new toys

forschner/victorinox 8″ chef’s knife
this is recommended by america’s test kitchen, and it is really reasonably price (right now only $20.34, i got it when it was $23). now it’s fun to chop things! esp. herbs, which were impossible to chop before.

cuisinart 12″ nonstick skillet


this is also an ATK-recommended product. i saw it when it was $30, which seemed reasonable. so far has been great. lots of dinners and eggs have been cooked in this pan.

italian sausages with peppers, onions, and potatoes

we have been in an italian phase recently. this recipe tastes good without the potatoes too (can add more bell peppers if you do that).

sausages, peppers, and potatoes

italian sausages with peppers, onions, and potatoes
from the best 30-minute recipes (america’s test kitchen)

note form atk: best with combo of red, yellow, orange; balsamic vinegar can be substituted for sherry vinegar.

2 tbsp olive oil
1.5 lb. itlian sausage, cut into 1″ lengths
1 lb. red potatoes, cut into 1″ wedges
2 bell peppers, cored and sliced thin
1 onion, sliced thin
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup water
1 tsp minced fresh oregano, or 1/2 tsp dried
1 tbsp sherry vinegar

1. brown sausages: heat 1 tbsp of oil in 12″ skillet over medium-heat until just smoking. brown sausages lightly on all sides, about 3 minutes total. transfer to plate and set aside.

2. microwave potatoes: meanwhile, toss potatoes with remaining 1 tbsp oil, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper in microwave-safe bowl. cover tightly with plastic wrap and microwave on high until potatoes begin to soften, 5-7 minutes, shaking bowl (w/o removing plastic) to toss potatoes halfway through.

3. saute peppers and onion: pout off all but 1 tbsp fast from skillet. add bell peppers and onion and return to medium-high heat skillet until peppers begin to soften, about 5 minutes. stir in tomato paste and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

4. cook sausages: stir in wine, water, and oregano, scraping up any browned bits, and bring to a simmer. nestle sausages and potatoes into vegetables, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. cook until sausages are no longer pink in center and potatoes are tender, 10-12 minutes.

5. season: stir in vinegar and season with salt/pepper to taste. serve.

comments: the first time we made this, the sausages took longer to cook, so the next time we let them cook more in the first step. depends how big you cut them too. we also used red wine vinegar, which seemed to work out fine. and i like a high ratio of veggies to meat, so i’d probably add more onions/peppers next time too. a really easy and good recipe! you can get pretty cheap sausages at costco too (5 lb./$10).


for easter we made the ham again, and it was even better because i pureed the mango pineapple syrup mixture so you could really taste the mango this time. we also made some roasted asparagus after watching a video on but i think they took that down.

all you do is turn on the broiler, then cut off the ends of the asparagus (can save for stock), wash, dry, then put them on a baking sheet and toss with some extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. they said asparagus is a vegetable that can take a lot of seasoning, so you can be pretty generous with the salt and pepper. then it goes in the broiler for like 2-3 minutes, then toss again, then back in for another 2-3 minutes i think. it’s really fast and tastes great.

then, mrs. taketa made some chinese chicken salad + ribs, and mr. taketa grilled the ribs, corn, and italian sausages. kevin and monica (mr. and mrs. taketa’s friends) brought orzo salad, and alex and laura (my co-workers) brought banana cream pie and guava cake for dessert!

easter feast


then we decorated easter eggs! i think this was my first time. we used to just color eggs at my house.

decorated easter eggs

kevin and monica made the sticker-inspired sunglasses one, alex and laura made the cute one with the brown hair and the dress, mr. and mrs. taketa made the fancy-looking bunny one, and cameron and i made the really weird-looking one. actually it turned out better than i thought. first we were making a hawaiian skirt, then cameron wanted it to be a ninja, then he wanted it to be a wizard. everything was kinda falling apart at the end, but then everyone thought ours was in some kind of masquerade costume, which sounds better than hawaiian ninja wizard thing.

there wasn’t time to color eggs with everyone, but the next day we colored some. coloring eggs is harder than i remember.

easter egg