February 20, 2017

Dashi Recipe

Dashi is a type cooking stock that is used in virtually every Japanese soup. Authentic dashi is not that hard to make but it is a bit time consuming compared to instant dashi, etc. It is however, much more rewarding to make and tastes much better in my opinion. This recipe is based off of my grandma’s recipe. I don’t remember how much kombu to use so I just sort of “estimated” that part.

Ingredients: Around 8 cups of water, 2 4″x4″ pieces of kombu (dried kelp), 2 hand fulls of katsuobushi (bonito flakes).
Tools: 2 medium soup pots (one to put on the stove and one to strain the dashi into), fine mesh strainer.

  1. Soak the kombu for at least a half hour (I’ve heard that overnight is better).
  2. Slowly bring the dashi to a boil over medium heat. You may have to skim the white crap off of the surface of the water.
  3. Just as the dashi starts to boil, turn off the heat and immediately remove the kombu.
  4. Let the dashi cool off for about 10 to 15 minutes or so.
  5. Add the katsuobushi and bring the water to a boil again.
  6. Once the dashi is boiling, turn off the heat. Let it sit for a minute or two.
  7. Strain through a fine sieve

To make miso soup for example: Make the dashi first, then add the miso paste + tofu and stuff in afterward.

February 18, 2017

Vlog: NorCal

Not so much of a vlog as it is a collection of videos from my phone, mashed together, and then uploaded from an app (which did a shitty encoding job). Shortly after Christmas, my husband and I went on a short vacation up the coast of California to visit family. Fun trip, would love to drive up Highway 1 but maybe during a less busy time period.

December 3, 2016

Teriyaki Salmon With Soba Noodle Salad

I saw a recipe for this dish on YouTube the other day and decided to make it. Super easy marinade comprised of things that we for the most part had around the house; It wasn’t all that different than the homebrew teriyaki sauce that I make for other things. Very easy, quick, and tasty recipe. Here is a link to the video with the recipe. Also: So much for blogging regularly. Whoops.

October 18, 2016

Draw a Thing 10/18/16: Harvey the Cat + Color Chart

Sketched, inked, and then watercolored a picture of our cat Harvey. I messed up a bit while drawing his mouth unfortunately, so he has more of a cartoon cat expression than a normal cat expression :/. Color chart painted for reference for the sake of knowing what each color looks like on paper. I was also pleased to see that the watercolor pigment doesn’t bleed through to the next page. The water itself does though.

October 17, 2016

Draw a Thing 10/17/16: City Street

Bought some cheap watercolors off of Amazon and tried something new. I don’t think I have watercolored since oh, elementary school so crappy painting is crappy but was super fun to do! I figured that: If I made the drawing itself awesomely detailed enough, it would look half decent even if I did an ass job at painting it in. The problem was that interest in this one started petering out about the time Netflix happened. Also the cat, and the husband, and leftover cake, and getting work stuff ready for tomorrow, etc etc. :/

Also, painting with the weird plastic squeezy brush thing as it turns out, is harder than it looks. Maybe I’ll use a page or two of printer paper to practice brush strokes or something so they look less chunky and more smooth-like. Goal: Practice watercoloring and markering more, git gud, buy nicer markers and watercolor supplies, git guder, repeat.

Worth noting that sketchbook paper doesn’t make the best watercolor paper but good enough for my purposes. It actually doesn’t bleed through all that much unless I use a LOT of water; Certainty way less bleeding than the markers.

October 12, 2016

Baby Toes: Part II

Yay my plant is flowering. Unfortunately, the only time that I can see it bloom is on the weekends when we are actually home during the day. Now that the days are getting shorter, it is just dark enough for the flower to be both closed when I leave for work and closed when I get home from work. :/

October 12, 2016

Draw a Thing 10/12/2016: Dwarf #Inktober

No things drawn last week or the week before (save for the Rooster drawing) by virtue of Dwarf Fortress obsession. Super quick pencil drawing then inking of a dwarf; Just a random dwarf, no dwarf in particular. That said, some rather interesting events have transpired in my current fortress. I may illustrate them if I feel so inclined.

Bonus picture of the fortress vomit crisis:

October 2, 2016

Fenestraria Aurantiaca (Baby Toes)

I have been looking for this plant on-and-off for a while and had finally found one back in March at one of the San Diego Succulent Society’s sales in Balboa Park. Lowe’s or Home Depot usually has them but they are usually picked over, overwatered, and seem to have a fairly high chance of dying off..

I don’t 100% know how to effectively care for these succulents, but I do know that they are very sensitive to overwatering. I potted them in a mix of cactus/succulent soil and placed them in the full sun. The general idea is to make sure that the soil drains as fast as possible to reduce any possibility of moisture being retained. The rule of thumb that I use is to wait until the soil has been completely dry for a few days before watering and even then to only water very very lightly. It’s fairly warm here in the summer so I end up giving them a splash of water about once a week. I will probably reduce watering when it starts getting colder.

They have gotten a bit bigger and are in the process of budding (and not splitting or keeling over) so I will take that as a good sign.

September 25, 2016

Draw a Thing 9/25/16: Rooster

I like roosters :3 Forgot to erase the pencil lines before coloring with markers. Drawing, inking, and coloring took about 20 to 30 minutes.

Unfortunately, there is quite a bit of marker bleed through even with the 180g paper. It’s not really that big of a deal so long as I keep a blotter on folded in the notebook. It does though render the back of the page mostly unusable, but whatever.

September 22, 2016

Cinderella Castle (Musings on Disney World)

I finally got around to pulling the pictures off of my camera and into Lightroom. I should in theory post at least some of them on Facebook or Flickr or something as requested instead of forgetting and then hoarding them on my harddrive per usual. It is way more convenient and way less cumbersome to just snap photos on my phone and then post them while waiting in line, but it is also far less satisfying than using an actual camera.

One thing is certain: Whenever it is that we get around to visiting Disney World again in future, it will not be in the middle of August. When we had visited Orlando in May 4 years ago, it was warm but not overly so. Nevertheless, we had a great time. I highly recommend taking the Keys to the Kingdom Tour in the Magic Kingdom if anyone has a chance.

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