Wednesday, August 11, 2010

spicy Asian tofu

Ok so here it is! my favorite way to have tofu-I could practically eat this every night.
1 lb extra firm tofu
1/2 cup Mirin
3 Tbs Tamari
2 Tbs rice vinegar
1 Tbs sesame oil
2 Tsp Asian chili sauce
1-inch chunk of ginger peeled and chopped
2 cloves of garlic smashed

Ok so I guess the first thing you should know about me since this is our first cooking experience together is that I take recipes as merely a suggestion and I think everyone should do the same so feel free to change this anyway you can think of and let me know if you come up with a delicious variation! first I cut the tofu I always prefer cubes- so open the package drain the water and cut into whatever shape you feel like!

Now I'm going to give you the single most important thing you should know about cooking tofu- seriously this is where almost all first timers go wrong! Place the tofu on a plate, cover with a kitchen towel or two and place a heavy book on top of it for AT LEAST and hour. It is important to get all the water out of the tofu or you'll be cooking it for days!
 Now that the tofu is getting squished you can start to combine the ingredient for the marinade- so basically just throw everything into a shallow dish that will also be large enough to hold the tofu I like to use something with a lid so every now and then I can give it a good shake to evenly marinade.  This would probably be a good time to discuss a few things. I have a hard time ever finding Mirin and at times have been unable to find Tamari. Mirin is similar to Saki and I have substituted Saki. Another good substitute for Mirin is some White Cooking wine with a large pinch of sugar in it. I've done both and the marinade still tasted great. If you can't find Tamari just use soy sauce- everything else should be relativly easy to find. I double the Asian chili sauce as well as the my kitchen there can never be too much Garlic!!
once you've mixed your little concoction together you'll just whisk it together!
Now, if you're anything like me this will be the point in the recipe that you realize that not only have you forgotten to add a vital ingredient, you will also realize that you don't even have any in the house! so put your tofu in the fridge and run to your closest supermarket...
now add the ginger. If you don't have fresh ginger you can use dried ground ginger. By now your tofu should be ready so combine all ingredients in a large Tupperware. The book says you can marinade the tofu for one hour and cook but that doesn't seem like very long I marinade for the whole day shaking occasionally.
Now here's the fun part I like to add broccoli but you can add green beans, or whatever veggies you have laying around the house.I heat oil in the pan first until it becomes liquid. I spoon my tofu and vegetables into a wok.
this cooks for about 30 minutes or so. stirring often. and voila you have a delicious tofu dinner. I serve it over rice with a salad but this could really be good in a lot of different ways. So take this suggestion and add your own touches and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My GREAT weekend!

Hello, hello! SO i got a little cabin fever Saturday and decided to head up to the Catskills for the weekend-it was fantastic! I wish I could live up there all the time it's so nice. I stayed with Aunt Daina and Uncle Mike and of course came home with loads of fresh veggies!! Monroe met his cousin Scooby for the first time and  all went well there except for one little incident with Scooby's squeaky but I think they're going to be friends. Speaking of friends I didn't attend the neighbor's fish fry- I just had to get outta here- hope they don't mind- However I did make some new friends here in the neighborhood thanks to a bird feeder and some peanuts.
I'll call him Sam the Squirrel. He (or someone who looks just like him) comes every single morning now to see what treats my be left out on the patio haha.  Anyway, back to this weekend I had so much fun! on Sunday we went to eat at Bubba's bbq. their slogan was "Put the South in your Mouth" which seemed kinda nasty to me but my mind's always in the gutter. The restaurant was great! they had a nice big veggie burger for me and obviously bbq for Uncle Mike and Aunt Daina. Mike said the bbq wasn't very good but ya'll the view was GREAT. Bubba's overlooked Lake White and it was so a gorgeous day we ate out on the deck- they also had a bar downstairs that went out onto a sandy little beach on the lake- I bet that place is awesome on a Saturday night we're gonna go back one night once Justin is here- I don't wanna have all my fun without him!
after that I went and bought an awesome tye dyed t-shirt and we went to a couple outdoor flea markets- I saw a couple things I liked, like a 35 dollar set of salt and pepper shakers (35 DOLLARS are they crazy??), but in the end didn't purchase anything.  Later that night Aunt Daina made a delicious!! cream of broccoli soup.  I was supposed to leave Sunday but was having so much fun I decided to stay one more day. Monday we decided to do some shopping which was kinda a bust since practically everything was closed I did find my swimming pool for next summer though...
there are a bunch of little swimming holes around all at the bottom of waterfalls- except for one that's at the top of a waterfall but it's for swimming nude haha.  but alas I had to come home. I'll be back next weekend though because Grahamsville is having their annual Littlest World's Fair!!!!
that should be fun I think there will be a lot of livestock and I love livestock! Also Fair foods and shopping both of which I enjoy! Well I'm going to make my famous Tofu marinade if ya'll are lucky I MIGHT give you the recipe...if you're lucky

Friday, August 6, 2010

I'm HERE!!

Hi Friends and Familia! I figured since I was so far away and since it's what the cool kids are doing I'd start a right? I have officially started my New York Adventure and so far it's been pretty freakin cool. I have a little routine everyday I wake up, make my bed, walk Monroe, eat a yummy breakfast of yogurt and fresh blueberries (thanks Aunt Daina and Uncle Mike) then do my showering and what not. Monroe LOVES his walks he thinks we should go every time I stand up whether he actually has to go or not. The weather here is so incredible- I wish I could bottle it up and send it to you guys back in Ga. Life without cable has been interesting I  have read two books and spend quite a lot of time cooking and cleaning- huh who knew not having tv would make a productive human being out of me?  I met my downstairs neighbors and in true Heather fashion forgot their names. My nameless neighbors invited me to a fish fry Saturday I gladly accepted and look forward to having some company...I didn't mention the whole not eating animals thing but I guess it's gonna come up soon.  I want to go up to the Catskills next weekend before all the school craziness starts. They put up a week of welcome calendar and have all these ridiculous "events"  marked as mandatory. One of them even say "for your entertainment" and then has the little Mandatory star by it- what if I don't want to be entertained, what if I find being at home entertaining?...maybe mandatory means something different in NY-let's hope so anyway.  I'll be glad for school to start actually all this time is making me crazy-hence the blog. OHHH yeah I was reading a book and decided I really wanna become an herbalist! but I found out it takes three years so I guess some other time- I am however going to ask Mike and Daina if I could get a little piece of yard for and herb garden next year so I can try out some cosmetic recipes and teas. I've already found some great sights to buy the seeds from and amazing things like facial clays in bulk- so you have that to look forward to next summer you can all be my little test subjects :) well I will update as often as something exciting happens so get ready for that haha
oh and before you all start asking for pics of the apt. Justin took them and was supposed to post them on the Fb so harass him please! love you all <3