Archives for April, 2013

French cooking:Lobster bisque

 If you ask me what kinds of soup I love most, I would say it would be “Lobster bisque”.

Bisque is type of French soup that are often creamy,velvety texture, and since
it is made from strained broth using shell of lobster,crab,shrimp etc,
the soup has full of flavor in one sip.

One of the restaurant we love to go to has very rich,flavorful lobster bisque, and I got hook
with the soup.

Until we visited the restaurant and taste the soup,I did not know about lobster bisque. I did not have it back home in Japan, and I fell in love with the flavor of the soup.

Since the first taste of the lobster bisque at the restaurant, every time I visit the  restaurant, I always order
them along with the main meal.

If you like me, and loves lobster bisque, I would recommend the lobster bisque from “Bravo!Cucina Italiana” restaurant.

The soup is very flavorful. Although they do not put meaty chunks of lobster meat on top of the soup, they do use tender poached shrimps as garnish. They are very tasty soup.

I do not know what they do to the shrimps,but they do excel in the shrimp department.That being said, if you dine in Bravo! restaurant, then, order shrimp base dish.You would not get disappointed.

I do know how to make tender shrimp and, I can serve very tender shrimp than some of the other restaurants, but theirs are a little bit more tender than mine.

I have not tried poached shrimp, and that might be the key other than marinade that I do for shrimp. Maybe, I will try poaching the shrimp next time and see how it comes out.

In case you have missed the marinade recipe for tender shrimp from past entries, here is how you make the marinade for the tender shrimp.


<Tender Shrimp Marinade>

Ingredients for the tender shrimp marinade;

1 tbs     sake
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tbs  corn starch
10 shrimp (I usually use 10 shrimp for this)
3 tbs water

1. In the small container, add 1
tbs  sake,1/4 tsp kosher salt,1 tbs  corn starch and 3 tbs water, and mix well.Then, add
peeled,divined shrimp and massage shrimp with your hand and marinade
them in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours.

** Marinading shrimp make shrimp crisp tender

2. Wash the shrimp very well under running water, pat them dry,and season it as your recipe instructs you for the dish you will be making.


Normally, I make soup more during the cold months, but now and then, I make soup in the other seasons as well.

The other day, I made lobster bisque,using lobster tail and it came out real good. Therefore, I thought I would share the recipe with you.

You can take the base of the recipe, and you can make it with shrimp,crab as well.

If it was with crab, you would want to cook with the crab shell, and if it were shrimp, you would want to save the shell when you will be marinading the shrimp in the small container and use the shell only to build the base flavor of the base with other ingredients,and add the shrimp chunks at the very last minutes so you would not overcook the shrimp.

Peeled shrimp chunks should get cooked through in about couple of minutes in the soup.

The lobster tail is not the staple ingredient at our house,but when the special occasion comes such as wedding anniversary, I tend to get them for the special meal on the special day.

Lobster bisque with cream sherry..

Ingredients for Lobster bisque with cream sherry

2 cloves of garlic grated
1/2 sweet onion sliced
1 carrot rough chopped
1 celery rough chopped
1 lobster tail cut into half lengthwise
1/4C cream sherry plus 1 tbs cream sherry per serving
1/2 tbs black peppercorn cracked
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
5 fresh thyme sprigs
2/3C Crushed tomato sauce
1 Bay leaf
2C heavy cream
2C water
1/4C butter
1/4C unbleached all purpose flour
Extra virgin olive oil
Morton’s Natures Season
Handful of Italian Flat Parsley chopped

1. Cut the Lobster tail into half lengthwise

2.Drizzle Extra virgin Olive oil in the wide mouth pan, and add 1/2 Sweet onion rough chopped, 2 cloves of garlic grated,1 carrot rough chopped, 1 celery rough chopped and stir and cook til lobster shell turns red in color

** Keep stirring so it would not get burns on you

3. Take the lobster out,and add 1/4C cream sherry into the pan

4. Add 1/2 tbs black peppercorn cracked, pinch of cayenne pepper, 1 bay leaf, 5 thyme sprigs, and 2/3C Crushed tomato sauce,and stir

5.Add 2C water,2C heavy cream and bring them to boil,and once boil,turn the heat down to simmer

6. Meanwhile, take out the lobster meat from the shell and rough chop them and set it aside

7. Add the lobster shell back into the soup,and let it simmer to reduce the soup a bit,and thicken a little

8. In the Dutch oven such as Le creuset, melt 1/4C butter and when it got bubbly,add 1/4C flour and stir

9. Keep stirring till the roux becomes close to peanut butter color

10. Place the kitchen sieve over the big bowl and pour the creamy bisque to strain the soup

11. Add the strained soup back into the Dutch oven,and stir

12. Add chopped lobster meat into the soup,and stir and season it with Morton’s Natures Season to taste

13. Pour the soup in the cup, add about 1 tbs cream sherry on top of the soup,and garnish the soup with chopped Flat leave Italian parsley and serve

** The addition of the cream sherry on top on the bisque adds more depth of the flavor in the soup.Stir the soup before tasting the soup.

Makes about 3-4 serving


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Apr 30, 2013 | 0 | Miscellaneous (Cooking)

Clicker training with birds

 In the previous entry titled “Clicker training:Clicker is your friend“, I wrote that

The trainer’s whistle tells seals or dolphin or whale
they did good job and they have just earned their yummy fish. (to read
more,please click here)

The clicker
training was first introduced to me when I enrolled into puppy training
class. Clicker is small training tool that has metal that makes unique

 This sound is so unique that dogs would probably not hear the
same sound in their daily life other than in clicker training session.
This makes training more effective.

After dogs started looking for treats when they hear the sound, it can tells you they now know what clicker sound means.

kinds of treats you would use for?

 Since repetition is the key,and give
lots of treats during training session, it is best to find something
you can break into small pieces by hands or by scissors to lentil size
(quarter inch or less),which dog can swallow treats and not require

This means,no biscuits treats for training session because crunching slow down the speed of training.


 Clicker training is not just for mammals or dogs but also can be used for birds as well.

 Have you seen a bird being trained with clicker?

 It is amazing to see how simple clicker can become a powerful training tool to communicate with various kinds of animals,and being able to teach “what to do” positively without physical force.

 You do not need any “tools” to teach “what not to do” to shape your pets with force physically.

 To show you how simple clicker can teach not just dogs or mammals but also birds as well, I decided to share the youtube video that I came across recently.

 The video provides very useful tips you can take away for your dog’s training too.

Building Trust with your birds..

 Do you clicker training other kind of animals?
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Apr 28, 2013 | 0 | Dog Training

Yassy’s Japan Trip Diary November 2012; Day 4 Part 3

 The 4th day in Japan, after visiting the historical temple “Zenkoji temple”, we have headed back to the home in Aichi prefecture.

On the way back to home, I was looking outside and enjoyed beautiful scenery Nagano prefecture can offer.

It was good that it was sunny day,not rainy day,even though it was a little chilly day there.

Beautiful mountains under the sunny sky..

Then,we had 2 long tunnels we drove through..

Long tunnel..

When me and my husband went to New York to be an audience at Rachael Ray’s Pilot TV Talk show program, we drove through tunnels to get to the destination,but I think the ones we drove in Japan was much longer.

If you travel Japan,you would notice right away that we have many tunnels in Japan.

We are out from tunnel #1,and see the beautiful mountains again…

You will also notice that since our diet is based around rice, we have many rice paddy,what we call “Ta-n-bo” in Japanese.

Rice paddy..

There is a tanbo art started by an artist to revitalize the Inakadate village in Aomori prefecture located in northern part of Japan back in 1993,and made the “Inakadate village” famous.

You can find the Japan map at website here. Look for number 2. That is Aomori prefecture,where many people go see famous Tanbo art.

How Tanbo work is that,they will come up with the design,transfer the design onto the grid, and recreate the design by planting several different variety of rice,which will gives different colors of leaves, and wait for it to grow. They are amazing.

Apparently, CBS news picked up the story as world news and aired on TV.

Here is the youtube video clip from the news program on Rice paddy art.

How rice paddy art works..

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

Here is 2009 theme: Warlord and Napoleon.Isn’t it amazing?

Warlord and Napoleon Tanbo art 2009

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

Since the success of Tanbo art in Inakadate village in Aomori prefecture, another area which is famous for producing rice has also started participating the Tanbo art.

You can enjoy Tanbo art in Yonezawa city in Yamagata prefecture as well.

Yamagata prefecture is also located in northern part of Japan. In the Japan map, Yamagata prefecture is #5.

Here is Yonezawa city’s Tanbo art: Naoe Kanetsugu.He was a samurai in 16th-17th centuries.

Naoe Kanetsugu Tanbo art..

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

After the rice paddy area, we started seeing more tunnel.

More tunnel coming close..

This one was also long one..

Long tunnel coming to ends..

After a bit of drive, we decided to go to service area (rest area),and from there, we still could see beautiful mountain views.

View from service area..

At one of the service area, we decided to have a dinner,and spend some time until we will have less traffic on the highway.

At America’s “plaza”,which I think is equivalent to our Japanese service area on the highways,you will most likely have fast food chain stores with the choice of sub, pizza, burger and Starbucks coffee.

So far,I have not found “plaza” that offer hearty homemade food made from something the area is famous for.

In Japan, the service area often focuses on selling cookies,snacks,crafts, or things they are famous for such as noodle,and also cafeteria area offer menu using the ingredients they are famous for,in addition to popular curry dish etc…

Incidentally, the area we decided to have a dinner at was famous for beef,and my husband enjoyed steak there.He loved them very much.

It was getting late and,when we finally came to our local area, it was already dark. It was almost the time for the stors to close.

Before heading back to home, we decided to stop by one of local grocery stores to pick up bread because we were low on the bread when we left for Nagano prefecture.

We did not find the bread we were looking for,but I found my favorite bread I can have only in Japan,called “Me-lo-n Pa-n” (“me-lo-n” means “cantaloupe”,”Pa-n” means “bread” in Japanese.).

It is a round shaped bread with crisp cookie dough on top.

Under the crisp cookie dough,there is enriched dough.It is one of my favorite bread and my husband loves “Me-lo-n Pa-n” too!

The next day, I had it for the breakfast.It was tasty

The “Me-lon Pa-n” looks like this.

Melon pan..

Long,long time ago, I was really craving for “melon pan” here in the states and I once made it from scratch.

It is time consuming because it is made from 2 different dough, but it was tasty.

You may find it odd,but despite the name of the bread “melon” (cantaloupe), it has no melon (cantaloupe) in the bread.The bread is called that way just because the shape is resembled to the melon (cantaloupe).

There are several varieties on this, and some melon pan have chocolate chips or milk chocolate filling and,you can now find melon pan with cantaloupe flavored filling,too.

If you visit Japan,pick up the “melon pan” at grocery store,and see if you like them.

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Apr 23, 2013 | 0 | Japan

Palette’s note: Dehydrated Chicken feet

  When you pick up treats for your dogs, what would you look at? Ingredients? Fancy looking pictures? Description of the products?

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

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

With “Palette’s Note” series,I would like to put taste test videos.

 This time, “Dehydrated Chicken feet“.

th Dehydrated chicken feet

 These dehydrated chicken feet are made in USA, from US sourced Chicken.

Each dehydrated chicken feet is about 3″ to  4″ in length, and 10 oz resealable bag comes with approx 20 feet to make the bag weigh 10 oz weight.

Dehydrating process removes moisture out from feet, and it makes dehydrated feet treats crumble rather than splinter sharp like when dogs chew cooked bone.

 Note: Cooked bones are dangerous, and you should never feed cooked bones.They will break sharp. Also, if dogs eats them, it seems, from my experience with cooked ham bones I gave before I switched our k9 executive chef “Palette” diet  to raw diet, to make the poop very very hard like cement in the

 When she had the cooked ham bones,she pooped golf ball sized rock hard poop so often and it eventually turned to diarrhea that lasted for a few days.Never again,I feed cooked bones to Palette.

Note: Raw bones are soft and great teeth cleaner.However, bones such as knuckle bones,femur
bones,marrow bones from big animals such as cow,buffalo are called weight bearing bones,
and they are teeth wearer,teeth breaker and even though they are sold with very reasonable price, they are not good kind of bones to give to your dogs.

 If you browse through our store, you would notice that we never offer pet bones (dog bones) at all. This is the reason why we do not offer cooked dog bones.

 Since I do not think dog bones are good for dogs’ teeth, we do not offer them at Yassy’s Gourmet Dog Kitchen.

To satisfy her gnawing urge, only thing I give to her to chew on is Deer Antlers,which lasted more than a year for our stubby little dog. It lasts lot longer than bully sticks no matter how thick,how long they are, and Antlers are more economical chew in the long run.

Palette used to limp before and,now she is limp free and runs like wind.

 However, because of her history of limping, I make sure that she will get food/treats that are great natural source of Glucosamine, Chondroitin such as gullet, poultry feet, cartilage, and trachea in her main diet.

 Now and then, I give her dehydrated poultry feet such as dehydrated chicken feet treats as well.

I know there are Jerky treats targeted for joint health with added glucosamine and chondroitin,
and now, you can even get a bully stick coated with them.

Are they really beneficial to your dogs?

 Personally, I would rather prefer to give Palette Glucosamine / Chondroitin through food/treats known as natural source of glucosamine/chondroitin rather than fortified treats with non natural source of glucosamine /chondroitin.

 I just feel that, food/treats that are known to be good source of natural source of glucosamine/chondroitin will be better than “fortified food/treats with XYZ”.

 If your dogs have joint problems, raw/dehydrated gullet,trachea,poultry feet and Cartilage are good things to feed.

 Those are also great source of natural glucosamin/chondroitin. You can find wide variety of what I call it “Natural treats with benefit” at Yassy’s Gourmet Dog Kitchen also.

 We have following natural treats with benefit (for joint health). If you are looking for treats that are good source of natural glucosamnine/chondroitin,then, below is the great list of treats you can choose from.

*** Buffalo ***

Buffalo trachea

** Beef ***

Bully roll

(stuffed gullet treats.Stuffed with ground Achilles tendon,ground bully sticks inside the gullet)

Beef Taffy chips  (gullet)

Beef Scapulas (cartilage)

Beef Gullet strip

Beef Gullet stick

Beef trachea

*** Lamb ***

Lamb trachea

Lamb gullet stick

*** Chicken ***

Chicken feet

*** Duck ***

Duck feet

*** Pork ***

Pork trachea
 Palette loves dehydrated chicken feet. She gives me whining, she gives me big gator jump if I show it to her. It puts a huge Corgi smile on her.

 She gets very excited and her nose get wet instantly. This is small nice crunchy snack for dogs.

When I open up the dehydrated chicken feet bag, I find Palette trotting all the way from upstairs to downstairs,and eyes on the prize (dehydrated chicken feet) and being at “down” position, hoping to get the prize with good manner like this.

 Sometimes, she gets impatient, and gives me big woof.

 Ingredients: Chicken feet

 Let’s watch Palette in action with Dehydrated chicken feet taste test. If you are a blog subscriber,please click here to watch the video Part I,please click here for video Part II.

Palette and Dehydrated Chicken feet Part I


Palette and Dehydrated chicken feet Part II

 Can you hear the sound of crispiness? Can you see how much she got excited for this treats and, her nose get wet in a second?

 I taught her the new cue “What do you want?”.

 When I say that, she is trained to bring her small container to me so I can put her treats inside the container.

 I originally wanted to teach her with her own dish, but her dish is ceramic bowl and she cannot carry it like she would with plastic container.Therefore, I decided to use the plastic empty container as her treats bowl.

 It is so cute to see her chasing the container to go grab it. Since she is very excited, she tends to toss it to me

 I am having so much fun teaching new tricks to her.

 Anyway, for some, this treats sounds like “Eww” treats,but dogs love them (and good for them)! This is one of popular dog snacks at our store.

 Have you tried dehydrated chicken feet yet?

 Palette and many others would highly recommend this treats

Dehydrated chicken feet with Palette


Palette and dehydrated chicken feet 2

It is so Crunchy and good!

I am feeling the u-ma-mi (deliciousness)…

Palette cleaning up chicken feet crumbs

Just making sure nothing is left behind..


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


Apr 21, 2013 | 0 | Yassy's Gourmet Dog Kitchen

TGI Friday’s Menu:Jack Daniel’s sauce Yassy’s Version

 If you ask my
husband what kinds of dishes he likes best, answer will be grilled
steak. It is either thick cut of juicy medium rare fillet, or thinly
sliced flavorful flank steak.

 I cannot cook up fillet all the time but,when I do,my husband gets very excited and enjoys every bite of it.

 Needless to say, Palette gets excited thinking she might get tiny tiny nibbles out of it. She has a good nose so, she comes to kitchen running when she hears me opening up the beef steak package.

 She is a smart Corgi. She never tries to stand right next to me to see what I am doing while I am cooking, but rather, she knows from her experience that she gets yummies when she is on “down” position. Therefore, once she reaches to the destination,she stays like a sphinx with her eyes on the prize.

 She knows that I usually trim the steak before seasoning, and grilling the steaks, and I will have some itty bitty pieces I could share with her.

 When she down-stays with “sphinx” style, she sometimes get a small pieces of steaks. I toss the piece of rare steak toward her, and she catches it in the air pretty nicely. She is very good at catching things She loves that rare treats.

 When we go to grocery shopping, we have a grocery list.

 Do you make one too? If not, start making list of what you need to buy. That way, you know what you need to buy,and less likely buying things that are not really needed,a.k.a. impulse buying. Therefore, it is one good tip I could give you to save a cost on the grocery bill.

 One other thing I do is to make a weekly menu plan,based on what you already have in your pantry,freezer,and fridge. This way, you would cut the grocery bill quite a bit,plus you would probably have less “waste”.

 Also, since you would most likely buy less cost-wise, you can spend the money on good quality meat.

 I used to cook up steak with various kinds of cut from NY strips,Rib eyes, Fillet, Flank steak etc.. but now if I cook steak, I will use either flank steak or fillet.

If you are to get fillet, make sure to pick the piece of fillet that the cut is
even and round as opposed to the fillet that got uneven
fillet (the fillet that has one side is thicker than the other) or
uneven thickness of steaks in the package or round shape with some chunk
of meat attached which normally get trimmed off.

 This smaller untrimmed meat chunk hanging to the other part of fillet is what I normally trim off.

 If you think you cannot trim off that piece of hanging meat, use the butcher’s twine and tie it together so that hanging piece will stay with the rest of the steak during the cooking process.

 If you want 2 fillet, you can get fillet with the same even
thickness,and you can point at what you want in the tray,and often
times,I find fillet at the butcher shop is well trimmed and nice round shape that you would
expect it to be.

 Even thickness ensure the same cooking time and,you would less likely
to overcook one of the steaks, or uneven cooking with the same steak
(one side of the steak is over cooked).

 Plus, in the case of the butcher shop we go to, they tie with the butcher’s
twine so it keeps shape while cooking and, you will get nice steak for
your meal.

 Even if you will get New York strips,or Rib eyes, pick the one with
even thickness of the steak that are not one side is thicker than the
other to ensure the same cooking time.

 Also,if you cook up rib eyes etc.. ,pick up the steak with nice pink-red color.

 You may sometime find packaged meat with greyish color in the steak at
the grocery store.

 As time passes by, since meat is exposed to the air for
so long, it changes its color to grey from pink-red,and sometimes, you
will find accumulated blood in the package.

 If you see discolored steak with accumulated blood in the package,it means,it is the old package.

 One other thing to look at is the marbling of the steak.

 Marbling should be thin streaks line of fat,and it should be
distributed evenly. You would find thick line of fat in the steak
sometimes, and they are connective tissue and the steak will be tough and

 When it comes to steak menu, I think, best of the best so far among the restaurants we have been to, is bacon wrapped filet mignon from Firebirds Wood Fired Grill.

 They use the center cut beef tenderloin, and wrap the fillet with applewood smoked bacon, and serve them with sides.

 What I like about their dishes is that, their filet is always consistent in texture, flavor, and shape, and we never leave the restaurant disappointed with this dish.

 Always even cut steak,and they are not greasy at all,and very tender and juicy filet.

 If there were one thing they could improve on, it will be the bacon.

 It adds nice smoky flavor to the steak and it is tasty but,the bacon is flappy and I think if they use much thinner slice of bacon or par-cook the bacon a bit before wrapping it around the steak, to make it to crispy bacon around the steak,that will be super. 

 Some other restaurants offer fillet as well in their menu but, some offer uneven cut of fillet, some offer chewy, tougher fillet, some offer under cooked/over cooked fillet, and some offer greasy fillet,which you can see the grease puddle on the plate and they are not appetizing.

 I like the filet from Firebirds Wood Fired Grill best,but I find that they tend to have issue of salt with some of their dishes.

 For example, I did not care for chile rubbed steak with key lime butter and chile rubbed salmon with crab and spinach fondue,drizzled with a tomato vinaigrette because it was super salty.
 With steak
, even if I cut them into paper thin slice,it was like eating a block of salt.Same goes with Chile rubbed salmon.I tried to dilute the saltiness with their bread, but it was super salty.

 I have tried their Meatloaf,French dip sandwich also, but they were also salty dish.

 If you visit their restaurant, try Seared Ahi Tuna,Chicken Quesadilla,Spinach Salad, Smokehouse burger,Bacon wrapped Filet mignon, or Wood Grilled Salmon (ask to have the salmon with Ginger mustard Aioli.The sauce is very good). These are all greeat menu without too much saltiness in the dish. These are the disheses that I enjoy a lot.

 Here in the states, you can find “steak” menu with variety of sauce at the restaurants.

 Do you have your favorite steak sauce?

 Back home in Japan, our meal is based around rice with several kinds of side dishes,which may, may not include meat in them, and having steak on the plate as star of the dish at home was a new concept to me.

 However,having living in the states long enough to enjoy steaks with all sorts of sauce, I have found one steak sauce that I like a lot.

 It is Jack Daniel’s sauce from TGI Friday’s.

 When I first visited the restaurant, the steak with Jack Daniel’s sauce was one of the very first dishes I have ordered at the restaurant.

 Their steak was okay. I liked the flavor of the sauce although it did not taste like true Teriyaki sauce, and it was a little sticky sweet for me.

 Probably because the flavor of the sauce was somewhat similar to what I was getting used to:Teriyaki sauce.

 When I tasted it, I thought it taste different from true Teriyaki sauce from Japan, and tasted like they did use brown sugar just like other food TV shows use and call it “Teriyaki sauce”.

 We do not use brown sugar in Teriyaki sauce back home.

 However, one thing I liked about the sauce was it got pineapple flavored,and it was something new and unique to me,plus I liked the addition of alcohol-whiskey, in the sauce.

 As you know,I am from Japan;the origin of Teriyaki sauce dish. I ate many kinds of Teriyaki dish back home but, I do not think we had the sauce similar to Jack Daniel’s sauce;the one with pineapple sauce although you might find Teryaki sauce with lemon juice in it.

 Looking at the freezer, I had 1 fillet and half flank steak.

 Therefore, I thought why not try recreating that Jack Daniel’s sauce, and drizzle that sauce over the sliced steak.

 Result was good.

 My husband wowed over the sauce,and really liked my improved version of Jack Daniel’s sauce. Since I do not like sticky sweet sauce, I have added Korean red pepper paste to bring up the level of “zing” in the sauce and,it came out good.

 As always, my husband liked the sauce very much,and drizzled it over the hot steamy white rice, and mixed it up and ate the Jack Daniel’s sauce infused rice.

 Since I had 2 different kinds of cut of steaks, I paid attention to each individual steaks but if you got a whole package of flank steak or different kinds of cut of steaks,different kinds of protein source, you can still make this dish the same way also.

 Only thing you need to do is to grill those protein source to your desired doneness,and slice it thin except seafood;shrimp,scallops, and fish fillet, and serve them over the sauteed vegetables.

 Protein source that has distinct flavor such as Turkey or Lamb probably not suited with this sauce.

 Sauteed vegetables gives the color that “pop” in the plate, and if you use different color of peppers etc..,it looks pretty.
 In this entry, I would share the recipe of “Grilled sesame steak with zesty Teriyaki Jack Daniel’s sauce”.

 To keep the sauce flavor similar to original version of the sauce, I used a bit of brown sugar.

Grilled Sesame steak with zesty Teriyaki Jack Daniel’s sauce…

Ingredients for grilled steak:

1 Beef tenderloin steak (Fillet) 8 oz
12 oz Beef Flank steak
Extra virgin olive oil
McCormick Grill mate Steak seasoning
Zesty Teriyaki Jack Daniel’s sauce* (recipe follows)

Ingredients for Zesty Teriyaki Jack Daniel’s sauce:

1.5 tbs soy sauce
3 cloves garlic grated
1 tbs grated onion
tbs Mirin* (recommend Morita brand)
2 tbs sake* (recommend Gekkeikan brand)
1 tbs white sugar
1/2C pineapple juice
1/3C dark
brown sugar
1 tsp lemon juice freshly squeezed
1/8 tsp Kochujun
(Korean red pepper paste)

2 tsp Jack Daniel’s Whiskey
Ingredients for sauteed vegetables:

1/2 red onion sliced
1/4 red pepper sliced
1/4 green pepper sliced

Morton’s Natures Seasons
1 tbs Zesty Teriyaki Jack Daniel’s sauce*(recipe follows)

<Grilled sesame steak with Zesty Teriyaki Jack Daniel’s sauce>

0. 1 hour before the actual cooking time, take the meat out to let it come to the room temperature

1. Make Zesty Teriyaki Jack Daniel’s sauce (recipe follows)

2. Pat the steak dry with paper towel and,sprinkle steak seasoning both sides

** Wet/Cold steak would not make nice sear on the steak

3. Drizzle Extra virgin olive oil in the skillet and wait until you see the steam coming off from the skillet

** You would need screaming hot skillet for the nice good sear on the steak

4. Cook 4 minutes,flip and cook 4-5 more minutes

5. Take temperature of the steak

** For medium rare steak, take the steak out from the skillet when your meat thermometer reads 125F to 130F

** For medium,130F-135F is the temperature to take the steak out from the skillet.

** Temperature of the steak continues to rise while steak is rested about 5F-10F more

*** How to finish cooking very thick beef tenderloin ***

When you have very thick tenderloin (1″ thick or more), you may find that after certain time cooked in the skillet, the outside of the steak starts burning but steak is not at the right temperature to take it off from the skillet.

What you can do about i t?

One thing you can do is to cook the steak on the oven safe skillet,and after about 8-10 minutes on the stove top and still steak is at lower temperature than you want it to be, simply preheat the oven at 350F and put the skillet in the oven to continue cooking them.

With our oven, from my experience, 1 minutes at 350F oven usually brings up about 10F each time so, I usually set the timer accordingly and make sure to give even cooking time on each side.

If you needed 4 minutes in the oven roughly, I will set the timer for 2 minutes,and take it out and flip and put it back into the oven again and set the time for 2 minutes to finish cooking.

Giving equal cooking time in the oven can ensure even color in the meat; nice red/pink center will be at the center not close to top or bottom.

6. Put steak onto the plate and cover it with foil.Let steak rest for 15 minutes.

** If you slice steak without it being rested, you will have very dry steak

7. While steak is resting, start working on the vegetables* (recipe follows)

8. Slice steak at about 1/4″ thickness,and place them on the bed of sauteed vegetables, and drizzle Zesty Teriyaki Jack Daniel’s sauce over it,
and grate the toasted sesame seed over the plate

9. Serve the dish with extra Zesty Teriyaki Jack Daniel’s sauce as dipping sauce.

Makes; 2 – 3 servings

<Zesty Teriyaki Jack Daniel’s sauce>

1. In the sauce pan,add 1.5 tbs soy sauce, 3 cloves of garlic grated, and 1 tbs grated onion, and cook them at medium low heat until it gets fragrant

2. To that, add 1 tbs Mirin (Japanese rice wine),2 tbs sake, 1 tbs white sugar,1/2C pineapple juice, 1/3C dark brown sugar, 1 tsp lemon juice freshly squeezed, 1/8 tsp Gochujang (Korean red pepper paste), and let it simmer to dissolve all the sugar into the sauce and thicken a bit


** You can find this Gekkeikan sake at packaged sushi station or at wine section.


** You can find Morita brand Mirin at Asian stores or at local grocery store International food aisle..

** Gochujang
is Korean hot pepper paste.You can find them at the International food
aisle at local grocery store,or at Asian store.Here is how it looks like.


In a pinch, you can substitute with Indonesian pepper paste “sambal” (recommends Oelek brand),also available at International food aisle.

3. Add 2 tsp Jack Daniel’s Whiskey into the sauce,stir, adjust the taste and turn off the heat

Makes:About 8 -9 tbs sauce

<Sauteed vegetables>

In the skillet,add 1/2 red onion sliced, 1/4 red pepper sliced, 1/4 green pepper sliced and season them with Morton’s Nature’s seasons and stir

2. When vegetables got softer, add 1 tbs of Zesty Teriyaki Jack Daniel’s sauce and stir and serve it as the bed for the steak


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Apr 18, 2013 | 0 | Uncategorized

Palette’s spring treats diary;April 16th,2013

 For Palette, last month was another eventful month.

 For one thing, I did a lot of baking,making Jerky treats for Yassy’s Gourmet Dog Kitchen, plus I had baked Irish soda bread, 20 hour proofing Dutch oven bread,and I also made Vietnamese style Gyoza dumplings etc for our family.Therefore,there was a lot of interesting activities for her in the kitchen.

 Every St.Patrick’s day, I make Irish stew and Irish soda bread.

 I personally love to experimenting flavors of ordinal things,and this year, I thought what if I make the Irish soda bread with Chocolate flavor.

 I am chocoholic and,I love everything chocolate unless it is super sweet.

 Here it is, my made up Irish soda bread with chocolate flavor. It got Whiskey in it and, my husband really loved it very much. Of course,Palette wanted nibble of the bread but,she did not  get any.

 It is because chocolate is toxic to dogs. Palette enjoyed the smell of it.

Chocolate Irish soda bread..

 Since it came out good, I would like to share the recipe with you. Please do not share with your dogs.

 If you like to see the regular Irish Soda bread at our house, you can find the recipe of “Irish soda bread with Orange liqueur raisin” here.


1/4C    dried cranberries
3/8C    golden raisin
7/12C   Whiskey for soaking
chopped hazel nut
2 tbs     butter
1 tbs     dark brown
1 tbs     whiskey for toasted Hazel nut
1 tbs    
heavy cream
        unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/8C
unbleached bread flour
1 3/4C Dutch processed coco powder
1/4C    white
1 tsp    baking soda
1 tbs    baking powder
1/4 tsp table salt
8 tbs    margarine

3 tbs     butter
1            egg
1 3/4C   buttermilk
Ghirardelli dark 72% cacao twilight delight bar-dark intense 4 squares chopped to 1/4″ pieces
1/2C     Whiskey to mix in the dough
2 tsp     espresso powder
confectioner’s sugar for garnish

1.In the small container, add 3/8C golden raisin,1/4C dry cranberries and pour 7/12 C Whiskey (It is easier to pour 1/4C whiskey plus 1/3C whiskey to make the total whiskey added gets 7/12C) and soak over night

2. Preheat oven at 375F

3. In the skillet, add 1/2C chopped hazel nut,and toast them in 1 tbs butter,1 tbs dark brown sugar,and when it got fragrant, add 1tbs butter,1 tbs whiskey,,1 tbs heavy cream,and let it come to boil and stir and cook for 30 seconds and pour it over non stick foil to cool

4. In a large bowl, add 3C unbleached all purpose flour, 1 1/8C
unbleached bread flour,1 3/4C Dutch processed coco powder,1/4C white sugar,1tsp baking soda, 1 tbs baking powder,1/4 tsp table salt and mix well

5. Cut  8 tbs margarine right
out from the fridge into about 1/2″ thick slice and add them to the
flour mix and blend the butter with your hand to about pebble size

6. In another bowl add 1 egg and 1 3/4 C buttermilk, and whisk well

7. To the flour mixture, add toasted hazel nuts, egg-buttermilk mixture small
amount at a time and mix well with your hands to form a ball

8. Add whiskey soaked cranberries,golden raisins as well as whiskey itself used for the soaking, Ghirardelli Dark 72% Cacao Twilight delight bar-Intense Dark 4 square chopped to about 1/4″ pieces

**Dough should be sticky,but not too sticky. If the dough were too sticky,dust some flour to the dough

9. In the small container, add 1/2C whiskey, 2 tsp espresso powder and mix well

10. Add espresso-whiskey mixture to the dough and mix well

11. Knead the dough just enough to form the dough and shape the dough to round ball

** If you over kneading the dough,the bread will come out tough

12.  Line the baking sheet with non stick foil

13. Place the round shaped dough onto the non stick foil lined baking sheet

14. Dust the bread with flour,make “X” mark slit on top at about 1″ deep

15. Bake the dough about 65-75 minutes or toothpicks inserted in the center comes out clean

** Also,you can use meat thermometer to take the inner temperature of the bread. Often times, when meat thermometer reached to 200F to 205F, the bread is done baking.

16. Let the bread sit on the baking sheet about 5-10 minutes and transfer the bread to cooling rack

To reheat the bread, slice and toast the bread or wrap the amount of
bread you like to reheat with foil and warm them up in the oven at 350F
for about 15 minutes or so

17. Cover the 4 top portions with paper towel so the “+” mark gets exposed,and sprinkle confectioner sugar over the bread using kitchen sieve


Makes; approx 10″ round Chocolate Irish soda bread

 Then, we had UPS/FedEx guys visiting us often last month since I had many treats to restock. It was kind of busy month for me.

 Palette gets so excited when she saw their truck backing up to our driveway, because she knows they will bring boxful of yummies…most of the time.

 This month,I had one box coming to our house but,it was full of bakery bags. When she saw the UPS truck coming in to our house,she was so excited and I could see her nub was going 1,000mph moving side to side.

 However, once she was allowed to investigate the box, and knows that it was not treats inside, she got so disappointed and excused herself,walking back slowly to her favorite bed room as if to say “why I got so excited for this non food stuff!”.

 Palette thinks that the UPS/FedEx guy should bring treats all the time

 When the box had something interesting for her,such as bully sticks, she will be staying right next to me,staring at the box,staring at me and waiting patiently for the opportunity of nibbles.

 Sometimes, she gets lucky, and she gets one when treats comes. Sometimes, she gets small treats from her own treat box because she was patient.

 Once treats were taken out from the shipping boxes, I start flattening the shipping boxes so we can put them in the recycling bin.

 When I was in the process of flattening the shipping boxes, I have found Palette on the flatten boxes. She says she is helping me, but is she?

Mom,I am helping to flatten the boxes!

Mom:I need to put one more box to that. Can you move?

Palette: Um..I am being comfy on the cardboard bed..

 Another event Palette enjoy was the snow.

 We had snow 2 -3 days in the last month. It was not as heavy snow as Palette would have hoped it to be,but she had a good fun with it.

 She loves snow,and her face lights up when she sees the white snow covered yard. When snow happens, she does not want to come back into the house right away when she goes for potty so, it becomes a bit of play time as well.

 One thing she enjoys with snow is to sniffing the ground by sticking her nose as deep as possible and also she loves to enjoy grass-icle.She has her favorite spot as her own salad bar so, she visits there to enjoy the grass-icle on snow days.

 Because of snow days, Palette did not get to go for walkie some days but,when we do, she enjoys her walkie time very much. She enjoys reading up the missed doggy daily news on the ground,of course,but one thing she really is looking forward to is to meet people on our walk, and she gets lots of petting.She loves when people says “Oh,pretty girl”, and she cannot get enough of being pet.


 Now I will pass a pen to Palette to write a dairy here.

April 16th,2013

 Last month was super exciting month for me.

 Lots of boxes were delivered by UPS/FedEx guys,and mom baked many canine treats, and she also made my favorite bread!

 Hmm,I miss the crunch of crusty bread she made last month.It was so good that I kept going back to the kitchen to sniff the floor to make sure no bread crumbs were left behind.

 That bread needed 20 hours long proofing time so,my nose was tortured for that long but,when it came out from da oven.. Ugh,so good.

 I love freshly baked bread.

 Da bread was baked in da oven inside da dutch oven mom calls it and, it was her first time to experiment the method but both me and my dad loved da bread and,I was everyone’s best friends if one had a slice of mom’s bread.

 I whined,whined next to da dining table with drool bubbles around my mouth. When my dad finally finished his dinner and decided to give me small piece of bread,I was very ready to catch it in da air.

 Hmm,it was soo good! I chewed to enjoy da every bite of it.

 After a couple of days later, when mom still had leftover 20 hour dutch oven bread, mom decided to make bruschetta.

 Good idea! Dad loved da bread very much and, I am sure mom would make it again.

 Here is da Bruschetta picture. Doesn’t it look yummy?

Zesty garlic chili Bruschetta..

 I love homemade bread or homemade pizza night. It is da days I get naughty.I become whiny dogs and, hope for da nibbles!

 I usually sit near dad for that because dad is easier for me to get itty bitty nibbles from.It is da trick that I learned over da years.

 Other than that.. yes, we had snow days.I love snow! Very much. I love sniffing da ground.I love munching on da grass-icles.. I have my special spot for that.

 One day,when I went to potty,this was what I saw.

Snow..March 2013

 Snow fairy! She must have known I was missing snow so much! My face lighten up with da view.

 I did not like snow truck that came that day.. too loud for me to feel da peace.. I had to woof at them.

 Sniffing out da snow..

 Because of da snow, we did not get to go for walkie but,when we went, I enjoyed da every minutes of it. I love walkie!I get to read daily doggy news on da ground, I get to meet new people..I get to see my Miniature Schnauzer boyfriend sometimes..

 Then, I get to enjoy mom’s cool down treats too!I love them very much!

 It is
something mom made me since I was a puppy . It is basically a frozen
yogurt treats without fillers and,she gave me after walkie,after bathing
time,after workout that makes me woofy hot.

 Mom has been introducing variety of frozen yogurt treats for furriends here,but have you tried any of those?

 It is very yummy and highly recommend it!

 Anyhow, the cool down treats mom made this time is frozen Kiwi Roasted green pepper  yogurt treats.

Frozen Kiwi Roasted Green pepper yogurt treats..

 Here is how you can make Frozen Kiwi Roasted Green Pepper yogurt treats.

1. Wash the sweet green pepper under the water,make sure to peel the produce seal on them and, place it on the non stick foil lined baking sheet without wiping off the water

2. Set the oven “Broil HI”

3. Roast the green pepper about 15-16 minutes or until all sides of the pepper gets wrinkly and gets blisters all over

** Make sure to rotate the pepper time to time so all sides gets blisters and bubbly

The roasted pepper should look like this.

Roasted green pepper..

4. Take it out from the oven,and place it in a Tupperware with the lid on.Wait till the pepper gets cool enough for you to handle

5. Peel off the skin, remove the seed,and wash it under the running water,and rough chop them,and set it aside

6. To the mixer, add 2.8 oz peeled,seed removed rough chop roasted green pepper,3 oz fresh Kiwi, peeled and chopped, and 5 oz of
Stonyfield organic
plain yogurt and puree them.

 5. Pour those onto ice cube tray and freeze them

yield; 11 block of frozen treats

** Frozen Kiwi roasted green pepper yogurt treats whole amount is roughly
about 178 kcal (you can see more detail at
website here ).So, each ice cube given is about 16 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 calculated using  “boiled sweet
green pepper without salt” since there was no profile for roasted pepper.

I know that some moms like to fill da Kong with peanut butter, but did
you know that small size kong can hold approx 5 tsp of peanut butter?

creamy peanut butter 1 tbs is 90 kcal, so it means you are giving
158kcal (out of the 158kcal, 117 kcal comes from fat) just by filling
the small size kong for your dogs to lick them each time.

 I think it is way too much kcal from treats.

 This frozen yogurt is much healthier to fill in the kong and, dog love them.

 My cool down treats usually is ice cube
size, and it is around 15 kcal to 30 kcal depending on what I will be
using but, they are much low calorie cool down treats, and they do not
contains added sugar or high calorie ingredients such as peanut butter.

 If you were not familiar with kong,
it is a non toxic dish wash safe rubber chew toy that you can fill the
hole in the center with food.

 Dogs are to chew/lick the Kong toy to get
to the treats inside the hole and, it is popular classic interactive

What is that! My nose is getting wet.Smell so good!

Me interested! Can I nibble?? Please?

 I was very surprised to see how much Palette got excited over the roasted green pepper

 When Palette saw the frozen Kiwi Roasted green pepper yogurt treats, it made her much more excited.

I want one!I want one!

I will climb you up to get my prize!



Oops, da treats broke into 3 pieces..

I am enjoying the one piece,but keep my eyes on the prize…

I really loved them!

 If you have dogs with Arthritis, night shade family vegetables such as sweet pepper is something it would be best to avoid,since they aggravate the inflammation in dogs with Arthritis.

 Palette does not have Arthritis, but since she has limping history, I do not feed night shade family vegetables often,and I tend to focus more on feeding menu that are great natural source of glucosamine/chondroitin such as poultry paws,trachea,cartilage and gullet.

 Lastly, here is the last picture I took after taste testing Frozen Kiwi roasted green pepper yogurt treats.

 Attention to her nose;very wet!

 Attention to muzzle; Palette got a Yogurt mustache!

Got Yogurt mustache!

Apr 16, 2013 | 0 | Uncategorized

Yassy’s Japan Trip Diary November 2012; Day 4 Part 2

 4th day in Japan, we have headed to visit the most popular tourist spot in Nagano prefecture; Zenkoji Temple.

 On the way to the temple, we saw many beautiful Japanese maple trees with deep red leaves..

Japanese maple leaves (Momiji)..

 The scenery was breathtaking.

 The picture above is Japanese maple leaves and,it changes its color to deep red in the autumn. When maple leaves changes its color to the deep red, it is the season of autumn to us Japanese and, we call the change of the color of the leaves “ko-yo”.

 Many people across Japan come visit Nagano prefecture to enjoy beautiful ko-yo scenery during the autumn.Viewing the koyo is very popular activity in Japan during the autumn.

More Japanese maple trees…

 When spring comes, we visit popular spots for the cherry blossom trees to enjoy the beautiful cherry blossoms and, we have Hanami (viewing the flower).

 Some families have a picnic under the beautiful cherry blossom tree.They sit on mats under the cherry blossom trees, and enjoy eating,drinking,singing and of course enjoy viewing the blossoms under the cherry blossom trees.

 From March through May,when flowers bloom at best,many places hold Hanami festivals (Cherry blossom festivals) and sometimes, you will find various street vendors near the cherry blossom tree spots.

 I think we Japanese enjoy the nature very much as one of our customs.

 The day was very sunny day but at the same time, it was a bit windy and chilly.

 However, when you walk up to the Zenkoji Temple and welcomed by the beautiful maple trees,you will forget how cold it was. It just was beautiful maple trees welcoming you at the entrance area.

Zenkoji temple entrance area, with beautiful Japanese maple trees as a background..

Zenkoji temple main building..

 Zenkoji temple is the most popular tourists spot in Nagano prefecture.

 The Zenkoji temple was built about 1,400 years ago,about 6th century, and this temple is one of the oldest temples in Japan.

 The temple said to have the very first Buddhist image (Ikko-Sanzon Amida-Nyorai) ,which is also called “hi-bu-tsu”,a hidden Buddha statue, that has never been on public display.

 Every 6 years, replica of “Hi-bu-tsu” is on public display for a few weeks.

 According to Japan guide website, the next opportunity to see the replica of “Hi-bu-tsu” is in 2015.

 You can read the full article on Zenkoji temple at Japan guide website here.

 The main hall of Zenkoji temple is one of National treasure.

 What makes interesting about this temple other than the secret statue “Hi-bu-tsu” is the story behind it.

 According to website, the “Hi-bu-tsu” was brought to Japan in the 6th century by a delegation sent by Korean prince arrived at the court of the Emperor of Japan.

 The Koreans brought an image of Amitabha Buddha, and a letter from the Korean prince praising the dharma. This was the official introduction of Buddhism to Japan.

 To read the full article about Hibutsu at website,please click here.

 We have visited the main building and prayed by tossing the 10 yen coin (US 10 cents value coin) into the box in the lobby,and we asked the security guard to take a picture of us in front of the main building at the temple.

 Before going down the stairs, I took the picture the view from the main building to show you how crowded it was.


The view from the main building..

Family picture with Zenkoji temple main building as background..

 You may wonder what kind of smoke it is behind my family. It is the smoke coming from the lion statue (incense burner).

Lion incense burner..

 My mother told me that if we catch the smoke by hand, and rub the smoke on wherever you would like to get better, it is believed that the lion smoke will give you the blessing and help you get better on the area.

 Therefore, I lined up around the incense and rubbed the smoke on me too.

 In the past entry on Yassy’s Japan trip diary, I wrote that Nagano prefecture hold 1998 winter Olympic.

 The bell that rang the start of the winter Olympic in 1998 was the bell from Zenkoji temple. Did you know that?

The bell that rang the start of the winter Olympic in 1998..

 We also found “Roku jizou”. “Ro-ku” means “six” in Japanese and “ji-zo-u” means “guardian deity of children and travelers” in Japanese.

Ro-ku Ji-zo-u..

 In Japan, Ji-zo-u is believe to save people from suffering and,these 6 guardian deity a.k.a. “Ro-ku Ji-zo-u” are believed to give up their own enlightenment to help others achieving the salvation.

 Also, according to Japanese Buddhism website,they are believed that they could commune with 6 realms; hell, starvation, beasts, carnage, human beings, and heaven.

 You can read more on Zenkoji temple at Japanese Buddhism website here.

 Then,it was about lunch time so,we decided to have a lunch somewhere at Sando street,which is the street that lead to the temple. You get to see many souvenir shops and eatery places along the street.

Sando street..

 On the way to eatery place, we strolled a little bit more in the Zenkoji temple and snapped a bit more picture before leaving.

Scenery at the Zenkoji temple court yard..

 The Nagano prefecture is famous for noodle so we dined at the noodle shop and,headed back to our home in Aichi prefecture.

 It was short family trip but,we all enjoyed the time spent with our family in Nagano prefecture.

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Apr 14, 2013 | 0 | Uncategorized

How to keep track of Pet food/treats recalls

 January 2013, 2 cases. February,2013 5 cases. March,2013 7 cases, April 1 case.

 Do you know what this number is for?

 This is the number of recalls via FDA related to pet food and treats,mostly due to possible health risk of salmonella.

 In these 4 months alone, already 15 recalls were made.

 This will be more than enough reasons for many to switch their diet to raw diet or homemade diet so you can control the quality of food you would provide to your pets,and making sure that the food served are properly handled and chilled until you will need them.

 If you feed your dogs raw diet or homemade diet, then, you will be going through all the steps from sourcing the food,handling the food,storing the food to serving to your dogs.

 Therefore, you will know more about the food served to your dogs, and much more easier for you to tweak the menu if necessary according to how your dogs do.

 This is the virtue of the homemade diet and raw feeding.

 Your dog’s food are always fresh, you know where the meat is coming from, you know how they are stored, you know how they are handled prior to the feeding, and most of all, you can make their menu tailor towards each individual dog’s needs.

 On and off, I see people asking specific pet food they offer to their pets are effected by the recall or not.

 For those who wonder, I thought I will introduce you how you can keep track of all the recall made through FDA for pet food/treats.

Sign up for the recall alert through FDA website..

 When you visit FDA website here, you can find the section you can choose the topic you would like the alert for,and then you can sign up for the recall alert when you would like to get notified via e-mail.

 Since you would be interested in pet food/treats recall, you would click on “Recalls and safety alerts”,and you would land the page here.

 Then, you would click “Recalls,Market withdrawals, and safety alerts”,and you will land on e-mail sign up page here.

 Now all you need to do is to enter your e-mail address there to get the alert from them and you can keep track of all the recalls made through them.

 I understand that some people get notified via other different online source for recall alerts, but FDA is the ones that releasing the alerts.

 Therefore,you will get notified via FDA sooner than other online resources for the recalls, and its information will be accurate especially when you need to check the lot numbers and more detail in depth.

Bookmark the recalls and safety alert page..

 If you do not want to clog up your e-mail Inbox with recalls and safety alerts from FDA, one thing you can do is to bookmark the FDA’s recall page here.

 You can then make a habit to check the page to check the recall yourself.

Check the recall by typing in the brand name of the food or treats..

 You can also bookmark this FDA page to check the recall information.

 When you go to the FDA’s Pet food recall list page, you can find the blank box on your right hand side,and you can type in the brand name of the pet food and it will show you whether the brand you have entered in the box has been recalled or any recall history.

 Another way to keep track of recall on treats/food without clogging up your e-mail Inbox is that, you can subscribe their page via RSS feed.

 RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication.

 To do so, visit FDA website here, and scroll down to the bottom,and you will find the orange icons with 3 lines in the button.

 When you move your cursor over to the icon,you will see that it says “subscribe to RSS feed”.

 Click the orange RSS feed icon, and it will bring up the list of topics you can choose from.

 Click the “Pet Health”, and it pops up a small window that says “subscribe with live bookmark”, and click “OK”.

 Then, you will find the folder under the bookmark on your computer, and when you click the FDA folder, you will see the pet food related recall press release with RSS feed orange icon next to it.

 Once you click it,it will take you to the press release page for the specific recall alerts.

 Once the press release article is read, the RSS feed icon will turn to gray.

 As they update their recall release,you will find new ones on top.

 On the talk of Pet food/treats recall, some of you would be remembering the recall of variety of dog treats manufacturered by Kasel due to possible health risk of salmonella.

 For me,it was most memorable recall by far so far.

 You may wonder why.

 When the Kasel recalled variety of dog treats sold through many online/offline stores, I came across the information that the manufacturer’s processing plant was inspected by Agency back in September 2012, and they had issued recalls 3 times already.

 What makes me cringe is that, if you read the press release report on FDA’s website, you can see that when Colorado department of agriculture sampled their dog treats and 48 out of 87 environmental swabs collected during the facility’s inspection tested  positive for salmonella.

 Not only that,they had found more than ten different species of salmonella in their products and the manufacturing facility!

 According to efoodalert website, FDA released the inspection report Form 483 on Kasel (to view the PDF format report,please click here), and I was shocked to read the full 9 page report; unsanitary facility environment, bugs, flies, rodent poop, beetles-like insects etc..

 Wouldn’t this make you feel cringe?

 Knowing how treats/food were processed at facilities like this, would you offer these treats to your dogs?

 I think you wouldn’t.

 Knowing how environmentally unacceptable, would you offer treats to others if you found yourself as a seller,who is unfortunate to carry their brand of treats without consciousness?

 I think you wouldn’t.

 If it were me, even if the “in-stock” item’s lot number was not on the recall list,I would still take it off from the shelf.

 I am sad to see that some of the pet supply places still carry the treats made by Kassel, probably because the lot number they had in stock did not match with the numbers they had, and they might have thought it would be ok to offer.

 I am also sad that specific pet supply place did not mention about the recall information on their main website front page although I saw they were replying back with lot number information on their facebook page.

 If things like this happen, I think as a responsible seller of the pet supplies, they should place the message on the main front page so everyone can find the information easily with link to FDA website or something similar, and reassure them that the products they purchased was not made by kassel etc..and they should have don
e more to customers to give more clear information on the topic.

 What are your thoughts on Kassel’s “voluntary recall” case?

Note: If you feed your dogs kibble, best way to store their food is to keep them in the freezer.

Every time you will open the bag, the food gets expose to air,and it starts oxidize.

Make sure to keep the dog food bag,too until you finish feeding the bag so you know the lot number and best by date etc..

Since all the dog food recall information is released with lot number and best by date,you should have your dog food’s bag to be able to check the lot number affected by the recall if the brand of kibble you feed to your dog got recalled.

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Apr 09, 2013 | 0 | Uncategorized

Cheesy Baked Kurobuta Pork Chops with vegetables

 About a month ago or so, I have made cheesy baked Pork Chop for dinner.

 I knew that my husband is not a big fan of pork chop but, when I saw beautiful marbled “Kurobuta Pork Chop” at the meat counter, I wanted to try one and I decided to make a meal with it a week later.

 When I first saw “Kurobuta Pork Chop”,I immediately thought that it must be Japanese Pork breed product because I knew “Kurobuta” was in Japanese.

 “Kuro” means “black” in Japanese. “buta” means “pork” in Japanese. Therefore, I thought that it was black pig meat products,which also known as ” Heritage Berkshire Pork” here in the states.

 If you place the regular pork chop and Kurobuta pork chop side by side, you would notice that the color of the meat is tad darker with Kurobuta pork chop.

 I did not have regular Pork chops to show you the difference of the meat color but,here is the picture of Kurobuta pork chop.

Kurobuta Pork chop..

 Kurobuta is known for its tender,juicy, flavorful taste and best of the best in the pork products in Japan.

 Kagoshima prefecture in Kyusyu island (southern island in Japan) is famous for Kurobuta pork.

 Here is the Japan island map. Kagoshima prefecture is #46

 Interesting fact though about the Kurobuta Pork, I learned that the Kurobuta pig can be brought in from outside Japan, to be raised in Japan but, to be able to sold its meat as the “real” Kurobuta pig products, the pigs must be certified purebred under Japanese ministry of Agriculture,Fisheries,and Food rules.

 You can read more about Kurobuta pork at cooksinfo website here.

 Kurobuta Pork chop is not something we can indulge everyday,but it is really tasty meat and,great to cook them on special occasion

 Anyway, my husband is not a big fan of pork chop,but I knew that Kurobuta is highly prized in Japan,and I thought I would give it a try a week later to see how he likes it.

 As I thought, he loved the Kurobuta Pork chop and also he loved the way that I cooked.

 I think the quality of the meat made a difference and also,I think breadding that I used was something he really really liked and, a month later, he still talks about the pork chops and its breading and gives me ideas of dishes using the same breadding I used for the pork chop.

 Overall, the dinner was successful,and I am glad he loved them.

 After the pork chop is served, some weeks later, I have served steak with horseradish crust topping and,he loved them too.

 In this entry, I would share the recipe of Cheesy Baked Kurobuta Pork chop but later, I am planning to share the steak with horseradish topping recipe as well.

 I think you would love them.

Cheesy Baked Kurobuta Pork chop..

Ingredients for Cheesy baked Kurobuta Pork chop;

1/16 C Kosher Salt (for brine)
2           Kurobuta Pork Chop
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tbs     grated Parmesan
3/8 tsp kosher salt (for breading)
1/2C     Panko bread crumbs
1/2 tsp chopped
fresh thyme
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tbs Extra virgin olive oil
1/2C     unbleached all purpose flour
1            Egg lightly beaten

Morton’s Natures Seasons
1.5 tbs  Horseradish Mustard per chop
shredded Mozzarella cheese
Shredded Provolone cheese
Chopped green onions

<Cheesy baked Kurobuta Pork chop>

0. In the gallon size freezer bag, add 1/2C water and 1/16C Kosher salt and p;ace the Pork chop in the brine and let it sit for about 30 minutes

1. Preheat the oven to 425F

2. While chops are in the brine and oven is preheated, prepare the breading working station on the counter

3. Place 1st container on the far left and pour 1/2C unbleached all purpose flour, place another container in the middle and crack 1 eggs and lightly beaten, and place another container at far right and pour breading mixture* (breading mixture as shown below)

** Mix 1/2 tsp ground black pepper,2 tbs grated Parmesan cheese, 3/8 tsp kosher salt, 1/2C Panko bread crumbs, 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme,1/4 tsp garlic powder,1/2 tbs Extra virgin olive oil in the 3rd container to use as breading for the chops
4. Take out the pork chop from the brine and pat them dry with paper towel and place on the plate

5. Season the chops with Morton’s Natures seasons both sides

6.  Coat the chops all sides with 1.5 tbs horseradish mustard per chop

7. Coat the chop in the flour ,dredge them into egg and them bread them with the Parmesan Panko bread crumb mixture and coat the chop all sides,and let it set on another clean plate

8. In another small container mix shredded Mozzarella cheese and shredded provolone cheese with ratio of 50%-50% and mix well

9. Line the cookie sheet with non stick foil, place pizza pan with holes in the bottom upside down, wet the paper towel with bit of extra virgin olive oil and wipe the bottom of the pizza pan.Then, place the chops on top and bake them for about 20 minutes or until meat thermometer shows 147F*

** You may wonder why I do not simply use cookie sheet or cooling rack on top of the cookie sheet but there is a reason for that.

 When I baked pizza last time to recreate Domino Pizza’s pizza dough, I noticed that the pizza pan with holes on the bottom really baked the pizza nicely to crusty texture.

 Most baked chops or ribs recipe uses cooling rack on top of the cookie sheet so the bottom of the meat gets raised to get the heat can go under the meat and also cooks well.However, if I use the cooling rack to do so, the meat surface would not touch with metal with larger surface and I was not sure how well I would get nice crunchy bottom I was after.

 Thus, this is how I came up with. Use the pizza pan with holes on the bottom in place of the cooking rack to give more heat to the meat for the very crunchy coating bottom.

 It looks odd visually,but it worked out well.

After the chops were baked..

** Notice very crunchy coating bits on the pan?

** In the past, recommended pork products’ internal temperature was between 170F-185F.However, recent years, the recommended temperature was down to 150F-160F for tenderness,and juiciness;slightly rosy pink.

Trichinosis organism will be destroyed at 137F

 I have pulled out my pork chop at 147F because I knew that I will be broiling them,and as you know, the meat still be cooked even after taking out from the oven and often times, the temperature rises from 5F to 10F while meat is being rested.
10. When chops were baked to 147F, sprinkle some shredded mozzarella cheese and shredded provolone cheese mixture on top,and place the chops on the non stick foil in the cookie sheet

11. Turn the broiler on “HI” and broil the chops for about 70 seconds or the cheese gets bubbly and crumbs gets brown up a bit more.

12. Garnish the chops with chopped green onions and serve them with Carrot grasse and sauteed snow peas

Makes; 2 servings

<Carrot grasse>

1. Peel carrots and cut to about 1/2″ pieces

2. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil in the skillet and cook the carrot to about just about getting soft,seasoning them with Morton’s natures season

3. Add 3/8C water and 1 tbs butter,1/2 tsp white sugar and turn the heat to medium, put the lid on the  skillet and cook to tender

Makes: 1-2 servings

<Sauteed snow peas>

1. Trim off the string on the peas (top and bottom)

Snow peas, Sugar snap peas both have string on them. Remove the
string by breaking the tip of sugar snap pea/snow peas and gently pull
the string down.

2. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil in the skillet

3. Cook the snow peas,season with Morton’s Natures Season



Apr 07, 2013 | 0 | Uncategorized

Smart cat playing guessing game..

 Do you train your dogs daily?

 If you follow my blog entries, you will notice
that I love teaching Palette fun tricks besides basic obedience tricks
such as sit-stay etc with clicker training.

 I enjoy training her because she is very
eager to learn the new thing, and she gets so excited when she gets it
right. She gives me huge Corgi smile on her with her tongue hanging out
as if she is very proud of herself.

 Palette has been trained with clicker since the puppy-hood.

like the clicker training because dogs are much more eager to learn
things,and clicker’s unique sound can deliver the exact moment dogs did
right, and it has no miscommunication between us as to what behavior got
rewarded. Thus, it results in fast learning.

 I also like the fact that the training is not like a doggy boot camp.

 By using clicker training principals, you can teach variety of animals from chicken,fish,dolphins, etc other than dogs, wide variety of things.

if you will take only 5 minutes training session daily with your dogs,
it is worth it. The key for the good training is to be consistent and be
patient. Clicker training is fun for both of you,and it is good for
your dogs too.

 Training is a great mental exercise for your dogs
because especially with the clicker training, the dogs “think” and try
act accordingly to see if any of their behavior gets us to click the
clicker to earn the reward. In a way, clicker training is a thinking
game for them.

 Just recently, I came across the youtube video of
cat playing a little “guessing game” on the table with upside down walnut shells and, I thought it was very cute video.

 I think it is one of those good interactive games you could play with your dogs too.

 Watch how smart this cat is.

Cat playing guessing game..

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

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Apr 04, 2013 | 0 | Uncategorized