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New things for my kitchen

March 26, 2010

Wow, this has been a really tough week back from Spring Break. I’ve had a lot of work to do: group projects and midterms to take this week I’ve been back. So finally I get a chance to settle down and create this post before my next hectic week.

So I received in the mail things I won from before break. I received some bento picks from Pikko at Adventures in Bentomaking. These are really cute and colorful – I know I’m going to have a lot of fun playing around with them once I find the time to build another kyaraben, or at least a non-plain-looking everyday bento.

I also received an Eat Smart Precision Pro Scale from Danica at Danica’s Daily for her giveaway! It was one of her items in her Sky Shop.

I am extremely excited about this scale because now I can list all my recipes in terms of grams instead of volume, which is more accurate recipe-wise for desserts and health analyses in general. Thank you so much, Danica!

Speaking of accurate recipes, I can now give a more accurate recipe for the chocolate avocado pudding, which I’ve edited, and have used my roommate’s blender to make the consistency all nice. Now I can post up a nice picture of a pudding instead of a mashed, lumpy thing.

Finally, for my bento before I left town today (I’m racing at the Dragon Boat tournament in Arizona this weekend with my school’s team!), I created a bento for fun in my only bento box. Pictured is some Thai black rice and sticky rice mix, ground beef and napa cabbage stir fry, and carrot hijiki salad.

For the rice, I normally put in about a tablespoon’s worth of white rice and a 1/2 cup of black rice. Then I mix it together in the rice cooker, add about a teaspoon or less of oil, and then fill the rice with warm water from the sink up to just shy of the 1 cup mark. Then I make sure that all the rice is at the bottom and none of it is floating at the top so that all the rice gets cooked. I usually split this serving of rice into two days.

As for the ground beef cabbage stir fry, I hear a lot about how chopping garlic and letting it sit for 5 minutes brings out the most health-promoting properties. Knowing this, I usually chop off the top edge of the garlic clove first, instead of crushing it, in order to take off the skin. I don’t know why, but a lot of American cooking shows state that you need to crush it. I find it’s a lot easier to cut off the tip, and then crush it if need be, but usually for me crushing isn’t necessary.

As for the ginger, I just usually keep a knob in the freezer so that it’ll last even longer. When I need to use it, I just grate several teaspoons into my recipe. In this case, I used about one teaspoon of ginger, and one clove of garlic. I also take out about a quarter pound of ground beef and after the garlic is done sitting, I turn the heat on high and cook them all together for about 4 minutes on high. In the meantime, I also prepare the napa cabbage by stacking about four of the leaves, cutting all the leaves in half lengthwise, and then cutting all of them, still stacked, into smaller squares. I add the cabbage to the ground beef mixture, and put the lid on until the cabbage is almost tender, at about 3 minutes of cooking, and then open to add some low sodium soy sauce, stir, cover, and cook until the cabbage is the texture I like.

Finally shown is the carrot hijiki salad. I had to presoak the hijiki with a shiitake mushroom for about half an hour in warm water. After heating up about a teaspoon of oil, I add about half a carrot’s worth of grated carrot, stir fry for about a minute, add the shiitake, which I chopped, stir fry for another minute, and then add the hijiki. I don’t even need salt or flavoring for this recipe because it is so sweet from the cooked carrot, and the salt and umami flavors come from the mushroom and seaweed.

Anyway, that is all I have for now. If anybody has a recipe involving hijiki, I would really appreciate the share. Thanks!

Dai Dai

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