Simple Homemade California Roll

Simple Homemade California Roll - Double Knotted Apron

Making your own sushi at home can seem intimidating, but trust me – it’s not! This quick tutorial will show you how easy it is to create your own sushi masterpiece in your kitchen!

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 sheet of Nori (dried seaweed sheet)
  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 piece imitation crab
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled

Bring two cups of water to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Add the cup of rice to the boiling water with a pinch of salt. Reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes or until all water has been absorbed. Transfer the cooked rice into a shallow pan to cool and add the rice vinegar, sugar and salt. Mix well and let cool.

Prepare the crab and cucumber by cutting into long strips, place to the side.

Crab and Cucumber - Double Knotted Apron

You will need a sheet of wax paper to aid in the rolling process and a kitchen towel for any clean up.

Once the rice has cooled you are ready to begin. Remove a sheet of the Nori from the package and place smooth side down. Scoop some rice and spread evenly across one half of the Nori.

Sushi Rice - Double Knotted Apron

This part may be a little messy and require you to rinse your fingers in cold water. It will help remove the excess rice from sticking and allow you to spread the rice out to cover all edges. Next add the cucumber and crab strips.

Crab and Cucumber Sushi Roll Prep - Double Knotted Apron

Once you have all of the filler ingredients added, you will begin the rolling process. This will be really easy, but you must maintain a tight grip on the roll and continue stuffing the ingredients as you roll the Nori.

Place the kitchen towel on a solid surface and then the sheet of wax paper on top of the towel. Next place the Nori sheet on top of the wax paper and make sure the sheet is even with the end of the wax paper. Begin rolling the Nori over the rice, cucumber and crab slowly while keeping the wax paper on top of the Nori sheet. This will help keep all of the ingredients in the roll. Continue rolling and stuffing very slowly to keep the roll as tight as possible. You may have to adjust the wax paper to keep it from being a part of your roll. Once completely rolled up use the wax paper to go over the outside of the Nori to help shape it.

Sushi Roll - Double Knotted Apron

It is recommended to use a sushi knife to cut the roll into bite size pieces, but honestly who has one of those lying around. I use a paring knife and it works perfectly! The blades are typically much thinner and sharper than larger knives, so it easily cuts through the seaweed without squishing or damaging. Cut the pieces in about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch pieces. You should be able to get at least eight pieces out of each roll you make.

You will probably have some leftover rice and my guess is extra sheets of Nori in the package, so now that you are a sushi expert, roll another!

California Roll Sushi - Double Knotted Apron

Use your creativity when it comes to arranging your sushi on the plate. Be sure to have some chopsticks handy along with ginger and wasabi!

Enjoy this delicious dish you created like a pro!

xo-M

Homemade Pickles Overnight

Homemade Pickle Line Up - Double Knotted Apron

I recently was overwhelmed with cucumbers from my garden. Not only was I giving them away, my husband and I were eating them as quickly as possible in everything from salads, to gyros, to hummus, to cucumber onion salad. Needless to say we were a little burnt out. So what were we to do with all of the left over cucumbers that we had? Make pickles of course!!

After scouring the internet and Pinterest for some great ideas and recipes for pickling I finally came across a good recipe by DIYNatural. I didn’t follow her recipe to the tee as I like some other ingredients and I had  A LOT more cucumbers to work with, so I changed it up. She provided a wonderful base plan to work off of and create my own. Not only is this a great way to use cucumbers, but also a great way to up cycle all those spaghetti and pickle jars I saved. Once again my mild pack-rat ways have paid off. Thanks Dad!

Let’s get down to business, shall we.

What You’ll Need:

  • 10 – 12 small to medium size cucumbers
  • 4 16 – 24 oz. glass jars
  • white distilled vinegar
  • dried dill
  • garlic cloves
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • red pepper flakes*
  • cayenne pepper*
  • water

To begin, make sure that the jars have been thoroughly sterilized by boiling in water for 5 minutes. Prepare the cucumbers for the style you prefer. You can cut them into dill chips, spears or leave whole if you have the mini cucumbers (less than 4 inches). Prepare each jar with 1 – 1 1/2 tablespoon of vinegar, 1 minced garlic clove, 1/2 tablespoon dried dill, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper. Mix in the jar before adding the cucumbers. Add the chips, spears or whole cucumbers to fill the jar and then top off with water. Seal each jar tightly and shake well for 60 seconds. You will need a little counter space for the next 24 hours dedicated to the pickling process. Let the jars stand for 12 hours and then shake again before turning each of them over. Let the jars sit for another 12 hours. Shake once more and then place in the refrigerator. Feel free to taste before you place in the fridge or after they have gotten cold. However you prefer your pickles!

Homemade Dill Pickle Spears - Double Knotted Apron

*For a spicier blend, you can add 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Follow the same process and other ingredients above to make this spicier pickle.

Hot and Spicy Homemade Pickles - Double Knotted Apron

Your homemade pickles should keep for 1 – 2 months in the refrigerator.

Enjoy and pickle on!

xo-M

Blueberry Brownies with Marshmallow Tops

Blueberry Brownies - Double Knotted Apron

These are not your typical brownies with chopped nuts. Instead they are delicious chocolate brownies with fresh blueberries baked inside and topped with melty marshmallows! Get ready for a tasty treat with a melt in your mouth surprise.

What You’ll Need:

*The base brownie recipe is from Hersheys.com. Such a great base recipe to keep on hand and then add anything you want to spice it up!

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup Hershey’s cocoa
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13×9 or 9 inch baking pan. In a medium bowl, stir together the melted butter, sugar and vanilla extract. Add each egg and whisk until blended. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Add a little of the flour mixture at a time to the butted mixture and whisk until blended. Coat the blueberries in flour to help them from sinking in the brownie mixture. Fold in with a spatula. Pour batter into greased pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until center is solid and edges are pulling aways from the side of the pan. At about the 15 or 20 minute mark, sprinkle on the marshmallows to let them melt over the top. Cool completely before cutting.

Blueberry Brownies with Marshmallow Tops - Double Knotted Apron

These are delicious!! Enjoy!

xo-M

Blueberry Brownies with Marshmallow Tops Recipe Card – Double Knotted Apron

 

Quick Cucumber and Onion Salad

Quick Cucumber and Onion Salad - Double Knotted Apron

If you are looking for a quick chilled side dish for lunch or dinner this week, this one is a great addition. I also recommend this for anyone with too many cucumbers coming from their garden, like mine.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/8 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 tsp dill
  • 1/8 tsp celery salt
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a medium bowl add the cucumber and onion. Fold in the sour cream and then add the dill, celery salt, salt and pepper. Let chill for an hour or two before serving. This dish is also yummy after sitting over night in the fridge. The flavors really come alive! *This recipe makes two servings.

Cucmber Onion Salad - Double Knotted Apron

Enjoy!

xo – M

Cucumber and Onion Salad Recipe Card – Double Knotted Apron

Double Berry Banana Smoothie – With a Surprise Ingredient!

Double Berry Banana Smoothie With a Surprising Ingredient - Double Knotted Apron

You will love this Double Berry Banana Smoothie this summer, or any time of year. It’s creamy, full of flavor and has a surprising ingredient that gives it an incredibly refreshing flavor!

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 large banana, peeled
  • 3 large strawberries, cut off the leaves
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
  • 6 – 7 ice cubes
  • SURPRISE INGREDIENT: Orange Juice (1/4 cup)

Add the ice cubes to the blender first, followed by the yogurt, orange juice and then the fruit. Make sure you cut the banana into four or five pieces and cut the strawberries into halves.

Double Berry Banana Smoothie Ingredients - Double Knotted Apron

Once everything is in the blender, use the ice crush function for the first few seconds to grind up the cubes and then start blending. Blend until smooth and serve immediately. This recipe makes one delicious serving!!

Double Berry Banana Smoothie - Double Knotted Apron

Enjoy!

xo-M

Double Berry Banana Smoothie Recipe Card – Double Knotted Apron

Bring the Mediterranean Home With These Chicken Gyros

Chicken Gyros at Home - Double Knotted Apron

Turn your kitchen into a view of the Greek Isles with these incredibly easy and delicious chicken gyros. Get ready to OPA!

What You’ll Need:

*I adapted this recipe from a great grilling cookbook, Weber’s On the Grill (Chicken & Sides).

Tzatziki Sauce

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp lemon juice (fresh lemon is best)
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup cucumbers, diced

Chicken Marinade

  • EVOO
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb. chicken tenderloins, thawed

Other

  • Pita bread
  • lettuce, shredded
  • *onion, diced (optional)
  • *tomatoes, diced (optional)

Prepare chicken by sprinkling oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes on both sides of the chicken. Over medium-low heat drizzle EVOO around a large non-stick skillet two or three times. Add the prepared chicken tenders to the skillet. Cook thoroughly, browning on both sides.

Chicken for the Gyros - Double Knotted Apron

While the chicken is cooking, prepare the tzatziki sauceIn a medium glass or metal bowl whisk together the greek yogurt, mint, EVOO, salt and pepper. Add the cucumbers last by folding into the mix with a spatula. Place in the refrigerator until time to serve.

Homemade Tzatziki Sauce - Double Knotted Apron

Check on your chicken, rotating and turning to ensure even cooking.

Upclose Chicken - Double Knotted Apron

 

Once the tenders are almost cooked through, start heating the pita bread. I used my toaster oven to do this. Turn on to 350 degrees and toast for 45 seconds to one minute. Keep a close eye on the pita bread as you do not want to burn or toast, just heat through. Once heated through, place on a plate, spread a generous amount of tzatziki sauce on the pita, top with chicken and lettuce and serve immediately. (If you want to add onion and tomato now is the time.)

Chicken Gyros at Home - Double Knotted Apron

Enjoy this tasty dish with a side of hummus or greek salad!!

xo-M

Chicken Gyros at Home Recipe Card – Double Knotted Apron

Spicy Chili Macness

I found inspiration for this recipe from the one and only Rachael Ray. You got to love her sense of humor and style of cooking. I loved watching her 30 Minute Meals show with my mom throughout high school. Always a fun 30 minutes to share and learn. Anyway, back to the recipe. I was recently browsing her 365: No Repeats cookbook and ran across one of her recipes called Tex Mex Mac n Cheddar. It sounded so good, but it wasn’t quite what I was wanting to make. Instead of a ‘stoup’ like consistency as she calls it, I prefer ‘chili’ consistency. It’s thicker, heartier and belly-filling good. So I took her recipe and made it my own with some tweaks, dashes and pinches of change. By the way, if you aren’t a spicy fan, no problem, just leave out the cayenne, hot sauce and green chiles.

Oh! Did I mention we are pairing this with Mild Mini Quesadillas? Freshly shredded Colby Jack cheese and diced southwest peppers (mild) fresh from my garden will be the delicious center of our quesadillas!

Spicy Chili Macness - Double Knotted Apron

What You’ll Need:

Spicy Chili Macness

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 lb. macaroni (generally 8 oz or half of the box)
  • 1/4 of a large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/8 cup southwest peppers (or your choice), chopped
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained
  • 1 can unsweetened whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2 tsp hot sauce
  • 1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp cayenne pepper

Mild Mini Quesadillas

  • 2 mini tortillas (or the number of people you are feeding)
  • 1 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese
  • 1/8 cup southwest peppers, chopped

Ingredients for Spicy Chili Macness - Double Knotted Apron

First things first, you will need to start boiling the water for the macaroni. Follow the cooking instructions on the box and cook al dente. While the water is boiling, prepare the beef. (I made this into a One Pot Wonder Meal (minus the pot to boil the macaroni) and just used the same pot for everything, my Enamel Cast Iron 5.5 quart Dutch Oven. It was a birthday present from my parents and I LOVE it. It cooks anything and does the job really well. Oh and mine is teal blue in case you were wondering.)

Brown Beef - Spicy Chili Macness - Double Knotted Apron

Drizzle a little EVOO around the bottom of the pot and the add the beef. I usually have my heat on medium-low before adding the beef just so it cooks a little faster. Brown completely. Once browned you will add the hot sauce, worcestershire sauce, ground cumin, chili powder and cayenne pepper.

Onion Addition - Spicy Chili Macness - Double Knotted Apron

Next, add the chopped onion to the mix and stir. Let all that wonderful flavor blend for about a minute before adding the garlic and peppers.

Southwest Peppers and Garlic Addition - Spicy Chili Macness - Double Knotted Apron

Toss in the garlic and peppers and blend again.

Diced Tomato Addition - Spicy Chili Macness - Double Knotted Apron

Add the can of undrained diced tomatoes and green chiles. (Note: The green chiles help give it an extra kick, you can always use regular diced tomatoes.)

Whole Kernel Corn Addition - Spicy Chili Macness - Double Knotted Apron

Time for the can of drained whole kernel corn! Mix the last two can additions really well. By now the macaroni should be perfectly cooked and ready to drain. Once drained add the pasta to the chili mix and stir. Let simmer for another 10 minutes while you make the quesadillas.

Ingredients for Quesadillas - Double Knotted Apron

Take one of the mini tortillas and butter one side lightly. Over medium-low heat place the buttered side down in a non stick skillet. Top the tortilla with the prepared shredded cheese and peppers.

Cheese and Southwest Pepper Quesadilla - Double Knotted Apron

Once you notice the cheese beginning to melt, fold on side of the tortilla on top of the other.

Dos Quesadillas - Double Knotted Apron

Lightly brown the tortillas on both sides until everything has melted and the outside is a beautiful golden brown. Serve immediately with a hot bowl of the Spicy Chili Macness. Top with cheese and sour cream and as always, enjoy!

Spicy Chili Macness Served - Double Knotted Apron

xo – M

Spicy Chili Macness Recipe Card – Double Knotted Apron