Ok, Leigh, got it. Definitely the Night Huntress series- there is a lot of action and the characters and stories are good and little more realistic. Narrowed down the list would be for you:
MaryJanice Davidson: Betsy Taylor, Vampire Queen series (fun and funny; quick, easy reads)
Richelle Mead: Succubus/Georgina Kincaid series (Georgia works for Hell, but still wants true love. The problem is, if she sleeps with a man she steals his life force, taking years off his lifespan. She works in a bookstore and hangs with demon pals in Seattle.)
Katie McAllister: Dark Ones series (Various Dark Ones (vampires) meet their smart-mouthed, modern mates, known as Beloveds, and navigate various mysteries and issues, their attraction and disgust with each other. On the light side.)
Charlaine Harris: Harper Connelly series (I am really excited for the next one! Harper can sense the dead and travels around with her step brother looking for missing people, but is usually accused of the crime when she finds the body.)
Erin McCarthy: Vegas Vamps (stories of vampires falling in love with humans and solving crimes. Lighter, quicker reads. She also writes excellent contemporary romance novels. I would suggest anything she writes if you are into romance and fun.)
Julie Kenner: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom (Kate is a recently un-retired demon hunter employed by the Vatican. She is married for a second time, has a teenager and a toddler, and recently found out her first husband came back from the dead. Excellent, well-written series. Nice to see her have a family and juggle real responsibilities.)
Japanese food... lemme think about it and get back to you. I love to eat it but rarely make it. However, I technically do know the basics.