Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dessert Sushi!

<-- Dessert Sushi NOM NOM NOM!!!! These were an insanely huge hit at a work event, and when I say insane I mean batsh*t feeding frenzy INSANE. People LOVED these! Plus, much fun to make. I may just quit and start my own sushi making company. I shouldn't reveal all my trade secrets, but since the new business hasn't exactly taken off (i.e. no one has offered me money in exchange for making these - odd.), but while I wait (and wait and wait ;-)) I figured I could at least contribute goodness to the blogosphere. Behold - step by step process to making dessert sushi!


Step 1: Go buy a lot of sweet stuff My ingredients list included: Rice Crispie Cereal, Marshmallows, Gummy worms, Fruit leather, Dried fruit (spears and slices mostly), and butter - of course.
Cause nothing goes better with sugar than butter.

Step 2: Sushi Rolls - lay out your rolls BEFORE making the rice crispie treats on a piece of parchment paper or a sushi rolling mat, if you are SUPERHARDCORE. I am not. Thus the parchment paper. The RCTreats are quick and easy in the microwave (just follow the instructions on the package), but accent on the quick. These harden up fast and once they do harden, we're talking concrete, so you have to move FAST. Prep first THEN mix, cause unrolling that freakin' fruit leather without tearing it is a real patience tester, you don't need the Jeopardy theme playing in your head on top of it.

Step 3:
Spread the RCTreats on your fruit leather, then lay the centers in - I used one or two flavors of gummy worms and dried papaya spears. Then roll it up like a regular sushi roll. Don't be afraid to squish the ever livin' crap out of it. Those little crispies are hardier than you'd think.

Step 4:

Keep your knife sharp and clean, 'cause these buggers are sticky and the knife will catch if it gets dirty. I had a harder time than I want to admit cutting these flat and the same size (note jaunty angle of the cut). When they are stacked side by side you can really tell. Squishing into more acceptable tolerances is possible, but you can only get an eighth of an inch-ish best case, so try to measure each cut off of the previous one to keep them at least in the same ball park .

Step 5:
Nigiri - mix the CRTreats and wad them into mounds. Smoosh the bottoms on parchment paper so they'll sit flat. By batch 3, I was fast enough to use the RCTreats leftover from the sushi rolls to make Nigiri bases, but first go around I'd recommend saving yourself the stress and doing a totally separate batch.

Step 6:
Measure your strips of fruit leather to wrap twice around each piece. I was using Fruit by the Foot, color by the foot, and it was wicked thin so I doubled up. Other brands might treat you more kindly, so the double-up is optional - your call.

Step 7:
Drape your slice of dried Mango on top of the nigiri RCTreat base then wrap with your 'seaweed' band - and by 'drape' I mean, forcibly make conform to the top of the rice ball. The RCTreats are sticky enough to keep the 'fish' on top especially with the fruit leather strapped around the whole shebang. I did use left over fruit by the foot as an adhesive for my alternative fruit strap made of organic green apple fruit leather (Whole Paycheck, of course).
Pretty but not as effective as the probably chemical laden and I'm sure wholely un-organic Fruit by the Foot.

Step 7:
Admire the glory of your sushi!

So I went totally out of control and got some sushi to go containers. I packaged them in groups with a small pile of shaved dried pineapple and a green gummy candy as wasabi. (I'm thinking next time will be colored marshmallow creme, or icing - depending on which looks better).

So the final result?

Drum roll please....

SWEET! ;-)

Monday, April 27, 2009

First steps!

As a first time mommy, I pretty much got nuttin'. I have zippy info on what to expect from, well, anything in this process. So I find myself regularly surprised (read: baffled) by some developmental milestone/behavioral change/general new weirdness on the part of my child. The latest WTF appeared this weekend after she took what could arguably be called her first steps.
She's been doing this 'step LUNGE' thing for a week or two now, but this was a step up (heh heh). This was 3 full steps IN A ROW! I know in my heart of hearts that these were her TRUE first steps, mainly because I turned the video camera off approximately .03 seconds before she took said steps. Proof in my mind, cause that's just my gift of timing.
So cheers and huzzahs, mostly, with a slight underlying tinge of 'oh crap, we are REALLY going to have to step up the baby proofing and how in the holy hell am I going to be able to get anything productive done ever again while she is conscious?!'. But mostly cheers and huzzahs. She then proceeded the spend the next 45 minutes practicing - teetering precariously between The Hubble and I. As soon as she got to one of us she U-Turned and started back to the other - back and forth back and forth. Squee-ing the whole time in delight.
I knew that she was due for her first step, and that it's a neato milestone and how wonderful it's supposed to be. And it was exciting and sweet and neat and all those things people said it would be. What no one warned me about was the immediate ripple effect this would have on her behavior, and clearly we are only scratching the surface of this one.
Since The Step, Bean has developed a SEVERE case of the Lemmegos. She is infected by wiggleworms and nothing seems to help. Save, of course, putting her down and watching her pull up on everything she can grab and heartstoppingly pitch face-first from object to object. I know that this is the first step (no pun intended) in a long path leading away from me, and I cheer it (theoretically) but its still a mini little heartbreak, this sign of successful parenting, this independence. (Her still having all her limbs is my own personal parenting high water mark - and at the rate she's going if that is still the case at the end of the learning to walk process, then I am a mommy rockstar!).
This first step is a first step for both of us. For her, it's just the beginning of her standing on her own, taking bold adventurous steps into the world she will conquer. For me, it's my first step toward learning to let her go, in spite of the pain I know is coming, the bonked heads, the skinned knees. She's a brave thing to take those tottering steps, those leaps of faith from thing to thing. But I need to be even braver to let her.
You GO baby girl! Mommy loves you...