Allison Day


For the month of August, 2008


I’ve gotten tagged with another “random things” meme, this time by Nicole from For the Love of Food. Of course, if you don’t want to know more randomness about me, you can always skip to the yummy Hotate Special recipes and pictures at the end of this post. 😀

  1. Up until nine months ago, I had never tried sashimi. My mother is allergic to fish, so it was rare that we ate fish at our house. Of course, now that I’ve tried sashimi, it’s pretty obvious I’m in love (as can be seen in all the sushi I make with sashimi these days!)
  2. I performed in the Nutcracker ballet for eight consecutive years. I’ve danced nearly every role… from a little boy in the party scene (we had a huge shortage of boys, so the smaller girls always played the boy parts before getting to be a girl in the party scene), to a Spanish (chocolate) dancer, to the Arabian (coffee) pas de deux, to Dew Drop Fairy. Fourteen roles in all. My favorite of all was easily the Arabian pas de deux… it’s a sensual dance with several amazing lifts, and lifts were always my favorite part of a pas de deux.
  3. In eighth grade, I came in first place for the Reach for the Stars (astronomy) event at our regional Science Olympiad. At the time I was really passionate about astronomy… my dad had has a pretty nice telescope, and at the time I knew just about every constellation in the sky.
  4. I’m half Japanese, a quarter Swedish, and one eighth Irish. The other eighth is comprised of German, English, and other European randomness. Unfortunately, I speak very little Japanese, and even less Swedish or Irish. (I’ve got English down though! 😛 ) I figure I’ll start with Japanese, then try to learn Vietnamese (since it would be *really* nice to be able to understand Son’s family all the time) and then move on to the other languages.
  5. I used to dance with an awesome band called One World. They sing latin-style music written by Frank Unzueta, the leader of the band. I always had so much fun rehearsing and working with the band and my dance partner… I really miss the rehearsals and performances! Most recently, I did a music video with them last Super Bowl Sunday, so I’m hoping I’ll get another opportunity to work with them soon!
  6. I am an RPG player. 😀 However I’m pretty new at it, so nobody’s allowed to throw things at me if I get something wrong. I consider myself to be very lucky to have gotten involved with the Escaping Reality RPG, run by Harry and James of Men with Pens. We’ve got the most awesome group of players there, and I’m having so much fun developing my character and writing with them. Also, have you noticed any improvement in my writing over the past three months? It’s all thanks to those two and their RPG. 🙂

For the six people I tag, I’m taking it out of the food blogging community this time, to recognize a few of my favorite non-food bloggers. I tag:

Harry of Men with Pens and Capturing Fantasy.

James of Men with Pens and Capturing Fantasy.

Edit: There’s a new Pen Man! Couldn’t possibly leave him out. Therefore, I also tag Charlie of Men with Pens and Charfish Design. 😀

Brett of 6 Weeks.

Tei of Rogue Ink.

Amy of Write From Home.

Writer Dad of Writer Dad.


And now, for the sushi.

The Hotate (scallop) Special is a type of sushi I first had about a month or so ago, when I went up to Sunnyvale with Son on a business trip. We went to a sushi restaurant called Seto Japanese cuisine, where Son and I decided we wanted to try something new. As I wrote in my review of the restaurant, I loved the Hotate Special so much, that I just had to try to replicate it at home.

Have I mentioned scallops are my new favorite sashimi? They’re so soft and delicious, it’s hard not to like them. One thing though… when you get the scallops, there’s a little piece on the side of them, as if you had rolled a ball of dough and then stuck another piece of dough to the side of it. Personally, I prefer to discard this piece. I find that it is tough and chewy, not at all like the rest of the scallop. Luckily, it’s only a very small piece, so I don’t feel as if I’m wasting too much of it.

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This month, for Taste and Create, I am paired up with Equal Opportunity Kitchen. Sometimes it’s difficult for me to figure out what I want to make from my partner’s blog, but this month it was a no brainer. The moment I saw her Pecan Pie Muffins, I knew I had to make them. Son has been a huge fan of my mother’s Pecan Pie and Pecan Tassies (little mini pecan tarts) since he first tried them, so it was obvious that I would have to make these for him.

The verdict? Everyone should make these. Took me maybe thirty minutes (including cooking time!) to whip them up, and had I allowed Son to eat them all, they would have been gone just as quickly. In fact, due to the demands of Son’s co-workers and my family, I’m going to make another batch very soon! They are sized perfectly for good portion control… that is, assuming you can eat just one. These mini treats go great with a big glass of milk.

Yay for parties!

Last night, I was very lucky to meet some of the most awesome SoCal (and Seattle!) bloggers out there. I was invited to a party hosted by Todd and Diane of White on Rice Couple, just for us food bloggers. The food was amazing, of course. I couldn’t get enough of their pork sliders, egg rolls, flatbread pizzas, several different types of salads, and ohmygod the fish! (Although no fish eyes for me. 😉 ) Not to mention that garlic cheese spread… Todd and Diane, I want that recipe! I also hear the cocktails were delicious, but neither Son nor I drink alcohol, so we stuck to water, soda, and Vietnamese coffee. (Vietnamese coffee, where have you been all my life? Oh my goodness SO GOOD.) Todd was kind enough to give us a tour of their amazing garden, which we later harvested herbs from for dinner. (Isn’t that awesome? When I grow up get a house, I want a garden like theirs.)

As great as the food was, the people at the party were even more awesome. Son and I got to meet all sorts of cool food bloggers that we hadn’t yet discovered (Yay! More food blogs to add to my feed reader!) and meet a few that we already looked up to. One of the first people we met, after Todd and Diane of course, was Brooke from Food Woolf. She is by far one of the kindest, most adorable women I have ever met. Leah from Spicy Salty Sweet was there, as was Wandering Chopsticks. We discovered that Marvin from Burnt Lumpia and his wife know of a great sushi place in an area Son and I frequent quite often (we’ll definitely be meeting you two for sushi one of these days!) Sarah of The Delicious Life and TasteSpotting joined us, as did Julie from Julie’s Kitchen. Matt from Matt Bites (one of the sweetest guys ever) was there with his husband (I hope you two like the sushi-making kit!), as was another Matt that I have looked up to for a long time – Matt from Wright Food with his wife, Danika. You know how sometimes people just aren’t what you thought they would be when you meet them in person? Not so with Matt and Danika. They are two of the most charming people you could ever meet.

Todd and Diane were the best hosts we could possibly imagine for a food blogger party, and we all went home full of good food, satisfied, and happy. Not to mention, we all made some great new friends! Thanks so much, Todd and Diane! 😀

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When you get deep into the sushi world, something that begins to come up is candy sushi. Often, people use Hostess Twinkies or Rice Crispy Treats as the sumeshi, with Fruit Roll-Ups for the nori. However, many have heard of Suedy’s Koo-Ki Sushi. These also use a rice crispy base, but use various types of chocolate, caramel, and gummy candies for their nori and sushi fillings. Often I have lusted over the delicious-sounding descriptions and beautiful pictures on their website, but I never believed I would actually try their candy sushi. At prices from $10 for a pair of chocolate chopsticks, to $65 for an entire bento box of candy sushi, the prices have always been a bit out of my range.

A couple of weeks ago, my mom called me. “You have a package coming tomorrow, will you be home?” I assured her I would be, curious about this unexpected package. “You’re going to love it,” she promised.

The next day, a delivery man came to my door with a light package. While I was signing for the box, he glanced at the return address, then looked at me with question in his eyes. “Sushi?” I smiled and nodded, not entirely sure what he was talking about. When I turned back into my apartment and took a look at the return address, my face lit up like a kid who just found out she gets to go to Disneyland. The name on the return address: Koo-Ki Sushi.

Turns out my mom had known about my desire to try the Koo-Ki Sushi candy sushi, so my parents decided to get me the candy sushi as a graduation gift. (Thanks Mom and Dad!) I was the lucky recipient of a Black Suedy’s Obento and a pair of Milk Chocolate Mocha Bean Choc Sticks (chopsticks). They came wrapped in a protective padding so the chocolate wouldn’t move around, with ice packs so the chocolate wouldn’t melt during the trip.

The first thing I did, after dancing around my apartment with a huge grin on my face of course, was take pictures of all the pieces in the box. Wouldn’t you? Heck yeah, you would. I had to sit on my hands the rest of the day so I wouldn’t get into the chocolate; I wanted to wait for Son to get home so we could both try every piece in the box.

Review of each piece after the jump…

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CarburetorPosted on August 8th, 2008 · 16 Comments »

Maki Recipes


Obviously, this roll is called “Carburetor” because it looks like one. What, you can’t see it? No, wait… look at it this way… turn your head just like this… see it now? No? Darn. Oh well, I can’t quite see it either. But I’d assume that’s why it’s named Carburetor.

Meh, who knows. What do I know about cars and engines and such? (The correct answer is, nothing.) It is, however, a delicious roll and very pretty to look at!

On a side note, for those who have commented recently, I have seen your comments and I will respond soon, I promise! Life has been rather difficult lately, so it’s been hard for me to respond to comments.

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