Belated Birthday

Sunday April 12, 2015 comments   

It was my birthday last week and it was a really pretty spring day with a great cake and thoughtful gifts. I wasn’t in the mood for the usual fluffy cake, I wanted king cake. But 2 problems with that. 1) king cake is out of season and 2) king cake is not readily available in this region. Plus with my fracture… I couldn’t even make one! Instead Mike offered to make it and it turned out fantastic. King cake combines the confusion of bread making with the hefty ingredient list of a homemade cake. It was a lot to ask for to be honest. But it was exactly what I wanted. [he followed this recipe.]


Tags: , ,




Sukiyaki and BBQ Recipes

Monday March 02, 2015 comments   

I promised to share two recipes earlier in the year and I’m finally getting around to it. These are both a combination of other recipes I’ve tweaked for my own tastes. For both I’m using a Le Creuset cast iron pot but any large pot should work, you may just need to adjust the heat level is all.

Please comment any questions even if you think it’s an obvious answer because I know what it feels like to suck at cooking.

Beef Sukiyaki


Serves 2~4 people

Sukiyaki Sauce

1/3 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons sake
5 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup water

Hot Pot Items

~14oz thinly sliced beef or pork
1 head of napa cabbage (cut into 2″ wide sections)
1 bunch of green onion (sliced diagonally into 1″ pieces)
1 bunch enoki mushrooms (cut from root)
6 small shiitake mushrooms (stems removed)
1 block grilled firm tofu sliced
1 pack yam noodles (shirataki)
1 tablespoon grape seed oil

1~2 cups cooked rice


Mix ingredients into a small pot. Stir well over high heat. Bring to a boil and immediately remove the pot from heat. You just want to burn off the alcohol from the sake. Set aside.

Hot Pot
Par boil noodles first. Place noodles in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil on high heat. Remove from heat and strain immediately. Set aside in cool water.

Add grape seed oil to pot over med-high heat. Slice or cube tofu and grill about 3 minutes per side. Set tofu aside when done.

Add green onions to pot and grill on med-high heat for ~1 minute. Then add ~1/2 of the meat. Add about 1/4 cup of the sukiyaki sauce and sauté the meat and onions until brown. Lower heat.

Add all other ingredients (to fit) into pot. Best to place the noodles away from any meat to prevent the meat from becoming tough.

Add remaining sukiyaki sauce, cover and cook over medium heat until ingredients are tender. Usually about 5 minutes.

Ready to eat!


– I always double the sauce amount for a second boil of remaining ingredients.

– Ready-made sukiyaki sauce exists. This recipe tastes exact to a brand I use sometimes but is cheaper.

– If you can’t buy sake there are other sauce recipes out there. Many using mirin. I’d suggest Googling them.

– I remove the pot after cooking everything for a few minutes. I set it on top a trivet in the middle of the table. The food continues to cook a little after being removed from the heat. Later I place it back onto the stove, add in more sauce and ingredients, and bring to a boil on high and bring it back to the table.

– Man if you got a tabletop electric or gas stove you’re set!

– I brown about 1/4 of the meat in the beginning but also add more meat when adding the other ingredients as well so I can have some meat well done & some just medium-rare.

– You can use white cabbage it just takes longer to cook, remains a bit tougher.

– Raw egg is often served with sukiyaki. I don’t really like eggs.

– The beef or pork might have “sukiyaki” or “shabu shabu” labeled on it but either way it has to be very thin! You might be able to request marbled sirloin cuts of beef to be sliced thinly at the butcher’s counter. Also go vegetarian, it’s just as good.

– Some sukiyaki beef packs come with the beef suet which you can use to grease the pot instead of grape seed or cooking oil.

Stove Top BBQ Ribs

Serves 2 people

– slab of pork ribs or beef short ribs (~2 lbs)
– 20oz bottle of ketchup
– 1 cup water
– 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
– 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
– 2 tablespoons liquid smoke (optional)
– 1/2 cup brown sugar
– 1/2 lemon squeezed
– 1 tablespoon minced garlic
– 1/2 onion sliced


Place sliced onions into pot and cook over medium-high until they begin to soften. Add all other ingredients and stir well. Cook over medium-high heat 5 minutes. Add ribs, bring sauce to a boil, lower heat to a simmer (low) and cover 90 minutes to 2 hours stirring about every 20 minutes to prevent the sauce from burning on the bottom. When the meat begins to fall off the bones, or internal temperature reaches 145F~160F remove from heat and ready to serve.


I season this to taste each time I make it. Sometimes I add more brown sugar or more water. I’ve also added white pepper powder for spice and honey for a sweeter taste. It’s pretty foolproof. You could actually just use a whole bottle of bottled BBQ sauce if you’d like!


Tags: ,