Cold Weather Food – Nabé (Hotpot)

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 19mm, f/3.6, 1/125 sec, ISO5000
“Nabé Dinner” Cedar Park, 2019

Austin got hit by an Arctic wind today, which started out at 70 ° F, but dropped to the 40s by the evening. But that means the nabé (hotpot) dinner is even yummier! Tonight’s nabé was a simple kombu broth with noodles, hakusai, tofu, and ground pork. The dipping sauce was a crisp ponzu with chili flakes and green onion. It was super! After we ate most of the nabé, the tradition is to put some leftover rice into the broth, cook a bit and then add beaten egg to make a yummy hot porridge. Topped with some nori, it’s the perfect way to finish the meal.

I have to mention that we also opened a bottle of this special saké, which complemented the hotpot nicely. 🍶

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 19mm, f/3.6, 1/55 sec, ISO3200
“Yummy Saké” Cedar Park, 2019

I usually dislike cold weather, but having hotpot on a chilly evening makes it worth it! 😌

I hope you had a nice day!


Dough Pizzeria Napoletana

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 23.3mm, f/3.2, 1/250 sec, ISO400
“Pork Love” San Antonio, 2019

While in San Antonio this past weekend, we went to have an early dinner at Dough Pizzeria Napoletana. I’ve eaten at a different location of Dough before but not at the one close to the Alamodome. This one had a nice patio and the weather was perfect for a meal outside (and the photos turned out much better because of the natural light). We ordered the Buratta Tre Colore and the Signature “Pork Love” pizza. Both were delicious! Of course since the name of the restaurant is Dough, they better have a good one, and it is in fact an excellent dough. A little chewy, but crispy and bubble as well. Just as I like it. 😊

If you’re looking for a great pizza in San Antonio, I definitely recommend a visit to Dough!

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 18mm, f/2.8, 1/250 sec, ISO400
“Burrata Tre Colore” San Antonio, 2019

Birthday Brunch at the Queen Mary

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 19mm, f/5.6, 1/125 sec, ISO5000
“Family Photo” Long Beach, 2019

こんにちは! My family loves to eat! So, for my mom’s birthday, our original plan was to take her to brunch at the Queen Mary, but we started the birthday weekend a day early with the barbecue. However, we still wanted to treat her to a nice brunch so all loaded ourselves up in the minivan and headed to Long Beach for the Queen Mary Royal Brunch.

We started off with coffee and mimosas, then dug into the extensive spread which ranged from tradition breakfast items, to sushi, seafood, Mexican food, barbecue, prime rib, salads, crepes, ice cream and sweets. I had my fill of oysters on the half shell (just ok), crab legs, sushi, eggs benedict, prime rib, and even tried the “Texas Brisket” which was surprisingly good!

There was even a live band and they wished my mom happy birthday twice. The first time, my brother told them it was Linnette’s birthday, but they said “Rosette”. My dad and I (we were at the buffet and didn’t realize the mistaken name) told the band that there’s another birthday girl, whose name is Lee (my mom’s nickname). So she got to hear two versions of Happy Birthday, just for her. 😆

I hope you had a great day!


Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 19mm, f/5.6, 1/17 sec, ISO6400
“Crab Legs Galore” Long Beach, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 19mm, f/5.6, 1/25 sec, ISO6400
“Sushi Spread” Long Beach, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 19mm, f/5.6, 1/25 sec, ISO6400
“Live Music” Long Beach, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 19mm, f/5.6, 1/125 sec, ISO5000
“Silly Family Photo” Long Beach, 2019

Our Go-To Burrito Place

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5, 1/80 sec, ISO3200
“Flying Liberty” Cedar Park, 2019

Since we have guests in town and Mariko has been joining them for evening activities (classes and sightseeing), Koa and I have been having leftovers or picking food up for dinner. One of our go-to places is Freebirds World Burrito. Not only do we love the food, but we have fun observing how each employee makes the burrito – how much protein they add, how liberal they are with the other ingredients, how adept they are at rolling the huge tortilla, etc.

For several months, there was a woman who worked there who would build the biggest burritos, but unfortunately, we haven’t seen her for a while now. The previous visit, Koa got unlucky and his server was a trainee who skimped on the ingredients a bit, whereas the luck of the draw had me served by someone who did a better job. Regardless, the burritos are always pretty huge. But it’s fun to be in line and recognize an employee who we know treats us well, and then try to jockey for position so that you’re matched with that particular employee.

Speaking of matches, Koa and I matched our burritos more than usual, both of us opting for carnitas, both kinds of rice, refried beans, onions, lettuce, pico de gallo, creamy jalapeño, cilantro, and sour cream. Koa also added lime juice, while I added fresh jalapeño and habañero sauce. They were both yummy! I only ate half my burrito for dinner, so I’m looking forward to the other half for lunch tomorrow! Yay! ❤️🌯

I didn’t take a photo of tonight’s burrito, but here’s one I took from a previous visit to Freebirds World Burrito:

"Monster Burrito" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/125 sec, ISO2500
“Monster Burrito” Cedar Park, 2018

I hope you had a good day!


Birthday Day

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2, 1/125 sec, ISO3200
“Birthday Dinner” Cedar Park, 2019

Today was my 51st birthday, and it was relaxing and fun! In the morning, I had some relax time as Mariko and our guests went out to visit some breweries. I thought about going as well, but I decided to take care of some things at home and enjoy some alone-time. Which included cutting and tying up a lot of cardboard from the massive boxes that Koa’s marimba shipped in. Fun! And after that I tried a new taco place nearby, then met everyone at the high school football stadium to watch the marching bands perform in the UIL contest. It was cool and I think our guest from out-of-town enjoyed the Texas high school marching band experience.

Later that evening, we went to a nearby Mexican restaurant, Jardin Corona, for a yummy dinner. I really like their carnitas, so it was my birthday dinner of choice. 😊 One of our guests lives in London, and another in Tokyo, and they don’t get Mexican food very often so I thought they might enjoy it. To complement the food, we had Texas beer (Shiner), Mexican beer (Negra Modelo), and margaritas. A truly satisfying meal!

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2, 1/125 sec, ISO2500
“Carnitas Enchiladas” Cedar Park, 2019

I hope you had a nice day!


Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/6.4, 1/900 sec, ISO200
“Vista Ridge Ranger Band” Leander, 2019