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Thursday, December 30, 2010

What's Cookin?: Somen Salad

Growing up, I always thought this dish was Japanese. However, it now seems like a Hawaii-Chinese-Japanese concoction. You may need to go out of your way to find some of the ingredients but believe me, it'll be well worth it! Growing up, we used to always have this "salad" at pot lucks. I still make this dish for my mainland friends, who can't seem to get enough of it. I love how pretty and colorful this "salad" looks!



Somen
is a thin Japanese noodle, like vermicelli. However, it is made of wheat flour instead of rice flour. You can find them in Asian food stores. Kamaboko (Japanese fish cake) can be also found in Asian markets. It is made of white fish and colored white and pink. I usually buy the Okuhara brand just because it's made in Hawaii and the one I grew up on. Char sui (BBQ pork) can be found at Asian markets or your local Chinese restaurants. When I'm lazy (seems like most of the time these days), I look for Tropics Oriental Dressing. It's a great dressing for somen salad. If you can't find it, I've added a dressing to this recipe.

*Hint: if you live in the Portland area, Uwajimaya in Beaverton carries all of these ingredients (even the Tropics dressing!)*



This recipe is very flexible. You can add or leave out anything you like. It's a good "use up leftovers" recipe. I sometimes add cucumbers and always leave the green onions on the side. In the words of my niece, green onions are "yucko".


Somen Salad
Serves 6-8


Dressing:
1/4 c. canola oil
3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt

Combine ingredients in a jar and shake well. Refrigerate until needed.

Salad:
1 (12 oz.) package dry somen noodles
1/2 small head lettuce, shredded
1/2 lb. char sui, cut into matchstick pieces
1 pkg (6 oz.) kamaboko, cut into matchstick pieces
2 large eggs
2 stalks green onions, sliced

1) Cook somen noodles according to package directions. In a medium pot, bring water to a boil. Add noodles once water comes to a boil. Cook noodles for about 2 minutes. Stir to avoid sticking (Note: do not overcook somen noodles). Strain noodles in a colander, rinse well with cold water, drain and set aside to cool off.

2) Using the 2 large eggs, make an omelet. When done, remove omelet to a plate and allow to cool. When cool, cut omelet into fine strips.

3) Place somen in a large serving platter or pan. Add lettuce, char sui, kamaboko, eggs and green onions on top of the noodles.

4) Just before serving, pour dressing over the salad. Mix well and serve.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Saveur Magazine 1 yr for $3.99

This is a fantastic offer if you like food magazines. It's a year subscription (9 issues) to Saveur Magazine for only $3.99. Be sure to enter the coupon code to get your discount! I got this from a blog friend Heather, who got it from another blog friend. Here's the original post:

http://littlehouseinparadise.blogspot.com/2010/12/hurry-saveur-399-yr.html

What's Cooking?: Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Mmmm....I love roasted garlic. It's awesome!! Roasting the garlic gives it a really sweet and mild taste. It tastes nothing like fresh garlic at all. It's amazing! You can use fresh garlic, but there's something magical about taking the time to roast the garlic! This is a great side dish for garlic prime rib! I've also used this recipe as a base and added leftover sour cream or bacon bits or 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese if they are available.



Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Serves: 6-8


1 head of garlic
olive oil
salt and pepper
6-7 potatoes, peeled and cut into thirds
1/2 c. milk (or a splash more)
4 Tbsp. butter
salt & pepper to taste

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2) Slice the top 1/4 off the head of garlic to reveal the cloves. Place in a piece of aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil (about 1/4 cup or less) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap up in the foil and place in the oven for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.


3) When the garlic tops are nicely browned, remove from the oven and allow them to cool.


4) Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until they are tender but firm (about 20 minutes or when the largest piece splits after piercing it with a fork). Drain the potatoes and transfer them to a large mixing bowl.

5) With a hand masher, mash potatoes. Take your head of garlic and squeezing from the bottom, add the roasted garlic to the bowl. Add milk and butter to the bowl and mix well. If you like creamy mashed potatoes, you can use an electric mixer. Salt and pepper potatoes to taste. Add more milk for a creamier consistency. I usually find I need slightly more than 1/2 cup milk.

Monday, December 27, 2010

What's Cookin?: Garlic Prime Rib

Prime rib is one of my favorite things to make for a special meal. Yummo! It's not hard to make but just takes a lot of oven time. Here's some tips on making the perfect prime rib!


- How much to cook:
- if using a bone-in (standing) rib roast, estimate 2 servings per rib (ie: a 4 rib roast should serve 8 people)
- if using a rolled (boneless) rib roast, allow for about 1 lb. per person

- If using standing rib roast (bone-in), prep your meat before cooking. Cut bones away from the roast and then tie them back to the roast with kitchen string. This will allow you to roast the meat on a natural rack (the ribs). By preparing the meat this way, you can just untie the string and remove the ribs for easier slicing. Ask your butcher to do this for you in advance.

- Be sure to take your meat out of the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature (2-3 hours) before cooking.

- There are 2 schools of thought for cooking a prime rib. One method uses a slow roast for the entire cooking time. The other sears the meat at a high temperature, then decreases the temperature for slow cooking. I'm a fan of the later method. I love the crispy okole (or end) pieces of the prime rib.


Garlic Prime Rib


- one standing rib roast, see above notes for how much to buy
- 1 head of garlic
- Daddy's special salt (my dad's special mixture of Hawaiian salt, cracked black pepper and other top secret ingredients) or you can use salt and pepper
- olive oil (for drizzling)

1) Remove roast from the refrigerator about 2-3 hours before you plan on placing it in the oven. Loosely wrap and allow the roast to come to room temperature.

2) When you are ready to cook, preheat your oven to 500 degrees F (or the highest it will go).

3) While your oven is preheating, remove cloves of garlic from the head. If the cloves are big, slice into smaller pieces. Cut slits into the roast and stuff with garlic. Do this to the entire roast. Don't be shy with the garlic. It gives it a great flavor!

4) Drizzle roast with a little bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper or Daddy's special salt. Place the roast, fat side up & rib side down in a roasting pan. Place in the oven uncovered and cook for 15-20 minutes.
5) After your time is up, reduce the oven heat to 325 degrees F and finish cooking. For approximate cooking times, use this as a guide (I usually find it takes a little longer than this):
- Rare: 13-15 minutes per pound
- Medium Rare: 15-17 minutes per pound
- Medium: 18-20 minutes per pound
- Well Done: 25 minutes per pound

Times will vary depending on thickness and shape of your roast. Be sure to have a good meat thermometer to help guide you in your cooking. Error on the rare side, as an overcook roast is just roast beef!

Using your meat thermometer:
- Rare: 115-120 degrees
- Medium: 125-130 degrees

Start checking the temperature about a 1/2 hour before you estimated the roast to be done. Remember that the internal temperature will continue to rise once you remove the roast from the oven (about 5 more degrees).

6) Once your roast has reached the desired temperature, remove it from the oven and let it rest for about 20 minutes (cover with an aluminum foil tent). Once it is well rested, carve your roast and serve. Be sure to pick out the garlic cloves!

Stamp Sales

If you're a crafter or stamper, there are a few great deals going on now. I just stumbled upon this last night. At Splitcoaststampers.com, they're doing a shophop. There's a list of online companies that are offering additional savings if you enter the codes posted. Happy stamping!


Wine Tasting: 2007 Avalon Cabernet Sauvignon



I bought this California Cabernet Sauvignon with my recent order at wine.com. It was rated at 88 points and was only $13.99. I thought it was worth a try. This was a great bottle of wine. It's a red with 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Frac & 3% Petite Syrah. For it's price, it was well worth it! I would definitely buy this bottle of wine again! Cheers!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

2011 Seed Catalogs!



Now that the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is over, I can concentrate on my wish list for this year. I've been getting the new gardening catalogs in the mail but haven't had a chance to look at them yet. I look forward to snuggling up by the fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate and my catalogs. What kind of seeds are you wanting this year? If anyone is interested in a swap or sharing an order, let me know. I always have more seeds than I need. Happy seed shopping!

Merry Christmas 2010

I hope you are all enjoying your holiday weekend. I happened to find these reindeer ears while digging through my Christmas things. Poor Ehiku. I bet she wishes they somehow get lost forever!

What's Cookin?: Split Pea Soup

I love split pea soup! It always makes me feel warm and fuzzy. This is a really easy recipe and the soup comes out nice and savory, like a warm hug. Next time, to bypass a lot of the cooking time, I'll throw everything into the crockpot. I like my soup chunky but if you prefer a smooth split pea soup, you can use an emulsion blender or a regular blender to blend the soup (be careful with the hot soup!). I'm a no muss, no fuss girl, so I keep it as is.

For this recipe, I usually soak the beans overnight. Some people say soaking split peas is unnecessary. Soaking beans usually reduces cooking time which then preserves the most nutrients from the beans. Soaking beans also helps to remove the indigestible complex sugars from the outer coating of the beans. This is what causes gas. I think any of the above reasons is a good reason to soak them.


Split Pea Soup
Serves: 6-8



2 c. dried split green peas
4 c. cold water
4 c. chicken stock
1 1/2 lbs. ham bone (I like to used ham shank or ham hock)
1 medium onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

1) The night before: In a large stock pot, cover peas with about 8 cups water (or cover peas with at least 4 inches of water). Soak peas overnight. If you forget to soak them overnight, you can simmer the peas gently for about 2 minutes, then turn off heat and allow to soak for 1 hour.

2) Rinse the peas in a colander and pick them over. Remove any stones or rocks you may find.

3) Add ham bone (or ham shank or ham hock) to the large pot and add cold water and chicken stock. Boil for about 45 minutes to 1 hour to soften the meat.

4) Add green split peas to the soup with garlic, onions, carrots, celery and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer and cook for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

5) Remove the ham bones from the soup. Cut off meat and return it to the soup. Continue to cook slowly, uncovered, for another 30-40 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Salt and pepper to taste.

6) Turn off heat and allow soup to stand for about 1 1/2 hours to cool off. Soup will thicken up as it cools.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Getting Crafty: Holiday Jewelry Gifts

These are just a few jewelry pieces I made as gifts this year.

This necklace was made with turquoise, magenta and black beads. The charm is a sterling silver feather.


These are a few fun bracelets I made with crystal and glass beads. I hope the little ones like them. I liked them so much that I want one too!!





Friday, December 24, 2010

Getting Crafty: Happy Holidays 2010

Thanks for following my blog through the years. Here's the Christmas card I made this year. Here's wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a safe, healthy and Happy 2011! As we say in Hawaii....Mele Kalikimaka & Hau'oli Makahiki Hou!!

Inks: CTMH Ocean & Chocolate
Stamps: Technique Tuesday Peace, Joy, Love and My Mind's Eye I Believe

Thursday, December 23, 2010

What's Bakin?: OREO Truffles

These are awesome creations! Your friends will love you for them. Would you believe it only takes 3 ingredients and is pretty easy to make? Rock on!


OREO Truffles
Makes 42 truffles



1 (16 oz) package OREO cookies, divided
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
2 (8 oz) packages semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

1) Crush 9 OREO cookies to fine crumbs in a food processor, set aside for later use. Crush the remaining cookies into fine crumbs and place into an electric mixing bowl.
2) Add the softened cream cheese and mix until it is well blended. Scoop by the teaspoonfuls and roll cookie mixture into about 42 (1 inch in diameter) balls. Place on a wax paper lined cookie sheet.
3) Place cookie sheet with cookie balls into the freezer or refrigerator for about 1/2 hour.

4) After 1/2 hours, melt your chocolate chips over a double boiler. Stir constantly until all the chips are melted.

5) Dip balls into the chocolate, coat well and remove from the chocolate with a slotted spoon or chopsticks to get all excess chocolate off. Place on a wax paper lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with reserved cookie crumbs. Refrigerate or freeze until firm (about 1 hours). Store any leftover truffles (covered) in the refrigerator.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What's Bakin?: Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

I wanted to make fudge this year but wanted a chocolate and peanut butter mixture. The first time I made this recipe, my fudge didn't set right. It was a little soft. I consulted a co-worker who is a fudge expert (she makes it every year). She said the trick was to have the mixture come to a rolling boil (which may take up to 10 minutes on medium heat), then boil for 4 minutes on a gas stove and 5 minutes on an electric stove. My mixture never came to a boil (probably because I was too impatient) so I figured after more than 5 minutes of constant mixing, I was done. I tried her trick on the second batch and viola! Worked like a charm!


Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge
Makes 48 pieces
Submitted by Sue Lau at www.food.com



1 c. peanut butter morsels
1 c. semisweet chocolate morsels
2 1/4 c. sugar
1 (7 oz.) jar marshmallow creme
3/4 c. evaporated milk
1/4 c. butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1) Place peanut butter morsels in one bowl and chocolate ones in another and set aside.

2) Butter an 8" x 8" square baking pan and set aside (I used a wax paper liner).

3) Combine sugar, marshmallow creme, evaporated milk & butter in a saucepan.
4) Bring mixture to a boil (make sure it begins to boil, up to 10 min) over medium heat, stirring constantly. Continue to cook and stir for 4-5 minutes.

5) Remove pan from the heat and stir in vanilla.

6) Quickly stir half of the hot mixture into the peanut butter morsels until the chips are completely melted. Pour into the prepared 8 inch square pan, smoothing out the top.
7) Stir the remaining mixture into the chocolate morsels and stir until the chips are completely melted.
8) Pour this mixture over the peanut butter fudge layer, spreading evenly.

9) Cool fudge completely before cutting into 1" square.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What's Bakin?: Banana Bread

I *heart* banana bread. I think the smell of freshly cooked bread is so intoxicating. I baked a few mini loaves this year for co-workers and friends. I went to bed with the scent of banana bread in the air. It was a nice surprise coming home from work to the smell of a banana bread scented house too. Do you think Glade will make a banana bread scented plug in for me? Just kidding....well, maybe!



Of course just smelling it isn't good enough for me. I just had to dig in!!

Restaurant Rambling: Mio Sushi

I was out running errands one day and was really craving sushi. Luckily, I happened to be near a Mio Sushi. Mio has several branches in the Portland area. One of my favs is the one on 185th.

I was just going to get nigiri sushi but this roll sounded good. It was called The Beauty & The Beast Roll (spicy tuna, creamy scallop, masago, creamy sauce on the top) for $7.50. I decided to try it. I also ordered my favorite, salmon nigiri, and a miso soup.

I didn't realize the Beauty and the Beast roll was deep fried. Sorry but deep friend sushi is so not my thing! I loved the combination of the spicy tuna and creamy scallops but the inside was too mushy. All in all it was an okay roll. Next time I'll just stick to my usual.

Mio Sushi has fun and inventive sushi rolls. They also do a great happy hour menu.


Mio Sushi
1255 NW 185th Avenue
Aloha, OR 97006
ph: (503) 617-9432

Monday, December 13, 2010

Restaurant Rambling: Pho Van

I met a friend for lunch at Pho Van in Beaverton. We've been having nasty, pouring down, time to build an ark kinda rain this week. A bowl of hot noodles sounded like the perfect fix. Besides the typical pho served at Vietnamese restaurants, Pho Van also has a few other tasty noodle dishes.

I've tried the Mi Van (egg noodles, BBQ pork, shrimp & minced pork in a savory pork broth topped with fried shallots and chives) before. It's good! If you're familiar with Japanese ramen, this is really close. The soup is good and the noodles are delicious! I wonder if they make their own noodles?

Today I decided to try the Mi Vit Tiem (egg noodles, duck braised in a five spice duck broth, baby bok choy & shitake mushrooms) for $8.50.



The soup is very yummy! The duck is hard to eat with chopsticks. Be sure to ask for a plate and a fork for easier eating. I love baby bok choy and shitake mushrooms so it was a win, win situation. The five spice duck broth was excellent! I found myself drinking the broth while telling myself I was full. It was that good! This is a great bowl of noodles and the perfect fix for a gloomy day!!


Pho Van
11651 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy (in Beaverton Town Square)
Beaverton, OR 97005
ph: (503) 627-0822

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Shutterfly 50 free prints!

If you use any online photo service, this is a great deal! Shutterfly is offering 50 free 4x6 prints (coupon: PRINTS). You have to pay shipping but they also have a special for free shipping of orders $50 or more (coupon: SHIP50). I'm not sure if you can combine these two deals but it's worth reporting!! I have a tons of pics to print so I'm all over this one!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Technique Tuesday Warehouse Sale

My friend Arlyn is quite the enabler. She told me about a warehouse sale by a local stamp company. I haven't done much stamping in a while but my curiosity got the best of me. I went to check it out. It's actually really close to where I live. I didn't know they were at that location. Stamp sets were discounted 40-75% off. I ended up spending $66.12 but picked up a nice assortment of stuff.

Here's what I snagged. These sets were $9.99 and 40% off. I got the Rocket Man; My Sister; Storytellers-Remember the Moments; Peace, Joy, Love and Storytellers-Travelogue sets.
They had a special...buy a stamp pad cleaner and the cleaning solution and get a free set of stamps. I chose My Little Princess as my freebie.
I also got the 2010 Fruit Stand stamp set for 40% off. My deal of the day was the Rococo set for $7 because the package had been opened but unused.


Thanks Arlyn! You're such an enabler!

3 more days - Hawaiian Airlines sale


I'm just catching up on emails, etc. and noticed this steal. Hawaiian Airlines (my favorite airlines) is celebrating their newest Airbus A330. They're offering amazing deals on RT flights between the west coast and Hawaii starting from $333. You have to purchase by Monday, December 13th. However, this is a great deal because the travel period is between January 11 and June 9th, 2011. If you've been thinking about a Hawaiian holiday, this is a great time to scoop up this deal!! Go to www.hawaiianair.com for more information.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Safeway Wine Sale!

I'm not sure if this applies at all Safeway stores or just the ones in the Portland Metro area. Safeway is having a great sale on wine....30% off bottles that are normally prices $20 or more. There's an additional 10% off if you buy 6 bottles or more. Bonus, if you live in Oregon...no sales tax!!


You have to look for deals. Some bottles maybe marked up. I used my Droid phone to price bottles to make sure I was really getting a good deal. I ended up getting the 6 bottles. Here's what's was in my cart:

- 2 x 2008 Domaine Drouhin Arthur Chardonnay (my fav chardonnay), 92 points W&S, $24.49 (retail $30)
- 2008 Adelsheim Pinot Noir, 93 pts W&S, 91 RP, 90 WS, $23.09 (retail $32)
- 2005 Eyrie Reserve Pinot Noir (my splurge because I love 2005 Oregon pinot noir), 92 ST, $47.80 (retail $65+)
- 2008 Willakenzie Pinot Noir, 93 W&S, 90 WS, $21.69 (retail $28)
- 2004 Kunde Zinfandel $26.94 (this one I bought because it was a 2004 and I wanted to try it out)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

What's Bakin?: Strawberry Mochi

I loaned my sister-in-law my "Hawaii's Best Mochi Recipes" Cookbook. She said she wanted to eat butter mochi or custard mochi while I was visiting. Those sounded yummy to me too. We got out the cookbook to look for a recipe. My 4 yr old niece wanted to know what kind of book I was looking at. She wanted me to "read" to her the book. I told her the names of all the types of mochi in the book. She said she wanted blue mochi. Last time we had made regular mochi and colored it bright blue. Then she heard me say Strawberry Mochi. We were done. No butter mochi or custard mochi for mommy or aunty. We were having Strawberry Mochi.

Incidently, this mochi cookbook started a pretend game where she took the cookbook into her room and we pretended to cook out of the book and make mochi. Let's make mochi was the name of that game. We played make let's make mochi a lot this week.

This recipe seems like sugar overkill with the jello, sugar and soda but it turned out okay. It ended up being a winner with my niece.


Strawberry Mochi
from: Hawaii's Best Mochi Recipes



20 oz. mochiko (sweet rice flour) - I only used 1 box (16 oz.)
2 (3 oz.) packages strawberry Jello gelatin
2 c. sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
2 cans strawberry soda, room temperature (we used Fanta)
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. butter, melted

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9" x 13" baking pan.
2) Combine mochiko, Jello, sugar & baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Add strawberry soda, eggs and butter. Mix well.

3) Pour mixture into your baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
4) Allow to cool completely then cut with a plastic knife.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

What's Cookin?: Cioppino

Whenever I go to Las Vegas to visit my brother and his family, I usually cook for them. I ask them what they feel like eating and take a stab at it. My sister-in-law usually asks for things I've made before for them or things she's seen posted on my blog. That's pretty straight forward.

My brother, however, is another story. He usually requests dishes I've never attempted before. Last time my brother requested a Korean dish that I'd never even heard of. I winged it and it turned out well. This time when I asked, my brother replied, "Cioppino". Um okay. First off, I love cioppino. If it's on the menu at a restaurant, I will sometimes order it.

If you've never had cioppino, it's a fish & seafood stew. It's yummy! However, I love when someone else is making it. I've never attempted to make it myself because it looks too intimidating and complicated with all the different seafood and subsequent various cooking times. Yikes! But okay, I could give it whirl.

This recipe wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. I like my cioppino with a hearty tomato base. I combined a few elements from different recipes to make my own. It probably isn't a "traditional" cioppino recipe but we liked it.

I would recommend using fresh seafood if possible (which can make this dish spendy). It is also messy to eat so break out the bibs and lots of napkins.

**Note to self, next time don't ask my brother what HE wants to eat. It's always an adventure!**

Cioppino
Serves 6-8



1 lb. halibut, cut into 1 inch x 1 inch cubes
1 large (2 lb or more) cooked Dungeness crab, have the fish monger clean and quarter your crab or do it yourself
1 lb. large shrimp (shell still on)
1 lb. little neck clams
1 lb. mussels
1 lb. bay scallops
1 & 1/2 c. water
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter
1 large onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, peeled & minced
1 (28 oz.) can stewed tomatoes
reserved broth from mollusks (see recipe)
2 c. red wine (I used a red Zinfandel)
1 pkg. dashi
1 small bottle clam juice
2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
2 bay leaves
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried oregano
salt & pepper
French bread (for dipping & dunking)
optional: dash of Tabasco sauce and/or Worcestershire sauce & parsley for garnish

1) Clean clams and mussels. Add 1 & 1/2 c. water to a medium saucepan and add mollusks (clams & mussels). Cover with a lid and steam until the mollusks are just open. Don't overcook! Strain the mollusks and reserve the cooking broth of the mollusks for the soup. Throw out any shells that did not open. Set the mollusks aside in a bowl.

2) If you haven't already, clean your crab. I asked the fish monger to quarter mine and left them intact in 4 pieces, but you can remove all the legs and quarter the body if you like. Set your pre-cooked crab aside.

3) Clean your shrimp (but leave shells on). Split the shrimp shells down the back and remove the black vein (de-vein). Rinse shrimp and scallops in a colander and set aside.

4) Cut your halibut into pieces if you haven't already. Set them aside in a bowl.

5) In a large pot (with a lid) over medium-high heat, saute onions in olive oil and butter until they are translucent. Add the garlic and saute for another minute. Add tomatoes, broth from the mollusks, red wine, dashi, clam juice & tomato sauce to the pot. Stir well and add the bay leaves, chopped parsley, basil, thyme & oregano. Stir tomato base well and bring to a simmer. Cook (uncovered) for about 20 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

6) Add the halibut & scallops and cook (covered) until the fish is just cooked through, about 3-5 minutes. Add the steamed mollusks, crab pieces, shrimp and scallops. Cook until the shrimp are just cooked (about 2-3 minutes) and bright pink. Do not overcook.

7) Serve the cioppino in large bowls with a sprinkle of parsley (if desired). Serve alongside crusty French or Italian bread.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Getting Crafty: Happy 4th Birthday Arianna

Something must be wrong with me. I've used up way too many creative brain cells just in the past few weeks. My niece, Arianna, is turning 4 today. I made her this cute Elephant card. I love the colors on this one. It's just like her; bold, fun and playful all at once.
Inks: CTMH Ocean, Orange and Chocolate
Stamps: CTMH Nursery Bash (D1236) & Stampendous Curly Doodle Alphabet

I also made her a flashy bracelet with glass beads. I got the Hello Kitty charm for $5 (she loves Hello Kitty!). It's so cute!
Happy Birthday Arianna!! Love always, Aunty Holly.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Getting Crafty: Thankful

I made a couple of very simple cards the other day with scraps of paper.

Stamps: CTMH Give Thanks (D1110) and Season of Change (C1200)
Inks: CTMH Cranberry, Chocolate & Olive

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday Internet Shopping

I'm no fool! I would rather not get up at 5am for a good sale, only to be elbowed by grandma over the sale bin. Oh no! Actually I haven't been Black Friday Shopping since college. I'd rather not deal with the sleep deprived grouchy and crazies out there. I'm also rather attached to my extremities. I'd rather keep them.


Instead, I woke up at a decent hour, made some coffee and surfed the internet for great deals. Here's some of what I found:

Banana Republic: Free shipping on orders over $50 plus 40% off (until 12pm only)
Gymboree: 30% off entire purchase (until 12pm only)
Harry & David: 25% off purchase or free shipping (can use one or the other, for me free shipping was better deal)

What's Bakin?: Pumpkin Squares

I spent Thanksgiving with some friends. I was in charge of dessert. I made my mommy's pumpkin squares. I love the shortbread crust and the creamy pumpkin filling! It's always a hit. Gobble gobble!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving 2010

Gobble gobble! These were arts and crafts projects from last year with my niece. Hope you all have a wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving!