Archives for June, 2013

Yassy’s Japan Trip Diary November 2012; Day 6 Part 4

 The 6th day in Japan, as I wrote in the previous entry titled “Yassy’s Japan Trip Diary November 2012; Day 6 Part 1“, we decided to go to Hattasan Soneiji temple located in Shizuoka prefecture.

 Hattasan Soneiji temple is located in the city called “Fukuroi city“,which is in south western part of Shizuoka prefecture.

I shard some pictures from the Hattasan Soneiji temple with its history
behind it and wrote about Hattasan Soneiji’s famous dango (Japanese
sweet dumplings).

 Then, in the previous entry titled “Yassy’s Japan Trip Diary November 2012; Day 6 Part 2“,
I wrote about stone lantern (Ishi Doro), long stair steps to get to the
main building of the temple and shared some more pictures from the

 Then, in the previous entry titled “Yassy’s Japan Trip Diary November 2012; Day 6 Part 3“,
I wrote about “Te-mi-zu-ya”. It is a place where visitors clean/purify themselves before entering into shrine/temple.

 I also wrote that Japanese 5 yen coin is believed to be a lucky coin. 5
yen is called “go-e-n”, and it pronounces the same way to
mean “good relationship with events,people,fortune etc.. that may bring
good luck to you”.

 It is also known to be a good luck if you happened to get shiny 5 yen
coin, keep it in the wallet so the shiny 5 yen coin will bring more
fortune back to your wallet.

 Some people put 5 yen coin first to insert any money into the new wallet,and keep the 5 yen coin in there.

 In this entry, I will share more pictures from the trip to the Hattasan Soneiji temple.


Can you guess what is in the small building behind the tree?

 Me, my father,my husband went to go look inside the small house. Once you get to the building and look outside, this is what you see;a nice Japanese garden.

Nice Japanese garden near the small building..

 Inside, you will find the statue with 1,000 Origami cranes,which we call it “Se-n-ba zu-ru”.

Very colorful 1,000 Origami cranes..

What is Origami?

 “Origami” in Japanese literally means “folding paper”,and it is the traditional Japanese paper craft art.

 The origami paper is sold in packages and you can find various colors,various designs,various textures, and often times,they are sold in square shape. 

 Some are one side white, one side colored,but some are both colored, and you can create various kinds of paper art with those.

 Japanese kids are taught how to fold Origami by their parents,grandparents, or by kindergarten teachers.

 Therefore, everyone in Japan knows at least how to fold paper crane.

 My mother and grandmother are great Origami artists, and they make amazing things.

 Below is a lady with umbrella,made with Origami. When my mother made this, her friends asked her to make one for her and I remember she was busy making and I was helping folding paper pieces for her as well.

My mother’s Origami doll..

 Either my mother or my grandmother once made Origami Hello kitty,too.

 They are talented.I once made Origami disco ball kind of things besides basic cranes, dog face,t-shirts,boat, Samurai helmet, box and such but, I did not make super amazing things.

 You will be surprised how many amazing things you can make with colored papers “Origami’.

 Here is the Origami Museum youtube video I came across. You can see variety of things made by Origami paper.

Origami Museum..

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

What is “se-n-ba zu-ru”?

Beautiful Se-n-ba zuru (1,000 Origami cranes)..

 “Se-n” in Japanese means 1,000. “Tsu-ru” means “crane”. “Se-n-ba zu-ru” means 1,000 cranes.

 “Se-n-ba zu-ru” is the 1,000 origami cranes made with various colors,and each origami cranes are pierced through by a needle and thread and connected each other.

 In Japan, crane is believed to be a lucky bird that brings luck to you and, also, there is an old saying that goes “Tsu-ru wa se-n ne-n, Ka-me wa ma-n ne-n” ; Crane is 1,000 years, turtle is 10,000years, and they are the symbols for the longevity.

 Because of it, people believe that if you fold one origami crane, your life span gets longer.

 These 1,000 Origami cranes can be seen at the temples,shrines more, but you can also see hospital rooms decorated with the 1,000 Origami crane the patients’ friends and families brought with the wish the patent gets better soon.

 1,000 Origami crane also has the wish for the peace. This is why you can find many 1,000 Origami cranes at Hiroshima Peace memorials.

 Here is the great tutorial video on how to make Origami crane from youtube.

 It is fun to try,especially with kids. Have fun with your family- Japanese Culture experience

How to make Origami crane

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

 Here is my Origami Crane.

Yassy’s Origami crane..

 Did you make your own?

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Jun 30, 2013 | Comments are off | Japan

Italian cooking: Shrimp Scampi pasta 2 ways

 If you ask me what pasta dish I like best here in the states, I would say it will be seafood base pasta dish such as Shrimp scampi pasta. I just love the garlicky,buttery white sauce with tender crisp shrimp combination.

 That is why, when I make another favorite pasta dish such as Carbonara, I just cannot help myself ading shrimp to the dish,and complement the dish with salty,crispy yummy bacon bits with tender garlicky,buttery shrimp.

 Shrimp scampi by itself is tasty but, some restaurants simply serve the shrimp scampi not so appetizing because the shrimp are submerged into the greasy puddle of garlic butter in the dish. Some restaurants serve tough chewy,overcooked shrimp. Some other restaurant serves over seasoned salty shrimp..

 However, you can make the delicious shrimp scampi in no time right at your home. The tender,crisp,plump shrimp in the dish makes thousand time better when they are cooked and prepared properly.

 My favorite way to cook shrimp scampi pasta is to use sherry in stead of white wine and, add a little bit of heavy cream to make the sauce creamier,and I like to use much less butter in the sauce.

 I think seafood like shrimp,lobster,scallops, and fish goes well with flavor of sherry and I love to use them. I think grilled chicken breast on top of the creamy scampi pasta would goes well as well.

 In this entry, I would love to share two of my recipes for shrimp scampi. One is “Creamy shrimp scampi pasta” , and the other is “Shrimp scampi with garlic pancetta bits “. The dish looks fancier and elegant in a way.

 When you buy a bag of frozen shrimp, divide the shrimp into 10-12 count per bag and portion out before putting the shrimp back to the freezer. That way, you can pull out the shrimp only the amount you wanted to use in the dish each time.

<Creamy shrimp scampi>

Creamy Shrimp scampi

Ingredients for the garlic shrimp marinade;

1 tbs     sake
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tbs  corn starch
12 shrimp (I usually use 6 shrimps count per serving)
3 tbs water
2 cloves of garlic grated

1. In the small container, add 1
tbs  sake,1/4 tsp kosher salt,1 tbs  corn starch and 3 tbs water, and 2 cloves of garlic grated 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

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.

Ingredients for creamy shrimp scampi pasta

4 cloves of garlic grated
1/16 Red pepper sliced
1/16 Green pepper sliced
1/4 sweet onion sliced
1/4C dry sherry
3/4C heavy cream
1/4C dry sherry
1 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tbs butter
1/2 tbs Extra virgin olive oil
Morton’s Natures Season
6 oz – 7 oz wt Dry Linguine pasta (3.5 oz dry wt per serving)
Pinch of Kosher salt
Handful of Italian Flat Parsley chopped

1. Marinade the shrimp in the garlic shrimp marinade* (recipe above)

Wash the shrimp very well under running water, pat them dry

3. Start boiling water for pasta,
and when water comes to boil, add pinch of kosher salt and cook the
pasta following the direction on the package.

4. Drizzle 1/2 tbs Extra virgin olive oil, 3 tbs butter in the skillet and add 2 cloves of garlic grated and stir

When you smell garlic in the air, add shrimp and cook to about 70%
doneness and add 1 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice over the shrimp and stir.

6. To the same skillet, add 1/16
Red pepper sliced,1/16 Green pepper sliced,1/4 sweet onion sliced, and season them with Morton’s Natures Season and stir

7. Add 1/4C dry sherry and stir, and let them evaporate some sherry

8. Add 3/4C heavy cream, and re-season the sauce with Morton’s Natures Seasons and stir and let it thicken a little


Add the sauce to the cooked Linguine or Fettuccine pasta, and add
handful of grated Parmesan cheese and stir. Adjust the seasoning if

10. Plate the dish up and garnish with chopped Italian Flat parsley and serve.

Makes 2 serving; use 3oz wt -4 oz wt dry pasta per serving


<Shrimp Scampi Pasta with Garlic Pancetta bits>

Shrimp Scampi pasta with garlic Pancetta bits

Ingredients for the shrimp marinade;

1 tbs     sake
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tbs  corn starch
12 shrimp (I usually use 6 shrimps count per serving)
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

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.

Ingredients for shrimp scampi pasta with garlic pancetta bits

2 cloves of garlic grated
3/16 Red pepper sliced
1/8 Green pepper sliced
1/4 sweet onion sliced
1/4C White wine (recommend Chardonnay)
1/4C chicken broth
1 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
1.5 tbs butter
Extra virgin olive oil
2 oz pancetta chopped
Morton’s Natures Season
6 oz – 7 oz wt Dry Linguine pasta or Fettucini pasta (3.5 oz dry wt per serving)
Pinch of Kosher salt
Handful of Italian Flat Parsley chopped

1. Marinade the shrimp in the shrimp marinade* (recipe above)

2. Wash the shrimp very well under running water, pat them dry

3. Start boiling water for pasta, and when water comes to boil, add pinch of kosher salt and cook the pasta following the direction on the package.

4. Drizzle Extra virgin olive oil in the skillet and add 2 oz chopped pancetta and cook to 80% crisp on medium high heat,and add 1 clove of garlic grated and once it got fragrant, lower the heat a little bit and cook the garlic pancetta bits to crisp and set them aside by draining the oil on the paper towel lined over the plate

5. To the same skillet, add 2 clove of garlic grated,and stir and when it got fragrant, add shrimp and season them with Morton’s Natures seasons and cook till almost done.Set them aside.

6. Add 1/4 Sweet onion sliced, 3/16 Red pepper sliced, 1/8 green pepper sliced, and season them with Morton’s Natures Season and stir. Cook to crisp tender

7. Add 1 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1/4C white wine,1/4C chicken broth and stir and let the flavor concentrate and keep cooking for another 3-5 minutes until the sauce gets reduced to about 70% – 80% amount

8. Add the cooked shrimp, 1.5 tbs butter back in to the skillet

9. Add the vegetables,shrimps,sauce to the cooked Linguine or Fettuccine pasta, and mix and season the dish with Morton’s Natures seasons if necessary

10. Plate the dish up and garnish with chopped Italian Flat parsley and garlic pancetta bits and serve.

Makes 2 serving; use 3oz wt -4 oz wt dry pasta per serving



Jun 25, 2013 | Comments are off | Miscellaneous (Cooking)

Palette’s note: Grass-fed Moo! Angus beef Cow Tail Wraps

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

 Ingredients? Fancy looking pictures?Description of the products?

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

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

 With “Palette’s Note” series,I like to put taste test videos. This time, “Grass-fed Moo! Angus beef Cow Tail Wraps“.

K9 executive chef “Palette” enjoy cowtail wrap..

 Grass-fed Angus beef Cow Tail Wraps 8 oz are made in Argentina.

 These are made from Grass-fed Angus beef that received No antibiotic,No growth hormone in their life.

 Currently, size of the treats available is 4″-6″ cow tail wraps 8 oz package,and it contains approx. 11 – 15 tails.

 Palette adore this brand of Cow tail treats wrapped in its own skin.

 They are soft chewy unique treats but it is not too soft that she can gobbles it up in a second. It still requires her quite a bit of chewing for her to chew off the bits. She loves this tail treats and,I think that these are good alternative chew in place of bully sticks.

 If you were looking for long lasting chew, we recommend Deer Antlers.

 If you were looking for softer chew than Antlers,but the one lasts long enough, then, we would recommend Himalayan Dog Chew, which we call it “Cheese stick” for our k9 executive chef “Palette”. She chewed roughly 1″ per 20 minutes long per time for the Large size one.

 If you were looking for treats with benefit; treats that has good health properties, then, we recommend gullet treats,trachea treats, and poultry feet treats for joint health since those are great natural source of glucosamine/chondroitin, and fish treats for healthy coat and skin because fish treats we carry are all from cold water oily fish that are high in Omega 3 fatty acids; salmon,mackerel,herring and sardine.

 There are many fish treats available on the market are they claim to be high in Omega 3 fatty acid but, fish they use is non oily fish such as cod, tilapia and some fish they use are not wild caught but farm raised fish.

 Fish in general has higher number of Omega 3 fatty acids,compared to poultry like chicken but, the amount they can provide is far less than oily cold water fish like salmon.

 For example, 1 oz of cod cooked contains roughly 80mg of Omega 3 fatty acids (You can look up nutrition profile here).

 What about salmon?

 Wild caught Atlantic salmon, cooked, 1 oz,  has 724mg of Omega 3 fatty acids. You can see the difference and understand why I advise you to give salmon over cod. (You can look up wild caught cooked Atlantic salmon nutrition profile here)

 Salmon got 10 times more of good stuff in them!

 This is the reason why we, Yassy’s Gourmet Dog Kitchen ,do not carry non oily fish based treats.

 If your dog loves fish, then, give cold water oily fish base treats, not the one made with general fish for the maximum health benefit of them enjoying the treats and still get good health benefit by consuming them.

 Anyway, cow tail wrap treats are made from Grass-fed beef and, they are great beef chew as alternative in place of regular bully sticks for chew fun.

 Not only that, grass-fed meat have higher Omega 3 fatty acids than feedlot meat,as well, and better choice for the healthier treats for your furriends.

 Due to natural treats,thickness and length of the each treats can vary.

Ingredient: Cow tail wrapped in its own skin

 Let’s watch how much Palette enjoy her Grass-fed Moo! Angus beef Cow tail wraps  below.

Jun 23, 2013 | Comments are off | Yassy's Gourmet Dog Kitchen

Yassy’s Japan Trip Diary November 2012; Day 6 Part 3

  The 6th day in Japan, as I wrote in the previous entry titled “Yassy’s Japan Trip Diary November 2012; Day 6 Part 1“, we decided to go to Hattasan Soneiji temple located in Shizuoka prefecture.

 Hattasan Soneiji temple is located in the city called “Fukuroi city“,which is in south western part of Shizuoka prefecture.

I shard some pictures from the Hattasan Soneiji temple with its history
behind it and wrote about Hattasan Soneiji’s famous dango (Japanese
sweet dumplings).

 Then, in the previous entry titled “Yassy’s Japan Trip Diary November 2012; Day 6 Part 2“, I wrote about stone lantern (Ishi Doro), long stair steps to get to the main building of the temple and shared some more pictures from the temple.

 Since the temple was very spacious, there are so many pictures to share.

 In this entry, I will share more pictures from the trip to the Hattasan Soneiji temple.

Finally see the last stair step!

My father and my husband climbing the stair steps to the top..

 This 237 stair steps really was hardest part of the trip because we had to climb up the stairs after walking long distance to the bottom of the stair step from the entrance to the temple.

 I think that this temple really makes you walk a lot,and good place to go for a walk enjoying the beautiful, quiet, peaceful scenery on the way. If you had a dog to go with,they would certainly love the walk in the temple and enjoy all the doggy daily news on the ground. So many visitors to the temples each year that I am sure that the furriends could enjoy all sorts of scents on the ground.

More stairs to go!

 After long,long stair steps to clear, we had to climb up a little bit more steps. We can see the main building right in front of us but to get there, more stair steps to go.

Nice pine trees and stone lantern at the side of the stair steps..

When you look at the other side, you see the stair steps to climb down..

Finally at the main building..

 My husband took the 360 degree video at the top of the stairs to show you the scenery around you at the main buildings.

Hattasan Soneiji temple in Japan

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

Temizuya; Place to clean your hands before entering into a shrine or temple..

 If you have been to shrines or temples across Japan, you would notice that there is a place where you find small basin of flowing water and ladle with long wooden handle,which we call “Hi-sha-ku” in Japanese. Often times, Hi-sha-ku are placed near the flowing water.

 The area is called “Te-mi-zu-ya”. It is a place where visitors clean/purify themselves before entering into shrine/temple.

 “Hi-sha-ku” is used to scoop up some water and pour it over your hands to wash your hands before entering into sacred areas such as shrine/temple buildings.

 If you bring dogs with you, they can drink water but, they are not allowed to drink the water right out from the Hi-sha-ku (ladle).

 You can read more on Temizuya at Shinto encyclopedia website here.

 Do you know what are the differences between shinto shrine and Buddhist temples?

 According to Japan National Tourism organization website, shinto  shrines were built to serve Shinto religious tradition and they are characterized by To-ri-i entrance (bird perch).

 The Buddhist temples were built to serve the Buddhist religious tradition and characterized by San mon gate (main wooden gate).

 Here is how to clean your hands at the Yemizuya area.

1. Scoop up the water with Hi-sha-ku (ladle with long wooden handle)

2. Pour water onto your left hand

3. Then, hold hi-sha-ku with your left hand and scoop up the water

4. Pour water over right hand to clean

 To learn more on temple/shrine visitor’s etiquette at the Japan National Tourism Organization website,please click here.

Right in front of the main building, there is nice stone lantern (Ishi doro)..

 We went inside and pray, and came out.

 In Japan, when you go to shrines/temples, you will toss the coin (we call the coin to toss to pray “sa-i-se-n coin”.) into the sa-i-se-n ba-ko (offering box) and pray.

 To pray at the temple, you will join both hands right in front of your nose and bow a little and close your eye and pray.

 We normally toss 5 yen coin (5 cents in US currency), or 10 yen (10 cents in US currency).

 I prefer to use 5 yen because 5 yen is called “go-e-n”, and it pronounces the same way to mean “good relationship with events,people,fortune etc.. that may bring good luck to you”.

 It is also known to be a good luck if you happened to get shiny 5 yen coin, keep it in the wallet so the shiny 5 yen coin will bring more fortune back to your wallet.

 Some people put 5 yen coin first to insert any money into the new wallet,and keep the 5 yen coin in there.

 Back home in Japan, to get into high school and University of your choice,students must pass the entrance exams.

 Every entrance exams I had to take, I kept 5 yen in my school uniform top wear pocket while taking exam and left the 5 yen at the desk where I took the exam at.

 It is one of those things people in Japan believe in the good luck that way.

Nice stone lantern on the other side of the buildings..

 Can you guess what you would find in the small building you see behind the tree?

 You will find it out next time on Yassy’s Japan Tip diary November 2012: Day 6 Part 4.

 Stay tuned!

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Jun 18, 2013 | Comments are off | Japan

Palette’s spring treats diary;June16th,2013

 For Palette, last month was another eventful month.

 For one thing, beside biscuits/Jerky making for Yassy’s Gourmet Dog Kitchen, I have made my made up “Sweet potato pie with Mango puree” to share the recipe with you in this “Palette’s treat diary” series.

 It is because we had many rainy days in the month, and we still had cool down treats in the freezer and, I wanted to share something different.

 For human, I made Pita bread to use for Gyro sandwich, Melon Pan (Japanese enriched bread with cookie crust on top) etc.. and Palette saw a lot of activity in the kitchen.

 You can find Melon pan recipe in the past entry titled “Yassy’s Japan Trip Diary November 2012: Day 4 Part 4“.

 It is a little time consuming, but I love the bread very much and whenever I crave for the Melon pan, I make some for nibble.

 My husband likes it and so does Palette. She goes nuts for the Melon pan

Give me,give me…I want one!

 My husband’s recent
secret surprise plan for me was to let me hunt for the surprise. He told me there was something special surprise for me. Therefore, I went to look and hmmm…it looks tasty!

 He got me a chocolate cake with flan on top!

 I love chocolate,and he knows it.

 I loved chocolate so much that I have entered into recipe contest’s chocolate desert category with crepe recipe for fun, and I was next runner up

 I did not win the first prize but, I have got a chocolate book from them. It was all about chocolate. I love the book. 

 The flan tasted like “Ya-ki pu-ri-n (baked pudding)” we Japanese call it. It reminded me of food from Japan. It was very tasty and I wanted more.

Chocolate cake with flan on top..

 My husband told me that he has got it from Mexican restaurant called “El Paso“. If you had a chance to visit the restaurant, try this desert and see if you like them as much as I did.

 I will highly recommend this yummy desert. It was so good.

 I liked the slight coconuty flavor in the flan and the chocolate cake was not sticky sweet like most restaurants serve.

 Another big event in the month was to go pick up Palette’s whole sardine to restock her freezer through local co-op.

 As you already know, Palette the Corgi is on fresh food diet a.k.a. raw diet for 6 years and, she has her own freezer. Once in every 8 months or so, I need to re-stock her freezer and, I use the local co-op for some items that I keep for Palette.

 On the co-op pick up day, since the freezer trailer truck comes to pick up location early in the morning, our day starts early too.

 We wake up and feed Palette around 5 am then. Palette usually is in the process of waking up while eating so, she yawn big and eats slow for the super early breakfast.

 I suspects that she will be back to crate to catch up missed sleep while we are out for hunting for her food (picking up her food at local co-op pick up location).

 She always greet us with excitement with goop on her eyes,which is a sign of her being sleeping

 On the local co-op pick up day, our routine is to stop by bagel shop called ” Einstein Bros Bagels” to have breakfast there and then continue to go pick up Palette’s food.

 I love their bagel very much because unlike most bakery’s bagel, their bagel is softer yet still gives some chewiness. I love their bagel sandwich, especially the one with egg.

 Last time we went, we got ourselves dozen bagel with smoked salmon spread. It was so good. Palette loved the itty bitty piece of bagel so their bagel has seal of approval from our k9 Executive chef “Palette”

Einstein Bros Bagels in the box..

 If you were looking for the way to feed your dogs on great saving, look for the local co-op near you. Since more and more people seems to be interested in the natural feeding, you might be able to find the co-op easier than you think.

 They are especially great for those who have large number of dogs, big dogs, or those who love to experiment variety of protein source and last but not least for those who would love to buy stuff in bulk.

 You can read more on raw feeding co-op in the  past entry titled ” Palette’s food market guide: Raw feeding co-op“.

 You would also like the other entries in the “Palette’s Food market guide” under the dog diet category here, because “Palette’s food market guide” series is more of buying tips for raw diet food.

 We also ran out of Palette’s wild caught fish that I feed for fish variety, we went for hunting for those fish as well. For the fish for variety purpose, I really do not have particular staple and simply pick up whatever looks good on the fish counter that day. Only thing I want is I would like wild caught fish,not farm raised fish.

 This time, we got wild caught salmon, yellow fin tuna, Sword fish, Mahi Mahi, and red snapper.

 When I portion cut them and bag them up, Palette is always on my side waiting for the taste test before they go to sleep in the  freezer.

 All passed her taste test and, she was happy with what we got her.

Mom, that is mine! S.L.U.R.P!

 The fish I keep as staple include wild caught sock eye salmon, herring,mackerel,and sardines. Those are always in her freezer, and she gets each fish gets fed 2 times per week and rotated among the 4 oily fish variety.

 Last month had some rainy days but it also got hot/warm days as well.

 When we could go for walk, I started letting Palette wearing insect shield t-shirt for bug repel purpose.

 When kids passes by,Palette gets so much attention from them

 I don’t think I have seen a dog with clothes in our neighborhood so, it might be why Palette makes people look back.She enjoys all the attention she can get,though.

I love to wear Insect shield dog t-shirts,but I hate to take it off…

 She loves to wear it very much, but she hates to take it off.She gets grumpy when she knows it is time to take it off

 After claiming her favorite cool down treats,she headed to her cool bed to rest.

is nice to have it around as the weather gets warmer. If you do not
have one,I highly recommend it.

 I have tried 2 brands,but I prefer the
one we currently using; Canine cooler III. We have been using for many
years now. No water leaking accident happen yet.


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

 June 16th,2013

 Last month was super exciting month for me because I got to taste test variety of fish and, mom made super yummy sweet potato pie with Mango puree and, I got to car ride to Petsmart.

 I love car ride!

 When I see the opportunity to running past mom or dad to get into a car, I will hop into a car by myself and make myself comfortable.

 One time, I saw the door open, and hopped onto driver seat. Then, mom asked me if I were going to drive everyone to the Petsmart.

 I think I do not mind if I had a long leg like Greyhound. It would be fun! Where to?

 There are so many places I would drive my mom and dad to with destination decision on me. I would love that!

 Where would you like to take your mom and dad to?

 With Petsmart, we go there once in a while to get my fur under the paw trimmed and smooth out my nail while I do nail trim on my own.

 I now know everything at the Petsmart, and I run straight to the door and take mom straight out to kitty adoption place and I go sniff and greet them. Then, inspecting kitty food aisle to see what are on the shelf and walk around the store and meeting new people and furriends and spend some social time there and finally go in to the beauty room to get myself pretty.

 It certain feels better with fur trimmed nicely so I get to have better traction on the surface and ot sliding around as much in the house.

 When we could go for walkie, mom let me wear the T-shirts and, it sure make people look back and, I get “doggie,doggie” call from small hooman in the neighborhood and, I get to be called “puppy” (I am 7. I am not a puppy anymore, but I guess it is advantage of being a short leg dog.

 I would love all the attention I can get.

Hi! I am on walkie..

 After the walkie, I get to eat cool down treats and I love them very much. Mom has been making those since I was a puppy and I have to have them. Because it is so yummy and, I want one!

Mom, are you coming? Cool down treats time! Hurry up!

Palette came to pick you up.. Up,up,up..

 I got cool down treats after the walkie, but last month’s highlight of the yummy was sweet potato pie.Mom decided to make it because I still got more cool down treats in the freezer and she decided to make different yummy for snack before bed.

 It was so good! My dad’s workmate got Pit bull, and he loved mom’s sweet potato pie too! My dad was told the pit bull furriend was super crazy for the pie.

 I knew it, because it was really good and I loved them very much. I am getting slice of pie each night as small snack before bed now.

 It is a frozen pie and it is extra good Your mom loves ice cream sandwich doesn’t she? Why not frozen pie for me?


you follow my blog entries, you would see how much I enjoy
cooking/baking and,I love to be creative about the dish that I make. It
is one of most fun process in the cooking.

 This sweet potato pie with Mango puree is something I came up with and, it turned out to be a huge hit among furriends and decided to share the recipe with you.

 Once in a while, super special treats like this is a good surprise for your furriends and they would love the surprise too!

Sweet potato pie with Mango puree..

Ingredients for Sweet potato pie with Mango puree;

1 sweet potato baked,mashed
1 Mango peeled,seeded,rough chopped (8 oz wt total)
3/8 tsp lemon juice freshly squeezed
unbleached all purpose flour
1/2C unbleached Whole wheat flour
unsweetened coconut flakes
6 tbs Mango puree
1 tbs water

1/8 tsp freshly grated ginger
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbs lightly beaten egg

1. Bake 1 sweet potato at 425F for 70 min

2. Cut 1 Mango into 1/4″ pieces (8 oz wt total of mango chunks,peeled,seeded)

3. Reserve 1 oz chunk in small container (use as garnish on the plate),and add 1/8 tsp lemon juice freshly squeezed

4. Add 1/4 tsp lemon juice freshly squeezed,7 oz mango chunks into mixer and puree and keep it in the small container

5. In the bowl, add 1/2C unbleached all purpose flour,1/2C unbleached Whole wheat flour, 1/6C unsweetened coconut flakes,6 tbs Mango puree,1 tbs water and mix

6. Knead the dough about 3 minutes

7. Roll the dough out to 1/8″ thickness

8. Cut the dough with 3.5 diameter cookie cutter

9. Line the non stick foil in the muffin pan sheet

10. put the cut out round dough into the muffin pan, and press it around so the dough would form like a cup

11. Using back of the fork, make the nice ridge on sides; Press it on the side dough and move it upward so the fork can make ridge mark around the side

12. Mash the roasted sweet potato, and add 1/8 tsp fresh grated ginger, 1/8 tsp cinnamon, 2 tbs lightly beaten egg and mix well

13. Prick the bottom of the pie dough with fork and, fill the pie dough with sweet potato mash.

14. Bake them at 350F for 35-40 minutes until edges gets brown and tooth pick inserted in the center of the pie would come out clean and sweet potato mash is set in the pie

15. Cool it down

16. Garnish the pie with Mango puree, and sprinkle Mango bits on the plate and serve

** I forgot I had the piece of mango in the fridge for garnish so, she had it as desert with her meal but you can serve it sliced one to make it cuter. Palette got 1/4 pie first.

Makes: 6 pies plus 2 cigar cookie

A slice of sweet potato pie with Mango puree..

*** Leftover pie dough ***

1. Roll the dough very very thin and tightly roll it up like a long cigar and cut it into length you want

2. Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes or so until it gets brown and let it cool

** I have taste tested this cigar cookie and loved them Palette had some cigar cookie after I nibbled some

*** Leftover sweet potato mash ***

You can mix it with yogurt and freeze it in the ice cube tray to make another batch of cool down treats. Palette loves them

Ate the slice of pie super quick,sorry mom.All gone…

Ohh.. I get a whole pie? Wet nose alert!

Got a whole pie! Nom,nom,nom..

Then,I asked what I should do with 3/4 pie … She said..

I can eat more!

I will give 6 paws up! It was yummy!

 Then, Palette moved the sweet potato pie plate to me as if to say “Give me more”..



Jun 16, 2013 | Comments are off | Dog Diet

Yassy’s Japan Trip Diary November 2012; Day 6 Part 2

 The 6th day in Japan, as I wrote in the previous entry titled “Yassy’s Japan Trip Diary November 2012; Day 6 Part 1“, we decided to go to Hattasan Soneiji temple located in Shizuoka prefecture.

of the reasons we decided to go there was because I had not had a
chance to dine my favorite broiled eel dish,and Shizuoka prefecture is
famous for the eel. Plus, for my husband, visiting historical place was
interesting to him.

 Hattasan Soneiji temple is located in the city called “Fukuroi city“,which is in south western part of Shizuoka prefecture.

 Then, I shard some pictures from the Hattasan Soneiji temple with its history behind it and wrote about Hattasan Soneiji’s famous dango (Japanese sweet dumplings).

 Since the temple was very spacious and you would need to walk long distance to get to the main buildings, I could not share all the pictures that I took.

 Therefore, in this entry, I will share more pictures from the trip to the Hattasan Soneiji temple.

My father checking out the map to see how far more we have to walk to the main building..

Still the path continue..

It was good that we went there on Sunny day..

This would be for rain water would get flushed out..

Lots of trees..

This also means that if you come there at the right time for Ko-u-yo-u (change of the color of the leaves), you will see beautiful scenery

Look,how far we came..

 When you look at the picture above, you see the stone sculpture with triangle top.

 It is called “I-shi do-ro”,which is “stone lantern” in English.

 You can see those moss covered stone lanterns at castles,temples, gardens, and shrines. Historical places tend to have those around in the court yard.

 There are more than one variety of lantern in Japan, and you can read more on lanterns in Japan at Japanese architecture and Art website at the link below.

 You can copy the link and past it into your browser to visit the website.

Finally we started seeing the stone steps that leads us to the main building!

 But…. how many steps do we have to make?


Long way to go…

 This long stair step is called “Shi-n-zo-u Ya-bu-ri no ka-i-dan”; “shi-n-zo-u” means “heart”,”yaburi” means “challenge” , “ka-i-dan” means “stair steps” in Japanese.

 The long stone steps are known to make visitors out of breath by the time you reach to the top.

 Once you see ahead of you and think “OK, a little bit more steps and should be on the top”, you are wrong.Still more to go..

More to go..

 We saw people climbing up the stairs taking a short break, to catch up the breath.

We came up to this far…

 We climbed a lot of steps, but when you turn ahead, we saw more long stairs steps in front of us..

 After a while, I saw this view.

Are we finally close to the top stair??

 As you can imagine, we walked very long distance to get to this stair steps and then,climbed long,long stair steps.

 It was certainly the good exercise.

 I have asked staff at the temple how many steps we have climbed up located right in front of the main building.

 They told me it was 237 steps to the top.

 No wonder we got out of breath after reaching to the top stair step

 More pictures coming to share.

 Stay tuned!

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Jun 13, 2013 | Comments are off | Japan

Hot spots on dogs

 When the season starting to change, sometimes, you would notice your dog is licking or chewing the spot to raw. Then, in some cases, the spot gets bold area,irritated and swollen.

 In the past, Palette had case like this 2 times.

 One time was around butt cheek fur area back in 2008, and the other time was around ankle area in 2012.

 Very first one we experienced years ago, we did not know she was chewing or licking one specific area to raw until it got bold and inflamed and moist looking. It is probably because especially the area was hairy area, plus we did not catch her messing with the area when she was with us.

 Therefore, the area got infected a bit and,we ended up taking her to the vet. There, we learned that she had the condition that is called “hot spot” or “acute moist dermatitis”.

 According to her, the hot spots is the inflamed/infected spot that was result of intense licking or/and chewing by a dog. The hot spots can be caused from variety of reasons such as flea bites, insect bites, allergy (food/ environmental/contact), mental cause that is called “lick granuloma” (often cause is from boredom / separation anxiety etc.).

 Hot spot area is usually mean red, or if it were too inflamed, sometimes see moist yellow gooey/oozing stuff on the spot and, because dog tend to lick/chew so much that the area can become fur-less (bold) spot.

 The area can get very itchy but at the same time, it can be painful as well.

 It is kind of like you get bitten by mosquito and if you scratch the area, it gets itchier and you will scratch more to raw in some cases and the area gets moist and infected.

 Since then, I learned what it was and, paid close attention if we caught her licking or chewing. At the same time, if we saw Palette keeps licking or chewing at the same spot intensely, we put her on shame of cones.

 It is because whether you will take your dog to the vet or take a measure of “wait and see” route, as long as the dog keeps messing the area, the area condition gets worse and,best thing is to interrupt the chewing/licking behavior.

 The picture below
is Palette wearing “Comfy cone”. It is soft Elizabeth collar,and I used it when she had hot spot suspicion.

Palette wearing Comfy cone..

 With Plastic classic style Elizabeth
collar,she tend to dig up the dirt with tip of the Elizabeth collar
because making sure safety of where she does potty is very important to
(she sniffs very good to
make sure her spot is safe).

 Also, every time she dug to sniff area,I had
to remove the Elizabeth collar with my half eye on her to make sure she
does not secretly chew on spot while I was washing it.

 After all, I decided to
take it off every time when we go for potty, and put it back on after potty.

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

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

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

 Very first time Palette had the hot spot, very first thing our lady vet did was to shaving the area so the area can breath better.

 Then, she gave us anti itch pill, antibiotic pill, ointment called “Quadritop ointment”, and white powder called “NeoPredef with Teteracanine powder”,which is antibacterial powder that helps the area heal faster and better.

 She instructed us to wipe the infected area with Aloe vera and witch hazel wipe to clean first, and then apply the powder to the area every 12 hours for 7 days.

 We followed her instruction and by the day 3 or 4, the area was all scabby and dry , and Palette did not mess with the area anymore. Therefore, she was mostly free from cone of shame. She wore the cone only sleeping time then until full recovery.

If your dogs will be on antibiotic treatment..

 If your dog is going to be on antibiotic treatment, there is one thing you should know about.

 Make sure to give probiotic
during the antibiotic treatment, and plus 1 month after antibiotic time
period has ended because antibiotic kills all the beneficial bacteria in
the gut and you need to introduce the good beneficial bacteria back to
their gut again.

 Our vet said to give probiotic during the
course of antibiotic treatment and plus 3-5 days more after treatment is
ended but,with Palette, it was not enough to bring the number of
beneficial bacteria back to her gut.

 She needed probiotic for 1 full
month since the last day of the antibiotic treatment.

 Yassy’s Gourmet Dog Kitchen carry Acidophilus plus for dogs and puppy. This digestive supplement comes with liquid form,16 fl oz,and it has Triple Filtered spring water,Lactobacillus acidophilus cultures,Yucca,Papaya puree,Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) as ingredients.

 This is exactly the same digestive aids supplement I give to Palette when she has to be on antibiotic treatment or when she had digestive upset.

 The second time, the area did not get badly irritated as much as first time hot spots and, her treatment time was very short one with less medicine (antibiotic pill and Neopredef powder were not needed) and, we were glad we caught them early.

 What she gave us then was anti itch pill, plus new tube of ointment called “Quadritop ointment” since the same ointment we got at the first time was gone by the time we decided to visit her with 2nd round hot spots.

 When we went to the lady vet, we brought the bottle of Neopredef whether we can still use it on her. The expiration year was still ok, and the date itself was close enough but,we were told that the date was passed and her infected area was not looking that bad enough to use Neopredef powder, she gave us ointment,instead.

Palette’s 2nd time hot spots in the past…

par our lady vet’s recommendation if we were to take “wait and see
measure” at first from the first visit with hotspot, we gave her 25mg benadryl capsule 2 times a day before we decided to visit the lady vet with second round hot spots. She is 30lb dog. I think she was on it about 12 days.

 For the dosage, you may want to contact your vet, and ask for suggested dosage for your furriends.

 When I did not see her scratching, I took the cone off  and let her be
free as long as she was around us.She looked happy because now she got
to chew her treats with no difficulties.

 With her hot spot round 2, benadryl worked okay
but,it was not complete free from the hot spot (she was not
chewing/licking intsely but we noticed that she licked/chew the area now and then) so we took her to the vet as round 2 hot spot.

 When we went with 2nd round of hot spots, although our lady vet told us at our very 1st hot spots time that the true food allergy is unlikely in her case, I asked about food Allergy because the hot spots scratches started about a couple of later after she had llama meat with bone. I knew she had no problem with Llama before but, since the scratchy day was very close to the feeding day, I asked the vet about her thoughts on this.

 After examining Palette, and knew we do flea comb but have not seen them on her, she thought it will be either contact allergy
(since she is short,easy to touch her tummy with grass etc..) or
seasonal allergy.

 She told us that year 2012 started off much warmer/hotter than last
year, and normally, they tend to see seasonal allergy around fall, but
it seemed to be shifted to summer this year and sees dogs like Palette
often during this season.

 That also means, this year 2013 is also strange weather lately and have hot humid day at daytime already, we may or may not see the scratch action sooner than average year.

 She also said to us that we were early to catch the hot spots area, so Palette does not have to be on antibiotic treatment.

 Palette came back home with a bit of shaved hind leg so the area can breath, clean, and dry.

 Since when we took Palette to her with
her first hot spot, and was told might be seasonal/contact allergy, I was avoiding grass for her to walk through for
walkie as much as possible, but I could not avoid the grass completely
because she wanted to do her potty #2 often times on grassy area.

 After the 2nd round hot spots event, I started letting her wear insect repelling t-shirts called “Insect shield” when weather gets warmer since I thought it could benefit her to not having bug around, also if she wore the t-shirts, bug might not bite her when she squat for potty.

 After the ointment with pill, her spot cleared out, and when it got cooled down and season changed and she seemed to have no more scratches.

 Based on that fact, it looks like she is seasonal allergy if she gets one.

 As hot summer is approaching, many dogs will be enjoying water shower or kiddy pool or beaches.

 When dogs get wet, make sure to dry them thoroughly so the fur is not left with dump condition;perfect environment for bacteria to grow.

 Also, when your dog got muddy and take a bath,make sure to remove all the shampoo off off them. Leftover shampoo can make them itchy.

 These last two points were some other things the lady vet told us what we can do to prevent the trigger as much as possible.

 Enjoy summer!


Jun 11, 2013 | Comments are off | Miscellaneous (dogs)

Bonefish Grill menu: Norwegian salmon with sweet spicy Mango salsa Yassy’s version

 As you already know, I like re-creating meals from restaurants or eatery places that I have visited and loved. It is fun to brain storming what is in the dishes I like.

 It is also fun to order the same dish at different restaurants to compare, and find their own personality in the each dish served.
 One of the restaurants I like to go to is Bonefish Grill.

 This restaurant would have been one of the first restaurants I was taken to when I came to the states.

 If you ask me what they do best, I think they probably do great on sauce that goes with dish they serve,along with seafood dishes.

 I love salmon, and eat the Grilled salmon dish at many dishes,and many restaurants serve over cooked dry fish or under or over seasoned salmon, but their salmon is beautifully cooked without over cooked and they are juicy and moist with a bit of char on the fish.

 If you like to taste best salmon dish from restaurant, I think Bonefish Grill comes top on the list and, 2nd would be Firebirds Wood Fired Grill.

 Both restaurants serve salmon very moist and juicy and tasty,but some of the salmon dishes Firebirds Wood Fired Grill (chili rubbed salmon with key lime butter) was over salted and even if I tried eating the fish with bread,it was like eating a block of salt and it was not pleasant experience.

 That being said, their Wood Grilled Salmon (I always ask the server to have my favorite  Ginger mustard aioli on side) is spot on dish and, they are not over or under seasoned and beautifully cooked without the fish being overcooked. This is one salmon dish I would highly recommend.
What makes Bonefish Grill’s Norwegian salmon makes extra special to me is that, not only the fish is cooked juicy and moist, but also they have great sweet-spicy Mango salsa to go with.

 There are some other choices of sauces but my all time favorite is the Mango salsa. Their salsa is not like the one that look like all the components are chopped and mixed and served,which often times “dry” consistency and it does not add much flavor to the fish.

 Theirs have consistency of the “sauce”, and it adds a little more flavor to the grilled menu and I love them.

 Just recently,I made my version of Bonefish Grill’s Norwegian salmon with Sweet-spicy Mango salsa,and it came out super good.

 Maybe my second version of Mango salsa introduce to you is a little spicier than Bonefish Grill’s Mango salsa but it was tasty.

I loved them. If you love salmon, you would love the flavor.

 Palette the Corgi gets wild caught sockeye salmon in her diet and, I felt the eye on me while I am munching on my salmon. She looked like saying “Why are you eating my dinner?”

 If you follow my blog entries, you would notice she is a big fan of fish and she loves salmon. In the end, I left small bits of salmon and gave it to her without salsa on top of course.She loved it!

 Her nose was super wet and she was so excited to show off her good “sit” to me for more score

 I think the Mango salsa goes well with many variety of fish, scallops, shrimps,and maybe good for grilled chicken etc.. as well. If you had steamed snow crab, you could remove crab meat, mix it with cooled salsa and serve it on the bed of lettuce, you could have it as salad. I think it is good for grilled meat type of wraps too.

 Maybe protein source like Turkey,Lamb might be a challenge since it has unique flavor to its meat, but I can see variety of ways to incorporate this tasty mango salsa into your dishes.

 In the past entry titled “Bonefish Grill menu; bacon wrapped sea scallop with Mango salsa Yassy’s version“, I have already introduced how to make sweet-spicy Mango salsa, but this one is another version of my mango salsa.

 This one is a bit more spicier than the previous one and use a little different ingredients but, when it comes to heat, you can adjust your level of spiciness by reducing amount of ingredients that gives heat such as “sriracha”.

 My version of Bonefish Grill’s Norwegian salmon with warm Mango salsa is broiled salmon with spicy Mango salsa.

 Broiling adds the fish really nice flavor with bit of char on as if it come off from the grill and, I really liked it.

Broiled salmon with Mango Salsa

Broiled salmon with spicy Mango salsa..

Ingredients for Spicy Mango salsa;

1/8     Red onion chopped
1/8     Red pepper chopped
1/8     Green pepper chopped
1/8      jarapano pepper chopped fine

1/2 tsp Sriracha* (recommend Huy Fong Foods brand)
6 oz     Mango (1 Mango) chopped to 1/4″ dice
1/8 tsp wasabi powder
1 tbs    water
1.5 tsp sugar
1 tbs    chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbs    freshly squeezed lime juice
extra   virgin olive oil

Ingredients for Broiled salmon;

2     salmon fillet (6-8 oz each, about 1″ to 1.5″ at the thickest part of the fillet)
pinch of kosher salt
pinch of ground black pepper
4 slice   lemon
1 tbs    salted butter

<Spicy Mango salsa>

1. Drizzle Extra virgin olive oil in the skillet and add 1/8 Red onion chopped, 1/8 Red pepper chopped, 1/8 green pepper chopped, 1/8  jarapano pepper chopped fine, and stir

2. Adds 6 oz Mango (1 Mango) chopped to 1/4″ dice, and add 1/2 tsp Sriracha, 1/8 tsp wasabi powder,1 tbs water, 1.5 tsp white sugar and stir and let it cook on simmer till thicken

What is Sriracha sauce?

 Sriracha is a Thai version of hot chili sauce. It is a little thicker consistency than regular American hot sauce, and it has much different flavor to it. With consistency wise,it is more like a consistency of tomato paste if you will.

 You can get the Sriracha chili sauce at International food aisle at the local grocery store or at Target. If you live near Asian stores, they should carry the condiment as well.

 My favorite brand for Sriracha chili sauce is by Huy Fong Foods. You can look for green top squeeze bottle with white letters on. Below is a picture of Sriracha.

Sriracha Chili sauce


** Wasabi powder can be found at international ail at local super market. The brand I used for this recipe is by sushi chef brand. Adjust
spiciness to your preference.

3.Take it off from the heat, pour it into the container and add 1 tbs chopped fresh cilantro, and 1 tbs freshly squeezed lime juice,and stir and adjust the taste

4. Serve with broiled salmon

** You can adjust spiciness with wasbi powder and sriracha to your preferred spiciness

** Mango salsa maybe good sauce for grilled chicken, fish, shrimp etc..

** I think if you omit vegetables ; red onion,red pepper,green pepper
from this recipe, and puree Mango with jarapano, cilantro, with same spices (wasabi powder, sriracha) and lime juice, it would make nice dipping sauce for the spring roll too.

<Broiled salmon>

0. Set the broiler on “HI”

1. Rub the salmon with pinch of kosher salt and pinch of ground black pepper all around and let it sit for a couple of minutes

2. 4 Slices off from the fresh lemon and set it aside

3. Line the baking pan with non stick foil,and place one slice of lemon under each salmon fillet.Place the salmon skin side down.

4. Place another one slice of lemon over each fillet

** Cooking fish with lemon is great way to keep the fish moist and tender

5. Put 1/4 tbs chunk of salted butter on both sides on each fillet

** This means, each salmon fillet has 1/2 tbs butter on top

6. Put them in the oven and broil for 5 minutes

7. Flip the salmon fillet over so the skin side will be on top,and let it broil for another 6 minutes or until the fish fillet reached to internal temperature at 137F

** As a general rule, every inch of fish fillet, you would cook fish for about 8-10 minutes total. However, some fish has more fat content than others, and following only cooking time is not the best way to have moist,juicy fish every time.

 Best way to cook the fish without it being overcooked is to keep an eye on its internal temperature for the doneness.

** The thinner the fillet is, the less broiling time needed

** It is good idea to check the internal temperature when you take it out from the oven after 5 minutes broiling just to have rough idea as to where you are at and then,you can estimate the broiling time you want after flipping the fish fillet over

**  Butter is nice to make the salmon fillet to get char a bit around edges when it is done, but since butter has low smoking point, even if the lemon is added to broil with, when you open the oven after 5 minutes broiling time, some smoky steam may comes out.

8. Take the salmon fillet out from the oven, and serve with Spicy Mango salsa


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Jun 09, 2013 | Comments are off | Restaurant Challenge

Palette’s Food Market Guide: Finding local Meat packing companies/Meat Processors

 In the previous entry titled “Palette’s Food Market Guide:Buying a whole animal“,
I wrote various ways to find farmers nears you,and what you can ask for
if you decided to buy a whole animal from them,and story about my
experience of buying a whole animal from farmers.

 In the previous entry titled “Palette’s Food market Guide; Finding a local farmer“, I wrote about Weston A Price fundation, which is non profit charity foundation built on 1999.

of the foundation’s mission is to restoring the nutrient dense food to
human diet through education,research and activism,and they support a
number of movements that contribute to this objective including
accurate nutrition instruction, organic and biodynamic farming,
pasture-feeding of livestock, community-supported farms, honest and
informative labeling, prepared parenting and nurturing therapies.

when you look for local farmers, you can contact the volunteers for the
foundation who might be able to refer you to the local farmers in your

 To find a local volunteer working for the foundation, you can visit the “Find a local chapter page” here.

 Then, click on your state to see the list of volunteer workers’ contact information.

 The Local chapters can help you find locally-grown organic and biodynamic
vegetables, fruits and grains; and milk products, butter, eggs, chicken
and meat from pasture-fed animals.

 In the previous entry titled “Palette’s Food market guide;Raw feeding co-op“, I wrote that co-op
is especially great place for those who have large number of dogs and
those who loves to buy food in bulk to save money on meat for your dogs
plus, often times, co-op can offer variety of protein source.

it can be a great place to buy novel protein source or things that are
hard to find locally at grocery stores for your dogs.

 One other thing that might be a good source for your dog’s menu is to look for meat processors near you. They may have somethings they can offer that other people did not want to have such as organs, for your dogs at good price.

 In this entry, I would introduce a couple of websites I came across which may be helpful for you to find the local meat processors to find food cheaper.

Palette enjoying Turkey drumstick..

Finding Meat packing companies/Meat processors in your area..

 The first two Meat packing/Meat processor websites I came across is from industry net website, and it got quite a list of meat packing company and processors.

 You may be able to find someone who can offer your dogs food other people did not want at cheaper price.

 To see the list of meat packing company/Meat processor,please click here.

 The industry net website also has poultry specific meat packing company and meat processor list.

 To see the full list of poultry meat packing company/ meat processors,please click here.

 One other good website is American Association of Meat processors (AAMP).

 They do not have public list of Meat packing/Meat processors on the main page, but you could contact them and see if they can refer local meat processors in your area.

 Each state has meat processors association, and Here is the state specific meat processor contact information.

 In addition to checking out the meat packing/meat processors in your area, you could also check your local butchers.

 In our area, every fall, our local butcher takes reservation to process hunted Deers, and I am guessing hunters may not bring everything back home, but leave somethings generally people would not eat.

 Those stuff might be perfect fit for dog’s menu and, you can certainly check them out and see if they got something they can offer to you.

 Finding other deer processors in your area would also be good one.

 For example, Minnesota Department of Agriculture has a list of Deer processors on their website here.

 Virginia Deparment of Game and Inland fisheries has list of processors here (PDF file format).

 I sometime hear XXZ brand of kibble is better than
ABC kibble but, no matter how premium or high quality ingredients the
companies say they use in their products, they have to consider adding
something extras for long storage time at pet supply stores and, all of
those products are still process food.

 I hope that many people would improve furry furriends’ diet to fresh food as well by providing fresh food, not process food.

you are feeding kibbles and you are not ready to move on to home made
diet or raw diet (fresh food diet), then one thing you can do is to add
protein source as kibble topping.

 Since kibble in general
already has heavy load of carbohydrate, if you are going to add
something to bump up the nutrient level, it is best to add meat not
fruits or vegetables.

 I would like to see more dogs live healthy,long,happy life with fresh food diet.


Jun 04, 2013 | Comments are off | Dog Diet

Japanese/Chinese cooking:Balsamic Teriyaki Sesame chicken

 When I came to the states, I noticed
that you can find Japanese restaurant here and there, but it was shocking to see how Japanese food was largely misunderstood.

 I remember when my husband took me and my father to so called “Japanese restaurant” for the first time, me and my father was like ‘What is this restaurant? Food served here are not what we eat back home at all.”

 However, one thing I can see is that people loves Teriyaki chicken, or Teriyaki sauce dishes and it seems Teriyaki dishe are popular dishes in the states whether at so called “Japanese restaurant” or other restaurants that do not specialize in Japanese dishes although sometimes what it is called “Teriyaki sauce” contains funky ingredients or flavor in them.

 Looking at what I had in the fridge to plan the menu for the week,
I had ingredients I could make Fusion dish based on Teriyaki chicken.

 Chicken is very budget friendly protein source,and quick cooking,and you do not have to go to restaurant to taste the Teriyaki dish.

 I think this dish is budget friendly,quick and easy Japanese -Chinese fusion dish.

 If you did not have chicken in the fridge, you could make sauce only in
the small container and warm it up so the honey in the sauce gets
evenly combined in the sauce, and you could use that as sauce for skillet
fish, seared scallops, grilled shrimps,grilled steak, or sauteed vegetables.

 If you turned out to have more than you needed, you could use that to season the rice when you make fried rice next day.

 My version of Teriyaki chicken III is not sticky sweet and, it got variety of vegetables, and it goes well with hot steamy white rice.

 I have introduced Teriyaki chicken version I, version II in the past, and in this entry, I would like to introduce Teriyaki chicken version III, which I call it “Balsamic Teriyaki sesame chicken with vegetables”.

 I will use the Teriyaki sauce
base recipe with different ratio of each ingredient minus Mirin and, marrying that with sushi sauce key components with different vinegar – balsamic vinegar that gives the sauce a little different characteristic.

 Then, I have add a little extra to give the sauce a little twists to make tender, flavorful Teriyaki chicken. The sauce will be fusion Teriyaki sauce. True Teriyaki sauce recipe is in Version I here.

 My mother used to make burger coated with quick BBQ sauce; equal parts of ketchup plus Worcester sauce plus splash of Mirin,and it was tasty.

used the idea of Japanese style BBQ sauce here in the Teriyaki chicken
version III recipe as well to give the sauce a little different flavor to it.

 You may find it odd to find a little bit of Dijon in the sauce. Over the years, I have learned that Dijon mustard makes meat very tender and,I like to use it here.

 Marinading the chicken for about 2-3 hours really makes tender, juicy chicken.

 In this entry, I would like to share the recipe of “Balsamic Teriyaki Sesame Chicken”.

Balsamic Teriyaki Sesame Chicken..

 Ingredients for Balsamic Teriyaki sauce;

1 tbs Ketchup
Worcester sauce
1 tbs Sake
tbs Balsamic vinegar
2 tbs soy sauce
1/8 tsp grated ginger
1/8 tsp Dijon mustard
1.5 tsp white sugar
2.5 tsp honey

Ingredients for Balsamic Teriyaki Sesame chicken;

6 oz chicken breast cutlet, cut to bite size pieces
3 oz  chicken thigh cut to bite size pieces
2 tbs Balsamic teriyaki chicken for marinade the chicken
4-5 tbs Balsamic Teriyaki sauce to cook with
1.5 tbs corn starch
sesame oil
1/4 sweet onion rough chopped
1/2 carrot diagonally thinly sliced
1/8 red pepper rough chopped
1/4 cubanell pepper rough chopped

Morton’s Natures Seasons
Toasted sesame seed, grind fresh over the plate

<Balsamic Teriyaki sauce>

 1. In the small bowl, add 1 tbs Ketchup, 4tsp 
Worcester sauce, 1 tbs Sake, 1
tbs Balsamic vinegar, 2 tbs soy sauce, 1/8 tsp grated ginger, 1/8 tsp Dijon mustard, 1.5 tsp white sugar, 2.5 tsp honey
and stir and set it aside

<Balsamic Teriyaki sesame chicken>

1. Cut 6 oz chicken breast cutlet into small bite size, and put them into a small container.

Keep the other half in the freezer for later use,for another dish.

2. Cut 3 oz chicken thigh into small bite size pieces,and put them into a small container,which you have put chicken breast meat in.

3. Add 2 tbs Balsamic Teriyaki sauce to the chicken pieces in the container and stir

4. Let the chicken marinade at least 2-3 hours in the fridge

5. When ready to cook, add 1.5 tbs Corn starch to the marinaded chicken and mix well.

6. Heat the skillet, drizzle sesame oil and cook the marinaded chicken

** Once you put the marinaded chicken into single layer in the skillet,do not touch to make the chicken nice sear

** When you shake the skillet and chicken got released, it is time to be flipped to cook the other side

7. Once chicken is cooked through, take them out, set them aside in the small plate

8. Add drizzle sesame oil and add 1/4 sweet onion rough chopped, 1/3 carrot diagonally thinly sliced and cook a bit till it gets softer

9. Add 1/8 red pepper rough chopped, 1/4 cubanell pepper rough chopped and season the vegetable with Morton’s Nature’s Seasons,and cook the vegetable to about done

** Cubanell pepper is Italian sweet pepper.It gives real nice flavor in the dish like this

10. Add 2 tbs Balsamic Teriyaki sauce to the vegetables and stir

11. Add chicken back to the skillet, and Add another 2-3 tbs Balsamic Teriyaki sauce to the skillet and stir and let the sauce thicken a bit as you shake the skillet and stir

As the sauce gets bubbles, you will find that the sauce gets thicken and evaporated little by little

12. Turn off the heat when sauce got almost absorbed, but it got some small amount of sauce on the bottom

13. Plate them up, and ground toasted sesame seed over the plate and serve it with hot steamy white rice

14. Enjoy!
Makes: 2-3 servings

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Jun 02, 2013 | Comments are off | Asian cooking 911