Allison Day
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Archive for the ‘Other’ Category

A new project on Fridgg!

This post is about you guys. I adore you, you guys are incredibly precious to me, and I have a new project that I’ve created just for you.

Kimchee, bacon, and egg sandwich
Kimchee, bacon, and egg sandwich

We all know you guys like food. Looking at photos of food, reading about food, learning about and drooling over all types of different foods.

That much is clear – otherwise, why would you be here?

Cauliflower soup
Cauliflower soup

But what you may not have known is that when I’m not spending all my waking hours cooking for and maintaining this blog like a good food blogger (which as you’ve probably guessed is, ahem, pretty much always), I work as a programmer.

I’m a programmer who loves food, so it was an obvious choice to spend the last two months working as hard as I can on something for people like you and me – something for people who love food.

And while Fridgg has been great as a blog, I’ve always meant it to be more than that (but don’t worry, the blog isn’t going anywhere!)

Zucchini blossom and pancetta pizza
Zucchini blossom and pancetta pizza

So I present to you, the new Fridgg!

It’s currently in a closed beta, which means it’s not open to the public just yet. So if you want a peek inside before the general public gets their hands on it, you can head over and sign up for an invite!

I’m really excited to finally be able to show the new Fridgg to you guys, and I really hope you guys love it!

UPDATE: Fridgg is now open to the public, so head on over and check it out!


An ode to the mango

The moment I rounded the corner into the kitchen, it was like I was hit in the face.

“Wow,” I blinked twice. “It smells really sweet out here.”

He looked up from the mango he was slicing. “Here, have some.” He held out a slice of mango, crosshatched with slices.

“It isn’t one of yours,” he offered. ‘Mine’ being the three mangos I brought home from Camp Blogaway a couple of days ago, which were sitting on the kitchen table, not quite ripe.

No, this was one of the ones he brought home from his parents, probably at least a week ago. Which meant it had sat a week in the fridge, ripening until the skin was wrinkly and speckled, and the flesh gave easily at the slightest squeeze.

I peeled back one edge of the skin, and scraped a small bite of the cold mango flesh off with my teeth.

“Wow, that’s sweet,” I exclaimed, eyes wide. I took another bite and then shuddered, mango juice running down my thumb. It was like eating candy, the sweetness overwhelming without being cloying. Sweet enough to feel like a guilty pleasure, I couldn’t stop going back for more.

In an attempt to feign some sense of decorum, I grabbed a spoon to separate each bite of mango flesh from the skin. And then continued to scrape away at the flesh, trying to get every last bit of that sweet, soft, juicy orange mango, until I had scraped it so thin that the skin was almost transparent in some places.

Now the empty mango skin sits by me, teasing me with its lingering scent. And I can’t help but wonder… do you think he would notice if I snuck off with his other ripe mango that’s tempting me from the fridge?

My Week in Food – wagashi, ramen, tons of Vietnamese food, and Thanksgiving, of course!

This week was a fun week. A busy week. A very food filled week.

Handmade nerikiri wagashi

It started with these. I took a wagashi class!

I made both of these!

More about that on Sushi Day later, but it was pretty awesome getting to hang out and make wagashi with Rachael and Jen (and Jen’s mom) all day.

Shin Sen Gumi Hakata Ramen

And how can you go wrong with a huge bowl of ramen afterwards?

Hi Rachael!

Rachael, Son, and I went to Shin Sen Gumi Hakata Ramen after the wagashi class… my first time there, and man was it good! Between the three of us, we got a ton of toppings to share, and spent the meal discussing some very exciting things that I’ll get to tell you all about very soon (and raving about the ramen, of course!)


As if that wasn’t enough, then we drove to Son’s parents’ house, where we feasted on grilled catfish.

Vietnamese grilled catfish

And then goofed off with the fish head before eating it.

Son’s finger as fish bait

“Kiss it!”

Fish kisses

After we recovered from the weekend of gluttony, there were definitely open-faced bacon and kimchi sandwiches on Japanese milk bread.

Bacon and Kimchi Sandwich

Yeah, that happened. Don’t judge me.

Fierce red nails

Fierce red nails make me feel like I can conquer the world.

Thanksgiving Pie!

Trust me, I needed that extra boost of confidence when my pie crust ended up looking like this. At least the Thanksgiving Twofer Pie that I make every year still tasted good, even if the crust looked like a five-year-old had patched it together…

I fail at pie crusts

The next day, Son’s coworkers decided they wanted to go get Vietnamese food.

Spring rolls

So off to Pho Ever we went!

Egg rolls

We stuffed ourselves with spring rolls, egg rolls, broken rice, pho, ca phe su da… while Son was nearly in tears from laughing at his coworkers’ poor Vietnamese pronunciation (and even the waiter joined in!)

Broken rice w/ grilled pork & a fried egg

For some reason, even though we were all beyond stuffed, the guys wanted to go get boba. (The glass Son and I shared was huge… as big as his head!)

A huge glass of boba milk tea

And sugar toast (butter and sugar toasted on Japanese milk bread). I think Son is addicted, now.

Sugar toast

And squid balls. (Similar to takoyaki… but would it be right to call them ikayaki? I don’t know.)

Squid balls.

Then, as if it wasn’t a gluttonous enough week already, Thanksgiving happened. (I am so thankful for you readers!)


It started with a Hi-Chew. (Why… I have no clue. It was Son’s idea – he pulled them out of his jacket pocket on the car ride to our Thanksgiving festivities.)


And of course there was food. Soooo much food. (In between the eating so much I wanted to burst and laughing so hard there were tears running down my face, I was ready to faceplant on the table… food coma!)

Dessert table

In typical Kajiwara fashion, there were way too many desserts… possibly more desserts than actual dinner food.

7-layer dip

But it’s all good, as long as Grandma brings her 7-layer dip.

7-layer dip thief!

Even though Patrick stole the chips and ate it all.

Gluten-free chocolate chip cookies

There were even gluten-free chocolate chip cookies and a delicious gluten-free apple tart from Good Habit.

Pumpkin Pie Fudge Brownie Bars

Since I always have leftover pumpkin pie filling, I just had to make these Pumpkin Pie Brownie Bars. (In related news, everyone at my physical therapy office adores me now… ~_^)

Korean something or another

And to fill out the food-filled week… that mess-in-a-pan happened. We’re not sure what it is. It started with three packages of silken tofu, a few pieces of butternut squash… then three types of kimchi, several pieces of pork that Son’s parents gave him, and two eggs. An odd mixture, to be sure, but that’s the sort of thing Son loves. (I stayed far away from it…)

What sort of interesting things did you eat this week?

Homefries U Back to School Weekend

Our lovely hosts

Palm Springs.

Awesome people.

It’s a good combination.

Painting our nails

I got to go to the Homefries U Back To School Weekend.

Pretty much summer camp for grown-ups.

Coffee and breakfast breads

There was lots of good food, of course.

And cameras. We may not have all been food bloggers, but we were definitely all camera people. (Which was awesome, because there was a very cool photography session with Michael Friedman.)

Cameras out!

And peppered brown sugar bacon. Oooohhhh, that bacon.

Tracy making candied bacon

(I’d make it at home, except there’s a definite danger of the entire batch disappearing before anyone else gets to try it.)

All gathered around

We hung out around the gorgeous house (and laughed until we nearly cried), we lounged by the pool…


But we’ll leave the swimsuit pictures out of this.

Making breakfast pizza

Did I mention the amazing food?

Joy and Tracy doing their thing

We got to see Joy and Tracy be their awesome, wonderful selves.

Behind the scenes

And we totally got behind-the-scenes access to how Joy photographs her blog posts.

Sprinkle the arugula…

(And then got to eat the results when she was done!)


More amazing food. Early in the morning and later in the day we would eat outside, and then retreat to the cooler house when it got too hot outside.

(It was too hot outside)

And there were friendship bracelets.

Friendship bracelets!

Er… friendship anklets. Awesome either way.

(Or in my case, anklet.)

We got to learn about sparkling wines and gin

Learning about gin

Too bad I don’t drink. But it was still tons of fun… and a pretty cool experience since I’d never have tried any of it otherwise.

Pasta dinner

A delicious pasta dinner, with garlic bread to die for.

We were all laughing so hard on the shuttle ride back to the hotel after the second day, you’d never know we were all completely exhausted.

*snap snap snap*

Day three was a short day. But still fun!

Tracy teaching us all about spices

Tracy gave a neat little lesson about spices (I think I just fell in love with smoked paprika.)

But we were all really waiting for the doughnuts that Joy was frying up.

Mmmm… doughnuts…

Ohmygod those doughnuts.

Ohmygod, that entire weekend. When I got there (late, thanks to bad timing and awful traffic), I was terrified – I didn’t know a single person who was going to be there. When I left, I had made so many new friends. We bonded over food (of course), same names (there were two other Al(l)isons there!), and dance (who knew there were so many other food bloggers/Joy the Baker fans who are dancers? Unexpected, but totally awesome.)

So much awesome.

Blueberry and Pluot Crumble FAIL

Blueberries, pluots, and candied ginger

If, on a whim, you decide that it would be totally awesome to walk five miles along the beach to the semi-annual Memorial Day/Labor Day weekend faire… do not, I repeat, do not wear sandals. Especially if you’re not used to walking long distances in sandals.

If you already made the poor choice of wearing sandals, and you’re beginning to get blisters on the bottom of your feet, leaving the bike path to go walk barefoot on the sand will not make them feel better.

Mixing in the sugar

If you did decide to walk barefoot on the sand, and you find your blisters are getting worse, you may find that walking in the water relieves the pain temporarily. You may also find that the occasional unexpected larger than usual wave may make it look like you had a rather unfortunate accident.

However, if it so happens that due to certain poor choices on your part, you have ended up with blisters on your feet and a large splash of ocean water up the skirt of your dress, just own it. Totally own it. If you’re like me, then remember that you’ve definitely had far worse blisters from your pointe shoes, and had to keep dancing through the pain. So this? This, where your feet hurt like crazy and your butt is still damp? Yeah, this is nothing. (Keep telling yourself that until you believe it.)

Crumble filling

But even once you’ve totally owned the pain, and you’re rocking the damp dress, you really don’t want to make the long, painful 5-mile walk home. Especially now that it’s getting cold outside and starting to rain (wait, what? This is Southern California, what’s that wet stuff coming from the sky?) So be smart and call your mom to come pick you up. Because that’s what mothers are for, right? (I love you, Mom! Don’t worry, I bribed paid her with kettle corn.)

Just out of the oven


On a completely unrelated note, if you decide to make a crumble, it may not be the best choice to make it with the first pluots of the season. (Ohmygosh sour.)

And apparently you’re supposed to cook certain fruits, such as pluots, before you put them in said crumble, else you may end up with something that’s more of a soup than a crumble-ish dessert.

But if all else fails (and this applies to both soupy crumbles and unhappy feet), a nice big scoop of vanilla ice cream makes everything better. Promise.

Crumble soup

(No recipe today, because I promise you, you don’t want to be making an epic fail of a dessert like this!)