Archive for October, 2010

October 21, 2010

Let’s make sushi!

A few years ago Sam introduced me to sushi.  We were living in Shadyside at that time.. a neighborhood within the city limits of Pittsburgh with a “yuppie” vibe (as Sam would describe it) So, when in Rome, we ventured out to the local sushi restaurant after our morning trip to Starbucks and Borders. Of course, I was a little intimidated to try sushi…. raw fish wrapped in seaweed.. people really eat this stuff? But I quickly learned that not all sushi is created equal (or raw).started with Kappamaki. [ “Kappa” meaning cucumber and “maki” meaning roll. ] and avocado rolls. Eventually, I eased my way into california rolls [crab, avocado, cucumber ] and shrimp tempura rolls [“tempura” meaning fried.. mmm yum]. But don’t let me give you the wrong impression…I am far from being the sushi conosur. I only recently started exploring sushi featuring smoked salmon [philadelphia rolls, spicy salmon rolls..] and I wouldn’t dare to make my own sushi with raw fish. Yup, you read that correctly, I have been making my own sushi! The idea came to me as a birthday gift to Sam. Homemade sushi and an ice cream cake made out of ho-hos…. I definitely know the way to my guy’s heart! So in hopes of making his birthday a memorable one, I ventured out to the local Asian food grocery store for a few supplies. (I later discovered that most of the sushi supplies can also be found in local grocery stores) 

How to make a California Roll

Sushi shopping list:
  • Japanese short-grained rice (also called japonica or sushi rice)  
    • [Rice is very important. Regular white rice simply will not work!]
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Nori [sheets of dried seaweed]
  • Vegetables [avocado and cucumber]
  • Imitation crab sticks
  • Bamboo rolling mat 
  • Plastic wrap [to keep mat clean]
  • Chopsticks of course!

Making Sushi Rice:

1. Rinse the rice in cold water for several minutes. 

2. Steam 2 cups of rice in a rice cooker with an equal amount of water

(2 cups rice: 2 cups water) 

3. While rice is cooking, mix 1/4 cup Japanese rice vinegar, 2 tsp salt, 1/4 cup sugar.

4. Heat vinegar mix over medium heat in saucepan 

5.  After rice is finished cooking, add rice vinegar mix to cooked rice. 

6. Use rice soon after preparing or cover with a damp cloth to keep moist and sticky. 

Do not refrigerate cooked rice. 

Lets Roll!

  • Wrap bamboo mat in plastic wrap (this will help to make clean up easier) 
  • Place Nori on bamboo mat.
  • With damp hands or a rice spoon, spread the cooked rice onto the nori. You should be able to see the nori through the rice. 
  • From here there are two options:
    • Option 1: The nori can be kept with the rice-side up. When rolled, the rice will be on the inside of the roll. 
    • Option 2: The nori can be flipped with the rice-side facing down. When rolled, the rice will be on the outside of the roll. (For beginners I would suggest this option and keeping the nori kept rice-side up)
    • Line the bottom of the rice covered sheet with crab sticks, pre-cut avocado slices, and pre-cut cucumber sticks. As I did below.

    • Now its time to roll! 
      • Make sure all ingredients are equal in position.
      • Holding the closest edge of the bamboo mat, roll the sushi away from you. 
      • Tighten the roll as you go. Press your hands over the bamboo mat to further pack the roll. 
      • Once tightened, you should be able to unwrap the bamboo mat without the roll coming apart.
      • Move your full roll to a cutting board.  Slice it first down the middle. From there you can cut it into sixths or eighths. 

    Video: How to make an inside-out California Roll

    October 19, 2010

    Check out this page if you are living in the Pittsburgh area. 

    Follow your favorite athletes on twitter, find tickets to local sporting events, and check out what events are happening in your area. 

    October 5, 2010

    "Wild" over baby showers

    Another big change happened to our family when Sam’s sister had her first baby this past summer.  We welcomed the new baby boy with not only love and excitement, but with an awesome jungle-themed baby shower!  

    October 4, 2010

    "Quakers" about baby showers

    Planning a rubber ducky themed baby shower


    October 4, 2010

    A sneak peek of our wedding day

    October 4, 2010


    This past year has brought so many changes for my husband and I.  (woah “husband”, its still such a new word) Sam and I have said our “I do’s” nearly two months ago.  Up until that time we were so focused on the wedding and planning for that big day.  Once our wedding day finally arrived, it seemed like nothing else existed in the world. Every minute that we had spent planning worked out to be well worth it at the end of the day. 
    We relaxed on the beaches of St. Lucia on our honeymoon.  “No worries” for a whole week.  
    But as our honeymoon came to an end we began to discuss our “big plans” for our new house.  

    We made our “big investment” in March of 2010.  We searched for a year, trying to find the perfect home.   That was another adventure in of itself.  But for the sake of time, we won’t go into too much detail about our home hunters experience (Sam could probably write a 500 page book on it if anyone is interested!)

    Our cute little home is located on a culdesac in the friendliest neighborhood.  We could not have asked for more for our first home purchase.  However, there is a lot of TLC that needs to be done to make our house “our home”.  Now that the excitement of the wedding and the honeymoon has passed, we are enjoying the excitement of being newlyweds.  We are also ready to start working on our home!  

    Join us on our journey as we try to transform our house into our home and have a blast while doing it!