Cinnamon Roll Cake

I seem to be attracted to all things cinnamon roll. They are so warm and gooey and yummy, what's not to love? I mean, besides all the butter and sugar. Wait, I love those things too!

This is another Pinterest discovery, and instead of copying the simple recipe over I will merely give you the link and post pictures. I read some of the comments and they are generally all favorable, except for the people who are apparently allergic to following instructions. I know that sounds harsh, but I don't understand the lack of common sense that seems to be so pervasive lately.

Anyway! Without further ado (or random bitching) here it is: CINNAMON ROLL CAKE!

You start by mixing the top ingredients and pouring them into a 9x13 pan:

Then you mix up the topping...

And plop it all over the top of the batter:

The take a knife and swirl it all around!

Bake it, and glaze it, and that's all there is to it!


Here is the RECIPE!

Making Your Own Sushi!

My husband and I just had a really fun afternoon! He took me out the day after Valentine's Day to a local sushi restaurant, and ever since then I have been craving it. It was the first time I had really eaten it, aside from a couple pieces in the past that I either was not impressed with or have since forgotten. But I really had fun on our date and I loved the sushi we had!

The last few days I have been telling him I wanted more, but I knew we couldn't really go out again. He surprised me yesterday by saying we should make some today! So last night we bought all our veggies, nori wrappers, sushi rice, wasabi, sesame seeds and pickled ginger! We also grabbed a couple cheap bamboo placemats for about $1.50 each. I haven't ever used a real sushi rolling mat but this worked perfectly and was cheap! He had to run an errand this afternoon and went to the fish market to get a piece of sushi-grade ahi tuna.

I cooked up the rice and seasoned it, and when he got home we sliced up all the fillings and got to rolling!

To make your own you will need:
(Approx. 3 rolls)

Bamboo sushi mat or placemat

Rice cooker (I am so happy we have one, you can cook it in a pot on the stove but it is hard to keep it from clumping. A rice cooker does it perfectly every time!)

Plastic cling wrap

1 package nori wrappers (seaweed)

1.5-2 cups Sushi rice (You really want to buy the rice that is specifically labeled as such, it has the wonderful texture and stickiness that you need for sushi rolls)

Thinly sliced vegetable/fruit fillings (We used red pepper, carrot, mango, green onion, cucumber and avocado)

1/2 lb Fish. We used Ahi tuna (You could make veggie rolls or make tamago (sweet omelette) rolls. Here is a link to a recipe for the sweet omelette.)
On a couple of the rolls we made we rubbed cayenne pepper on the tuna strips to make spicy tuna! It gave it an extra kick!

Thinly sliced cream cheese (Optional. We didn't use any this time)

Rice vinegar (2 T for rice, additional 2 T mixed with 1 c water for assembly)

Salt (1 tsp)

Sugar (1 T)

Sesame seeds, black and white (optional)

For Dipping:

soy sauce


pickled ginger

We also made a few other sauces for dipping, my favorite was a mixture of sriracha, plain yogurt, mayo and a little lime juice.

Prep all of your ingredients before you begin so you can have fun assembling your sushi rolls!

Rice: Rinse and drain the rice under cold water 5-7 times until the water is clear. Then cook the rice according to your rice cooker’s instructions.

While it cooks, prepare the rice seasoning mixture. In a small bowl, stir together the rice vinegar, sugar and salt, and microwave for 1 minute. Stir and allow to cool for a few minutes.

Once the rice is cooked, remove it from the rice cooker and spread it out on a cookie sheet covered in plastic wrap and drizzle with the rice seasoning mixture. Then cover it with a damp towel and let it cool until the rice is room-temperature. It doesn't take very long once it is spread out. Here is the seasoned rice!

Filling: The filling is the fun part! Choose whatever filling ingredients you’d like, and just basically cut everything into long, small strips. When cutting filets of meat or seafood, just be sure to cut against the grain. We kept our fish strips on ice to keep them cold.

Dipping Sauce: Combine soy sauce, and then whisk in (or use your chopsticks to blend in) as much or as little wasabi as you’d like. (Always start with less and add more, if you’ve never used wasabi!)

Bamboo Mat: Finally, prepare your bamboo mat. Basically, you just need to completely wrap it in plastic (Saran) wrap. This helps the rice not stick to the mat during the assembly/rolling process.

Assembly: The best part! For sushi rolls, you can either make them with the rice on the inside (considerably easier) or on the outside.

To begin, lay out a piece of nori on your plastic-wrapped bamboo mat. Then have a bowl with the water and rice vinegar sitting nearby. Dip your fingers in the water/vinegar mixture (this helps the rice not stick to your fingers), and then pick up a small handful of rice and gently press it onto the nori. The goal is to spread out the rice so that it’s uniformly thin and that it extends clear to the edges of the nori. We left room on one third so that our rolls would seal well. If you’re making rolls with rice on the inside, be sure to leave an extra centimeter on the bottom edge of the nori uncovered, so that you can seal the roll at the end.

We found that dipping your fingers in the water/vinegar mixture constantly made sure the rice stuck to the nori and not our fingers!

For rolls with rice on the inside: Go ahead and layer your sliced filling ingredients along the top of the nori, on top of the rice. Try to lay out the ingredients as close together as possible.

For rolls with rice on the outside: Carefully flip over the rice/nori sheet, and gently press down to compress the rice. Then layer the sliced filling ingredients at the top of the nori as mentioned above.

We also made a one that didn't have any nori, just rice and fish, and it held together very well.

The idea is to use your bamboo mat to help roll the sushi tightly, rather than just picking up the nori to roll it with your fingers. So, very carefully, lift up the mat underneath the top of the nori (where your filling is), and begin to roll it over, making sure that the initial edge gets tucked under before rolling out the entire thing.

We used the plastic wrap to pull the roll tight under the bamboo mat as we rolled. Again, the goal is to try and roll it as tightly and evenly as possible. If you need to back up and re-roll to make it a little tighter, go for it!

Once you finish, I generally give the sushi a few more gentle rolls with the bamboo mat to make sure it’s nice and evenly-round. (And if you’re doing rolls with rice on the inside, just add a little water to the nori in order to seal the roll.) You can then sprinkle some sesame seeds on the outside of the roll (if rice is on the outside), and then give it another roll with the bamboo mat to seal them on.

Then take a very sharp knife and cut the rolls into your desired thickness of bites. Since the rice often sticks to the knife it is helpful to have a wet towel nearby to wipe off the knife blade after every 1-2 cuts. It is also helpful to refrigerate the rolls for 10-15 minutes before cutting them into bites, so that the ingredients can set and the nori becomes moist and seals completely.

Enjoy your sushi with soy sauce, wasabi and pickled ginger!