Comforting Fast Food

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 19mm, f/2.5, 1/100 sec, ISO2000
“McDonalds Meal” Cedar Park, 2020

We rarely get fast food, but tonight we didn’t plan anything for dinner at home and when Bay suggested we get something from McDonald’s, the idea sounded really attractive. I guess it is a connection to when life was more normal before COVID-19. We ordered our food online, then I went to pick it up. The restaurant’s dining room is closed, but the drive-thru was open and there were parking spaces designated for pick-up orders. I parked in space #3, clicked on the “I’m here” option in the app, and in a few minutes, the food was delivered out to the car. Very convenient!

I don’t know if it is because of the new process that the pandemic has forced on the McDonald’s, but the food wasn’t the freshest. Everything tasted as usual, though, and after Koa put his chicken nuggets in the toaster oven, he said they were good! I guess even though we don’t go to McDonald’s often, we have our usual preferences: Mariko likes the Filet-o-Fish, Bay will get a “fancy” chicken sandwich, Koa will get the chicken nuggets, and I’ll go for a burger or some sort. It’s definitely a comfort food, and once in a while, fast food can’t be too bad for you!

Salmon Pasta and Life Updates

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 19mm, f/4, 1/60 sec, ISO250
“Salmon Pasta’ Cedar Park, 2020

Once again, Koa wanted to cook dinner for us, and the suggestion was to dig into our large supply of frozen salmon. So, a creamy pasta with salmon and asparagus was made by Koa and Mariko. It’s a dish that we’ve had several times and always enjoy. We also had yummy homemade bread and white wine (adults only!) while breathing in the fresh air out in the backyard. Not a bad way to spend another stay-at-home evening. 😀

In other news, Bay has finished up his first year of architecture school and can now relax a bit until classes start up again in August. The plan at the moment is for the university to re-open with restrictions on class gatherings… we’ll see how it all pans out, but regardless, Bay will be moving back down to Houston to room with three other architecture students in a couple of months. I hope the environment is safer by then…

Koa is almost done with his sophomore year, with just one more test to take. Of course, band is a still a big part of his life and the band program is continuing on as best as possible with remote activities. In addition, he’s a part of Inception Orchestra, where he is learning about music composition and getting mentored by musicians who work in the movie and television scoring industry. It’s pretty cool! He’s all set up with Bay’s old electric piano (to use as a midi-controller), and music composition software. Staying busy!

Dinner Outside

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 19mm, f/4, 1/60 sec, ISO500
“Outside Dinner” Cedar Park, 2020

Today we had dinner outside in our backyard. The weather is not too hot yet, and the mosquitoes haven’t arrived in full-force so it was a good time to enjoy a bit of nature during the quarantine. The Indian food was delicious, and the clean air and natural light made it really special. 😊

Kids Cooking – Almost-Famous Chicken Sandwiches

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/80 sec, ISO3200
“Breading” Cedar Park, 2020

Koa offered to make some chicken sandwiches for the family for dinner, which was a nice surprise, and we gladly helped out. He and I measured out the spices, made the wet and dry ingredients for the batter, while Mariko cut and prepped the chicken breasts. She also made some delicious poppy-seed buns, cole slaw, and a side of rosemary potatoes. Koa battered the chicken and put them in the deep fryer, and of course was the taster.

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.6, 1/60 sec, ISO3200
“Chicken Sandwich” Cedar Park, 2020

The sandwiches turned out great, but Koa said the taste was a little lacking. I told him that it’s a good start, and he can tweak the spices to his liking or try another recipe for next time. All-in-all, it was an excellent meal.

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.2, 1/100 sec, ISO1250
“Buns” Cedar Park, 2020
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.2, 1/100 sec, ISO1250
“Chicken Sandwich” Cedar Park, 2020

Here’s the recipe for the “Almost-Famous Chicken Sandwiches” in case you’d like to give it a try!

Variety on the Plate

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4.5, 1/40 sec, ISO3200
“Variety” Cedar Park, 2020

Mariko made a stir-fry today, with bell peppers, carrot, snap peas, and skirt steak. It was great! But what made the meal really special was the variety of side dishes. There was marinated zucchini, pickled cauliflower, avocado and tomato, and kimchee (not pictured). It was a very flavorful and filling meal. It’s funny, but with so much variety on the plate, it seems you don’t need to eat much to feel completely satisfied.