Saturday, July 31, 2010

Sushi Saturday!

Lately I've been on a major sushi kick... I can't get enough of it!! There's a new sushi place in the food court at White Marsh Mall that I've been hitting up to help ease my cravings, but it's a little pricey (crack might be a cheaper habit!) so I decided to try to make some myself at home. Earlier in the week I went out in search of the supplies: seaweed sheets, sushi rice, rice wine vinegar, sesame seeds, imitation crab meat, avocado, cucumber, pickled ginger, wasabi, soy sauce and a bamboo sushi mat. I researched different recipes and techniques and even watched some how-to videos. Today, I decided to execute my plan!

First, I washed and rinsed the rice several times. Then I put it in the rice cooker and waited for it to work it's perfect rice cooking magic! Next I shredded the imitation crab and rinsed it in some cold water. I sliced up the avocado and cucumber and then assembled the rest of my supplies. I read that it would be much easier if I covered my bamboo sushi mat with plastic wrap so I got that all ready to go. By then, my rice was finished cooking so I drizzled some rice wine vinegar on it and stired it around until each grain was covered. I placed my seaweed sheets shiny side down, grabbed a ball of rice and spread it out. Once the whole sheet was covered with rice, I sprinkled some sesame seeds on top of the rice and flipped the whole sheet over to the "dull" side. In the middle, I spread out some sliced avocado... then the shredded imitation crab meat... then some sliced cucumber. I took one side of the rice covered sheet and folded it over the filling in the middle... then I sorta tucked it underneath and continued to roll until I had a sushi log. Then I used my plastic wrap covered bamboo sushi mat to squeeze the roll until it felt a little tighter. After I sliced the sushi into pieces and plated them, I added a side of pickled ginger and a mountain of wasabi... plus some soy sauce on the side for dipping!

I learned a few lessons about what will work better next time but I don't think this was too bad for my first time! What do YOU think??

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I'm on a boat...

Not last weekend but the weekend before that (I know, I know... I'm a little late but it's better late than never, right!?) I had the best weekend ever!!

On Saturday, our friend Jith came up to get his windows tinted and to hang out with Brian & I for the day. We spent some time at the pool with my Mom, who brought us a yummy picnic lunch!

here's my Mom, posing for a pic at the pool... LOVE her!! :)

Later that night, Brian & I took Jith to a restaurant in Baltimore called Vinny's Cafe that we stumbled upon a couple weeks ago. Most notably, Vinny's offers a JUMBO slice of a 30" pizza, and we wanted Jith to try it. We got there kind of late and there were no more jumbo slices available, so we decided to order a whole pizza instead. This thing was MASSIVE!!! Massive might even be an understatement! It literally took up half of our table! One slice of this pizza was as big as our forearms!

30 inches of INSANITY!!!

I wasn't joking about it being the size of my forearm!

I couldn't even finish one slice!!

On Sunday, my friend Lynn and her husband Bob invited Brian & I out on their boat for the day. This has become a yearly tradition for me and I love it! Lynn & Bob have a houseboat called "Nauti Dreams" that they keep at a marina in Baltimore County called River Watch, so we met them there at 10:00am on Sunday morning. My mom decided to tag along, which I was very excited about since we haven't been getting to spend much time together lately and she rarely does anything fun like that! Lynn's daughter Jennie and her fiance Jonathan were also coming with us... Lynn lives by the motto "the more, the merrier"!

my Momma and her cool shades that double as safety glasses! LoL

Brian enjoying some shade on the way to Fairlee Creek :)

my Jomi-Mom :)

my sweetie and his sweetie... LoL (inside joke!!)

We brought some snacks with us and set off for a place called Fairlee Creek on the Upper Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Chestertown, MD. It took us about an hour to get from River Watch to Fairlee Creek, but it was a beautiful day for a boat ride!! Once we got to Fairlee Creek, we anchored down the boat and climbed down the ladder into the waist-high water with the sandy beach just a few steps away. The beach forms a little peninsula so we set up chairs where everyone could sit and chat. Lynn & Bob also had some floats that we used in the water, until the current started to carry us away!

A little while later, Bob used a dinghy to take us across the channel over to the Great Oak Landing. We pulled the dinghy up onto the sand and walked over to a place called Jellyfish Joel's Tiki Bar... it features live weekend entertainment, a variety of light snacks & sandwiches, cold beer and frozen drinks!

lots of dinghies! LoL

Jellyfish Joel's Tiki Bar!!

After several hours of relaxation and fun in the sun, it was time to board "Nauti Dreams" and head back to River Watch. There was a live band performing, so Lynn & her future son-in-law busted out with some dance moves while Captain Bob took care of backing us into the boat slip!

Lynn & Jonathan busting a move! :)

here is Lynn telling me not to take any pictures of her... Shhhhh, don't tell her!! :)

Once we docked there, Chef Bob grilled up some delicious hamburgers and hotdogs for us! We sat on the dock and hung out some more until it was time to head home so the two people with "NORMAL" jobs (I'm not mentioning any names!) could rest up for work the next morning!!

What an awesome weekend it was!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Happy Birthday America... and Myrtle!!

I wish more weekends could be like this past weekend was... my normal days off were Thursday, Friday & Saturday but then I took annual leave on Sunday and holiday leave on Monday, so I secured a relaxing 5 day break from the chaos that is summer at work! On Friday morning, I woke up with a stomach virus very similar to the one Brian had been suffering from earlier in the week. I thought for sure the weekend would be ruined, but thank God I recovered much quicker than poor Brian had! After about 12 hours of good, solid sleep on Friday night, I woke up on Saturday morning feeling much better! I was feeling so much better that I even went to a couple yard sales and ran a few errands before returning home in the early afternoon. Brian's friend Jith was coming up from Virginia to spend the weekend with us, so he arrived about 1:30 or so. The boys were going to order some boxing match that evening and I'm definitely not into that sorta thing, so it sounded like a perfect opportunity to go hang out with my mom & grandma for the evening! My mom made some delicious taco salad for dinner and we rented a movie to watch (The Final Destination). We also went to Baskin Robbins and ordered Cappuccino Blast's that really hit the spot! =)

Sunday July 4th might've been America's 234th birthday but it was also Myrtle Jean's 12th birthday! It's hard to believe that my girl is 12 already... it seems like just yesterday that we brought her home from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina as a tiny 5-week old furball. Myrtle has been with me through all the big milestones of my life... turning 18, my high school graduation, recovery from several surgeries, the birth of my first niece (as well as an additional niece and nephew), my first job, my first apartment, turning 21, my first boyfriend, my first breakup, the loss of my other cat (Jake)... you name it, Myrtle has seen me through it! She might be a crazy girl but I love her SO much... every day with her is an adventure! Happy Birthday, Myrtle Jean Jomidad!

the birthday girl!! :)

it's hard to believe she was once this tiny! she might've been little but she's always had a BIG personality!

baby Myrtle!

On Sunday afternoon, Brian, Jith & I went to the community pool for the first time. We were pleasantly surprised at how nice it was! It wasn't too crowded and the water felt just right! We spent several hours there, just hanging out and having a good time!

the boys! :)

that's me... soaking up the sun! :)

While we were swimming, we started to get hungry... while we were discussing options for dinner, I came up with a great idea! Why not drive to Philadelphia for some authentic cheesesteak subs? Brian had never been to Philly before and I've only been there once and that was years ago! We all headed home to take quick showers and then we started out on our mini road trip! Once we arrived in Philly, the real question was... Pat's or Geno's? The long line outside Pat's King of Steaks told us we should start there!

The menu had lots to choose from, and there are even specific instructions on how to order... do it their way or go to the back of the line!

Somehow I was designated to be the spokeswoman of our group, so I bravely stepped up to the window and ordered three cheesesteaks: 1) wit cheez-wiz for Brian, 2) mushroom steak wit american for me, and 3) wit provolone for Jith. Here's what mine looked like!

After we devoured the sandwiches from Pat's, we headed across the street to Geno's to give them a try!

This time I only ordered one sandwich, for Brian and I to share... a wit cheez-wiz. Here's what we were given:

And just like that, we left Philly just as quicky as we had made the decision to come there! Once we were back in good 'ol Harford County, we stopped at my favorite snowball stand for some frozen treats. I ordered a new flavor combination that they've named "Yoo Hoo" - it's a mixture of chocolate, vanilla cream, and ice cream flavored snowball syrups, with a splash of milk. I got mine with extra marshmallow! Sooooooooooooooooo good!!!!!

Then we were homeward bound. Brian, Jith and I played a few games of Wii bowling... I lost every single one! Looks like I need to keep practicing! Even though I was the biggest loser, I still had fun! :)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Date Night!

Since Brian was such a good sport about not getting to play mini-golf during his birthday weekend at the beach, I thought it would be fun if we could have a date night and still play a round of golf a little closer to home... there are two places in Harford County that offer mini-golf/putt putt: Churchville Mini-Golf and Putt-Putt Fun Center in Abingdon. I've been to the Abingdon Putt-Putt Fun Center once, YEARS ago... but I'd never been to Churchville Mini-Golf. I asked some friends of mine who had gone to both, and they recommended Churchville Mini-Golf over the Putt-Putt Fun Center. After Brian came home from work and changed into some more comfortable clothes, we went out for dinner. I let Brian choose the restaurant since technically this date night was a continuation of his birthday celebration... he picked Cracker Barrel! :)

Then we headed to Churchville Mini-Golf. We only played one game, but the course consisted of 19 different holes. It was so much fun, even if Brian did beat me!

After we finished playing golf, we walked across the parking lot to get some ice cream! The Arctic Circle is an old fashioned ice cream stand that opened in 1966 and has been run by the same family for all these years. It's the type of place that everyone needs to visit atleast once... the ice cream is good but the nostalgia is even better!

their snazzy new sign is the only non-vintage thing about them!

a little piece of Harford County's history!

Brian got a large twist cone... I got a medium chocolate cone w/rainbow sprinkles!

when we got home, Myrtle Jean shared a few licks of my ice cream cone :)

I LOVE our date nights! :)