Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! All of the kids at school were so excited today. I think Halloween is probably the best holiday as a kid. We had a costume parade at the school I work at. I just had to share this kid's costume with you guys. It just cracked me up.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

BFF's Baby Shower


My BFF since I was 12 years old is having a baby!!! I'm so excited that you would think that she was having my child... She is due in December and I can't wait to meet her baby girl. Today, we had a baby shower in honor of the mommy and daddy to be.The baby shower took place at Habana, a Cuban fusion restaurant in Costa Mesa. We all sat out on the patio at a big table decorated with pink roses and balloons. For drinks, we all had red sangria and white sangria. I loved the white sangria with green apples in it. Even though we are well into fall, it was scorching hot today and the cool sangria hit the spot.Since the baby shower was at 1, we just had a bunch of appetizers. I loved the presentation of this shrimp ceviche with plantain chips. It was spicy~!We also had some homemade empanadas.And Cuban style crabcakes... But enough about the food!

HABANA
2930 Bristol St # A110
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Tel:(714) 556-0176
I helped provide the party favors for the baby shower today. I made sugar cookies and tied them onto mini bottles of champagne with baby pink ribbon. My onesie cookies didn't turn out as professional looking as I hoped they would... but aren't they cute? I spent quite a few hours trying to make the perfect cookies, but they were a lot harder to make than I thought the would be! I was having trouble trying to get the right consistency for the sugar cookie dough and the icing. In the end, my hard work paid off because the mommy-to-be liked these favors! :)

One of the friends brought a beautiful cake from Wonderland Bakery to the shower! Although the cake was a little bit on the overwhelmingly sweet side, it was pretty tasty and I thought it was gorgeous. Yum.... I love cake. Anyways. I can't wait to become an auntie!!!

WONDERLAND BAKERY
1314 Bison Ave.
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Tel:(949) 640-9095

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Matsutake Gohan

The matsutake, is basically the Japanese truffle. It is one of the most coveted and expensive delicacies in Japanese cuisine. Matsutake is a wild mushroom that grows in the forests of Japan. Like truffles, these treasured mushrooms are extremely difficult to find. In the fall we all look forward to dishes that include matsutake. I love matsutake, it's so delicious and aromatic. It's the perfect autumn food.

MATSUTAKE GOHAN RECIPE
Ingredients:

1-2 Whole matsutake
2 cups rice
1tbsp. Sake
1 tbsp. Dashi
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 dash of salt

Directions:
1. Clean the matsutake mushroom and grill for a few minutes.
2. Slice matsutake mushrooms.
3. Mix soy sauce, salt, dashi, and sake in a bowl.
4. Add water to your pot of rice and pour in all other ingredients on top.
5. Do not mix everything with the rice and let it cook.
6. Once the rice is cooked, mix the matsutake into the fluffy rice.
7. Eat!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Frosted Jack-o-Lantern Cookies

I've never made sugar cookies before and I've never frosted cookies before... so I decided to practice by making a batch of Halloween cookies for my third grade students.
I had no idea where to start with making icing so I searched the Internet and came across YouTube clips on how to properly ice a sugar cookie. The videos were really helpful and gave me a lot of great tips. I used a paint brush to frost the cookies and the outcome was pretty good! Plus, my mom and I had a blast painting these cookies. I decorated each Jack-o-lantern with a different silly face.
I didn't want the kids to be sugar high at school so I passed these Jack-o-lantern cookies out at the end of the school day and the students loved them!

ICING FOR SUGAR COOKIE RECIPE
*Will frost approximately 5 dozen cookies
Ingredients:
3 cups sifted confectioner's sugar
1/4 c. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Food Coloring

Directions:
1. Combine sugar, milk, vanilla and mix well.
2. Add desired food coloring.
3. Frost cookies with a paintbrush (see YouTube clip below).
4. Add candy sprinkles if desired.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Autumn Seafood Hot Pot

Hot pots or Nabe are a fall & winter staple food for Japanese people. These hearty one-pot meals can be prepared pretty much any way you want: consisting of broth, vegetables, meat or seafood. Nabe dishes are fun because they are usually prepared at the table in a portable pot and the family eats straight from the pot as the contents cook. We decided to do a seafood hotpot because my mom bought some really interesting looking crabs at the local Korean market. 4 blue crabs for $4!
These crabs were so beautiful but they didn't have a lot of meat on them since they were really small. We also threw in some scallops and had a great meal that warmed our tummies.

JAPANESE HOT POT RECIPE
Ingredients:
Any type of Crab
Scallops
Nappa Cabbage
Enoki Mushrooms
Green Onion
Firm Tofu
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp. mirin (sweet sake)
2 tbsp. dashi powder
(I did not specify amount of seafood and veggies because you can make as much as you want to eat)

Directions:
1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat.
2. Add soy sauce, mirin, and dashi to the pot of water.
3. Throw veggies and seafood into the pot and eat as you cook.
4. Skim any foam that rises to the surface as you cook.
I'm looking forward to having a lot more of these yummy nabe meals this winter season.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Bye Bye Summer~

These are the last of the summer roses in our garden. The weather has been odd in SoCal... it was a VERY hot weekend and we had a pretty warm day today as well. I'm sick of the hot weather and I want it to feel like autumn already!The bad thing about SoCal is that we don't really have seasons... but it's also the good thing about SoCal. Anyways, I've been totally slacking on the food blogging lately. Hopefully the autumn season will get me motivated to cook some warm hearty food (& blog about it!).

Friday, October 3, 2008

Soboro-Don

Soboro is a bento classic. It's so simple and easy to make but it's so good! On Saturdays, when I had Japanese school, mom would pack me a bento box. The best Saturdays were when I saw soboro staring up at me when I opened my bento.
You can make soboro with any kind of ground meat but chicken is my favorite. Soboro-don (Soboro on top of a bowl of rice) often appears at home on our table during lunch time.

SOBORO DON RECIPE
Ingredients:
2 eggs
6-7 sugar snap peas
1lb ground chicken
1 tbs. sesame oil
2 tbs. mirin
2 tbs. sugar
2 tbs. sake
3 tbs. soy sauce
pinch of salt

Directions:
1. Boil snap peas and chop them up. Put the peas aside in a bowl.
2. Scramble the two eggs with a pinch of salt and a tsp. of sugar.
3. Heat up 1 Tbs. of sesame oil in a large non-stick frying pan or wok.
4. Add the ground meat and brown well. Next, add the sugar, and stir around until it’s caramelized a bit. Then, add the sake, mirin, and soy sauce and stir around to evaporate.
5. Let the meat simmer until the liquid is almost gone, but the meat is still moist.
6. Place the meat, eggs, and peas on a bed of rice and eat!

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