Friday, April 11, 2008

Check it...

You may notice a link to the right that takes you My very talented younger brother, Julian, is a professional dancer and choreographer in New York. His work has been part of professional dance companies like Hubbard Street Dance Theatre in Chicago. Please support Julian and the performing arts! Check out his website and his videos on!

We love you, Julian. Ganbate!

Love, Sis

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Creamy Risotto with Edamame

Back in January, when my BIL & SIL Greg and Denise came to visit us in Okinawa, I had asked them to bring me back a few things Kev and I couldn't get here on the island. One of the items (believe it or not) was Arborio rice. Better known as Italian risotto rice. I think Greg thought it was a bit ridiculous to bring rice to Japan, but I assured him that Arborio rice was not something Kev and I could easily find here. Fast forward to April and with Kevin away for a week, I decided to prepare myself a good dinner. I have a great recipe for Risotto that I wanted to make: Creamy Risotto with Edamame. This recipe is from "Food & Wine" magazine and is so simple. Heck, it even has a Japanese ingredient: Edamame. For those who don't know, edamame is simply boiled soybeans.

Here's the recipe:

Creamy Risotto with Edamame
Serves 4

1/2 cup frozen shelled edamame (thankfully, I can find these at the Japanese grocery stores off base)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO according to Rachael Ray)
2 medium shallots, very finely chopped approx 1/4 cup (On this night, I didn't have any shallots, so I just used a sweet Vidalia onion)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup of Arborio rice
3 cups of low sodium chicken broth, warmed
1 cup of Lager beer, such as Budweiser (In the Miller household, there is always some sort of beer in the fridge. This night, I used Kirin beer, a Japanese brand)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Three 3/4 oz wedges of Laughing Cow Cheese (La Vache Qui Rit)

1. Bring a small saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the edamame and cook until tender, about 5 minutes; drain.
2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the shallots and garlic and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, untily slightly translucent, about 2 minutes.
3.Mix the chicken broth with the beer and season generously with salt and pepper. Add 1 cup of the beer broth to the rice and cook over high heat, stirring constantly, until nearly absorbed. Continue adding the broth, about 1 cup at a time, stirring until it is absorbed before adding more. The rice is done when it's al dente and suspended in a thick, creamy liquid, about 17 minutes in toal. Add the edamame and cheese and stir until cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper and serve right away.

Dee-licious. Ideal with chardonnay...

Thanks so much to Greg and Denise for bringing me the Arborio rice all the way to Japan. Dinner is served. :)


Saturday, April 5, 2008

Leah's Birthday & Pizza In the Sky

Today, I spent the day with my good friend Leah celebrating her 29th birthday. We went to the Churaumi Aquarium in Nago and were joined by our mutual friends,the Pellegrinis.

(Here's a photo of Birthday Girl Leah posing with the Pellegrini clan at the Aquarium).

For dinner, we went to "Pizza in the Sky". This restaurant isn't really called "Pizza in the Sky," but for some reason, almost all of the Americans on the island know the restaurant by this name. The actual name of the restaurant is "Kajinho" and let me tell you, this place is not at all easy to find. Thankfully, we had some good directions and the rain we had earlier in the day ended.

After traveling on several narrow, windy, and steep roads, we finally found it. Did I mention how hard it was to find? I can read Japanese so we followed signs. To be honest though, I'm not sure how most Americans find this place.

(Note: Pizza in the Sky has some rather odd business hours, so be sure you check their hours before you head out. They are closed on Tuesdays & Wednesdays. Hours are from 11:30am to 7:00pm.)

Kajinho is operated out of a traditional Okinawan family house and has a very rustic feel to it.

(A photo of a 'shisa' I found on the roof).

Seating is limited, but the restaurant does offer interior and exterior seating. I've heard it can be crowded, but on this night, we lucked out and did not have to wait at all for a table.

Kajinho has a set menu. This means you have to order the pizza they make for the day. On this particular day, we got a supreme pizza with ham, onions, garlic, green peppers, and corn. We also ordered a delicious salad. The salad comes with a soy-sesame oil dressing which is sooooo good. You may want to lick the bowl. Also a word to the may want to work on eating salad with your chopsticks beforehand...

These are our drinks. Notice the pretty presentation. Very cute!

The pizza is definitely good, but by far, what makes "Pizza In the Sky" really special, is the view. The restaurant is perched high up on a hill so it offers some amazing views.

Next time, I hope I can watch the sunset.

Well, dinner at "Pizza in the Sky" was a lot of fun and well worth the trip. Hope you enjoyed your birthday Leah!


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Home Alone....

No, I'm not talking about the movie with Macaulay Culkin. I'm talking about me. Kevin is leaving tomorow for a week long trip for the States and I'm not able to go. Boo. It's not that I'm upset or anything, it's just since Kev and I moved here to Okinawa, we really haven't been apart. And now for a WHOLE WEEK, I'll be home alone.

The good news is that I have plenty going on to keep me busy. The new job at the University of Maryland is going well. I've also started my classes. I have class four days a week and rehearsals at night, so that just about sucks up most of my time....Sooo I guess it won't be that bad. Good thing I also have friends to keep me entertained....

I've given Kevin a list of things I want from the hopefully when he comes home, he'll have some goodies!!!!

XOXOXO, Chrissy
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