Happy New Year, friends!
We spent the latter part of 2011 in Las Vegas with my folks. We stayed with them at their vacation home, which you may remember. This trip for us was all about good eats, walking, shopping, talking, playing and sleeping. I had such a great time, it was really hard to say good-bye to my folks who stayed there for a full 2 1/2 weeks! Vegas has become a great social hub for them.
On one of our outings, we visited the breathtaking Venetian Hotel, where we discovered the Peter Lik Gallery. I will always take time out to visit a beautiful gallery, and this one did not disappoint. Near the back of the gallery, down a narrow hallway was this magnificent photograph…
It’s called “Ele Dreaming”
This image brought tears to my eyes, and I had a hard time walking away from it. I could feel its compassion and gentle calm speaking directly to my soul.
It still makes my heart skip just looking at it.
When we got home, I learned that it was actually Peter Lik’s ex-girlfriend that took this shot, which is why I suppose you can’t find the image on his site. But while browsing, I was in absolute awe of his masterful photography.
Here’s one of my favorites of his…
In other news, it was alerted to me by several readers that my Miso Soup Recipe post somehow fell off the blogging planet. Weird. It completely vanished from my blog, but thankfully I always save a back-up of all my posts! For those of you that wanted the recipe, here you go…
- 10 Minute Miso Soup -
With the days getting chillier, I’ve been spending more time in the kitchen making lots of homemade soups and hearty stews. One of favorite soups is miso soup, which I used to seek out in Japanese restaurants as I just figured the recipe must be incredibly elusive and difficult to make. Boy was I wrong.
My friend Kate, who I consider my nutrition guru, introduced me to Alicia Silverstone's book The Kind Diet a couple months ago. I’ll share more on that life changer of a book in another post. Let me just say WOW.
Have you ever heard of Mochi? Me neither until just recently. Mochi is a Japanese rice cake made of glutinous rice (not to be confused with gluten) pounded into paste and molded into shape.
In other words, it’s a party in your mouth…
Hot n’ ready in just about 10 minutes (not including veggie prep)…
Miso Soup, lightly adapted from The Kind Diet
1/4 – 1/2 cup onion, cut into large dice
1 whole scallion, roots and all, sliced thinly on the diagonal
1 medium leek, cleaned and sliced
2” piece dried wakame, cut into small pieces with scissors
1/4 medium daikon, sliced into thin rounds
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2” x 4” piece brown rice mochi, quartered
Shoyu, soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons barley miso
1 1/2 teaspoons mellow white miso
1 sheet nori
Bring 2 1/2 cups of water to a boil in a medium pot. Lower the heat, and add the onion, scallion, leek, wakame and daikon. Simmer while you prepare the mochi.
In a skillet, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the mochi to the pan, cover, and cook for 3-4 minutes, checking to make sure the mochi doesn’t burn. Flip the mochi, drizzling each side with a couple drops of shoyu. Cover the pan, and cook for 3-4 minutes longer. The mochi is done when it expands and begins to look puffy.
While the mochi cooks, place the miso in a small cup, stir in a few tablespoons of the soup broth, and then add it to the soup. Simmer the soup for 2 minutes, making sure NOT to boil the miso. Remove the pot from the heat.
To serve, ladle the soup into a bowl. Rip the nori into bite-size pieces, and sprinkle on top. Serve with the fried mochi squares. Enjoy.
NOTE: If you’re unsure about some of the ingredients, they were a little unfamiliar to me at first too…
Mochi (pronounced mo-chee) can be found at Whole Foods, in the refrigerated section.
Wakame is a sea vegetable; edible seaweed. Can be found at Asian markets and Whole Foods.
Daikon is a member of the radish family. It resembles a huge white carrot, with amazing properties. Look for it at Whole Foods or Sprouts.
Shoyu is the Japanese word for soy sauce. I prefer Eden brand, available at Whole Foods and Sprouts.
Miso is a thick paste made from fermented soybeans and barley or rice malt. I prefer Eden brand, available at Whole Foods. Look for miso aged 2 years.
Nori is edible seaweed, eaten dried in sheets. I prefer toasted nori.
Last but not least, we have TWO winners to announce for the subway sign Giveaway:
Please contact Kathee to claim your prize. And a big thank you to all those that entered!
Till next time, click and keep up with us on our favorite sites….