Monday, August 18, 2008

Blackberry vs. iPhone

My cell phone is on it's way out. I just ordered a new battery so I can make sure that isn't the issue. If that fixes it, great, but if not, I will be in the market for a new phone. The two I am looking at are the Blackberry and the iPhone. I know several of you that have one or the other, so I'm looking for some input on pros and cons of the two. Which phone do you have, and what do you like/dislike about it?

Thanks! :)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Peters' Punch

As I hinted at yesterday, we have a tasty new summer cocktail at our house. The hubs created it one day. (He has gotten SO good at mixing drinks...he is my own personal bartender! The man can grill AND mix me up a good one - boy am I lucky!) I'm not exactly sure what his proportions are...but here is how I made it:

2 oz. rum (preferably white rum, but the brown rum works as well)
3/4 oz. sugar syrup or agave nectar
1 oz. lime juice (we like Nellie & Joe's Key Lime Juice)
1 oz. pineapple juice
2 oz. orange juice

Shake with ice and pour!

We have also added coconut cream and/or mango juice along with chunks of fresh mango to this beverage for an extra tasty treat!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

For Natalie (Book Club Recipes!)

Last night I hosted our girls' monthly book club at my house, and naturally I used it as an excuse to try out some of the tasty-looking recipes I have been collecting off of various blogs! My friend Natalie asked for the recipes, so here they are! This first one is a recipe I got from my coworker. It is SOOOOO good. The recipe makes a lot, and is great for a party! It's the perfect summer salad - it tastes just like a California Roll!

Sushi "California Roll" Salad

1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons rice vinegar* (not seasoned)
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sesame seeds (preferably unhulled*)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped pickled ginger*
4 scallions, cut lengthwise into thin 1-inch strips (about 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup finely shredded carrot
1 large seedless cucumber (about 1 pound), quartered lengthwise,
cored, and chopped
2 sheets nori (paper-thin sheets of dried seaweed)*
1 avocado (preferably California)
1/4 pound surimi (mock crab legs) if desired, sliced thin

For dressing
2 teaspoons wasabi (Japanese green horseradish) powder*
1 tablespoon hot water
2 tablespoons cold water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons ginger juice (squeezed from freshly grated gingerroot)

*available at Asian markets, natural foods stores, and some supermarkets

Into a large saucepan of salted boiling water stir rice and boil
10 minutes. Drain rice in a colander and rinse. Set colander over a kettle of boiling water (rice should not touch water) and steam rice, covered with a kitchen towel and lid, until fluffy and dry, 10 to
15 minutes (check water level in kettle occasionally, adding water if necessary).

While rice is steaming, in a small saucepan bring 1/4 cup vinegar to a boil with sugar and salt, stirring until sugar is dissolved, and remove from heat. In a dry small skillet toast sesame seeds over moderate heat, stirring, until golden and fragrant and transfer to a small bowl.

Transfer rice to a large bowl and stir in vinegar mixture. Cool rice and stir in sesame seeds, remaining 3 tablespoons vinegar, oil, ginger, scallions, carrot, and cucumber. Salad may be prepared up to this point 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring salad to room temperature before proceeding.

Dry-roast nori, 1 sheet at a time, directly above moderate heat (gas or electric burner), holding it at opposite corners and moving it back and forth, until it turns bright green, 30 seconds to 1 minute. With scissors cut nori into thin 2-inch-long strips.

Peel and pit avocado. Quarter avoado and cut crosswise into thin slices. Add avocado to salad with surmimi if using and two thirds of nori strips and toss well.

Make dressing:
In a small bowl stir wasabi powder into hot water and stir in cold water, soy sauce, and ginger juice.

Serve salad sprinkled with remaining nori strips and drizzled with dressing.

Gourmet
July 1994

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This next recipe I got from Picky Palate. These little Turkey Club Sandwiches were delicious!
I ended up bringing all the leftovers to work today and gobbled them right up! The brie cheese, arugula, and fig preserves really added a unique touch to an otherwise ordinary sandwich.


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I found this recipe for Mediterranean Bruschetta on my friend Kat's blog. They looked so yummy and original, I had to try them! They were quite a hit, though I still have plenty to nibble on when I get home! :)



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This Squash and Zucchini Tart looked delicious over at Cooking and Booking. Turns out it is a version of Ratatouille. I DO like tomatoes, so I made one tart with them and one without. I thought it was good, though I think I like the veggies better on their own than with a crust. I have a bunch of leftover squash slices, so I think I'll fry them up with a light flour coating, salt, pepper, and some olive oil. Mmm...


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Anyhow, thanks for coming last night, girls! I had a great time! :)

Need your input

Okay, friends. You may (or may not) have noticed that I haven't blogged much lately. Here's the deal. I have been extremely busy this summer, and just haven't had the time to photograph my cooking. On top of that, I refuse to bake during the summer because it is so freaking hot, and anyway, baked goods will make my already squishy belly even less bikini worthy. So, that's that on the baking. But as far as cooking goes, I do cook nearly every night. I LOVE summer food...it's so light and refreshing.

So now, here is my question to you. Do you prefer a blog with pictures? Or would you still be interested in hearing what I make for dinner, even without pictures? I just feel like so much of what I make is off of other blogs, there's really no point in reposting. What are your thoughts? Should I post it anyway? Would anyone read it?

I could always share some drink recipes, I suppose. M came up with a KILLER summer cocktail. Interested?