Makin’ Maki Sushi Round Up!

I am a big sushi lover… I’m talking BIG! I could eat sushi if it weren’t for how my body has a love/hate relationship with carbs. However, today I indulged in sushi and had friends come over to learn how to make maki rolls. For my sushi event, I prepped all the ingredients for our maki rolls. Some ingredients I offered included:

carrots, yellow pickled radish, cucumber, red & green bell pepper, mushrooms…

orange fish roe, egg omelet, broiled eel (unagi), avocado, crab sticks, cream cheese…

sashimi platter of white & red tuna, salmon, mackerel, yellow tail, & whitefish… After we made a couple rolls, we had ourselves a full Japanese meal where I served iced honey green tea, edamame, miso soup and Adzuki (sweet red bean) ice cream for dessert…

To join in the fun, my fellow bloggers have submitted their Japanese/Sushi recipes! As I do with each blogging event I host, a lucky blogger receives a giveaway related to the food theme. This event’s winner is Kristin of Tiny Kitchen Cooking! Kristin will be receiving a bamboo mat and fancy chopsticks for her entry. Congratulations Kristin and thanks to all that participated in the blogging event! Read on to check out the recipes submitted by my fellow bloggers…
Kristin of Tiny Kitchen Cooking
from Massachusetts
California Rolls
Kristin joins us to share her spring rolls and california rolls for her first every blogging event! Kristin recently learned how to make maki sushi from a friend, Masako. Check out Kristin’s blog for the recipes Masako shared!
Lalaine of The CookMobile
from Norwalk, CA
Sculpin Fish in Miso Broth
Lalaine joins us to share a beautiful dish of Sculpin Fish. Not familiar with this kind of fish? Check out Lalaine’s blog for more info and the recipe of this tasty dish!

Friends & Fun

Today was another lazy day where we lounged around soaking up sun on the balcony, watched movies and surfed the web (or work… which I’ll confess I did while on vacation). I spent part of the day with business calls and setting up meetings for the coming days. Besides, I had to save up my energy for our night out!

We headed up to The Villages and Leesburg to meet up with some special girlfriends and their husbands. At The Villages, we had a great Japanese steakhouse dinner at VKI Japanese Steakhouse. It was a lot of fun seeing friends, catching up on things and of course, enjoying the fun show the “grillmaster” put on for us.

The hubby, my sister in law and I all ordered the bento box. Mine included teriyaki chicken over udon noodles, gyoza, shumai, shrimp tempura, rice and fresh fruit:
Here are some more pictures from the dinner:

It was a great night with friends over good food… what more could I want?!

Together with Temaki

Sushi is a favorite of many folks and it’s really not that difficult to make! There are various kinds of sushi but for this class we will be making hand rolls, or temaki-sushi. Tonight I hosted a class/party where we all made temaki-sushi with various cooked & raw sushi grade fish, vegetables and other common fillings.

Check out the slideshow of how to make temaki-sushi, or hand rolls. To watch the slideshow, click on PLAY below and wait for the program to load. You may want to slow the pace of the slideshow to view before hitting the PLAY button to start the show.

Temaki Sushi
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Miso soup w/ tofu & wakame seaweed
Steamed salted edamame
Platters of various sushi grade fish: tuna,
salmon, mackerel, whitefish, red snapper, yellow tail
Platters of fillings: broiled eel (unagi),
crabstick (surimi), cucumber, sliced fried tofu

Veggie platters of veggie fillings:
green & red bell peppers, zucchini, carrots, white button mushrooms, yellow pickled radish
Japanese Green Tea Matcha Green Tea cupcakes

Condiments: wasabi, pickled ginger, lite soy sauce, sriracha, Kewpie Japanese mayonnaise, fish roe (masago)

Sushi Para Me & You

My husband has been suffering from a really bad gout attack. As a result, we have to modify his diet. One thing that he’s able to eat and something we both enjoy is sushi! For lunch today, we hit up a fun and extremely affordable sushi place near his doctor’s office. Sushi Para Too offers an all you can eat sushi lunch special. We definitely took advantage of it! Here’s a pic of some of the sushi we ordered:

unagi (eel), ebi (shrimp), salmon, tuna &
“american dream roll” w/tempura shrimp, eel, avocado, cucumber

Pizza, Chocolate & Sushi

Our second day of the What’s Cooking National Get Together Weekend was definitely fun! The cooking forum gals attended with some members of my cooking group. Together, we feasted on Chicago’s deep dish pizza at Pizzeria Due, the sister restuarant of the orginial Pizzeria Uno.

(L-R) Justin (cooking club member) Cheryl (Septbride),
Deniz (cooking club member), Linda (Lindad),
Elly (MrsWindyCity),
Julie (LadyChicago),
Lee (MrsNukem), Shanna (LadyMcBth)

Our lunch was a belly buster with their house salad and red wine vinaigrette dressing, garlic bread and cheese bread, 5 kinds of deep dish pizza (cheese, sausage, pepperoni, veggie and deluxe). Here are pics taken during lunch with our combined group of What’s Cooking gals and my Chicago Cooks & Bakers members – a total of 20 of us attended!

To make lunch even more special, we had a special birthday surprise for Stephanie (Beebe929), who came for the weekend from Detroit with her husband Dale. Here are pics of her birthday deep dish chocolate chip cookie sundae!
After lunch, we rolled out of the restaurant and took to the streets to walk off all the food we ate. We headed up the Magnificient Mile, Michigan Ave to start the Chocolate Tour I hosted. We hit up 8 various chocolatiers in the 800/900 block of North Michigan Ave including:

Hershey’s Ghirardelli Lindt
I ate them before I could take a pic so here are the wrappers – lol!
(Lindt chocolates are my FAVORITE!)


Frango Ethel’s Chocolate Lounge Pics
Elly & Linda resting in the Lounge:Shanna’s candid shot:Julie checking out Lee’s fun purchase:
Teuscher’s Sarah’s Pastries & Candies

We all definitely had our fill of chocolate. While on tour we even got the chance to meet up with another cooking forum member, Erin (ErinE683)…. not to mention a quick trip to Williams Sonoma nearby! Here are pics we took at WS:

(L-R) Joelen (me), Elly (MWC), Julie (LadyChicago), Lee (Mrs.Nukem)

(L-R) Shanna, Joelen, Elly, Julie, Lee

After the tour, we were EXHAUSTED. All of us went our separate ways after the tour. Later on in the night a few of us decided on a light sushi dinner at Tsuki, since our lunch was pretty heavy. There were 4 of us that got together for dinner including Lee, Shanna, my husband Louis and myself. We spent a couple of hours talking aboute everything under the sun, noshing on fabulous sushi and drinking hot green tea on the restuarant’s outside patio. It was a beautiful night in Chicago! The only thing we didn’t get a chance to do was take pictures of the gorgeous dinner we had. We were so chatty and hungry to pull out the camera!

With our happy bellies full of sushi, we headed home and called it a very wonderful night and day with the group!