Thank You

After a month of being unable to log into the blog, I’m finally back in again. I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has followed, supported, commented on and cooked from my blog this summer. I’m so grateful for all the encouragement and positive feedback. It was such a fun a rewarding project for me and something I definitely intend to continue in the future. And while I had anticipated being able to continue posting in the school year, work and kitchen logistics (4 roommates and about 2 cm of counter space aren’t the ideal conditions for experimenting with recipes) seemed to get in the way. But this blog has really solidified and spurred on my love of cooking and I look forward to being able to continue on with it in the future! All the best,

Nathalie

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Brown Rice Vegetarian Sushi

There are some foods that you just can’t eat alone. Pizza is definitely one, sushi another. It’s such a social food to me: something that is so easily shared and seems to be almost universally liked. While a dinner like spaghetti is hard to talk over and you end up with a trail of noodles hanging from your mouth at the exact moment you have something to say, sushi is a great conversation-having food.  It’s also one of those things that I always crave; even after I go out to eat it, I’m already looking forward to the next time. And though you can easily only pay $20 for an excessive, all-you-can-eat meal, good quality sushi is definitely more expensive. So, given that I’m using all my will-power to deposit my pay-checks straight into a savings account and not blow them on extravagant dinners, I decided to try and make some from home. If you have a free weekend afternoon, this is the perfect thing to do. It takes some getting used to but is so rewarding when you get the hang of it. And while I would have no problem eating all 30 pieces of sushi that it yields, it always tastes so much better when shared with someone else. 

Makes about 30 pieces of sushi

Ingredients:

1 cup brown sushi rice (can be found at asian super markets)
50 ml rice wine vinegar
40 ml sugar
5 ml salt
1 carrot
1/4 cucumber
1/2 red pepper
1/2 an avocado
1 package of sushi nori, you’ll need about 4 or 5 pieces
Rolling mat
Wasabi powder (optional)
Soy sauce for dipping
Sesame seeds

1. Cook your rice according to the directions on the package. For mine, I brought 2 cups of water to a boil then added the rice and turned down the heat to low, put the lid on and let simmer for about 20 minutes.

2. In a small bowl, mix together the vinegar, sugar and salt. Pour over the cooked rice and toss to combine. The rice should become slightly sticky.DSC_04323. Prepare your vegetables: shred the carrot and cut the cucumber, pepper and avocado into long, thin strips. The thinner you cut them, the easier it will be to roll the sushi.DSC_04224. If using wasabi, mix your desired amount of powder with a little bit of water to form a paste.
DSC_04295. To assemble your work station, lay your rolling matt on a cutting board and place a sheet of nori on top.
DSC_04346. Spread an even layer of rice on the bottom third of the nori, right up against the edge closest to you (in the picture below I was using a small piece of nori but it will usually be as long as your rolling matt) Sprinkle on some sesame seeds if you want, then place veggies along the centre of the rice.DSC_04387. Roll the matt up to close the sushi into a long cylinder. You will probably need to wet the edges of the seaweed to help hold it together. Squeeze the matt as you roll to make sure the sushi is tight and secureDSC_04378. Wet a sharp knife (to prevent sticking) and slice through your roll. This may take some practise and can be frustrating at first. Just make sure to keep wetting the knife as you go! Your first roll won’t look too great but you’ll learn as you go.
DSC_0440 9. Serve with soy sauce for dipping. Enjoy!

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Blackberry Mojitos

Perks of making cocktails from home: drinking in your pyjamas, no designated drivers, unlimited refills. Last summer was the summer of the mojito for us, we perfected making them from home and did so at any opportunity for all of those reasons. Mojitos are the epitome of Friday evenings in the summer for me; a refreshing treat to celebrate the end of a long hot week. It’s a fun drink that signals the start of two days of relaxation ahead of you and a pretty great thing to share with friends on a warm back patio. No matter what kind of week you had, this blackberry mojito is a no-fail way to kick off the weekend well.

Makes 4 mojitos

1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 carton of blackberries (6 oz)
4 sprigs mint (about 8 leaves per glass)
White rum (1.5 oz per glass)
2 limes
2 cans soda water
Ice

1. Add sugar, water and half the blackberries to a small pot. Turn up the heat to medium and stir often, dissolving the sugar into the water. Don’t worry if the blackberries break down a little. DSC_0410 2. Divide the remaining blackberries and the mint between 4 tall glasses. Squeeze half a lime into each glass and then drop it in as well. DSC_0415 DSC_0417 3. Add the rum to each glass then muddle together using a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon.DSC_0423 4. Divide the sugar water mixture between the glasses, add in a few pieces of ice, fill with soda water and stir. Enjoy!DSC_0427 DSC_0431