こんばんは。Today Mariko drove down to Houston to pick up her new passport from the Japanese consulate. The drive there was long (almost 3 hours) but it only took 15 minutes at the consulate to receive the passport, so we had a couple hours of free time in the big city. Woohoo!
One of the places we visited was Sweet Paris Crêperie and Café, which served… Crepes! And coffee! I was actually kind of full from lunch, so I had one of their lighter items, a lemon and butter crepe. It was yummy but maybe a little too sour towards the end. Mariko got a crepe with dulce de leche, banana, and berries. It was pretty sweet, and since I’m not a huge fan of crepes in the first place, I wasn’t too impressed. But it was nice to sit down and relax for a little while before hitting the road again for the long drive back to Austin.
For years now the Old Smokey barbecue has been my grill of choice. It’s so simple and the size is perfect for my family of four. I’ve even taken it camping when we had our minivan because it’s pretty compact and light. Coupled with a Chimney starter, it’s a great solution for relatively compact grilling.
This evening we had some friends over for a Jamaican dinner, so I grilled up some jerk chicken and jerk pork. It was yummy! We usually use Walkerswood Jerk Seasoning (can find it at Cost Plus World Market) on the meat and slow cook over the grill. For the pork (butt), I actually grilled it on our gas grill for a bit, then finished it in the oven. Was super juicy! A pretty good technique since the charcoal grill was busy with chicken.
Mariko also made rice and peas and a shrimp run-down… it was a lot of food, so we were satisfied and stuffed. 😊
I’m amazed that Mariko can whip up a yummy meal out of nowhere. She only had a few minutes before going to work, and I went to pick up Bay from school, but when I returned, the fixings for a delicious donburi (rice bowl) were cooked and waiting for us. Bay cooked some rice and I put the yummy fish (sardines), soy sauce mixture, and green onion over it and voila! So delicious…
After the kids ate, I made my donburi with an egg added and took the photo above.
I’m not able to think creatively about preparing food, but Mariko is so talented that she seems to work her magic all the time. 😀 We’re truly lucky.
Yes, “Taco Tuesday” is really a thing… although it’s not like a holiday or super-special occasion. Here in Austin where tacos (especially breakfast tacos) are very popular, many of us “celebrate” Taco Tuesdays. I say that only semi-seriously because since we eat tacos so often, and since Tuesday comes once a week, it’s more like we’ll recognize the special day when we realize we are eating a taco and it is Tuesday. But it’s fun to say anyway… the phrase rolls off the tongue nicely, doesn’t it?
I’m lucky in that we have a taco trailer come by our office every week and the tacos are tasty and not too expensive. For non-breakfast tacos, I like to get corn tortillas, and here they serve each taco with two corn tortillas. I like it like this. And since I got two tacos, the quartet of tortillas makes it a filling and satisfying lunch. To me, the perfect taco consists of a simply seasoned protein, diced onion, cilantro, and a hot sauce or pico de gallo. Not too many flavors, but super tasty. 🌮
Tonight Mariko, Kumiko, Matt, and I attended a “blind” saké tasting at the Texas Saké Company. The folks from Yummysake were visiting from Japan for SXSW, where they had a booth at the tradeshow, and then they held a few tastings in the evening. It was a lot of fun!
Basically, we tasted 10 different saké, and rated each one. Depending on the ratings, the Yummysake app would give you a taste profile. The idea is that you can go to restaurants who use the profile system, and they can serve you the saké that most suits your palette. I’m not sure how useful it will be unless a lot of restaurants participate, but it was interesting to try it and get assigned a profile.
Honestly, I don’t know what each profile means, but Matt and I were both “Shara-shara”, and Mariko and Kumiko were also paired up, although I don’t remember which profile they were.
It was a fun evening, and after the tasting, we enjoyed another glass of saké and chatted with the Yummysaké rep. Good times!
Dinner tonight was beef fajitas, with onion, bell peppers, jalapeño, avocado, cilantro, cheese, lime, rice, and beans. I guess it’s a typical dinner here in Texas. But, what was new for us was that instead of plain sour cream, we had this:
The crema Mexicana was so delicious and rich! Wow, what a difference. I loved it. I definitely prefer it over the regular old sour cream. If you pick some up, I highly recommend it!
One last tip if you are serving flour tortillas: use your gas stove top to toast them. Basically, turn the flame to medium-low, then, using a pair of metal tongs, put a tortilla on the grate. After several seconds, flip it over to warm the other side. I like it where the tortilla is just about to get scorched before flipping over/removing. Even a little burnt is how I like it. And it’s great when the tortilla puffs up at the end! Then put the tortillas onto a cloth-lined (cloth napkin) plate, then wrap in the cloth to keep warm. We actually line one of these tortilla warmers with a cloth napkin and it works great.
It only takes a minute or two to prepare all the tortillas, and you can finish even faster if you use multiple burners. FYI, I learned this technique from my sister-in-law years ago, and we warm our flour tortillas like this every time now. They are so fluffy and fresh this way. No more damp, microwaved, stuck-together flour tortillas!
Anyways, again I might have eaten a little too much. 😝