Maori Sakai

Can I just have a little fan girl moment? Just a small squee for the magical illustrations that delight me to no end!
Maori Sakai is a freelance illustrator that has been burning up the internet via Society6, and Tumblr.

Go take a look!







All photos and gifs. by Maori Sakai

Grilled Veggies with Ginger Sesame Marinade

Grilled Veg

The intense marinade is what makes these veggies so delicious. I made up a big batch and used it for BSCB* too!

Ginger Sesame Marinade
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
1/3 cup Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 cup Sesame Oil
1/2 cup Canola Oil
3 tablespoons Fresh Ginger (grated)
1 tablespoon Fish Sauce
1 clove Fresh Garlic (grated)
1 tablespoon Toasted Sesame Seeds
1-2 tablespoons Sugar

Combine all ingredients in a tight sealing jar and shake very well to combine. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Shake well to re-combine before using.

Grilled Veggies
Pre-heat your grill to medium-high or about 400-500 degrees.
I have one of those handy grilling baskets that we use on the BBQ but you can also put down a layer of foil over the grates and cook your veg that way.
1/2 cup Ginger Sesame Marinade
2 Summer Squash
1 Red Onion
1 bunch Asparagus
1 Fennel Bulb
Salt & Pepper

Slice the squash, onion and fennel into 1/2 inch thick slices. Leave the asparagus whole.
Place all the veggies into a zip top bag and add about 1/2 cup of the Ginger Sesame Marinade. Allow to sit at room temp for about 30min to and hour.
Place the veggies onto a sheet pan or a grill basket and place it on your hot grill for about 2 minutes a side, or until the veggies are browned.
Take off the heat and wrap the veggies in foil and allow to rest for about 5 minutes.
This will cook the veggies the rest of the way through.
Serve with a little more dressing spooned over.

(*boneless skinless chicken breasts)

Print this Recipe? Ginger Sesame Marinade Grilled Veggies

May Bookworm

May Bookworm
For those of us who were distraught about The Mortal Instruments series wrapping up, and next year can’t arrive too soon so we can dig into The Dark Artifices, Cassandra Clare, along with a who’s who of popular YA authors, offers us a short story e-book series based in the Shadow Hunters universe.
There are going to be ten stories in all, one released each month January – November of this year.
So far I’ve read the first four. I could jabber on and on but fans of the original series only need to have one word: Simon! For those who haven’t read The Mortal Instruments this is a stand alone series so you don’t have to.

And here’s a fun thing, the covers are a surprise until the day they are published. They fit together to form a mosaic of Simon drawing his bow!

“Simon Lewis never thought he’d become a Shadowhunter…and now he has the chance. After living as a Mundane and a Vampire, Simon never thought he would become a Shadowhunter, but today he begins his training at Shadowhunter Academy.”
“Simon learns the worst crime a Shadowhunter can commit: desertion of their comrades. 
In the early nineteenth century, Tobias Herondale abandoned his fellow Shadowhunters in the heat of battle and left them to die. His life was forfeit, but Tobias never returned, and the Clave claimed his wife’s life in exchange for Tobias’s. Simon and his fellow students are shocked to learn of this brutality, especially when it is revealed the woman was pregnant. But what if the child survived…could there be a lost Herondale line out in the world today?”
“Jack the Ripper stalks through London, and only the Shadowhunters can stop him. 
Simon learns the truth behind the Jack the Ripper murders—“Jack” was stopped by Will Herondale and his institute of Victorian Shadowhunters.”
“Simon learns about James Herondale’s time at Shadowhunter Academy.
It’s hard to be a Shadowhunter when you’ve got demonic powers. Simon learns about the school-time struggles of half-warlock James Herondale in this prelude to The Last Hours.”

No Bake Cheesecake with Berry Compote

fruit compote

Compote is different from jam in that it’s looser in consistency and aside from any natural pectin in the fruit there’s no added stabilizers.
The cheesecake to go with the compote is my variation of Nigella’s Cherry Cheesecake recipe.

Berry Compote
1/2 cup Fresh Strawberries
1/2 cup Fresh Blueberries
1/4 cup Fresh Raspberries
1/2 cup Frozen Dark Cherries
1/2 cup Sugar
The Zest of 1 Lemon
1/4 cup Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste or 1 Vanilla Bean (halved and the seeds scraped out)

Roughly chop the strawberries. You want the pieces to be big enough so they won’t disappear when cooked.
Combine all the ingredients in a heavy bottomed sauce pan.
Bring the mix to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 20-30 minutes or until thickened and reduced by half.
Be attentive to your compote so it won’t burn.
About halfway through the cooking time smash up the berries with a fork.
Cover and refrigerate overnight before using.

If you’d like to make this and fresh berries are not in season just use a package of frozen mixed berries.

No Bake Cheesecake
1 3/4 cups (that’s about two sleeves) crumbled Graham Crackers
8 tablespoons Melted Butter
14 oz (2 packets) Cream Cheese (Room Temp)
1/2 cup Confectioners’ Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste
The Zest of 1 Lemon
1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
1 1/4 cup Heavy Cream

Place the graham crackers into the bowl of your food processor and pulse until they are fine crumbs.
Add the butter through the feed tube and process until the mixture clumps together and resemble wet sand.
Add a touch more butter if the mixture seems too dry.
Press the crust mixture into a 8-9 inch springform pan, pressing a bit up the sides to form a small lip.
Place the pan into the freezer while you get on with the cheesecake mixture.

Whip the cream cheese, confectioner’s sugar, vanilla bean, and lemon zest and juice until smooth.
Whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form.
Fold the cream into the cream cheese mixture, combine well.
Spoon the filling on to the graham cracker crust and smooth the top.
Refrigerate overnight.
Use a warm knife to cut the slices and serve with the berry compote.

This was so light and smooth and EASY to make I’m not sure if I’ll ever bother with a traditional cheesecake again!

Print this recipe? Berry Compote