You said it’s your birthday!

Yes, it was my birthday yesterday, so I always get to celebrate a day later along with our country. And my favorite birthday song is “Birthday”, written by the greatest band in the history of music. Did you know this song was written and recorded by The Beatles in one day? With nothing previously laid out, they came up with “Birthday” out of thin air in a single day and finished recording it. Genius.

My birthday was a big milestone for me, but I’m not gonna say which milestone…for our country though, it’s always an important day and something we should never take for granted. To celebrate, I baked a cake! I know you’ve seen this cake everywhere, but so what—this is mine. Simple cake mix, cream cheese frosting, and fresh fruit. A basic small rectangular cake pan fit nicely into my Zojirushi Toaster Oven.

The cake decorating part turned into a family project when I enlisted my daughter’s help. She’s got steadier hands than me anyway.

Happy Independence Day America! Yum!

Coincidentally, we all went to visit my son last month, who works in Washington D.C. If you’ve never been to our nation’s capital, I think it’s time you made the trip. I mean, it’s very cool that every government agency you’ve ever heard of is right here. He lives in Dupont Circle, which has a frighteningly deep subway station. Does this make you feel like you’re entering another dimension?

We went on a tour while we were there, which really is the best way to see the sights and learn about what you’re looking at, in my opinion. We love ‘em! For example, did you know they ran out of funding while they were building the Washington Monument and the project stopped completely? The government took it over 25 years later and finished it using marble from a different quarry. You can see where the color changes!

Dupont Circle is home to where all the embassies are in D.C. I’ve never seen so many black SUVs with tinted windows just driving around the city, ha-ha! And so many secret service guys riding around on bicycles during the day. They were busy during that week when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to visit President Biden. This is the Indian embassy, lit up in their national colors in honor of his visit. Pretty cool!

Now back to our 4th of July cookout…hot dogs! I got some wieners and Italian sausages for our Zojirushi Indoor Electric Grill. Plump, juicy and with the required grill marks.

And here are the hot dogs done in style. From left to right; Grilled Onion Dog (always a favorite), All-American Dog (and don’t judge me with the ketchup), Bulldog Dog (tonkatsu sauce, mayo and cabbage), and Spicy Bacon Dog (bacon wrapped with pickled red onion and jalapeños). Guess what? It’s worth cleaning the grill for these!

Finally, in case you thought I had forgotten about any healthy options for the holiday, I actually made a veggie sandwich (which for me is unheard of). The kicker was that this sandwich tasted amazing, and I think it was because the bread was so good (for real). I used the Whole Wheat recipe for my Zojirushi Breadmaker and the machine did the rest.

Your basic Veggie Sandwich for July 4th—shredded carrots, lettuce, sprouts, sliced tomato and avocado. Add Dijon mustard and mayo for a refreshing summer lunch!

If you guys own a breadmaker and you haven’t tried the wheat bread menu yet, I recommend it; you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Products used in this post: Micom Toaster Oven ET-ZLC30, Indoor Electric Grill EB-DLC10, Home Bakery Maestro® Breadmaker BB-SSC10

Please note that these recipes were not tested by Zojirushi America.

All images by Bert Tanimoto ©2023

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About Bert Tanimoto

Oldish father (still) of two youngish (but now young adult) kids. Zojirushi enthusiast and professional writer. California resident with roots in Hawaii and Japan. Classic rock, popcorn movies, audio books, spam, sushi and cone filtered coffee. Guilty pleasures include donuts and pop bands like ABBA and Wham! Don't laugh, you should see my vinyl collection--I give hair bands and prog equal credit.

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