Restaurant Outing – Sei Bar

By Kristina

Yesterday we rang in the new year with a visit to our favorite sushi restaurant, Sei Bar! The sushi and the customer service are equally awesome. We love going there for date nights or birthday celebrations–you can always count on a cheerful, easygoing experience! No crowds, long waits for tables, or snooty attitude can ever be found. The staff will also get to know you after you come in a few times, and they’ve been known to throw in free creme brulees, drinks, or Viking boats.

Some highlights of dinner (coincidentally some of my favorite things to order) are below:
Reason #1 to Love Sei Bar: Fresh, Simple Ingredients. Spicy tuna hand rolls (2 regular, 4 white tuna). I’m now a huge fan of white tuna after being converted by my friends Brad and John.
Reason #2 to Love Sei Bar: Innovative Recipes. We first saw the sushi sandwiches (tuna, spicy mayo, and tempura) in April at Brad’s going away party. It made an official appearance on the holiday menu in December.

Reason #3 to Love Sei Bar: Viking Boats.Our viking sushi, from left to right: Tufts maki (cooked tuna over a roll of cucumber and tempura), caterpillar roll, Tesla roll (tuna, roe and seaweed salad over a roll of cooked tuna and mango), spicy white tuna hand rolls, and salmon sashimi.

Not Pictured Today, but Likely Will be on Future Visits
  • Lettuce wraps with minced chicken
  • Spicy avocado salad
  • Tuna naruto
  • Spicy lime veggie soup
  • Flower tea
  • Creme Brulee

On the first day of ’12, my true love gave to me…

By Kristina

…a Canon Rebel T3…(i).

This baby is way more technologically capable than my old Canon PowerShot, so my dream of cooking up a storm and then presenting my cooking via a frequently-updated food blog will now come to fruition! However, I haven’t touched an SLR since my days at Corks & Curls and Cav Daily, so I feel rusty with concepts like aperture, shutter speed, composition. Furthermore, there are so many features, modes and options on the camera…will have to make a study date with the instruction manual!

My dream of a food blog has been around for a while, with my first forays into food blogging taking place in the dark ages of the interwebs. My friend Kat and I were inspired to chronicle our kitchen experiments for our friends and family to see. Though Kat was diligent about her posting, I was…not. At the time, I was a newly minted teacher trying to juggle three different preps and learning how to lesson plan while chomping on the results of my kitchen experiments, often ending at one of these stages of the meal’s circle of life:

1) Infancy: I devoured the meal before remembering to take a picture. “Ooh that chili was the bomb dot com. Was there something I was supposed to do? Ehh, I’ll blog next time.”

2) Toddlerhood: I fully intended to take a picture but didn’t charge the batteries or forgot the camera. “I am so ready to write about this gruyere, mushroom and bacon egg frittata. No battery? Ehh, I’ll blog next time.”

3) Childhood: I took a picture but my kitchen light gave the food the unflattering treatment that only a DMV camera can impart, so I deleted it. “This gourmet cream of mushroom soup tastes so good…but looks really vile. Ehh, I’ll blog next time.”

4) Adolescence: I took a picture but let it languish on the camera’s SD card. “I’m in a food coma after eating buffalo chicken. The pictures look a little better than usual, but I’ll just take a nap before I upload. [Three hours later] Ehh, I’ll blog next time.”

Looking back on the rare meals that made it to the Adulthood stage (camera + USB cable = upload success), I realize that some lesson planning wisdom I’ve gained over the years can turn my food blogging from a C/D to an A/B. In a math lesson, clear objectives, routines and materials are key to making sure all the activities run smoothly. In 2012, out with the “I’ll blog next time” and in with the “I’ll blog this now!”

1) Clear Objectives: I didn’t have a clearly defined purpose. I’d blog random snacks or elaborate french toast with banana cardamom sauce. I didn’t set any time deadlines for myself. In 2012, I will blog the following: one new recipe a week and one dinner party a month.The recipes will come from my cookbooks or favorite food blogs. I won’t blog every single meal I make, otherwise I will burn out and fall back into the “next time” trap. Sometimes I’ll include things like restaurant meals or budget challenges, but I’m going to aim for reasonable rather than try to write about everything under the sun.

2) Routines and Materials: The lovely Canon Rebel T3i and Eye-Fi card will make uploading so much quicker. I’ll also post on the new recipes on Wednesdays to get into a regular habit, and post the dinner party recaps within two days of the parties.
Looking forward to twelve dinner parties and fifty-two new recipes in 2012!

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