Friday, January 30, 2009

Corinne Bailey Rae - Put Your Records On

This lovely song would come on on the sattlite radio at the caffe and make me happy!

Corinne Bailey Rae - Put Your Records On

Three little birds, sat on my window.
And they told me I don't need to worry.
Summer came like cinnamon
So sweet,
Little girls double-dutch on the concrete.

Maybe sometimes, we've got it wrong, but it's alright
The more things seem to change, the more they stay the same
Oh, don't you hesitate.

Girl, put your records on, tell me your favourite song
You go ahead, let your hair down
Sapphire and faded jeans, I hope you get your dreams,
Just go ahead, let your hair down.

You're gonna find yourself somewhere, somehow.

Blue as the sky, sunburnt and lonely,
Sipping tea in the bar by the roadside,
(just relax, just relax)
Don't you let those other boys fool you,
Got to love that afro hair do.

Maybe sometimes, we feel afraid, but it's alright
The more you stay the same, the more they seem to change.
Don't you think it's strange?

Girl, put your records on, tell me your favourite song
You go ahead, let your hair down
Sapphire and faded jeans, I hope you get your dreams,
Just go ahead, let your hair down.

You're gonna find yourself somewhere, somehow.

'Twas more than I could take, pity for pity's sake
Some nights kept me awake, I thought that I was stronger
When you gonna realise, that you don't even have to try any longer?
Do what you want to.

Girl, put your records on, tell me your favourite song
You go ahead, let your hair down
Sapphire and faded jeans, I hope you get your dreams,
Just go ahead, let your hair down.

Girl, put your records on, tell me your favourite song
You go ahead, let your hair down
Sapphire and faded jeans, I hope you get your dreams,
Just go ahead, let your hair down.

Oh, you're gonna find yourself somewhere, somehow

(lyrics from Lyrics Mania)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

coffee mochi

I had not been using my mochi maker these days, but I did not go without my mochi fix! I found a coffee mochi recipe on justJenn using mochiko. Easy and yummy!

coffee mochi
coffee mochi!

In the recipe Jenn called for 10 ounces of strong coffee... I pulled 10 shots of espresso, let it cool, and then added a little bit water to make the 10 ounces of liquid. The finished coffee mochi was of course, very "coffee-y!"

coffee mochi
Hmm... coffee. Hmm... mochi.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

torsion in stripe-y shirt

My little doggie friend Torsion loves to wear clothes, especially in cold weather. I wish my dogs would let me dress them sometimes, even though they probably never need any.

Joyce got Torsion a Disney stripe-y polo shirt. It even has Mickey embroidered in the front. Nice.

Torsion looking serious in his cool shirt.

"Are you still taking my pictures? I'm already getting bored"!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

apple juice

I just read about how an apple juice a day may do the job of keeping Alzheimer's disease at bay. I googled the topic and found out that this was actually not 'new' news. There were a few other research labs that had published similar results for the past few years.

This is one of the most current articles I read. Here's another one. Interesting.


We got some snow this past weekend... actually we got quite a bit!

snow trees
I love looking at the snow resting on tree branches.

And then the sun came out and almost melted everything... and the temperature just DROPPED. I think it was 15 degrees out there this morning when we were driving in, and it's like no more than 25 right now. Coooooold.

Monday, January 26, 2009


I found this interesting pan that has two flipping "sides" that fold toward the center of the pan. I thought it might have been an omelet pan of some sort. I bought it because I thought it would be a great tool for making omu-raisu (omurice)!

Saturday I decided to make an omu-yakisoba for John and see if the pan would work for it.

First I made 1 pack of instant yakisoba and set it aside. Then I started making my "omu."

I heated a little bit of butter in the pan, slightly beat 2 eggs with some water, and pour the eggs into the pan.

I quickly realized that 2 eggs were a little too much. One should work better (and would have been enough) next time.

When the eggs were almost set I placed the cooked yakisoba in the center of the pan.

It looks like there was a giant pile of noodles in the picture, but it was only from a single pack of instant yakisoba noodles! I started to wonder if the pan was too small for my "omu-something."

I was right... :( the folding sides couldn't quite fold easily and drop the omelet onto the noodles. There was probably not enough butter on the pan before I pour the eggs in it, and the 2-egg mixture was just too much.

Maybe I should cut back on the pack of cooked yakisoba as well.

I tried to save the omu-yakisoba.

I loosened the eggs from the sides and assisted the flaps to fold with a pair of chopsticks. I then "knock" the silly-looking omu-yakisoba onto a plate. John put some shredded cheese on it, and voila!

Note to myself: more butter (or cooking spray), 1 egg, 1/2 pack of yakisoba.

At least John said my first attempt of omu-yakisoba was yummy. :D

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Once in a while someone would come into the caffe with a 7-11 cup, a paper cup from somewhere else, or their own mug and asked for a refill.

I always wonder: how would there be a "refill" when there had not been a purchased cup to start with?

We make everything at the caffe by the cup, so there's no refills anyhow. It's just interesting to hear people use the word "refill" like this sometimes.

[Tokyo Fall 2008] Yokohama: seagull alert!

big japanese ship and seagulls
I saw the big Hikawa Maru ship by the Yamashita Park in Yokohama.

seagulls and japanese ship
There was something about it...

Notice the anchor chains?

Seagull alert!

Bunch of seagulls were lining up and hangingout on the docking chains. They seemed to be really enjoying the sun and the breeze. I thought it was cute.

Friday, January 23, 2009


I was driving back to the caffe from home (around 5:30pm) and saw the thick fog on I-15. It was crazy. The thick fog is still lingering around downtown as of now!

Thick fog.

As I'm looking out of the window now I can still see the thick fog occupying the streets. It almost looks like it's raining a bit. :0

[Tokyo Fall 2008] Yokohama: Yamashita Park

After we left China Town, we walked downhill toward the Yamashita Park by the Yokohama bay.

water guardian lady
We then saw the stone water guardian lady. She watches over the bay area in Yokohama.

big japanese ship and seagulls
I love the big ship that was parked by the dock.

mm21 area
We could see the buildings of the Minatomirai area from the park.

The water was so blue and beautiful!

We walked around the park and checked out the colorful plants in the area, as well as the happy people that were relaxing in the park.

street performer and audience
We then watched a funny street performer.

yamashita park
I loved the big (maple?) trees by the park.

A lot of people were taking pictures of the treets and falling leaves.

Look at me!

We saw this young lady being photographed by her mother. Her little brother was in the stroller. She would grab a bunch of the fallen leaves and threw them on her self and the mom would take pictures of them. It was really cute, and this was not the only time when we saw people throw leaves at themselves to have their autumn photos taken!

It was a happy park.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


John makes awesome spaghetti!

I'd not say John is a great cook, but he does make certain food really, really good. So far I've noticed he makes super delish lasagna, spaghetti, garlic burgers, and nachos.

Hmmm... yummy spaghetti with meat sauce.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

[Tokyo Fall 2008] Yokohama: Chinatown

After Anpanman Museum, we hopped back on the train and headed off to Yokohama's Chinatown. The station was the last one on the Minatomirai line (Motomachi/Chinatown).

yokohama chinatown station
I loved the walls at the station.

These walls were of vintage photos of the old time Chinatown. Looked very cool.

The weaving streets were crowded. People loved Chinatown!

yokohama chinatown
One of the main streets in the area.

yokohama chinatown hello kitty
Chinatown Hello Kitty!

I waited and waited for the little girl to move, so I could take a better picture of the Chinatown Hello Kitty... but she just stood there and stared at Hello Kitty.

yokohama chinatown hello kitty
So I was like, fine, I would just take a picture of HK's head.

yokohama chinatown steamed buns
A lot of people were selling little snacks like these steamed buns, "bao".

There were a lot of Chinese restaurants of all sorts. Some looked cool and the others didn't. We also saw a lot of people selling baos and roasted chestnuts. We didn't see anything that stood out, so we actually didn't eat there.

yokohama chinatown temple
One of the main temples.

There were people shooting a film or something right across from the temple as well. Interesting.

yokohama chinatown lanterns
The lanterns were really giant, red and pretty!

Monday, January 19, 2009

old chicago

We arrived in Denver just before 7pm last Thursday, and right after we checked into the hotel we rushed to the competition site so we could take a look at the new machines and grinders.

We then felt really hungry. We didn't know where to go, so we drove around for a while, and saw Old Chicago. And pizza sounded good.

old chicago

old chicago
I liked their lamps.

signature trio at old chicago
We got their "signature trio" as an appetizer.

Signature Trio is "All three of Old Chicago’s best on one plate. Italian Nachos, Sicilian Pepperoni Rolls and Cheese Garlic Bread." (from Old Chicago web site)

Greasy, flavorful, and yummy, I'd say. The Italian Nachos sounded weird at first, but were actually quite good!

On their pizzas you can choose from deep dish, chicago style, and thin crust. We chose Chicago style.

meat me pizza
"Meat Me" pizza.

meat me pizza
The waitress lady served us our first slices.

Meat Me is "Garlic-spiced Italian sausage, Canadian bacon, Andouille sausage, pepperoni, roasted garlic, fresh basil and Mozzarella." (from Old Chicago website)

Greasy, flavorful, and yummy, I'd say.

Did I say we were hungry? We also got dessert.


Applezini is "Granny Smith apples and cinnamon baked in our made-from-scratch pizzini dough, dusted with cinnamon sugar. Served with two scoops of vanilla ice cream and drizzled with caramel sauce and icing." (from Old Chicago website)

Of course we weren't able to finish everything. We got a to-go box and had some of the pizza and Applezini later the next couple of days.

I liked how "cozy" it felt at Old Chicago. Fun food, too!

Saturday, January 17, 2009


pretty sky
Pretty Colorado sky.

I didn't get into the finals, but I got to check out my scores and judges' comments... the score system is different than that of last year's, but I think overall I got better scores. :) Still have plenty of room to improve, though.

The judges commented on how well I "recovered" from my beverage spills... *blush*, but of course the overtime penalty and the other points taken out here and there hurt quite a bit! :(

There'll be more opportunities in the future, and I'm toally looking forward to them. I'll keep "adding oil."

colorful sky
Beautiful Colorado dusk.


I'm in Denver right now for the Mountain Regional Barista Competition. It's been a lot of fun, and I've alreay competed today (first day, round one). I went overtime (over 15 minutes)... I spilled a couple of drinks and had to re-do them. The glasses for my signature drinks couldn't fit under the spouts... and when I tried to "force" them to fit, silly things happened, so I had to re-make them and change my drink-building strategy.

I did manage to squeeze everything in before I would get disqualified (over 16 minutes). Better than last year, I guess. I knew my time was a little tight toward the latter part of my presentation, but I just couldn't rush into not saying things that were necessary to say, or to cut short in other parts. I guess that was both good and not-so-good.

With that being said, I must post a photo of the windmills that I loved to see when driving back and forth from Salt Lake City and Denver. They are very beautiful, and I'm always excited when I see them.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

[Tokyo Fall 2008] Anpanman Barber Shop!

We saw this when we were at the Anpanman Museum:

anpanman hair salon
Is that a barber shop?

anpanman hair salon
It's true. It's Anpanman Hair Salon!

So how is Anpanman Hair Salong different than other hair salons?

anpanman hair salon
You get to sit on Anpanman and watch Anpanman cartoon while you get your hair-cut. Sounds cool doesn't it!

At least you're not required to have an Anpanman haircut. :D

The whole hair salong was cute and cozy, with a hint of elegance.

john and anpanman
Even the waiting area looks lovely!

Monday, January 12, 2009

black pepper chicken

I made some black pepper chicken in the crock pot. It was really simple. I placed three each of chicken thighs, drumsticks, and wings in the crock pot, and then mixed in 1/4 black pepper sauce (Lee Kum Kee brand, from the Asian market), 1/4 soy sauce, and about 1 1/2 cups water. I then cooked the chicken on high for about 5 hours (4 hours would probably had been enough, but I didn't get home until about 5 hours later!)

black pepper chicken

The sauce turned out very well. John and I had the chicken and a little bit sauce with rice, and later I had some noodles with the sauce as well. Yumminess.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

[Tokyo Fall 2008] Super Anpanman

At Anpanman Museum we saw how well he transforms...

anpanman balloon
He can turn into balloons.

anpanman santa
He can turn into a powdery(?) santa.

anpanman onigiri
He can even become an Onigiri, or an Inari sushi (tofu pouch sushi) as shown on the right of the board.

anpanman onigiri
Anpanman Onigiri close-up.

anpanman cakes
Anpanman Cakes!

anpanman bao
And he can even become Anpanman bao (steamed buns)!

He's so cute!

Friday, January 09, 2009

[Tokyo Fall 2008] Yokohama: Anpanman Kids and Pigeons

There were cute kids and adults at Anpanman Museum.

japanese kid thinking
He looked very mature for his age for some reason (probably thinking about Anpaman), and I think he's going to be a heartbreaker when he grows up. CUTE.

japanese kids
These kids were eating bread from Uncle Jam's Bakery... but watching something under their feet...

get away pigeon!
What do you know, there were pigeons around waiting for kids to drop their bread and crumbs... These two little guys did not want to share their bread with the pigeon apparently, and their mom was making noise and trying to get the pigeons away.

Cute people.