Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I love breakfast, but hate waking up for it. We have breakfast for dinner all the time at home. Pancakes, waffles, omelets are all welcomed as long as it's past noon. I recently decided that an even better choice is brunch. Think about it. By definition, brunch just says lazy. No one eats brunch on a weekday, so you are already channeling the weekend (even if it is Monday night). It's saying that you didn't want to get out of bed but wants to eat like you did. All brunch items are simply prepared and in many cases, prepared ahead of time so you just roll out of bed and finish up. Simple and delicious, definitely the mantra around here...
Which brings me to the dutch baby you see above. It's kind of a cross between a popover and a pancake. I came across the recipe here and it looked like good lazy people food. Mix some very basic ingredients together, put it in the oven and let it do it's thing. I added some crumbled bacon (and took advantage of the bacon grease to lube the skillet) as a final breakfast touch. Sprinkle with powder sugar and a simple meal is ready in 30 minutes.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
The mix was sent from Minnesota by Britt's cousin a while back. I think on one of their visits out here I had made a smart remark about what Minnesotan food was. Roadkills and casseroles might have been involved in the joke, but when they went home, they sent this over and a sample of authentic Minnesotan cuisine. I don't stock a lot of beer at home, but I do like Red Stripe and keep a few in the garage (Hooray beer!). I figured the unique spice of the Red Stripe can only enhance the wild rice soup experience. Besides, bringing the cultures of Jamaica and the Great American North can't be a bad thing, right?
No matter how novel the final dish may be, this is still basically soup mix. 1 cup of beer and 6 cups of water, add mix and bring to a boil, then simmer for 40 minutes or so until the rice is tender. I was actually impressed with the amount of discernible vegetables in the mix. It wasn't ALL orange powder! While I waited I made a light pasta with diced tomatoes and olives for the kids since I wasn't sure if they would approve of the soup.
In the end, the soup was pretty good. I like wild rice soup in general, especially on a cold winter night. The beer added another level of flavor that worked very well with the salty cheesy taste (it was almost like eating cheese puffs while drinking beer). I suppose we can score one for Minnesotan cuisine. If any hockey moms out there want to send over whatever hot dish you think represent the midwest taste best, I'll be happy to try that as well.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Woke up nice and avoided the lines.
Got one of these ... (the ethnic version. Does it only come in English and Spanish?)
...so I can get a free one of these
and washed down with a free one of these.
Didn't get what I wanted the most, the Ben and Jerry's ice cream, but none of these made me want to vote anymore than before. I think I've only missed voting in an election once or twice since turning 18. Call me a political romantic, but I like being a part of the process. I even purposely passed on the early mail-in voting because I wanted to be in line on election day. Makes me feel so much more involved. So the high turnout Tuesday was what made me most proud to be an American. Let your voice be heard!
OK since this is my soapbox, a quick word about what I am least proud of in this election (and every election). I hate people who threatens to leave the country if their candidates lose. I'm glad they show passion for their candidate and you should show your support, but in a democracy, one side loses. That's how it works. It's not, "if I didn't get my way I'm going to play ball in someone else's yard." A majority of the people wanted one thing, so at least for the time being, that's how it's going to be. If you don't like it, there are still plenty of things you can do to change, or at least alter that outcome. That's checks and balances, also a part of democracy. This all works if we all just follow the rules, which convenient can be changed as well, if the majority of the people want it to. So please, love the whole system, not just the part that best serves you.
Sometimes, life just presents you with situations that just makes teaching lessons to your children so easy. Hannah came up to me in church last Sunday crying and hold her eye. When I asked her what happened, she said she was running and slipped and hit her head on a sign out in the lobby. I asked her to show me the sign. We walked out and she showed me the yellow signed that said, "Wet Floor."
Well, that pretty much spoke for itself.
Monday, October 27, 2008
It all started one Saturday night when the family decided to go to a women's volleyball game at Cal. We figured we would grab a bite to eat in the Telegraph area before the match. We started at Blondie's for a slice of the special (a Mediterranean mix that evening), then I wanted a Boba from Sweethearts cafe, and just had to splurge for the combo to have some fried fish balls (Hey! food on a stick!). Britt smelled fresh donuts from Kingpin so she got a dozen donut holes, and we topped it off with dessert from Yogurt Park. Oh yeah, did I mention we totally missed the volleyball game? I think after all that eating we would have passed out from food coma in the bleachers anyway.
Ever since, I have had a real interest in other cheap eats. A couple weeks ago I went to La Taqueria for the first time, arguably the most popular taqueria in the whole Bay Area. The tacos are big and filling, and even Hannah got over the abundance of parsley in the salsa and dug right in.
But then, I came across this article about a taco truck selling gourmet sandwiches once a week out in the Mission district (coincidentally, blocks away from La Taqueria), and I knew I had to go. Sure it's on a school night (ok, work night), and it's best to go later to avoid the longest lines, but I just had to go.
We arrived at about 10:45 and easily found the place. It was the only taco truck with a large crowd outside milling about. It was a totally mellow, friendly crowd though. When I first walked up I didn't know where the line started as people just stood around. I soon figured out that there was an order taker up front who would put your order on a post it and passed it into the two cooks inside. After listening to an inebriated lady compliment the make-up prowess of my friend for a few minutes, I worked my way up front to place my order.
I was disappointed to find out that they were beginning to run out of some of the food. The flat bread was gone and now they were just using tortillas for their sandwiches. I was first told that they were out of brownies but then they found out that it was the brie that they put on top that had run out. Another minute later I was told that they had one last piece of brownie with brie and it was all mine. I thought it would just be a small slice of brie on top to compliment the brownie, but as you can see, it's a big wedge along with some hazelnut. It is weird but it was also really good. I ate half of it before my sandwich was ready!
Even though I didn't get a picture, believe me when I tell you the sandwich was equally good (It's probably because I was so excite it I ate it before a picture can be taken). The pork belly was flavorful and tender, and I didn't even know I liked jicama but it worked perfectly with the pork belly. It was easily the best thing I ate all week.
Somewhat sadly, I just found out today that the taco truck format is being abandoned for a rotating restaurant system. I will still follow them wherever they end up from week to week, but I certainly feel special for being a part of the taco truck community while it lasted.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
I'm proud of my kids' love of reading, and of course, they have their favorites. This one has span both kids, and it's a shame it won't quite make it to the third kid. I'll probably tape it up and make it last a little longer, but there are pages that are torn too, so maybe it should go into well deserved retirement. In the meantime though, Sara will soldier on with the copy she has, and continue to read about aunt Annie's alligator, Silly Sammy Slick, and Young Yolanda Yorgenson a little longer.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
As you can see, it's a bunch of stuff thrown together. There's leftover pasta from last night's dinner, cut up smoked bratwurst purchased for a BBQ a few weeks back, diced onion that's been sitting around for a week, the eggs of course, and a potpourri of cheeses that I found in the fridge.
Anyway, cooking eggs is always a good test of how seasoned your cast iron pan is, and I admit I was a little nervous (even though I've had this pan for years and have probably cooked an equivalent of two pigs on the thing). So just in case, I fried a few strips of bacon for some extra lubrication and chopped up the bacon to line the bottom of the pan. I had grand plans of flipping over the finished product, showing the crumbled bacon covering the dish, but have you tried flipping a cast iron pan over to a plate? You have to be an Olympic weight lifter to pull that off without wiping the floor with the frittata. So you throw in your mixture of stuff, pour the egg and cheese mixture over it all (plan for about 2 large eggs per person), and cook over medium high heat until the sides set. Then you put it in the oven at 375ish and cook until the middle sets, about 20-25 minutes. The middle can still be a little runny, but take it out to cool and the heat in the pan should finish the egg off to perfection. Slice into wedges and serve. A nice salad would go great with it. I added a dollop of sour cream on top, but I think salsa or even marinara would be ok (there is pasta in the thing, after all). That's about it. I don't even know if it's still technically a frittata, but I can tell you it was filling and delicious. There are also Spanish tortillas which are like frittatas with potatoes, and I think I will try that too. I think I just planned weekend brunch!
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Here’s what I want you to do:
1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at www.verygoodtaste.co.uk linking to your results.
The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:
1. Venison (jerky, anyway)
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
10. Baba ghanoush
12. Pho (Mmmm too bad it's like 2000 degrees out, I want some now!)
13. PB&J sandwich (hey my kids have started the path too! cool!)
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes (definitely on my Top 10 food of all time, if I were to make such lists)
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
35. Root beer float
Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects (novelty store thing, crickets, I think they were)
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
47. Chicken tikka masala
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV (hmm i remember the Sierra Nevada BigFoot. I think I almost threw up)
60. Carob chips
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake (all of the above!)
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill (wha?? I'm not crossing that out though. Who knows, I might try it)
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
79. Lapsang souchong
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
90. Criollo chocolate
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
The vacation was pretty food-centric, which sounds good until you are bursting at the seems. This is the Dairy Queen in Medford that kind of kicked off the week. Notice how happy we are eating our ice cream If we only knew what piggies we would become...
One of the more interesting thing was with different trade laws in Canada, we saw a lot of things they are available back home. Here's Hannah with a dragonfruit. You've all probably had the juice, but have you seen or cut into one of these things. Interestingly enough, the fruit is rather bland. So think about that the next time you spend $3 on dragonfruit ginseng natural organic tea.
Just as exciting, the chinese market we went to sold live sharks! I don't know how one would prepared these for dinner, but I would certainly look into attaching freaking lasers to their heads.
On a related note, walking around in Chinatown in Vancouver, there were tons of stores selling all sorts of dried goods. Dried shrimps, dried scallops, dried oysters....oh, and even...
...dried lizard on a stick. This is the 'money shot', so to speak, of the post. I don't have one idea what you do with that. Make soup? Dip it in chocolate? Leave a recipe in the comments if you can help me out. (not that i bought any, of course. Imagine how many more hours it would take me to cross the border if I had to sneak one of those things by the border guards)
The only cup of coffee I drank in Seattle. On top of the Space Needles good, but the low quantity bad. I'm usually pretty good at adapting to local customs (I spoke a lot more chinese while we were in Richmond, BC., where there are more asian malls than probably 45 states), but by the time I got around to buckling down and going for some coffee tasting, I ended up wandering the suburbs of Seattle on a Sunday night with no coffee. I did, however, find...
I just thought it was funny. Would I eat there? Ye-ah!
And finally, a quick thank you to one of my favorite Canadians Nicole (ranking up there with Ryan Reynolds, Michael J Fox, and maybe even Bullwinkle) for the tip of having lunch at Burgerville in Oregon. Two days after she left me a note to check it out, on the way home from eating entirely too much crap, we pulled off the freeway for lunch about 10 miles outside of Portland and found a recently opened Burgerville. It's a pretty cool place. The most eco-socio-conscious fast food place I have ever seen. All food is locally produced (well, the Northwest, Oregon beef, Walla Walla onions, etc), recycles practically everything, compost bin at all restaurants. Oh, the food is very good as well. I would show you, but I ate it WAY before the camera even made an appearance. The girls are happy to show off the balloons they gave them though.
Ok that's it. Vacation is long over. School is starting. Indian summer kicks in with a few more 95 degree days before fall rolls in. Maybe we'll start saving to go back to Vancouver when the Winter Olympics roll around in 2010. Next time though, better pacing on the eating, and less touring of the world's Chinatowns.....
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Number of cats almost adopted from Oregon: 1
Number of Canadian parking tickets my dad received: 1
Number of Canadian parking tickets my dad plans to ignore until they come after him in this country: 1
Number of hours it took to get into Canada: 0.4
Number of hours it took to get back into the US: 4.5
Number of times my parents went to an Indian casino during our vacation: 5 (I think)
Length of tantrum Sara threw when she realized there was only 1 "room" in the Space Needle: 20 mins
Number of Ichirolls that comes with each order: 8
Number of Ichiroll regurgitated by Sara when she found out it was spicy: 1
Minutes between meals: Felt like 5
Pounds gained on trip: ???
Ugh, I still get a tummy ache looking at that...but one more look at a Canadian meal.
Til next time...I'll be on my WiiFit.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
That's probably enough for most of you. If that is the case. Come back in a week or two. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Monday, August 04, 2008
Friday, August 01, 2008
longer have regular cell coverage in Canada (the roaming fees are
ridiculous, thanks Rogers wireless). That also means no Internet for
me either (it IS possible to miss the EDGE network). I didn't think it
would be so hard to find some Wifi somewhere though. The hotel I am
staying in charges $6 for 24 hours, which I just couldn't justify
(thank you unfriendly exchange rates). So here I am, happily going
back to the States tomorrow, sitting in the parking lot of a motel
down the street, borrowing their wifi (thank you Days Inn!).
Don't get me wrong, Vancouver is great. It even rained here like it
should to give me an authentic experience. Apparently I am just not
the kind if guy that can take one of those technology vacations. I
feel like I am in the dark ages!! Rest assured there are plenty if
pictures and stories. Depending on the line at the border, I'll be
back in Seattle tomorrow afternoon. Until then, it's back to an
unconnected world, and a not as useful phone in my pocket.
I better get going before the Days Inn employees hunt me down and kick
Thursday, July 31, 2008
slowly tapped out on my phone. We finished our journey to Seattle
today (Bellevue, to be specific) and am staying at a relative's house
for the night. We will cross the border tomorrow and be in Richmond
for two days before coming back to the Seattle area for the weekend.
So another day on the road. Just a couple of observations:
- eating on the road usually consists of a lot of fast food, and our
trip is no exception. My parents aren't the most adventurous eaters
either so it severely limits the choices some more. We had McDonalds
for breakfast and Denny's for lunch. Considering the fact that my
sister has pretty much taught me to travel for food (her and Anthony
Bourdain), this is flat out embarassing. In my defense a bit, the
choices of eatery in southern Washington leaves a lot to be desire
(along I-5 anyway). And we HAD to have found the Denny's with
construction going on so my mediocre chicken salad came with a side of
power tool noise. I am expecting my eating to take a turn for the
better now that I met up with my sister. Hopefully I'll have better
news to report tomorrow.
(to prove my point, my sister flew up to Seattle and had lunch at
perhaps the best salumi place ever. I'll link to her post as soon as
she writes one)
- one more note on roadside eating. There are Subway restaurants at
literally every exit. It's either a standalone place or inside a gas
station. Terribly annoying when you are trying to find food to eat.
Talk about taunting...
- We are staying in a huge house and is more than comfortable, there
is even Wifi here but we were tired and rushed to bed pretty early, so
here I am rapping away on my phone on email. I will have to remember
to ask for access when we come back for the weekend.
- Hppefully when we get settled in Canada tomorrow I will have time to
throw a few pictures on here. Right now it would just be a gallery of
people asleep in the car anyway. If you really want to keep track of
things I am trying to keep my facebook and twitter acount (ak3700)
updated. Hey, what else am I going to do in the car?I love my phone....
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
...it's a fun song, but sadly no, we are actually taking a road trip. The bags are packed, and tomorrow we hit the road north to not-so-sunny Seattle/Vancouver. Will my kids survive the long drive? How many cups of Seattle's Finest coffee will I consume? Will I find some free WiFi to keep you all updated? We will all find out soon....
Monday, July 28, 2008
...That was what was instructed to everyone right before I cut the delicious homemade cheesecake (darn, forgot to take a picture) for Britt's birthday. She is not a fan of birthday attention, so a nice, quiet BBQ lunch is all she gets. It ended up cold and windy anyway (great precursor to our vacation, I guess), so we came, we ate, and we retreated indoors, where the warmth of technology kept us company.
Monday, July 21, 2008
(Of course, the recent mishap of my standup mixer's engine breaking will make this difficult. If anyone knows where a good place I can take the mixer to get repair, I would greatly appreciate it... and perhaps thank you with some cookies.)
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Had some potatoes around the house that were ready to bloom so I decided to use them along with some leftovers to make a quick sheperd's pie for dinner. Nothing especially exciting. What I actually wanted to bring up was that as I was leveling the mashed potatoes on top and getting ready to put it in the oven, I realized that I had no idea how to make those cool peaks with a fork that everyone seems to make that gets all browned and delicious looking. I ended up kind of plowing across them like I was getting ready to plant corn in them or something. Not quite the same. If anyone can show me how to make nifty peaks, please let me know....
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Thursday, July 03, 2008
I'm just saying, in case you were wondering.....
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
When you want to go to a Farmer's Market in the Bay Area, the Ferry Building Farmer's Market is pretty much the gold standard that others are compared to. With Hannah having been freed for the summer from her busy activities, we decided to take a trip out and enjoy the summer harvest of local farmers.
I support being a locavore as much as the next guy. I think Michael Pollan has a lot of very good ideas on how we can be more responsible with our the way we manage of resources. Looking at all of the organically grown food on display (look at those pepper! beautiful), I am definitely inspired to do more to support the local farmer. It is pricier than your local grocery store, but you more than make up for it in quality. I really wasn't looking to do a lot of shopping on this particular trip, but I couldn't resist buying a few tomatoes as thoughts of a BLT swirls in my head. (I LOVE a good ripe tomato. I can eat those things like apples. On the other hand, eating tomatoes in the winter time is one of the saddest experiences that I can think of) Then, amidst the abundant free samples, I also bought some potato-stuffed indian naan, some rhubarb that Britt turned into a crisp, and this love cheese sampler from Cowgirl Creamery. (I mostly took this to sow my friend Tim, who has developed a taste for fancy cheese)
Back to the sampling for a moment... You would think that all the samples of ripe nectarines, artisan cheeses, and even pickled green beans would be a meal in itself. But you know, sometimes the sampling works and it does indeed get you to buy more stuff. Besides what was mentioned above, I also tried a salumi "meat cone" from newly opened Boccalone. Excuse the blurry picture, I was having camera issues, but it's a paper cone with meat. Isn't that exciting enough of an idea?
So on a lovely summer day, I really can't think of anything better than spending the late afternoon/early morning strolling the Ferry Building. If it was inspiring to get me to wake up a little earlier on a Saturday morning, it's certainly worth a visit from you.