I know that it’s a day late, but I could not pass up the chance to wish you all a Happy Belated Valentine’s Day. I hope it was a day full of love and all of your favorite people. Myself, I spent the 48 hour period surrounding Valentine’s Day cooking up this month’s Daring Cooks’ Challenge, eating my weight in anything made of chocolate, and catching up on my Korean dramas on Hulu. I also ate a chili cheese hot dog with extra onions, because that’s one of the reasons why it actually is cool to be single on Valentine’s Day.
After doubtlessly reeling you in with that fabby intro, let’s back things up a bit to Valentine’s Day Eve, when I made this month’s Daring Cooks’ Challenge, Hiyashi Soba and Tempura.
Cue the Daring Cooks required blog checking lines…
“The February 2011 Daring Cooks’ challenge was hosted by Lisa of Blueberry Girl. She challenged
Daring Cooks to make Hiyashi Soba and Tempura. She has various sources for her challenge including japanesefood.about.com, pinkbites.com, and itsybitsyfoodies.com.”
If you want to find the particulars, there’s the ever-lovely, ever-informative recipe packet concerning all things Hiyashi Soba over at the Daring Kitchen.
Simply put, Hiyashi Soba is a cold noodle salad made with buckwheat noodles—soba. After cooking and cooling them, they are served with a variety of toppings and a yummy sauce or two. For my version, I just stuck with the basic noodles topped with our other project, tempura.
I found those noodles so stinking cute. The fact that they came packaged in those little bundles completely slayed me. I cannot testify as to what that says about how easily entertained I am, but I was pleased as punch nonetheless.
Because it was going to be Valentine’s Day, I wanted to do something special with the tempura veggies. My first thought was to go with little heart shaped tempura nibbles, which would have been super adorable. However, I did not have a cookie cutter small enough, so I went with some whimsical stars instead. They still make things a little cute, which is nice. They also trick me into thinking that I’m eating less tempura than I actually am.
That would be sweet potato and zucchini, by the by.
In the end, I loved the tempura. Their crispy outsides and tasty insides made this stuff completely irresistible. It was all I could do to set some aside for photos, such were my ravenous tempura munchies.
The noodles…well…They were noodly? I can’t say that I was particularly impressed with the noodles, mainly because they seemed pretty bland. However, this stems from the fact that I did not add half the toppings and accompaniments that should go with this dish, so, done properly, I’m sure it’s delicious.
After the important, make-it-look-pretty frying was done, I kinda went to town with the other veggie bits. It was so fun/terrifyingly dangerous to dunk them in the batter and fry them up until they got that poofy crunch that makes tempura-fied foods so amazing. If you’re wondering what that brown thing on the right is…
…it’s a Kit Kat bar. It melted in the oil, turning it brown and chocolate-y. This effectively brought the tempura frying to an end, since nobody enjoys chocolate-covered zucchini.
Following the adventures of Valentine’s Eve came the treats of Valentine’s Day, provided by my luverly family. It included some chocolates of the yummy Godiva variety…
and a geeky photography book I had been wanting.
Then I made some chocolate mousse from this beautiful recipe as well, because I happened to have an abundance both of chocolate chips and heavy cream in my house that day, which we all know is a boon that cannot be ignored. And ohmygoodness is it delicious. Words cannot describe how yummy this mousse is. It inspires me to poetry.
“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”
To round out the Valentine-y goodness, I slurped up a Red Velvet Cheesecake Milkshake from Sonic. Something that amazing needs to be capitalized. And said five times fast.
Hope you all had a wonderful day!