Friday, August 27, 2010

home ec revisited.

my sewing machine and station

yes, i joined a home ec class but this one is an online one. it's been way too many years since my last school home ec class and this time i'm hoping actually learn some useful crafty things. i have been meaning to use my sewing machine purchased in january and currently collecting dust for some time now(about 7 months to be exact). every time i turn the thing on and attempt to do something i'm instantly distracted, unmotivated and well just so lame. i say this because it's how i feel about quitting on the sewing dream i have, a dream consisting of everyday projects that will turn my world into a handy, crafty heaven! instead i collect all these "projects" i'd like to make one day that are collecting on top of my sewing machine , that i avoid looking at. well, that is hopefully all in the past because home ec has 25 projects for me to learn at my own pace with live chats and friendly support from three crafty ladies and a whole bunch of other home ec dropouts like myself that are attempting to redeem themselves or simply trying to learn new projects. so, here i go...dusting the machine taking a photo of it to post on the home ec flickr group and take off! wish me luck and cross your fingers people, maybe an actual push might help. thanks. let the sewing dream begin...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

otsu recipe

for dinner
for lunch...with some rooster sauce!

in japanese otsu means something strange, quaint, stylish, chic,,spicy, witty, tasty, romantic...delicious! the word otsu reminds me of the awesome store and publishing company called little otsu in san francisco. anyhow, i made this recipe yesterday and posted a photo of it on my facebook(i know, pretty lame) and a couple friends commented on how tasty it looked...and it was. another friend asked to share the recipe, so i have. right here! these noodles are slurp-tastic and perfect on a warm day.

this recipe came from 101 cookbooks which i'm really obsessed with:) i made some changes, added extra, omitted, or simply skipped.

otsu recipe (soba noddle salad)

the grated zest of 1 lemon

fresh ginger, cut into a 1-inch cube, peeled, and grated(i usually will freeze any leftover ginger to use later)

1 tablespoon honey

3/4 teaspoon cayenne
3/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup unseasoned brown-rice vinegar
1/3 cup shoyu sauce (wheat-free soy sauce) or plain soy sauce
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

12 ounces dried soba noodles
12 ounces extra-firm nigari tofu
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 green onions, thinly sliced (i used red onion, because that's what i had)
1/2 cucumber, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced (or you can cut it into thicker pieces it worked for me)
1 small handful of cilantro sprigs, for garnish (i added extra cilantro because i really like cilantro!)
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds, for garnish(oooops this time, i forgot to toast the seeds, but it worked just fine as well)

in a food processor (or use a blender) process these ingredients until smooth. combine the zest, ginger, honey, cayenne, salt then add the lemon juice, rice vinegar, and shoyu(soy sauce), drizzle in the oils and pulse to combine.

cook the soba noodles in lots of rapidly boiling salted water just until tender, then drain and rinse under cold running water to stop them from cooking.

while the noodles are cooking, drain the tofu, pat it dry, and cut it into rectangles about the size of your thumb (½ inch thick and 1 inch long). cook the tofu in a dry nonstick (or well-seasoned) skillet over medium-high heat for a few minutes, until the pieces are browned on one side( i drizzled some olive oil on my pan). toss gently once or twice, then continue cooking for another minute or so, until the tofu is firm, golden, and bouncy. yum!

in a large mixing bowl, combine the soba, the ¼ cup cilantro, the green onions, cucumber, and about cup of the dressing( i added all the dressing this time because i really loooove this dressing). then you toss until well combined. you add the tofu and toss again gently. you then serve on a platter, garnished with the cilantro sprigs and the toasted(or untoasted) sesame seeds.

this dish serves a lot of people! it's great to bring to a party, picnic, or as leftovers for lunch the next day. i added some sriracha sauce, because i like things to have a kick no matter what i eat...i'm mexican.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

88 was a good year: Big!

1988 was indeed a good year for me. I was about 6 years old, my mom, older sister and I had just moved to california, my niece Karina was born (which meant i sort of got a younger sibling) and the movie Big with Tom Hanks was out. I was absorbing american pop culture and adjusting to all the new turns our little family was taking along with being shoved every movie I had missed while living in Baja right in my round little face. Mary Poppins, Airplane, E.T., Poltergeist, Raiders of the Lost Ark and such turned my sad little doe eyes bright with delight! Anyhow, enter the movie Big with Tom Hanks, introduced to me by my cousin Belinda who just knew that I would really like it being a much more mature little kid. She was right, even at that tender little age, I acknowledged the great acting skills, the magic, the story...the big apartment, no homework, pizza at all hours of the day, the trampoline! It instantly became one of my all time favorites. When finding a VHS copy for a buck recently, I was instantly smitten all over again with one of my all time favorite childhood movies. Back then 30 seemed so old but with 30 being just a few years away, it's safe to say that I'm permanently Big.