From My Carolina Home

Quilting, cooking, reading books, gardening, crafting, sewing, photography and more


13 Comments

Asian Inspired Salad

Warmer days are coming, and temperatures here will be in the high 60s all week this week.  I know there will be a freeze before the real spring is here, but for now it is great weather for hiking and being outside.  For a lighter meal perfect for warmer days, I have a new salad that has captured my fancy.  I cannot get enough of it!  Light and refreshing, it is a wonderful addition to a meal, or in a larger version is a meal on its own.

Asian Salad at From My Carolina Home

This was my meal at a local Japanese restaurant, with their version of this salad.  My friend and I were sitting at the sushi bar, and the sushi chef was friendly and chatty, happy to share his recipe for the salad.

Japanese Food inspiration at From My Carolina Home

I came home knowing I couldn’t get all the ingredients used in the restaurant version, one is the bits left over from frying tempura.  But, I could come close if I really put my mind to it.  The salad is really simple, just lettuce and imitation crab meat, with some crunchy bits and a special dressing.

Asian Salad at From My Carolina Home

Since I couldn’t do tempura bits, I chose something close that would add a bit more flavor at the same time, canned fried onions.  The imitation crab meat is made from pollack fish and king crab meat with egg whites, so it is really more of a real food product than you might think.  It is also fully cooked and ready to eat right out of the package.  It freezes well, so if you cannot eat the whole package in a few days, you can freeze the sticks in smaller portions to pull out as needed.

Asian Salad at From My Carolina Home

Begin by chopping the lettuce into julienne strips.

Asian Salad at From My Carolina Home

Cut the imitation crab into strips too.  You’ll find it pulls apart into smaller strips as you cut.

Asian Salad at From My Carolina Home

Toss the crab and lettuce with the canned fried onions, proportions to your taste.

Asian Salad at From My Carolina Home

The dressing is a sriracha mayonnaise.  This is easy to make and also to taste.  Sriracha is an Asian hot sauce made from red jalapeno peppers (the ripened form of the green ones you usually think of), garlic, vinegar, salt and sugar.  It has a different taste than the usual hot sauce, and is thicker.  To make the mayonnaise, begin with a half cup of mayonnaise, and add just a teaspoon of sriracha.  Try some, and decide if you want it a bit more spicy, you can always add more.  In this proportion, the dressing will be flavorful but not hot.  I found that I liked a bit more, and use a tablespoon sriracha to one cup mayo as my final preference.  I also found the sauce does nicely in tomato juice to zip up a Bloody Mary, LOL!!  Using a bit in any tomato sauce, or soup also adds a nice kick of flavor.

Asian Salad at From My Carolina Home

Toss the salad with dressing, serve and enjoy.

Asian Salad at From My Carolina Home

I keep making this salad, having it for dinner by itself last week during a warm day.  I had some fresh spinach that I added, julienne cut.

Asian Salad at From My Carolina Home

The lettuce isn’t lasting long around here now, LOL!!  I tossed two sticks of imitation crab with lettuce and spinach.

Asian Salad at From My Carolina Home

Dressed with sriracha mayonnaise, I filled my bowl for a light meal.  To make the salad gluten free, you’ll need to substitute gluten free croutons for the fried onions, as the label says there is some wheat in them.

Asian Salad at From My Carolina Home

Yum, I’ll be making this all summer!!  Light and fresh tasting, a perfect meal for a warm day.

Asian Salad

Julienne cut lettuce – about one cup
Julienne cut imitation crab – two sticks
2 tablespoons canned fried onions, more or less to taste
Julienne cut spinach – about 1/2 cup (optional)
Sriracha Mayonnaise dressing – one cup mayonnaise with 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce

Combine first three (or four) ingredients, lightly dress with Sriracha mayonnaise.  Makes one large salad for one, or side salads for two.

Asian Salad at From My Carolina Home

Just for fun, if you have Netflix, there are three Japanese series that I have thoroughly enjoyed and would love to mention.  First and my most favorite, a quirky series called Samauri Gourmet, short 20-minute episodes about a newly retired man discovering the joy of dining alone.  He is a timid guy, but his Samauri alter ego shows him how to  let go of his fears and eat freely.  Hilarious and only a few episodes.  Next, Midnight Diner, also a short episode series about a diner only open from midnight to dawn, and the stories are about the people who eat there.  Lastly, Japanese Style Originator, a show with Japanese celebrities answering questions about culture and arts in Japan, with informational stories about all kinds of things from gardens to artisans to food.  All are in Japanese with subtitles.

Are you hungry for a summer salad?

Find Japanese Cookbooks on Amazon

Asian Salad at From My Carolina Home

 

Advertisements


51 Comments

Omiyage

Gift giving is something I really enjoy.  Seeing someone’s face as they receive a little remembrance as a surprise is fun.  In the Japanese tradition of Omiyage, in past times, gifts were given to the lords of the lands for protection with many rules on the gift itself down to how it was wrapped and even the manner presented.  The gift needed to be presented with both hands, with an apology for the trivial nature of the gift no matter how expensive or extravagant.  Recipients were to demur and be persuaded to accept it.  In modern times, gifts are given to friends and family as a show of respect, with relatively few guidelines.  The most common Omiyage is given by travelers, which is why many believe the word translates to ‘souvenir’, but this is not really correct.  Gifts are brought back from the traveler to present to coworkers in the case of a business trip, or vacation gifts to family and friends, mainly of food items.  This can be a real burden when you work with a lot of people!  Visitors from far away places bring gifts to their hosts of things from their homeland, again particularly edibles.  In her book, Omiyage, Kumiko Sudo blends the Japanese tradition with the joy of handmade into small gifts made with scraps.  Luxurious fabrics left over from kimonos are particularly good.  This little crane is a pincushion from the book, made with a scrap left over from my Sakura Tsuki quilt.  Cranes are symbols of longevity and good luck, and giving a gift of a handmade crane wishes the recipient happiness and long life.

Omiyage at From My Carolina Home

I have two projects to share with you today, both original ideas for gifts you can make.  The first one is one I have shown before, my sunglasses case, this time in Oriental fabric.  I have an ulterior motive for showing you this again, and I’ll reveal that at the end of the post.  So, to begin, I’ll make two of these at once, cutting two focus fabrics and two lining fabrics 10-inches x 9 inches.

Omiyage at From My Carolina Home

Sew the two fabrics right sides together with batting, turn, and then topstitch.

Omiyage at From My Carolina Home

Apply velcro as outlined in the Sunglasses Case post.  Fold up the bottom and topstitch.

Omiyage at From My Carolina Home

Very quickly, two sunglasses cases.  One I did a bit of quilting on, the other I left plain.

Omiyage at From My Carolina Home

Second project, an easy cosmetic case.  The idea occurred to me to do it in the a similar manner as the sunglasses case to make the project much simpler and easier than doing one with a zipper.  So, I began by figuring out the right size, and cut a focus fabric and a lining fabric 10-inches wide x 15-inches long.  I cut a bit of batting the same size.

Omiyage at From My Carolina Home

Layer batting, then lining right side up, then focus fabric right side down.

Omiyage at From My Carolina Home

Sew around the edge, through all three layers, leaving a 3-4 inch opening for turning.

Omiyage at From My Carolina Home

Clip the corners to reduce bulk.

Omiyage at From My Carolina Home

Reaching between the lining and focus fabric, turn right sides out.

Omiyage at From My Carolina Home

I use a chopstick to poke out the corners to a nice point.

Omiyage at From My Carolina Home

Press the piece to sharpen the edges and the corners.

Omiyage at From My Carolina Home

Take special care over the opening to ensure it is in line with an adequate seam allowance inside.

Omiyage at From My Carolina Home

Topstitch all the way around to close the opening, and finish off the edges.

Omiyage at From My Carolina Home

Now, on the lining side, stitch an 8-inch piece of velcro centered at each short side.

Omiyage at From My Carolina Home

The velcro will not extend to the edge of the piece, leaving room to sew the bag closed.

Omiyage at From My Carolina Home

Press the velcro together, ensuring it matches up on the side edges.

Omiyage at From My Carolina Home

Topstitch the sides closed along the previous line of topstitching.

Omiyage at From My Carolina Home

All done, a simple bag, easy and fast.

Omiyage at From My Carolina Home

Now you have a pretty matched set of cosmetic case and sunglasses case, which brings me to the ulterior motive.  Last summer we worked together to make the spa bags for Safelight.  I received a recent email from the new director saying that the bags were almost gone.  They have been placing them on the bed for new residents to have something to ease their difficult transition.  Last time, many readers asked if there was something that could be sewn, and this time there is.  I plan to do a bag project later in the spring that will have sunglasses as one of the goodies inside.  I thought it would be wonderful to do matching sunglasses cases with cosmetics cases for each bag.  Omiyage for the residents of Safelight.  I’ll be collecting them over the next two months or so, so you can slot the quick project in your schedule if you would like to help.  Any fabric is fine, doesn’t have to be Asian inspired.  Download an abbreviated pattern pdf with both projects along with my address for mailing – Omiyage for Safelight  And, yes, we’ll be doing cards and donations for the bags later.

Omiyage at From My Carolina Home

The inspiration for these projects came from several books by Kumiko Sudo, and her small handmade projects are both charming and interesting using beautiful fabrics and new techniques.  These are affiliate links for your convenience – Omiyage, Kokoro no Te, Folded Flowers, Flower Origami.  I’ll be getting to projects in fabric folding and origami later, I just haven’t had time to explore that and do a new design yet.

Omiyage at From My Carolina Home

Now for the fun part, how about a giveaway!!!  Aurifil is providing an East Meets West thread pack to support this series on Japanese and Asian inspired posts.  Just look at those gorgeous, vibrant colors.  Enter using the Rafflecopter link below!  Entries accepted worldwide!!

Rafflecopter Giveaway Aurifil Thread Collection East Meets West

What are you sewing now?  Can you make a set of cases for Safelight?

Fat Quarter Shop Daily Flash Sale

New Project Kits on Sale at Craftsy – Click HERE

P1060467

Thank you!

Omiyage at From My Carolina Home

Fat Quarter Shop Basic of the Month Sale

Sharing

Freemotion by the River


24 Comments

Bonsai Society Show and Garden update

Last fall, the NC Arboretum hosted a gathering of fifteen Bonsai Societies in a marvelous exhibition of this ancient art.  Entries for judging came primarily from associations in North Carolina, along with Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina. The bonsai trees ranged from the amazingly tiny to huge. I took almost 100 photographs of these interesting displays, and chose a few of the most interesting ones to show today.  If you didn’t already know, bonsai is pronounced “bone-sigh”, not “bahn-sigh” like I used to think before seeing the permanent exhibit at the Arboretum just a couple of years ago.

Carolina Bonsai Expo at From My Carolina Home

Bonsai has many artistic rules governing the aesthetics including asymmetry, miniaturization, and proportion.  Here, a Kingsville Boxwood has been trained into a pleasing shape with some extra natural elements in the container to create a scene.

Carolina Bonsai Expo at From My Carolina Home

A Dwarf Hinoki Cypress miniature tree sits on a wonderful stand suggesting tree branches.  The straight style with the trunk growing straight up is called chokkan, with larger branches at the bottom and smaller ones at the top.

Carolina Bonsai Expo at From My Carolina Home

Natural materials such as driftwood are sometimes used as a base for the bonsai.  Moss is used to suggest ground.  This container seems to simulate a rocky cliff.  It is suggestive of the cascade style of bonsai called kengai.

Carolina Bonsai Expo at From My Carolina Home

This interesting bonsai has the asymmetry so typical, along with the unusual element of roots exposed in the air.  The Colorado Spruce has the small needles needed for proportion.

Carolina Bonsai Expo at From My Carolina Home

This one was a bit of a departure from the rules as the leaves are larger than what is usual proportion for bonsai, and the persimmon fruit is also larger than usual.  But the lovely color of the fruit draws the eye.

Carolina Bonsai Expo at From My Carolina Home

Another bonsai using weathered wood as the base.

Carolina Bonsai Expo at From My Carolina Home

This Chinese Elm seems so simple, but look closer.  All the branches extend from the top side of the trunk, with a progression of length to create the triangle shape of the canopy in the formal upright style.  The container is also really interesting, with moss covering the roots.  The trunk style with a visible curve is called moyogi.  This would also fit into another category of bonsai, called bunjin-gi, of a long bare trunk with foliage on the top.

Carolina Bonsai Expo at From My Carolina Home

Another example of the triangle shape, the roots have been slightly exposed to show the forms.  The slant style called shakan is what most of us think of as the bonsai form.

Carolina Bonsai Expo at From My Carolina Home

Several small Chinese Elms form a forest in this larger entry.  Tiny ferns adorn the forest floor, and the forest sits on a large rock.

Carolina Bonsai Expo at From My Carolina Home

A Trident Maple gives the impression of a large mature tree shading a rock, but this entry was less than 12 inches tall.   This is a good example of the idea of bonsai, to evoke the feeling of viewing a much larger tree at a distance.

Carolina Bonsai Expo at From My Carolina Home

On the other side, this one was over 4 feet tall, also unusual for bonsai.  The shape is interesting, and the exposed roots add to the overall artistic quality.

Carolina Bonsai Expo at From My Carolina Home

This display was also huge with multiple bonsai on a large piece of what might have been volcanic rock.  The forms and textures were amazing, and it changed as you walked around it.  The aesthetic quality of the piece was beautiful from every view point, another unusual aspect as bonsai is typically viewed from only one side.  One of the portrayals of bonsai is the struggle to survive, called sharimiki, where some of the roots are bare and some of the bark removed, incorporated here.

Carolina Bonsai Expo at From My Carolina Home

One last multiple bonsai exhibit had Korean Hornbeam and Cedar of Lebanon with small shrub and moss adorning a driftwood and rock base.

Carolina Bonsai Expo at From My Carolina Home

The NC Arboretum has a permanent exhibit of bonsai as well.  These need to be outside as much as possible as the constriction of the root systems in small containers makes them difficult to grow indoors.  They need conditions close to growing in their natural environment for temperature, direct sunlight and humidity.   Most bonsai are begun with small seedlings that can be trained and pruned, wired to assume a particular shape, and kept miniature size.  Maybe one day I’ll try this, but for now, I’ll be happy admiring the results of other gardener’s patience.

Meanwhile, back home in my garden, little bulb leaves are peeking out all over! I think these are hyacinths. I planted so many bulbs I am having a hard time remembering which I put where.

February in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Crocus bulbs are waking up too.

February in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

I think these are daffodils.

February in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

One of the hyacinths was put in a bulb vase to force inside. It bloomed in my favorite white, a small bloom but very fragrant.

February in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

A warm day, and rain on the way made a gorgeous sunset.

February in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The turkeys are back, a group of seven – one male and six females – visiting regularly to scrounge a bit of bread.

February in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

On this day, I noticed this beautiful fox watching the turkeys in the meadow. I tried to get a photo of them together, but as soon as I stepped on the verandah, the turkeys ran towards me. He sat regally, allowed his picture to be taken, then turned and loped into the forest.

February in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

What is going on in your garden? Are you visiting your local arboretum?

February in the Garden at From My Carolina Home


8 Comments

Square Dance Mystery Quilt Along – Do-Si-Do

Finally, we get to start sewing!  It seems like forever since we cut fabric, doesn’t it?  Not to worry, with one clue a month, it is easy to catch up if you are just getting started.

Square Dance! at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

This month we will begin to make the first element, and use those jelly roll strips and charm squares if you have them.  So get out those bits, or all your 2-1/2-inch squares, we are going to make nine patches.  To begin using charm squares, pair up a light and a dark charm square and sew with a quarter-inch seam on one side.  Use about half of what you have.

Then, without pressing or cutting, sew the opposite side.

Now, cut them apart down the middle, at the 2-1/2-inch mark on your ruler, and press.  You’ll have two strip sets that can then be cross-cut into 2-1/2-inch units.  Half the sewing done already!  Then cut the others into two strips 2-1/2-inch wide to complete the nine-patch rows, using a dark or a light as needed.  Cross cut into three square units of 2-1/2-inches wide.

If you are using jelly roll strips, pair them with a light-dark-light configuration, and a dark-light-dark configuration and sew long strips.  Then cross-cut at 2-1/2-inches to get three units.

For those using scrappy squares, make nine-patches with the squares. This would make a fun leader-ender too. Press to the darks, nest and assemble.

Important – All nine patch units are the same, with four lights and five darks as shown.

Here’s your pdf with the number you need to make for each size – Square Dance DoSiDo

Just now finding this quilt along?  Find the cutting instructions on the first post – Square Dance Begins!

Tomorrow is the last day to enter the drawing for the Quilter’s Dream Orient queen size bamboo blend batting.  See the post on my Sakura Tsuki quilt for entry details.

Square Dance! at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

If you would like the Button for your blog –  Right-click on the image above and ‘save image as’ to your computer. Then, in Blogger and in WordPress, open the gadget for an image and upload the picture there. In the ‘link’ area, put the URL of the beginning post – https://frommycarolinahome.wordpress.com/2018/01/19/square-dance-begins/

Square Dance! A Scrap Dance Mystery Quilt Along at From My Carolina Home

Welcome to new subscribers to my blog! I’m delighted to have many new readers to quilt along. Just so you will know, my blog has quilting and sewing, free patterns and quilt alongs, tips and tutorials, travel and mountain living, crafting and stamping, cooking and gardening, tablescapes and decorating, reading and more. It is a wide variety, so don’t be surprised to see a new recipe or something other than quilting.

If you are reading my blog for the first time, you can follow by email by using the sidebar sign up, or Bloglovin using the sidebar link. If you are a Facebook user, follow the From My Carolina Home Facebook page. I like interacting with readers too, and you can put your pictures on our Square Dance 2018 Flickr group for the quilt alongs and projects, and on my new From My Carolina Home Project Sharing Facebook group too. This new group is for anything and everything inspired by my posts, sharing of projects and quilt alongs, sew alongs and stitch alongs, your tablescapes and gardens, and any project inspired by my blog.

Fat Quarter Shop Daily Flash Sale
Craftsy Unlimited FREE 7 day trial at Craftsy.com
Thank you for using my affiliate links, the small commissions I may receive support the costs of my blog and projects at no extra cost to you, and you can use your existing accounts with the merchants.

Craftsy.com

Square Dance! at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Are you Square Dancing with us?  How are you coming along?


19 Comments

Stamping February

Stamping in this Valentine month naturally centers on hearts and love, and I am so lucky to still have my sweetheart.  But, for many, Valentine’s day isn’t a day to celebrate, particularly those who have been betrayed by one they loved.  Perhaps, though, if I could make something small and inspirational, the day might be one that brings a smile to the residents of the domestic violence shelter, Safelight. Using white lunch bags, some inspirational stamps and a heart roller, I set to work creating 21 treat bags with cards. The inspirational message stamps in this pic that I ordered on ebay were a disappointment in that they were much smaller than expected.  But I did figure out a way to use them.

Valentine Project at From My Carolina Home

I started by rolling a row of hearts on the left side of the white bags. Using my roller guide kept the lines straight.

Valentine Project at From My Carolina Home

Adding a bit more color, I stamped “Smile” in a light green.

Valentine Project at From My Carolina Home

I found a heart outline stamp, and stamped it on the bags with pink ink, …

Valentine Project at From My Carolina Home

then put the little inspirational messages over the top like a conversation heart in deep purple ink.

Valentine Project at From My Carolina Home

I used several styles.  The messages were great, just small.

Valentine Project at From My Carolina Home

I added little butterflies, dragonflies and flowers in purple to finish the bag stamping.  Each one is just a bit different than the others.

Valentine Project at From My Carolina Home

Then I got to work creating cards using bright pink card stock. I embossed some with tulips, added a sun punched out of yellow cardstock, a butterfly or dragonfly in purple, and a green grass washi tape strip to the bottom.

Valentine Project at From My Carolina Home

It is hoped the inside inspirational message will lift spirits.

Valentine Project at From My Carolina Home

On the back, just a generic stamp without my name.

Valentine Project at From My Carolina Home

Another card with a butterfly embossed motif, with daffodil flowers, one in silhouette.

Valentine Project at From My Carolina Home

Inside a different message.

Valentine Project at From My Carolina Home

Two more designs with the same basic elements.

Valentine Project at From My Carolina Home

A sweet little bird is mounted on an embossed heart motif on this card.

Valentine Project at From My Carolina Home

Then I did the same basic idea again with another message and a flower.

Valentine Project at From My Carolina Home

After I had 21 cards made, I put them in craft paper envelopes, stamped To You From Me.  I hope the brown color will make it easy to find to look at again and again.  Next time I’ll see if I can get pink or red envelopes, but these would do for this time.

Valentine Project at From My Carolina Home

The cards were sealed inside with little shiny red heart stickers.

Valentine Project at From My Carolina Home

The bags were filled with candy, a variety of pieces in each one. I also found some cherry flavor lip balm, and added one to each bag too.  I want to say thank you to my friend, Karen R, who provided half of the funding for this project. Thank you to Katie for donating the cardstock and the stickers, and to Wendy for sending me some red ink pads used in this project.

Valentine Project at From My Carolina Home

The cards were added to the bags, and the tops folded over.  I was going to use heart stickers to seal them, but I ran out.

Valentine Project at From My Carolina Home

The bags were delivered to Safelight yesterday, and will be given to the residents to lift their spirits today.

Valentine Project at From My Carolina Home

Did you do any Valentine stamping?

 

Sharing

Val’s Tuesday Archives

Papercrafter’s at Ellebelle’s Creative Moments

Just For Fun February Challenge


10 Comments

Shumai

Now that you have a lovely Asian Inspired Table, you need some food for it.  I have been working on Asian inspired recipes and I have three new ones for you.  Today, my take on a Chinese shumai, a steamed dumpling open at the top instead of completely encased in the wrapper.  I thought this was a good time to show a new recipe for Chinese New Year coming up on the 16th.  The shumai in Japan are made only from shrimp, while the Chinese use pork or different types of seafood.   The Chinese chop the filling, while the Japanese form is ground to a paste.  These are really easy to make, and this recipe is a good size for two.  It will take a bit of effort, but truly, it only takes about 15 minutes to make the shumai, and then another 20-25 to steam them.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

I found that chopping the ingredients made a little meatball out of the filling, which was fine except that the wrapper fell off as it was served.  These little bowls were perfect to serve, a great thrift store find last summer.  Set on gold square plates, they have an Oriental vibe.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

I went with the Japanese method of making a paste, and the addition of an egg solved the meatball problem. I have made these a half dozen times trying to get the recipe just right. These plates are melamine, another thrift store score perfect for outdoor meals on the verandah. The shumai are between the broccoli and the chopsticks.  This time I took a few extra wrappers and made some mushroom won-tons to go with the shumai.  The sauces in the divided dish are teriyaki, soy, and horseradish as I didn’t have any wasabi.  I used an ice cream scoop to serve the rice so it has the same shape as what you get in a restaurant.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

Using a 3-inch round biscuit cutter, cut your won-ton wrappers into rounds. One note here, I tried several different brands of oyster sauce, and this one was by far the best – Ka-me Oyster Sauce. Don’t be afraid of this, it doesn’t taste anything like oysters. It is a richly umami flavor more like a very thick beefy sauce, with a bit of a salty taste.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

Place about 4 ounces of ground pork and an egg in a food processor or blender, and process until you have a paste.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

Add the other ingredients and pulse a few times.  I then transferred the mixture to a bowl just for ease of working with it.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

Place a small amount of filling on a won-ton wrapper, moisten the edges with water, and begin pinching pleats into the sides.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

I put five pleats in each one.  It sounds really labor intensive, but it really didn’t take that long.  Once you get the hang of it, it goes pretty fast – just spoon, pinch, place.  Place the shumai on a piece of parchment paper in a bamboo steamer.  You can also use lettuce leaves. Whichever you choose will keep the food from sticking to the bamboo.  I add a few frozen potstickers to the steamer to add another element to the meal.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

Steam the shumai about 20-25 minutes total, until the temperature inside reaches 170º-180º.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

After about 10-12 minutes, add your vegetables in the second bamboo basket and place on top of the shumai basket.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

Cover and continue steaming about 7-8 more minutes until done.  I found this two level bamboo steamer at the thrift store too, LOL!!  Hint, use a deep pan for boiling the water, it goes quickly and you don’t want it to dry out before the food is done.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

Meanwhile, cook the rice as it also takes about 20 minutes.  I like to use Jasmine rice or sticky sushi rice.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

Another tasty addition for the meal is mini-egg rolls found in the frozen section of the grocery store.  These bake in the oven while the shumai steam.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

Using two frozen items plus the fresh steamed veggies, rice and shumai makes a lovely complex meal that looks like it took way more time than it actually did.  From the beginning of set up to end of cooking time was only 45 minutes.  On this occasion, I used my Oriental soup spoons to hold two sauces, one is soy the other is teriyaki.  These spoons really give an Asian feel to the plate, and they are only 99 cents at World Market (no affiliation, just a happy customer).

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

If you don’t have a bamboo steamer, a regular veggie steamer will do just as well.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

The last batch I made were topped with the green onion rather than incorporating them into the paste. I liked this way the best.  The recipe makes about 15-16 shumai, enough for two with a few left over.  If you left off the potstickers you probably wouldn’t have any left over.

Shumai at From My Carolina Home

Shumai

15-16 won-ton wrappers
4 ounces ground pork
1 egg
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon grated carrot
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
2-3 chopped green onions
Optional – 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder or 1 teaspoon sirracha sauce

Using a round biscuit cutter, cut the won-ton wrappers into rounds and set aside under a moist paper towel to keep them from drying out. Place ground pork and egg in a food processor or blender, process until smooth. Add oyster sauce, carrot, onion powder and mix well. Add optional ingredients if you like. Spoon small teaspoon of filling into middle of won-ton round, moisten the edge with water and pinch five pleats into the edge creating a little bowl shape. Place in steamer basket. Repeat for all wrappers using all the filling. Top with chopped green onion. Steam for 20-25 minutes until temperature reaches 170-180 degrees. Serve with rice and steamed vegetables.

Download a pdf – Shumai

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

Craftsy  Cooking with Spices Class on Sale – 7 lessons for one low price.

Crafsy DVDs on sale 50% off – The Art of Stir Frying .  For limited time, all Crafting DVDs are on sale for $19.99!!

Japanese Cookbooks on Amazon

Are you a fan of Asian food?

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home


72 Comments

Sakura Tsuki Art Quilt

Japanese and Asian inspired fabrics are more easily found in stores now as well as online, or maybe I am just paying more attention to them more than I used to.  Beautiful prints with metallic accents are so appealing to me.  I have several pieces that I received from a friend before she passed, and I wanted to use them in a manner that she used to do.  She would make art quilts by taking panels or yardage, splitting it up, and sewing framing into the picture in various sizes.  Taking that idea, I applied the Japanese preference for odd numbers, and a framing fabric that reminds me of the bamboo screens in homes.  I began with this wonderful fabric of cherry blossoms and a night sky. I had two pieces of it.

Sakura Tsuki Art Quilt at From My Carolina Home

I wanted the art piece to only have one moon, so I cut the fabric into a large piece and several smaller ones, cutting the first piece as large as possible.

Sakura Tsuki Art Quilt at From My Carolina Home

I continued cutting around the other moon motifs, leaving as much of the cherry blossoms as possible.

Sakura Tsuki Art Quilt at From My Carolina Home

Sakura Tsuki Art Quilt at From My Carolina Home

When I had all the pieces, I arranged them on the floor to figure out the best design.  The fabric is a one-way design and I needed to be sure I didn’t get any upside down.

Sakura Tsuki Art Quilt at From My Carolina Home

When I was happy with the placement, I labeled each piece, trying to figure out the best order to sew them.

Sakura Tsuki Art Quilt at From My Carolina Home

Making a diagram helped.  The pieces marked 2c,d and e ended up being pushed up higher, and 3 was wider than my original design idea.  But, this was a good idea of how the bits went together once I had them laid out on the floor.

Sakura Tsuki Art Quilt at From My Carolina Home

Then, using the same procedure as putting on borders, I cut each sashing strip one at a time.

Sakura Tsuki Art Quilt at From My Carolina Home

I sewed it between the two pieces it was meant for.

Sakura Tsuki Art Quilt at From My Carolina Home

Then, after pressing the seams, the pieces were laid out again so the next step of construction would be easier to see.  Here you can see that row 1 needs to be sewn to row two, before the piece on the right can be added, and that the right edge of row 1 needs to be trimmed.

Sakura Tsuki Art Quilt at From My Carolina Home

I did that, and made sure the next piece was the proper length by measuring and trimming just a bit before sewing.

Sakura Tsuki Art Quilt at From My Carolina Home

The assembled top part was just a bit too big for the third piece going across the bottom.  I measured and trimmed the top piece to match, then added the sashing strip.

Sakura Tsuki Art Quilt at From My Carolina Home

Row 4 was one piece as well, and it was the same width as the #3 piece.  So, they were sewn together.

Sakura Tsuki Art Quilt at From My Carolina Home

All pieced, the next thing was to add the same one-inch wide sashing to the outside of the piece to complete the frame.

Sakura Tsuki Art Quilt at From My Carolina Home

Then I added this gorgeous Oriental style metallic gold on black border.  I liked how it picks up the gold on black branches of the cherry trees.

Sakura Tsuki Art Quilt at From My Carolina Home

All assembled and ready for quilting. The cherry blossoms seem to flow and fall from one panel to the next.

Sakura Tsuki Art Quilt at From My Carolina Home

I am naming this quilt Sakura Tsuki which means Cherry Blossom Moon.

Sakura Tsuki Art Quilt at From My Carolina Home

For this project, I am excited to tell you that there will be a giveaway!! Quilter’s Dream is offering a giveaway prize of a queen-size Dream Orient bamboo blend batting.  Quilter’s Dream Orient Batting is a soft blend of Bamboo, silk, tencel from eucalyptus and cotton with a beautifully silky drape.  It is machine washable in cool water, and can be put in an air fluff dryer cycle. Very stable, it can be quilted at 8″ apart.  It is light in weight and seems like it would be perfect for summer quilts.

Sakura Tsuki Art Quilt at From My Carolina Home

Enter with the Rafflecopter link below, there are seven chances to enter by sharing, visiting Facebook pages, and commenting.  This giveaway is only open to those with a US shipping address as the company ships directly to the winner and has placed that restriction.  Please forgive me if I cannot personally respond to all the entries on this giveaway as I usually do, it will depend on how many comments are posted.  Please know that I read and appreciate each and every one.  The entries close on February 17th.

Rafflecopter Quilter’s Dream Orient Giveaway

While we are on the subject of Rafflecopter Giveaways, the winner of the Margaret Goes Modern book giveaway from last Sunday is Sheila O who left this blog post comment – “I haven’t read anything, except a couple quilt how tos and magazines. Too busy quilting 😀”.  Hopefully a book of short stories will be easier to read for this busy quilter.  And one more note, the first winner chosen was disqualified as she clicked on the “I commented” button, but didn’t leave a comment on the blog post.  You can leave the comment before or after clicking on that entry method, but the comment does have to be there when the entry period ends and the drawing is held.

Asian Inspired Fabrics at Fat Quarter Shop Plus – Basic of the Month – Bella Solids 20% Off

Quilters Dream Batting at Amazon

I thought this art quilt was the perfect time to try the Dream Orient.  I have loaded the quilt on the frame, and this batting is soft and has a lovely drape, I cannot wait to begin quilting it.  More on that later.  The pretty print on the right in the pic above is the backing for this quilt.

Have you done any quilting with Oriental inspired fabrics? Have you ever used Dream Orient batting?

Sakura Tsuki Art Quilt at From My Carolina Home

 

Sharing

Let’s Bee Social