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July 30th, 2009
Blueberry Shortcake

One of my favorite summer desserts is blueberry shortcake. We have two blueberry bushes, one on either side of the steps in front of our house, and this year we’ve had a bumper crop. There are few things better than fresh-picked blueberries.

For shortcake, I like to buy the shortcakes from New Seasons Market, they’re kind of like a cross between a scone and a biscuit. The cream biscuits at Whole Foods are okay too. I could bake my own, but it’s too hot to bake.

Get real whipping cream, it’s way better than the stuff in a can. I will often use my food processor to whip it, it works like a charm! Just add a smidgen of sugar and some vanilla extract (or almond extract for a different taste) and whip it good.

First, shortcakes go in bowl. Dump a heap of blueberries on top. I just rinse them, don’t even bother with sugar or anything, they are sweet enough on their own. Add a dollop of whipped cream, voila SUPER TASTY!

I hate the heat but summer does have its perks.

Posted by Claire at 10:02 AM | Good Eats | Comments (0) | Tweet This Post

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July 12th, 2007
Mmmm Jam

I made raspberry jam the other day. My mom and brother and sister picked the berries, and I drove down to their house to make jam for me and for them. It’s delicious…

I want to do more canning and preserving this summer. I never did a lot before because of space constraints… where to store said jars of food? But now that we have a basement,  I can do a lot more.

We have a pear tree in the backyard so I might can pears. I definitely want to make blackberry jam when the berries are ripe, and salsa and pickles too.

It seems like canning and preserving is becoming a lost art. I hope to keep it alive a little longer. There is something really rewarding about it.

Posted by Claire at 07:06 AM | Arts and Crafts, Good Eats | Comments (0) | Tweet This Post

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March 13th, 2007
On Bento and Obsession

When something catches my attention, it REALLY catches my attention…

In other words, I become easily obsessed. It appeals to me for several reasons, the bento. One, it’s a good lunch. Two, it’s a nice way to express care for my husband and for myself. Self-care is never something I was very good at, so preparing a nice lunch is a way I can take care of myself. Three, it’s cheap.

I’m cooking more dinners too, as I feed my Asian food addiction. I’ve figured out how to make pretty excellent yakisoba, and now I’m tackling miso soup.

I cruise eBay for bento accessories, I browse the web for ideas, I lurk the aisles of the Asian grocery store…

It’s a curious thing, with me. I seem to be unique, at least amongst my coworkers, for my keen interest in stuff. For example, I have a coworker who says she’s obsessed with the same anime I am (Fruits Basket, in case you care). She was curious about onigiri (mentioned in the anime), so she looked up what they were. Me? I looked up onigiri, and the next thing I know I’m ordering molds from Japan and creating bento everyday, and I’ve finished all the available English translations (15 volumes, if you’re counting) of the manga as well. There’s obsessed, and then there’s obsessed.

Other people dabble in melt and pour, I start a full-on soapmaking business. Other people like makeup, I start a blog devoted to it. I guess I don’t do things halfway, if it’s something I really enjoy.

Posted by Claire at 11:11 PM | Days Go By, Good Eats | Comments (0) | Tweet This Post

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February 23rd, 2007
Mmmm gyoza!

I made gyoza tonight (yes, at 1 am…) for our lunches tomorrow. I also ate a few for a midnight snack, and darn! These guys are good. They are also dead easy, thanks to a little dumpling mold thingy my mom gave me for christmas a few years ago. (It’s actually the smallest of three, the largest of which I use to make pasties… which would also make a good bento food, now that I think of it!)

A half pound of ground chicken makes enough for a midnight snack and gyoza for two for two days, along with rice and some fruit or veggie in a bento. So, I’m very happy. It only took me about 45 minutes start to finish, too.

My lunch today was the envy of all my coworkers. Salmon onigiri, little sausages cut like octopus, and peaches. I’ve found that if you stick frozen peaches in your lunch box, and drizzle a little honey on top, by lunchtime they are perfectly thawed and less sugary than canned. Super-yum!! Tomorrow: rice with furikake (no msg), gyoza, and peaches. I intend to be the lunch box queen!

Mostly, I’m happy to be saving money. I know I haven’t been eating well the last year, buying lunch primarily from the food court at the mall where I work. I try to pick the healthiest choices, but those aren’t all that healthy and are also at least $5-7 a day! My bentos are much healthier and are saving around $4 or $5 per lunch, for each of us. That’s not chump change at the end of the month. So… hooray for bento!

Posted by Claire at 02:02 AM | Good Eats | Comments (0) | Tweet This Post

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February 21st, 2007
Onigiri!

Poor blog. It’s been sorely neglected, as I’ve poured most of my energy into Claire’s Beauty lately.

Egg MoldI’ve been having fun with bento lately. We watch a lot of anime and it has inspired me to learn how to make onigiri (rice balls) and other cute bento lunch eatables. I’m very excited – today my onigiri and egg molds arrived. The onigiri mold makes perfect triangular shaped onigiri and the egg mold will shape a boiled egg into cute shapes. The ones I ordered (from a Japanese seller on eBay!) are rabbit and bear.

Usually onigiri are filled with things like umeboshi (a pickled plum), salmon, dried fish and soy sauce, or tuna and mayo. I like the salmon, and am learning to like umeboshi… but I thought it would be fun to experiment with some Western fillings as well. I tried little bits of smoked sausage, and that turned out well.

Next I want a tamagoyaki pan (tamagoyaki is a sort of omelette). I bought a sushi mat so I’m also going to learn how to make sushi rolls. I’m not sure I trust the freshness of the fish from the store, so I’m planning on sticking to smoked fish or veggies only.

This has been really fun!

Posted by Claire at 10:52 AM | Good Eats | Comments (0) | Tweet This Post

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