People always use the phrase, “read between the lines.” Well, when I read between the lines, it usually entails wiping butts and picking up poop. Yes, little puddles of pee that dampen the newspaper lined floor, followed by drippings of poo that coincidentally highlight our president’s prominently defined brow. In Viet Nam I would have been imprisoned for blasphemy, thank God for America. But, today was another day well spent bonding and reading between the lines with my puppies. And to add a cherry on top of my sundae, Jessica and Em came over. So endless hours of puppy watching, food preparing and merry making. It makes up for our would-have-been 5 hour drive to LA. We didn’t make anything out of the ordinary, but I did manage to fatten both of them up quite nicely. We had tomato sauteed tofu with rice, followed by Smitten Kitchen blondies, pecan and choco chip biscotti and coffee, and a plethora of other sweets. All in all, a very productive day in the kitchen. Jess had her first enjoyable experience in the kitchen, and Em quickly saw how much of a hassle it was to raise puppies – I swear, they pee every 20 mins. But I am so proud of them! They are so clever now! Cafe actually responds to his name, Croissant needs some help still, but they are very good about peeing within their designated area.
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla or ½ teaspoon almond extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
These we actually baked in a cupcake tin instead, but I forgot to adjust the time, so they came out a little on the crisp side. Actually, more like rock hard, but still quite delicious. We used almond extract, and what a difference! Very strongly flavored, that took a third or fourth bite to get use to. We also added about 1 cup toasted and coarsely chopped pecans in addition to about 3/4 cup chocolate chips. Ideally I would have used white chocolate chips – these are BLONDIES after all, but you work with what you have, ehh?
[Lacuna | Hiatus | Interlude | Recess | Adjourned]
[Resume | Recapitulate | Proceed | Continue]
So it is almost 4am right now on Thursday Jan. 10, 2008, and I just got home. For not doing much, I am actually exhausted. But I am currently sitting on my couch, with both Croissant and Cafe snuggled in my lap – a rather awkward position as I try to type at the same time. They are both suspiciously looking at this strange contraption at which I am typing away on, a weird medium to convey these human thoughts. But they can’t sleep, so for once I will spoil them. Usually this is Em’s job. But I woke up earlier today (err-Wednesday) with a pang of hunger – craving sticky rice, nori, and soy sauce. So sushi it is! Also, someoneiknow had to work until 4pm today, so I felt obligated to make some food – too bad he did not end up consuming it, but I had fun grocery shopping and prepping the food anyway. So, I use the term sushi very loosely. By sushi, I mean a roll of rice covered by a seaweed sheet, filled with pretty much anything on hand. And today was deep fried tofu, cucumbers, avocado, carrots, sheets of fried egg, and imitation crab. So it was a very colorful roll I think. By the way, I wish you could see this, reader. Both pups asleep in my lap, black and white, yin and yang, with my laptop perched precariously on my knees, my short arms struggling to keep a hold of it all. For such a klutzy girl, this is a feat to be remembered. So I will take a moment to savor this moment. [moment ended] Back to sushi, or my version anyway. Please keep in mind that this is purely an interpretation of how to make sushi, and I know that things are inaccurate and slightly off – but I like how it came out either way. Hey – it was edible, right Linda and Em?
(makes about 5 rolls )
1.5 cups Glutinous or Japanese Rice
2 tbs rice vinegar
2 tbs sugar
scant 1/2 tbs salt
After cleaning the rice, fill pot with water up to rice level. Using your pinky as a guide, add another half joint level of water to the pot. Does that make any sense? Well, think about it for a sec and it should. Cook and when done, remove from heat and let cool. It is faster if you put the rice on a tray or something and leave it right by a window. But let’s not be too hasty. All the while, in a bowl, combine rice vinegar, sugar and salt. Stir until all dissolved. Once rice is completely cool, pour the vinegar mix over and fold using a rice paddle. Do not overwork the rice or else you will end up with a squishy mess. Rather, than mash, fold until well mixed.
Use anything! Be creative!
1 avocado, sliced
1 short cucumber (the kind for pickles, never English), seedless & sliced lengthwise
1/2 carrot, sliced lengthwise
3 eggs, fried and cut into strips
1/2 piece tofu, sliced and deep fried until crisp
1/2 package imitation crab
Using a bamboo mat required for sushi making, place a sheet of nori seaweed so that the sheet’s demarcation lines are horizontal and parallel to the mat. Dip your fingers in the left over (or make more) rice vinegar solution and carefully spread the rice starting at the edge closest to you and working up about 3/4 way to about the second to last line on the nori sheet. Try not to squish the rice or put in too much – the emphasis is the filling not the rice. So now the fun part – build your sushi by lining the edge closest to you with whatever your heart desires. Hamachi, unagi, Philly or Cali rolls, etc. Using the mat as a guide, roll the mat over so the edge of the nori sheet adheres to itself. Pack it in tight – no loose rolls please. Continue to roll and when you reach the edge, dab the end with rice vinegar and finish rolling up to the edge. The vinegar will help the sheet stick to itself. Ta-da! Cut and serve with pickled ginger, wasabi and soy sauce. Going along with this Japanese theme, I thought I’d remake Sesame Soy Soba, but it didn’t turn out as well this time. Where is Kari when I need her? So I packaged everything in tupper ware and went off to deliver. This still does not explain why I got home at like 3:30am. Well, I stopped by my principle’s house and from there we planned our Tex-Mex menu for our friend’s going away party. I am very excited as there is going to be oven roasted salsa, homemade pico de gallo and guacamole, carne asada and carnitas, homemade nachos, and for dessert I am going to make flan. So I am off my seat excited, especially because my principle is a fellow foodie, which means there will be plenty of pictures. And drinks! Mojitos and sangria anyone? Afterall, Verde is going to Viet Nam. He is going to be so sick of Vietnamese food – so change it up a little. Oh! And Linda is making a pinata! Yes, a bunch of little Asian kids hitting a pinata. I am so excited. But yes, this is all for now, I seriously need sleep. On my to-do list today – but leashes for the pups; make eclairs with Jess; grocery shopping with Mr9 for Friday’s party; get started on the flan. Not too ambitious, I just have to sleep first. So until soon dear readers!