Sushi, My Style

yes, it’s sushi….but just not as pretty. It’s hommade! Something to get your hands messy – beware it is sticky – yet enjoy. You have the most fun making them! And just after a few practice rounds, your on your way to become a real professional sushi chef. Usually, mine turn out better, but the pictures say it all:

It doesn’t have to be perfect. As long as it tastes good, and looks decent, you, your family, and everyone will love it. You definitely can have this at a party too.

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Making Sushi Rice:

  • 4.5 cups of cooked white sushi rice
  • 1/8 cup of vinegar
  • 1/6 cup of sugar
  • a pinch of salt

In a small sauce pan, combine the vinegar, sugar and salt. Place it over the stove, and mix until the sugar is fully dissolved. Once cooled, add this mixture to the rice, until fully blended.

Now use this rice mixture for your sushi as seen above in the pictures.

For a normal looking sushi, put a good amount of rice, vegetables desired, covered with more rice on top, over a piece of seaweed (smooth side facing down). Then, use your sushi mat to help you roll the sushi into the desired shape. Cut into pieces.

For an inside out sushi, cover the seaweed (smooth side facing down) 2/3 of the way with rice. Flip it over. Then add all the vegetable desired (I just used cucumber and carrots because that’s all we had. But I would recommend adding avocado and sweet potato). Using the sushi mat, roll the sushi into the desired shape. Cut into individual pieces.

You are ready to serve! Or, you can let it cool in the refrigerator for awhile before serving family, or any guests.

Remember, it’s the learning experience and having fun. Good Luck!

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Cake Pop Cake-taste-trophy

Ever remember someone telling you something glorious but with the slightest devilish grin that nudged an uneasiness up the back of your mind?

Well, that’s exactly what my beloved cake pops did to me. So cute, apparently so simple, and just begging to be made, but underneath all those tutorials, those recipes and websites, the devilish grin of extensive labor and unsettling puzzlement with the end result hid behind their lightly covered candy melt shell. To be short, I had a lot of mishaps, and they didn’t come out as well as I would’ve liked – ahh…correction, as cute as I would’ve liked.

I’m inserting pictures of my cake pop experience. The colored ones sort of look like truffula trees from the Lorax.

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My brother was coming back from a 28 day wrestling camp in Minnesota – for any of you that know anything about it, it’s called  J. Robinson 28 Day Wrestling Camp. He got the “I did it” shirt, therefore finishing the camp with enough points. Basically, you start with a given amount of points, and each day you have four practices – weight training, wrestling, technique, and running. If you don’t work well enough, they deduct a certain amount of points – you don’t know how much for sure. If you miss practices because of an injury, or you get a staph infection for instance, points are deducted. But if you do very well, you can get a “positive” where they add a certain amount of points. On the last day, everyone (of the 300 + high school boys) run a 15 mile run. Then you will get, if passing the minimum requirement of points over the course of the 28 days, get the “I did it” shirt. There is another shirt my brother got which is the blue Navy Seal Challenge shirt. It’s a challenge that requires 11 pull ups, 80 push ups, running, swimming….so on, I don’t remember it all, but it’s very rigorous, and hardly anyone gets it – it’s the highest “honor” you can get at the camp. So anyways, I’m really proud of him, and since he was flying back here, I wanted to make something special…which brought about the whole cake pop idea. I wanted to try something new, and I wanted to expand my skills of baking.

I found a really good red velvet cake recipe that is very moist. I ran out of vegetable oil so had to substitute olive oil, which left a weird taste from the cake. Also, I didn’t put enough red food coloring in the red velvet cake – so it looks more like dirt – and so I compensated the redness by coloring the frosting red (or like a bright pink…I ran out). Normally, the die I use is very concentrated, so it works very well, it just wasn’t my day to bake….

So if any of you are interested here is the red velvet cake recipe:

  • 2.5 cups of all purpose flour
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.5 cups of VEGETABLE oil
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon of vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 oz. red food coloring

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8 inch cake pans (or any other cake pan you want to use). Add eggs to the liquid ingredients in a electric mixer until well blended. Set aside. Place all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir until combined. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix on medium-high for a minute or two until well blended. Pour the cake batter into the cake pans. Bake for 30 (It took my oven 40) minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let the cakes cool completely before frosting.

For a delicious frosting that I love to use for all types of cake – which is not a “cream cheese” frosting normally used for red velvet cakes — is just below. After finding this recipe I never by store-bought regular frosting, because this is so good, but doesn’t come with all the preservatives of that of store bought frosting – just read the labels, and think twice if this is really what you want to be eating.

Yummy frosting:

  • 1/3 cup of butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of milk

(I’m telling you this frosting is THE best)

Cream the butter, salt, and vanilla,beating until light and fluffy. Add the sugar gradually. Add the 3 tablespoons of milk, an beat until smooth.

Making the Cake Pops:

After you make the cake, you will only need half of it compared to the frosting. So, crumble it into a large bowl, and whip in the frosting. Roll them into balls and place them on a cookie sheet. It will make around 30 + pops. Then put them in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Take a popsicle stick and dip the tip into melted candy melts. Place the stick so that it is half way in the pop. Put the cake pops back in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. When close to frozen, you can then dip the pops into melted candy melts (don’t twist, or else they will fall of the stick). Decorate to desired look. I had problems with the thickness of my candy melts, so I still need to figure that out. If it could be really thin, I wouldn’t have had such a hard time and then I would be able to easily decorate them. So, if any of you have any tips on thinning out candy melts, please let me know. But after you complete this, I’m sure you won’t want to make these again – although they are cute, they are very time consuming.

There were some family friends that were leaving post the same day my brother was coming back, so we gave them some cake pops as a little goodbye gift when we met them for dinner at the beach.

Pesach Dinner

Tomorrow Pesach starts. That means no bread, pasta, or anything with a normal flour or yeast. My parents and I are going to their friends house to have a traditional Pesach dinner that we have every year. Everything has a symbol. We eat all this food (some of it is not that good actually – like hard boiled egg and really spicy stuff) with symbolism. We go through and read the meaning and story of Pesach. Then, after a long time of prayer and a very traditional and symbolic preparation, we have dinner (which is really good). I have gone each year, but I asked if I could skip this year. However, tonight I decided that I should go and experience a Pesach Dinner once more.

Right before school ended (actually on the last day), our Arabic/Middle East culture teacher (who teaches only three other students than me) brought it Matza. We ate Matza, which is the traditional food Jews eat during Pesach. This is just a special Pesach flour and water combined together. Usually, you eat this with a cottage cheese or something. So, one kid who just came to Israel asked what is Pesach? So, although none of us four are Jewish, I lived here the longest and therefore, I told a very simple/to the point story of Pesach.

Pesach is basically, in English, Passover. This represents when the angle of death came over the houses. The Jews put sheeps’ blood over their doors for a sign the angle of death passed over their homes. Then, when the angle of death killed the Pharaoh’s oldest son, he became very angry and told Moses to leave with all the Jews. So, they had to flee. The reason why we eat Matza during this holiday, is because the Jews did not have enough time to wait for the bread to rise, therefore, making Matza.

I know this is a very simplified version, but it gets the point across. So, a lot of my friends and I wanted to go to the movies before Pesach dinner tomorrow, but it turns out that all the theaters in Israel are closed because of this holiday. So, we will probably go tomorrow. We might watch Hunger Games or Journey to the Mystery Island (so that more people who already watched the Hunger Games will come). Just a simple holiday that I am pretty use to comes around, but something I would like to share with you all.

Hag Samach (happy holidays)! This is what we say whenever there is a holiday in Israel, such as Passover. This holiday is a gift giving holiday, so we gave my cello teacher (whom I have known for 7 years) a present. Hope you all enjoy!

Old and New Birthday Cakes + Special Cupcake

It took me a while before I finished this cake, but I really wanted this to be my next post. I have two types of birthday cakes. One cake (the heart) was a cake I decorated when my brothers were here to celebrate both me and my brother’s birthday. I am now 14! I’m SO happy. So, this cake was before my birthday.

Then, my friends came over and we did a ton of fun stuff, but my mom and I didn’t get to make a cake for my birthday. She had a really good idea, so we weren’t going to not make cake, even if it was four days later. We used a guitar pan to make a cello cake! (since I play cello). So, I used the vanilla cake Cake Boss recipe. It is a bit sweet, and maybe I would put a bit of lemon zest, but overall it’s really yummy. I haven’t eaten my cake yet, in fact I just took a picture as soon as I was done to post up on this blog. I’m really excited. I hope you all like it. I made it and decorated it all by myself. I tried making white frosting for the strings, but the consistency didn’t come out right. So instead, I cut out fruit roll-ups and used those as waky strings.

I made this cute special cupcake yesterday. I have no idea what it’s suppose to be, but it looks nice (I guess). Basically, I was looking at this new cupcake decorating book my mom got me and tried to do something (where I wouldn’t need special American candies that I can’t get here in Israel). So, I came up with this cool looking cupcake.

Here is the slide show of all these cool views of the cakes/cupcake that I made and decorated:

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Sugar Cookies!

My brother and I (although I did basically everything) made the sugar cookies! They are delicious and are really easy to make and fun to decorate!

Here are two pictures of my favorite decorated cookies:

If you would like to attempt at making these beautiful and delicious cookies here is the recipe:

What you will need:

1. electric mixer

2. bowl

3. whisk

4. rolling pin

5. 2 cups of all-purpose flour (plus extra for rolling the dough)

6. 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

7. 1/4 teaspoon of salt

8. 1/2 cup (one stick) of butter

9. 1 cup of sugar

10. 1 egg

11. 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to Mix together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt) in a medium size bowl with a whisk. In the electric mixer beat the butter and sugar for a few minutes until its creamy. Then, at medium speed, add the egg and vanilla extract until blended. Add the dry flour mixture. Pack the dough until a nice ball. Then, wrap it in plastic wrap and let it sit there for about half an hour to an hour in the fridge (or out if it is less than an hour). Roll the dough out with a rolling pin until nice and even. Take any cookie cutters you would like to use and cut out the cookies. Put them on a cookie sheet and cook for 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool. After, put any decorations you would like.

If you would like me to make more of these recipe type blog entries let me know.

Reese’s Brownies

NOTE: If you really liked this recipe type of post, please let me know, and I will make a separate page for all types of good recipes and treats!

Yum!! Getting ready with great mini desserts for Christmas by baking amazing Reese’s brownies!

Every Christmas there are many different types of cookies or miniature desserts that me and my family makes. One of my favorite are Reese’s brownies. Basically, it is a tiny brownie with a Reese’s cup inside it. It’s addictive! My mom and I made these together this year (well I just pealed off the wrappers).

Here is how it came out (to see the larger picture just click them):

To make these delicious mini-deserts, here is the recipe:

What you will need:

  • Duncan Hines Double Fudge brownie mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup of water
  • 1/3 cup of oil
  • measuring cup
  • whisk
  • bowl
  • cupcake liner
  • mini-muffin pans
  • a bag of mini Reese’s cups

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  In a small bowl mix together the brownie mix, eggs, water, and oil until well blended. Fill the mini-muffin pans with cupcake liner. Then, scoop out (if you want you can use the measuring cup) the batter into the pans. Let it cook for 15 minutes. While the brownies are cooking, peal all the Reese’s cup wrappers. As soon as the brownies are done cooking (while they are still hot) place each pealed Reese’s cup in the middle of each miniature brownie. Then, push down until the Reese’s cup is fully in.

I can assure you, these are easy to make and delicious to eat!