Allison Day
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Archive for the ‘Other’ Category

A cookbook for my grandma

Three years ago, Son and I decided to write a cookbook.

Now, lest you get any crazy ideas… no, I do not have a cookbook deal to announce. No, this will never be available for purchase. No, most of these recipes will never be posted on Fridgg (my mother would murder me). And no, I will never be writing my own cookbook (I’ll leave that to the other Allison Day, who does quite a fine job of it! Seriously, go buy her cookbooks, she’s awesome.)

No, this was just a little pet project, that turned into a really big pet project, that we finally finished just in time to order them and hand deliver each and every one of them to all my family members at Thanksgiving last year.

Stack of cookbooks, cover

Suffice to say, if I ever had any urge to write a cookbook, I’ve gotten it all out now. Between cooking, photographing, writing, designing, and editing an entire cookbook, we nearly lost our minds… and we didn’t even have to develop the recipes! Mad respect for all the actual published cookbook authors out there – it’s a heck of a lot of work.

Sadly, both of the people who inspired me to put together this cookbook – my grandmother, who was responsible for all these recipes becoming family favorites, and my dad, who wrote the original “Mrs. Kaji’s Cookbook” when I was a child – passed away before we finished this project. However I was lucky enough to be able to show both of them a good number of the photos before they passed away, and both were very happy with the result.

Inner pages of cookbook

So why am I sharing this now? Well, today would have been my grandmother’s birthday, so I figure there’s no better day to show off something we made in her honor.

Plus it’s just a really good excuse to show off the photography that Son did for the cookbook. (And I also want to point out – LOOK AT HOW BEAUTIFULLY HE DESIGNED THE ENTIRE COOKBOOK. He’s amazing.) 😁

So, without further ado, here are all the dishes and photos that went into the cookbook:

okazu, stir-fried vegetables

okazu okazu
stir-fried vegetables stir-fried vegetables

crescent tuna melt

crescent tuna melt crescent tuna melt crescent tuna melt

spaghetti casserole

spaghetti casserole

barbecued frankfurters, tempura

barbecued frankfurters barbecued frankfurters
tempura tempura

spaghetti sauce

spaghetti sauce spaghetti sauce

beef stew

beef stew beef stew


enchiladas enchiladas

teriyaki chicken

teriyaki chicken teriyaki chicken

sweet and sour chicken wings, fish sticks

sweet and sour chicken wings sweet and sour chicken wings fish sticks

miso soup

miso soup miso soup

fried rice

fried rice fried rice fried rice fried rice

potato salad, chicken chow mein

potato salad chicken chow mein

cube steak, family steak teriyaki

cube steak cube steak family steak teriyaki

lazy man’s pot roast

lazy man's pot roast lazy man's pot roast

burrito meat, strawberry jam

burrito meat strawberry jam

chocolate layer cake with chocolate ganache

chocolate layer cake with chocolate ganache chocolate layer cake with chocolate ganache chocolate layer cake with chocolate ganache chocolate layer cake with chocolate ganache

tsukemono, seven layer dip

tsukemono seven layer dip seven layer dip

cheese roll

cheese roll cheese roll

rice stuffing, bread stuffing

rice stuffing rice stuffing bread stuffing

candied yams, yam pie

candied yams yam pie

banana cream pie

banana cream pie banana cream pie banana cream pie

cream puffs, gelatin salad, finger jello

cream puffs gelatin salad finger jello

ritz cracker peanut butter sandwich cookies

ritz cracker peanut butter sandwich cookies ritz cracker peanut butter sandwich cookies


snickerdoodles snickerdoodles

date bars, refrigerator cookies

date bars date bars refrigerator cookies

pecan bars

pecan bars pecan bars pecan bars

rolo pretzels, shoyu almonds

rolo pretzels shoyu almonds

shoyu chex mix, hot chocolate mix

hot chocolate mix shoyu chex mix shoyu chex mix


(This was our cover photo, hence the odd layout.)

wontons wontons wontons

stuffed somen salad

stuffed somen salad stuffed somen salad stuffed somen salad

chinese chicken salad, shrimp and cucumber tsunemono

chinese chicken salad shrimp and cucumber tsunemono

deep-fried pork strips

deep-fried pork strips deep-fried pork strips

Fridgg has a brand new redesign!!!!!

Fridgg redesign

So as you may have guessed from the title… we just launched a new redesign for!!!

(Not the blog… yet. That’s coming soon, though.)

In the three years (!!!) since we launched Fridgg, we’ve been wanting to bring you a new, better design, as well as a bunch of new features. Finally, in the last few months, we got our act together, took a short break from client work, and made the redesign happen!

New Features

• New design! (Obviously.)

• Better profile pages!

New Fridgg profile pages

• Easier uploading!

• Emojis!

Emojis in comments

Tech Stuff

• We’ve moved the entire site off of PHP and are now using Node.js, React, SASS, and all the fun, buzzwordy technologies.

• New foundation to make it waaaaay easier for us to bring you new features that will be coming soon… like search! And maybe a few of you (okay, way more than a few) have mentioned you might like an app? All that and more, coming soon!

Let us know what you think! (…and, ahem, if you happen to find any bugs.)

We really hope you love it! ^_^

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, 2014

It’s that time of year again… time for The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap!

Hosted by Julie from The Little Kitchen and Lindsay from Love & Olive Oil, the cookie swap benefits Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, a non-profit organization committed to funding new therapies used in the fight against pediatric cancer. Since 2008, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer has helped to fund four dozen childhood cancer research grants, leading to nine promising new treatments now in clinical trial that are available to children fighting cancer today.

This year is my third year participating in the cookie swap. After making a small donation to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, each participant is sent the names and addresses of three other food bloggers to send cookies to. In return, three other food bloggers send us cookies! Very awesome, all around.

In 2012, I sent out Lemon Crinkles.

In 2013, I sent out three types of cookies – Cookie Butter Cookies, Gooey Stuffed S’mores Cookies, and Sweetened Condensed Milk Cookies.

This year, I was matched with Brett from Green Thumb White Apron, Sara from Sara Ran Away With The Spoon, and Sarah from Sarah Cooks The Books.

Lately I’ve been busy enough that I rarely bake anything during the year – so I decided to go all out, and bake four different types of cookies to send to my matches, since this is my only excuse all year to bake!

The cookies I sent

The first cookies I knew I had to make were these Date Nut Bars, which my late maternal grandmother used to make when I was a kid. I LOVED these as a kid, and still do as an adult!

Secondly, I’ll take any excuse to make these Gooey Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies from SugarHero! I made them a year ago, but never got around to posting about them, so I figured this was the perfect opportunity to make them again.

The third type of cookie I decided to make were these Vanilla Refrigerator Cookies topped with Chocolate Ganache – another family recipe from my grandmother. A family favorite.

And lastly, I wanted to make something that Son would enjoy, so I decided to try these Pistachio Cookies.

In return, I got these amazing Russian Tea Cakes from Julie of Sweet and Spicy Monkey

Russian Tea Cakes

… delicious Chocolate Coconut Icebox Cookies from Janelle of F-chem 101 (that Son has hogged all to himself!)…

Chocolate Coconut Icebox Cookies

… and Mexican Wedding Cookies from Kristi of Inspiration Kitchen.

Mexican Wedding Cookies

In addition, since my friend Allison Boyer and I were both doing the cookie swap, we decided to send cookies to each other as well! She sent me these tasty Gingerbread Cookies that I have demolished. I love gingerbread!


If you missed this year’s Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, sign up to be notified about next year’s! It’s great fun, for a good cause… and who doesn’t like getting yummy cookies in the mail?

Phở for Son’s birthday

Phở spices

I first made phở bò tái three years ago, for a Daring Cooks challenge.

I haven’t made it since then, since Son‘s dad makes it regularly, so we get to have it sometimes when we visit.

Phở meat and bones

However, Son’s dad hasn’t been cooking as much these days, so Son asked me to make him phở for his birthday last month.

Phở broth, before we removed the fat

This time we were able to find fresh phở noodles at a 99 Ranch supermarket that recently opened near us, and were also able to get better quality meat and bones, as well as the proper herbs that Son is used to eating with phở.

Son’s been experimenting with photography and lighting more lately, so he took photos of each component of the phở. (The first photo, of the spices we used in the broth, is our very favorite!)

Phở spices

Though we ended up at a dinner party on Son’s birthday, he did get to enjoy the phở earlier the week of his birthday… and enjoy it, he did!

The finished bowl of Phở

New Features on Fridgg!

It’s been just over a month since we opened up Fridgg to the public, and we’re really loving all of the beautiful food photos you all are posting every day!

This blog will continue to be a food blog (and even more so than in recent history, since I’ve been cooking and taking pictures of my food a lot more lately!), but now it will also be a place where we can post updates about new features on Fridgg. Even more importantly, the Fridgg blog is a place where you guys can talk directly with us – you can ask questions, give suggestions, and tell us what you think of the new features!

Take a tour of Fridgg!

First of all, we have a brand new snazzy tour page! If you’re still wondering what Fridgg is all about, or want to explain Fridgg to your friends, the tour page is the place to be.

We now send out an email every day (or once a week, depending on your email settings) with that day’s most popular photos, as well as anything new that the people you follow have uploaded that day. If you’re not already signed up for Fridgg, sign up here to get our daily emails of deliciousness. (We promise we’ll only send you the emails you want, and we’ll never give your email address to anyone else without your permission.)

If you use Google Chrome, we now have a Chrome App for Fridgg. Install it, and you’ll have an easy way to get to Fridgg straight from your browser.

Pumpkin Pie Wontons with Maple Whipped Cream

Thanksgiving is a week and a half away in the US, so it’s time to get planning! Check out the Thanksgiving tag on Fridgg for some great ideas for your Thanksgiving feast, and submit your own photos with the Thanksgiving tag so they’ll show up there too.

And lastly, if you haven’t already, you can follow Fridgg on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

Have any questions, comments, or suggestions for Fridgg? Leave them in the comments, or email me at