Man, time flies when you’re having fun! And I have been having a lot of fun the past week!
For those not living in Japan, the past week here has been “Golden Week”, a week in which the entire country goes on vacation. I too have been on vacation, and thus, too busy having fun to post. *cough cough* You still love me though, right? Everyone needs a break now and then, right? Right?
Anyway, Golden Week started last Friday. Hisanori and I went to the local “Flower Park” in the mountains and enjoyed all the pretty flowers and the beautiful mountain scenery. The most amazing flowers there were the dahlias (at least I think they were dahlias). Not only were they amazingly beautiful with their vivid colors, but they were freakin’ HUGE!
Saturday, Hisa and I celebrated our one-year wedding anniversary. A year ago on that day we were married in Hawaii. Ahhhh, Hawaii! How I want to go back there so badly! The ocean! The beaches! The Mai Tais! The warm weather! The Mai Tais! Ahem. Moving on.
To celebrate the day, Hisa and I went to Asakusa in Tokyo. From there we took a boat down the Sumida river all the way to Odaiba in Tokyo Bay. We then spent the whole day playing in Odaiba. We walked along the beach, had some amazing hamburgers for lunch, rode some of the rides at Sega Joypolis, enjoyed the Sony ExploraScience Museum, had some drinks in a fancy hotel bar, and finished off the night with champagne and a fancy dinner with an amazing view of nighttime Tokyo.
Needless to say, we were utterly exhausted by the time we got home, but we both had a great time and a wonderful anniversary. I don’t know how we’ll be able to beat this anniversary in the future!
The next day, we met up with one of Hisa’s old friends and his wife for lunch and then coffee. It was a more quiet kind of fun, but after the previous day in Tokyo, we both needed some rest.
Monday, we drove up to Hisa’s hometown and stayed with his family there until yesterday (Thursday), when we came back. It’s always fun seeing family, and relaxing, eating, and chatting with them. Especially my little niece (soon to turn three!) who makes anything and everything irresistibly adorable.
Today, Friday, is a normal work day, so Hisa is at work, but soon it’ll be the weekend again, so it feels like we have two more days of vacation before things really go back to normal.
Although I’ve been on vacation all week, and haven’t cooked much as a result, right before Golden Week I made cobb salads with homemade honey mustard dressing for dinner one night.
I’ve loved cobb salads every since I was in high school I think. They have kind of a bad rep as unhealthy salads, but they really don’t have to be. If you make them yourself, you can determine exactly what goes into it and your dressing.
Cobb salads are pretty simple really if you don’t mind a lot of chopping. Even making honey mustard dressing is really simple! You can substitute the mayonnaise in the recipe for yogurt if you want a healthier dressing (I did this, and it really tastes just as good).
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1 egg white
- dash of salt
- 2 tsp. corn starch
- 1 Tbsp oil
- 1/2 head of lettuce
- 2 – 3 eggs
- 1/2 c. sliced mushrooms
- 1 avacado
- 1 tomato
- 1/2 c. shredded cheese
- 2 -3 slices of bacon (optional)
- 1/3 c. carrot matchsticks (optional)
- 1/4 c. mayonnaise or plain yogurt (I recommend yogurt. It makes a salad lower in fat and tastes the same as dressing made with mayonnaise)
- 1 Tbsp. mustard
- 1 1/2 Tbsp honey (more or less depending on how sweet you like your dressing)
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- In a wide shallow dish, mix the egg white, salt, and corn starch. Slice the chicken breasts up into bite-sized pieces, and add to the dish. Mix chicken around until covered with the egg white mixture. Set aside for 10 – 15 minutes.
- In a small bowl, combine the dressing ingredients until well blended. Adjust the flavors to taste. Cover and place in refrigerator.
- Heat a skillet to medium-high heat and add oil. Place chicken pieces in skillet so not touching. Allow to cook for 1 – 2 minutes without touching. Flip chicken pieces and stir them around for another 2 – 3 minutes or until completely cooked through and golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Wash lettuce in cold water, then cut up into thin strips. Place in a large bowl and fill with very cold water. Set aside.
- Boil your, peel, and chop the eggs up.
- Cook bacon (if using) until crispy, then set aside to cool. When cool, crumble into little pieces.
- Peel and chop the avocado. Chop the tomato. Cut carrot into matchsticks (if using).
- Drain lettuce well, shake out excess water, and divide between two bowls or plates. Arrange the chicken, mushrooms, boiled egg, avocado, tomato, bacon, cheese, and carrots in rows on top of the lettuce. Serve with the honey mustard dressing.