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December 10, 2010

Price of cupcakes


Microwave/oven that bakes 6 cupcakes at a time:  ¥25,000  (~$300)

Muffin pan that holds 6 muffins:  ¥1280  (~$15)

Cupcake cups x18: approx. ¥500  (~$6)

Betty Crocker Yellow Cake Super Moist Cake mix (imported from the US): ¥597   (~$7)

Betty Crocker Whipped Vanilla Ready to Spread Frosting (imported): ¥575  (~$7)

Total time spent baking:  1 hour, 12 minutes

Total cupcakes made: 18

Number of cupcakes consumed while frosting:  1 (With lots and lots of self restrain)

Knowing how happy Jason will be when he sees all those cupcakes that taste just like the ones from home (his favorite) and not like the Japanese ones that he doesn’t like:  Priceless

November 26, 2010

Our amazing feast

Family, Food, Japan, Reflections

The Thanksgiving feast I use to have with my family was always interesting.  Rather than the usual American Thanksgiving feast, we’d have a hodgepodge of dishes.

It was mostly because our dinners were potlucks and everyone brought something they like.  Usually that meant that we’d have our traditional Chinese dishes, fried rice, sushi, pasta with a half homemade tomato/meat sauce, fruit cocktail, honey-baked ham and roasted chicken.  Dessert was occasionally a pie or a cake but most of the time it’s red bean soup.  It’s not the traditional American meal but it’s my family’s traditional Thanksgiving meal.

I really miss those family dinners.

This year, Jason and I decided to order a take-out American-style Thanksgiving meal from one of the restaurant we usually go to for lunch.  It’s nothing like a real Thanksgiving meal but given how we live in a tiny apartment with no oven and no space for a dining table, we have to make do with what we can.

So I present to you our Thanksgiving meal this year…

Even E had her own plate of food….though she only ate the mashed potatoes and the bread….

It was a decent meal but nothing close to the one we could’ve gotten at home.  Not to mention, it was quite expensive…probably because it has turkey.

E enjoyed herself and made a mess though :)

Oh, you totally have to watch her eat the cranberry sauce.  Her reaction is priceless :)

Sorry, the video is really bright and hard to look at.  I took it with my iPhone and it does this weird thing where it keeps wanting to choose the best area to determine the brightness.  Most of the time it over-exposes the video…

Hopefully one of these days, I can make my own Thanksgiving dinner…..  :)

November 4, 2010

G is for Gingerbread Latte


I’ve been waiting for a whole year for this!  Bring out the red cups!  It’s Gingerbread Latte time!

I love Starbuck’s holiday selection of drinks.  In fact, I started drinking Starbucks religiously because of their season beverages.  My favorite is still the Gingerbread Latte with it’s touch of cinnamon.   It’s perfect for the cold wintery days we get this time of the year.

Of course, the minute Christmas is over, they no longer serve the holiday drinks so this year, I’m going to drink as much as I can before it all goes away.

The other two drinks are the Caramel Eclair Latte and the Nutty White Mocha, which is a new one this year and is actually pretty darn good.  It’s going to be a very caffeinated holiday season for me this year.  I expect a lot of jittery days ahead.

How about you?  Does the Starbucks in your area carry any special holiday drinks?

Jenny Matlock

October 22, 2010

This is Halloween! This is Halloween!

Food, Life, Random

Hello boys and girls!

I had an incredible post all thought out but then I went and took a nap after putting E to bed.  It was suppose to be a short one but someone *coughJasoncough* forgot to wake me up after an hour.  Now I’m a bit groggy and not in the mood to share said post.

However, I still have some fun things to share if you’re interested.

Remember, this post I did on candy?

Well, I’m going to make good on my words and send out candy to anyone who is interested in receiving yummy candy.

And I promise that they will be yummy….or at least it’ll be candy that I’ve eaten and liked…which means that chances are, they won’t make you want to gag and cry.  To prove that I’m not going to trick you and send you soy sauce flavored KitKat’s, here’s a glimpse at one of the candy I ordered.

What is that, you ask?  Well, it’s milk caramel!  Very yummy caramel too!  Unless you don’t like caramel, then I will send you something else….  I’ve also got a few other things like gummi and chocolate that I’ll be adding to the mix :)

So, what do you say?  Yay or nay?

Let me know since I’ll be sending these packages out on Monday with hopes that they reach you before Halloween.

Oh, by the way, this isn’t a candy swap.  It’s me sending you candy just because candy is good and I like to share candy with you :)

October 14, 2010

D is for dan tat


I love dim sum.  It’s only natural since I’m Chinese and I come from a very Chinese background.

I love a lot of the stuff you can find at dim sum.  My favorite dishes are the sweet ones especially the “dan tat”, aka. egg tarts.

When I was a kid, I use to like only the egg custard and would eat only that part.  I got scolded a lot for wasting food that way but I was a kid so I didn’t know any better.

Then, as I got older, I find myself enjoying the crust just as much.  The crust actually balances out the sweetness of the egg filling, making it taste even better than just the egg custard by itself.

I’ve actually tried making egg tarts on my own before too.  The crust is definitely the hardest part to make though the egg filling isn’t that much easier.  Of course, the recipes I found online weren’t the best ones either.  To this day, I have yet to successfully make a batch of good tasting egg tarts.

So if you ever find your way to a really good dim sum restaurant, I highly recommend getting some “dan tat” :)

Jenny Matlock

July 6, 2010

Chicken meets rice

Food, Japan

…and you get….the Chicken Rice Place!

Ok, the real name of this place isn’t really called the Chicken Rice Place.  Jason and his coworkers call it that and that’s what he and I call it now too.  I think the real name of the place is “Hawker-style Asian Canteen.”

I like calling it the Chicken Rice Place more.  It just sounds better than Hawker-style.

Anyway, I thought I’d share with you one of the places that we love to go eat at for lunch…well, at least whenever I go have lunch with Jason in his work area.

This place, as you can probably guess by now, serves Asian style chicken with rice.

It’s not just any chicken and rice though.  It’s Hainan style chicken with jasmine rice.  The combination of the two makes this dish one of the best tasting chicken-rice I’ve ever had.  I’ve never been a big fan of Hainan style chicken when we had it back in the States but this place makes it so good that it’s hard to resist :)

Mmmm, look at that….This photo doesn’t do it justice.  One must consume this in order to find fulfillment from the Chicken Rice place.

The plate is served with 3 different types of sauce for you to use:  sweet soysauce, chili sauce and ginger sauce.

mmm, just look at that!  It’s just so yummy….mmmm

To all the vegetarians, sorry for the graphic meat photos.  I’m a carnivore, I can’t help myself…

Hmmm, lost my train of thought from looking at the photos of Chicken Rice….I think I’m just going to skip on to the recipe below then….

One neat little thing about this place is that their placemat has illustrated steps on how to enjoy your Chicken Rice.  They even include the recipe so that you can make it yourself at home!  Isn’t that nifty?

So for all of you who would like to try making this on your own, here’s the recipe from their placemat.

Recipe for Hainanese Chicken Rice

Portion size: 2 people worth


  • Chicken Breast or leg (boned) 1 pc
  • Jasmine Rice 1 cup
  • Salt to taste
  • Garlic, grated 1 tsp
  • Ginger, grated 2 Tbsp
  • Chicken stock 1 cup
  • Corn Oil or rendered chicken fat, 3 Tbsp

For the Ginger Sauce:

  • Ginger, grated 5 Tbsp
  • Garlic, grated 1/2 tsp
  • Scallion, minced 1 Tbsp
  • Corn Oil 2 Tbsp.
  • Salt to taste


  1. Put chicken stock in a small pan and bring to a boil.
  2. Add chicken meat and put a lid on.  Bring to a boil again and then turn the heat as low as possible and poach.
  3. When the chicken is cooked in the inside completely, (reserving the liquid for later use) remove to ice water for 5 minutes and take it out, pat dry.
  4. Heat a frying pan with oil and add salt, garlic and ginger.  Heat until aromatic then add rice, stirring so it will not burn.
  5. Transfer (4) into rice cooker and add all the reserved chicken stock.
  6. Mix all ingredients for ginger sauce very well.
  7. On a plate, place cooked rice and sliced chicken on top.  Eat together with ginger sauce and dark soy sauce.

These are directions are directly off the placemat.  I haven’t tried cooking this yet since we don’t have Jasmine rice and I don’t want to try eating this with plain white rice…so I can’t vouch that this recipe will turn out well.  If you’re feeling adventurous, this would be interesting to make, right?  Just please don’t send me hate mail if it doesn’t turn out….I’ve warned you…sorta….

Happy cooking!