Adventures in Sushi-Making & A Recipe for Oatmeal Cookies

Today was a very good day. I had the day off work, so there was no alarm this morning to shock me out of my slumber. Instead, I slept to my hearts desire, and then lingered a little longer in bed, slipping in and out of blissful unconsciousness, before I finally dragged myself out of my cozy covers and got up to start my leisurely day.

Breakfast was a smoothie (banana+strawberries+spinach+flaxseed oil+coconut milk+juice) and a toasted English muffin slathered in almond butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon. I spent the morning prepping for tonight’s dinner: sushi from scratch, and baking oatmeal cookies! You can find the recipe for the cookies (straight from the Quaker Oats can) below, which I have very slightly modified.

After my morning of food fun, I had some lunch and then was off to the gym. It was a super gorgeous walk downtown. The sun was shining all day long, the temperature was mild enough not to need a jacket – just a thin sweater. Good weather always always puts me in a good mood. I did my training – 30 minute tempo run and some strength training. I had more energy than I have had all week during my workout today. I’ve been struggling a bit the last few days, in comparison to previous weeks, after having endured a super busy week, a few uber-early mornings and a couple distracted sleeps. I had a wonderful sleep last night, however, and have been paying extra attention to ensuring that I’m fueling my body properly. As a result, today’s workout was refreshing, and I felt phenomenal afterward – my mind was clear and my energy seems to be returning to it’s usual level!

I picked up a few things from the chinese market for dinner, grabbed a peppermint tea vanilla soy misto from my lovely place of work, said a quick hello to my fellow employees, and then purchased some essential kitchen supplies – two 9″ cake pans and a stainless steel bowl. Both pieces of equipment are required for my birthday baking adventures this Tuesday! The Roomie is turning twenty, so I’m going all out! Plus, I got a really great deal on all of it! Oh, and I found some cute sushi serving dishes, mini soy sauce bowls, and a set of adorable dragonfly chopsticks for a very reasonable price, so I nabbed those while I was at it. Shopping success.

I enjoyed some peace and quite when I got home this afternoon, read a couple chapters of my book, and watched a little tele. Then it was on to dinner, which I’d been looking forward to all day long!

I prepped the sushi rice this morning and it was a lot easier than I had thought it would be. It turned out wonderfully sticky and delicious. I set everything up on the kitchen counter – a lovely little sushi-rolling station – to keep things in order. Then my roommate and I got rolling!

We made one roll with the rice on the outside – and let me tell you, rice on the outside is, surprisingly, SO much easier to roll than seaweed on the outside. This was our “special” roll, which was decadently filled with julliened carrot, roasted red pepper (which I broiled, steamed and peeled myself this morning!), wilted spinach, and a smear of cream cheese!

The second roll we made had the rice on the inside. The filling was a lot simpler, but boy-oh-boy was it trouble to keep it all together.

This one was filled with a thick helping of luscious avocado and a few slivers of cucumber for some crunch.

Mmmmmmmm Avocado. And isn’t this one particularly mouth-watering? Yum!

For my first time making sushi, I’d say it was quite a successful adventure. You’ll just have to ignore the destroyed mound of sushi failure in the background of that photo there. What matters is that they stayed together just enough to dip in the soy sauce and find their way to my mouth. And they tasted pretty damn good, too. The “special” rolls were actually really phenomenal, however. And they looked kinda pretty too! I have to say, I really did myself proud with that one. What a fun dinner!

Now, on to the cookies.

Lately, I’ve been obsessed with cookies. And by lately, I mean always. But, particularly recently, I’ve become addicted. I need to have my daily cookie fix, or things just get out of control. Oatmeal cookies are probably my favourite right now, and I die for the ones that we sell at the coffee shop. They are the size of my head and I happily demolish them at least two or three times a week. There is an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie, which is heavenly, but even better is the oatmeal-raisin-seed cookie. I can’t even describe it to you, it’s so yummy-wonderful. Just take a look at the picture below. OM-NOM!

Anyways, for the very fact that I’m not at work every day of the week, and, therefore, these wickedly sensational cookies are often not readily available when I need them most, I just had to come up with some sort of a solution. So, I baked me a batch of something special. This is by far the most delicious, and my personal favourite, homemade oatmeal cookie recipe of all time.

Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 12 large cookies

Ingredients:

1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 – 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, beat butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon onto a sheet of parchment. Add to wet mixture with salt; mix well. Add oats and raisins and stir to combine. Drop dough by the 1/4 cup (yes, that’s correct, because big cookies are the best) onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet then transfer to wire rack. Cool completely. Or eat immediately.

Ooey-gooey yum in my tum!

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