Sunday, June 19, 2011

simple sushi how to

It has been about 100 degrees here the last few days and when it's that warm I just don't feel like cooking. Sushi is a cool and yummy meal and the only part I have to cook is the rice. Here is how I make it.

Rice vinegar
powdered ginger (optional)
Nori (seaweed sheets)
crab flakes or crab sticks and/or lox
cucumber and/or avocado
soy sauce
wasabi paste

Rice. Ideally you want to use a short grain rice. The shorter the rice, the more starch it releases as it cooks, and the stickier it will be. They don't sell much short grain rice here in the southwest so I make do with a medium grain and it gets sticky enough. I follow the directions on the bag. Bring 3 cups of rice and 2 cups of water to boil. Turn heat down and simmer for 20 minutes. I put the rice into a big glass bowl and add about 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar, a teaspoon of sugar, and maybe a little salt, pepper, and powdered ginger to taste. Mix it up well and let it cool.

Once the rice is cooled to about room temperature start assembling your ingredients. We like to use crab sticks or flakes or lox (cured salmon) along with avocado or cucumber and sometimes a little egg. If you want to use egg, just make an thin omelet with 2 eggs, let it cool, and slice it into strips. You can also just stick with veggies if you aren't a seafood fan. Last night I used crab sticks (sliced into thirds), cucumber (cut to just a little longer than the seaweed sheet), and sliced avocado.

Lay out one seaweed sheet and spread a thin layer of sticky rice over it. Leave space at one end to seal the roll. You don't want to spread the rice too thick or the seaweed will split when you roll it up. If you like inside out rolls you can flip the seaweed over at this point. To me it's not worth the extra trouble since it all tastes the same anyway.

Layer the crab and avocado at the end.

Roll the sushi tight. Dip your finger in water and wet the end of the roll that has no rice. This will seal the roll. Like an envelope.

Isn't that pretty?

I usually chill my rolls in the fridge as I go. I think they slice nicer and taste a little better after spending an hour in the fridge. When you are ready to serve, slice the rolls into eighths.

Serve with wasabi and soy sauce. 



I have heard that cream cheese, lox, and cucumber make a great roll so I'll have to try that next time. You would take a block of cream cheese and make long, square strips.

Tip for those with small children. My 2 year old loves sushi, but she makes a mess. It helps to cut it into small pieces, place it in a bowl, and drizzle the soy sauce over it. Then she can eat with a spoon or fork and it's easier for her to chew the seaweed. For my 4 year old I just cut the pieces in half and she tries to eat with chopsticks like we do :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Homemade pasta sounded so easy and yummy so I decided to have a go at it tonight. I think the recipe I found with all the rave reviews wasn't quite right. It was too dry and then the dough was so tough it was impossible to roll it out to the right thickness. Maybe my farm fresh eggs are smaller than the ones people were using in the recipe. Eric helped me out with the muscle, but it still ended up too thick. Very tasty though. I used a little basil infused grapeseed oil in the dough. Yum!

blog clean up

I've started cleaning up my blog. When I was cloth diapering and entering contests I placed several ads on the side of my blog and followed a lot of wonderful bloggers. It's too overwhelming now though so I'm cleaning out the cloth diapering stuff and just following a manageable amount of blogs. To click on each one and stop following is taking me awhile and when I am all done I'll go through and make sure I didn't delete anyone I want to keep following. I need to update the photos of the kids and I suppose I need to make a new button too :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

this home is now powered by the New Mexico sunlight :)

We have 8 panels. They should produce all of our electricity plus extra for most months and in the summer we will need to buy some electricity. We don't have any way to store the power so it goes back to the electric company. It will even out over the year so the electric company will pay us about $50 a year. We might make a game out of it and see if we can use even less electricity so they have to pay us even more ;) Our system will generate RECs (Renewable Energy Certificates) and the electric company will pay us 10 cents per kWh. The RECs are for every kWh we produce, not just the extra that we don't use. The current price for electricity here is about 9 cents per kWh. There is a 30% federal tax credit and a 10% NM state tax credit on solar energy systems. There is also no sales tax on the system. We used our tax refund to purchase it and it covered most of the cost. The entire system (including installation and wiring) was about $12,000. Solar panels increase home value and help the home sell faster so between the money we'll save on electric bills and the value we are adding to our home the system will pay for itself eventually.
Solar panels used to all be connected to each other and they would share an inverter. If one panel had a problem it was like a string of Christmas lights and they wouldn't work. Now they each have their own micro inverter and work independently. We can go online to check each panel's production statistics at any time.  There is a 5 year warranty on workmanship, 15 years on the inverters, and 25 years on the panels themselves.

We purchased the panels and they were installed by Sunspot Solar

The panels are designed by a German company and built here in New Mexico