Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sushi at home? In theory...

We love sushi. LOVE IT. Michael actually introduced me to sushi when we were first dating and I have definitely gotten braver as the years have gone by.

One night, after being thrilled with how making our own pasta turned out, we decided that we should make sushi. Why not? We bought a sushi roll roller at a vendor from Apple Hill and we were good to go.
From the store we bought fresh tuna, shrimp, veggies to tempura, sushi rice, cream cheese (I know, I know), and various other ingredients.

1. Tempura. SO much fun! It's incredibly easy to do at home and we did zucchini, banana and asparagus. Easy, yummy...will definitely do again,

2. Sauces. Sushi places have delicious sauces to adorn their rolls but let me tell you...they're a bit harder to recreate!

3. The sushi. Let me just say how excited we were to be making this. I mean we were cutting up veggies, slicing fish, I did the shrimp tempura style and the rice was made. According to multiply sources you need to add vinegar to the rice so that was done and now we're ready to roll.

Looks delicious. We each made our own roll with our own spin on it, sat down and dove in to our yummy culinary creation...

Only problem? It was HORRIBLE. 
I can't even describe how nasty it tasted versus the yumminess I was expecting. 
Apparently, we added too much vinegar to the nice and it had seeped in to the entire contents of the roll as we let it sit to get the seaweed softer.
Absolutely inedible.
It was by far one of the funniest moments we have ever had in the kitchen and I am pretty sure we just ate tempura that night.

Tis the season to be baking

Fa la la la la la la la la

Christmas is by far my favorite time of the year. There are lights everywhere, sparkly decorations, wonderment in children's faces, get together's with family and friends, and people seem to get a bit nicer.
I have wonderful Christmas memories, and it's always been a time where Christmas memories trump any bad ones throughout the year. Watching White Christmas, sipping hot chocolate, going to church and driving around seeing lights are things I never want to stop doing and pray I get to do with my own kids one day.

In addition to all of this, my oven tends to be going non stop. There are certain foods or recipes I somehow deem Christmas time worthy, that do not get made throughout the year. One of these is shortbread.

I made these for the first time a few years ago and they are now a standard for winter time.

Taste of Home


  • 3 cups butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups cornstarch
  • Nonpareils and/or halved candied cherries


  • In a large bowl, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour and cornstarch, beating until well blended.
  • With hands lightly dusted with additional cornstarch, roll dough into 1-in. balls. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Press lightly with a floured fork. Top with nonpareils or cherry halves.
  • Bake at 300° for 20-22 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Yield: 16-18 dozen

I have never used the cherries and leave the shortbread in until the cookies are a bit more golden brown which helps them them to truly be "melt in your mouth." I dust with powdered sugar and tries adding seedless jam this last time and loved it!
Next time I will dip in chocolate...


Brie is one of my favorite cheeses..its versatile, tasty, creamy and just down right delicious. Some people are not as big of fans, but that just means more for me! (and dedicated to my mother in law, yes, you do eat the rind). :)
I have made an appetizer before with puff pastry in mini muffin cups, with brie and some type of preserve...on this particular night I had these ingredients but after an impromptu craft store trip with my friend, I needed something a tad quicker to whip up.

I had half a round of brie left so I decided to place the round on top half a sheet of puff pastry, spooned seedless strawberry jam on top, added some walnuts, wrapped it up and did a drizzle of jam and walnuts on top to toast.

Ok, so I baked it until golden brown and flaky on the outside, but note to self...wait a little bit longer.
I loved the taste of the flavors together but it needed to be cooked a bit longer for the pastry to get completely cooked inside. 
Loved the flavors and the concept, and it got devoured, which is always a good sign. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

It's official. We're juicers.

I am definitely one of those people who wants to try almost every gadget and have been wanting a juicer for a while now. The husband and I decided to finally get one and we have been juicing up a storm. We started fairly safe (see right) and have now moved on to darker, more foreign veggies, to get the true benefits. We did it for a week, I actually lost a couple of pounds because a lunch or two got replaced with juice...then we didn't do it for several days...and now we're back on it! I feel like most people do not get the amount of veggies and vitamins we should so I think this is a great way to make up for that. (and who just sits around and eats radishes or chard?)