Sushi Cake

Disclaimer: Much to the chagrin of my meat obsessed, Nebraska reared family,  I’m a vegetarian; however, I will make exceptions every once in a while, especially if my friend Ale is cooking, because she is an amazing cook.  Today, I’m sharing her recipe for Sushi cake, which she made for us a few weeks ago.  It is most definitely not vegetarian, but is so delicious I had to share.



  • 2 Cups Jasmine Rice
  • 3 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Sugar
  • 4 1/4 Cups Water
  • 1/4 Cup Soy
  • 4 Oz Whipped Cream Cheese
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 3/4 Cup Shredded Carrots
  • 1 Large Avocado or 2 Small Avocados
  • 2 Limes
  • 1 1/4 Lb Imitation Crab
  • 4 Sheets Nori Seaweed
  • Furikake Rice Seasoning


1. Combine 4 cups of water and 2 cups of jasmine rice in a saucepan.  Stir in 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar and 2 tbsp sugar. Bring it to a boil and let boil until the water level is even with the rice.  Turn the stove to low and cover.  Check after 15 minutes. If it is done, then let it cool.

2. Peel the cucumber and cut it in half lengthwise.  Remove the seeds and cut the cucumber into small strips.


3. Slice and peel the avocado.

4. Cover the inside of a bundt cake mold with saran wrap.

5.  Wet your hands before grabbing a handful of rice.  Press it into the bundt cake mold. Continue pressing rice into the mold until it is fully covered.

6.  Cut the nori seaweed into strips and press them on top of the rice layer. Then put a layer of cucumber, carrot, avocado and imitation crab. Cover with 2 oz of whipped cream cheese.

7. Continue layering the cucumber, carrot, avocado, imitation crab, and whipped cream cheese until the bundt cake is full.


8. Once the bundt cake mold is full, cover the top with any remaining rice.

9. Flip the cake over and carefully remove the mold.  The cake should easily separate from the saran wrap.

10. Sprinkle the top of the cake with Furikake.


11. To prepare the dipping sauce, mix the juice of two limes with 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup soy sauce.

12. Slice the cake using a wet knife and serve.


Picnic Suitcase

Up until this weekend, the weather in Seattle has been abnormally spring-like.  It’s been perfect picnic weather, so I was inspired to make a picnic suitcase.  What’s a picnic suitcase, you ask?. Well it’s just what it sounds like, a picnic basket in a suitcase. I finally finished it this weekend and low and behold, the rain came back.   Oh well, once the weather improves, I’ll be ready.


I started with a plain suitcase from Goodwill Outlet.


After disinfecting it, I tore out the inner lining. I spent a lot of time figuring how to re-line it.  In the end, I decided to use poster board as a backing.  I cut the poster board into strips, as shown below.


Then I covered the poster board in scrap fabric that I had from an old shower curtain.  I just sewed the fabric directly onto the board.  I used fabric from one of Joey’s old shirts to fashion a pocket to hold the utensils.  To keep the glasses and plates in place, I sewed elastic strips.  I also attached a ribbon to tie the blanket with.


Because I didn’t measure the poster board accurately, the seams had some unattractive gaps.  I covered those gaps with some blue ribbon.


I was initially a little worried about the durability of the elastic to keep the table settings in place, but the plates and utensils are all from Goodwill and the glasses are from Ikea, so it’s not a big deal if they break.


Now I just need some good weather.


Ikea Bygel Utility Cart Makeover


A while back, I showed a post about the bar cart that Joey and I revamped. We love it, and as it turns out, so do most of our friends.  It gets a lot of compliments. So when some of our closest friends bought their very first house, we (or maybe just I….Joey didn’t really have a choice in the matter) decided that we had to make them a bar cart as a housewarming gift.  But I wasn’t having luck finding a good frame at the thrift stores, so I had to take a different approach – IKEA!! I love Ikea, and it turns out their Bygel Utility Cart makes a pretty good bar cart. I saw some cool makeovers on Pinterest, so I decided to give it a shot.

We started by assembling the basic cart. As you can see from the photo below, it’s a little boring.

Utility Bar Cart

That is where the wonder of contact paper and chalkboard paint came in.  You might remember my stainless steel contact paper backsplash from a few years ago.  Well, I borrowed from that idea and covered the bottom two shelves for a stainless steel, industrial look.  Then I busted out the chalkboard paint.  I gave the top shelf a few coats of paint.  After letting it dry, I handed Joey a piece of chalk and told him to draw whatever he wanted. He complained a little bit, but I know he secretly loves all the projects I drag him into.  He came up with a great design in like 10 minutes.


If our friends decide they want to change up the look, they can just erase it and have Joey draw them something else — although they might have to bribe him with some drinks first, but I’m sure he will eventually agree to draw something new.


We brought it over to our their house last week, and they love it.  It was a simple project, inexpensive project that will definitely be put to good use.



Bathroom Renovation: The After

It’s been about a week since we completed our bathroom project. It’s taken me a while to write this post, mostly because I’ve been incredibly lazy, but I figure it’s time to share the grand unveiling of our beautiful, new bathroom…. tada!


You can see in the before that it was a very cramped bathroom.  Here is another look at the before. We could barely open the bathroom door all the way, because it was so close to the vanity.


Now, thanks to our new Ikea vanity and cabinets, we have plenty of room. It’s made a huge difference.


Oh, and before anyone freaks out, we saved the huge mirror from the original bathroom and now have it in our guest bedroom/office.  It was a great mirror, but it didn’t offer any storage, so the Ikea medicine cabinet is much more practical.

I’m proud to say, the entire remodel cost under $1,000! I do work in finance, so of course, I kept a very detailed journal of our costs.  Here is the breakdown.

Ikea Total Cost: $469.74

  • LILLÅNGEN Sink Cabinet
  • DANNSKÄR Faucet
  • LILLÅNGEN Mirror Cabinet
  • LILLÅNGEN High Cabinet
  • LILLÅNGEN High Cabinet Legs

Home Depot Total Cost: $491.06

  • 3 Boxes of SomerTile Victorian Hex Porcelain Tile
  • Drywall Repair Patch
  • Taping Knives
  • Joint Compound
  • Wall Texture
  • Sink Valves
  • Non-Sanded Grout
  • Thin Set Mortar
  • Trowel
  • Sealant
  • Tile Cutter
  • Grout Float
  • Caulk
  • Sponge
  • Baseboards
  • Hole Saw for Power Drill
  • Finishing Nails

Things we Already Had: Free

  • Paint
  • Caulk Gun
  • Tool Set
  • Power Drill
  • Screws
  • Labor

TOTAL COST: $960.80

I think that is pretty good, considering we installed tile and tore out pretty much everything but the bath and toilet.  A few years ago, I would have balked at the thought of spending $960 on a bathroom remodel.  It’s funny how things change when you get older. I guess it’s not so much that we are older, but it’s more that we both have full time jobs and can afford to treat ourselves every once in while – although, I’m not sure if Joey considered this a treat since he did most of the work.  Even so, I think we can take pride in the fact that we completed the remodel all on our own.


I have some more remodeling projects in mind, but I think I’ll give it a rest for a while.