Posts tagged ‘recipes’

The Simplest and Most Delicious Mac & Cheese You Will Ever Make/Eat

I don’t know about you, but I love macaroni and cheese.

OK, who doesn’t like macaroni and cheese? It’s one of those all-American foods.

Until recently, however, I hadn’t had macaroni and cheese in quite a while. Needless to say, it’s not exactly available or common here in Japan. For the most part, they’re not that into cheese here.

Anyway, last time we were visiting the U.S., Hisa and I bought a couple boxes of Kraft macaroni and cheese. This is the stuff I grew up with. It’s part of the essence of my childhood, so I was pretty excited to finally eat it again when we came back to Japan.

Sadly, I was a little disappointed. Although it was good, it simply tasted…artificial. It wasn’t nearly as good as I remember it being in my childhood. I also realized that it’s freakish neon orange coloring disturbed me. I avoided even looking at the ingredients list, because I knew I would find unrecognizable ingredients with really long, scientific sounding names.

I realized that nowadays I make most things from scratch, so why should macaroni and cheese be any different? I began looking online at various mac and cheese recipes and discovered it’s quite simple. You just make a roux with butter and flour, add milk, whisk until it thickens, add cheese, then add your cooked pasta. Bam. Easy, yeah?

But then, I discovered an even easier recipe at Heavenly Homemakers! With this recipe, you simply cook the pasta in milk instead of water. The starch from the pasta thickens the milk into a sauce, then when the pasta is done you had your shredded cheese, stir, and it’s done! I wondered if it could really be that easy to cook mac and cheese, so I tried it out last night, and it was fabulous! Creamy and cheesy and delicious!

Oh yeah…

The one thing you need to be careful of is to not heat the milk too high. You want it so that it’s almost boiling, but not quite. If you heat the milk to high it will burn, separate, and become generally inedible. Also, you want to stir the milk/pasta almost constantly. If you use a small pasta like, well, macaroni, it doesn’t take that long. And it’s sooooo worth it! Four simple, whole, ingredients, and no neon orange anywhere!

Macaroni & Cheese (serves 2 – 3)

  • 2 1/2 c. dried macaroni
  • 3 c. whole milk (you can use 1% or skim, but it won’t get nearly as creamy)
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 c. shredded cheese
  1. Add milk, macaroni, and salt to a pot, and cook over med. heat so that the milk is almost, but not quite boiling. Stir constantly until pasta becomes al dente, about 8 – 10 minutes (this depends of the type of pasta you use).
  2. Add cheese and stir until completely melted and incorporated. Serve immediately.

I served the mac and cheese with stuffed Japanese green peppers and steamed broccoli.

 

June 7, 2011 at 10:22 am 1 comment

Ratatouille, a dish for all veggies (unless you’re Julia Child or a talking mouse)

My closet smells like syrup.

I’ve thought this ever since we moved into our current apartment, over two years ago.

Hisa swears he can’t smell it though. It’s just me. And we keep our closet open all the time, so it’s not like our closet isn’t being aired out all the time.

Not that I’m complaining, because who doesn’t like the smell of syrup, right? Syrup reminds me of pancakes, and pancakes make me feel all warm and happy inside. Almost every time I go to my closet to get something I end up thinking, “Mmmm, pancakes…”.

That would make a great air freshener don’t you think? If you had a syrup air freshener in your closet, you could feel warm and happy every time you went to your closet like me! And if you were really lucky, it would even make your clothes smell like syrup, so all day the people around you would end up feeling warm and happy (Either that or they would randomly start licking your clothes and nibbling on you *cough*)! I smell a business franchise here…

I think perhaps I shall never solve the mystery of why my closet smells like syrup, and why I’m the only one that can smell it, but at least in provides incentive to make pancakes for breakfast every weekend.

Mmmmm, pancakes…

*        *        *

I don’t recall ever having ratatouille before until my husband made it for dinner a couple of years ago. Since then I’ve been hooked. I love the combination of vegetables and the burst of flavor you get from each of them. It’s great to use fresh summer vegetables for, but I usually end up making it all year round with whatever fresh veggies I can get.

That’s another great thing about ratatouille, there are no rules really (unless you’re a French chef, Julia Child, or a talking mouse that is). There are traditional ingredients like tomatoes, eggplant, onion, garlic, zucchini, and bell peppers, but you don’t have to adhere exactly to that. You can put in whatever fresh veggies you want.

The key word here is fresh. Don’t put in anything frozen or canned (besides tomatoes). Just don’t. It’ll hurt me and it’ll hurt you, and we don’t want that. Listen to your inner Julia Child/talking mouse and use fresh veggies.

A lot of people also argue about the proper technique for cooking ratatouille. Some say you should individually cook each vegetable before adding it to the pot. Some say you should layer all the vegetables. Some say you should bake it. Some say not. Some say you should just throw it all in a pot at once and be done with it.

I say. Choose whatever method floats your boat, because it’ll probably taste fine whichever you choose.

I like to saute the veggies individually before adding them to the pot. I think it brings out the flavor of the individual veggies more, but that’s just me. If you prefer to just throw all the veggies in the pot then power to ya.

Also, you don’t really need a whole lot of seasoning for this dish. The star of the dish should be the flavors of the fresh veggies, not the seasoning. I usually just add a little basil and oregano, and then salt and pepper to taste. That’s why it’s so important to use fresh, in season vegetables.

So here’s my ratatouille recipe. Again, feel free to substitute vegetables. For example, it’s really hard to find zucchini in Japan, so I don’t usually include it. I even left out the eggplant once when all the grocery stores in my vicinity were mysteriously out of eggplant. Other veggies I’ve used before include asparagus, green beans, mushrooms, and yellow squash. Go with the flow (and season). And use fresh veggies.

Ratatouille (serves 2)

  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 c. fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 eggplant (or about 5 Japanese eggplants), halved, quartered, and sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper (2 – 3 Japanese piiman), chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 2 whole tomatoes diced (or one can diced tomatoes – this is the only non-fresh veggie I think it’s okay to fudge on)
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil (or handful fresh basil, chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano (or handful fresh oregano, chopped)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat about two tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook for about two minutes. Add garlic and cook for about one minute. Turn heat down to low/med-low.
  2. In a separate skillet, heat another tablespoon of olive oil. Saute each remaining vegetable separately (except the tomatoes) over med-high heat for 3 – 4 minutes. You want the vegetables to get slightly browned, but not lose their crispness. After sauteing each vegetable, add it to the pot with the onion and garlic.
  3. Add the tomatoes, basil, oregano, and bay leaves to the pot, and mix. Raise heat back to medium and cook until vegetables tender, about ten minutes. Remove bay leaves, season with salt and pepper, and serve with fresh bread.

May 19, 2011 at 9:40 am 3 comments

Jambalaya

Sometime last year I decided I wanted to cook jambalaya. As you might expect, Cajun food isn’t exactly easy to find in Japan, and since most Japanese people don’t like spicy food, I kinda doubt it would be very popular anyway.

Despite my love of Cajun food, however, I’d never cooked it before. So I searched online and finally found a good looking recipe to try. Sadly though I lacked the necessary spices to cook the food, and some of the spices I needed are not readily available in Japan. So I stashed the recipe until a later time when I had the necessary spices.

Last winter, when Hisa and I were visiting my family in the States, I bought some Creole seasoning to bring back with us. Since then it’s been sitting in my kitchen unused (opps), but I found the jambalaya recipe from last year the other day, so I finally got around to cooking jambalaya last night! And it was good! Hooray!

As I’m sure many of you know, there’s always a bit of trepidation when cooking something completely new for the first time. You never really know if it’s going to come out well or not. That’s part of the risk, but also part of the excitement of experimenting with new dishes and recipes. It’s always much more gratifying when the experiment turns out well though, rather than the failed experiments that still get put on the dinner table  (and believe me there have been several). I was quite happy that this new recipe turned out very well though!

This recipe is based off of a jambalaya recipe by Emeril Lagasse here.

Jambalaya (serves 2 – 3)

  • 1 c. shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped
  • 1 large chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 Tbsp Creole seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 diced onion (or 1 whole small onion)
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 c. celery, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tomato, chopped (or 1/2 can of diced tomatoes)
  • 1 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. Tobasco sauce
  • 3/4 c. uncooked rice
  • 3 c. chicken stock
  • 5 ounces Andouille sausage, sliced
  • salt and pepper
  1. In a small bowl, mix the chicken, shrimp, and creole seasoning so that the meat is well coated with the seasoning. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over med-high heat. Add the onion, celery, and green pepper. Cook until onion turns translucent, about 3 – 4 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, tomatoes, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce, and Tobasco. Mix well.
  4. Add the rice and chicken broth. On medium heat, cook rice, stirring occasionally, until it becomes tender, about 15 minutes.
  5. Add the chicken and shrimp mixture and the Andouille sausage, and continue cooking until the chicken & shrimp are completely cooked, about 10 minutes.
  6. Season with salt and pepper. Add more creole seasoning or Tobasco to taste.

I served it with a side of fried okra, because fried okra makes everything better. Especially jambalaya!

May 11, 2011 at 9:41 am 3 comments

Chicken Cobb Salad and Homemade Honey Mustard Dressing

Man, time flies when you’re having fun! And I have been having a lot of fun the past week!

For those not living in Japan, the past week here has been “Golden Week”, a week in which the entire country goes on vacation. I too have been on vacation, and thus, too busy having fun to post. *cough cough* You still love me though, right? Everyone needs a break now and then, right? Right?

Anyway, Golden Week started last Friday. Hisanori and I went to the local “Flower Park” in the mountains and enjoyed all the pretty flowers and the beautiful mountain scenery. The most amazing flowers there were the begonias. Not only were they amazingly beautiful with their vivid colors, but they were freakin’ HUGE!

See what I mean? A lot of the flowers were bigger than my head! They were gorgeous though!

Saturday was Hisa and my one-year wedding anniversary. A year ago on that day we were married in Hawaii. Ahhhh, Hawaii! How I want to go back there so badly! The ocean! The beaches! The Mai Tais! The warm weather! The Mai Tais! Ahem. Moving on.

To celebrate the day, Hisa and I went to Asakusa in Tokyo. From there we took a boat down the Sumida river all the way to Odaiba in Tokyo Bay. We then spent the whole day playing in Odaiba. We walked along the beach, had some amazing hamburgers for lunch, rode some of the rides at Sega Joypolis, enjoyed the Sony ExploraScience Museum, had some drinks in a fancy hotel bar, and finished off the night with champagne and a fancy dinner with an amazing view of nighttime Tokyo.

Needless to say, we were utterly exhausted by the time we got home, but we both had a great time and a wonderful anniversary. I don’t know how we’ll be able to beat this anniversary in the future!

The next day, we met up with one of Hisa’s old friends and his wife for lunch and then coffee. It was a more quiet kind of fun, but after the previous day in Tokyo, we both needed some rest.

Monday, we drove up to Hisa’s hometown and stayed with his family there until yesterday (Thursday), when we came back. It’s always fun seeing family, and relaxing, eating, and chatting with them. Especially my little niece (soon to turn three!) who makes anything and everything irresistibly adorable.

Today, Friday, is a normal work day, so Hisa is at work, but soon it’ll be the weekend again, so it feels like we have two more days of vacation before things really go back to normal.

Although I’ve been on vacation all week, and haven’t cooked much as a result, right before Golden Week I made cobb salads with homemade honey mustard dressing for dinner one night.

I’ve loved cobb salads every since I was in high school I think. They have kind of a bad rep as unhealthy salads, but they really don’t have to be. If you make them yourself, you can determine exactly what goes into it and your dressing.

Cobb salads are pretty simple really if you don’t mind a lot of chopping. Even making honey mustard dressing is really simple! You can substitute the mayonnaise in the recipe for yogurt if you want a healthier dressing (I did this, and it really tastes just as good).

Cobb Salad

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 egg white
  • dash of salt
  • 2 tsp. corn starch
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1/2 head of lettuce
  • 2 – 3 eggs
  • 1/2 c. sliced mushrooms
  • 1 avacado
  • 1 tomato
  • 1/2 c. shredded cheese
  • 2 -3 slices of bacon (optional)
  • 1/3 c. carrot matchsticks (optional)

Dressing:

  • 1/4 c. mayonnaise or plain yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. mustard
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp honey (more or less depending on how sweet you like your dressing)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  1. In a wide shallow dish, mix the egg white, salt, and corn starch. Slice the chicken breasts up into bite-sized pieces, and add to the dish. Mix chicken around until covered with the egg white mixture. Set aside for 10 – 15 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the dressing ingredients until well blended. Adjust the flavors to taste. Cover and place in refrigerator.
  3. Heat a skillet to medium-high heat and add oil. Place chicken pieces in skillet so not touching. Allow to cook for 1 – 2 minutes without touching. Flip chicken pieces and stir them around for another 2 – 3 minutes or until completely cooked through and golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside.
  4. Wash lettuce in cold water, then cut up into thin strips. Place in a large bowl and fill with very cold water. Set aside.
  5. Boil your, peel, and chop the eggs up.
  6. Cook bacon (if using) until crispy, then set aside to cool. When cool, crumble into little pieces.
  7. Peel and chop the avocado. Chop the tomato. Cut carrot into matchsticks (if using).
  8. Drain lettuce well, shake out excess water, and divide between two bowls or plates. Arrange the chicken, mushrooms, boiled egg, avocado, tomato, bacon, cheese, and carrots in rows on top of the lettuce. Serve with the honey mustard dressing.

May 6, 2011 at 3:13 pm 2 comments

Teriyaki Salmon

Sometimes it’s really interesting living next to a science/space expo center.

For one thing, I have a view of a giant rocket outside of my living room window.

The “N” is cut off by the building, but it says “NIPPON” on it. Snazzy, right?

I also get hear crowds of hyper elementary school children unloading from buses when they come to the expo center for school field trips on almost a daily basis.

Sometimes, however, disturbing sounds emanate from the direction of the expo center.

Right now, I can hear what sounds like dinosaurs roaring and a very load laser gun battle.

Awesome.

Moving on. For those of you who buy bottled teriyaki sauce to cook with, this recipe is for you. It really isn’t necessary to buy the bottled version, as teriyaki sauce is really easy to make.

Note: Cuts of fish in Japan are usually quite small compared to cuts in the U.S., so if you may want to double the amount of sauce you make if you’re cooking larger fillets of fish.

Note #2: This sauce is not just for salmon. You can use it cause for chicken, shrimp, other kinds of fish, etc. Salmon just happens to be my favorite.

First, mix 2 Tbsp cooking sake (available at your local Asian grocery store) and 2 Tbsp soy sauce. Place two salmon fillets into a wide, shallow bowl and pour the marinade over them. Allow them to soak for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make your teriyaki sauce. Mix 1 tsp. sugar, 1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce, 2 Tbsp mirin (sweet cooking sake, also available at your local Asian grocery store), and 1 Tbsp cooking sake. If you’re cooking larger fillets of fish or some other meat, I would double or triple the sauce as needed.


Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a skillet on med-high heat. Pat excess marinade of the salmon fillets with a paper towel.

Cook fillets until brown on one side, about 3 – 4 minutes.

Then flip to other side and cook an additional 3 – 4 minutes.

Use a paper towel to wipe off the excess oil in the pan. I usually push the salmon to one side and wipe up the oil, then push them to the other side and wipe up the oil on that side.

Pour the teriyaki sauce over the fish fillets, and cook on medium heat for  4 – 5 minutes.

Flip the salmon fillets and continue cooking another 4 – 5 minutes. The sauce will thicken up and get bubbly like this. Spoon the sauce over the fillets every few minutes so they’ll be thoroughly coated.

Remove fillets to a dish and spoon extra sauce over the fillets if desired. Serve.

Yum.

I served the salmon with steamed rice, tossed salad, miso soup, and sesame asparagus. It makes a delicious and healthy, but filling dinner.

Teriyaki Salmon

  • 2 (Japanese sized) salmon fillets
  • 3 Tbsp cooking sake, divided
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce, divided
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp mirin (sweet cooking sake)
  1. Make marinade for salmon. In a small bowl combine 2 Tbsp cooking sake and 2 Tbsp soy sauce. Place salmon fillets in a wide shallow bowl and pour marinade over them. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes.
  2. In another small bowl, make the teriyaki sauce by combing 1 tsp. sugar, 2 Tbsp. mirin, 1 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce, and 1 Tbsp. cooking sake.
  3. Heat oil in a skillet over med-high heat. Pat excess moisture off the salmon fillets with a paper towel. Place fillets in skillet and cook until browned on one side, 3 – 4 minutes. Flip fillets and cook an additional 3 – 4 minutes.
  4. Using a paper towel, wide up excess oil from the skillet. Pour the teriyaki sauce over the salmon and cook on medium heat for 4 – 5 minutes. Flip salmon fillets and cook another 4 – 5 minutes, occasionally pouring sauce over the fillets with a spoon.
  5. Remove salmon fillets from skillet and serve.

April 26, 2011 at 11:44 am 1 comment

Honey Wheat Sourdough Bread

I am now the proud owner of a construction helmet.

OK, so it’s not really a construction helmet, it’s just a white helmet, but I suppose it could be used as a construction helmet.

And actually, I’m not the owner. I’m just borrowing it until the danger of big after shocks pass (if that ever actually happens).

Hisa has been worried about me being at home by myself a lot when there are still big after shocks every now and then. He worries about things falling on my head a lot. When we’re asleep at night, if there’s an after shock, he automatically pulls his heavy blanket over my head. If there’s an after shock during the day when he’s home, he pulls me toward him, holds me close and places a hand on top of my head. Although this is very sweet and cute, and makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, I don’t think his hand is going to help a whole lot if something falls on my head.

I think he was feeling the same way, because a week or so ago, he told me that he thought we should buy an emergency helmet for me in case there’s a big after shock while I’m home. Although I figured I was fine without one (I can always hide under the table), I knew it would help him to not worry about me as much, so I agreed.

When last weekend rolled around, we went in search of a helmet. Unfortunately, it seems that everyone had the same idea waaaaay ahead of us, because everywhere we went was sold out of helmets, and looked like they’d been sold out for awhile.

I shrugged and thought, “oh well”, and thought that was that, but earlier in this week, after Hisa came home from work, right as we were sitting down to dinner he whipped out a spanking new shiny white helmet.

“Where’d you get that?” I asked.

“I stole it from the lab!” he declared with a devious look.

“Riiiiight.”

“Okay, not really. Dr. T has had it in his office forever and never uses it, so I asked him if I could borrow it. He said sure.” he told me.

“Nice!” I replied, and preceded to try on and model the helmet for Hisa at the dinner table.

And that is how I got my purty white construction emergency helmet.

Aren’t you jealous?!

That’s okay. I would be too.

Maybe someday you can have a shiny white helmet too.

I finally got around the baking actual bread with my sourdough starter!

And it’s great!

I have to admit, I was a little intimidated about making sourdough bread with my starter for the first time.

What if it didn’t rise?

What if it was too sour and inedible?

What if it didn’t rise?!

I found a easy looking recipe though, and decided to bite the bullet and make bread.

And it rose! And it isn’t too sour! At least, for me it isn’t too sour. I think Hisa was a little surprised by the tangy kick, having never had sourdough bread before. His first words after he tasted it for the first time was “Suppai!” which is the Japanese word for “sour”, hehe. Maybe next time I’ll try to make it less sour for him. I’m just thrilled it rose, and I’m shamelessly proud of myself for making bread out of essentially nothing but flour and water. Yay me!

I’ve noticed that it really is easier to digest like they say. Sometimes after having bread, I feel like I have a brick in my stomach, but I haven’t had that feeling with this bread. Hooray for lactic-acid fermentation!

The recipe I used is from the blog, heartland Renaissance. It’s a great blog if you’ve never checked it out, and the writer has a lot of great sourdough recipes.

The recipe I used is here.

Here’s my version of it. Enjoy!

Honey Wheat Sourdough Bread

  • 1 c. sourdough starter (mine is a whole wheat starter)
  • 2 c. milk (or water)
  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 6 c. whole wheat flour, bread flour, or a mix
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter (room temp.)
  1. Night before: In a large bowl, make a sponge by mixing the starter, milk, and two c. of flour. Cover and leave in a warm place overnight.
  2. Day of: Stir sponge. Add in honey, eggs, and mix until well incorporated. Add flour, salt, and butter, and mix well.
  3. Pour out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 5 to 7 minutes. Use only enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to your work surface, and try not to over knead the dough (unlike yeast bread in which a lot of kneading is good).
  4. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place til double in size, 2 – 4 hours.
  5. Punch dough down. Pour out onto lightly floured surface and cut dough in half. For each half, flatten it down into a rectangle, pressing any air bubbles out with your hands. Gradually roll up the dough like a jelly roll, pressing out air bubbles after each roll. When complete, pinch the sides and seams closed with your fingers.
  6. Place each roll of dough into a greased 9 x 5 in. bread pan, cover, and let rise in a warm place til double in size, 1 – 3 hours.
  7. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  8. Bakes loaves for 30 – 40 minutes (mine only took about 25 minutes, so it really depends on your oven), or until golden brown, and bottom of pan sounds hollow when tapped. Be careful not to over bake or the bread will be dry.

April 21, 2011 at 1:07 pm Leave a comment

Homemade Hamburger Buns

I have a confession to make.

I’m horrible at frisbee.

I wouldn’t even go near a frisbee for years, because I was traumatized during my junior high school years.

It’s all my brother’s fault.

Well partially at least. In one experience, my class was playing frisbee tag during gym class, and I got hit in the eye with a frisbee. It left a red line across my eye and face the rest of the day. That was the less traumatic experience.

In my other experience with frisbee, me, my dad, and my two brothers were playing with a frisbee in a big parking lot. Every time my dad threw the frisbee at me, however, my brother, Nathan, would run in front of me and catch it before I could.

After this happened so many times, I finally got mad enough that I chased after my brother in an attempt to catch it before he did or grab it out of his hands. The result was that I didn’t even touch the frisbee (figures), and instead grabbed the back of Nathan’s shirt with my left hand (I’m a leftie). My left ring finger got caught in my brother’s shirt, twisted, and made a horrible ripping sound. Nathan immediately turned around and started inspecting his shirt, thinking I’d ripped it. He then noticed that I was bent over, clutching my hand, and squealing in pain, and that it was my finger that had made the ripping sound, not his shirt.

Long story short, there’s a tissue that surrounds ours bones, and that’s what ripped in my finger (thus, the ripping sound). My finger was also fractured at the same time. The doctor didn’t catch the fracture on the x-ray, however, because my finger was so swollen. As a result, the joint gradually slid down and made my finger crooked.

And it’s still crooked to this day.

And it’s Nathan’s fault.

And frisbee’s fault.

So that is why I stopped playing frisbee, and thus, cannot throw one of those things to save my life.

My psychological wounds have healed enough now, however, that I decided to pick up a frisbee once more recently. These days, Hisa and I sometimes throw a frisbee around in the park when the weather is nice.

I think Hisa enjoys it, not so much because throwing a frisbee is so fun, but because it’s so funny to watch me (try) to throw a frisbee in his general direction.

It’s harder than it looks. Whenever I throw the frisbee, I somehow accidently turn it so it goes sideways and ends up rolling on the ground. Either that or I end up throwing it sideways and almost hit a tree, bush, small child, or old person. I also still get a little nervous if the frisbee comes flying at me at eye level.

I have been getting better, just very very slowly. In an attempt to keep my arm and the frisbee level when I throw it, I do something that looks like a slow-motion yoga pose whenever I throw it. Like I said, Hisa enjoys it immensely.

Whenever it starts warming up, I start wanting to have a burger.

Although hamburgers are super popular in Japan, it’s really hard to find hamburger buns in a super market, so I don’t think people usually make their own. I guess it’s more of a fast-food only type of food for people here.

I’m not a fan of fast-food burgers (or fast-food in general), so when I’m craving a burger, I usually just make my own. Or course that also means I have to make my own buns. Homemade buns are always yummier than the store-bought ones though, so I don’t mind the extra effort.

This Monday, when I made hamburgers for dinner, I decided to try a new hamburger bun recipe, and I found one that came out really well.

This will give you light, fluffy buns, just the right size and thickness for burgers.

The original recipe is here.

Hamburger Buns

  • 1 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/4 c butter
  • 4 1/2 c. bread flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp. (1 package) dry yeast
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c. milk (optional)
  • 1/4 c. sesame seeds (optional)
  1. In a small saucepan, heat the milk, water, and butter, until the butter melts and mixture is very warm (but not boiling). Turn off heat and set aside to cool to lukewarm.
  2. In a large bowl, combine 1 3/4 c. flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Once the milk mixture is lukewarm, and it to the flour mixture and mix. Add the egg and mix until well combined.
  3. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 c. at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  4. Pour out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into the shape of a ball, and place on a greased baking sheet. Press each piece down with the palm of your hand until in is about 1/2 in. thick. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 to 35 minutes.
  6. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  7. If you want sesame seeds on your buns, right before you put them in the oven, lightly brush the tops of the buns with milk, and then sprinkle on sesame seeds.
  8. Bake buns 10 – 12 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

Now go have yourself a good ‘ol homemade burger and some slaw y’all!

April 20, 2011 at 1:02 pm 5 comments

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About Me

My name is Rachel. I'm a small-town girl born and raised in Oklahoma, currently living in Japan, who likes cooking, baking, reading, working out, and traveling. Join me in my culinary adventures, my domestic doings, and the story of my life, one day at a time.

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