Becoming a Sushi Chef in 30 Seconds

…is now possible!

I’ve been craving sushi a lot over the past few weeks, but due to sketchy rumors of worsening radiation in Japanese seas and a paranoid mother, I haven’t been able to fulfill such cravings. It’s all okay though, because I have a solution: Popin’ Cookin!

One of my favorite things to do in my free time is watch other people cook/play with food. I know, great use of time. But I am subscribed on YouTube to a person who plays with what I call “toy candy,” which is essentially candy that is more fun to make than to eat. Popin’ Cookin is a brand that makes “toy candy.” All of their products look pretty fun to make, but one of them in particular gets me everytime–I can’t help but be amazed. It allows you to “become your own sushi chef,” which should be incredibly simple in theory, but the little details are just incredible. Here it is:

Tell me you weren’t mindblown when the fish eggs were being made (2:15).

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Too Much On My Plate: De-stressing through food

There is one story that my sister will never stop telling, and it is of when she came home late one night to find me standing in the kitchen, in the dark, separating egg yolks from whites. When she asked me what I was doing, I simply responded, “I’m releasing my pent-up anxiety.” Now, I don’t remember how serious I was when I said that, but I can’t say it was a complete lie. Apparently my sister found it strangely hilarious, and now that I think about it, I guess it is.

This also brings me to finals week of some high school year when I got so stressed, I had to bake a cake. What? If you are wondering how on earth a student can bake cakes the day before finals, don’t ask me, because I don’t know what was going through my head either–it certainly isn’t the case now. I suppose it’s good enough that I passed.

But while I don’t bake cakes during finals anymore, I still find food an excellent medium for releasing stress and unwinding. I partake more often in consuming food than making it nowadays, but all the same–there is something about food that makes boiling away your stress and eating away your feelings surprisingly satisfying and relaxing. Everyone does it–they eat ice cream when they’re depressed and make cakes when they’re happy (okay, maybe not). How do you deal with pent-up feelings? Does food help you unleash your worries?

You Are What You Eat: Monster Edition (recipe included)

Whether you are overweight, trying to lose weight, or maybe just eating something, you have probably heard of the infamous phrase, “you are what you eat.” Normally (not that it helps), it’s supposed to keep us from eating unhealthy foods–you don’t want to be the lump of fat on a slice of steak, do you? No! So no more snacks, no more indulging. We switch out that bag of oil (and I guess, chips) for a lovely banana. We can’t get more healthy than that!

Usually, that’s what happens. It looks healthy, so lets eat it! We don’t exactly look past the surface of our foods. But the question is, do we really need to?

Let us smoothly transition to the topic of GMOs. What are they, and why do they matter? GMOs stands for genetically modified organisms–they are, in essence, foods/plants that have undergone biotechnological treatment and thus have altered DNA. This new DNA has a few purposes–it helps plants grow bigger, helps them resist herbicides, increases drought resistance, boosts nutritional value, and so much more. As a result, we have more food, and they taste and look better too.

Tomatoes

Clearly, most of us don’t think about whether or not our foods are GMOs when we eat them. Doing that would probably be like visualizing the movement of nerve signals through our bodies every time we move. We do, however, need to come to terms with the fact that a huge portion of our fruits and veggies and whatnot are GMOs. They’re not the exact same things people ate 5,000 years ago. This doesn’t mean they’re not natural or are demonic beings that have been released from the depths of our high-technology computers at the hands of evil scientists who are all out to give us cancer. But it does mean that they are somewhat different–and we need to understand that this is necessary in order to sustain and fulfill the needs of our population.

Some argue that the products of bioengineering are unnatural, and are linked to several diseases and disorders–thus, they want all GMO products to be labeled. This is, of course, very reasonable–who wants to put their health at risk by eating blindly? But in my humble opinion (I am not in any way a scientist or nutritionist), it would not do much in the end. Not only are we susceptible to dying/getting cancer just by being on Earth and breathing (though I do acknowledge that consuming artificially produced products may facilitate damage to health), there is hardly any way for us (at least, in the U.S.) to escape GMOs. If all of us wanted to protect ourselves from the “mutant!” foods that are GMOs and tried to turn to organic foods, it would not be feasible–with all the natural risks and threats of nature presenting themselves to agriculture, there simply would not be enough to support our population, and our supplies could not be as predictable.

So do we need to be so concerned about genetically engineered foods? Will eating these “human creations,” in the end, mutate us? I personally don’t mind if my banana is a hybrid banana, if that’s what makes it taste good. What about you?

Meanwhile, I have included a recipe here where you can embrace your inner evil scientist and engineer your own little fruit. It’s a summery recipe, but it’s always summer in California 😉 (even in January).

Fooding Anew

We’re all familiar with the Food Network, with culinary giants Geoffrey Zakarian, Giada de Laurentiis, Ina Garten, etc–and it’s always exciting to watch them construct new and delicious-looking creations on all of their cooking shows. Their food is delicate, sophisticated, and carried out with expertise and confidence that average people like me can only admire. But it’s also great to look at cooking through other lenses–through people who are not celebrities, but give us the same amount of satisfaction and inspiration with their ideas. Their ideas are simple, but amazingly fun and interesting. I love learning new recipes through looking at videos, and thought I would share one with you all today–it’s a series I discovered last year, but they’ve updated it considerably since then, and I thought you would all enjoy it (I definitely did). It’s super creative, fun, and a really cute way of sharing recipes.

Enjoy!

New Year, New Foods

Greetings everyone, and happy new year! It’s been some time since the last post.

What are your plans for this new year?

As the first post of 2014, I thought I’d post some New Year’s Resolutions for this blog that coincide with my personal resolutions!

1) Post more challenging, but more awesome food recipes
Okay, maybe not more challenging, but definitely some more delicate, detailed recipes. I’d also like to harness my own cooking/baking skills and see if I’m up to making them myself. Doesn’t this look incredible?

Nuage

Once school calms down and I have more free time, I’d love to take up challenges like this.

2) Post more fun recipes
I always browse the internet and end up seeing things like Monkey Bread Pizzas, and I’ve always wanted to make them. So much. They look super fun, and I’m sure there are a ton of variations and things you could do to liven up the flavor. How can you resist bite sized pizzas? They kind of remind me of the bagel bites we used to have when we were young.
Pepperoni-Pizza Monkey Bread...gonna have to try this the next time I have the GrandPixies over!

3) Post more healthy recipes
For a long time now, I’ve been trying to eat more healthily, only because I know I’ve indulged in a lot of delicious, but terribly unhealthy things up till now. It’d be great if I could find (and share) some easy, healthy recipes that are just as delicious as the ones with multiple sticks of butter in them (Hi Paula Deen).

Arugula salad with beets and gorgonzola cheese

juliasalbum.com

4) Post more often
Of course! I hope you’ll look forward to my future posts.

Happy 2014 everyone!

Fallen Eggs

If you haven’t already, you will at some point in your life experience the incredible despair of carelessly placing an egg on a table…only to have it roll off the edge and fall to its death. Not only is it a pain to clean up, it’s a complete waste. Such a pity, really. That egg could have been poached for eggs benedict or whipped into the heavenly batter of chocolate chip cookie dough. And of course, let’s not forget the possibility of it feeding a hungry, underprivileged child. But you just wasted it.

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Life is a box of…crackers? (recipe included)

Sometimes life is like a burnt cracker. We throw everything together and hope for the best. And sometimes it works out.

写真 2(4)

But not always.

As we make our way through high school, through college, and to life beyond, things get overwhelming–we close our eyes just momentarily, and it seems as if everything has gone wrong. It’s just like a cracker–all the goodies are in there, but one look away from the oven, and all your hard work has been wasted. We can only watch as our lives (and the crackers) burn to a crisp.

So how should we avoid this?

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