How To Roll Your Own Sushi {Date Night}

Happy Valentine’s week, friends.

Some embrace it. Some hate it.  Some could care less.  We’re a little indifferent, but always appreciate any holiday that inspires a time to chill, connect and cook.  Instead of splurging on a fancy prix fixe menu at a restaurant, you’ll find us roaming the local grocery store menu planning on our own.  This year, we’ve been craving sushi … and beets.  So we spent a night in rolling, experimenting and playing, making loads of our own creations at a fraction of the cost of going out.

Want to make sushi for your Valentine?

A few tips:

1.    It’s all about your rice.  Carefully follow the directions on your sushi rice package.   You’re looking for a sticky texture.  Seasoning is also key.  Try creating a rice wine vinegar reduction with a four to one ratio of vinegar to salt and sugar (Example: (4) Tablespoons of rice wine vinegar to (1) Tablespoon of salt to (1) Tablespoon of sugar).  Amount will vary depending on the amount of rice you make.  Master your rice and you’re well on your way.

2.    Put plastic wrap around your bamboo mats for easier clean up and to help roll inside-out rolls easier.

3.    Have a bowl of water nearby.  Dip your fingers in the water each time you add more rice to your mat.  This keeps things a little less sticky and you won’t have rice sticking to your fingers.

4.    Roll slowly.  Roll it tight.  Roll it evenly.

5.    Don’t stick with just a few ingredients.  Have options.  Try out different flavor profiles.  You know what we’re saying … let loose!

Until we eat again,

A + H


Double Chocolate Cake with Macerated Strawberries

We have a new obsession.

Meet our pretty new mixer.

Isn’t she grand?

We threw out a subtle wish for a Kitchenaid Mixer here on this very blog last month and guess what? She arrived on Christmas.  Blogging is powerful.  I wish next for world peace and diamonds.  Fingers crossed.

Moving on…

Let me just tell you.  This thing does it all.  Sausage stuffing, ground beef grinding, fruit juicing, pasta making, I mean, if only it folded clothes (maybe there IS an attachment for that? Stand by…).  But above all, we finally have a proper place (with horsepower!) to mix up some of our favorite, decadent treats.

And P.S. … We still cannot believe that our old yard sale Sunbeam Mixmaster kept up with us this far without bursting into flames.  We really worked her.  It was intense. May she land in a laid back home…

OK, on to the good stuff…

What are we baking for you first you ask?  Why it’s our Double Chocolate Cake with Macerated Strawberries, friends.  How does that sound?  It’s the perfect treat for a lazy evening or a cozy date night with your favorite partner in crime.

The world needs more cake.

Let’s let loose on our Double Chocolate Cake with Macerated Strawberries shall we?


  • (12) Tablespoons of unsalted butter (approx. 1 and 1/2 sticks)
  • (1) and (1/4) cups of sugar
  • (2/3) cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • (1/3) teaspoon salt
  • (1) teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • (2) large eggs
  • (2/3) cup of all-purpose flour
  • (1/4) teaspoon of baking powder
  • (1/2) cup of mini chocolate chips


  • (1) bar of dark chocolate
  • (12) strawberries sliced and macerated in sugar, Kahlua, tangerine juice and honey

1.  Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

2.  Cream your butter in the mixer with your sugar, cocoa powder and salt on speed two.

3.  Next, mix in eggs and vanilla. Continue to mix on speed two until blended thoroughly.

4.  Now add your flour, baking powder and chocolate chips.  Lower your mixer speed to one.

5.  Pour your blended mixture into a 9″ round pie pan and bake for approx. 35 minutes.

6.  After removing your cake from the oven, immediately add your chocolate bar pieces on top to melt.  Once melted, spread to create a rich chocolate layer.

7.  Plate up with your strawberries, grab yourself a big glass of milk and enjoy!

Until mix, bake and melt again,

A + H

Find A Farmers Market – Be Inspired!

When we stumbled upon the Capital City Farmers Market earlier this month, we were like kids in a candy shop.  Voted one of the Best 12 Farmer’s Markets by The Daily Green, this eclectic gem of a Farmers Market has been bringing local consumers and local producers together for over 30 years. 

Farmers Market Montpelier Vermont

Capital City Farmers Market open Saturdays from 9am - 1pm May through October. Located at 60 State Street, downtown Montpelier.

Music, samples, people watching, samples, incredible local farmers, samples.  Let’s just say we’re big fans and Saturday mornings at the farmers market have become an extra special treat. What do we love? Walking in and brainstorming how to make a meal out of it all.  Chatting with the vendors always inspires something new.  Plus, there’s nothing better than supporting local food producers. The food’s tastier, more nutritious and *gasp*, fresh!  Yes, we’re good food groupies and we just can’t hide it. 

Montpelier Farmers Market Vermont

People watching - a bonus! Find Waldo...

Here are our finds from our first week (brussel sprouts, grass fed tenderloin and Hartwell cheese… plus, locally cured Damn Fine bacon from our corner sto’:  Uncommon Market.)

Capital City Farmers Market Montpelier Vermont


Special shout out to: Ploughgate Creamery in Albany, Vermont.  Your Hartwell cheese is a dream.   Cheese lovers: think Brie on steriods. Hypothetically speaking of course…

And here’s the meal we made out of it all:

Capital City Farmers Market Montpelier Vermont

Double Score! Grass fed beef tenderloin with a red wine pan reduction, Hartwell and roasted garlic polenta, sauteed brussel sprouts with onion and local Damn Fine bacon. Cheers!

It’s our weekly splurge on the new budget. An extra special dinner date made with love, all for under 40 bucks.  As we like to say “Now that’s what’s up!”   Be inspired, let loose – find a local farmers market near you.

Until we explore again,
A & H