I am sure many dogs would love their version of lure coursing fun.

 I enjoyed watching dogs being dogs, feeling the wind and running in the open field chasing after the plastic bags that are attached to wire so the bags are set to move with set speed across the field. 

 I think lure coursing is also fun k9 sports.

 For dogs, they can have outlet for pent up energy plus it is fun for
them. Most of all, this canine sports has lots of running and dog’s natural instinct;chasing objects, so, they can have physical exercise and mental exercise both through this fun sports.

 Here are 2 youtube videos that I watched and would like to share with you.

 Aren’t the dogs all looking having so much fun? The best part is, it seems each video shows quite bit of personalities in each individual dogs

Spot Shot;Lure coursing..

If you are a blog subscriber,please click here to watch the video.

Reidsville,NC Lure coursing..

If you are a blog subscriber,please click here to watch the video.

 To learn more about “Lure Coursing”, you can visit Lure coursing fanatic website here. The website seems to be full of information for those who are interested in the sports.

 Also, AKC website here has all the information you would find it helpful such as lure coursing club search in your area.

 Does your dog have fun with “Lure coursing”?

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Feb 26, 2013 | 0 | Uncategorized

Yassy’s Japan Trip Diary November 2012; Day 3 Part 2

 3rd day in Japan, since we were planning to do a
family trip to Nagano prefecture, which is located just right above
Aichi prefecture our parrents live in, everyone woke up super early so we get to have enough time to have fun there.

 Nagano prefecture is
in the main island “Honshu”,and it is famous for shinshu soba noodle,
Matsumoto castle, Zenkou ji (temple), and also it was the prefecture
1998 winter Olympic was hold.

 You can find the Japan map at website here. Look for number 18. That is Nagano prefecture,where we took a family trip to.

 Look number 23.That is Aichi prefecture,where I grew up and where my parents live.By car, it was about 4 hours drive one way.

 My father has planed the trip for all of us, and my parents, my grandmother, me,my husband met my sister’s family at closest highway’s service area (it is what we call “rest area” in the states).

 After meeting my sister’s family, we got in to the car, and continued our driving and headed to our first destination spot;Apple picking.

Hara Apple picking field in Nagano prefecture..

 The family trip day was nice sunny day,but Nagano prefecture was a little bit windy and chilly.  

Really surrounded by mountains..
The Apple field we visited was called “Hara Ringo en“.

 The city where the Hara Apple picking field “Hara Ringo en” was is called “Matsukawa city”, and the area is about 600-700 meters above the sea level (1968 feet to 2296 feet above the sea level) and, you would see a lot of mountains around.

 Once you arrive at the field, you would see southern part of series of mountain ranges “Japanese Alps”. The southern Japanese Alps is also known as “A-ka-i-shi mountains”.

Southern Japanese Alps view from Hara Apple picking field..

 The mountain views are breathtaking, and they are very beautiful.

Southern Japanese Alps..

 Because of the environment around them, they can produce various kinds of delicious fruits such as famous Fuji Apples, different kinds of Apples, Pears,Cherries, Persimmons,Peaches, Prunes,and French pears such as Aurora, La France,Le leche  etc..

 Depending on the seasons, you can go picking different kinds of fruits.

 One thing that I noticed is that, they believe that fruits should be grown naturally without any harsh chemicals or pesticides, and they use mineral fertilizer,and organic fertilizer to grow their fruits.

 They are also certified “Eco friendly farmer” through prefecture.I think this is what we recognize as “certified organic farmers” in the states.

 The “Hara apple picking field” has received award from governor of Nagano prefecture as well.

 The entering fee for kids under kindergarten is free, and elementary school kid is  $4, and junior high school student and above is $6.

Owner explains rules and how to pick Apples from the trees..

 When we arrived at the Apple field and met the owner, he explained that we can pick all we want and can eat them but, if you could not eat them on site, we come to him and pay the fee for the Apples to bring home.

 Because we now know we have to pay fee per uneaten Apple if we picked more than we can eat on the site, my mother suggested that we pick a few Apple at a time,and we all enjoy eating them and go picking in turns to make sure we can eat with much less uneaten Apple left in our hands.

 Especially because it was not cheap Apples.

 Because of the paying for uneaten apple rule, our picking pace was rather slow.That was ok though because we could enjoy the scenery and conversation and taste of delicious Apples..

 My husband later told me that when he heard we will go Apple picking, he thought that we will get a bucket or something to hold fruits and pick all we can fit into the container because that is what American people think of “Fruits picking”.

 Therefore, I had to explain him the rule and we learned difference in the fruit picking system through the conversations.

 Sometimes, I find it very interesting talking about cultural difference on many topics and, I learn new things everyday.

 Anyway, the owner of the Hara Apple picking field told us to hold the apple on the bottom with palm, and lift it up so apples can get upside down, and twist it to pick the Apple.

 I have never done Apple picking before but, the Apple got off from the tree easy when I followed the picking instruction.

 It was fun going top pick the Apple and enjoy the beautiful views,but it was really  cold and windy so,I spent most of my time there hiding my hands under the sleeves to warm them up.

My first picked Apple..

My sister’s itty bitty kid would not get left out for the taste testing too..

 How the little one was getting a taste of apple, you may wonder?

Grating Apple with grater..

 The grater my mother is using to grate the Apple is actually a must-have tool for everything little ones would eat.

 My sister does not give commercially made baby foods you get from grocery stores and, her kids are raised with fresh food from the start. They grate food using grater or mashed and spoon feed them.

 The grater itself comes with a cup so, it is a good tool to have around, and it comes handy especially when they travel.

 I thought it was a kind gesture of my sister for her kids to bring the grater so he can taste test the Apples just like everyone else in the family

Hmm.. that smells nice!

Father,how long can you keep peeling the Apple without breaking the peel?

We are about ready to leave..

 You will find Fuji Apples at the grocery stores in the states as well, but I was surprised by the size and the color of the Apple.It looked very nice.

 It makes sense that Nagano prefecture is very famous for Apples.

Fuji Apples in the Hara Apple picking field..

 Isn’t it nice looking?

 Before we leave for the Matsumoto castle, we took a family photo together.


 Thank you for giving us nice family trip memories,father. It was one fun even of the day.

 Now we are leaving for Matsumoto Castle. Have you been to castle in Japan? It will make you walk long dista
nce and make you tired, but everything is beautiful. I love visiting castles.

 Stay tuned!

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Feb 24, 2013 | 0 | Uncategorized

Palette’s note: Dehydrated fish (sardine) treats

 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’ videos 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, “Dehydrated Fish treats 8 oz“.

Dehydrated Fish treats Aunt Jeni

Dehydrated fish (sardine) treats 8 oz..

The dehydrated fish treats is dehydrated wild caught sardine,and these treats are Palette’s favorite new treats which makes her very vocal and cannot get enough of.

This treats comes in 8 oz bag with approx 17-20 sardine,which is about 3″-5″ long fish, in average, to make it to 8 oz weight.

 The treats are sold by weight,not number of fish in the bag.

Dehydrating process removes moisture out from fish, and it makes dehydrated fish treats soft and crumble,and very easy to chew treats, and I think these treats will be great ones especially for older dogs,who might be appreciated for the easy to chew soft chews.

As you know, Palette the Corgi is on fresh food diet,a.k.a. raw diet and, one of her staple menu is sardines.

I prefer to give vitamins and minerals through whole form of foods instead of synthetic supplements and, I try to include oily fish such as salmon,herring,mackerel and sardines as part of her menu two times a week for the healthy fat “Omega3 fatty acids”,which is good for skin and coat for dogs.

On the pet treats market, it seems the term “omega 3 fatty acids” became a “buzz” word,and many retailers seem to want to use the buzz word for any types of fish treats such as white fish and at the same time, treats companies seems to want to make white fish treats as well with the buzz word on the package.

I think you would find lots of white fish treats on the market but, if you are looking to give good dose of omega 3 fatty acids, it is best to look for known oily fish that are rich in omega3 fatty acids;salmon,mackerel,herring,and sardines.

 If you were just about starting feeding fish to your dogs in fresh food diet, then,start with fish with benefit; the fish that gives your dogs great benefit of feeding.

 Do not start with Tilapia or catfish etc, but start with Salmon,Mackerel,sardine, and herrings etc one fish at a time.

It is true that fish has higher omega 3 fatty acids than omega 6 fatty acids, but the amount in the fish are varied depending on the type of fish.

 Sometimes,you might come across the phrase on the treat package or maybe supplement container that says “XYZ provides not only Omega3 fatty acids but also Omega 6 fatty acids for your dogs”.

 If you simply read the phrase on the package,it sounds super good, and might be healthy stuff for your dogs.

 However, many fresh foods especially poultry such as Chicken,Turkey,Duck etc.. provides high amount of omega 6 fatty acids,less amount of Omega 3 fatty acids.

 Often times, omega 6 fatty acids amount your dog can get via poultry menu is about 10 – 15 times more than the amount of omega 6 fatty acids.

 Therefore,if you are feeding poultry in their diet, you really do not need to add more Omega 6 fatty acids in their diet.

 If you look into getting supplements for your dogs,some brands offer combination of Omega3 fatty acids,Omega 6 fatty acids, and Omega 9 fatty acids.

 Again, you would read the phrases that might make you wonder if the omega3 fatty acids only supplement is better or combination ones is better..

 Generally, supplement should be given to your dogs based on what are missing nutrient in their diet.

 If the dog’s diet was heavy on poultry,then, chances are, the dogs would not be getting good dose of Omega 3 fatty acids so you would want to tweak their diet and include oily fish such as salmon,mackerel,herring and sardines or grass-fed meat or supplement the diet with Fish body oil that has only omega 3 fatty acids not both Omega3 fatty acids and Omega 6 fatty acids.

 Some company include omega 6 fatty acids or rosemary extract to preserve the oil  in the fish body oil supplement,especially pump style fish body oil. So, research what are in the oil before you purchase.

 You can read more on Fish body oil in the previous entry titled “Fish body oil for dogshere.

 When dogs gets dull,flaky coat, or itchy skin could also means that the ratio between the essential fatty acids Omega 3 fatty acids vs Omega 6 fatty acids are off, and they might need to get bump up level of the Omega 3 fatty acids level.

The Omega 9 fatty acids are not member of essential fatty acids.

 In general,Omega 9 is rich in animal fat,and vegetable oil such as olive
oil,sunflower oil,canola oil and nuts such as peanuts etc..and for
human, body can produce the omega 9 too.

I do not know if dogs
can produce omega 9 by themselves but I have an impression that focusing
on feeding good amount of omega 3 fatty acids (essential fatty acids)
will be much more beneficial to dogs.

The Omega 9 is monounsaturated fat,and if you are feeding meat,you are feeding omega 9 in smaller amount via form of food as well.

 Look at the raw beef sirloin nutrition profile here.

Scroll down to fatty acids chart on the bottom and click on “more detail” button,and you see the number 6.4g on the Monounsaturated fat line.

Beef liver here has very tiny amount 0.1g, but it gives monounsaturated fat if you like to feed it via form of food.

Here,Chicken breast has 3.3g of omega 9

Personally, I do not supplement Palette’s diet with Omega 9 fatty acids. I do not think it is not always the case of “More is better”.

 Now, how about Omega 3 fatty acids and Omega 6 fatty acids;the essential fatty acids in variety of fish?

For example, lets say you have 3 oz of cooked wild caught Atlantic salmon. That 3 oz contains 2198mg of omega 3 fatty acids, 187mg of omega6 fatty acids.

You can see the nutrition profile here at here.

What about white fish (whiting)? They do have more omega 3 fatty acids than Omega 6 fatty acids, but the amount in the same weight of the fish is very low compared to oily fish like salmon.

In the 3 oz of cooked whiting fillet, it got omega 3 fatty acids 466 mg,omega 6 fatty acids17 mg.

 As you can see, the amount of omega 3 fatty acids in the white fish is almost 25% of what 3 oz of wild caught salmon can offer.

 Therefore, fish variety matters,especially if you were trying to up the Omega 3 fatty acids your dogs get.

You can see the white fish (whiting nutrition profile) at the here.

If you are going to give fish menu in the diet or as treats, wouldn’t it be much better to offer treats with more benefit??

I would consider whiting as “variety”, and not as “source of omega 3 fatty acids”. Personally, I much prefer to give salmon or any other oily cold water fish over the white fish or other non oily cold water fish.

Sardine, as I have mentioned above, is one of oily fish that are rich in omega 3 fatty acids,and great addition to your dog’s variety of healthy chews, or if you feed the fresh sardine to your dogs, they are great addition in your dog’s diet.

I feed fresh sardine in Palette’s diet regularly by rotating it among other oily omega 3 fatty acids rich fish such as mackerel,salmon,and herrings. Those are staple fresh food fish menu for her.

I could not find nutrition profile at website, but I came across the great article to read to understand how good sardines are for you or for your dogs because of concentrated form of Omega 3 fatty acids.

The WHFoods website says that sardine 3 oz weight provides 55% of daily value and very good nutritional food.

You can read more on sardine, and its health benefit at the WHFoods website here.

Because I have learned so much about health benefit of oily cold water fish, I try to offer cold water oily fish treats to everyone more as oppose to fill our store with fish treats that are made from fish that are not so high in omega 3 fatty acids in them.

This is the reason why you would not find white fish treats or any other non oily cold water fish treat at our store.

We offer “treats” with “health” in mind, and we never offer anything, everything just because treats might sell well.

We are picky when it comes to selecting the treats to offer, but with good reasons.

Now and then,Palette gets wild caught sardine treats and,she gets so excited about the treats. She loves fish.

This one fish treats that are new to our store is one favorite fish treats for Palette. She gives 5 paws up. She cannot get enough of it.

This treat is small,soft,quick nice snack for dogs of all ages.

you would like to give your furriends chews that are rich in omega 3 fatty acids for healthy coat,skin etc.., we have salmon fillet, Dried herring strips,and this Dehydrated fish treats (sardine).

You can find oily cold water fish treats at the fish chew category here.

For the training purpose, oily cold water fish treats you can find now are our made to order Jerky “Surf Turf Jerky” (wild caught salmon and fully grass-fed buffalo meat Jerky) , and Dehydrated Ahi Tuna Loin strips at the dehydrated fish category here.

Ingredient: Wild caught Sardine

Let’s watch how much Palette enjoys her dehydrated fish treats below.

Palette and Dehydrated sardine treats…

Can you see she gets whiny,woofy,very vocal and she is very very excited for the treats? Can you see her eyes all brighten up with the sight of the dehydrated sardine treats?

She really really love them!

 In the video, I asked her to go get the tissue paper when I sneeze. She is very responsive and,it is one of her new tricks she learned with clicker training.

 The second time I asked her to show us again, the tissue paper stuck to her tongue, and she was shaking her head to release the tissue paper and I came to rescue; to take the tissue paper off from her tongue

 She really likes this tricks.

 When I was still teaching her this trick step by step, and understood what my sneeze cue meant, after a couple of tries with practice, she brought generous amount of tissue paper by back and forth with one sheet of tissue paper but then, she decided that mom must be sick,and she brought the whole tissue box by grabbing the box awkward way.

 She is very considerate dog,isn’t she?

Also, in the video, you can see how the fish treats get crumbles when she bites into the treats,and they are very soft,easy to chew treats.

Look! That is my favorite sardine fish treats!

Yup,it is sardine treats. I am not dreaming..

Can I get one,mom?

Well,I changed my mind.

I will self-serve myself with gator jump!

Please note that due to natural treats,length,size of each fish can vary.

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

Feb 20, 2013 | 0 | Yassy's Gourmet Dog Kitchen

Yassy’s Japan Trip Diary November 2012; Day 3 Part 1

 The 3rd day in Japan, everyone woke up early so we can get going for the family trip my father has all planned out for everyone to enjoy.

 It was hectic morning, but we have left our house on time.

 My sister is married and living in the other area of Aichi prefecture. Therefore, my father sent a message along with driving direction for her husband to meet up at the nearest service area to their house,so we could travel together to the destination in Nagano prefecture.

 When we met with my sister’s family, since we brought a small souvenir from the states such as snacks,pencils with Halloween’s pumpkin designs on it,a giant pencil,and my niece’s favorite Minnie Mouse stuff, we went to greet them and handed the stuffed Minnie mouse at the parking lot in the service area.

 My sister did not want to loose our souvenir on their trip to Nagano prefecture,and  we simply brought a stuffed Minnie Mouse with us and left other stuff at my parents’ house so we can hand the rest of the souvenir at our parents’ house when we back from the trip.

 My niece really liked the stuffed Minnie Mouse we brought. As you can see, she is a huge fan of Minnie Mouse She took Minnie everywhere

Big smile with her favorite Minnie mouse!

 When we visited temples or castles etc..,I saw her carrying Minnie all the time. It was great to see how much she loved the Minnie Mouse from the states.

 In Japan, what people here in the states call “rest area” is called “service area” and the area has souvenir shops in the small buildings and often times, you will find food the area is known for, along with other small souvenir items.

 The highways in Japan is all toll road, and speed limit is 100kph. Often times, weekends are the days with discount rate.

 Some toll gets 50% off,some gets 30% off on weekends usage.

 Some area’s highways offer discount on weekdays as well from 6am through 8pm.

 Some tolls offer discount on late night hours.

 Some tolls offer 50% off for commuters.

 Tokyo,Osaka area highways offer 50% off from 10pm through 6 am.

 When we visit my mother in law in Midwest area, we go through toll road here in the states, and we pay probably 2 dollars, 4 dollars total one way but in Japan, it costs much more.

 I think it was about $40 to $50 one way from Aichi prefecture to Nagano prefecture.

 If you travel to Japan and planning to do the road trip, you can use Inter change toll fee calculation website provided by NexCO here.

 The website is in Japanese,but what you can do on the site is by choosing prefecture and click the entering toll name,click on entering toll option, and click another prefecture if you travel outside the prefecture and click on the destination toll name or click destination toll name within the same prefecture and click on destination toll option and click “search” and it will show how much it would cost to use the Inter Change (Toll road), and it will tell you the estimated travel time.

 The website itself has all the traffic information from congestion,road block,road work,accidents etc.. and the website is very useful for travelers.

 This website covers all prefectures in Japan for Japanese version of website,and English version of the website cover only western Japan side.

 Therefore, Nexco website has English version of it (You can click on “English” button on top corner), but its functionality is very limited.

 I was curious if America has similar website like this;the website that cover all 50 states information and, you can look up toll cost,traffic information from accidents to congestion,roadwork schedule etc.. by clicking state and toll name etc so you know how much it would cost along with added information beforehand.

 I did not find similar website to the one we have in Japan. It seems individual state has their own website for the purpose.

 I am not sure if it is because using the interstate highways in the states is free of charge, and you can travel from one state to another without toll fee most of the time unless you will plan to use specific areas unlike Japan.

Waiting for my human sister and mom coming out from da bathroom..

 The Japanese service area also offer food court showcasing the dish they are known for but most service area offer Katsu curry,which is thin pork cutlet breaded and deep fried (Katsu) is placed on top of Japanese curry rice.

 That is the dish I loved so much since childhood,and I had to have it there. I enjoyed Katsu curry at the one of service area’s food court.

 The service area is built about 1 hour drive apart each other, and the building has bathrooms as well.

 You cannot take your furry furriends inside the building or to the bathroom,but some service areas have areas for k9 travelers to stop by; mini dog run area.

 On our way back home from Nagano prefecture, one of the service area we stopped at had the dog run area.

Dog run at the service area..

 At the entrance the rules to use the dog run are posted on the sign.

 It says…

” This area is leash free zone, and for you to enjoy this area safely,please follow the rules to use this area”

** No aggressive dogs

** No female dogs in heat

** No dogs with contagious disease

** People without dogs are not allowed to be inside.Only people with dogs allowed to enter

** No small kids allowed to enter unless they are with their parents

** Please supervise your dogs as well as other dog’s activity

** When dog fight occur, please deal the situation with your safety in mind. Also, for owners with other dogs not in the fights,please try to control your dogs not to join in the fight and please cooperate to help the situation to calm down

** Please do not litter and,pick up after your dogs

** Please cooperate to improve the manners

 I have never visited dog park in the states,but are the rules similar to the one I saw in the dog run area at the service area?

 It is nice to remind people to pick up dog’s poop, and not leaving them behind on the ground.

 Sometimes, when we travel to my mother in law state, I find that dog’s rest area is covered with unclaimed poop and, you really have to watch out the step or you will get stinky foot..

 The area is separated with size of dogs;small dogs,large dogs etc.. and some service area got big park where you can take dog pout for short stroll around on leash.

Cute Golden Retriever ready to be back on car ride!

Enjoy reading up all the doggy news on the ground..

I still want to enjoy da dog runs,mom..

Hi! We are out from da doggy run.Pet me,pet me..

Hmm…. I love to be pet!

We are heading to da park behind da service area building..

Look at us, good heel

Pausing for da camera..

 The Nagano prefecture is located just right above
Aichi prefecture our parrents and my sister’s family live in.

 Nagano prefecture is
in the main island “Honshu”,and it is famous for shinshu soba noodle,
Matsumoto castle, Zenkou ji (temple), and also it was the prefecture
1998 winter Olympic was hold.

 They are also famous for Apples.

 You can find the Japan map at website here. Look for number 18. That is Nagano prefecture,where we took a family trip to.

 Look number 23.That is Aichi prefecture,where I grew up and where my parents and my sister live.

 By car, it took us about 4 hours one way to get to our first even in Nagano prefecture “Apple picking”.

Hara Ringo En (Hara apple field)..

 It was very chilly sunny morning in Nagano prefecture, but we all had fun there.

 I have many things to write/show about the apple picking next time.

 Stay tuned!

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Feb 17, 2013 | 0 | Uncategorized

Palette’s winter treats diary;February 14th,2013

 For Palette, last month was not so exciting month for her favorite activity of the day;walkie.

 It was because we had more rainy days than she wish to have,and she had less walkie days because of that.

 During January, we had many rainy days, one foggy day, and a few snowy days.

 When we had sunny days, Palette was very excited. Especially she sees me trying to wear the treats bag around my waist.

 On the cue “Get the leash”, she disappeared from my sight and came back with her leash in her mouth,going down the stairs to bring the leash to me.

 I could tell she was very very excited knowing she will be out for the walkie.

 Her little nub was going 200mph side to side, and without me telling her,she came right up to me and stay still so I can hook her leash onto her collar.

 Then,she proceeds to sit-stay in front of the entrance door when I opened the door slowly and we were out for the walkie.

 Going for a walk on sunny days,enjoying scenery,feeling fresh air is quite nice. Palette gets to read up all the missed doggy news on the ground and so excited when she sees squirrels running across the street playing “catch me if you can” game with other squirrels.

 Of course, when she sees them playing the game, she wanted to be counted and she goes up to them with brisk walk but squirrels ran away from her. She simply wanted to say “hi” and ask them to let her join in the game but she never got a chance to.

 One day, when she was trying to talk to the big squirrel buddies playing games, of course, those buddies ran away from her,but two guys witnessed how her conversation with squirrels buddies went and they called her “Hey,squirrel dogs”.

 If you know Palette, she loves people. She loves to be pet and cannot get enough of it. As soon as she hears them talking to her, her ears perked up and smiled at them and took me to greet those guys who was working on neighbor’s tree.

 One of the guys came down to the ground,and immediately, she went to him with her back pressing against him asking for being pet with wiggling butt with her ears hold.

 Her butt wagging exercise time

 She can wiggle so well that our lady vet cannot help but saying “So cute!”

 Palette knows she gets attention with her cute butt wagging wiggle gesture

 Once the guy stops petting, she pushed her body against him or should I say bumped her body onto him as if to nudge him to keep going.

 She had a great time.

 Palette enjoys walkie itself, but I think she loves walkie more if she got to meet new people and furriends.

 How about your dogs?

 When Palette and I go for walkie longer distance, I let her rest a bit after letting her enjoy her favorite cool down treats.

 She usually rest on her favorite cool bed, but sometimes, tummy rub bugs get into her mind, and she comes right up to me and roll onto the carpet and shows me her tummy as if to say “tummy rubs please!”.

 When she does that, can you resist and say “No”?

 I gave her some tummy rubs, and she started to closing her eyes,and almost going to fall asleep and .. here comes “beep,beep,beep..” the sound of truck backing up into neighbor’s driveway.

 Palette woke up right away,ran to top of the stairs,and started woofing at the truck. She is quite sensitive to the truck backing beeping sound.I am not sure if it is because she learned that the sound of truck backing equal to boxful of treats that UPS/FedEx guys bring?

 When the truck was gone, she then walked into our bed room slowly as if she was so disappointed that the truck did not drop by us, and went under the bed and she decided to napping before breakfast.

I be napping until meal time..

 Tired dog is happy dog I agree with that.

  Even after the longer distance walkie time, if she was up to, she sometimes bring me the Frisbee and asked to play with a bit.

 She picks up her favorite Frisbee disc and bring it to me, and tossed it over to me so we played a little bit of Frisbee plus tug play before breakfast.

Lets play tug game!

See if you win or me!

 Sometimes,I sit on the carpet to play tug with her and you will be surprised to know how strong she is. With her little body, she got quite power to pull!

 She sometimes go “Grr” while tug playing and, tries to win the tug and pull,and I pull it back and she gets so much fun.

 However, she does not like when I simply forfeit the tug game after a few tug between us, and let her win

 She goes “Why?You are not playing hard enough and toss the Frisbee back to me to tug again.”

 As her name suggests, I think she got lots of personality in one little body

 When meal times come, no matter how tired she looked when resting, she always come to the kitchen, so excited, and enjoys her meal every bite of it.

 She says her life is good.

 Now, I will pass a pen to Palette to write her diary here.

February 14th,2013

 Last month was not so fun month when it comes to walkie time because we got many rainy days and less walkie time.

 However, I found that a sunny day after rainy day, all da daily doggy news on da ground smell so different and I had to sniff out very thoroughly as we walk.

 Da walkie took longer than it would have been but, reading da daily doggy news thoroughly so I would not miss anything is very important and, I took da reading very seriously.

 One evening, when mom and I walked out from da house, it was very foggy as if TV screen set during da Halloween season. It was spooky,did not see well,and I needed a moment to think what was happening.

 I took a quick potty time and right back in.

 As you know,mom is da boss at da Yassy’s Gourmet Dog Kitchen,and she needed to get a lot of stuff from vendors last month, and we had UPS/FedEx guys visited us quite often with boxes.

 If you know me, I am a great security guard making sure our yard is free from strangers.

 One day, UPS guy came with a box and I was so happy so, I greeted him.”Woof,woof,woof! (translation:Hey,come over here! Is it for me?)”

 When the guy left, I was very excited trying to sniff out what are in it.

 For some reasons, I could not tell what was in it. But,I was very very interested in witnessing when mom opened the box. I stood with stubby hind paws and watched at the box so intense to find out what was inside the box.

 Inside was tote bag,bone shape magnet with mom’s website address on etc.. and I have to tell you that I was so disappointed not being able to find the chews in there.

 I thought that all those UPS/FedEx guys bring tweats all da time,but I was wrong.

 With these boxes,I was not interested.

 In fact, I was so disappointed, I walked away from mom and decided to nap under da bed.

 People tell me I was da luckiest Corgi in da world because I got to taste test mom’s fresh baked tweats to make sure all batch is delicious enough for other furriends.

 I love my job; to be k9 executive chef for mom.

 Sundays are often times Yassy’s Gourmet Dog Kitchen’s baking marathon time

 When I see her preparing for da baking,I get very excited already dreaming about biscuits or Jerky, and I stay still near the kitchen and follow mom’s every move with my eyes.

 I never let her out of my sight for da sake of taste test nibble,lol.

 When mom set da timer, I then decided to stay in da kitchen,babysitting da oven or should I say staring at da oven because I know that when it beeps,it is da time to get da yummy out from da oven and need to woof at mom.

 Last month, there was a few occasions where mom was still up making yummy at past 1am. Latest finished time in last month was 2am.

 See? Mom works hard trying to make yummy tweats for everypawdy with love. When mom is still up, I am up as well,but I don’t mind.I can still take a nap until taste test time plus I can sleep in next day

 During last month alone, mom saw 2 chicken tweats voluntary recall incident.

 I am not scared to try tweats from mom though, because she checks tweats for me,making sure what I get is safe stuff to enjoy.

 In case you have not heard yet, Purina voluntarily recalled made in China Jerky “Waggin’ Train” and “Canyon Creek Ranch” on Jan 9th due to trace amount of antibiotic in the products.

 Also,Hartz chicken chews and Hartz pork skin roll
wrapped with chicken (Oinkies) was recalled due to trace amount of antibiotic was
found in the treats.

 You can read more information on FDA issued Hartz treat recall news at the PR Newswire link here.

 In China, it is allowed to give antibiotic to chicken but not in the states the purina website article says.

 Some dog treats companies choose to process treats in China,probably because they can make treats at lower cost, but they also should know that each country has its own rules as to how to raise live stocks and it can be different one country from the another. The chicken in China and chicken in the states are not raised equal standard on feed,vaccination and everything else.

 In Japan, I could crack an raw egg over hot steamy rice with dash of soy sauce or we could use raw fresh cracked egg as dipper for sukiyaki dish, and even though I had raw eggs that way back home in Japan, I was fine health wise.

 However, when me and my father tried to make Sukiyaki dish for my husband and his family, it raised concern. I was told then that, in the states, raw egg is considered dangerous and, I cannot do that anymore.

 Eating habit in Japan and the states difference is probably either freshness; Japan is smaller country than the states and eggs might not need to travel as far as eggs in the state might have to, or might be issue of difference of the standard in raising chicken, or maybe simply different ideas on eating raw eggs.

 To read more on the recall article, please click here

 For long time, made in China Jerky made us “dogs” ill,and against those made in China Chicken Jerky treats,FDA issued warning over and over again as the numbers of ill furry furriends increased.

 If you had seen the article on chicken jerky treats made in china and sick dogs, you would have noticed that despite the fact there were repeated warning against the treats, many retail stores did not take the treats off the shelves right away.

 Therefore, I wonder if those who had not notice made in China Jerky warning might have bought the treats for their dogs even after the warning news broke out,and ultimately increased the sick dog’s number.

 The company states that the residue of antibiotic in the treats does not pose the risk for dog’s health but, there are already many sick dogs with made in China Chicken Jerky and I do not know how they can still say safe to feed to their dogs.Please tell your mom and dad to be aware of the made in China treats.

 Some retail stores offer made in China duck treats, made in China rabbit treats, and some website do not show origin of the country;where the treats were made,and they love to use the buzz words such as “premium”,”high quality” etc…

 On the talk of treats recall story, back in April 2012, made in China sweet potato dog treats were also recalled as well. Recall is not just about chicken treats made in China.

 To read more on sweet potato dog treats recall news at north country gazette website,please click here.

 Oh, I have to tell you that we got a few snowy days too! I was very happy.It did not snow as much as it used to in the past but I enjoyed it.

 Sadly,it melted quickly and I did not get to enjoy as much as I wish to but that is ok.I will wait for the next snow day.

Sniff,sniff… Is this mom’s foot print??

 Now, do you hide your tweats as snack for later?

 One day, mom started hearing *lick,lick,lick* sound from my bed.Mom thought that I must be chewing paws although she did not think of anything she fed to her that would makes me itchy.

 Therefore,mom turned the light on, and here I was chewing mid night snack…

 Can you guess what it was?

 It was a Woofy stick (bully sticks)!

 Mom thought I ate them all,and did not imagine I put it in da den den but yes, you guessed it, I saved it for later and put it on the place that mom did not see

 She has no idea where it was, but I enjoyed it and then fell asleep

 Anyhow, the cool down treats mom made this time is frozen papaya yuca yogurt treats.

 I like Papaya! When mom makes cool down treats, I will
be right there in the kitchen waiting for the taste test. Sometimes, I get to taste unfrozen cool down treats but sometimes, I get to taste test ingredient itself before mom makes da tweats.

 This time, I got to taste test ingredient itself.

Hmm… Papaya! Yum!

 Mom thought I simply would sniff at it but nope,I will take a bite of it!
 It was so yummy! I love tropical fruits like this,

 Did you know that papaya is the known fruits to aid digestion with enzyme found in papaya called “Papin” and some dog’s digestive aid products contain “papin”.


 Unripe papaya is often used in Thai cuisine and papaya salad is popular Thai dish using unripe papaya.

 You can find the recipe of papaya salad in the previous entry titled “Thai cooking: Papaya salad” here.

What is dad? I donno if I Like it..


 Do you know what Yuca is?

 Yuca is a root vegetable and probably most often used in south American cuisine such as Cuban dishes or Mexican dishes.

 This is anti-inflammatory vegetable and some company use yuca extract for joint health supplement.

 Some people make the tea out of it,by steeping them,too.

 Yuca is also known as “cassava” and you can find them at the frozen item section as well.

 The papaya was very tasty and unfrozen papaya yuca yogurt puree was tasty,too! I cannot wait till I get to have frozen one!


Frozen papaya yuca yogurt treats..

Here is how you can make Frozen papaya yuca yogurt treats.

 1.  To the mixer, add 10 oz peeled,seeded papaya chopped, 4.5 oz yuca peeled and steamed and mashed, and 10 oz of Stonyfield organic
plain yogurt and puree them.

 5. Pour those onto ice cube tray and freeze them

yield; 16 block of frozen treats

** Frozen papaya yuca yogurt treats whole amount is roughly
about 521 kcal (you can see more detail at
website here ).So, each ice cube given is about 33 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.

** Nutrition profile for this treat was made using “cassava” (Yuca’s another name)

I do not have Arthritis but,I have limping history so, mom wonders if adding yuca this way can help for da healthy joint to some degree.

I want one! I want one!

*Wet nose alert!*

Hmm…. Good!

 I really really really really liked da tweats!

 You should ask your mom to make one for you!

Feb 14, 2013 | 0 | Uncategorized

Raw feeding 911 Part 20: Feeding liver

 It has been 6 years since the day I first handed out raw diet menu to Palette and, I still feel like it was yesterday.

 Time flies.

 Over the 6 years, I have learned a lot about raw feeding, and also started noticing common problems people might encounter when they start feeding raw diet menu to their dogs even though some of those popular problems in the course of raw feeding did not apply to Palette too much though.

 One of the common questions that I see people asking is about feeding liver.

 With Palette, she did not turned her nose up for liver most of the time but I remember that she had problem with pork liver until she gets used to it.

 By then, I already started noticing what methods would work to get her interested in the food in the question, and I did not have much struggles there. However, for some, feeding liver seems to be the one little obstacles for some time.

 Therefore, in this entry, I thought I would like to share the tips and tricks for feeding the liver.

Salmon soup step 1 liver


 For starter,in Palette’s case, she had problem with pork liver and what worked for her was simply liver bits in the doggy bowl and pour over lightly beaten raw egg and she gobbled it up.

 Often times, quick searing or pouring lightly beaten egg over the liver worked to get her used to the flavor of the liver.

 I think when dogs have hard time enjoying liver, I think they have problem with  flavor of the protein source, or texture or smell of the food and you could tweak those points to see if any of the methods would help.

Health benefit of feeding liver..

 Since liver is the super food packed with nutrition, it is the one menu you would really want to include in your dog’s diet. Especially beef liver is known to have wide variety of nutrient.

 Beef liver ,for example, is great source of zinc,Vitamin B12,Vitamin A, Copper,Iron,folate,riboflavin,Vitamin B6,selenium, protein,niacin,pantothenic acids,and phosphorus.

 Here is the raw beef liver nutrition profile from website. If you look at the nutrient balance indicator,you can see that the liver has quite wide variety of nutrient in it.

 Liver has great health benefit on its own although liver contains Vitamin A that is fat soluble vitamins that gets stored if not used by the body. Because of the fat soluble Vitamin A in the liver, you do not want to over-feed them just because you hear that liver is good for your dog’s health, but they are great menu to add in your dog’s diet.

 Vitamin A can be obtained from vegetable or fruits such as carrots, and body convert the beta carotene into Vitamin A. In this case, the body only convert beta carotene into Vitamin A when the body needs it.

 You may think that if the dog can get Vitamin A from fruits and vegetables, they could get Vitamin A from fruits and vegetables, and you could omit liver if dogs did not like it.

 However, when you think about it, fruits and vegetables are less nutrient dense menu for dogs compared to liver.Plus, dogs have to convert the beta carotene to Vitamin A to make it available in their body.

 Therefore, they would rather do better using the Vitamin A they get straight from animal protein source such as liver.

 Only Vitamin A from animal source; fat soluble vitamin, get stored in the body when body did not use up all the vitamin A they got.

 As I understand it, optimum Vitamin A amount for dogs is 100 IU-200 IU per kg of body weight.

 That means, Palette is 31 lb,which is 15kg. Therefore, her optimum Vitamin A amount per day is 1,500IU to 3,000IU per day.

 Here is conversion website to convert pounds to kilograms.

 Enter your dog’s weight and click on convert button, and that will tell you how many kilograms your dog is.

10 tricks you can try to feed liver to your dogs..

 Below is 10 tricks you can try and see if your dog’s reaction toward the liver can change

1. Cut the liver into daily portion and put them in the ice cube tray and freeze it,a.k.a. liversicle



** By using ice cube tray to freeze individual liver bits, the liver does not get stick each other so,you can take one piece out to feed it.

 If amount of liver size fits, you could use the 7 day pill organizer that has day of the week printed on just like this one here at 4imprintusa website.That way, it does not take space in your freezer and easy to pull out frozen liversicle when needed.
 If you have large number of liver bits, you can certainly use baking sheet as well

2. Make eggsicle



** Crack an egg in a bowl,and whisk the egg to blend evenly and pour the egg over sliced liver in the ice cube tray and freeze it and serve

1 large egg makes 6 cubes

3. Make liver meatball

a; Grind favorite meat in the food processor and roll it to golf ball size and stuff it with sliver of liver and serve fresh or frozen

b; Grind favorite meat in the food processor along with liver and roll it into golf ball size and serve fresh or frozen.

** For method <a> and <b>,it does not have to be boneless meat only.You can use ground tripe (make sure to wear the glove so the smell would not linger on your finger),or animal heart such as beef heart,or if your dogs love fish, you can grind the fillet or whole fish with bone along with the liver and serve it as raw or frozen meatball.

If you make the meatball with whole sardine etc (bone-in fish), you do not want to cook the fish meatball though.

chicken meatball raw

Raw chicken -liver meatball..

c; Make oven baked liver meatball with k9 Hollandaise sauce.

** Sometimes, cooking helps the food makes appealing to them.

Chicken meat ball with K9 hollandaise sauce

Chicken meatball with K9 Hollandaise sauce..

<Chicken meatball>

Ingredients for Chicken meatball:

4 oz chicken tender
1 oz beef liver
1/4 tsp ground Parmesan cheese

** I have used Palette’s dinner menu on that day:chicken tender and beef liver, but you can use other meat and liver you were planning to serve on that day

 Her menu on that day was planned chicken tender 4 oz, beef liver 1 oz for dinner. I was going to feed boneless beef, but it was out.Therefore, I gave her chicken tender we had in our freezer.

 She had lamb breast (unfrenched lamb rib) 5 oz for breakfast, totaling 10 oz feeding amount t
hat day.

 Her daily feeding amount is about 10-12 oz a day.

 Use the amount of meat scheduled to feed along with the liver amount planned to feed.

1. Grind 4 oz chicken tender along with beef liver 1 oz in the food processor and add1/4 tsp ground parmesan cheese

2. Roll them into golf ball size meat ball and place them onto the nonstick foil line baking sheet and bake them at 425F oven for 15 minutes

3. Make K9 Hollandaise sauce (optional), and drizzle it over the meat ball,garnish with chopped Italian parsley and serve

Makes; 3 meatballs

 The Chicken meatball with k9 Hollandaise sauce whole recipe is 388kcal,and 1 meatball is about 129 kcal. You can look up nutrition profile at website here.

 If you were going to make this meatball outside the regular feeding, consider the kcal each meatball can add to your dog’s regular menu.

<K9 Hollandaise sauce>

k9 hollandaise sauce

K9 Hollandaise sauce..

Ingredient for K9 Hollandaise sauce: 1 Egg yolk

1. Place double boiler on the stove top, and let the water come to boil

2. Turn the heat down to the simmer

3. In the bowl, put one egg yolk,1/2 tbs cold water and whisk till a little bit frothy on top off heat

4. Place the bowl over top double boiler and keep whisking for 2-4 minutes until color turns to pale yellow and gets thicken.

** The Hollandaise sauce gets volume up as you whisk over the double boiler

4. Grind freeze dried/dehydrated liver treats, and sprinkle them over the meal as topper

 Currently, Yassy’s Gourmet Dog Kitchen carry freeze dried liver treats with variety choice of beef liver or duck liver. You can find them under gourmet dehydrated dog treats category here.

 You can also make your own dehydrated liver treats as well.

5. Give Freeze dried/dehydrated liver as is snack or use it in the training time

 Currently, Yassy’s Gourmet Dog Kitchen
carry freeze dried liver treats with variety choice of beef liver or
duck liver. You can find them under gourmet dehydrated dog treats
category here.

 You can also make your own dehydrated liver treats as well.

6. Switch supplier you get the liver from

** Sometimes, switching the source can change the reaction you get from dog for the food you are trying to feed

7. Switch protein source

** Sometimes, dog likes specific type of liver but not others. Example, they might eat beef liver but not pork liver. You can always switch the protein source and see if switching can help them interested in the liver you would like to feed

8. Make Mini Fritata Muffin

Mini Fritata muffin

Mini Fritata Muffin..

Ingredient for Mini Fritata Muffin;

2       eggs
1 oz  beef liver
1/2 tsp heavy cream

1. In the bowl,crack 2 eggs and whisk to blend evenly and add 1/2 tsp heavy cream, chopped 1 oz beef liver and stir

2. In the mini muffin baking pan, put muffin cup and pour about 2 tbs each in the cup,pour water into empty muffin cup area about 1/4″ depth to prevent them from scorching.

** You can use this “filling empty muffin tin area with bit of water” trick to make your own muffin too. It prevents them from scorching and also, it gives steaming effect so, it bakes up fluffy,moist muffins. Just do not fill the empty muffin tin area with too much water.

** If you have a party, you could make Fritata muffin for your guests too. Use 2 eggs, 1/4C heavy cream and adjust seasoning and vegetables.It will be cute on the plate.
3. Bake them at 425F oven for 9 minutes

** Because of little addition of heavy cream, the Fritata muffin gets puffed up a little on top and comes out cute

** If you like, you can sprinkle chopped Flat leaf Italian Parsley and serve

Makes; 6 Mini Fritata Muffin

 The Mini Fritata muffin
whole recipe is 186kcal,and 1 Fritata muffin is about 31 kcal. You can look
up nutrition profile at website here.

 If you were going to make this Mini Fritata muffin outside the regular feeding, consider the kcal each Mini Fritata muffin can add to your dog’s regular menu.

9. Quick sear on one side to bring the aroma of the  liver

** Sometimes, aroma of the food can help enticing your dogs to try it

10. Make liver soup

Put the chunk of liver in the doggy bowl and pour screaming hot water over it about 2-3 tbs to make liver soup. Let it cool down a bit and serve.

 I hope these tricks would help your dogs interested in the liver.

 Here are some of behind the scene pictures and videos. You can tell how much Palette enjoyed my experiment of the liver meals.

Palette and chicken meatball 4

Look at Dat!!

Palette and chicken meatball 1

Ohhh! Howling good smell!!

Palette and chicken meatball 5

Sample?? Drooling!

It really IS mine!

It is in MY bowl!!

Wet nose alert!!

 Palette and chicken meatball

Got it! Nommy!

Mini Fritata muffin Palette 1

Wet nose Alert for Mini Fritata Muffin!

Palette and Chicken meatball and Mini Fritata muffin

If you are a blog subscriber,please click here to watch the video.

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Feb 12, 2013 | 0 | Dog Diet

Lemon cake with toasted coconut cake

 As Valentine’s Day comes around the
corner, chocolate becomes the king of sweets. Many stores sells
chocolates in fancy
decorated box or cute heart shaped containers with or without cute stuffed animals.

 As a kid, I remember visiting grocery stores near our house every
February for the special Valentine’s Day, trying to find the best
possible chocolate for my father and for a boy I liked.

 In Japan, as I wrote in the previous entry titled “Loves in the Air!! Valentine’s Day in Japan“,Valentine’s day is “the Confession” day for women if she was single.

 Woman gives chocolate to a man she likes, and tell him that she is in love with

 If she has a boyfriend, then the day becomes the day to show him she loves him very much.

 On the Valentine’s day, men do not give anything to women,and
he does not give answer “Yes,I will go out with you” or “I am sorry.I
don’t feel the same way as you do”  to her as well when a single lady gave
him a box of chocolate to him.

In Japan,there is a day called “White Day”. It is
the day men give women “yes” or “No” answer;to whom he got chocolate
from. It is on the exactly one month away:March 14th.

 This tradition is actually still short history because it started in 1980’s. But it
is a day that guy who has received “Ho n me i chocolate” gives woman
candy (marshmallow,cookies,and other kind of candies) and answer “yes” or

 If men got “Gi ri Chocolate” then,it is a day
to return the favor and nothing deep meaning in the candies the male
workers give female workers.Simply meaning “Thank you for the Giri

When woman gives chocolates on Valentine’s
Day,sometimes, those chocolate comes with hand-knit sweater or  muffler
man to confess her love to him. Hand-knitted stuff was very popular
items to give with chocolate when I was a student. I saw girls knitting
during the break for special someone.

 These chocolates given to special someone in love are categorized as “Ho n
me i chocolate”.What it means is that it is a chocolate to confess

 The chocolates given to other men such as
father,male workmates, male boss are categorized as “Gi-ri chocolate”.
It is translated ” Obligation Chocolate”. It has no meaning of “I am in
love with you” but it just became tradition in Japan.

 Anyone can
buy a box of chocolates, or can take you to a fancy restaurant for special meal
created by restaurants’ chefs for the special day and, those romantic dinner dates are great.

 However, if you make something for your loved ones,
even if you make something simple, it has lots of feeling in there, and
becomes quite personal and it has a lot more meaning to it.

 I am sure you
can put a huge smile on your loved one with something special made by

 This year, I have made “Lemon cake with toasted coconut” for my husband’s birthday. The filling I made for the cake is citrus pastry cream enhanced with Italian lemon liqueur called “Limoncello“, and
they are mixed with canned fruits and,it went really good with the sponge that got hint of lemon,toasted coconut flakes, and coffee liqueur “kahula” enhanced mocha chocolate sauce on the bottom.

 The flavor coming from espresso powder with coffee liqueur “kahula” plus dark chocolate made really good chocolate sauce that can balance out with sweeter sponge cake. I thought it came out really great, so I would share the recipe with you.

 My husband especially loved the citrus pastry cream mixed with canned fruits.He liked it a lot.

When you look at the picture of the cake below,it might look a little intimidating at first glance, but it is not that hard
to make one. It may take longer time to prepare each component that goes in to the plate but each component itself is not that hard.

I have made the cake for my husband’s birthday but I think it is romantic enough desert for the valentine’s day meal desert.

Lemon cake with toasted coconut flakes..

Ingredients for citrus pastry cream mixed with canned fruits;

2 1/4C milk
1/2C white sugar
4 egg yolks
1/2C unbleached all purpose flour
1.5 tbs corn starch
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 tsp limoncello (Italian lemon liqueur)*
2 oz drained,rough chopped canned sliced peach
2 oz drained,rough chopped mandarin orange

* If you did not have limoncello, add lemon extract along with freshly grated lemon zest to bump up the lemon flavor in the cake

Ingredients for toasted coconut flakes;

1/2 C sweetened coconut flakes
1/2 C unsweetened coconut flakes (Recommends Bob’s red mill)

Ingredients for Mocha chocolate sauce;

1/3 C bitter sweet chocolate chips 60% cacao
1/2 tbs softened butter
1.5 tsp espresso powder
1.5 tsp Dutch processed cocoa powder
1 tbs coffee liqueur “Kahula”
4 tsp heavy cream
1 tsp milk

Ingredients for lemon whipped cream;

1/2 C heavy cream
2 tsp white sugar
zest from fresh lemon about 1/8 tsp
1/2 tsp Italian lemon liqueur “limoncello”*

* If you did not have limoncello, add lemon extract along with freshly grated lemon zest to bump up the lemon flavor in the cake

Ingredients for Lemon cake;

1 C unbleached all purpose flour
5/8C white sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbs butter
4 eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon extract
freshly grated lemon zest about 1/8 tsp,plus some for garnish
4 maraschino cherries

<Citrus pastry cream mixed with canned fruits>

1. In the sauce pan, add 2 1/4C milk and let it come to luke-warm temperature on medium low heat

2. In the medium size ball, add 1/2C white sugar, 4 egg yolks and stir until the color gets pale white

3. On another bowl, place kitchen sieve and pour 1/2C unbleached all purpose flour and 1.5 tbs corn starch and shift it through

4. To the sugar-egg mixture, add shifted flour small amount at a time and stir gently

5. On the bowl that contains egg yolk-sugar-flour, pour luke-warm milk small amount at a time
and keep stirring gently until all the milk is added to the egg mixture

** This step is called “tempering eggs”. This method is often used to make custard,pastry cream,puddings etc..

What is tempering eggs?

 Tempering eggs means that you would add luke warm liquid at slow speed,small amount at a time to raise the beaten egg/egg mixture temperature higher without cooking the eggs

 When liquid is piping hot temperature,it would result in cooking eggs so,you would want to make sure that the liquid is not too hot,enough to cook the egg

 When you are adding liquid to to the egg mixture,you want to keep whisking the egg so the temperature is evenly distributed,and eggs would not cook

6. Put the milk-flour-sugar-egg yolk-corn starch mixture back to the
sauce pan and put it back on stove and stir/whisk constantly scraping off the
bottom of the pan so it would not scorch on medium heat until pastry
cream gets thickened up and start bubbling gently

** For this, whisker works better than wooden spoon

7. Cook 1 minutes or so more and take it off from the heat and add 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 1.5 tsp limoncello and stir

8. Place a kitchen sieve on top of the container and pour the pastry cream through them to make sure no lumps are in the pastry cream

9. Cover the surface with plastic wrap so it would
not form the skin on top of the cream

10. Let it cool down to room temperature

11. Once the cream gets cooled down, pour 1C citrus pastry cream into small bowl to make the filling and you can keep the rest for other things.

** I like to smear pastry cream on toast when I have leftover cream,but you can also freeze them if you like.

12.To the 1C citrus pastry cream, add drained and rough chopped mixture of canned fruits (2 oz canned sliced peach rough chopped, 2 oz mandarin orange chopped),and keep in the fridge

<Toasted coconut flakes>

1. In the skillet, add 1/2C sweetened coconut flakes and 1/2 C unsweetened coconut flakes

2. Put them on medium high heat and keep stirring until it gets fragrant and toasted

<Mocha Chocolate sauce>

1. In the bottom of double boiler,pour about 1″ or so depth of water and let it come to boil and turn the heat down to simmer

2. On top of the double boiler, add 1/3C Bittersweet chocolate chip 60% cacao and stir and gently melt it over the boiler

3. Add 1/2 tbs softened butter and stir

4. In the small container, mix 1.5 tsp espresso powder, Dutch processed cocoa powder, and 1 tbs coffee liqueur “Kahula” and mix well

5. Add the espresso powder mixture into the chocolate mix and stir

6. Add 4 tsp heavy cream, 1 tsp Milk and stir,taste it and adjust the taste

<Lemon whipped cream>

1. In the bowl,pour 1/2C heavy cream,2 tsp white sugar and whisk till stiff peak

2. Add 1/8 tsp freshly grated zest of lemon,1/2 tsp limoncello (Italian lemon liqueur) and mix and store in the fridge

<Lemon cake>

1. Line the 8″ x 8″ square baking pan with foil or non stick spray

2. preheat the oven at 350F

3. Over a bowl, place kitchen sieve and pour 1C unbleached all purpose flour,1 tsp baking powder and shift through

4. Melt the 2 tbs butter

5.  In another bowl, place the kitchen sieve and shift through 5/8C white sugar, and add 1 egg and start beating the egg and sugar and add 1 egg at a time (totaling 4 whole eggs) at a time

6. When the mixture gets whiten in color and fluffy,and drip down to the bowl like ribbon when you stop the mixer and lift it up, it is time to add the shifted flour and baking powder small amount at a time

7. Add flour mixture small amount at a time and stir gently with wooden spoon

** As a kid, when my mother and I were making sponge, she taught me to move the wooden spoon as if you will draw the number “11” and then, move the wooden spoon gently as if you will draw circle, about a few times or till added flour gets evenly mixed well

8. Add melted butter,1/2 tsp vanilla extract,1/2 tsp lemon extract,freshly grated lemon zest about 1/8 tsp and stir

9. Pour the batter into the baking pan and place kitchen towel on top of the counter and gently toss the pan from about 4″-5″ height about 10 times to get the air bubbles in the batter gets out

10. Bake about 25-35 minutes or until toothpicks inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean

11. When baked, remove it from the pan and let it cool down

Makes: 8″ x 8″ sponge

<How to assemble>

1. Cut the cake into half to make 4″ x 8″ cake

2. Trim the edge of the cake

3. Cut the sheet of cake into half the width of sheet cake to make 4 layers cake

4. Place a plate and drizzle mocha chocolate sauce on the plate,

5. On another plate, place one bottom layer of the cake

6. Brush the cake with Italian lemon liqueur limoncello

7. pour some citrus pastry cream mixed with canned fruits

8. Place 2nd layer of the cake and brush the layer with another limoncello,and pour some citrus pastry cream mixed with canned fruits

9. Place 3rd layer of the cake and brush the cake with limoncello, pour some citrus pastry cream mixed with canned fruits

10. Place the 4th layer of the cake and brush it with limoncello and smear the top with lemon whipped cream

11. Cut the cake into 4 cakes to make 2″ x 4″ cake

12. Place one 4 layer cake on top of the plate you have drizzled mocha chocolate sauce on the bottom

13. Crush some toasted coconut flakes in your hands and sprinkle some on top of the cake

14. Zest the lemon on top of the cake

15. Place 1 maraschino cherry on top

16. Serve

Makes; 4 cakes ( 2″ x 4″ rectangle cake)

** If you had more time to spend in the kitchen, you can make Nutty Mocha chocolate coconut Macaroon,using leftover egg whites from the cake making and serve them along with the cake.

 It will be the nice addition to the plate.

Nutty Mocha chocolate coconut macaroon..

Ingredients for Nutty Mocha Chocolate coconut macaroon;

2           room temperature egg whites
3/4C    rolled oats ground
1/2C     almond toasted,and ground
1/4C     pecan nuts toasted and ground
1.5 oz    Mocha chocolate sauce melted
1/4C     toasted coconut,ground
1 tsp     Kahula (coffee liqueur)
1/8 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3C     white sugar
1. In the bowl, add 3/4 C Rolled oats ground, toasted nut of your choice 3/4C ( I used 1/2C Almond toasted,ground and 1/4C pecan nuts toasted and ground), 1.5 oz Mocha chocolate sauce (recipe above), 1/4C toasted coconut flakes ground, 1 tsp Kahula (coffee liqueur),1/8 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and mix well

2. In the another bowl, add 2 egg whites that are at the room temperature

3. Beat the egg whites gently to foamy and,speed up and keep beating till soft peak

** “Soft peak” means, when you stop the mixer, and lift it up and the egg white tip gets bended to the side

4. Add 1/3C white sugar and keep beating the egg white

5. Once sugar is added, the egg white should become thicker,glossy looking. Keep beating until stiff peaks

** “Stiff peaks” means, when you stop the mixer and lift it up,the tip of the egg white stay standing up straight without being bended.

** For the better result, make sure all the utensils are dry and clean;bowl,whisk etc.. Egg white is very delicate thing, and a little bit of water, yolk etc can effects on beating egg whites

6. Add stiff peak meringue to a bowl that has Chocolate sauce-nut-oats-coconut mix,a little bit at a time and gently fold the egg whites to the nut mixture

7. When everything is combined well, drop them onto the non stick lined baking sheet,1″-2″ apart and bake them at 350F for about 15 to 20 minutes until edge gets brown.

8. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for about 5-10 minutes and peel it off from the baking sheet and cool them completely on the cooling rack.

 Because of ground rolled oats and ground nut and toasted coconut in them, it becomes Macaroons that are crunchy outside,soft inside.

 If you are looking for chewy texture,use the untoasted coconut flakes and don’t grind them, and omit rolled oats.
Makes: 21 cookies


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Feb 10, 2013 | 0 | Uncategorized

Japanese/Chinese cooking: Sweet Sour soy sauce Karaage with sauteed vegetables

 When I was a kid, Japanese version of deep fried chicken dish called “Tori niku no karaage” was most popular kids’ lunch box menu. They are not processed,frozen chicken nugget kind of things. They are made from real chicken with mother’s love.

 Crispy outside,tender inside,and very moist flavorful fried chicken is
always tasty.

 You can find the recipe in the previous entry “Japanese cooking: Tori niku no karaage (deep fried chicken), but as you can see, they are a little different breadding
and it has slightly different flavor to American version of deep fried chicken.

 Of course,it is not everyday meal kind of dish but once in a blue moon, I make them and indulge in the tasty karaage dish.

 When I make them,it makes my
husband and his workmates go “Hmmm.Gooood!”.

 They love our Karaage dish very much. Maybe it makes even more delighted because I do not make them often.

 Now, I wrote that our version of deep fried chicken is a little different from American version. What is the

 For starters,we marinade chicken in the sort of like Teriyaki
seasoning mixture if you will. It is often times soy sauce base marinade.

 Very easy,flavorful,it sure would make
your family go nuts about them.

 One other difference is that, we would coat the marinaded chicken in the potato starch called “Katakuriko”.You can find them at Asian stores,but I usually substitute the potato starch (NOT potato flour) with corn starch and fry them up.

 I came across Potato starch at website here.

 The Tori niku no karaage dish is also the staple dish we get when we go to Chinese restaurants in Japan. They are popular Chinese-Japanese dish also.

 The basic one is served with simply salt and ground  black pepper and you would sprinkle them as you serve and my husband loves those basic dish.

 However, this time, I made the karaage dish with my made-up sauce; sweet sour soy sauce, and it turned out to be a huge hit among our family.

 My husband poured the sauce over to his rice and flavored it up and ate it. He loved the sauce that much.

 Therefore, with this entry, I thought I would share the recipe of ” Sweet sour soy sauce Karaage with sauteed vegetables”.

Sweet sour soy sauce Karaage with sauteed vegetables..

 Ingredients for Karaage marinade;

soy sauce
1/8 sweet onion grated
1/4 Grainy Smith Apple cored and
peeled grated
1 clove of garlic grated
About pinky nail size ginger nub

Ingredients for Karaage;

15 oz wt boneless,skinless chicken thigh cut to bite size pieces
Corn starch (If you could get Kastakuriko, use Katakuriko)
Vegetable oil for frying

Kosher salt
Ground black pepper

Ingredients for sauteed vegetables;

virgin olive oil
1/4 red pepper sliced
1/4 Green pepper
1/2 carrot sliced to stick shape
1/2 sweet onion sliced
Natures Seasons

Ingredients for Sweet sour soy sauce;

3tbs soy sauce
3 tbs rice vinegar
3 tbs white sugar
1 whole Japanese dried hot chile pepper chopped
       (can substitute with pinch of crushed red pepper flakes)
3/4 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

<Karaage Marinade>

 1. In the bowl, add 1/4C soy sauce, 1/8 sweet onion grated, 1/4 Grainy Smith Apple cored and peeled grated,1 clove of garlic grated, about pinky nail size ginger nub grated and mix well


1. Cut 15 oz wt boneless skinless chicken thigh into bite size pieces and put them into the Karaage marinade and mix well so each chicken piece is well coated with the marinade

2. Let the meat marinaded for about 20 minutes
3. In the bowl, pour corn starch and coat the marinaded chicken pieces and fry them in the vegetable oil till golden

4. When fried, set the fried chicken over paper towel lined plate to remove excess oil from the chicken and sprinkle kosher salt and ground black pepper while they are still hot

5. When all chicken are fried, put them in a big bowl and pour about 3 tbs of sweet sour soy sauce and mix thoroughly,quickly and plate them up over sauteed vegetables

6. Garnish with chopped fresh green onion and freshly ground toasted sesame seed, and serve the dish along with hot steamy bowl of white rice

<Sweet sour soy sauce>

1. In the sauce pan, add 3tbs soy sauce, 3 tbs rice vinegar,3 tbs white sugar,1 whole Japanese dried hot chile pepper chopped,3/4 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice, and mix well and let it simmer so sugar can dissolve

Japanese dried hot chile pepper can be found at dried chile section
and, they are very hot.Use small amount.The Japanese chile looks like

Japanese dried hot chile peppers..

** You can substitute Japanese dried hot chile pepper with pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

<Sauteed vegetables>

1. In the skillet, drizzle extra virgin olive oil and sautee 1/4 red pepper sliced, 1/4 Green pepper sliced, 1/2 carrot sliced, 1/2 sweet onion sliced with bit of Morton’s Natures Seasons

Makes: 2 -3 servings


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Feb 05, 2013 | 0 | Uncategorized

Fresh food in the bowl: Palette’s Salmon and lamb menu

 If you follow my blog entries, you would notice that our Corgi “Palette” is on fresh food diet a.k.a. raw diet,and she eats all kinds of stuff.

 She loves the fresh food menu very much. She always get excited wondering what  her meal will be. I do not even need to call her name because she is always right next to me as soon as she hears the sound of me preparing her food mat.

 I, on the other hand, enjoy watching how much she loves her meal and I feel great knowing that I am providing the best menu possible for her for healthy,long,happy life.

 It has been 6 years since her first raw diet menu.

 I remember how nervous I was to hand out the bones to her or how anxious I was wondering about balanced nutrition but here she is, being happy and healthy. I think it was the good decision that we have made to switch her diet to the fresh food.

 As I have been writing in many entries in the past, after switching her diet to the  fresh food diet, I started learning more about overall health topics such as over vaccination, nutrition, along with dog treats,dog food matters and more..

 One of my goals for this blog has always been trying to focus on educating readers by passing all of those information that I have learned over the years and, at the same time, I wanted to raise the awareness of healthy,nutritious fresh food diet for dogs, and encourage people to start trying to add fresh food diet menu in their doggy bowl, or start switching training treats or chews to healthier ones to start with; start  switching what they get throughout the day via a small steps at a time for the sake of dog’s health.

 If one was trying to switch their diet to fresh food diet a.k.a. raw diet like I did for Palette’s, then, I wanted to provide information how I feed her as fresh food diet guide so they can see what it is like to feed fresh food diet to dogs.

 As you know,the good diet is the base of overall health.

 When you go to human doctor, not many doctors would discourage you to
eat fresh food, and they would not push you to include processed food in
our diet. They do not have canned soup or frozen food for you to purchase to bring home to enjoy. They are more likely to tell you to eat fresh food for your over
all health.

 Processed food is convenient and quick and easy for you, but if you were on total processed food diet without fresh food, will you be healthy? Imagine your diet consists of canned soup, frozen food etc only,day in, day out.

 Now, I cannot wrap my head around why so called “Medical expert” for animals should be pushing you or recommending you to feed the process food as opposed to encouraging you to feed fresh food for the overall health.

 I feel that medical expert on  animal field is moving backward in stead of moving  forward focusing more on dog’s health.

 I strongly feel that vet is moving backward on the diet issue for animals especially because all of my cousins and neighbors who I grew up with fed fresh food all the time and, I had an impression back then that it was what dogs eat until I came to the states.

 I also watched the segment in the season 21 finale episode of Amazing race where hounds in Europe (France) were fed raw meat although bones were removed and huge amount of meat was surrounded by some kibble.

 I do not know whether hound dogs in France appeared on the show is always fed without bones (part of me is wondering if contestants had to remove the bones from huge amount of meat to make the task time consuming for the contestants to clear), but it is one thing to prove that feeding raw meat is nothing special in Europe at least.

 Watching the segments, I thought feeding fresh food is nothing out of ordinary at the other parts of the world just like Japan.

 Last time I went back to Japan to see my family back in November 2012, even though I found a few kibble at pet supply store, I found lots of home prepared diet related books there.

 Maybe surprising to some American vets, but there were some books co-authored  by a Japanese vet and a dog nutritionist in Japan about home prepared diet, and it actually encouraged readers to feed fresh food to your dogs.

 I am glad to find that at least some parts of the world, animal doctors are focusing on real overall health and encourage people to feed fresh food.

 Back in Japan,it looked like home-prepared diet seemed to be a big thing at this moment.

 Maybe if vets around the world could have world conference or some sort and share or exchange the views on many things, they could use the conference as the place to learn new things from other countries’ vets and could be more beneficial to dogs, and I also feel they could be more open minded to review many traditional ideas and treatments. They might change how they approach the issue related to dogs’ health.

 You can watch the final episode of Amazing race season 21 at cbs website here. At about 24:36 is where you can watch “chow” task; hounds fed raw meat.

 Raw diet menu for dogs,for example, is unique in a
way that each menu is served fresh, without fillers, and offer quality
of food and, it will leads to good overall health.

 Ultimately, you can tweak the diet menu if problems arise accordingly. That is the virtue of this raw diet method.

 That being said, I would like to start a new series titled “Fresh food in the bowl”, where you get to sneak peek what Palette is eating, and I also would like to get others involved to share what kinds of fresh food they feed to their dogs.

 If you feed fresh food to your dogs (it is fine to have fresh food as topping) as meal or as snack, please share your story with or without pictures or videos.

 Please e-mail us your story with or without pictures or videos of your dog’s fresh food in the bowl moment at

 You may get picked to be appeared on our blog series “Fresh food in the bowl”.

 In this entry, I would like to share Palette’s “Fresh food in the bowl”.

 I think if you feed your dogs raw diet,you can use Palette’s sample meal as example for the feeding.

 In the previous entry titled “Raw feeding 911 Part 16:Feeding fish“,I wrote that Palette is
seafood lover, and she eats all kinds of seafood. I wrote about how I
feed various kinds of fish to her along with meal examples, mercury in
the fish, and canned fish vs raw fish.

 Also, I have written about caution against feeding raw fish to dogs regarding salmon poisoning.

 In case you missed it, here is the thing about fresh never frozen wild salmon and salmon poisoning.

Feeding wild caught fresh salmon,trout,steelhead and other salmonids from Pacific Northwest..

 When you feed fresh wild caught salmon, trout,steelhead and other salmonids
fish, there is one thing you should know about it and be careful about
how you feed them to your dogs.

If you got wild-caught FRESH salmon or trout or steelhead from Pacific Northwest,you need to
them for a few weeks before feeding them to avoid salmon poisoning.

 Cooking the fresh wild caught
salmon/trout/steelhead from Pacific Northwest will kill the parasite
that can cause salmon poisoning, and you do not have to worry about
salmon poisoning from fresh wild caught salmon from Pacific Northwest.

 In the previous entry titled “Raw feeding 911 Part 19:Feeding fish Part 2“, I wrote about fish bones,what fish to feed,what fish to avoid,and in the previous entry titled Raw feeding 911 Part 15: Farm raised fish vs Wild caught fish and Palette’s soft shell crab diary“, you can read more about difference in the farm raised salmon vs wild caught salmon. 

 Palette loves seafood, and you can find lots of information on feeding fish at our blog site.

 Since she is a seafood lover, I will start with one fish menu sneak peak.

 Half fish combo menu is rotated among oily fish such as mackerel, salmon, herring, and sardine along with poultry feet such as chicken feet or duck feet to give her more bone on those days.

 Fish does have bone, but it is very small amount and, she needs more bones in the meal.Therefore, I supplement the fish menu with poultry feet.

 Good thing about poultry feet is that poultry feet is great natural source of glucosamine/chondroitin, and considering Palette’s past limping history, it is a good choice.

 Other half of the meal is whatever planned to feed in the menu list in order,and it is boneless meat along with organ such as liver.

 The week I took the picture of her fish meal combo day, her meal was salmon and lamb. I usually feed the same menu item two times per week and move on to the other menu except organ such as liver or poultry giblet such as gizzard.

 What she got? Here is what she got on fish meal combo day #1.

AM: Salmon fillet, 1 chicken foot

PM: Lamb heart, beef liver

 As you can see, her meal is very simple.

 The amount of food served is roughly around 10 oz to 12 oz per day. I consider her ideal weight is 30 lb since she is a tall corgi (14″ tall; 2″ taller than average Corgi).

 Then,I go by 2 % of ideal weight to calculate her daily amount.

 Calculation goes like this.

 30 x 16 x 0.02= daily feeding amount 9.6 oz (roughly 10 oz)

 With some menu items, it is not likely to be able to cut to the piece into exact amount that I would like to feed as her portion, so her daily amount can vary some.

 To calculate your dog’s daily feeding amount fill the blank below

 ideal weight of dog x 16 x 0.02 for 2 % = daily feeding amount

 If you go by 3% of ideal weight,then fill the blank below

 ideal weight of dog x 16 x 0.03 for 3% = daily feeding amount

 By observing how your dogs do, up and down the percentage of ideal weight.
 Palette’s menu detail goes about 80% meat,10% bone, 10% organ.

 When I have organ other than liver such as kidney, I feed 5% liver, 5% kidney a day but when I have only liver,I feed 10% liver a day.

 I feed her 2 times a day on regular feeding time,and I feed 1 time a day when I feed her big meal once a month.

 If you go by 80 % -10 % -10 % guideline exactly with Palette’s feeding amount, you will get 8 oz boneless meat, 1 oz bone, 1 oz organ, but as you can see, I feed her 2 times a day and when I portion cut her menu, often times, boneless meat is cut to about 4 oz wt, meat with bone such as portion cut chicken etc will be cut to about weighing  around 5 oz to 7 oz, and organ portion gets chopped to about half an ounce and then I bag them in the zip bag and put those in the freezer bag to freeze them.

 With my way, the amount of bone gets up and down depending on what you will feed. When fish meal day, the amount of bones are very low and when I feed neck or ribs as part of her daily menu, the amount of bones in the meal gets higher than fish meal day.

 When she gets salmon,she gets wild caught sockeye salmon, and she really goes crazy about the fish. Oily fish like salmon is rich in omega 3 fatty acids that are good for skin and coat. Also, it is one of those food that can provide “hard to get” Vitamin D. They are great menu to add into your dog’s diet.

 Animal heart is another good menu to add into your dog’s diet menu list because they are usually classified as an “organ”,but for the feeding purpose,they are muscle meat and it is one economical muscle meat protein source you can add as variety in your dog’s diet.

 As you have seen in the previous entry titled “Raw feeding 911 part 11:Heart“, the food that provide Vitamin D are very limited.
Therefore,whether human or for dogs, it is best to keep that in mind and
make sure to have such food as much as possible but not to the extreme.

 Dogs can get Vitamin D by food like heart, oily fish such as
mackerel, salmon, sardine, and herrings, beef liver, egg, and sun light.

 One other thing good about feeding Heart is that,they are good source of Taurine and great
addition to the diet menu. Also heart menu is good for dogs with heart
problems due coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

Animal heart also are nutrition packed food item and, it is very good menu to add to your dog’s diet although you do not want to overdo it.

 With lamb heart, one whole lamb heart weigh about 8 oz and not as big as other animal heart such as Beef heart. However, whole lamb heart is more than Palette needs as fish meal combo menu, I usually cut the lamb heart into two parts and feed the half along with other side of bone-in meal,which happened to be fish menu this week.


Let me sniff at it.

Wet nose alert!

Maybe I want nibbles, not just sniff,sniff

Maybe it is all mine!

 Then, her desert “Chicken feet” menu. It is also her favorite.She loves the crunch


I love chicken feet!

 Here is Palette’s dinner menu;Half lamb heart,beef liver.

Half lamb heart with beef liver..

I love lamb heart..

I already gobbled up beef liver.So good!

It is nice to be fed a little earlier than usual

 Often times, 1 st or 2nd salmon meal day is after grocery shopping
so, one dinner fish meal day, she most likely gets salmon soup topped with 1 chicken foot as dinner. The meal example as followings.

AM: Lamb heart, Pork liver

PM: Salmon soup, 1 chicken foot, and Palette’s favorite cool down treats (Homemade frozen yogurt treats) of the week
 You can
find the egg drop salmon soup recipe in the previous entry titled “Raw feeding 911 Part 16: Feeding fish“.

 I usually put one cube of homemade frozen yogurt treats to her soup bowl to cool the soup down faster.

 She loves Salmon soup very much. Sometimes, I break the fillet into flakes but sometimes, I simply simmer the fillet intact without breaking them up.

 When I runs out the homemade frozen yogurt treats a.k.a. cool down treats,I usually crack an egg on top and stir them up to make it “egg drop salmon soup”.

 When soup is cooled down enough, I place a chicken foot on top of the soup bowl and serve them.

 She loves the egg drop salmon soup too!

Palette’s favorite salmon soup with 1 chicken foot..

Can I have it now?

I am informed that today’s menu was flipped,and I get dinner menu in the morning and breakfast menu at dinner..for better picture of dinner menu.

I don’t mind


I drink soup first,and then eat fillet and finally, desert “chicken feet”..

 What fresh food does your dog get in their bowls?

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Feb 03, 2013 | 0 | Uncategorized