Tuesday, August 26, 2014

How To Make Sushi at Home

James and I love sushi but hate the price tag that goes along with it. We've had some of the best sushi you can find at The Sushi Den in Denver. Ah-mazing! I haven't figured out how to make it as delicious as their's, but I'm trying! I know that sushi is all about what ingredients you use and how fresh your fish is. We live in CO, it's rough to find really fresh fish without is costing you your first born. So we've come to find this "happy place" with our sushi. When I'm craving it I'll get my fix at home. Here's how I make it at home.

Here's what you'll need for a California Roll {The B Family Style}:

2-21/2 Cooked Sushi Rice
1/4 Cup Seasoned Rice Vinegar
1/4 Cup Sugar
Nori Seaweed Wraps (sold in the Asian aisle)
Carrots for extra crunch (cut into thin sticks)
Crab Legs
Cucumber (cut into thin sticks)
Avocado (cut into thin wedges)
Sesame Seeds
Dipping Sauces (Soy sauce with sirachi, wasabi or whatever else you love!)

You can find sushi rice at pretty much any grocery store these days. It's sold in the Asian aisle. I know that you can also use any form of short grain rice, but I like to stick to what I know….sushi rice! When the rice is just about done I'll add the seasoned rice vinegar and sugar and let them set for about 10 min. Usually I didn't think ahead to let the rice cool and I have found a great way to cool it fast is to put it onto a baking sheet and stick it into the fridge for a bit and voila! ready to roll.

Make sure your veggies are cut into sticks, or wedges in the avocado's case.

 You will need one of these handy, dandy rolling mats and a flat, wooden spoon.

Your first step is to lay your wrap down. Here's the thing….you have options here…you can use the wrap alone, or use the rice and nori (see weed), or the rice on the outside and the nori on the inside…choices, choices, choices. I've heard that Americans like it with the rice on the outside and the nori onto, and then the fillings…..whatever floats your boat. Here's two ways we do in our home:

Just rice:
Use your flat wooden spoon to "smash" your rice onto the mat. Keep your edges nice an neat because of the rolling later.
You may have to wet your spoon to from sticking to the rice.

Option two (much easier!) (but the kids don't like it as much): Place the nori onto the mat and cover it with the rice. 

I then add a line of mayo (not clean eating!) onto the rice.

Line the veggies and crab along with the lines of your mat…for rolling purposes.

Now you roll!
Take your mat and roll it over all of your ingredients. Don't worry about smashing them together…you want them to stick together. 

You will then pull back the mat from the rice and start again with the rolling. Then finish it off and you have a sushi roll!

Slice it into pieces you and you have sushi pieces!

What I love about this is that I can use anything I want! I can use shrimp, or scallops, or salmon. I can use anything…and it's always yummy. We've had a Colby Beef Sushi Roll before. I have not tried to use beef….but I just might!

Sauce can make or break it as well….
Use a bit spice with a bit of salty…yum yum yum!

There ya go….hope I just saved you a $50 sushi bill for one night!

Friday, August 22, 2014

9 Reasons To Break Up With Your Smartphone

I don't have a smartphone. I'll give you a moment to gasp. I don't want a smartphone….**gasp**…. and I have no intuitions of getting one any time soon. James and I don't want to join the smartphone revolution. We know that it is inevitable. We know that one day there will not be an option, they will all be smartphones. But as of now, I don't want one….not one bit. I find it so freeing to not be tied to my cell phone. If you need some reasons to break up with your phone here's 9 reasons to say goodbye to "smart" and hello to freedom!

I can actually watch my kids play at the park.
I know so many moms who talk about wanting to be able to stay away from their phones so they can spend more time with their kids. It's not a temptation for me. I don't have an easy out. I don't have a way to make an easy escape away from them. I have the privilege to watch them, snuggle with them without being on my phone. It's such a relief to not be tied to my phone, and to be tied to my kids instead.
I love this website about more intentional parenting (yes, I understand the irony in reading a website about taking time off the internet to be with your kids more).

I save $150 a month. People that's $1800 a year!
James and I are actually still on our parents plan. We pay $10 a month each for our phone lines. We're good with that, they are good with that. That means we pay $240 a year on our phones, that's quite difference then $1800. That amount doesn't even include the price of phones, cases, Apps, and accessories. It's crazy what you can pay for a phone. You could use that money saved to go on a family vacation!

I don't feel the need to check my phone in the car.
Everybody knows the danger there. I have nothing to look at, so I don't feel the need to check it while I'm driving. It's true, that I don't have a GPS on  my old-school phone but I'm lucky enough to have one that I can plug into my car. It works and I get where I need to be without checking my phone.

My kids don't want to play with my phone.
They know my phone is lame, so they don't want to play with it. That means they aren't going to buy some random Apps or drop it in their bowl of cereal. They don't ask me all day if they can hold it, or look at it. I'm good with that!

On date nights we actually look at each other.
It is so sad to me when I see so many couples at a restaurant sitting in silence, heads titled down, fumbling on their phones. Tell me, what can possibly be more interesting than a human being in front of you. I get one chance on this planet to get to know people, more importantly my husband. I don't want to waste one second of our relationship acting more interested in a phone than him.

I don't freak out when I can't find my phone. 
I'll admit that this one drives James crazy. Because I'm not attached to my phone sometimes I can't find it. But it's OK to go without your phone. I'm not suffocating over the fact that I can't find it. I don't get stressed out when I drop it either. It's cheap, and it's cheap to replace it if anything does happen to it. Don't we all need one less thing to worry about? There is an actual named disorder for this; Nomophobia: the fear of losing your phone. People….seriously?!

I don't look at my phone 10,000 times a day. 
Because I don't have a fancy one, I don't even really know what's so cool about them. I'm not an idiot, I know there are hundreds of awesome things you can do with. "There's an app for that." Yes, I know about the Disney Line Time Check app (you can check current times at Disney parks). That's cool. I get it. But why do I need to check my FB account 40 times a day? I don't. I can check it on my computer at home, when I get there. I'm not so important as to need to answer emails all day. Plus, my neck doesn't hurt from being hunched over my phone all day.

I communicate with people by speaking AND looking at them.
I was sitting with a friend on my couch while our kids played in my home. I was beginning to get so frustrated as I was trying to talk to her and she was just constantly looking at her phone saying; "So sorry! I just HAVE to answer this email real quick!" or "Oh, I just HAVE to show you this pin on Pinterest!".  I have nothing on my phone that's more interesting than humans. My text message inbox fills up so fast that I don't even like to text, I'd rather just call them and speak with them

I am not bound by social media.
This is one area that is really beginning to frighten me. Social media is changing the way the world communicates, and it's scary! Cyber bullying is out of control, and there is no way to stop it. People hide behind the internet to say cruel, disgusting, and despicable things. You can comment on anything with no repercussion. You can upload and watch any video that pleases you. Terrorist groups use Twitter and YouTube to recruit mass murderers members. I am beginning to deeply loathe social media. Loathe! Yes, good things can come these outlets, but I believe much more evil is coming from it than good. I love my Facebook account as much as the next person, but I know that day will come when I will have to leave it behind. When that day comes, I will not cry over it. If you want to know about my life you can call me.

I know that there are many, many benefits that come from these phones. I know that you can do so many really cool things with them, helpful, useful things. But is saddens me to think of all the things that may be wasted because of the "cool" things the phones do. If you can't totally ditch the smartphone, maybe you can just set it aside for a while. I promise you will live without it. I do! Lets take back our families, and our future! Kiss it goodbye!