Homemade Sushi

Again my sister in law braved the strange foods and helped me get over my fears of sushi making too.
We gathered the supplies: nori (seaweed) wrappers, sushi rice, sushi vinegar and spices, and several sushi fillings.

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I will admit that the firsf three rolls I made I refused to take a pictures of. They were that bad.
Which brings us to common mistakes #1: overfilling nori with rice and other fillings. Results include not enough to wrap and seal roll and/or ingredients busting out the ends.

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After getting a good tight roll, I discoverd common mistake #2: Learning a gentle hand and cutting with a sharp knife. This is what ruins most of my rolls. I squeezed the rolls too hard or the knife would mash instead of cut.

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I tried making a rice on the outside roll. They were extremely difficult for me because it was harder to slice into the nori after the knife got sticky from the rice.

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By the end of the evening I had eaten a lot of mistakes and had some yummy lumpy rolls to eat.
Recently, I tried making sushi for a lunch my house. Kit can be odd about non-steak-&-taters meals so I was worried at first. He loved it!

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These are traditional sushi rolls with raw fish. I had to consider my budget when making this lunch. The fillings for my sushi were canned flakey crab and cream cheese. I took canned tiny shrimp and marinated them in lime juice, garlic, ginger, salt and pepper. The result was a spicy shrimp roll. The ginger was perfecto.

Which leads me to my final sushi making tip and the best advice we heard from the dozens of youtube videos we watched. Give yourself a break. The best way to make good sushi is keep trying. It proves itself too, my second attempt at making sushi for Kit and me was a huge sucess. I had to eater fewer dud rolls than the first time.
Can’t wait to try different ingredients and give it another whirl.

Have you ever tried sushi making at home?
Have any tried and true tips you want to share?

Addition: Mug Hooks

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I have been swooning over the fancy mug rack DIY projects on Pinterest since I first saw them. However, Kit and I agreed we don’t like our cabinets and do not mind if we drill them for of holes.

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I even used the power drill! I was proud of myself for learning and frustrated that I wasn’t an expert immediately. I did put up several of the hooks without completely ruining anything.
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I am super pleased at the final product! My mugs are easy to access, they look pretty on display, and it cleared tons of room in my quite limited cup cabinet.
Yes, I am very aware my hooks aren’t even. My life is a little janky, so it fits me.

What do you think?

Embroidery Project: Chef’s Apron

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My newest embroidery project will be rather involved and with have several steps.

For Xmas, my hubbster got me a plain white apron and I have been holding off because I haven’t had time to decorate as I wished. I am trying to make time now.

Step one:
Embroider Chef Clark on the left breast of the apron. It is a satin stitch which takes forever…or at least it feels that way.

Step two:
Tie dye the whole apron. I haven’t fully decided what colors. My current thoughts are to dye one apron string yellow and the other red. The body of the apron will be red and yellow with some splashes together to make some orange spots.
I kinda want to do the tiny star burst pattern. To create this effect I will need to put a rubber band around the cloth with a small stone on the underside of the cloth.

Step three:
Once the tie dyeing is done I will make the final decision about whether or not I want more things embroidered on my apron.

At this point in time, I want to add some vegetables and at least a whisk. Perhaps on the pockets. I am doing this as a last step because I may be so excited to wear my apron in the kitchen that I save further embellishments for later.

Day 329: Shelving

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Aside from demolishing the house and rebuilding there isn’t much I can do to fix our weird partitioned house. One thing that Kit and I constantly struggle with is finding space for our dishes, cookware and food. When we married we combined his fully stocked house and my half stocked student housewares.

A nice fix for now is just throwing up some wire shelving. I didn’t time us to see if we took the advertised “less than 20 minutes” to assemble, but it went together pretty well. The most distracting aspect was my beagle wanting to climb in our laps.

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Kit and I excitedly ran around the kitchen tossing things on the new shelving. Most of the things are the things we use frequently or need to use soon (bread/fruit). There are also a lot of items that float around the kitchen but do not have a home. One step closer to a more organized kitchen!

Day 321: Onigiri {Recipe Revealed!!}

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First time trying to make onigiri! I have honestly never eaten them so I doubt mine taste very authentic, but we thought they were tasty.

I did a lot of internet research and found out that most of the rice we use in the states is long grain. Sushi or rice balls (onigiri) takes short grain glutenous rice. Take a closer look at rice.

I had some friends tell me you can do it with other kinds of rice but I trusted the internet pros for my first time. I can jack with the recipe more when I am comfortable.

There is a lot to preparing the rice. Washing, resting, soaking, cooking, and more resting. These are the instructions I followed: At Just Hungry blog.

There is a weirdness (typo) where she talks about temps to cook rice. I am legit and make my rice on the stove top.
So here is the clarification:
I boiled high, once the rice started bubbling (boiling), I started a timer for 1 minute, lowered to medium heat for 5 minutes, then lowered to simmer for 10 minutes. I put on my tight light after I reduced to medium heat and had to stuff my hands in my pockets so I wouldn’t lift the lid.

Also, let it be known that I added 4 tablespoons of a dried vegetables packet to my rice. It soaked with the rice for an hour. I don’t know the proper name of it because I got it at an international food store.

I did let the rice cool with a towel on top of it for 15 minutes. It still burnt my fingers when I began working with it. More fluffing sufficiently cooled it.

My fillings were drained can of tuna mixed with pepper and mayo, and crispy crumbled up turkey bacon.

I laid out my fillings, nori wrap (cut into smaller pieces), pot of rice, plate for the finished product, and a shallow bowl with salt and cool water in it.
I washed my hands and got to work. By the time I was nearly finished I had figured out (through trial and error) how to make the triangle shapes. This picture helped somewhat.

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Thank you, resource.
Here was another helpful link on how to make the onigiri. Pay particular attention to coating your hands with salt water or frequently cleaning them to make sure the rice doesn’t stick to you.
Just Bento also has a fantastic FAQ page.

As you can imagine there was much squealing and dancing when I finished. I was literally holding my breath through most of the rice cooking.
The hubster was skeptical of a meal not consisting of plain old meat n’ taters, but he was a champ and ate three onigiri. He preferred the turkey filling and I loved the tuna.