January 17, 2010

Stuff I've been (cooking and) eating lately

Last night R. and I invited our friends A. and D. over for dinner. R. was working, and I had the day off so I spent the morning and afternoon in the kitchen cooking up dinner. A few weeks back we had some friends over for a Christmas dinner and that went pretty well, so I wanted to try it again. I scaled back the menu a bit, but still it took a lot longer to cook everything up than I expected. I'm a pretty poor cook, so that probably explains it.

Anyway, what was on the menu?

  • Honey Glazed Ham. I liked the ham I made last time, and wanted to try a larger-scale version of it. The problem: when I finally went shopping for hams, I couldn't find one as large as what I would expect to find in the US. The ham I did get, a Rosenheim 750g gift ham was about a third of the size that I would expect of a US ham, and more expensive to boot. Ah well.
  • Buffalo Wings. R. requested this, and it was a good call. I was originally going to buy some ready-made wings, but R. didn't sound too happy about that, so I decided to go from scratch. I dug up a hot sauce recipe and cut up some chicken wings. Also, made the sour cream blue cheese sauce for the wings, and bought celery (never had the time to cut it though.)
  • Mashed Potatoes. Made these from scratch this time, since someone on Flickr chastised me for using frozen mashed potatoes before. It was really easy to make them from scratch (took longer though) and since I often have potatoes laying around I'll be doing this more often. Might try french fries sometime too.
  • Corn. From a can. I love corn.
  • Butter and Soy Sauce Sauteed mushrooms and carrots. I like butter sauteed mushrooms, so threw some carrots in there too.
  • Ambrosia fruit salad.
  • Chocolate chip cookies

Pretty good! Our guests arrived and brought a bottle of champagne, so we had to try that. Actually we swapped that bottle out for one we had in the fridge, and then later moved on to beer. Dinner went well, and I think everyone had a great time. We somehow ended up on Youtube.com watching old Knight Rider and Baywatch videos. Not sure how that happened. Then The Cribs' Cheat on Me with Johnny Marr.

So, dinner was great. Today I'm just relaxing (I feel like I'm coming down with a cold) so I'll take it easy, write some blog posts, and catch up on paying bills and finances, as well as some cleaning and washing I suppose.

What else have I been eating lately? Well, you know I can't miss out when McDonalds Japan introduces a new burger: the Texas Burger. Looks like it is a 650 calorie burger. The picture on their site looks better than the ones I've got, but that isn't surprising. They are doing a whole series on Big American Burgers with Texas up first. It looks like it will be around for about 3 weeks before they move on to the next burger, the Big America New York Burger. Third is California, and finally they have Hawaii. (See the list with pictures here.) The Texas one looks best to me, with Hawaii coming in second. I'm not sure what the differences are on California and New York, so I guess I'll go and translate their descriptions.


テキサスの荒野が目に浮かんでくるような、ワイルドな味わいのテキサスバーガー。スパイシーなバーベキューソースとピリッとした粒マスタードレリッシュの2種類のソースで、ジューシーでボリュームたっぷりの1/4ポンドビーフパティ(通常のビーフパティの約2.5倍)を、豪快にお楽しみください。生地を一つ一つ丁寧に手で丸め、色よく焼き上げた特製3段バンズは、弾力のある食感が特徴。サクッと揚げたフライドオニオン、チーズ、旨みたっぷりのベーコンのアクセントがクセになりそうな一品です。

ニューヨークの街角のカフェにある一皿を思わせる、スタイリッシュなニューヨークバーガー。この街が発祥といわれるクラブハウスサンドを本格バーガーに仕立てました。ジューシーでボリュームたっぷりの1/4ポンドビーフパティ(通常のビーフパティの約2.5倍)と、アメリカ生まれのモントレージャックチーズ、旨みたっぷりのベーコン、トマト、レタスの洗練されたハーモニー。粒マスタードソースのピリッとした辛味が程よいアクセント。特製グラハム(全粒粉)バンズとの相性も抜群です。

カリフォルニアの自然とそこに降り注ぐ太陽からの恵みを感じさせる、カリフォルニアバーガー。一番のポイントはカリフォルニア産赤ワインを使用した特製ソース。ジューシーでボリュームたっぷりの1/4ポンドビーフパティ(通常のビーフパティの約2.5倍)を芳醇な香りと深いコクで引き立てます。トマト、レタス、旨みたっぷりのベーコン、この地が発祥といわれるモントレージャックチーズとの豊かなハーモニーをご堪能ください。粉チーズをトッピングした香ばしい特製バンズも見逃せません。

世界で愛されるハワイの名物料理「ロコモコ」のおいしさをそのままハンバーガーに閉じ込めた、ハワイアンバーガー。深いコクのある特製グレイビーソースが、ジューシーでボリュームたっぷりの1/4ポンドビーフパティ(通常のビーフパティの約2.5倍)、ぷりぷりのタマゴ、旨みたっぷりのベーコン、チーズ、レタスを包み込んだ幸せなハーモニー。粉チーズをトッピングした香ばしい特製バンズも見逃せないポイントです。

Texas Burger:

The wild flavor of this Texas Burger will have the wilderness of Texas floating right before your eyes! You can enjoy two different sauces, the spicy BBQ sauce and a refreshing mustard relish along with a huge quarter pound of beef (2.5 times larger than the normal beef patty.) The elasticity of the trio of carefully hand-crafted well cooked buns is the special characteristic of this burger. And you're going to love the crunchy fried onions, cheese, and accents of bacon filled with umami in this burger.

New York Burger:

This stylish New York burger will make you think of a plate from a corner cafe in New York. This burger is based on the club sandwich that is said to have originated from here. It's got a juicy quarter pound beef patty (2.5 times the size of a normal patty) with the refined harmony of Monterrey Jack cheese that was originated in America, bacon full of umami, tomatoes and lettuce. It is accented by a spicy mustard sauce. It has an unrivaled compatibility with the specially-made graham (all flour) buns.

California Burger:

This California burger will make you feel the natural blessing of the sunshine that falls down on the state. The main point is the specialty sauce that uses white wine from California. The full quarter pound beef patty (2.5 times the size of a normal patty) is made with a mellow smell and deep flavor. You'll be fulfilled with the luxurious harmony between the tomato, lettuce, bacon with lots of umami, and Monterrey Jack cheese that was developed here. Don't forget the fragrant specialty buns topped with powdered cheese.

Hawaiian Burger:

We have locked in the world-famous beloved flavor of Hawaiian Loco Moco in this burger. A thick special gravy sauce is on the large quarter pound patty (2.5 times the size of a normal patty) with a jiggly egg, bacon full of umami, cheese, and lettuce make up this wrapped up harmony. You also can't look past the fragrant specialty buns topped with powdered cheese.

Huh, sounds like they are all mostly using the same ingredients. Still, it should be interesting to see what the upcoming hamburgers are like.





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