~Homemade Solo Sushi Party~

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This past weekend I had a craving for sushi. Some people get a hankering for pizza, hamburgers, tacos, chocolate, ice-cream. All that stuff is delicious but sushi is where it’s at!

I’m not prejudice; I’m open-minded when it comes to stuffing my pie-hole with new creations or old favorites, in a restaurant or homemade. Yesterday I decided that enough was enough!  I HAD to quench my desire for quality hand rolls while practicing my japanese cooking technique. (Did I mention that I love to cook??)

I scanned my sushi book and decided on Inside-Out California and (cooked) Salmon rolls. While I’m definately getting better at layering the ingredients so the rolls come out even and pretty, i’m still on my feet the same length of time. Im passionate about cooking; the whole process of mixing, measuring and chopping puts my mind at ease. I get in the rolling groove and totally forget the intense strain on my leg and back from standing……until I’m finished. Then it hits me like a truck. Time to lie on my bed with my feet up, bi-pap on and electonic stimulants off……sleepy time.

***Totally worth it.***

1st night's plate of inside and outside rolls.  *Chopsticks are fun!*

1st night’s plate of inside and outside rolls.
*Chopsticks are fun!*

The next day I had some rice and toppings left over but no nori paper. Bahahaha…..like that will stop me?? Picked up some Nori and an extra avacado from the grocery store and got chopping. “Sushi Night: Part Deux.”

I was having so much fun and so suprized at how well the rolls came out that I had to document them in living color! (Speaking of “In Living Color”, I’m so excited about seeing Jim Carey’s new film, Dumb and Dumber To.)

Anywho, I hope you enjoy the photos and decide to try some sushi making yourself. It’s a blast! In addition, if you have any good sushi-related stories or questions, feel free to comment.

Alrighty Then……..

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Rinse Sushi Rice, dump into automatic rice cooker, click “ON” button and presto! Perfect sushi rice! ** blend rice with ricewine/sugar mixture **

Mixing chopped crab meat, mayonnaise and a bit of paprika and pepper. Variation on the traditional crab stick used in a Cali-Roll.

Mixing chopped crab meat, mayonnaise and a bit of paprika and pepper. Variation on the traditional crab stick used in a Cali-Roll.

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Tools used for Sushi Making: Cutting board, shashimi knife, bamboo mat, Nori, Mirin. Ingredients used: Imitation crab mixture, avacodo, cucumber, chopped bbq’d salmon, carrots and cream-cheese. Sesame seeds.

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Half Nori sheet for a smaller (in diameter) roll. They look like baby rolls….(see following)

I call it "Mini-Roll." Yes, I know Sherlock, this is obviously from a different day. Only pic I had to show a size comarison.

I call it “Mini-Roll.”
This is not from today but it the only picture I had to show a size comarison.

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Closer look at ingredients. Bamboo sheet is covered with plastic wrap for “inside out” rolls.

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A Head-to-Roll comparison.

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The Nori brand of choice and California Rolls (some with cream cheese.)

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Close-Up view of Cali-roll serving platter.

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Sushi Chef Tom, at your service 🙂

“Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.”

~ Joseph Addison

When the three essentials are the same “something,” you’ve found your passion!   Make it your purpose!

 ~ Breathe This Life ~

Save Time & Energy With A Pre-Baked Chicken

No matter your endurance or love of cooking, there are days when you are just not in the mood to put out much effort. But greasy, fast food? No thanks. A few days ago I was in one of those moods. A hearty meal in pinch….hmm.

I decided to drive to the local grocery store and pick up a whole, roasted chicken. One large chicken could be used for several “No muss, No fuss” meals! Purchasing a couple pre-made bowls of mashed potatoes: Yes, please! Once I returned home, dinner prep was quick-N-easy. Using a pre-baked chicken significantly cuts down cooking time. All I had to do was separate the legs, wings and breasts from the body of the chicken and throw it all on a large serving plate. Warmed the container bowls of mashed potatoes and stuck a large spoon in them to serve. “Family Style” for one. As Emeril Lagasse would say….”Bam!”

Enjoying a relaxing dinner after a long day in the heat, my mind started to wander. What other simple and delicious meals could I prepare with a baked chicken? Here is my TOP 10 list of Baked Chicken recipes. While some of these ideas might be half-baked, it is important to remember to use a chicken that is FULLY-baked.  LoL….I’ll be here all night 🙂

10.) Mini Chicken Pot Pies –  A healthier version that makes 4 single servings and feezable. http://cookthis.menshealth.com/recipes/cook-chicken-pot-pie

8090619.) Chicken Noodle Soup– By chopping some pre-roasted chicken, buying a few 1 quart boxes of chicken broth and doing some easy pre-planning, you can turn a 40 minute ordeal into a 15 minute meal!

http://allrecipes.com/video/564/how-to-make-homemade-chicken-noodle-soup/detail.aspx?prop24=RD_RecipeVideo

8.) Chicken Alfredo PizzaA very simple and tasty alternative to delivery, in half the time! Ingredients: Large Boboli crust, 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, sliced chicken breast, chopped green onions. This is how I’ve always enjoyed it but go ahead, be creative with your toppings!

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7.) Chicken Salad Sandwich –  This is a simple and delicious lunchtime snack. All I need is to chop a chicken breast into bite-sized pieces. Add them to my “Magic Bullet” blender Buy The Bullet. Squirt in mayonnaise, maybe a few raisins or nuts and blend. Spread on bread. Boom!

6.) Chicken Spaghetti Alfredo – If you can boil water and set a timer, you can make this fabulous dinner! I mean, seriously, who doesn’t love chicken and pasta??

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–> Boil water & cook pasta: 12 minutes.

–> In a separate pot, simmer 1 can Alfredo sauce.

–> Chop chicken breast & add to pasta last min.

–> Drain pasta and add sauce; mix.

–> Serve!Piece of cake, eh?

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5.) Chicken Panini – Nothing is easier or more flavorful than a warm, toasted sandwich, especially one filled with meat and veggies! If you don’t have a panini press, toast one side in a pan with a heavy pot on top to act as a press. Set stove to medium-low for 4-5 min., flip, repeat and serve with a nice soup or take it to go.

4.) Chicken & Veggies over CouscousSuper delicious and easy, not to mention healthy! Chop and stir-fry veggies (or buy a frozen bag of mixed veggies.) Add chopped chicken. Mix over medium heat or few minutes. Serve with side of couscous if you like!

3.) Chicken Quesadillasquesadilla1 This is in my arsenal for quick anytime grub. First I lay flat a large tortilla and spread shredded cheese on half. Sprinkle chopped pieces of chicken. Add chopped peppers, onions or tomatoes if you want. I fold the plain tortilla side over and, using my George Forman Grill, toast until cheese is warm and bubbly. 5 minutes. 10, total.

2.) Chicken Taco Salad – Same as regular homemade taco salad with chicken instead of ground beef.taco-salad

1.) OK. So, I’m sure by now you’re wondering what my favorite, time-saving chicken dinner is…

CHICKEN!!  Pick up a pre-roasted chicken from the store, carve it up and serve with a simple side salad. If you can open a bag of mixed greens this is a no-brainer. 

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I hope these food ideas can help you conserve energy so meal preparation can be fun instead of a chore. Maybe you’ll even develop a passion for cooking, like me!

“A meal is an expression of the one cooking it. Invest your own flavor into the food you cook and it will always taste great!”

#Easyprep #Peaceofmind #Winnerwinnerchickendinner.

~Breathe Easy~

Baked Chicken In A Flash!

Hey Friends! I am so excited to be bringing you this new series! My friend Christine from livingon02forlife and I will be blogging about how to prepare, bake and carve up a whole chicken so that you get the most delicious meals while using the least amount of energy.

Personally, standing for hours on end in the kitchen wears me out. Sad but true. Because I love cooking, I’ve continued improving on how to cook and prepare my favorite recipes. Many are chicken-related. Good news for you!

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What I hope to do is give you the benefit of my experience and help you be more energetic, satisfied that there is one less thing to worry about.