You know how people say not to pluck your gray hair? Sure, being natural is beautiful. Sure, having gray does give you that certain aura of wisdom. Yada yada and all that jazz. But let’s face it, the gray hair is usually that one lone eye-sore. Sometimes it even has a different texture that is just annoyingly daring you to pluck it out.
But whatever you do, DO. NOT. PLUCK. IT. OUT.
Yes, the initial satisfaction of getting rid off that eye-sore is quite fulfilling. Yes, your head will look like it’s returned to normal. But only TEMPORARILY! Because guess what? Once that gray hair grows back, you don’t just have that gray eye-sore, you now have a SHORT. SPIKY gray eye-sore. And if you pluck out a bunch of it? Well, the cactus I saw today at Trader Joe’s kinda, sorta reminded me of the head of someone I knew my whole life.
You are welcome.
P.S. Yes, instead of growing out my bangs, I am now growing out my grays.
When I stopped by the farmer’s market this weekend, the fishmonger had beautiful cuts of ahi (yellow fin) tuna. Normally, I would either make sushi with it, or sear it lightly and top it with a dash of ponzu. But tonight, I was in the mood for something a little more flavorful. Maybe it’s because Spring is finally here! I wanted something bright and refreshing. After a quick brainstorming and cross-referencing (especially this one), here is my version of Poké Bowl:
EATS: Poké Bowl
Makes about 4 bowls
- 2lb sashimi-grade fish: ahi tuna, salmon, cut into cubes
- 1 shallots, thinly sliced
- 3 scallions, both green and white parts, thinly sliced
- 2-3 jalapeno, thinly sliced
- 2Tsp mirin rice wine
- 4 Tsp sesames seed oil
- 6Tsp low sodium soy sauce
- Juice of a lime
For the rest of the bowl (really, just add anything you want to include in your bowl):
- 1 English cucumber, sliced to the same size as the fish
- 1 avocado, sliced to the same size as the cucumber
- seaweed salad, from Japanese food market
- dry seaweed, for garnish, Momofuku Noodle Bar style (see picture below)
- Sushi rice, the same as this post
- Make the sushi rice
- While the rice is cooking, mix the sauce including mirin rice wine, sesame seed oil, and low sodium soy sauce in a 1:2:3 ratio.
- Add the sliced shallots, scallion and – if you like spicy -jalapeno, and mix all ingredients well
- Add the cubed fish, then the lime juice, mix well, and let chill in the refrigerator
- In the meantime, cut up the rest: avocado, cucumber, carrots. Or toast some sesami seeds. It’s really whatever you want!
- Divide the rice into bowls , and in my case, I set the spread out on the dining table to let everyone put their own bowl together (see picture above). Therefore at this point, dinner is ready!
- Here is my bowl, with a side of miso soup:
I love my mussels, sea bass, and Japanese sea bass. But clams are my unsung heroes of seafood. When I go to Italian restaurants, I always get their spaghetti alle vongole. Clams are easier to handle than oysters or mussels. Once cooked, the briny juice recalls the ocean sea breeze. Spaghetti with clam is fast, tasty and doesn’t require too much advanced planning beside putting the live clams in a bowl of water to let the sand come out the night(s) before. The prep time takes less than 10 minutes, and cooking time takes less than 15 minutes. Perfect for a weeknight dinner. The only thing is that MK and I have been on a healthy eating kick, so we reserve alcohol consumption to weekends only. Here is my spaghetti with clam sauce with an Asian twist, no opening of a bottle of dry white required:
EATS: Spaghetti with Clam
Makes 2 servings
- 1.5lb clam, cleaned and scrubbed and desanded
- a packet of dry spaghetti
- 1/2 cup Mirin rice cooking wine
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 7-8 cloves of thinly sliced garlic
- a bunch of Italian flat parsley, roughly chopped
- a pad of unsalted butter
- 2 Tsp olive oil
- salt and red chili to taste
- Cook spaghetti in a salted boiling big pot of water until it’s ALMOST cooked through
- In a medium heated pan, pour in olive oil, then butter
- Sauté shallots first, then add in garlic until shallots are translucent and the kitchen smells fragrant, about 1.5-2 minutes.
- Add the mirin rice cooking wine and let it become bubbly, about 30 seconds
- Add the clams, taking care to shake off water and any remaining sand
- Cover the pan and let the clam cook, for about 2min
- By now, the spaghetti should be done around the same time
- Open the cover of the pan, and discard any unopened clam. They were probably diseased and you don’t want to eat them.
- Add the spaghetti straight into the pan and mix
- Add the parsley for taste and garnish
- With the briny juice from the clam and the aromatics, I didn’t even need to add salt.
- Add freshly ground black pepper and red chilli flakes, optional. I did!
- Voila! Enjoy!
Conversation overheard this morning coming from Plum’s room:
MK: Wake up honey! WAKE UP!
MK: Rise and shine!
Plum: What day is today? Is today Saturday or Sunday?
I couldn’t hear MK’s response, because I burst out laughing so hard. Oh yeah, I totally get you Plum.
On the walk to school this morning, as Plum pulled along her heavy roller bag with her right hand, and holding a book that she wanted to read during recess with her left hand, I reached out to hold her hand, not fully registering that both of her hands were in fact, quite full. My hand was immediately caught by Plum’s little warm hand and held firmly, at the precise moment when I realized that both of her hands were fully occupied. Puzzled, I looked back to figure out how on earth she was able to do that.
This was what I saw: her right hand was pulling her ginormous roller bag AND clutching her thick hard copy book. Her little left hand was firmly holding my hand as she happily discussed a book she was reading this morning. Oh my heart.
Sweetness. Love. Eternity.
As a busy lady, I am on a constant look out for easy weeknight options. Anything that takes less than 30 minutes to make is a must-try in my book. From my previous posts, I have come up with a few recipes in my repertoire; simples dishes such as weeknight lemon ginger sea bass to my hassle-free easy dessert have been in our regular dining rotation since their publication. Dishes such as DIY sushi reduce the time from kitchen to dining table during a weeknight family dinner by half because you are outsourcing the meal-making steps to the diners! It just so happened that my mother taught a sushi-making class in New York in the late 80s, so I grew up having homemade sushi when legitimate Asian restaurants were rare commodities. The trick to homemade sushi is to get the sushi rice properly seasoned. Here is how:
EATS: DIY Sushi
Makes about 4 rolls
For the rice:
- 3 cups of Japanese short grain sushi rice, washed and drained
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1 Tbs sugar
- 1 tsp salt
For the sushi making
- bamboo sushi mat
- Sushi-grade fish
- or really, anything you want to include in your sushi
- Cook the rice however you usually cook it. I use a rice cooker.
- While the rice is cooking, mix the vinegar, sugar, salt in a sauce pan and boil in low heat until dissolved. Set aside to cool.
- When the rice is cooked, fold in the cooled rice vinegar mixture without breaking the rice. I spoon in the cooled vinegar sauce 1 tablespoon at a time and let Plum decide.
- Set the rice aside to cool. This will also give the rice a chance to absorb the vinegar.
- Line the bamboo mat by wrapping saran wrap around it as pictured below. This way you don’t have to wash sticky, dried rice off the bamboo while in a food-induced coma. When you are done with dinner, just unwrap the mat and give it a quick rinse. Cleaned!
- Line the seaweed down on the mat
- Scoop rice onto the seaweed
- Now this step is important: dip your hands in cold water to keep your fingers wet, then gently pat the rice down to cover the entire surface of seaweed. Rice don’t get stuck on wet fingers!
- Line up whatever you want on one end of the sushi rice. Here I have ahi tuna, Persian cucumber, Romaine lettuce, jalapeno.
- Roll, cut, enjoy and repeat!
My heart was heavy throughout the day; saddened by what happened in Las Vegas. Three things that helped this evening.
1. Take my dog for a walk. The innocent and carefree nature of dogs when you take them out to the park. Immerse in their enthusiasm. It’s kind of infectious.
2. Enjoy dinner with my family. After I walked my dog, I prepped and made dinner. On the menu tonight: garlic bread, halibut with ginger, heirloom tomato salad and fresh strawberries. As a house rule, there are no electronics on the dining table. We break it from time to time to share a funny you tube clip or to answer a text from family. The point is, Be. Present. Just stop with all the electronics. Focus on your loved ones that are sitting right in front of you. This precious time is limited. When your kids are no longer living with you, this is the time that you will crave. Talk with each other. Make each other laugh. It just so happened that Plum needed to come up with a magic show that she will be performing tomorrow in school. She practiced on us and she was really good!
3. Do yoga with intention. After Plum’s bedtime routine, MK and I decided that tonight’s workout was yoga. I have to admit, I do yoga on days when I feel tired; when I am too tired to do a hard-core, all out cardio. But not tonight. Tonight our mental health needed to work out. I needed to quiet and reorganize my mind. Do yoga with intention, grace and clarity. Yeah I know, the way yoga is meant to be practiced.
There is much to do for social justice. I was comforted by the lines of people in Vegas to donate blood. There will be phone calls to our congress to be made. Donations to be made. But please do take care of your heart, too.
What about you? Did you do anything special today that helped?