Testing Tempura Shrimp to Pick Me Up

I spent the morning poring over college websites to prepare for the visits we will make for The Girl’s upcoming Big Decision. Although I knew that this talented, intelligent and witty, Chip off the Ol’ Block (HA! See what I did there?) would be making her choice soon, it still feels like a punch in the gut. This is my first-born to whom I frequently refer as my sense of humor. This will not be easy.

Enough with sobering topics- time to try something new to cheer me up. Today, I went with two new things- my birthday Japanese dinner ware and a new tempura shrimp I picked up from Costco. Yes, I am easily cheered.

Hamachi (Yellowtail) Sashimi, caught that morning- click for a great poke recipe!
Hamachi (Yellowtail) Sashimi, caught that morning- click the pic for a great poke recipe!

I finally used my birthday gift certificates in November that I received from The Mom- and Sister-in-Law way back in April last year. This new set of Japanese dishes has sat in the china cabinet, waiting for when The Sis-in-law comes with her family for one of our sashimi-fests we’ve enjoyed when the men have caught yellowtail or ahi. Thank you Husband and his Brother-in-law for braving what I won’t- sea sickness! Holy yum, it has been fabulous every time they have caught anything.

Tiger Thai brand Tempura Shrimp
Tiger Thai brand Tempura Shrimp, click the pick for the link!
Close-up of yum...
Close-up of yum…

No one has been out fishing lately, but I did have that tempura shrimp and edamame in the freezer, and rice leftovers. It was Game On because I wanted to use that dishware.  Tiger Thai’s Tempura Shrimp came in four plastic wrapped styrofoam trays, five per tray with dipping sauce packs. The shrimp crisped nicely in the toaster oven in about 10 minutes while the rest of lunch got thrown together. You know how a lot of frozen foods are often poor versions of what is available from a restaurant? I thought that was going to be the case here but, surprise, surprise- I can honestly say, this frozen Shrimp Tempura was definitely tasty. Great texture, great flavor, not greasy, which is always The Husband’s complaint with tempura. I’d get it again, for sure.

T'was dee-lish!
‘Twas dee-lish!

And I love my birthday plates, tea cups, leetle-bitty sauce dishes, rice/soup bowls and tea kettle. I picked up everything from Cost Plus World Market, and if you are interested, I believe they are still available.

Fuji Blossom Dinnerware from Cost Plus World Market
Fuji Blossom Dinnerware from Cost Plus World Market. Click the Pic for the link…

The Upshot: Half the Family = Half the Bill

Plans for a nice family dinner at a favorite Japanese restaurant just didn’t materialize in the way I had hoped for.  I haven’t seen the teens much lately, which sometimes is NOT a bad thing- am I right, fellow moms of teens??? However, I do enjoy these people an overwhelming majority of the time. There are subjects to cover, jokes to hear, stories to catch up on that you can’t hear in the fifteen minutes you see them in the morning before they dash out the door, or pry out of them as they are poring over their studies.

We try really hard to sit down together at dinner every day of the week… by “we try,” it’s really “I try.” All this effort results in maybe three family dinners per week. With fencing, guitar, theater, church leadership, Academic Decathlon, and sneaky Netflix binging, (and this is just The Teens) I feel like I have to out-plan everyone in order to bring us together on a regular basis. That should be a college course for parents! “Family Togetherness 101: Stealthy and Inconspicuous Planning and Gathering- Techniques and Practices Explained.”

No le gusta el atún. Pobrecito.
No le gusta el atún. Pobrecito. Part of the the catch of the day last July. It was Poke City here. Click the pic for a recipe similar to ours
Further evidence of how deep his distaste for fish runs..
Further evidence of how deep his distaste for tuna runs…

It is probably a good thing that The Teens stayed home… one doesn’t like sushi or any fish for that matter, the other racks up quite a bill. We had half the usual bill by leaving half the family at home. Look at The Boy. He’s not kidding. This is the poster child for Mac N Cheese. And fillet mignon. His tastes run amok.

Hamachi (Yellowtail) Sashimi, caught that morning- click for a great poke recipe
Hamachi (Yellowtail) Sashimi, caught that morning

My favorite selections for sushi are always salmon and yellowtail nigiri. Tuna used to be a top choice, but we are extremely fortunate to catch our own on a friend’s boat or receive some of his haul and we have a freezer full of ahi. It. Is. HEAVEN!!

Tobiko and Scallop...
Tobiko and Scallop…

So, we lost the teens and instead were able to have a nice dinner date with just the two of us. Not a bad consolation prize, huh?! Where The Girl was going to have carte blanche with the sushi menu and do the choosing for me, in hindsight, maybe it is a good thing that she wasn’t there? Hmmm… hadn’t thought of that. Who knows what she would have tried to get me to eat? (*shudder*)

The Husband got to choose instead, and we ended up splitting orders of scallop nigiri and tobiko. Holy Yum. The scallops, especially, they were so sweet! I thought that shellfish would be on the tough side if prepared raw, since I’ve only had giant clam sushi… I don’t recommend it. Our favorite little neighborhood sushi joint prepares the scallops with a very light dressing, probably mayo based- I loved it, and so did the mayonnaise-hating husband. And I really did like the tobiko, too. Fresh and ocean-y tasting, lots of fun, salty popping going on, and very yummy.

Downtown Sushi…

We had a few hours to kill while waiting to pick up the son from an event downtown and tried a new-to-us sushi spot-

Sushi Deli 2 http://www.sushideliusa.net/

Those were some great prices on noodles, appetizers and sushi, and the winner was the Yakisoba. Lots of vegetables cooked just right, great flavor to the sauce and good chicken, too. I’d pass on the Udon soup there, the tempura was good with it, as was the broth, but I think the noodles were prepared ahead of time and just reheated in the broth… that might explain the low price. Good overall, but for the noodles. Sushi Deli seems to be known for its specialty rolls, and they did look great as the servers brought them to other tables.

Sushi Stop 2 Potstickers; Assorted Nigiri; Chicken Yakisoba and Tempura Udon

I wouldn’t go again, but neither would I discourage someone from going there. You sure can’t beat the price, and the atmosphere was pumped.