WE’VE MOVED!

DEAR FELLOW WORDPRESSIANS AND READERSHIP!

I am pleased to announced that my new project Tumbleweed Words is officially up, running, and excited to start! However, I cannot start without YOU!

I’ll be cataloging my foodie life story, my travels, and everything there. Don’t worry though~ I have imported all of my old posts into the new theme/wordpress account. Your favorite stories are safe with me. (: Now, however, I need more of them to use and share.

I am also now available on Tumblr as well. Please check me out everywhere and best of luck to all of you and your respective endeavors! I hope to find you all available with this new domain name and the like. Because I love hearing from you, I love reading about you, and I most certainly would love writing your stories on Tumbleweed Words.

If you have any feedback whatsoever on my website, please do not hesitate to contact me via this contact form or the next! Until our paths will cross again~

Walking in the Rain: Wicklow & The Star Treatment

I am so full, but I’m hiking so I allow myself eggs and black pudding and muesli before heading out into the rainy wilderness of Wicklow Co. Ireland. My mother would love this hotel. For breakfast, there a thousands of tea, coffee, and fruit options. Even grapefruit.

Most importantly, they bring you a table side coffee pot & they have nuts as well as hard boiled eggs. Mum wouldn’t even have to get the hot breakfast. Saving money. Just like her.

My Dublin

My Dublin. That’s a bit narcissistic, don’t you think? Assuming I can even call Dublin “mine” when I have been here barely three weeks. Wow. Has it been that long already? I feel as if I had just flown in yesterday. My eyes are sore. My muscles ache. The constant movement from class to residence to bus to city to restaurant keeps my stomach craving such a high volume of food that I’m not quite sure if its due to this increase in movement or an increase in stress. It is so hard to focus. It would have been nice to think that I would have been a little better settled, or relaxed. Then, I think back to my life in States.

My America is an endless tug-of-war between duty and dedications. I coordinate a convention. I attend university. I contribute to a college life blog. I helped with beta testings and beta fish. In my free time, I study Japanese and write. Which I do for my work. So, writing is more or less this grey area for me. Something I’m both dedicated to and have a duty towards. The more I type–or write about it–the more I recognize: My Dublin isn’t very different from me at all.

My Dublin still eats when it doesn’t need to, puts off work for the solace of a pillow, gets up too early to do work because of the pillow, runs around like a maniac taking pictures of everything when its not doing work, and still doesn’t like to eat scones.  It doesn’t get home sick, but doesn’t forget about its family either. It eats healthy; it drinks Americano; and it speaks with a worldly accent that resembles Australian.

My Dublin likes thinking I’m Australian. And I like it liking it.

rescue old posts: Omelette of Mediterasian

It’s not entirely Mediterasian, but that wouldn’t be quite accurate to say that it wasn’t. Even less accurate would have been to deem it just another “Pepper Omelette.” Because it’s not. It is really quite more than that. It’s delicious. It’s spicy. It’s healthy.
And it’s. . .

made in the microwave.

Smiling amused.

the fantastic pepper omelette

The farm-fresh eggs made this omelette even more special. The yolks were huge and nutrient dense inside the shells. This omelette maker can only handle four eggs. Overflowing with eggs, at about 3/4 done, we overlaid the jalepeñosweet, and green peppers over the egg mixture.

We ended up doctoring many of the vegetables inside the omelette. My Japanese Chef wanted to suture them into the egg. I gave up and just poured them on top. Underneath, we stuffed spinach leaves from the local farmer’s market and added some mushrooms–because why not? Despite this fault, it tasted deliciously nutritious regardless.

a closer shot of true egg deliciousness

With some crumbled tomato-basil feta cheese (raw, of course), this omelette popped! in our mouths. Crunchy peppers and just slightly roasted spinach leaves complimented the slight spices of cayenne and crushed red pepper. This is definitely one omelette to remember and repeat. Only next time–>

We’re making it with our new spicy pepper–the habenero. But more of our love of it to come soon. The Mediterasian Omelette con Peppers is a fantastic go-to Healthy meal. Even though it is made in the microwave, the prep work can take quite a while (especially if you don’t have pre-sliced mushrooms, which–thankfully–we did.) At the start of term, I bought a plastic microwave omelette maker. It looks akin to the microwave egg poacher. Rarely has it been used as intended. Instead, I’ve been making meager fried egg wraps. One egg in this omelette container turns into a thin tortilla-esque shape. Not quite perfect for wrapping overlaid vegetables, but not quite a fried egg either. Though, that might be tried next. . .

rescue old posts: Medterasian Italiagiri and Multipepper Pork

Italiagiri

This past Saturday was my first–and most likely only–doing nothing day. Knowing me, it was by-far the most productive day I may have had this semester. My chef de Japan was gone for the weekend, and I wanted to surprise her. But not just with another Mediterasian recipe. I wanted to surprise her with a twist on her already experimented with and established staple of her cuisine: rice. Ambitious. Rice has been a staple for centuries most of the world, found in just about every form. Yet, my brain was stuck. I needed to impress her.

But by what method?

Obviously, I was going to use a rice cooker. But fried rice? No, already done. Onigiri, no alread–wait. The pantry door opened in my head. What if I combined typical Italian seasonings into an onigiri? Too simple. That would just be rice–cling-wrapped to form a triangle–that would taste like Italian rice pilaf. No, I needed something with a little more kick. But I was on to something. . . . . Instead of just Italian spices, I could add in a Japanese seasoning instead, Furikake.

It comes in a variety of flavors: salmon, wasabi, spicy, et al. However, traditional onigiri may be plain and served with sushinori (the seaweed that wraps sushi) for the flavor. So I could make Salmon Teriyaki Nori Wraps. That hadn’t been done before. Yet, I pushed the idea to the side. It wasn’t unique enough. Maybe I’d just surprise her with my onigiri making skills? Stick with our typical Spicy Onigiri? That wouldn’t work! The whole purpose of my cooking adventure was to have an adventure! 

My mind kept going back to onigiri. I would say they are a typical bento box favorite. Simple to make and easy to grab from the fridge as a lunch. So how could I make it even better? Opening the fridge, I examined our sauces. Sesame Seed, no….Our Pork Sauce…no…wait, why not? I picked up a bottle.The black liquid capped with red was easily distinguishable. Every Japanese–no, every Asian restaurant--carries this. It was perfect. And heck, if I make enough rice, why not just make all three?

In the end, it went perfectly with the Italian seasonings. Who would have guessed?! By experimenting with a rice cooker and my favorite Japanese and Italian seasonings/sauces together, I created a savory, salty, and spicy alternative to the traditional onigirithat makes a great addition to any office lunch box.

Italiagiri with Salmon Teriyaki Nori Wraps and Spicy Onigiri

Italiagiri with Salmon Teriyaki Nori Wraps and Spicy Onigiri

Italiagiri!

My favorite way to eat this dish is unwrapped and warmed in a microwave. Warmed the basil, red pepper sparks from the otherwise mild tang of the soy sauce. Refrigerated is just as good to get the initial flavor, but it won’t give you the same satisfying effect. Also, when it’s not sushi, I’m still not the biggest fan of cold rice.

To be honest, the best way to cook rice is in a rice cooker. It provides the adequate amount of sticky and heat to form the onigiri and allow the seasonings to meld with the rice itself. However, if you do not have a rice cooker, pot-made rice should just as well. And making it in the pot gives you the freedom to just make rice–plain and simple. Therefore, this could also be called Rice de Mediterasia; however, Italiagiri is so much cuter.

 

Multipepper Pork

Yuuki and I are obsessed with peppers in all forms. Sweet peppers, green peppers, hot peppers~ Mmm. We also both love a good kick* in our food, so when we wanted a somewhat milder dish, it was hard to not add an extra vigorous shakes of the cayenne pepper–which we ended up doing. That being said, this Lime Basil Pork is exactly as it sounds:

Lime Basil Pork (1)

Strips of pork were cooked in a Wok with a slight dash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil to simmer them. As the Wok cooked the pork, the excess fat replaced the olive oil. Dashes of salt and pepper seasoned the meat before the basil was added. Basil is a tricky spice. When you think you have too much basil, you are just about at having enough. Lime juice must be periodically added to adequately seep into the meat. I might try marinating the meat in a lime, oil, basil mixture before being put in the Wok next time. But what can I say? We were very, very hungry.

Our farmer’s market has wonderful fresh produce at wonderful prices! Our current love of the farmer’s market–besides the pancakes at Griddle Me This (http://www.facebook.com/Griddle.Me.This)–are Green Peppers. I can now taste the difference between Fresh Green Peppers and store-bought green peppers. The crispness of the green pepper is perfect with the stark lime/basil combination simmered into the pork.

LIme Basil Pork (2)

Adding the peppers last, some more pepper and salt might need to be added. We also added some parsley for a bit of a bite and, as a I mentioned before, we couldn’t keep our hands off the cayenne. The only change I think I’ll make is the lack of “asian” in our Mediterasian. I will probably add in a sort tilt of soy sauce OR even better, I’ll add some sort of sesame seedin a sauce or by themselves to really give it that asian like texture as a dish.

This Post’s Rant:
The ratio of one cuisine to the other is a hot topic in fusion cuisine culture. For me, whether or not the ratio is a perfecto 50/50 or reaches to a high 80/20, it isn’t as important as the finished product. Mediterasian’s first post reflects this concept. The Multipepper Lime Basil Pork is roughly 75/25–75 percent Italia influences and 25 Nihon.


finally some Irish rain and oh look! a new column on Niche Magazine

the rain in Ireland has surprisingly been kept to the nights, though I am grateful for its lulling to deep sleep, blocking of artificial light (and morning sun light), and reluctance to entre my open window because of pulled blinds. i’ve assimilated well with a 1/2 australian, 1/2 cambridgeshire accent. i write with a British english tone anyway, so I’m glad I can finally read my work in it.

it makes me happy.

in other news, please check my newest column at Niche Magazine titled “Japan in a Box.” There is nothing like eating Japanese food in San Francisco then knowing you’re going to share that experience with others via the internet.

also, if you haven’t checked out my newest blog TumbleweedWords, please do so! As a travel writer and a tumbleweed, my words try to incorporate as much as they can of my experiences and reflections from across the highway or across the pond.

constantly trying to find the time to have it freely, enjoy everything for now!

Transit onward to UCD

You have to get into the EU line only to get out as quick as you can.

This man’s remark sums up the Irish politics quite well for a foreigner. With the austerity signs, radio ads, and the vote no/vote yes posters, I’m seeing more politics than America already. Or maybe I’m just desensitized.

Regardless, Ireland has been one of the most wonderful places to explore. I’ve climbed mountains in flats, trekked the hills of Tara in sandals, and skipped Giant’s Causeway in boots. I’ve made fast friends. My new travel blog TumbleweedWords has already been given to strangers across the pond. My article has been edited for Niche. This blog is getting revitalized as more an update ground and musings on my life as it should be.

And all my photos from San Francisco have been uploaded. Yes. I think this 3-day interim had been good to me. Now to start writing. And studying. All over again. . .