Friday, April 30, 2010

The Non-Potato Chip Chip: Part II

As promised, I found a more environmentally friendly way to enjoy roasted seaweed. Instead of buying the seaweed individually packaged (per previous blog post) you can make these tasty and healthy chips yourself. And it really is a snap.

                1 package "sushi" seaweed (comes in sheets, dried but not roasted)
                sesame oil

Pre-heat oven to 400. Pour some oil onto a small plate. Place as many seaweed sheets as will fit onto a cookie sheet. Using a pastry brush gently brush both sides of the sheets with oil. You don't need much oil, just a very light coat will do. Add salt to taste on both sides, or whatever you like. Roast in the oven for about 3 minutes. Watch carefully as they will burn pretty quickly. You want them to maintain their green color, as soon as they start to discolor remove them from the oven, this in indication they are starting to burn. They will be ready to eat immediately. Simply tear them into chip sizes and enjoy. These chips will not last more than a couple days, but in the mean time store them in an airtight container with a cracker to absorb moisture.

What a great alternative to potato chips! Kids love them, too.

Friday, April 23, 2010

500 Days of Summer

!!!Spoiler Alert!!! Do not read this post if you have not seen 500 Days of Summer and want to as I'll be revealing major details about the plot and the ending.

This is not a review of the film, rather a review of how it affected me and my beliefs about love. Actually, it traumatized me so much it's taken over a week for me to sit down and write this. Don't get me wrong, the movie was quite well done, engaging, believable, and starred the lovely Zooey Deschanel whom I've been slightly obsessed with since her appearance in Almost Famous (my favorite movie of all time). I use the word traumatizing here because this film did more than just make me think, it seriously shook up my beliefs, which can feel disconcerting but is also what is so great about art (in this case film as art) and more specifically, the expression of love through art.

As a refresher, here is the story in a nutshell. Boy meets girl, boy falls hopelessly in love with girl although girl claims to not believe in love and does not want serious relationship with boy. Meanwhile, via flashbacks, we know something eventually goes horribly wrong between boy and girl, but we don't know exactly what. Love ensues. Girl suddenly breaks up with boy, boy is devastated, she is the only one for him, where did it go wrong? Boy tries to get over girl, sees her again months later and is hopeful they will get back together. Turns out girl in engaged and is now a believer in love and has met the one. Boy is crushed. Boy meets another girl, she is the one.

They had to throw us a bone with the happy ending and we're better for it because I couldn't bear this story otherwise. What most upset me was the unfairness of this love. Not because she broke up with him or because she didn't love him as much as he loved her, but because she said from the beginning she didn't believe in love. And you don't get to do that! You don't get to be fervently against love, drag someone along who clearly does believe in it, then when you meet someone else, decide well, hey I guess it's real after all. No. No! My perspective was firmly locked through the eyes of Boy.

It wasn't until after chatting with a friend about the film that it dawned on me that this story is all about perspective. Her comment was that Summer (girl) did the right thing. Did the right thing? This echoed in my mind for days until I could finally understand why she saw it that way. To her, Summer ended it when she realized it wasn't right to keep stringing him along, when she finally knew she didn't love him. Ok. Yes, this is a good point but it's still unfair. He was the one who believed in love all along, not Summer.

And mainly what's bothering me is there is a lot of Tom in me. Not the part about believing in your one true love, but experiencing that pain of loving someone so much and only getting static back in response. Love is so beautiful and wonderful and goddamn it ought to be fair too. But some people don't know how to receive that kind of powerful love, for some reason can't feel what you feel, and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. It's not that certain people are meant to be together, it's that the give and take is connected between them, or in this case not. So the question remains, how is that connection made and why does it exist between some people but not with others? All I know is this: love is unfair. You just can't help who you love.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Very Healthy Non-Potato Chip Chip

Discovering Korean roasted seaweed solved my potato chip fix.

Roasted seaweed is a very popular snack for school kids here in Hawaii. It comes packed in thin layers about 3X4 inches in size, each pack contains about 10 layers, so it's a great snack size. Unfortunately, they are packed in lots of unnecessary plastic, so I'll be on the look-out for a brand that's a little more eco-friendly. The seaweed is crunchy, salty, and satisfying and seriously a lot like eating potato chips. The genius part is that one pack only has about 25 calories, less than 3 grams of fat, and contains a decent amount of vitamins A and C.

We can buy them at Costco and all the regular grocery stores here, but I'll include a link so you can buy them online if you can't find them where you're at. Be sure to check asian grocery stores, it is a Korean specialty. Click here to buy online: Korean Roasted Seaweed.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Quicky Quiche

This was my first attempt at quiche and it turned out so well I had to share the recipe. My version has a lot more extras, meaning it is much chunkier, than a typical version because I wanted to include lots of veggies to make it healthful. What's really great about quiche is you can do endless varieties, what's your version going to include?

1 store bought pie shell (refrigerated kind, unbaked)
3 eggs
1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup half and half (milk will do, too)
1/4 of a yellow onion, chopped
2 salmon fillets cut into chunks (or 1 can salmon, drained)
2 cups Swiss chard, chopped
1/2 cup mushrooms
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
2 TBL fresh chives, chopped
1 TBL fresh Italian parsley, chopped
salt & pepper

Bake the pie shell at 450 for 9-11 minutes taking care to poke holes in the crust with a fork prior to baking. While it's baking whip the eggs in a large bowl. Add some salt and pepper then the mayo and half and half and mix well. Add all the rest of the ingredients, except half the cheese, into the bowl and stir, coating all with the egg mixture. Once pie shell is done baking, pour egg mixture in the pie shell and bake for 50 minutes at 425. Be sure to cover the exposed pie crust with some foil to prevent burning. After 50 minutes add rest of cheese to quiche and bake 5 more minutes. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes, quiche should technically be served at room temperature, but I won't tell if you eat it while it's still warm. It does need time to set up, so try to resist eating it right out of the oven.

Subs: any meat for salmon, any cheese for mozzarella, spinach or other leafy green for chard, herbs are interchangeable, dill would be nice.

Additions: tomatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, garlic, asparagus, peas, uh oh she's on a roll...

Combinations to try: ham & cheese, spinach, bacon & swiss, spinach & tomato, asparagus & gorgonzola, sausage & mushroom, shrimp & pesto, your idea here


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