Sunday, November 24, 2013

Mom's Kitchen: Baked Pork Chop Rice

My Mother is amazing and among her many talents, she is also a fantastic cook.  I learned to sew from her and now I'm hoping to expand my skills in the cooking arena.  Perhaps you'd be interested in joining me in this journey as well? :)

Baked Pork Chop Rice

Prep Time: 30 minutes + marinate overnight

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Due to the number of pictures, please see rest of the recipe after the jump.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Japanese Fusion: Sushirritos and More

We were in Chinatown for a haircut and Yelped for nearby restaurants.  Though we were planning on staying in Chinatown for some (duh) Chinese food, I saw a listing for Sushirrito close by in the Financial District.  Intrigued by the name and the concept of a Japanese / Latin flavor scheme, we checked it out.

Geisha's Kiss - Yellowfin Tuna (Hand-Line Caught), Tamago, Piquillo Peppers, Yuzu Tobiko, Lotus Chips, Namasu Cucumber, Butter Lettuce, Avocado, Green Onions Sesame White Soya
The most Yelped about menu item didn't disappoint.  I'm not usually a huge fan of tamago, but thought this married nicely with all of the other components.  The tuna was fresh and the proportion of rice was perfect.

Lava Nachos - Brown Rice Chips topped with Tuna Picante, Melted Pepper Jack Cheese, Avocado, Green Onions, Nori Strips Sriracha Aioli
The spectacular thing about this dish?  Even at the end of the meal, the chips never got soggy.  True to its name, the nachos had a nice kick to it that you could cool down with their avocado.  Very large portion of tuna!

Porkivore - Oven Roasted Pork Belly, Shaved Cabbage, Avocado, Cilantro, Green Onions, Red Radish Mustard Seed Mayo
My husband's pick reminded me of Chinese roasted pork (the crispy skin one - siu yook).  The flavors were good - especially the crunch of the cabbage - but I prefer fish to pork in my "sushi."

All in all, I'm glad we took a detour to give this a try.  I'm always up for novel combinations of food.  A bonus?  This place was very eco-friendly.  Almost every item was recyclable or compostable.

And I know I've talked about Gochi before, but I have better photos this time :)  This is easily one of my favorite restaurants in the Bay Area:
Sake Oyako Meshi Clay Pot Rice - grilled salmon and salmon roe
One of my favorite dishes ever.

Post mixing - you can see those delightful crispy rice bits

Mentaiko Pizza - spicy cod roe, snow crab, mushrooms & bacon
Thanks Emily for the recommendation!  This was SO good!  The crust was perfectly crisp with a good topping ratio and yummy savoriness.  The whole family enjoyed it - even our picky 4-year old  :)

Hope everyone has a great week!  

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sewing: Winter Coat Project Part 1

I've played around with a couple of jackets here and here - both relatively simple in construction - and am now venturing into a more complex type of coat.  For this initial foray, I am experimenting with quilted faux leather and heather gray fleece.  At the moment, this is still a work in progress.  The edges are still raw, I haven't affixed the closures, and I haven't decided on what kind of pockets I want.  I initially thought leather patch pockets, but am wondering if that is too much contrast.  Maybe fleece patch pocket with a leather flap?  Decisions…  If you have any thoughts on the pockets, I'd love to hear!

Winter Coat DIY w/ Faux Leather Accents

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sewing 101: Self-drafted vs. Commercial Patterns

I personally approach patterns 2 ways: 1.) draft my own based on existing garments 2.) use commercial patterns.  Here are my personal views of when to use each if you are newer to sewing.

Drafting based on existing garments
  • Use for simple silhouettes like sleeveless blouse-y tops, shift dresses, OR freehand draft skirts based on rectangles (1, 2, 3)
  • Pros:
    • Nicely mimics the fit of something you are familiar with
    • Free
  • Cons:
    • Not always suitable for more complicated garments
Commercial Patterns
  • Use for complex garments like long-sleeved tops, darted bodices, intricate seaming, non-pajama type pants
  • Pros
    • Are essentially packaged tutorials with clear directions on construction, helpful tips, and patterns in multiple variations.  For example, one pattern will contain sizes 6 through 14.  This is fantastic for people (ahem, me) who have different sized tops than bottoms. 
    • The larger pattern companies like McCall's, Simplicity, and Butterick are often on sale at your local fabric store for ~$1
    • Want to go designer?  Vogue offers big name designs from famous names like Michael Kors, Donna Karan, Rebecca Taylor, and Badgley Mischka.  These are typically more expensive (~$5 on sale), but still a great way to tackle more complicated / innovative designs at home.
  • Cons
    • Despite providing measurements for fit, variations in individual bodies mean these still require adjustments and alterations.  For example, I have a narrower frame than average and need to adjust my patterns this way.
    • Basic garment types are easy to find, but you can't always find an exact match for what you're picturing.  In this case, I piece together several patterns or draft part of my own.
Basic Commercial Pattern (McCall's M5972) for a Bodice
Blue arrows indicate dart placements
Red boxes for details like measurements and where to lengthen or shorten

Examples of patterns from

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Homemade Halloween Pt. 2: Costumes for the Family

Continued from this post, I did wind up finishing character heads for the adults.  To make it faster, I glued the face pieces onto the fleece and then left the edges raw.  If I make costumes again next year, I think I'll glue the embellishments on and sew the foundational pieces.

A family of Yo Gabba Gabba-inspired characters
(Husband's photo is deliberately omitted here since I'm pretty sure he'd kill me for posting it publicly)

Foofa and Muno
Poor E's Foofa hood kept sliding until it slid completely off.  Awfully comical though :)

For all who celebrate, I hope you had a fantastic Halloween!


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