Tuesday, April 9, 2013

childhood favorite

scallion pancakes.  

I consumed many of these thanks to my Chinese babysitter, Mary. And I love them so.  
They are easy to make but take a bit of time.  Don't worry, it's worth it.

2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup boiling water
1 Tablespoon oil
Seasame oil
Scallions, tops, chopped

In a stand mixer, combine flour and salt
Then, add the hot water and oil while the mixer is on low until the dough comes together
With the mixer on low, let the dough knead for about 10 minutes
Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes
Cut the dough into 12 pieces and roll each piece into a ball 
Keep the other pieces covered while you roll
Then press each piece in the tortilla press to about 4 inches
Brush each pancake with sesame oil and scallions
Roll up the pancake into a cylinder, pinch the ends, and coil it up into a spiral, pinching the end
Cover and let rest for at least 20 minutes
Flatten each pancake in the press again.  Let rest for another 20 minutes
Heat some oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Fry the pancakes for 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown.  
Transfer to drain and sprinkle with salt while still hot. 

so very delicious.

Monday, April 8, 2013

climbing high

I know it's been a while but the last two weeks have been too busy with work (lame). 

But before it all got hectic, Jonathan and I made Spoon a cat tower, because he likes to be high and check things out.

Supplies for the Job:
Power Drill
Screw Driver
Wood nails, long (2 1/2 inch) and short (1/2 inch)
3/4 inch plywood cut into three squares, ours were ~16 x 16 inches
2x4 post cut into three pieces, ours were ~24 inches each
100 ft sisal rope (not synthetic)
Wooden Skewers 

DIY Details: 
The first step is to paint each of the squares, just one side and the four edges.
Next, wrap the sisal rope around two of the posts
(You can wrap it around all three but you'll end up needing another 50 ft of rope, so we painted it instead)
We attached the rope to the posts by screwing the rope to the post at the two ends. 
(Wood glue is also an option)
We then cut the carpet to match the squares and drilled the pieces to the unpainted side of the squares with the short (1/2 inch) wood screws:

The tricky part is then putting all the pieces together.
The first step was to attach two of the posts to the base:
After some (*much) trial and error about the best strategy to do this, we settled on the following approach:

1. Drill three holes into the square and then mark the post at the matching points and drill holes into the posts.  
2. Place wood skewers into the holes so that two pieces are lined up, like so:
3. Then, place the screws in the holes and screw in with a screwdriver as far as you can:
4. Drill the screws in the rest of the way
(What the bottom of the base looks like)
We ate some pizza at some point: 
(What levels one and two look like)

Repeat with the second floor, third post, and third floor:

**We placed the third floor in the corner of the second floor, but it doesn't seem to be enough room to jump between the second and third floor, though spoon can jump to it from the floor...

Total cost was about $50 and total time was about 5 hours, but we had some trial and error along the way. 

So far he seems to be enjoying it, scratching on it and hanging on the second floor.