Happy Valentine’s Day my  lovelies.  I thought I was going to be like Charlie Brown all day, checking my mail box for Valentines and finding NOTHING however,  I was THRILLED that I received one.  Who from I wonder?!  Also my diagonal desk mate told me that I was “super hot” and the coffee dude put glitter and a rose petal on the top of my cappucino – what a GLORIOUS day.  I hope that all my readers are having a lovely day full of lovely loveliness.  Although I am single right now, I am choosing to focus on the fact that I have had TONNES of romance in my life in the past and I’m pretty sure I’ll have some more before I leave planet earth.

Here’s my report on my second Daring Cooks Challenge.  All around the world food bloggers will be posting today on the February 2011 challenge: Soba Noodle Salad with Tempura.  Luckily I found Red’s recipe which I followed to the letter.  It was his dipping sauce that did it.  Soy Sauce, Bonito Soup (took me ages to find this in London but got there eventually) and ACCENT.  Folks in the USA will know all about this but we don’t have it here.  I googled like a googly thing and discovered that Accent is effectively MSG so I bought the smallest bag  I could even though I only needed a pinch.  Even the smallest bag was the size of a small bag of sugar.  The guy in the Thai supermarket said, “don’t eat it all at once!”  Can you imagine what might happen if I did that?

Red’s dipping sauce was so freaking delicious I am now addicted to MSG.

I was SOOOOOOO proud of my tempura.  Beautiful little “vegetable no-names” (as I once saw them translated as on a menu in Thailand) and the shrimp ones were just divine.  I’d never deep fried anything before, I’d never bought raw prawns before, I’d never had many of the things in this recipe in my kitchen before.  I am now so cosmopolitan I can barely believe my accent is so estuary! There are photos over on the flickr site including one of the tempura, one of the new things in my kitchen cupboard and one of the mighty bag of MSG.

Tonight I am going out on the town in my new black wiggle dress from Frillseekers – watch out single men of Camden Town, I am on the rampage!

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

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