Rediscovering Reno: SPICY Tuna Handroll

Thursday, June 30, 2011

As most of you know by now, I'm a Foodie.

While my love of food has come from many sources, I attribute most of my passion to the years I spent as a youth eating out with my family.  For most of my childhood, my mom reviewed restaurants for the Reno Gazette Journal.  Through my mom's job, it allowed little me to experience types of food the average 8 year-old in the early 90s wouldn't be exposed to. 

For those of you who have lived in Reno long enough, think back. Remember the early 90s?  We were still a quiet little town.  We didn't have big chain restaurants (BJs? Claim Jumpers? Even Applebees.  What were they?).  We had a few good "Nevada-Style" Steak Houses (remember the Glory Hole?).  We certainly didn't have much variety when it came to ethnic food.  To find a Vietnamese restaurant to have a bowl of pho was difficult.  And to enjoy some korma or Indian curry, you had to go to some obscure places.  When it came to sushi, it was simple.  None of those crazy rolls that I eat (and enjoy) now. 

Sushi & Teri (still in the Toys R Us shopping center) for many years, was the only place in town you could get good sushi.  And it was basic.  Nigiri.  California Rolls.  Those sweet teriyaki tofu-pockets stuffed with rice.  Definitely no All-You-Can-Eat.

And you know what? With just those basics, I fell in love with my favorite food in the whole world. There's something about the balance of flavors with the fresh fish and the seasoned rice, a bit of wasabi, and a small dunk of soy sauce.  PERFECTION! 

When Groupon offered a few months ago a discount for Nothing To It Culinary Center, my mom and I both jumped on it.  A few years past, she and I had attended a "Taste of Thai" class and thoroughly enjoyed it.  We scoured the class catalogue, and decided to take a sushi making class

I thought this evening out, would be a perfect for my "Rediscovering Reno" post.  Nothing To It! is without a doubt one of Reno's hidden treasures.  The center is tucked away and you would think you were in Napa, not in South Reno by Meadowood Mall.

 The class was taught by the Center's amazing chef and instructor, Lara Ritchie.  Lara started off by making everyone feel welcome and then went through the history and basics of making sushi. 

We learned that traditionally, people in Japan would choose their sushi "hut" by how dirty the curtains covering the door were.  Napkins weren't used at the time, and people would wipe their hands on the curtains on their way out of the restaurant.  The dirtier the curtains, the more popular the place.  We also learned how to choose a good piece of fish (and were in this land-locked city we can do so), how to properly slice the fish for nigiri or sashimi, how to make sushi-rice, and how to construct rolls.  

After the interesting lesson, Lara broke us up into "teams" and we got to work constructing our mountain platter of sushi. I've made sushi before, but this was the most fun I've had doing it.  We had such variety of ingredients: tuna, salmon, imitation crab, a variety of sauces, a variety of vegetables, tempura shrimp, and new to me...WASABI TABIKO (so good!).  This was the first time I used a bamboo rolling mat.  It made things so much easier and my rolls actually looked presentable. 

All of the sushi we created during the cooking class!

We spent close to an hour building our sushi.  By the time we sat down to enjoy it I happily looked at our creation.  It looked, dare I say it, almost professional!?!  And though I enjoyed every single bite of our masterpiece; the nori (seaweed) was a little soggy, and the tempura shrimp weren't crispy.  We just took too long for those items to retain their crunch.Without a doubt it gave me an extra appreciation for the sushi chefs at my favorite joints here in town.

Mmmmm....the perfect bite!

For those of you who have never been to Nothing To It!, I would HIGHLY recommend it.  It's the PERFECT date night outing, or even fun for a girls night out (they always serve wine).  For those of you who burn water, no fear!  They have demo classes, where you watch them cook and just eat what they create.  For those a bit more adventurous, take one of the cooking classes.  The recipes are always simple enough that a novice in the kitchen will feel like a pro.  And for those who have a little Julia Child in them (like me), you will learn new techniques and feel a bit like a "master-chef".

Nothing To It! also has a Gourmet Deli that is open Monday - Friday from 11:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. and offers summertime deck dining and catering for your office party or other special occasion.  It's worth a trip to the south side of town for lunch in this hidden location.  I will talk more on their deli at a later time.

They are located just two blocks from hwy 395, right off South Virginia Street. Heading south on South Virginia Street, Take a right on Crummer Lane, 1 block past Barnes and Noble. They are right at the end of Crummer Lane.

Nothing To It!
225 Crummer Lane
Reno, NV 89502
(775) 826-2628

Heart-Mind-Body-Soul: Change vs Transformation

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Change is a word that I've either used or have heard a lot recently. 

When I've used it, it's in the context of wanting to make life changes.  Changes in my physical appearance, changes in my "picking" ability when it comes to the opposite sex, changes in how I like to spend my free time, etc.

When others use "change", it's sometimes used to indicate that I have become a different (unrecognizable?) person. 

After hearing the word so many times I thought I would refer to Mr. Webster again. 

verb /CHānj/ 
1. Make or become different.
2. Make or become a different substance entirely; transform.

I guess that according to the definition, I am changed.  My tastes and interest have become different.

For example?  While I still love Hip-Hop music, who would have thought that I would also enjoy Country as well?  I used claim that listening to the twang of a country singer would make my ears bleed.  Now, I have downloaded songs by Taylor Swift and Blake Shelton because I like their music.  As one of my dear friends would say, "What the what Sarah?"

I guess I see "change" as a good thing right now.  And I honestly prefer to call what I'm "going through" as GROWING UP as opposed to changing. 

I like the last word, of the second definition: TRANSFORM.  I think that says it all.  While I am still the same person at the core (that could NEVER change).  I'm ready (and am currently taking steps) to make some improvements to the outside. 

And not to be all corny, but think of the caterpillar that becomes a butterfly.  Isn't it still the same creature at the core?   It still has the same soul, still has the same heart and brain.  It just does a little work on itself (inside the cocoon) and emerges as a more confident insect.  One that hugs the world with it's beautiful wings, instead of crawling through life on its belly.

While I will talk about this more over the next weeks in the "Heart-Mind-Body-Soul" section, I took a first step this week in transforming my external "happiness" by rejoining my gym.  Being an employee of the school district allows me a discounted rate at one of the nicest facilities in town. 

I love the gym because it has a pool.  I've always been a water-baby, and it felt great getting back into the water this morning for the Aqua Interval Class (a class that combines cardio and strength intervals). 

And with all that said, in the midst of all of this transformation stuff.....I admit it....I'm changing.

But is that really such a bad thing?  :-)

While editing this blog to the sound of the rain beginning to pour, I turned on "The Voice."  What song came one?  Adam Levine singing Michael Jackson's, "Man in the Mirror."  How appropriate for this blog!

"If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place.
Take A Look At Yourself And
Then Make A Change!"


Sarah's Gastronomic Adventures: The Perfect Bite

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I have been part of a "Wine Group" for the better part of a year now.  The reason wine group is in quotes is, while we do participate in a wine tasting of sorts, it's really just a good excuse for a group of friends to get together every month, drink copious amounts of wine, and laugh a whole hell-of-a lot!

Each month, the party is hosted by a different member.  The host gets to choose the theme.  This month is Oregon wines.  And surprisingly, it's difficult to find wines from this coastal state here Reno. After going to two stores and striking out, and then having a friend go to the new Total Wine & More and only finding one bottle, we figured that any wine is good wine for this group of friends.

There wasn't a food theme this month, so I went with something that sounded good, "summery," and easy.  After wandering around Costco for a bit, this is what I came up with:

Italian Appetizer Bites
Nothing screams summer like fresh cherry tomatoes, basil, and ripe cantaloupe.  This recipe is nice because you don't have to cook anything, which in the summer time is CLEARLY a bonus.  It takes a bit of time to assemble, but if you turn on some good music, the time will just fly by!

I assembled the "Caprese Bites" first.  It's simply mini-fresh mozzarella balls, fresh basil,
and cherry tomatoes on a cocktail toothpick.

Next was the "Tortellini Bites". 
These are pre-boiled cheese tortellini and a cherry tomato on a toothpick.

Lastly, I put together the "Melon-Prosciutto Bites"
which was just balled cantaloupe and prosciutto ham.

Arranged on a platter, I know this Summer themed appetizer is sure to please!!!!

Rediscovering Reno: Gone Country?

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Summer is here, and that means so is the Rodeo.  The Reno Rodeo is an annual event that spans over the course of a week.  The Rodeo ends on Saturday and it's Thursday evening.  And...I'm going country!

I've lived in Reno almost my whole life. And I have to say, I've probably only been to the Reno Rodeo half a dozen times or so.  And I think the majority of those times have been with some kind of summer-camp or for work. 

Tonight, I'm actually going to the land of cowboys by choice.  What a change!  But really, what do I have to lose?  When I'm with good friends, and a flask of whisky hidden in my purse, how can I possibly go wrong?

I have my on my dark jeans, a cute strapless shirt (it's hot as hell today), and my pink-sparkly revolver necklace.  I'm ready for some RODEO!!!

Dare I say?  I had a blast!!!  It was a beautiful night in Reno.  The warm desert air mixed with a nice summer breeze made for a perfect evening.  As the sun set over the mountains, I sipped my margarita and watched some cowboys ride some bucking-broncos. 

And while I don't see this city slicker going country anytime soon, I have truly learned to appreciate the "country life". As I looked at cowboy hats last night, I realized the rodeo wasn't that bad at all. And as I blasted some Taylor Swift this morning as I was getting dressed, I realized that I will DEF be going back to the rodeo next year.  Ride 'em cowgirl!

Things Are Looking A Bit Different

No.  You haven't been directed to a different page.
This is still Bear-ing It All, just with a new, fresh, updated look!

After spending hours searching for templates, and editing HTML code I am finally ready to reveal my new design.  I'm happy with how it turned out, and hope you like the new look as much as I do.

My blog's appearance won't be the only change you will notice. There will also be a change in content.  In addition to the random posts that I may publish, I will be posting specific topics on specific days throughout the week. 

Heart, Mind, Body, Soul

Rediscovering Reno on Week at a Time
 ~ Things to DO, Places to SEE, Events, Restaurants, and MORE around The Biggest Little City ~

Gastronomic Adventures
~ Taking Cooking to the NEXT Level ~

Daily Updates:
Like/Follow On: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, and Instagram

Expect to see the additions of these new topics over the next few weeks.  The content may change some as I begin to take off my "training wheels" again and get more comfortable with my writing.

I'm excited to take on this new blogging challenge and hope you, my dear reader, join me.  Your support and feedback is always appreciated.  If you like what you're reading, please share with others. 

Or even better?  Follow/Like/Subscribe to Bear-ing It All.  You know you want to...and I will love you forever!

Changes...They Are COMING!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

As my school year comes to a end, and the summer is so close I can taste it (although Mother Nature doesn't seem to know that here in Reno) I'm determined to make these warm-weather months as productive as possible.

While I fully intent to relax and hit Tahoe as much as possible, I also plan on getting some real "work" done. These plans include regular trips to the gym, a complete purge of my clothes and closets, up-keep of my garden, finish reading some books, and make a SERIOUS commitment to my blog and readers.

Bear-ing It All is going to be undergoing some changes.  Not only will you notice a visual change to my page, you will also notice a change (or IMPROVEMENT) to the content.  In addition to the silly stories I like to share, I will be writing about specific topics and posting on specific days.

The topics will be revealed in the next few days.  If you have any suggestions, PLEASE let me know.  You can email me directly at

Please check back often.  I hope you're as excited about these changes as I am!!!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...