an i am alive post

I thought I would share the sun rising from my walk this morning.  There  is an actual "cold" front coming through Houston currently.  The crazy thing is that normally does not happen this time of year.  I am hurting more then I expected.  The humidity is high as well.  That combination is what gets me.  I am just slowly going forward.  Much like a tortoise.  I admit to just wishing to be some place more comfortable then in front of the computer today.

I hope you are having a lovely day where ever you are.


sushi rice

I am doing it again.  I am writing a recipe down here that is easily searchable but I am going to build on later.  Rice has become a platform for many of the lunches and easy dinners around here.  I love sushi but making sushi is a pain.  Making a poke bowl with sushi flavors is easy.  I can also use canned fish in a poke bowl which makes life so much easier!  

But there are foundation blocks for poke bowls.  Rice is one of those possibilities.  I really do not like plain rice in them so either the Indian rice I make is used as a foundation or sushi rice.

So, here is my recipe.  Then I can point to it when I am asked.  Because I will be!

sushi rice

Note:  This is my favorite proportions for the rice.  Reading recipes, it is all over the place.  Use similar proportions but what tastes right to you.

2 cups Carolina Gold rice cooked in 2 1/2 cups water

4 1/2 tablespoons rice or beer vinegar (I will get there for the beer vinegar recipe as well)

4 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons salt

Cook the rice in the water.  When it is done, let it cool.  Make sure it is not in an aluminum pan.  A non-reactive pan is best.  The rice pictured actually started with four cups of uncooked rice.

Mix the vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small bowl.  It needs to be mixed very well, as dissolved as possible.

Pour the vinegar mixture over the rice and mix it in with a wood spoon.  This is not a fast process.  Mix it very thoroughly.  It now can go in the refrigerator and be used for poke bowls or sushi.  



sweater for a bear

I do believe I may be one of the few women who has boyos who go into a yarn store and feel like they need to sit in the chairs.  Not because that is unusual but because they want to touch all the yarns, all the soft, and all the colors!  Yes, even Koda Bear.

Koda Bear told me his favorite color is yellow currently.  He went and touched every yellow in the yarn store.  But he also touched greens.  I asked if he would like me to make him a sweater.  He said yes.  I told him to pick the yellow he wanted.  That is the color above.

I have started the sweater.  I am hoping to get it finished before he goes north but I do not think it will happen.  I work on it every day but I forget how much I do.  I am not going to get to everything I wish to finish today before I leave the house to coach.  Too much and a curve in the path today.  There will always be too much and curves though.  That is life!

There is more of this sweater done then is pictured here.  I am making it in such a way that I will be able to take it apart when he grows and maybe add that green he so liked.  Grandma Bear's can plot!



I picked up an Icelandic cookbook from the library, North.  Huge mistake because now I wish to go see it even more then I did before!  Iceland, Greenland, Finland, Norway, New Zealand, Chile.  These are all places that I would wish to see some day.  I will slowly get there.

I did have a couple things that I wished to try from this cookbook.  One of those was skyr.  It is in the yogurt section of my grocery store but is not considered a yogurt.  It is considered a cheese.  I use it instead of mayonnaise for any sandwich or dressing I may be making for when food is taken out of the house.  I do not have to worry about refrigeration.  Or if I wish to make a poke bowl to go out.  Again, I do not have to worry.

I liked that you could use non-fat milk to make it and it did not seem as fussy as yogurt.  I did not have to make sure I saved some yogurt from the last batch I made to make it.  Or wait for the milk to cool down and hope I did not kill the starter.  This recipe was like if you have it, use it.  If you do not, do not.

The one thing I would recommend is a good thermometer.  I had to go buy a new one since my last one was broken for me.  Also, good standing shoes.  Stirring goes on.

I like the flavor of the skyr.  It is a cheese.  The process works in my head.  It is just about patience which much of my life revolves around.  I have five forever shawls in the works currently.  Bread started.  Dye going.  It should just say what happens.

Just be patient.


Note:  I used the recipe from North.  I am fairly certain this does not stray too much from the traditional.  I did not have a non-stick pan like they suggested so I closely watched temperature and stirred constantly.

1 gallon non-fat milk

Pour the gallon of milk into a pan that it will fit in.  Put in a thermometer.  Turn the heat on med-low to medium.  Bring the milk up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit and let it remain there for ten minutes.  Stir the whole time.  You do not wish the milk to burn to the bottom of the pan.

Take the milk off the heat.  Let cool to 104 degrees Fahrenheit.  Put the milk in a place  to keep it warm for the next 16 to 24 hours.  Not much warmer then 104 degrees and it can cool over time.

After the milk has sat for 16 to 24 hours, put a piece of muslin in a colander that is sitting in a bowl.  Pour the milk into the muslin.  Knot the muslin so it can be hung and whey can be strained off.  I use the whey in bread so I save every bit I can.

Strain until it is as thick as you wish.  I could have strained it more but the request was for a yogurt consistency.  Put into jars and put in the refrigerator.

I find it lovely.  You can save some to add to the next batch.  You add it when you have cooled the milk down to sit.  But you do not have to.  

Cheese.  Yogurt.  Who cares.  This process works better in my head.



Food has been interesting.  Winter and spring it was all about meat and tacos.  How many tacos can be eaten?  If the meat has been made, how much can used on salads?  Until it got hot, this was what was happening.  Now it is poke bowls.  My expectation is that tacos will be requested again as soon as the the heat subsides a little bit.  

I am also going to share how I make poke bowls but that is another group of recipes that gets combined.  Yes, more making the things to make the things!

Barbacoa.  It is a favorite going out.  Many places though only make it for weekends because it has a long marinating time.  Which was one of the main reasons I wanted to be able to make it at home.  Then, I can have it any time I have the pennies for beef.  I say that because I have seen a rise in grocery prices.  I save every receipt and track it.  It is a great motivator not to eat out and eat a few more vegetarian dishes.

I did some looking and pondering.  Definitely something I could make in the slow cooker which is always a plus.  The longer the better because then it could shred so very easily.  In the end, there were tacos.  I also have to admit that I was asked for a meat based pasta sauce and I used this beef as a starting spot.  The meld of the Mexican and Italian was lovely!


3 lbs chuck roast, cut into chunks and trimmed

4 cloves garlic

2 chipotles in adobo sauce

1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles

1 small white onion, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup lime juice (about 3 limes)

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

3 bay leaves

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/2 cup vegetable broth or water

Pull out the slow cooker.  Put the meat into it.  

In a blender, put the rest of the ingredients except the bay leaves.  Blend.  I blended for a couple of minutes because I wished more of a sauce but if you like chunks, you do not have to blend as long.

Pour the sauce over the meat.  Add the bay leaves.  Cover and cook on low for twelve hours.  The meat should be able to shredded with spoons.

It is very simple to make.  It just takes time and bellies around here were very happy.  Not so happy to wait for it to be done once it could be smelled.  When it gets cooler, I know this will be back into the rotation.