Maleeya’s Minnierella 4th Birthday

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I can’t believe that Maleeya is already 4-years-old. It’s almost a month later and I’ve been slacking on my food blogging, but this was a very special birthday party catering and since I’ve blogged about each of her birthdays, I can’t stop at 3. So here is the 4th edition.

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This year Maleeya had a Minnierella (Minnie Mouse as Cinderella) themed princess birthday party for her friends at our house. My mom made Maleeya’s beautiful pink dress for her Minnierella costume and my sister decorated the house. Everyone enjoyed playing games, catching up, delicious food and togetherness and I don’t think we’ve ever had so many people in our house at one time, which was really fun. We had a special feast of Maleeya’s favorite foods for her party. I asked Maleeya what she wanted to serve at her birthday party and her list was as follows: latkes, fruit, veggies, salad, chicken, strawberries and cake. So with those directions in mind, as well as some special Vegan and Gluten Free requests, I came up with this menu and we had a blast.




Fruit Tower and Melon and Grape Platter

Fresh Vegetable Tray

Sweet Sesame Chicken Skewers

Turkey Meatballs

7-Layer Bean Dip

Pico de Gallo

Grilled Sweet Soy Chicken Drumsticks

Italian Pasta Salad

Chinese Chicken Salad

Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons

Bread Basket


Grilled Vegetables and Tofu

Thank you to everyone who helped celebrate this very special little lady, or as she liked to be known that day, Minnierella. Happy fourth year of fun, love and excitement, Mighty Maleeya!




Happy 3rd Birthday Maleeya from a month ago



April flew by (actually, May is flying by too…the whole year). I can’t believe it, but it was a really great month full of really fun and exciting happenings for our family. Maleeya turned 3 on April 8th and we had a really fun birthday party for her at the park. About 50 people attended and I made probably the closest amount of food for the size party, without there being a week’s worth of leftovers. We had a really sweet Minnie Mouse theme and Maleeya dressed the part in her Minnie Mouse dress and awesome party hat and crafts made by my sister. We are really getting into this birthday party hosting with all the crafts, food and fun. To my surprise—well, not really—I did some kids’ entertainment: yoga, freeze dance, three-legged races, jump rope hopping, parachute and giant balloons. The kids had a great time and so did everyone else.  We are so blessed and I couldn’t be more grateful for another amazing birthday celebration! Happy 3rd birthday Maleeya, Auntie loves you!
Kale Salad with Raisins, Cranberries and Walnuts

Macaroni Salad with Mixed Vegetables and Red Wine Vinaigrette

Potato Salad with Diced Egg, Celery, Green Onion and Pickles

Roasted Turkey or Ham and Cheese Sandwiches

Vegan Vegetable Sandwiches with Roasted Red Peppers, Zucchini, Cucumber, and Herb and Garlic Olive Oil

Italian Cold Cut Sandwiches: Capicola, Mortadella, Salami, Ham, Provolone Cheese, Red Peppers, and Pepperoncini

Minnie Mouse Mixed Fruit Platters

Veggie Platter and Dip

Meat and Cheese Platters




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Maleeya’s 2nd Birthday

My niece just recently turned two on Monday, April 8th. I can’t believe she’s already two! It really goes by fast and I know that’s a very cliché thing to say, but it does. It feels like just yesterday that my sister told me she was having a baby and now Maleeya is just so adventurous, ambitious and remarkable. She truly is an amazing little girl and I feel so fortunate to be able to see her every day and watch her little spirit grow.

Happy Birthday, Monkey! Auntie loves you very much.




So for Maleeya’s birthday we had everyone over to Encino Park for some food, of course, and lots of other fun things for the kids and plenty of catching up for the adults. Some of my sister’s friends brought their little children and we were able to get a little kids yoga session to happen while the adults watched. I’m so grateful to the little ones who decided to participate, even with everyone watching. It’s amazing how fearless young children are. So we had yoga, party favors, a huge Minnie Mouse piñata, cake and lots of food.

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The menu this year was more manageable with my current work load and shortage of time, but still delicious and fun. I’m so glad I got to cook for over 50 of our closest family and friends. I’m so grateful for all the support everyone has shown me through my yoga and my cooking. I’m truly living a dream I could only have actualized with all of your help. Thank you!








Homemade Balsamic Cumin Barbeque Sauce Chicken

Rainbow Pasta Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette, Italian Herbs, Black Olives, Broccoli, Tomatoes and Roasted Peppers

Cobb Salad with Hard boiled Egg, Crispy Bacon, Roasted Garlic Turkey, Tomatoes, Avocado and Blue Cheese over Baby Mixed Greens and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Roasted Vegetable Platter

Fruit Platters

My mom prepared our grandma’s special macaroni salad and potato salad, as well as Bachan’s triple-layered Jell-O, which are all family traditions at any event. My boyfriend made delicious pork sliders with jalapeno coleslaw—needless to say, everyone loved them.

We had such a great time celebrating my beautiful niece, Maleeya! I can’t wait for next year. :)

These gorgeous photos are courtesy of the wonderful and talented Lyz Cooper, Brandon’s mom is an amazing photographer! Thanks Lyz for capturing such special memories for out family.



Shrimp and Vegetable Chirashi

The type of chirashi that I’m used to is much different than the traditional Japanese-style dish that I had when I was in Japan, and the ones that I drool over in Japanese cookbooks, with lots of lovely expensive thin slices of fresh raw fish and other seafood over a bed of sushi rice. Growing up, we waited till Obon (a Japanese festival that takes place at the Buddhist temple behind my dad’s family house) in July to have different styles of simple Japanese American food. Amongst the teriyaki chicken and sato-shoyu grilled beef, we ate chirashi, which was a mix of marinated Japanese vegetables in sushi rice topped with a little ginger. Nothing too special or fancy, but with the other food we ate, it always tasted good.

This is my shrimp version of chirashi. I used a very simple package of Sushi Taro brand chirashi mix, which makes this a very simple process without having to pickle your own vegetables (including carrots, lotus, bamboo shoots, and shiitake mushrooms). In my chirashi I use leftover Japanese short grain rice to make an easy and delicious meal and add extra vegetables for additional nourishment. Even my niece Maleeya loves it.

Shrimp and Vegetable Chirashi
2 cups cooked short grain Japanese rice
1 package chirashi mix, set aside nori for topping
¼ cup kamaboko (Japanese fish cak–I like Yamasa brand), sliced into small strips
1 egg scrambled, plus 1 teaspoon water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
½ lb peeled and deveined shrimp without tail
¼ cup frozen peas
¼ white onion, minced
¼ cup bamboo shoots, cut into small strips
½ portobello mushroom, cut into small dice
1 teaspoon pickled red ginger
Non-stick spray

In a small sauce pan, heat over medium-high heat and spray the pan with non-stick spray. Scramble the cracked egg with a teaspoon of water and add a pinch of salt and pepper.
Fry the egg mixture in the pan, swirling the egg around till it becomes firm. Place a lid on the pot and turn the heat off, letting the egg sit for about 2-3 minutes. Slide a rubber spatula around the edges to loosen the egg and slide it out of the pan. Set aside. If the egg becomes broken, that’s fine, because it’s going to be sliced into small pieces once cooled.

In a small bowl, place shrimp, a pinch of salt and pepper, sesame oil, and soy sauce, then let the shrimp marinate for 5-10 minutes.

In a large sauté pan, place extra virgin olive oil at the bottom and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onion, portobello mushrooms and bamboo shoots, then sauté till the onions and mushrooms are cooked down (about 7 minutes). Add peas to the pot and cook another 3-4 minutes. Now add the marinated shrimp and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes or a little longer, depending on the size of your shrimp.

Take about 6 shrimps out of the mixture and set aside. In a large bowl, add the vegetable and shrimp mixture to the rice, then stir till incorporated together. Add the chirashi envelope and incorporate well. Place the sushi rice in a serving container and let cool. Slice 6 shrimp in half along the center of the shrimp and place them on top of the sushi rice. Take the sliced egg and sprinkle over the top, top with kamaboko slices, red ginger and nori and serve.




Maleeya’s First Birthday Celebration and Catering

My niece, Maleeya, just recently turned one on Easter, which was April 8th, so we decided that it would be a good idea to celebrate Easter with our family, including a small birthday celebration for her and then, the following Sunday, have her huge birthday celebration at the park. First birthdays, and birthdays in general, are a huge deal for the Fujitaki family, so we knew it was going to be a big production to get everything together; naturally, I was in charge of the food. As the number of guests grew and grew as we approached the party date, I knew that I was in for a good weekend full of catering and cooking, which felt nice because I haven’t done a large event in a while, but boy did my body feel it after cooking for 14 hours, not to mention the countless hours in preparation, shopping, organizing and sourcing. Needless to say, I slept a lot the next day and took a completely necessary yoga class to get my aching back and feet back to normal. 
I didn’t have time to make the cakes but these are pretty darn cute!
The final count for Sunday was about 65 people and I think there seemed to be even more people than that. I have no problem making a lot of food for a lot of people, but with space limitations, refrigeration limitations and my new time limitations (aka Yoga Teacher Training), I found myself planning a different sort of menu.  One person cooking for 65 people in a residential kitchen can be a tricky thing, but with a little patience, a lot of intuition, and a calm demeanor, anything can happen.  I want to thank my sister, my parents and our friend Valinda for helping me put the last minute touches on everything and hauling it over to the park. The whole party was such a success with everyone’s help and I’m so grateful to be a part of such an amazing family and extended family and friends. It’s such a beautiful feeling to see how much love is surrounding this amazing little girl and how it shapes and molds her lovely little soul. Happy Birthday Maleeya! Auntie loves you so much.

Roasted Chicken, Sundried Tomato, Mozzarella and Spinach Basil Pesto Sandwich on Rosemary Garlic Bread
Chinese Spiced Pork Tenderloin (Char Siu) Sandwich on Toasted French Roll with Spicy Asian Mayo, Cucumbers, Pea Shoots and Carrots
Roasted Salmon Lettuce Wraps with Cherry Tomatoes, Arugula, and Quinoa
Sliced Turkey Pinwheels with Hearts of Romaine and CheeseScallion, Black olive and Celery Potato Salad
Rainbow Pasta Salad with Roasted Peppers, Tomatoes, Red Onion and Colby Jack Tossed in Red Wine Vinaigrette
Orzo Salad with Stripped Beets, Broccoli, Cranberries and Fresh Spinach Tossed in Sherry Vinegar Dressing
Purple Cabbage Coleslaw with Honey, Peanuts, Carrots and Granny Smith Apples
Vegetable Platter And Fruit Platter



Maleeya, Welcome home Feast, and Nothing Bundt Cakes

My baby niece Maleeya  was born 4/8/11 at 810pm at Kaiser Woodland hills. She is 19.5 inches, 7.2 lb

My sister gave birth naturally and was in labor for over 19 hours, honestly child birth is one of the most traumatic experiences I’ve ever witness and I wasn’t even watching the whole time because I couldn’t it was terrible. Every baby maker out there I put my hat off to you cause there’s no way I could do that.

Maleeya is a precious gift, she’s so beautiful and the Fujitaki family and Mickelson family are so proud and happy to have a healthy baby addition to the family.

Maleeya came home today and we had family and friends over to welcome her. Of course I couldn’t resist making a little welcome home feast for my beautiful niece even though she couldn’t eat it.

I threw together some things that my sister and family would like from what was left in the fridge.


Chicken Katsu, Spam Musubi, Sweet Sesame Miso dressing Salad  with carrots and tomatoes, Fried tofu, tofu with black goma and bonito flakes, macaroni salad, Inari, Mixed vegetable curry and rice

My brother and my sister in law bought some mini bundt cakes from nothing bundt cakes

These cakes are lovely. they really do melt in your mouth. I had the lemon one and it was really yummy, very moist and the sweetness in the frosting is not overwhelming. So if your around one of the shops i’d say to give them a try, something different than the conventional cupcake.

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