Friday, November 30, 2012

Thanksgiving Dinner/Potluck/Buffet

I had a SUPER awesome thanksgiving, this year. WHY? First, I got spend my thanksgiving in this beautiful town called "Ashland"!! (I think it was my first time spending thanksgiving other than Portland since I arrived to the US) Second, I ate MULTIPLE thanksgiving dinners. So the it was DEFINITELY the BEST thanksgiving I ever had. 

1. Thanksgiving/International Potluck: my first thanksgiving dinner started with the members in the International Student Association. We had a potluck style thanksgiving dinner at a special place called "White House". I heard the house was "haunted," but I guess it was rumor. Inside was actually very pretty and elegant. It used to be the President's House.

Group photo: There were a lot of people!! Some of them were VERY GOOD cooks. We all had such a great time hanging out, eating yummy food, and laughing with each other. 

I made Japanese Omelette (Tamagoyaki), Egg Fried Rice and Cupcakes. Tamagoyaki was popular, and they were gone before I noticed. Since it was an international style, so I got taste all the delicious around the world. There were a lot of talented cooks in ISA. Thanks for ISA's board members for organizing this event. We were all sick of campus food, so this event gave us chance to taste some home-cooked meal. 

2. Thanksgiving Buffet: my second thanksgiving dinner was brought by the dining of my hall. We had Harvest Celebrating Dinner Buffet two days before Thanksgiving. Thanks for people who organized it. I think most of students living on campus felt sick of daily dining food, so this dinner was nice way to experience some changes. 

The night's special courses were Prime Rib & Shrimp. Sadly, I tried neither of these. I was not in the mood of eating meat, and shrimp was gone when I went there. I heard from my friends that they were super good. 

There were a lot of food anyway, so it was definitely not disappointing. People better get there early, so all the good ones Don't you wish we had this kind of food everyday? 

3. Thanksgiving Dinners/Lunches/Breakfasts: My 3rd thanksgiving dinner was of course with my parents. They came from Portland to Ashland. I was super happy. We decided for this year's thanksgiving, they came to visit me instead of I am going home, so we can explore Ashland. Besides actual thanksgiving dinner, we explored various places in Ashland. When they were here, I felt every meal was like eating a Thanksgiving Dinner.

My mom and I at a Thai food restaurant. 

My dad and I before we start to eat the thanksgiving dinner.

After having enough thanksgiving dinners, there will other holiday dinners coming up. Yay for more eating. I am in the middle of dead week and final week, so all the wonderful  food is 

I hope your thanksgiving was as good as mine.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

My OWN Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Happy Thanksgiving!! I should have write something about what I am thankful for. However I realized that there are SO MANY things I want to be thankful for and I do not want miss anything,    Plus I already wrote a similar post like that last year 

Instead,  I am going to share my pumpkin pie recipe. I love Thanksgiving because I like to cook and of course eat. Last year, I made pumpkin pie for the first time. I made everything from scratch, the pie crust, pie filling and even pumpkin puree.

Pumpkin Puree:
Actually it is very easy to make. You will need a pumpkin, knife, and baking sheet. 

1. Wash the pumpkin
2. Cut it in half
3. Take out the seeds
4. Place the pumpkin face down on a baking sheet 
5. Preheat the oven to 350 F
6. Bake for about an hour until the pumpkin is so soft enough for a knife to be easily insert.
7. Use a spoon to scope all the pumpkin out from the skin. 

This is a step by step video.

Pie Crust: 
This crust is BEST crust. I absolutely LOVED it. It is kind of tricky, but it is doable. 


1 1/4 all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) salt
1 tablespoon (14 grams) granulated white sugar
1/2 cup (1 sticks) (113 grams) unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup (60 - 120 ml) ice water

1. In a bowl or food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar.
2. Add butter in and the mixture will look like coarse meal
3. Add ice water gradually. 
4. Gather the dough into a ball and chill in refrigerator for an hour
5. Roll out the dough into a large circle about 9 inch. Make the thickness is even
6. Place the dough on a pie plate. 
7. Chill the dough for a bit before baking. 

Makes one 9 inch (23 cm) pie crusts. 

Tip: Make the butter and water is EXTREMELY cold.  
If you want learn more: Demonstration Video

Pie Filling: 
Most of the food I make, the recipe comes from somebody else, but this pie filling is my FIRST own special recipe. I did use others' recipes for guidance though. I think filling is the easiest part to make for the entire pie. 


2 eggs
1/3 cup of white sugar
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1 tsp of pure vanilla exact
1 tsp cinnamon 
½ tsp salt
1 cup of half and half (whole milk and heavy cream should work as well)

1. Preheat Oven to 350F
2. Beat eggs and add sugar and vanilla
3. Add pumpkin, cinnamon, salt and other spices (if there is)
4. Gradually add milk/half and half/cream
5. Pull the batter into the pie crust
6. Bake for about an hour until tooth pick inserted comes out clean. 

Now Enjoy!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What I LOVE About Fall

Now is middle of November, which means it is almost end of the Fall. The weather is getting colder and colder everyday, and winter is approaching. I better write something before it ends. 

I LOVE fall!! Actually I like all four seasons equally because they all have something special in it. 

1. Leaves and Colors: 

I love the changing color of the leaves. The orange color is just beautiful. That is why I changed my blog background to orange. During fall days, I like to take a walk and go for a run in the park and see the pretty leaves falling out from the trees. I realized fading is as wonderful as blooming, so I am not scared of getting old and dying.  

2. Food and Holidays: 

Fall the is the season for yummy food and great holidays. There are two wonderful holidays, and they come consecutively with one and another. Halloween and Thanksgiving: I love to dress up and see all the other people dress up for halloween, and I enjoy having enormous dinner with friends and family on Thanksgiving. Most of all, both of them associated with pumkin!! I love pumpkin!! It is SO delicious. The best part is that it can be dessert, appetizer, drink, and main dish. I love pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin latte, and pumpkin soup.  

3. Dressing Up and Weather: 

Dressing up for fall is very fun because I love scarf. That is the PERFECT accessory. Fall is a season of sweater and cardigan, so I like to wear them as well. The wear in the fall is nice, too. It is not too cold nor hot. The crispy weather is the BEST part. 
I hope my blog reader is enjoying your fall. What do you like about fall? Is fall your favorite season? Or you don't like fall? 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Halloween Recap

There has been SO MANY things happened since my last update. I VERY need to do some catch up. This term is SERIOUSLY CRAZY.  For the last couples, I participated in a lot of Halloween events.  Besides Halloween Events, there were Business Social, Office Visits, Interviews, and of course ENDLESS homework/tests/papers. Life is moving very fast, so don't miss a moment. On top of all the busyness, I even went to home for the weekend before the halloween, so I was pretty much booked for every second of my life. I finally have time tonight to update about my halloween memory. I took dozens of pictures. I am only going to post a few of them in the blog, and you can take a look at them on Facebook.

1) Pumpkin Curving (Friday 10/26)
Sadly, I have been living in America for ten years and I never curved a pumpkin before. I don't know why. I just did not have a chance. It was so nice for ISA (International Student Association) to host a pumpkin curving event, so all the internal/exchange students can experience it. I was scared at first, but it was not as hard as I thought. Actually, I felt pretty easy. 

I am with a Japanese Exchange student named Natsumi. You can tell she did better job than me. I also should have showed the face of the pumpkin, not the side. 

2) Halloween Dance (Friday 10/26)
Right after the pumpkin curving, I quickly changed into my halloween costume, and prepared to go to the Halloween Dance. 

My hall mates and I dressed up and we took a photo before we head to the dance together. (We are such a great family, we go to dance together and do every thing together)

The dance was host at the dorm. It had a huge balcony. The dance party was decorated by beautiful lights and flowers. I felt glad that the night was not cold because we dance with halloween costumes and most of the halloween costumes are thin. 

I had a good time at the dance. It was fun seeing people dressed in different kinds of costume. I danced a lot and it was almost midnight when I came back to my room. Not mention that, I was flying home in the next day. 

3) Halloween Party/ My Friend's Birthday Party (Saturday 10/27)

I flew home Saturday. Not long after I got off from the flight and catching up with my parents, I had to go to my friend's birthday/halloween party. Her birthday was a day before halloween. It was so wonderful to see her and hang out with other friends from high school during my short visit in Portland, especially I was away for a while. I even learned how to play Mahjong that night. 

4) Business Club Halloween (Tuesday 10/30)

The day after I came back to Ashland, I had to do some Halloween Sales for Business Club during lunch at the cafeteria. We sold Popcorn Balls and Caramel Apples. I was not a big fan of popcorn, but I really liked the popcorn ball. The apple pie flavored popcorn ball was SO YUMMY. I think I am addicted to cinnamon, now. 

There was a Zombie Dance in the Cafeteria during lunch. Since I had a table, I was sitting in the front seat for watching the dance.

5) Halloween Parade (Wednesday 10/31)
On the halloween day, there was a parade in Ashland downtown. I was debating about going or not going because it was raining and I had a lot work to do (I did not do homework when I went home for the weekend, so I was FAR behind in class). However, I still decide to go. How crazy I am!!!
Let me talk about my costume for this year: Actually this my uniform from Japanese middle school.  I had to wear it every day during my middle school days in Japan. Some people thought I was a "sailor," and others thought I dressed as a "student". Well, I can be both. I love this uniform, and I felt very happy that halloween gave me a chance to wear it again. I even wore this to class. There are not a lot of people asking me, so I hope they recognized that I dressed up for halloween.
Even though was sad because it rained, but that did not kill the spirit of Halloween. 

All in all, I think I had the BEST halloween I ever had. I have been live in the US for ten years, and this was my first first time I got involved with this many halloween events.

What did you do for halloween? Did you dress up?