Monday, May 31, 2010

Groomsman trip to Santa Barbara

Life has been pretty crazy in the run-up to the wedding.  So crazy that I haven't had time to do detailed blogging of the weekend in Santa Barbara that my groomsmen treated me to in late May.

Albert, Bill, and Nathan went all-out to make this weekend happen.  It was awesome.  Rather than wait for the free time to blog the trip "properly," I think it's better to just call out some highlights now and post some photos for the friends and relatives reading along. :)

[The full dump of my photos from the trip is in this smugmug gallery.  I also took 3 short videos (two on purpose, one by accident), posted on my Picasa space.]

On to the bloggy slideshow!

Kicking things off right ... at the Mountain View Quizno's:

Insane coffee and pastry at The French Press:

Wine-tasting at Stolpman and Fiddlehead:


Dinner at The Wine Cask:

OK, yeah, so we played some Dominion:
...but this is what happens when Jenny and Diana call:

I worked through every obstacle...
...to get to my Pinkberry froyo:

OK, yeah, FINE, we PLAYED some DOMINION.

The beach in front of our hotel (the Harbor View Inn), where we'd later take a great sea-kayaking ride:

Visiting with Soren and family.  He is, after all, merely the smallest bachelor:

Dinner at Bouchon was frankly ridiculous:

But we finished up our on the opposite end of the spectrum, snarfing excellent burgers at the local favorite, the Minnow Cafe:


Thanks again to Albert, Bill, and Nathan for an awesome time, and to Diana, Jenny, Anna, and Lauren for letting the gents in their lives play hooky for a while. :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Grammy's Veggie Sushi Dinner

This weekend we had a great time making dinner from Grammy's recipes.  Since one of the friends we had over was vegetarian, we made some of Grammy's veggie sushi.

Menu for the night included:
  • Miso soup
  • Salad with orange and almonds 
  • Cold soba noodles
  • Tofu with fresh ginger, green onion 
  • Make-your-own sushi 
Will made the miso soup.  It had enoki mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms in it.  We learned that it does not take much miso to make miso soup - 4 cups water to 3 T miso.

The salad featured Grammy's salad dressing, which requires sesame oil, rice vinegar, sugar, shoyu (soy sauce).  I'll post the recipe when I'm at home and can look it up.

Soba noodles were simple - just the noodles, cooled, with a splash of store-bought soba  noodle sauce and nori sprinkles.  Tofu was likewise simple - just quartered blocks of cold, soft tofu with fresh green onion and grated ginger.

Here's the recipe for Grammy's make-your-own sushi:
  • Measure 2.5 cups of white rice (cups in this case meaning the cup that comes with the rice cooker) and 0.5 cups mochi rice.  Fill the rice cooker pot with water up to the mark for 3 cups.  Cook the rice.  Let it cool.
  • Cut carrots in half width-wise, then into sticks.  Mix 1/3 c rice vinegar with 5T sugar, 1t salt.  Double recipe if necessary to cover the carrot sticks.  Pour mixture over carrots; soak for 1/2 hr - 1 hr.  Put in presentation platter.
  • Rinse shitake mushrooms.  Mix chicken stock (we used veggie in case our guests were strict vegetarians), a little soy sauce, a little sugar to taste.  Boil mixture and add mushrooms WHOLE; boil for 10-15 min until cooked.  Turn off stove and let sit for an additional 15 min.  Then take out, cool, remove stems, slice.
  • Mix egg in separate bowl.  Pour into pan.  Cook.  Turn over.  Cook.  Slice into slivers.
  • Heat 2 cans of tuna in frying pan with shoyu (soy sauce) and sugar, to taste.
  • Plate sushi ingredients together for guests to select - carrots, shitake, sprouts, watercress, cucumber, bamboo shoots (store-bought), bottled red ginger (store-bought), tuna, egg.
  • Mix 1/3 c rice vinegar, 5T sugar, 1t salt.  Put sushi rice in the big non-metal bowl.  Pour mixture over rice and mix.
Nice dinner but we forgot the dessert!  Ah well.  Next time.  We had a great time with our friends.  For me the highlight along with getting to know them better was learning more about the advantages of an evening and weekend MBA.  Very cool!