The food part of this blog has moved to I'll see all you foodies over there!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Mango Sherbet

Oh-so-yummy mango sherbet.

Here's the simple recipe:

2 lg mangoes (approx 2.75 cups)

1/2 c. sugar

1 c. cream

1 c. ice

Puree the mangoes and strain. Return to blender and add remaining ingredients and blend all together, and then into the ice cream maker. That's it! And it is SOOOO good!

Good Reason to Leave School Early

We pulled the kids out of school a little early on Friday to drive down to Oak Glen for some raspberry and apple picking. It was nearing the end of the raspberry season so it took a while to find good ones.
Raspberries are so small, it takes A LOT to fill up this basket, not to mention we were eating half (or more) of what we picked.
We went to an orchard that had both raspberries and apples on the same lot, so we just walked over to the apples.

Don't know if they were pooped out from the tedious raspberry picking, but three of them just sat down under a nice shade while Abby and I did most of the work. Hope this isn't a sign of times to come... ^_^

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Daring Bakers - Sept. Challenge: Lavash Crackers & Dip

This month's challenge, hosted by Natalie (Gluten A Go Go) and Shel (Musings From the Fishbowl) was Lavash Crackers and Dip of choice. To my fellow members... sorry it's a day late! Post dates have usually been on Sundays so I had planned to baking today and posting today. But when I was looking at some others' blogs I saw the crackers posted yesterday and immediately went back to double check the date. Oh no! It was Saturday and not Sunday! Well, it was already late at night, and I know my fellow bakers are forgiving (^_^), so here it is one day late...

New cracker recipes are always fun to try, I've tried saltines and oyster crackers before, so I was happy about this month's challenge. The recipe was quite simple. But I didn't roll it out thin enough so it wasn't "thin crispy" but more "thick crunchy." My dip was flavorful so I left the crackers plain, just a sprinkle of some sea salt. My dip, more like a "salsa", is a medley of black beans, feta cheese, mint, and tomatoes. No measurements, just what I had around. Added a little salt to taste, and a drizzle of olive oil to tie it all together. This "dip" is actually great as a side dish all on it's own. I can just sit and eat a bowl of this stuff, it's that good...
The crackers were cut with a pastry cutter, into little triangles. Since the dip was totally up to our own creations, it's really neat to read about the other baker's solutions to this challenge. You can check out the fellow bakers here.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Doing the Unimagined

Every Friday, for the past three weeks, I have been doing something I NEVER would of imagined myself doing, which is riding my bike on a halfway regular basis. Not on the road to the post office, but on an actual trail. Sir Evilness has been taking me behind IAA, for about a 30-minute loop. Mostly downhill first, then a huffin' and puffin' uphill to the car. I am very out of shape, so I am gasping for air by the end. For the locals, I descended Upper Fence, Rattlesnake, and Big Rock, then climbed Lower Fence and the fireroad. The downhills were fun, even with one scary part where there was a rock I had to ride over and then drop down a steep, but short section. The scariest part, David says I CANNOT brake until my back wheel makes it over the rock. WHAT?! You've got to be kidding me! Can't I just walk it?! Well, I made it through alright. (Pat on the back. ^_^)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

More Daikon Pickles

Experimented with two more different kinds of pickles. This one was called Shiba-Zuke but I used daikon radishes instead of cucumbers. Sliced daikon and put in a brine made of plum vinegar, rice vinegar, sugar, sake, and mirin, and let sit in fridge minimum 7 days. This turned out kinda like namasu (pickled daikon and carrots, often served on New Years.)

An attempt at Tsubo-Zuke. I took three small daikons, sliced them and set them outside to dry for a couple days. I think they dried too much for they shrunk really bad. What I got in this sandwich bag are all three daikons!
The juice in the bag is a mixture of sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, dashi, and water. The radish taste was a little strong, possibly due to the concentrated dosage from being shrunk too much! But, nonetheless it was good, and I think I'll try this one again.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Ketchup Rice Bento

The kiddos lunch today... ketchup rice with some sliced weiners, plum, and a rice cracker. It's one of those foods that sounds gross in your head, but actually quite good. Now, pouring ketchup on white rice would probably be nasty, but if you cook them together, it turns into a pilaf of a sort. I threw in some sliced hot dogs to appeal the kids. They were staring as I made this, and were probably thinking, "what in the world is she making?" It's been many, many years since I've made this, they don't remember having this before. Today's ketchup rice was just rice, ketchup, and weiners (brain doesn't work too well early in the morning...), but you can add onions, corn, and any other veggie you'd like, kinda like fried rice.

Mochi Time Again

Fall is here, we can definitely feel the chill in the air. One food we enjoy during the cooler seasons is Mochi. Sweet (called that but it really isn't "sweet" at all) Rice, steamed then pounded till it's all sticky, then shaped. Luckily I have a machine that does most of the work, I still have to shape it, and the kids love helping. Freshly made mochi is sooo good. Even we've just eaten and are full, we can't help but eat one! Traditionally in Japan, this is considered New Year's Food. We like to eat them wrapped in nori (seaweed sheets) and a little soy sauce, in soup, with kinako (soy bean flour), or with some udon noodles. These make good snacks, and we even eat them for breakfast sometimes.

Friday, September 19, 2008


...that was my (and the kids) reaction when David told me he's going to try making Deep Fried Pickles. He heard it was pretty good and was a Southern food. Turns out, it wasn't bad at all and the kids enjoyed it. It would be on our menu if we ever open a bar & grill.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Evil Plan & Bikeman II

The latest shirts...

Bikeman II

...and Evil Plan. This is a pic of my bike, my first (and only, hopefully...) singlespeed. This is proof of David's evil plan to convert the family into singlespeeders, despite my specific request that I DO NOT WANT A SINGLESPEED!!!! See how well he listens? (^_^)
Coming soon to our Etsy store...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Third Time's a Charm?

Here's my third attempt at making miso. Four months after starting it, it is now done. This time it came out much better. I increased the weight on it during the fermentation period, which allowed the liquids to rise. This resulted in a softer, smoother miso. There are still some chunks in there since I used a potato masher instead of a food processor to mash the soybeans. But not as gritty as the past attempts. I'm pretty happy with the results. ^_^

AYSO Soccer

Emi's 1st game in her 1st season of AYSO soccer. She had never really wanted to play soccer because she didn't want to get tired (can you believe that a kid would say such a thing?), but this year she wanted to play. Luckily the practices are held in Idyllwild, but we have to go to Hemet for the games. That place was just so crazy today, so many people, so many cars, and not enough parking spaces. Emi looked a little lost, but she'll catch on soon. At least she's getting some exercise. I just gotta get Sage to stop asking me what time it is the whole game!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It's Bento Time

School has started again for the kids. They got to do a lot this summer, so they weren't too thrilled about going back. But now they've gotten back into the groove, things are good. And yes, I wasn't looking forward to waking up early and making lunches again either! So far, their lunches have been sandwiches or leftovers just thrown into a container. Today was the first half-ass bento I made. I got some small onigiri (rice balls) maker that I haven't tried out yet, so I got to try that out. Wrapped them in nori, served with some chicken nuggets and bbq sauce in a small container, veggies, and pretz cracker sticks. The girls are always happy with bento lunches, awww little onigiri! They squeal with delight. Good to see some positive reactions, makes it worthwhile.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Pickle Me

I love pickles, so good but pricey. So I tried making some. This one's Tamari Takuan (soy sauce daikon pickles.) I hung the daikon whole, outside for a few days till they got a little shriveled and soft. Sliced them and put them in some soy sauce with a little mirin (sweet cooking sake) and let them sit for about a week. This one was a hit with the kids.
Tried Kim-chi also. Quarted the napa cabbage, sun-dried for half-day, rubbed salt into them overnight. Rinsed and dried. Made a stock with some dried anchovies, salted shrimp, and kombu seaweed, strained and added chili powder, garlic, and grated apples. Put the paste in between the leaves, and let sit for about 2-3 days. This turned out to be fairly mild, which was good for the kids. My mom tried a kimchi recipe that didn't require making a stock and the whole thing was ready in a day. I'll have to try that one next.

Daily Excitement

Our chickens have started laying eggs! The first one was laid while we were in Napa, but our neighbor called to tell us and we were all so happy and excited. Since then, they've been laying pretty regularly, one or two eggs a day, with some days with none. We're not 100% sure, but we assume both chickens are hens since there are days we find two eggs. Which means Kobe is a hen, not a cock as we had thought. Kobe's comb and wattle is much larger than Kuro-chan's, and from the pictures we've seen of chickens we took Kobe to be a boy. Kobe's really loud too, crowing A LOT especially in the morning, which just added to our assumption. But we're happy if it is a she, since that means more eggs! They lay nice brown eggs, still on the small size, but it is really fun peeking into their coop and finding an egg. The kids ask me everyday afterschool, did they lay an egg?! And they always want to see it, although it looks like any ol' regular egg!