we even visit plant nurseries in singapore

far east flora far east flora far east flora far east flora far east flora far east flora While in Singapore, Ben wanted to check out their plant nurseries. Of course, right?! If was far off the beaten path, and not really a tourist thing to do, but it was worth it. Besides the Bloesem team, our friend Abby was our tour guide in Singapore (she goes to grad school in CA, but was home for the summer), so we were really able to get the inside scoop on this special country. She helped us navigate around and took us to the plant nursery.

Ben was in search for a particular citrus tree that is illegal in California, while he didn’t find it in Singapore, we did find a lot of interesting fruit trees we had never heard of before. I was ooh-ing and ahh-ing over a lot of the other plants I had never seen before, and I was so wishing that customs would just let me walk right through with all these plants in my arms. I did jot down a few names in hopes of tracking them down here somewhere, so my wish still could come true somehow.


spicy tuna on a crispy rice paper shell

spicy tuna on a crispy rice paper shell Spicy Tuna on a Crispy Rice Paper Shell
serves four

1lb. sashimi grade wild tuna, cut into 1/2″ cubes
Rice paper shell (the kind that you use to make spring rolls)
1/4 canola oil
1 white radish, thinly sliced
5 serranos, sliced
1 bunch of cilantro, leaves removed from stem
Wasabi rice crackers, crumbled into bits
Soy sauce (optional)
Wasabi (optional)

For the sauce:
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp siracha
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp toasted sesame seed

For the guacamole:
3 avocados
2 tomatoes, chopped
5 serranos, chopped (adjust amount for your spice tolerance)
1 bunch green onions, chopped
Salt, to taste

spicy tuna on a crispy rice paper shell Directions:
In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients for the sauce and mix well. Add the cubed tuna pieces, mix together, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

In another medium bowl, combine all the ingredients for the guacamole and lightly mash the avocado in. Add salt to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Heat a skillet over medium heat, add the canola oil, and heat for 5 minutes. Add one rice paper shell at a time into the oil to fry. This cooks rather quickly (about 5-10 seconds on each side), so you will want to watch it. Basically, once it shrivels up and has the crispy look, you will want to remove it. Remove from the oil and allow to drain on a paper towel. Repeat for your remaining sheets. Usually frying about 10 sheets is sufficient to accompany your tuna. You may need to add a bit more oil to the skillet as you fry your rice paper sheets.

Prepare the additional toppings of sliced serranos, white radish, cilantro, and crumbled wasabi rice crackers, and set aside. When ready to serve, break off some of the rice paper shell, spoon a little bit of the guacamole on top, add some tuna pieces, and top with cilantro, a sliver of white radish, a serrano, and a sprinkle of wasabi rice crackers. If you want to add some soy sauce mixed with wasabi, then drizzle a little on, and take a bite!

spicy tuna on a crispy rice paper shell spicy tuna on a crispy rice paper shell spicy tuna on a crispy rice paper shell spicy tuna on a crispy rice paper shell spicy tuna on a crispy rice paper shell Give me sushi and give me spice, and I’m a happy gal. Ben is pretty a happy dude with this meal! Okay, a lot of other things make us really happy, but our stomachs are quite satisfied with this particular dish. We love this dish so much that this is what we chose to have for our ninth anniversary dinner at home last week! We think Ii is absolutely delicious, so if you give it a try, I’d love to hear what you think about it!



camp home: bead & braided friendship bracelets

bead & braided friendship bracelet Bead & Braided Friendship Bracelets

Cording in various colors (I used this; one in hemp and one in nylon)
3/8″ wooden beads
Craft paint
Masking tape
Small burlap bag (from Michael’s new line called Raw Bar to debut August 8th)
bead & braided friendship bracelet Directions:
1. Paint your wooden beads and allow them to dry completely. The little hands may have some trouble with the small size, but it’s still doable, or you can use larger beads for the younger children. Cut out 3 (of 4) 15″ strands of cording and add 3 beads to the center of the bracelet. Using a toothpick helps poke the cording through the hole. The 15″ cording is the size I used for a child’s wrist, but you may need to adjust the size if making for an adult.

DSC_3717 bead & braided friendship bracelet 2. Knot the cording on both sides of the beads. Using a piece of tape, tape one end of the bracelet onto table (or heavy surface), braid the opposite end. When about 1 1/2″ from the end, knot the cording together to secure braid in place. Repeat for the opposite end. Keep going with the rest of your beads and cording and make a ton more bracelets!

bead & braided friendship bracelet bead & braided friendship bracelet bead & braided friendship bracelet bead & braided friendship bracelet If making for a friend, use this sweet little burlap bags, paint a design in front, allow to dry completely, and slip one (or two) of the bracelets inside.

bead & braided friendship bracelet bead & braided friendship bracelet bead & braided friendship bracelet Traditionally, friendship bracelets use a type macrame, but I went simple since its for my little girls. They’ve been crazy about those Rainbow Loom bracelets (I find those little rubber bands all over the house!), so I knew they would have fun doing a little painting and braiding for these bracelets. They put together a couple in the burlap bag to give to one of their neighbor friends. Making friendship bracelets totally seems like a camp thing to do, so we made our own little version at home!

This is post part of the Michael’s Makers Challenge.


our citrus trellis

citrus trellis citrus trellis citrus trellis citrus trellis citrus trellis citrus trellis citrus trellis citrus trellis citrus trellis citrus trellis citrus trellis This is what this area looked like last year, and here it is early this year as we were preparing it for the cor-ten steel beds, and what you see above is how it will stay from now on (hopefully) and in time, with a lot more green. We used cattle fencing (again) and arched them from one bed to another, and 3′ metal stakes to keep them in place. We got the fencing from a local farm supply store and they were so long that we had to rent a u-haul to transport it from there to our home. We put two 16′  long fence pieces in one bed, arched into the one parallel to it. It takes two people to get the fencing put in.

There will be 3 dwarf citrus trees in each bed, and we will train then to follow the arches. I can’t wait until we have this gorgeous walkway of green and citrus fruit; it will be so pretty! Also, the trunks of the trees are painted to prevent it from getting sunburned. We learned this last year and did the same (see here); this year we experimented with an organic approach. This might be my favorite part of the backyard so far!



family meals: week 81

family meals family meals Shrimp Tacos with Guacamole. My mom made the shrimp and I turned them into tacos. My mom always makes the best food, so when we go over for dinner, we love bringing home leftovers to make more dinners at home.

family meals family meals Spicy Tuna on Crispy Rice Paper Shell. I made this for our anniversary dinner. I have the recipe to share with you next week!

family meals family meals family meals Hainanese Chicken Rice. Ben and I have been craving this since we had it in Singapore. Ben even ate it twice while we were there. I used this recipe as a guide, but changed things slightly to make it healthier. I used chicken breasts, didn’t use chicken fats, and lessened the amount of oil. I also used brown rice instead of white, and it still held some of the good flavor. I think what help makes it is the pandan leaf in the broth, and the side of chili sauce. Oh that chili sauce is so spicy and delicious! I will definitely making this a lot. The whole family loved it!

What have you been cooking lately? Do you like trying new recipes or do you pretty much stick with tried and true favorites when in the kitchen?



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