Learn How to Make Your Own Sushi

I love sushi so I was really excited to have an opportunity to learn how to make it.    On Tuesday nights, Satsko Restaurant (the location on 245 Eldridge St.) offers to teach you how to make your own sushi and you get to eat what you make!  This is a great deal for $25.

You are presented with a large bowl of rice at the table, a bowl of water, your own maki rolling mat, a knife and each person gets their own plate of sushi ingredients.  Each roll you make can be filled with whatever combination you would like from what you are given.  For the first roll attempt, they suggest you try making a vegetable roll to start.  I recommend that you save eating this one for last because I quickly discovered that you get full very fast and I would have much rather eaten more of the rolls made with the seafood ingredients.  So arrive hungry and you will definitely leave full.

Throughout the session, you are taught how to make a regular roll, an inside out roll, and a hand roll.  I had an even greater appreciation for the sushi making experts after trying to make these myself.  But the good news is that even if your technique is not at expert levels just yet, everything that you make will still be delicious.  It was a great deal of fun to learn and it will be entertaining to try to make rolls at home once I find the proper ingredients.  For those who like sushi as much as I do, I highly recommend checking out Satsko on a Tuesday night for their sushi making session. 

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Ski Season is Here!

I lived in New York for a while before finally hitting the slopes and we have some great local mountains to ski on!   You can even sign yourself up for a day trip or weekend trip from NYC to Vermont.  There are many ways to get yourself to a mountain to enjoy a snowy ski day even if you don’t have a way to drive yourself.  Below is a list of companies that can help get you to where you want to go during this ski season:

Urban Sherpa:  www.urbansherpatravel.com

Zogsports: http://www.zogsports.org/nyc/Trip/Ski.aspx

Catskills Ski and Bus Packages: http://www.catskillhighpeaks.com/trailways-ski-new-york-bus.php?PHPSESSID=5e5734473f74831ecc0c7b0d3248202f

Emilio’s Ski Shop:  http://www.emiliosskishop.com/pipedreams_schedule.html

Catch the Homage Bus: http://nybustrips.com/

A friend just told me about another bus option – Blades Bus:  http://www.bladesny.com

Meetup.com: www.meetup.com Find local ski groups or start your own!

These were just a few options and hopefully one of them will get you on your way to the slopes.  Happy Skiing and Boarding!

Happy New Year!

2010 was filled with adventure and activities and I am certain that there is much more on the way in 2011.  It has been very busy during the holiday season, so still to come are posts on my first international trip to Iceland with Random Events and a Pottery Making Class that took place towards the end of the year.  Coming up in 2011, I am already looking forward to learning how to make sushi and more skiing adventures in Vermont and New York. 

I wish you a very Happy New Year!  Let’s make sure we live it up in 2011!!!

Paint Along

Do want to expand your creative horizons? Want to paint but not sure where to start?  A Paint Along class is a great way to break away from the daily grind and let your creativity flow for an evening.  I had a class with  Paint Along last night and couldn’t wait to write about it!

Paint Along‘s calendar shows all the different images currently on the schedule, so when you go into the class you know what you will be painting.  In the picture above, you can see some other examples of class painting selections as many were hanging around the studio.  Everyone is provided with a blank canvas and their own set of paints and brushes to use.   You are also welcome to bring your own wine to sip while you paint which was a nice touch.  The class started at 6:30pm and it usually goes for 2 hours, although ours went a little over. 

For the class I selected, our goal was to paint a version of Van Gogh’s Starry Night.    I was not sure how it would go since this is a very complex painting.  However, I was pleasantly surprised with how well the instructor was able to guide us through creating our own versions of this classic image (you do not need to be a professional to get a beautiful painting completed during this class).  You are lead through the painting in simple steps that build before your eyes into the image you are trying to create.  There is no judgment and our instructor was happy to help if anyone felt stuck or was concerned about how they were doing.  You are also free to paint as you would like to and can either follow the instructor directly or go on a different path if your creativity leads you elsewhere.  While we were all painting the same image of Starry Night, each painting definitely had its own unique artistry.  At the end of the class, it was really fascinating to see all of the different finished creations.  There was a blow dryer available to help dry the paintings before placing each in a bag to carry our new masterpieces home in. 

I really loved my first visit to Paint Along.  It was wonderful to relax and create something for an evening.  Don’t be intimidated by skill level and just go to enjoy yourself.  Many of the attendees were repeat painters at Paint Along and I will probably be joining them as a return artist.  Paint Along‘s studio is located at 928 Broadway near the intersection with 21st Street.

And just to share, at the end of the class, this is what my painting looked like (although some of the colors didn’t all come through so well in the picture):

MexiQ

MexiQ is now open and I was excited to try out one Astoria‘s latest hot spots.  Happy hour offers $3 Mexican beers and $5 classic margaritas from 4-7pm.  The bartender was extremely helpful and accommodating.  If you are not sure which of the many beers to try, they will help guide you to a good match for your taste buds.  

Dinner began with a small plate containing 2 large tortilla chips accompanied by a squirt bottle of salsa.  What a fun way to start your meal!  I ordered a Devil Corn Quesadilla to start and a Tuna Tartar burger as my entrée.  As you can see in the picture above, the presentation was lovely.  And I am happy to report that everything tasted as good as it looked.  All of the flavors blended together wonderfully and I did not need to heap on extra amounts of sauce or toppings on either the quesadilla or burger. 

If you are a dessert person, then you will be happy at MexiQ.  The desserts our table ordered were beautiful and well portioned.  There was enough fried ice cream that it was shared around the table.  We all left happy and full.  I look forward to trying other dishes soon.

MexiQ is located at 37-11 30th Avenue in Astoria.  The website is not currently up and running but here is a link that gives an overview of the menu:  http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2010/09/what_to_eat_at_mexiq_now_servi.html.  Based on their business cards, their website will be www.mexiqny.com and hopefully it will be working soon.

Margarita Mondays at The Creek

 

The Creek and the Cave already has a fantastic weekday happy hour special from 4pm-7pm which includes $4 margaritas (and $2 off of all other drinks).  When I stopped in yesterday, I was happy to discover that on Mondays they now have their fabulous margaritas on special for $4 all day long!   Add to that the delicious food menu and the choice to watch Monday night football or see a free improv show in their upstairs theater and you have a great way to start the week!  This was a bargain I just had to share.  Enjoy!

You can read my previous entry about The Creek and the Cave here.

Sailing and Wine Tasting on the Hudson


Enjoy the fall weather with a sailing excursion on the Hudson.  Manhattan By Sail offers a variety of sailing outings.  I chose to venture out on a wine tasting sail aboard the Shearwater.  This 80 year old classic schooner can hold 48 people and was a majestic vessel to set sail on.

We departed from the North Cove Marina at 6:30pm just in time to see a beautiful sunset.  There is someone that comes around to see if anyone needs anything such as water or soda throughout your time on the boat.  Already set up on the ship is a plentiful variety of cheeses.  The one thing that was a little bit challenging was maneuvering to get to the cheese platter and serving myself while on a moving sailboat.  But once I had a plateful of cheese and was back in my seat, I could relax again to enjoy the ride.  As we sailed towards the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, we were presented with tastings of 4 different wines.  The wine expert would make her way around the boat to pour each tasting.  It is fall weather now, so when it got a little colder as the evening progressed they were kind enough to pass out blankets to those that wanted them.  All in all it was a very pleasant evening and we were back at the dock close to 8:30pm.

Manhattan By Sail also offers beer tasting sails, brunches, fall foliage routes and many other sailing adventures.  It is not too late to get out there before the season ends!  Check out their website for a full listing of offerings here.