Cabbage from the Patch

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Lonely Cabbage

Lonely Cabbage (Photo credit: pain_amp1013)

Are you a cabbage fan?  Not the, oh so popular when we were kids, Cabbage Patch Kids, but the one the grows in the garden. Do you have a favorite recipe for cabbage? So far we have received two cabbages from our farm share, a green and a red one.

Cabbage seems to be pretty popular around here. We are surrounded by dishes that are highly influenced by Polish cuisine. We are even the home of the “very famous” Great Pierogi Race! A lot of my local friends seem to like making the popular Haluski; I must say, I’ve never ventured into making it. They tend to complain that their kitchen smells like cabbage for the rest of the day. All I’ve ever made with cabbage has been your traditional picnic style coleslaw, which is what I made with my green cabbage. Everybody in my family really likes it.

Traditional Cole Slaw MW

When we got our share a friend was telling me that her husband does not like coleslaw and her cabbage was so big that she needed more cabbage recipes. I searched around and found a recipe for Chinese Coleslaw. I had never tried the recipe, but I am a big fan of the Brown Eyed Baker blog, so I figured it was going  to be good. I sent my friend the recipe and next thing I know she was RAVING about it. Even her husband LOVED this coleslaw. So I was excited when we got our red cabbage, I knew exactly what I was going to make with it… The Chinese Coleslaw. It is far from your typical coleslaw and is vinegar based instead of mayo based. The red cabbage gave it a fun color. This recipe calls for Ramen Noodles, sunflower seeds and almonds. It is fantastic, makes my mouth water just thinking about it. You get a perfect mix of crunchiness and sweetness and vibrant colors as a bonus.

Chinese Cole Slaw MW

So next time you see a lonely cabbage at the grocery store, pick it up and try this amazing recipe which will surely brighten your day. Let me know, I’ll come over for dinner.

Until next time…

Mariel

Hibachi Review

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Kawa Sushi in Livermore

Kawa Sushi in Livermore (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you like the hibachi experience? I hadn’t been to one in years but always remember thinking that it was so fun as a kid.

Recently Living Social had a deal for Ichiban Hibachi Steakhouse & Sushi Bar. The deal was spend $15 and get a $30 gift certificate to spend on food and non-alcoholic beverages. I had never been here so I thought this would be a good time to check it out. While they have several locations the certificate was only good for the Village Run Rd location, this is north of Pittsburgh. My kids had never been to a hibachi restaurant so I thought they would get a big kick out of them cooking food right in front of them. Well I have to say this was the worst restaurant experience we’ve ever had. I must say that my kids had been having a rough day, so they were not at the top of their game. They were still well-behaved but didn’t enjoy the experience as much as I expected.

It all started when we sat down at our table. There were four of us so they paired us with another family of four. They also had two kids. Just as we were sitting down the waitress was bringing their drink order. She spilled and broke a glass of wine all over the lady’s dress. Luckily nobody got hurt, but since there were small pieces of broken glass everywhere they had to move us to a new “table”.

We placed our order and then I had to listen to the girl next to me watch SpongeBob on their iPhone. (Not the restaurant’s fault, but definitely didn’t help my experience.) My husband ordered Spicy Tuna Roll from their raw sushi menu. We are not sushi experts, we are starting to expand our horizons into the sushi world, but this thing that was delivered to our table was disgusting! To those of you who know sushi better than us, when you order a spicy tuna roll it is supposed to contain a slice of tuna fillet or is it supposed to have some sort of ground tuna consistency? This one had the later. I seriously thought my husband was going to be sick at the table. Of course we could not finish our appetizer. The waitress took it away and at no point asked if we had liked it or made any comment about how we had left most of our appetizer on the plate.

The chef came out to make our meal. My children were completely terrified of the big fire! The meals come out with soup, salad, rice, noodles and whatever meat you pick. We had shrimp, scallops and chicken. The soup wasn’t horrible but pretty much tasted like salty, chicken flavored water. The salad was a small bowl of lettuce with a thousand island type dressing on top. I’m guessing my husband asked for chop sticks because they were never offered to me. The waitress brought water to refill the other lady’s glass but never asked if I wanted more water in my empty glass, so I had to stop her to get my water. The shrimp, scallops and chicken were well cooked, but the food in general didn’t have a lot of flavor. The portions were all VERY big, but it’s not the quality that you expect from an $$$$ expensive restaurant.

This place is advertised as a steakhouse/sushi bar and they charge you like a steakhouse/sushi bar. The quality of the food and service is on par with a chain restaurant like Chili’s. (actually I think you get better service from most chain restaurants) This was a terrible overall experience for us. I would have much rather spent the same amount of money and gotten a high quality steak at Morton’s. Needless to point out that we will NOT be returning to this restaurant and can NOT recommend it to anybody else. Maybe the fact that this place has these issues is why they offered Living Social deal to try to get more people in the door. We went on a Friday night, the certificate said to make reservations. When I called the girl said that there was no wait and reservations were not needed. I guess I should have known then.

Oh and to finish the story about our table mates, the girl who had wine and glass all over her… they brought the bill and charged her for all the drinks. Her husband had to ask the waitress if they could please not charge them for the drinks they spilled all over his wife!

Bottom line… Ichiban Hibachi Steakhouse and Sushi Bar is NOT a recommended restaurant.

Until next time…

Mariel

Lego Time

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The best thing about having kids is that it gives you an excuse to be a kid again. Preschool age is great because the toys get more fun and they still need your help. My kids are getting into that Lego stage. Now the blocks are getting smaller, they are more fun, but easier to loose and more painful when you step on them. My son loves Star Wars, my daughter likes anything her big brother likes, but she loves pink. Recently, as a reward, we told the kids they could go to the store and pick out a Lego set. My son went straight to the Star Wars sets and picked the Sith Nightspeeder set. My daughter went for the Olivia’s Tree House set. My son and husband were so excited about his that they went to work on it right away. My father-in-law started helping my daughter with hers but they never finished it. We kind of put them away and forgot about them… until today.

The kids really wanted to play with their Lego sets today, so I decided to sit down and finish putting hers together. I hadn’t played with Legos in a while. They have one of those Lego bins full of different blocks, but I am not very creative when it comes to these things. I must say though, I had a great time and loved putting this Olivia’s Tree House set together. I guess I’m a follow instructions kind of gal. (Note to self, must work on the whole outside the box concept.) The set had a ton of tiny pieces and to my surprise, we still had all of them. The instructions were great and very easy to follow. The recommended age group for these sets is 6 – 12 years, it’s good to know I can follow directions meant for a 6 year old.

The nice thing about these sets is that they can play with them after they are done with the building. The Star Wars set comes with lightsabers, missiles that shoot out and two detachable pods. The Olivia set comes with the Olivia doll, a cat and bird.

Luckily my kids play well together so Anakin Skywalker was friends with Princess Leia (Olivia was quickly renamed). Together they protected the tree house from the bad guys!

Did you get to play with Legos today? Were you a big Lego fan as a kid? What is your favorite Lego set? It’s great to know that after more than 60 years this company is still making fun, high quality toys.

Until next time!

Mariel

A New BzzReview From Me to You – The Razor

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I belong to a great, fun group called BzzAgent. Through BzzAgent you get to try fun new products and share your opinion about them. Usually they will send you some sort of free sample and coupons to share with friends. This is my first campaign that I’m sharing on here.

For this campaign I got to test the new BIC Soleil Savvy disposable razors.

I am a very simple girl when it comes to razors. I usually use men’s disposable razors. Nothing fancy but they do the job. I have tried all kids of women’s razors from the Venus to women’s disposables and have always been very unimpressed. So when I received this in the mail, I said “Ok why not.”, but wasn’t expecting much out of it.

Well ladies and gents… I love this razor! The package comes with one handle and four cartridges. When you are done with your cartridges you dispose of the whole thing and buy a new package. To me it seems this part is a little wasteful, they don’t sell the replacement cartridges by themselves. But they are not too expensive, Walmart sells them online for $6.27. The refills have three blades on them and a moisture strip with Vitamin E. The handle is nice and big so it’s easy to hold. It will leave your legs feeling so smooth.

Thanks to the people at Bic and BzzAgent I received this nice little care package.

I have a few $3 off coupons, if you live in the US would like to try out this wonderful razor, I will mail out a $3 off coupon to the first two people to comment on the post. You have until Friday the 13th to post a comment.

Do you have a favorite razor? Have you used the BIC Soleil Savvy before? What are you doing to stay cool during this very hot summer?

Until next time!

Mariel

Infusion Part Two

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Did my first infusion post inspire you to run into your kitchen and infuse some vodka? Did you end up trying Tito’s? (I promise they didn’t pay me at all to write about their vodka.) If so, what did you think? We enjoyed our strawberry/pepper infused vodka so much that we decided to keep experimenting with it. In part one I told you guys about how we played around with fresh strawberries and serrano peppers. This time around we used less peppers and frozen fruit.

My husband decided to play around with frozen peaches and strawberries. He also used less peppers this time around. The result was this beautiful looking concoction. Along with some martini glasses I think these would make a great gift. My friend will be getting a sample as a birthday present this weekend. What do you think?

Maybe next week I’ll play around with some Sangria!

Until next time!

Mariel

Happy 4th of July 2012

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Are you celebrating Independence Day this year? What are your plans? It’s wonderful to be able to celebrate this day. I love the fireworks, parades, the food and the friends. It’s going to be a hot one this year, how are you planning on staying cool? Hopefully for us there will be some pool time and cold drinks. Even though it’s been hot lately I really felt like baking so we have a rum cake waiting for the celebration. What’s your favorite 4th of July dessert?

I leave you with a 4th of July family favorite. Enjoy!

Until next time!

Mariel

RB is for Red Beets

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Are you a fan of red beets? I feel like people tend to have a strong opinion about beets. You either love them or can’t stand them. Our house is divided, I love them, my husband can’t stand them. We recently got some beets in our farm box. I think I was one of the very few people who did not try to switch them out for a different vegetable. I can’t say that I had ever had fresh beets before or that I had ever cooked them, but I have loved them since I was a little girl. Whenever my grandmother would take me out for lunch I would always get red beets from the salad bar. My guess is that they were probably canned, but I still loved them.

English: A bundle of organic beets from a loca...

A bundle of organic beets from a farm food co-op program. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While beets contain a lot of natural sugar, they are very nutritious. They are low in cholesterol and saturated fat, but a good source of vitamin C and iron.

I searched and asked around for recipes. I wanted to pickle them and was looking for something simple and kind of traditional. I ended up mixing some recipes. I only had a few small ones too, so I just eyeballed everything. I was very surprised at how wonderful they tasted when simply boiled. My beets were still covered in dirt since they were fresh, so I had to wash them well before cooking. Also know that when cooked they are a purple-red and can stain. My fingers ended up bright purple-red from peeling them. I wonder if you could use them to dye things other than food, have you ever tried this?

So I cut the ends off my beets then placed the rest in boiling water until they were nice and tender. This took a while probably about 45 minutes even though they weren’t very big. I then took some paper towels and peeled them by rubbing the skin off with the paper towels. Then I sliced the beets into thin round pieces. I used apple cider vinegar and left over water from when I boiled them. I also added sliced onions, a little salt and a little sugar. I put it all in a mason jar, which I then let sit in the fridge for a few days.

I’m glad I pickled them, it was something that I had never done before. The result was pretty good, but next time I might try a different approach. What is your favorite way to eat red beets? Do you have a favorite red beets recipe?

Until next time!

Mariel