Monday, September 7, 2015

Call Me Old Fashioned...

I read a post this morning about how we women must make all our own money and fend for all the logistics of our existence ourselves in order to be independent and strong enough to have healthily interdependent relationships.

I was that woman once. I was married, but I didn't depend on my spouse for anything. We both made our money, and then I handled everything else just to ensure that it would all be taken care of, and I would never be left in the lurch.

When that marriage came to an end, in order to make as quick and clean a break as I could make for myself after a 13 year union, I chose to leave all the assets I managed and most of the money I'd made behind and started all over again as if I'd never protected myself from the possibility that a man would or could not take care of me.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Chili Sesame Avocado & Brown Sushi Rice Bowl for 1

LAM brought me a bunch of what I think are Fuerte avocados from a friend's tree. They have a grassier and less creamy flavor and texture than Hass (which seem to be most everyone's favorite), but I still think they're delicious in their own way.

I don't like them so much for guacamole, but there are lots of delicious ways to eat them. Here's one. :)

You can use any kind of avocado for this dish, but you want to use just ripened fruit that's still pretty firm.

Chili Sesame Avocado & Brown Sushi Rice Bowl for 1

To make the sushi rice, just make one cup of uncooked rice according to package instructions and fold in sushi rice seasoning vinegar in the amount suggested on the bottle - it's usually something like 4 to 5 Tablespoons per 2 cups of uncooked rice, so you'd just halve that if you're only making 1 cup - right after you fluff the rice, while it's still warm. That way, the seasoning soaks in better.

One cup of uncooked rice will actually yield 2 to 3 servings, FYI, but it's kinda tricky cooking rice in fractions of cups because the water evaporates much more quickly.

If you have some leftover steamed rice (brown or white), you can take a cup of it, cover it with a slightly damp paper towel, microwave it until warm, and fold in 2 teaspoons of sushi seasoning vinegar.

You can double the avocado topping recipe if you want to make 2 servings.

You'll need:

- 1 cup sushi rice

For the Topping:

- 1 cup diced (roughly 1/2-inch cubes), ripe avocado
- 2 to 3 Tablespoons minced onion
- 2 Tablespoons diced tomato
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons minced fresh chilies (such as jalapeƱo or serrano)
- 1/2 Tablespoon sriracha or chili garlic sauce
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 to 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- a squeeze of lemon juice (about 2 teaspoons)
- optional: 1/4 cup roasted cashews (salted or unsalted - whichever you prefer) for extra fat and protein in your meal. I didn't have any on hand the day I took these pics, but they are a totally yummy addition.

Combine topping ingredients in a medium bowl and toss gently until they're thoroughly and evenly incorporated.

Serve atop your sushi rice and enjoy. That's my homemade quickled gari (sushi ginger) on top, which is a yummy addition.

It's good to go meatless from time to time. :)


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Cantaloupe Granita

My Great Compost Bed Experiment yielded a few fragrant, flavorful, but not-so-sweet cantaloupes, so I figured I'd use them up between smoothies and granita.

There are lots of granita recipes out there, and many are much more involved, but I adapted this super simple and easy recipe from epicurious because it's easily modified to add any additional flavorings (such as mint or freshly cracked black pepper), and it's easily doubled in case you want more servings or would like to use the granita as a base for the most delicious cocktails. Actually, you can modify it to use all kinds of yummy fruit - strawberries, peaches, and plums, for example.

As coarse as the crystals look in this pic, underneath, you end up with a superfine and flavorful slush that makes for an elegant and refreshing warm weather dessert or palate cleanser.

I ate through half of mine and then gave it a light shot of tequila, and it was loverly. :)

Cantaloupe Granita
Serves 8
Time: About 20 minutes active

- 4 cups peeled and coarsely chopped cantaloupe (about 1 whole medium melon)
- 1/2 cup sugar (or so, to taste)
- a pinch of kosher salt (up to 1/8 teaspoon)
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons lemon or lime juice
- 2 cups ice cubes

1) Puree all ingredients in a blender until smooth. I like to do this in 2 batches, halving the amounts for each batch, so I don't overcrowd the blender cup.

2) Pour mixture into a freezer safe 9 x 13 dish (baking dish or Pyrex work) and place in the freezer uncovered.

3) Stir the mixture every 30 minutes as the crystals form, for 3.5 to 4 hours, making sure to scrape down the sides and mix that portion in as well.

When the granita is completely crystallized (there is no mixture pooling on the sides uncrystallized), it is ready to serve. You don't want to keep stirring at this point because you might break the crystals down too fine and create blocks.

You can keep the granita in the freezer in this state for up to 2 hours before serving.

4) Spoon into your serving dish, garnish as desired, and serve. 

Enjoy! :)