The much awaited part three of a story that started eight years ago…

Eight years ago I met some people in a random bar in Kuki, Japan while I was out on an adventure-seeking-night by myself. I got the adventure I was seeking both while I was out, and when I got home. (You can read about that here).

I had exchanged e-mails with my new friends and a few years after later I met them again at the same bar and almost got lost and in big trouble… again. (You can read about that story here).

And now, after originally meeting them eight years ago in Japan, I welcomed them to Detroit with my family, and into my home!

Continue reading “MY KUKI FRIENDS: PART THREE”


We were having friends over for dinner the other day. I had planned this fancy salad with pears, dried cherries, glazed pecans, and goat cheese. I originally planned on using store bought dressing to save some time, but after further pondering, I decided I should up my game and rock some homemade balsamic vinegar dressing. With a fancy salad bursting with all that flavor I couldn’t lame out for the dressing. This balsamic dressing was super delicious and was a crowd pleaser. It kept really well in the refrigerator too. I think using the immersion blender helped keep the oil from separating. Continue reading “BALSAMIC VINEGAR DRESSING”


Chili in our family is a Halloween tradition. What turkey is to Thanksgiving, chili is to Halloween. I can’t imagine a Halloween without it. Even when we aren’t with my parents on the holiday, I try to carry the tradition and make her famous chili. It’s not overly spicy, or interestingly unique, but it is a classic dependable recipe. If you like to experiment, this is a good base to make your own creation. However, I don’t like to stray too far from this tried and true recipe.




  • 1.5lbs ground chuck
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper chopped
  • 1 6oz can tomato paste
  • 2-3 cans of kidney beans
  • 2 TBSP chili powder
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (I prefer petite diced)
  • 1.5 tsp Italian seasoning
  • water to desired consistency (approx. 3 cups)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • *I add red, orange, and yellow peppers. I use about 3 whole peppers in total.


  1. Brown the meat and then drain excess grease.
  2. Saute onions and peppers until soft (3-5 minutes)
  3. Add remaining ingredients on high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce to low. Let simmer for 1 hour or so. Top with cheese or other favorite chili toppings.