Make-it Monday : Japanese-style

We had a ton of fun yesterday making one of my favorite foods... homemade sushi!  It's really not that hard and fun to do in a group - everyone fills their rolls with their favorite Japanese morsels and then you have bites of all different combos!  The key is buying fresh fish and good nori.  Here in Washington, DC, I love to get the seafood at BlackSalt and you can get fresh roasted nori at the H Mart groceries.  More photos and steps after the jump... There are some great online sources (and videos) for step by step instructions and recipes for the rice... Here are a couple I would recommend:

How to make the rice:

How to roll the sushi:

Happy Sushi Making!


Brown Butter Custard Pie with Cranberry Glaze

I wrote about this recipe years ago when it first came out in Food & Wine Magazine and have made it every Thanksgiving since!  It's the perfect non-traditional end to one of the most celebrated meals of the year and beautiful to boot!  I love the look of the cranberry glaze on top of the speckled creamy filling and the little golden orange dollops of deliciousness by the way of sweet potato and white chocolate on top! Brown Butter Custard Pie with Cranberry Glaze 2 teaspoons plain powdered gelatin Reserved browned butter solids from Cinnamon Toast Crumb Crust (below) 1 cup whole milk 1/3 cup light brown sugar 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon Kosher salt 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream 1/4 cup sour cream Cinnamon Toast Crumb Crust (recipe below) 3 1/2 ounces white chocolate, chopped 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1/2 cup mashed sweet potatoes 1 cup cranberry sauce, pureed and strained

Cinnamon Toast Crumb Crust 2 sticks unsalted butter 1/2 cup sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 4 cups diced crusts and end pieces from 1 loaf of packaged white bread (10 ounces crusts)

Instructions for the crust:

  • Preheat the oven to 325°. In a saucepan, melt the butter. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the butter is golden brown, about 8 minutes; strain into a glass measuring cup. Reserve the browned butter solids for the Brown Butter Custard Pie.
  • Pour half of the melted butter into a bowl. Add the sugar, salt, cinnamon and bread, and toss. Spread the bread on a baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes, stirring once or twice, until golden. Let cool.
  • Rewarm the remaining butter; pour into a food processor. Add the croutons and pulse to fine crumbs; spoon the crumbs into a 10-inch pie plate. Refrigerate for 5 minutes. Press the crumbs over the bottom and sides of the pie plate; refrigerate the crust until chilled, 15 minutes.

Instructions for the pie:

  • In a microwave-safe bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 2 tablespoons of water and let stand until softened, 3 minutes. Microwave at high power for 10 seconds, until melted. In a microwave-safe measuring cup, microwave the reserved brown butter solids with the milk, sugar, 1/8 teaspoon of the cinnamon and a pinch of salt until warm. Whisk in the gelatin and refrigerate until set.
  • In a bowl, whisk 3/4 cup of the heavy cream and sour cream to soft peaks. Whisk the custard to loosen it, then fold into the whipped cream. Pour the custard into the Cinnamon Toast Crumb Crust; refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the white chocolate and butter. Add the mashed sweet potatoes, the remaining 2 tablespoons of heavy cream and 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon and a pinch of salt; whisk until smooth. Transfer the sweet potato ganache to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip and refrigerate until chilled slightly, 15 minutes. Pipe 1-inch mounds around the edge of the pie. Refrigerate until the ganache is set, 10 minutes.
  • Pour the cranberry puree over the pie and spread it evenly with the back of a spoon. Refrigerate until set, at least 30 minutes. Cut the pie into wedges and serve.
The pie can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Enjoy!
Image from

HOMEMADE Stuffed Elephants!!!

So, with tons of friends having babies and lots of kids all around, I thought I'd share the sewing that I've been up to recently as my Make-It Monday post today.  I came across a couple of patterns for stuffed animals at Magical Scraps (amazing fabric/kids items store in Breckenridge) by Valori Wells from Stitchin' Post and couldn't resist getting Elsa the Elephant and Leonardo the Lion!  Here are some pictures of the steps in making the Elephant. Stuffed_Elephant_PatternThe pattern was very easy to follow and it's a good project for a beginning sewer.  Basically, cut out the shape, sew the edges with a seam allowance, turn and stuff, then close it up!  I can't wait to share Leonardo the Lion with you next week!  Until then, go visit Valori's site to order the patterns!  (I'm currently swooning over Prudence and Henry, a giant owl and oversized elephant!)