Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wifey Wednesday

The other day, a friend asked me a really great question...

How do you clean pearl earrings?

My friend. This took me a lot of research. I'm sure many of you grew up like me - pearls are worn daily, yet are forbidden to get wet. No pearls in the pool. No pearls in the shower. No perfume spritzes on pearls. If there is water or wetness, don't let it near your pearls.

So you can imagine that when I found this home remedy for cleaning pearls, which requires wetting the pearls, I was initially quite skeptical.

So I tried it for myself, and it is fabulous. Here's how it's done.

Prepare a bowl with mild soap and warm water (I used my Olay face wash, but you could also use mild shampoo or soap). Next, place your pearls at the foot of your pantyhose and secure them with a knot (the website I found this method on said you could also use a bridal veil.... hmm...). The pantyhose offer just the right amount of abrasion without scratching the surface of your pearls.

Gently rub off any residue:

Finally, remove your pearls and pat dry with a soft towel. You're done!

To be honest, I had never cleaned my pearl earrings... is that bad? This method is definitely wife approved, and would work well with other special jewelry too. If you're cleaning your strand of pearls, just be extra gentle so you don't snap the strand (!).

Monday, April 19, 2010

As promised...

1 packet of  Japanese nori sheets
1 bamboo sushi mat
chopsticks, of course
soy sauce2 C medium grain sushi rice
1/4 C white wine vinegar
1 (4-inch-square) piece dried kelp (konbu), wiped lightly with dry cloth 
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
2 1/2 C cold water
.5 lb sushi-grade fish filet (we used salmon... you can use tuna, shrimp, eel, wahoo... your favorite fish!)
1 avacado
1 cucumber
1 carrot


First, cook your sushi rice.

Place the rice in strainer and rinse under cold water until water runs clear. Drain well.
Transfer rice to heavy medium saucepan. Add 1 1/4 cups fresh cold water and kelp to pan. Cover and let soak 30 minutes. Uncover, discard kelp and bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook until water is absorbed and rice is just tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand covered 15 minutes. Transfer rice to large glass or wooden bowl. Combine vinegar, sugar and salt in small saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Drizzle mixture over rice. Gently toss rice with vinegar mixture to coat. Cover rice with clean damp towel and cool completely at room temperature (do not refrigerate). 

Next, Julienne your veggies and fish.


Chop into really skinny strips, like this:

Carrots do well bathing in soy sauce until you're ready to use them.

Then, place sushi mat on a work surface with slats running crosswise. Arrange 1 sheet nori, shiny side down, on mat, lining up a long edge of sheet with edge of mat nearest you. Using damp fingers, gently press 1/4 of rice onto nori in 1 layer, leaving a 1 3/4-inch border on side farthest from you.

(At this point, you can flip the nori and rice over so that the nori is now the top layer... however, we were out of sesame seeds so we just left the nori as is). 
Make a thin line of cucumber along the nori 1 to 2 inches from the edge closest to you. Drizzle some of the spicy mayonnaise mixture over the cucumbers, then spoon on the tuna and sprinkle with cilantro and scallions. 

Roll tightly, using the sushi mat to guide you.

Slice about 1/1/2 inches thick. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Lost? Maybe Bobby Flay says it best after all. He will also show you how to make lots of tasty mayos and sauces to spruce up your rolls. Mmm!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday Sushi

Sushi is kind of our go-to healthy meal.

That's okay, right?

Later this week I'll tell you all about how Hubby made us these delicious salmon rolls this evening. We're stuffed and happy now because our recipe...

made a lot...

Now, get back to enjoying the last few hours your lazy Sunday!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Eggplant Parmesan

Welcome Spring with this savory Eggplant Parmesan with Fabio's Special Tomato Sauce. You remember Fabio, right? He taught me what I know about Italian cooking. As my culinary professor in Florence, he made feast after delicious feast out of traditional, simple, no-frills recipes handed down straight from his Venetian granny.

One of the best recipes he shared was this savory tomato sauce - it's the real Italian flavor your mouth is watering for!

Ingredients for sauce:
Tomato paste (we used 2 cans of Cento brand paste, but you can splurge for the pretty paste tubes if you'd like)

Ingredients for Eggplant Parm:
1 large eggplant
Italian bread crumbs
4 eggs
Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese... I'll leave the quantity up to you. We used... a ton!

You will not believe how easy this is.

First, heat a couple tablespoons of EVOO in a sauce pan. Next, add tomato paste - you want it to melt in the oil. Add water as needed (about a cup or so?) to thin the sauce. Don't forget plenty of salt as pure tomato paste like this is super-concentrated and in dire need of seasoning.

That's it! Here's what it looks like when you're done:

Ahhh. Now, let's get to the Parmesan. Prepare a 9x13 baking dish with sauce spread across the bottom (use more than I did in the below picture for better results). Slice the eggplant into thin round slices and set aside. Then prepare two other dishes, one with a couple of eggs whisked thoroughly and the other with Italian bread crumbs. This will be your little eggplant parm assembly line:

Take those eggplant slices through assembly and place in your sauced baking dish. Cover the slices with another round of sauce and plenty of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.

Oh - to round out my meal, I made this easy (but really pretty!) side of roasted red onions and asparagus. Season with EVOO, S&P and dried basil. Bake at 400 for about 15-20 minutes.

Bake your eggplant parm at 350 for about 30 minutes. Keep your eyes peeled for golden bubbly cheese and then you're all set.

Serve and enjoy!

Obviously, we can't live without ice cream, so Hubby made some delicious handmade vanilla with our favorite toy: the ice cream maker.

This recipe also makes fantastic leftovers!

The best part is... you don't even need to feel guilty about this delicious "splurge." After all, eggplant is a healthy veggie and we've baked it instead of traditional frying.


Monday, April 5, 2010

Slowly but Surely

Trying to get my head out of the clouds.... as soon as that happens, I'll be back ;)

Meanwhile, we celebrate... He is risen!


Related Posts with Thumbnails