Thursday, December 31, 2009

A very close call.

Today I very nearly murdered my husband. Internet, he dropped my iPhone in a tray of paint. Paint.

My iPhone.

It made me feel very stabby. Somehow, though, the paint was almost entirely confined to the cover. You see, that's how awesome an iPhone is. It even falls into paint the right away.

While we were cleaning it off, I petulantly informed him that I had just blogged about how much I love my cover. AND IT'S NOT AVAILABLE ANYMORE. You big hookerface. "Just think, now you can blog about this," he said. OH BELIEVE ME I WILL. I'll even diagram it. Behold:

I suspect the whole incident may have been payback for an earlier interaction.

The Man: Do you know where my hammer is?

Me: No. (Keeps painting door.)

The Man: (Rummages around the house for about 10 minutes. Ends up directly behind me.) It's right next to you!

Me: Oh. You didn't ask me to look for it. You asked me if I knew where it was. And I didn't.

My friends, this is the foundation of a strong relationship: accuracy.

But, the reason it took 10 minutes of rummaging to find a hammer located three inches to the right of my foot is that we are currently living in the toy/book/furniture equivalent of a junkyard. Just about everything in the house has been moved at least once in the last two weeks and very little of it is currently in the spot appropriate for it. This is quite certainly my least favorite aspect of painting.

It may, however, be the kids favorite part. They do no clean up clean up and don't get in trouble because Mom and Dad can't really tell the difference anyway.

Technorati tags: painting, marriage

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A little inspiration.

With all the painting going on Chez Sushi, I feel like life is one big color story these days. A mini color fairytale with pictures I'm loving on flickr today:

Clockwise: Phillip Klinger, Batikart, Phillip Klinger, Steve Took It. All on flickr.

Technorati tags: flickr, color story, pictures

I'm in love with my new iPhone cover.

I want to kiss it and hug it and get a silver bullet trailer with it, have a baby boy and safety pin his clothes all cool while it graffiti's up his tie.

That is all.

Technorati tags: iPhone,

Saturday, December 26, 2009

And now we set in to the Recovery Phase.

El niño keeps singing "Chinese, like a melody in my head that I can't keep out got me singing like na na na na na na na na...".

I finally decided to stop giggling at him and informed the tiny mondegreen maestro that the word is in fact shorty. Or, rather shawty. Of course he then asked me what is shorty? Well, shit I don't know. I suppose it isn't really any more nonsensical than Chinese, so hell, carry on.

Speaking of shawties, Cheeseball got a plethora of Barbies for Christmas. And she marched down to Target today with $50 in her sparkly, sweaty little hands courtesy of the GG's (great grandparents, let's not get into the whole hard ass Santa gang thing again.) Among other things, she picked out a little Barbie dress up costume with matching actual Barbie doll dress.

When we got home, I told her to go grab me a Barbie so I could put the matching dress on her and prime Cheeseball for some BY HERSELF PLAY at 7am tomorrow morning (please God, please). She brought out one of her Christmas Barbies and I shit you not in less than 24 hours, she has already dyed New Barbie's hair pink, glittered her forehead and painted makeup on and around her eyes. I haven't inspected the rest of her haul, but I suspect this particular New Barbie wasn't the only plastic princess in Cheeseball's makeover chair.

El niño hasn't glittered up any of his new stash, but he and I are both completely in love with a DS game he received. Scribblenauts is hands down one of the most creative games I've ever seen. The game presents you with little challenges ranging - so far - from getting your little Maxwell character up onto a ledge to collect his "starite" to protecting a picnic lunch from ants. At each challenge, you go to the notepad and write in a word, and that object then appears on your stage. You can use the object to solve your challenge and they have dillions of interactions programmed in! I love how it makes him think. On the aforementioned Get Up On A Ledge challenge, the obvious solution is ladder, right? I would write in ladder, it would appear and then I would climb up it onto the ledge. But, El niño wrote in kangaroo. Seriously. And it worked! Maxwell climbed up on the kangaroo and they hopped right up to stariteville. I LOVE that it rewards his imagination and creativity by allowing off the wall solutions.

I got some books that I will totally post about soon.

What is that? A warning? Ha ha, I guess it is. Consider yourselves warned.

Technorati tags: Christmas, Barbie, Scribblenauts

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Weekly Etsy. I hope. We'll see.

I'd like to post some weekly fave finds on Etsy. But, I'm a bit of a commitmentphobe. If I say I'm going to start up a weekly Etsy post, dollars to doughnuts I'll start refusing to even browse Etsy. Just on principle. But, here's a bunch of Etsy finds I'm loving right now. No promises but, really I'm going to try to get this up weekly. Secretly. I DON'T HEAR ME, NO PRESSURE.

scarf by alonalona

brooch by mgmart

kanzashi by petal mix

ring by the pebble collection

ring by Pattycake's Plunder

bracelet by vivid colors

Technorati tags: Etsy, vintage, handmade

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sweet Sugar and Potatoes

Ok, I'm not going to lie. I make a killer sweet potato casserole. Among life's many talents, that has to rank somewhere between raising one eyebrow and picking things up with your toes - great for entertaining and a feat probably out of the reach of monkeys. Even with training. But, it's my big impressive talent. So, Internet, I share with you...

The original recipe.

8 cups sweet potato, cubed
1 cup white sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Put sweet potatoes in a tiered steamer and steam over high heat until tender.

This is the secret trick that makes this SO delicious.  No wait, I'm lying.  The secret trick is A SHIT TON OF BUTTER AND SUGAR.  But, also the steaming.  Totally preserves the sweet potatoes' flavor.

When soft, toss in a bowl, add butter and mash. Mash well but leave it lumpy. Mix in the sugar, eggs, salt, milk and vanilla. (Eggs second to last, followed quickly with the milk so the hot!hot!hot! sweet potatoes don't cook your eggs.) Pour the mixture into a 9x13 inch baking dish.

In a smaller bowl, mix the sugar and flour. Cut in the butter until the mixture is coarse. (I start with a pastry cutter then say fuck it and use my hands.) Stir in the pecans.

Layer marshmellows over the sweet potatoes. Curse the ignorant louts who always request this. Sprinkle the pecan crust over this indecency.

Bake 30 minutes, or until the topping is all crispy and lightly brown.

A little tip from me to you: when you're measuring out your 8 freaking cups of cubed sweet potatoes (or anything else), aim the handle on your measuring cup like the hour hand of a clock to keep track of your count. Directly right for 3:00 when you're filling cup number 3, etc. Excellent for the mentally feeble.

Just make sure to place a paper towel under your cup so it doesn't spin around and make you lose track of your count so you have to empty your vessel out and count out the stupid cups again and then again and then maybe even one more time.

Internet, this is how good this shit is: this is the third time I've made it already this holiday season. And I haven't gotten to pick what I'm bringing to ANYTHING yet this year. Bring the sweet potatoes or stay home, Jen. Not that we don't love you. But, seriously. Don't show up without it. So, recommendation is to start making something that you will then forever be roped into making. I gives good advice.

Technorati tags: recipe, Christmas, cooking

Sunday, December 13, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas and OMG THAT FREAKS ME OUT.

You guys, I'm entering Defcon Level HOLYSHITHOWDIDCHRISTMASSNEAKUPONMELIKETHAT!?!?. While trying not to freak out that the presents I ordered online didn't materialize instantly at my door, I'm soothing myself with the gauzy, feminine, vintage Christmas stylings of suzanneduda on flickr.

Source: suzanneduda, flickr.

So pretty! I want to invite myself in, snuggle up in grandma's quilt and sip a cup of tea.

Technorati tags: vintage, Christmas, flickr

Friday, December 11, 2009

Bento in bed.

I'm blogging from bed, cozily ensconced in flannel and down and I suspect no other blogging will ever be the same.

Little Man's bento of the day: rice, gyoza, octodog, apples and oranges.

Technorati tags: bento, lunch

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Koko in the mix.

What one does with this Yatsumi Zuke of which I spoke.

Technorati tags: tsukemono, Japanese cooking, lunch

Monday, December 07, 2009

I'd rather be grounded.

You guys, I'm having one of those moments wherein one realizes that being a parent is really quite hard. And that no matter how otherwise convinced one may have been, being grounded for OMG EEEEEEVER and flinging one's self dramatically about the house because YOU GUYS ARE SO MEEEEEEAN AND MY LIFE IS RUINED! really wasn't the tough role in that gig after all.

We signed El Niño up for a season of weekend basketball workshops with other five and six year olds this winter. And apparently, while we were busy doing that, the ratface lying liars at the rec center were secretly signing him up for a basketball league with seven and eight year olds. And apparently that's just how it is. No switchies no takebacks. Because, since he'll be seven HALF WAY through the season, he's too old for the instructional league. On what cracked out planet the midpoint of the season comes ONE WEEK BEFORE IT ENDS, I have no clue. But, I have a feeling that planet is inhabited by ratface lying liars.

And some of these seven and eight year olds walked right out of their moms' bellies dribbling a basketball, I will tell you. These kids were sinking baskets FROM THE FUCKING KEY. (The KEY! That's like 14 six year olds away from the crazy high basket!) El Niño, on the other hand, picked up a basketball for the first time in his life at tonight's draft. Yah, that's right. DRAFT. Apparently the ratface lying liars at the rec center are also insane and we now DRAFT seven and eight year olds to recreational league basketball teams.

Now, we have never believed in protecting the kids from failure. (And believe me you as not only the whitest kid out there but the whitest kid out there, there's going to be some big fat bowls of fail this season) And we are NOT raising quitters. So, proceed with The League of The Preternatural Ballers he will. And, to be fair, there were other kids with hardly a clue out there. He won't be alone with his tasty bowls of fail and he will certainly get better over the season. Also, he's freaking stoked to be playing basketball with some of his buddies.

But, Mom's heart hurts. I was SO proud of the kid who gamely stood all by himself before a court full of people and tried something he'd never done. I hope that kid gets recognized for his heart and too eager to win parents don't steamroll right over him.

Technorati tags: basketball, kids, parenting

Friday, December 04, 2009

Cooking and eating Koko.

One of the things I miss most about Hawaii is the food. I mean, you know, also this:

Rainbow Falls, Hawaii
Source: TerryMcT, Flickr

And my family. But very much so the food. I've learned to make a lot of it myself, much of that cobbled together with approximations of the actual ingredients and even those I have to run all over town to find and pull together. (Can you hear the tiny violins?)

There are a ton of Korean transplants here and therefore a ton of Korean stores and delicious, authentic Korean kim chee available. But, the Japanese version of this is a much more subtle and delicate pickled vegetable called tsukemono. We call it koko for short. Now, when I say we, I have NO idea if "we" is just my family and we're the only nerds walking around eating koko or if this is a collective "we" referring to all tsukemono loving speakers of the Japanese.

But, whatever the case, one of the things I really miss is a pickled cabbage dish called Yatsumi Zuke. My entire life, I thought my grandmother made this stuff, lovingly pickling the vegetables for her adoring family but it turns out THAT WAS A BIG FAT LIE. She bought that shit straight from the farmers market, brought it home and stuck it in old glass mayo tubs. I love my Baba, she was fucking awesome. And if, as it turns out, she was completely full of shit, I guess the Internet was going to have to come through for me. Except! Y'all! It would appear that we (and this "we" refers to my family and my family alone) ARE the only nerds walking around eating koko. Just try searching koko, you guys. Unless you're trying to cook a gorilla, you're going to be out of luck. (And even then, not a lot of recipes.)

Anyhow, blah blah blah...had to talk Mom into making a trip to the old Ward Farmers Market...blah blah blah...long story short...finally got the real name Yatsumi Zuke and found one lone recipe on these here Interwebz. Slightly modified, like to hear it? hear it go:

3 medium mustard cabbage
1/4 cup alaea hawaiian red rock salt
2 tsp grated ginger
2/3 cup shoyu
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
crushed red pepper to taste

Mustard cabbage is also known as mustard greens (although, not the same as what they call mustard greens here in the Souf), mizuna, gai choy and lord knows what else. It's a weird looking cabbage with a couple of giant leaves surrounding a teeny tiny little head.


On a side note, it totally stokes me out that the Korean grocery I buy my giant leafy leaves and little friends from grows them out back and thus makes this one of the few steps I can make in this area toward a 100 Mile Diet.

So, wash well, chop and sprinkle with the rock salt as you go.


With three heads of mustard greens, you'll end up with a giant bowl like this. Pictured here in human scale for perspective, because I'm helpful like that.


Let the greens and salt sit for about 30 minutes. In the meantime, heat up the shoyu (a.k.a. soy sauce), rice vinegar, ginger, brown sugar and crushed red pepper until it boils. Remove from heat and let cool.

Here's where you better hope you've kept up on your hand moisturizing. After letting the greens sit with the salt, squeeze excess water out and pack into a jar. Dry skin + salt = OW SHIT OW. Believe it or not, you can fit that whole bowl into a much smaller container. Again in human scale:


Once the mixture has cooled, pour over greens, seal the jar and let sit out for 3 hours.

Refrigerate, eat, refrigerate, eat, repeat until The Man eats all the damned koko and you say WHERE THE HELL DID ALL THE KOKO GO and he says you ate it and you say oh then blame it on him on the Internet.

Oh! And! Perfect for bento. Anything with vinegar in it is a natural antimicrobial which is a great addition to a portable lunch.

Technorati tags: tsukemono, Japanese cooking, Hawaii