Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Fun times in Mountain View

So, a few weekends ago I went to Mountain View for "A la Carte & Art." It was a lovely, sunny day, and everyone was out to celebrate the arrival of Spring.

There was art, there were crafts, there was food.....

 This one's for you, Al. Bacon wrapped hot dogs!

There was music......

And there were other nifty things... such as the sushi making kit I bought.

It's really simple to use, you just put the nori underneath, the rice inside the frame, use the top part to make a channel for the filling, add more rice, tuck it in, pull the frame up over the roll, roll it up in the nori, wait a few minutes, and slice up the sushi! What takes longest of all is the rice. You have to get a special kind of rice and then you have to cook it, and then you have to mix in some rice vinegar and sugar and mix it around for a bit, and let the rice cool to room temperature. After that though it's pretty basic.


....and after! It actually makes about eight pieces but I didn't put all of them in for the picture. In this sushi roll I added salmon, cucumber and avocado.

So, I've definitely been enjoying myself in my free time. I finished up with my end-of-the-semester projects and final test, so that gives me a little more free time in the evenings. Can't wait to try out neat new combinations for my sushi rolls!


  1. Hey Jen!

    Thank you for the hotdog--sounds like an ideal and tasty treat right about now. Excuse my manners a sec' while I sic my hanky on the drool that's suddenly forming around my mouth...

    Sounds like you had a wonderful day filled with lots of exciting adventure (thanks for capturing the essence of your experience with such great pics too).

    Mmm, mmm good @ the sushi roll combination of salmon, cucumber and avocado. It'll be interesting to see what other tasty combos you may eventually create--Bon Appétit.

    Great news that you have managed to complete your semester--hopefully the rewards will soon follow your commitment to giving your best to your assignments, etc. Just curious about that musical instrument you manage to capture above, any idea what it is called?

    Enjoy your day and weekend...back next week to see what's on tap here at your Epic Treats.

    1. Yes, only in America... meat wrapped in more meat! Maybe in other countries, though. They're big on sausage and stuff in Germany.

      I am not sure about the musical instrument, it's some kind of harp, but it was very pretty to listen to the man playing it.

      Look forward to a post about Boogie on the Bayoyu next week :). I hope you have a great weekend too.

    2. Good morning, Jen!

      That bowl of oatmeal I had this morning now pales in comparison to an omelet with sausage. Have to wonder if there's a German omelet recipe w/sausages. Appreciate your honest answer regarding that interesting musical instrument above(may have to look up harps later, and maybe a pic and additional info may surface about it). Soooo, looks like the suspense builds around your weekend adventures, because I ventured in here thinking you may have already posted about your exciting plans...oh, well...leaves me with something to look forward to. Hope it was a sunny, safe and great day. You did manage to remember your camera, right?

    3. I just brought my phone and took pictures with that... but it was so crowded with people, it was hard to get a good picture of anything. Hopefully my powers of description will make up for that.

  2. WOW! What a great post Jen!

    I agree with Al, yummies... the ingredient of your sushi rolls, your ingredients would make a great combination. I just love's some nutritional facts------>

    Now wait a minute, Al was drooling over the hotdogs wrapped in fatty bacon....I guess Al can afford to put on several pounds in one sitting... Pssst Al, as I said before, there's more to healthy eating than tube steaks. Just for you Al ------>

    1. I guess, you can't blame Al for loving hot dogs, New York is known for the great hot dog vendors... well in Canada the only vendors we see are generally located outside The Beer Store or at a Canadian Tire, many Hardware stores such as Beaver Lumber...the "manly-man" spots.

      Personally I do love barbecued hot dogs even though they use to say they were made from pig snouts, pig feet and chicken beaks....a myth.... Now I am on a Angus beef kick, so these are my choice if I choose to buy some to barbecue on my own.

      But guys, watch this interesting youtube on how they are made!

    2. Thanks for the link on avocados, Meesh :). I knew avocados were healthy, but I didn't know how many diseases they could help prevent. I will definitely be including them in more of my foods. Sometimes there is no better snack than some mashed up avocado with a little salt, and some tortilla chips.

      I used to love hot dogs too. I like them when they are a little juicier though, like actual sausage. At the festival, I had a veal sausage, or maybe it was pork, it had some other name, but it was served on a hot dog bun, and I got it with sauerkraut.

    3. That is also a very interesting video on hot dogs. Factories are so interesting, they have so many different steps to make things, and everything is so carefully coordinated and timed.

    4. Jen,

      Yes I know a very interesting video on making hotdogs, I found it fascinating.

      Now, everytime I look in, I do so want to try to make sushi. I love California sushi! I rely a lot on how to make stuff, with AllRecipes of course, and then I noticed they have a youtube---->

      Now I found it, that your end result with the little gadget you used is more uniform than above. More professional looking.

      I could not find your little kit on youtube...but I found a Tupperware kit. It's silent so you really do not know what the lady is brushing on, is that oil?

      Any added tips?

    5. You know years ago I thought sushi meant"raw fish", I stayed away from it. But it's far from it, not sure, I think someone explained it to me, that in Japanese "su" means vinegar,while the word for rice in Japanese is “meshi. Combine the two you get "sushi" which basically means “vinegared rice”, that's it.

      I recall several years ago, for a work seminar I was booked at The Prince Hotel in Don Mills a suburb of Toronto (at the time it was a 5 star hotel) not sure now, my meals were paid for, yet because they specialized in a Japanese cuisine, I went elsewhere to eat and paid out of pocket. I was not a big fan of fan of fish then, but raw? Forget it.

      Take note Al, sushi is VERY healthy too LOL Have you tried it?

      Sushi can be very costly when you buy it at a deli (that I know) but to invest in a kit it would be a little less time, patience, and practice to perfect ones sushi making skills....well as you pointed out Jen, the rice prep was a bit of a longer process.

      Thanks for this post Jen! I could visualize myself packing this for my lunch, a evening treat or using this as an aperitif when entertaining, at a more reasonable price! Here in Canada what you displayed above would cost (six pieces) about $6.

    6. Fun videos! That mat looks kind of complicated to use. I think my wooden kit makes the process much easier. My Friend said sushi is very hard to make, but I was more than ready to rise to the challenge and can't wait to show off my sushi making skills to him one of these days :)

      As for what the lady is brushing on in the video.. I think it's probably rice vinegar. Rice vinegar is very useful in sushi making, as an ingredient in the rice and (for my sushi kit at least) to keep the wood from splintering and the rice from sticking too much.

      The thing about the "raw fish" aspect of sushi, as I just discussed with my housemate a little while ago, is that it isn't actually raw when you get it at a restaurant. It's "flash frozen" so it's actually cooked, but it seems raw. I am not sure how one would go about preparing fish that way, but I'm happy just cooking my fish beforehand and then eating it cold with my other sushi ingredients, or perhaps making veggie sushi. :)

    7. Bonjour Meesh!

      How thoughtful of you! Merci Beaucoupe!

    8. Singing your praise @ the helpful, nutrition ridden links you shared, but my response ended up here instead of in "reply" form above...nevertheless, Merci Beaucoupe!

    9. Methinks it's because it was the 13th comment OH NOES! LOL

      PS :::waving at you::::so nice to see you safe and sound!

      To both you and Jen, have a great week!

    10. Jen,

      I had a hectic weekend, so therefore I am sorry I did not reply until now. Much appreciated with your added sushi tips! Ah of course it's vinegar..can you really tell the difference in taste of rice vinegar to ordinary white vinegar? Well, I am not a huge fan of the straight taste of vinegar. Anyway because of this post I decided to do some added investigation....

    11. I am not really sure about the difference in taste between rice vinegar and regular vinegar, but I don't think I have ever really used vinegar in anything I've cooked until now, at least not in the sense that I've noticed the taste. I can definitely notice the taste in sushi, but it's balanced out with the saltiness of the other ingredients, like whatever kind of fish I'm using, and the soy sauce or some other kind of sauce I may use. :)

    12. Jen,

      Had to check my stash of different types of vinegar that I keep/utilize - I was on a great balsamic vinegar kick, I substitute it for recipes that require wine vinegar.

      Apple cider vinegar, I use in my corned beef and hash recipe and other recipes, that I can't think of at the top of my head.

      Malt vinegar of course for my fish and chips...

      About simple white vinegar, if you go to many diners here in Canada, you will often see vinegar along with ketchup/salt & pepper on the tables... for french fries of course.

      Now as for rice vinegar, my friend keeps some in his fridge...maybe I will go and sample it for taste difference.

  3. Hey Jen!

    Just read your comment, "can't wait to show off my sushi making skills to him one of these days :)" Suffice it to say your Friend is in for an epic treat.

    @ Meesh's sound advice/healthy tip regarding the benefits of avocados--Merci Beaucoupe! Hmm, wondering aloud what kind of look the hotdog vendor may give me if I request an avocado topping this afternoon?

    1. Hi Al,

      Actually, I don't think your hotdog vendor will not find this request crazy or far-fetched because SubWay franchise has offered avocado as a topping-----> I love it and so does my li'l friend. Here in Canada, I think SubWay charges an extra dollar, a little pricy but eery very good.

      Now, going with added benefits... here we go (blush)

    2. OOpsie , meant to say "VERY VERY GOOD" and not "eery very good"...the darn typos and also my keyboard keys seem to stick on Tuesdays, what gives with that? LOL

    3. Actually, Al, avocado topping on a hot dog would not be too unusual, at least not for a gourmet hot dog. I went somewhere sometime, I'm not sure where but they had a hot dog with avocado and tomato as ingredients. It was a "California" style hot dog. I would suggest buying an avocado from the store, and bringing a plastic knife, and adding the avocado on to your hot dog. :)

  4. The benefit of sharing online is one gets to hide when they are blushing, or as Meesh's bilingual folks in her beloved Canada would say experiencing a Rougir moment....Okay, now that I've regained my composure @
    I'll just whistle quietly here for a few, and then try to compose a response with a straight face.

    Hmm...appears I need more time...
    know what? let me just post a quick hello to you guys, Jen, and wish you and Meesh a terrific day--will just have to venture back tomorrow--if I dare.

    1. Hahahaha Did I make yoou blush/rougir...again?!

      OK next time you find yourself behind someone unloading these items from their grocery cart, I dare you to keep a straight face...Ha!

    2. Hahaha...Yoou!

  5. My apologies Jen,

    Time to change the subject...

    Poor Al, he suffers from "blushingitis".... it's safe to come back Al, I was only teasing you.

    There's a study that found people who blush easily are more generous, trustworthy and virtuous than those who don’t.

    Here's where I read about it...

    1. I also blush pretty easily. It's not a bad thing :). That sounds like quite an interesting study.

    2. I promised I would change the topic... befitting on this wonderful blog, which basically depicts food and travels,embellished with Jen's visual aids...

      I don't know about you guys, but I love online quizzes, because I learn a lot with these, especially when I get the answer right or tells you the history. This quiz is about people who have given their names for famous recipes throughout the years. It's called TASTY PEOPLE.

      I didn't do too about you guys?! Take the quiz!

      I was off today, so back to the grind tomorrow and the next few days :(

    3. Jen,

      Promise..promise..last comment on my part, on self-admitted blushers...definitely NOT a bad thing, everything seems to derail again (imho in added pluses)

    4. Oh, no worries! Feel free to post any interesting links to share in the comments. I always enjoy them.

    5. Hahaha...why am I still blushing?!

    6. Yeh! Blushing is what it is, not a bad thing Alan, it defines yoou. I am just WAY too blunt, blushing? No one told me I was... As Martha Stewart says: "It's a good thing!" Where you constantly say yoou blush, well I do not see yoou, it could be a term within feeling warm.

      Medically it has to do with the capillaries and skin denseness all dealing with emotions blood rushes up and BINGO.

  6. P.S. I got an okay score on that food quiz... I got two correct on the first try, and a few more correct on the second try. Those soups and things sounded very decadent and appetizing!

    1. Cheers, Jen, our Epic Treat champion!

  7. Hey Jen!

    Am extending safe/happy Memorial Day weekend wishes to you. Am pleased to see that you have posted about your adventures in Campbell as promised, so am scrolling up for another interesting read, and view some of those amazing pics you took before drafting an ecard northward. Cheers!