sarea: (if i were a zombie)
I have my Secret Santa assignment for [community profile] be_compromised. Eeeeee! Now I just need to figure out what the hell I'm going to write. It's not my prompter's fault; the prompts I got are totally fine. It's me. God help the person who got my prompts. My brain is always so all over the place. Before I can even think of starting this, though, I have to finish the story I'm so very nearly done with. I just have to write, like, half a scene. And do a ton of editing.

K and I went to an Italian cooking class the other night, held at one of my favorite local stores that sells high-end foodstuffs. They're the only local shop I've found that carries Desert Miracle, my favorite EVOO, so named because it's from a producer in Morocco (El-Borouj Olive Estate). Anyway, while I was there I hit upon the awesome idea that I could create a gift basket for a coworker's housewarming that I'm supposed to go to this weekend. He's not a foodie, but his wife is, so I think she'll appreciate it. I'm sooooooo excited about this basket, you don't even know. I WANT TO KEEP IT MYSELF. >.> But I won't. So far what I have in it is the aforementioned fave olive oil of mine, Scalia anchovies in oil, squid ink pasta, cranberry & hazelnut crisps, citrus blossom honey, and one of Tom Douglas's Rub with Love rubs. I did get plenty of things for myself while there. Also as a result of the class, I bought a reversible cast iron grill/griddle from Cost Plus that I am eager to put to use. :D

I have some fic recs, but they're not of the Avengers variety. I know, WHAT is the world coming to. It's particularly odd because one is for a show I've never actually watched (The Unusuals), while three are for a show I loved back in the day but never read fanfic for (Veronica Mars), plus a few others. Here's my plug for VM for anyone who hasn't seen it. It's sooooooooooo good. But don't just take my word for it. Stephen King was a fan. Joss Whedon and Kevin Smith were both such fans that they actually did cameos on the show. Quotes from Joss about VM: "I've never gotten more wrapped up in a show I wasn't making." "These guys know what they are doing on a level that intimidates me." "It's the Harry Potter of shows." "Best. show. ever." So if you don't trust me, trust Joss. But it was like Community and Firefly... a critical darling and cult favorite, but not popular with the masses, so it was canceled after 3 seasons. :-(

Anyway, onto the fic recs! )

I might be considering getting an Aeropress, which is YET ANOTHER way to make coffee. I think it's pretty much the last coffee-making contraption that I don't have (other than the most common of all, the drip). So when I have visitors, I'll be able to offer them an espresso, pour-over, French press, Keurig, or Aeropress coffee! .......yay.

I finally finished S1 of Homeland. It reminded of Line of Duty in that I found the storyline gripping, but I wanted to punch every character in the face.
sarea: (jeremy. and rope.)
1) Why. Why is Sunday already almost over? Why do weekends pass so quickly?? /SOB The only good thing about Sundays is that I have Breaking Bad to look forward to... except there are only two episodes left in this season cryyyyyyyy.

2) OK, I have taken a moment to pull myself together. I did so by watching this Firefly-style Avengers intro for the billionth time. If you haven't seen this yet, what are you waiting for? Take my love, take my land... )

3) I made cheese yesterday! Three kinds to be exact. One gallon of whole milk (well, just shy of a full gallon, I also made waffle batter and needed to take some) yielded: 11oz mozzarella, 4oz ricotta, and 2oz gjetost. (Links go to the methodology for each.) Except I messed up on the gjetost, I didn't pay enough attention at the end and the bottom of my pot is totally burned. >< Boy is that going to be a bitch to get out.

4) I did all my other dishes, though, which was a lot (and I haven't even made pesto yet, which I need to do by EoD). I told myself I could have a nice cup of coffee as a reward. Except I do not like this roast at ALL. It's some kind of Sumatra roast that I got at Whole Foods. I was picturing this idyllic time where I could browse Tumblr and drink coffee and now that dream has been shattered. </adult tantrum>

5) <consoles self with two new "Woman, this is Jeremy fucking Renner Talking" meme images> They just get better and better. )

6) You guys, you know I love all things Hawkeye... well, I thought I did, anyway. But this is just no. )

7) Remember how I was all excited about my new Blu-ray player and the fact that it could stream stuff wirelessly? I started watching Mad Men S5, and every 10 minutes, the player would say "cannot play." It doesn't have the best ffwding functionality (and besides, how annoying is it to have to ffwd to your last spot every 10 minutes?), so it was driving. me. crazy. I called Panasonic, which said that the player requires a minimum speed of 6Mbps, so I needed to call Comcast. I have pretty slow internet at home -- it's 3Mbps -- but it suffices for 99% of what I want to do. However, I have upped it to the next level (12Mbps -- that's right, there's nothing between 3 and 12 -.-) to see if it works. If not, I'll have to return the player as it's defective (and it doesn't even have resume playback functionality, which I assumed it would, like my Panasonic DVD player!). And if it does, I'll have to pay double what I currently pay for internet if I want to keep that speed. THERE'S NO WINNING.

8) Clearly, it's time to calm myself again. I think this time I will use... Jeremy in glasses. I know [personal profile] adrith will appreciate this. Glasses + arms = ded. )

9) OH OH OH I have another video rec to share. It's called "Reaching as I Fall" and it's about Hawkeye and Trickshot (as in Clint's brother Barney, not his circus mentor). It's flipping awesome because not only is it well put together, the artist used NORMAN REEDUS to play the part of Barney. OMFG at how much I'd watch a Hawkeye origins movie with that kind of casting. I know [personal profile] laria_gwyn would agree with me. Right? RIGHT??? 'Reaching as I Fall' )

10) I have nothing else to say so I will leave you with some Avengers porn. You heard me. )
sarea: (jon snow)
Spring has arrived at last! I am LOVING the long, warm days. What I don't love so much? THE DAMN BIRDS. They're constantly trying to break into my house! Pecking at the chimney stack super early in the morning, setting Talis off, which wakes me from a sound sleep, and also they're trying to get into the attic. I hope those bird repellers I had installed hold out... I hated hearing the birds scuffling around in there in the mornings.

Had a fabulous weekend that consisted of meals and Pandemic with [personal profile] adelagia (though we did not win a SINGLE game). We had a great lunch at Boiling Point and a pretty darn good dinner at Rikki Rikki. It's amazing we didn't choke on our food because we started quoting Jimmy Fallon's "Downton Sixbey," and much hilarity ensued. Then there was Tilth brunch on Sunday with K. and her fam, and I'll admit right now that despite being family, being around those small children is very, very challenging for me. I'm just not a kid person. At all.

I've also been learning how to make fabulous beef roasts. I've been pretty happy with the results I've gotten so far, though I have yet to get a perfect medium rare -- that is my ultimate goal. And tonight is The Avengers with K.! We already have our tickets and everything.

Plus there is Game of Thrones. [profile] jade_okelani has now watched the first 3 episodes! Wheeeeeeee! She hates Sansa, but that's no surprise. Everyone hates Sansa at first. You'd be kind of weird if you didn't. After awhile, though, that forks into people who hate Sansa and people who love Sansa. I fall into the latter camp.

Game of Thrones 2x7 'A Man Without Honor' spoilers. )
sarea: (bodie)
I HATE WIKIPEDIA. No, I didn't mean it baby, I love you, you know I do. Except why do you have to piss me off and make me say things I don't mean? You bring it on yourself, Wikipedia! Well, I have been spoiled AGAIN for something huge because I was looking up info on actors/characters (which, yes, I should just refrain until I've watched the whole series, but damn it, it's HARD). Major S4 spoiler. )

I stayed up too late so I could watch Game of Thrones. I just took some aspirin for my headache. :( Spoilers for 2x4 'Garden of Bones' )

I've been going a little crazy with fish lately. When I was at Whole Foods the other week I decided to buy some fresh black cod. I LOVE black cod, and it's not easy to find -- I've only ever seen it at H-Mart, and only frozen. So when I saw it fresh at WF I decided to splurge, even though the 1-lb fillet of it cost $25. I also bought 2 small trout at the same time. I smoked the black cod and the trout, but was really unhappy with the way the black cod turned out. It was mushy. I've had black cod plenty of times and it's never been mushy; its texture is silky. I wasn't sure if it was because of my cooking method or if it was the fish itself. I was going to chalk it up to it being my bad, but my mind kept going back to it. What if it wasn't my fault? It was way too expensive a fish to just assume fault on my part! So I decided to go back to WF and talk to them about it. They gave me a full refund and I ended up using the leftover fish to make a really great cream cheese spread. :D

Then this weekend I bought a "yellowtail," which was labeled as "hamachi," but I knew when buying it that it probably wasn't that. There's another fish called yellowtail that's not actually hamachi and that's likely what it was (it did not taste anything like hamachi). It was huge so I ended up broiling it. Wasn't too crazy about this fish at all, but Talis and Jaime both enjoyed it, lol. I'll use them to help with the leftovers. I also got a red tilapia, which I didn't know existed. I steamed it Chinese style, and it was wonderful. I don't know if it was because it was a particularly fresh specimen, or whether red tilapia is always this good. I also got two regular tilapia, which I salted for 24 hours then smoked. After the experience with the black cod I decided to read up more on smoking fish, and it seems that most smoked fish is salted first. (That may have been the problem with the black cod, except I did also smoke those two trout, unsalted, at the same time, and those came out fine.) It turned out well, if a little salty, so now I'll have to see what I can do with it!
sarea: (sheldon & penny)
I've heard of making the most of your living space, but these really take the cake!

Well, here, a Boeing engineer has created a condo with three living levels -- with 182 square foot of space. THAT'S RIGHT. You have to see it for yourself. The Seattle Times has a slideshow of the place. Again, totally admire the form/function/preciseness, but could not live that way. I like the bathroom, though.

Then there's this architect in Hong Kong, which is like a less-spacious New York City. People live on top of each other. Anyway, he has a 344 square foot apartment -- I know, gargantuan compared to the other guy, right? Except he lives with his parents AND sisters. WTF? So what did this awesomely talented and creative person do? He created a sliding wall system to transform the space into 24 different room options. !!!!!!!!!! Seriously. It blows the mind.

I really, really admire the ingenuity, economy and beauty behind these tiny homes. There's part of me that definitely understands wanting everything to have its place, and to maximize the most of what you have. BUT I also think that I would suffer from claustrophobia in the first one, and in the other I'd probably simply get too lazy to move anything around, and end up having my bed lowered 99% of the time.

OK now flist, steel your arteries. I finally got off my duff and have pictures of the bacon and other stuff that I've made recently. It's not for the faint of heart. I know [personal profile] elle_blessing was particularly interested in the bacon because of the massive quantities of it that are consumed in her house. :))

The fat. Ohhhhhhhhh the delicious, delicious fat. )

Since I had the bacon, and I have an ongoing love affair with mushrooms, I decided to make a bacon & mushroom stroganoff. Because I also have a love affair going on with beef stroganoff, but I didn't have beef, I had bacon. Come to me, you luscious creamy thing. )

Also, here's the olive oil & maple granola and garlic bread I was talking about the other day: Pictures! )

And FINALLY, because I have not traumatized your arteries enough, I made some butter. (In reality, butter is actually good for you, in moderate quantities. It is certainly better imho than putting chemicals in your body with the fake stuff.) I love making butter at home. It's so flipping easy. If you have access to heavy whipping cream, you can (and should) make your own butter. If you already do this, I am not directing this to you. You have obviously already been blessed. BUTTAH! )

SUCH fun.

Mar. 27th, 2012 09:33 am
sarea: (inbetweeners)
Last night I went to the Whole Foods near me that opened about 2 weeks ago. I'm super excited to have a gourmet/natural grocery store close by (though I'd rather it were Trader Joe's), but I also fear for my grocery bills. I left the store $50 poorer and I'm not sure where it went. I did buy some heavy whipping cream to make butter. Also, I loooooooooooooooove WF's bulk foods aisle. I bought all the stuff I needed to make the best granola ever. It's amazing (to me) how yummy it is, considering it's like, ridiculously healthy. There are many organic nuts involved. Recipe: Olive Oil & Maple Granola. )

I also made the World's Best Garlic Bread. That's actually the name of it, not what I think of it, lol. Though it IS very good; I just don't think it's necessarily the best ever. It involved smoking many garlic cloves. Do you know how long it takes to peel 40 cloves of garlic (I don't have one of those handy roller thingys that takes the skin right off, though after this I might have to get one)? Usually I mince garlic so I just smash them right on the cutting board, but in this case they had to be intact. By the dozenth clove I felt like I'd been doing it for hours and would never get to do anything else. Recipe: World's Best Garlic Bread. )

My only true ship in ASoIaF is Rhaegar/Lyanna, and there's a very quiet LJ comm for that ship. Today someone posted a fanmix based on Lyanna, from the POV of the other characters (which is pretty much the only way we know anything about her anyway). I thought it was a really cool idea and left a comment saying as much... and it turns out that the fanmix artist used to participate in D/G fandom! What a small world. Anyway, the fanmix is neat.

Woohoo, Hump Madness has begun! The matchups aren't anonymous, but the actual drabbles are, so I can at least say when I have a matchup going on. To be honest I don't expect to get very far. I haven't written a word since the last DG fic exchange and even that was a struggle. But this'll be a good opportunity to experiment with different pairings, since they're only drabbles. [profile] jade_okelani is also participating, but with the way the bracket is set up, she and I wouldn't compete head to head unless we both made it to the final matchup. Whew.

OK, so David Benioff, writer of the great City of Thieves book I was talking about yesterday, is married to Amanda Peet! I'm now reading The 25th Hour, his first novel. Anyway, his photos on the dust jackets for the two books crack me up because they're so different:

I'm so GQ suave!I'm so dorky and lovable!
sarea: (sherlock & watson)
I've been doing some reading. I highly, highly rec City of Thieves by David Benioff (one of the exec producers of HBO's Game of Thrones). It was the kind of book that I wanted to avoid reading because I didn't want it to end, it was so good.

The short summary: The story of two young men on an impossible adventure.

The longer summary: )

It's now in my top 10 list of favorite books of all time. Or it would be, if I had such a list.

I've also read Matched, by Ally Condie. It's a teen novel set in a dystopian universe, which is one of my favorite genres. It's also got a very guilty pleasure premise. The summary. )

I was meh about this book. It's not written very well; the writing is immature and unsophisticated (like Stephenie Meyer, but not quite that boring). I thought it was written by a teenager, someone like Veronica Roth or Kody Keplinger, who are like 19. But Ally Condie is an adult. In fact, I think she used to be an English teacher (which is kind of scary). In any case, I like the characters and the story OK, except the universe and everything in it could be so much better, richer, more interesting. I'm reading the sequel right now, Crossed, and I'm at a point where I'm almost bored enough to stop. The Hunger Games is still the best teen dystopia novel I've read. Veronica Roth's Divergent was fairly good too -- not as good as HG, but better than Matched. I'm also in the middle of Scott Westerfeld's Uglies, which is better written than both Divergent and Matched, but whose heroine I don't like much so I've been "in the middle" of the book like forever.

Any other teen dystopia novels you've read and liked? Or just plain dystopian novels you've liked, period? I always worry that I'm missing out on a good one. ;)

Round two of the homemade bacon experiment was a rousing success. I can't stop thinking about it and it's making me really, really hungry. More details and pictures later.

Talis's eye is looking better and better. His procedure is scheduled for Thursday, but now I'm wondering if it's really necessary. I would hate to spend that kind of money and have him go through that kind of pain/stress (he'd have to be sedated and anesthetized) if he's actually getting better on his own. The eye doc said that if he hasn't fully healed on his own by now, he probably won't -- except that, like I said, the eye's actually been looking really good these last couple of days. I may just push the procedure out so I have a few more days to look at the eye and make a decision. I also don't want to jeopardize his eye healing the best it can just so that I can save that money. It's really the fact that spending the money AND doing a procedure on an almost healed eye makes no sense.

Played Pandemic with K on Sat. and she really enjoyed it. We were waiting for D but he didn't come home until like midnight, at which time I had to leave. K and I played 4 or 5 games, and we won 1 (which is better than my and [personal profile] adelagia's playing sometimes, though to be fair T and I play on a higher difficulty level). The weirdest thing is that we did not repeat ONE ROLE! We had different roles for all the games! Not just between ourselves, but even including the other! Sometimes I shuffled, sometimes she did. I mean, what are the chances for that to happen, when there's only like 13 roles total? That's never happened when I've played with others -- at least one role shows up again (usually T being the epidemiologist lolz). It was cool because it helped introduce nearly all the different roles to K.

I've started watching Ringer. It's kind of nonsensical, but I'm enjoying it so far. I was already pleased with Ioan Gruffudd on the show, but now Jason Dohring's shown up and I'm even more pleased. :D
sarea: (robin/barney dancing)
The Hunger Games tonight with T. and K.!!!!!!! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. I hope the movie lives up to the book/hype. It seems awesome, and I have loved Jennifer Lawrence since Winter's Bone, but right now I'm skeptical of the actor they chose to play Peeta. Woody Harrelson as Haymitch and Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket seem perfect.

Poor Talis. My untrained assessment is that his eye is not getting any better. :( He has a follow-up appointment tomorrow, and I suspect they are going to tell me that he needs to take the next step -- getting his cornea scratched. That is going to suck, both because that doesn't sound pleasant at ALL, and because it'll probably mean that he's going to have to wear the cone for goodness knows how much longer. He's already pretty much lost all will to go on because he's had to wear it for so long.

Homemade bacon round #2 is almost ready. The curing process should be done by Friday and I plan to smoke it sometime this weekend. Speaking of smoking, I now have this book, which has really opened a whole new world to me of what I can do with my smoker. I mean, Chinese-style tea-smoked duck? I love that shizz! I never imagined I could make it on my own. Smoked garlic cloves to make the Best Garlic Bread Ever (their name, not mine)? Sweet! Only bad thing about the book is that it was written specifically for Cameron smokers, which I don't have, so I have to use the recipes as guidelines rather than following them exactly, because the Cameron smoker is a bit different from the Nordic Ware smoker.
sarea: (sansa)
I'm debating whether or not to buy some Head Country Barbecue Sauce. They're based in Oklahoma and buying it online is just about the only way I can get it (short of flying there). It's probably the best barbecue sauce I've ever had. The problem is that a case of 12 costs just as much to ship as the case itself! Also I don't really need 12 bottles of it. O.o However, buying half that amount individually doesn't cost much less, and the shipping costs slightly more. Yeah, I don't know. Then again, I'm trying to remember my mantra that money is only useful if I'm using it to make myself happy, so there's that. Oh, what the hell, I'm doing it. I called and they said that the expiration is 3 years from the date of bottling, so that seems doable enough (assuming I get fresh bottles), and I can also give some away.

It's on my mind because my stovetop smoker arrived and I made ribs this weekend -- THE BEST RIBS EVER. They were infused with hickory smoke and were juicy and tender. Seriously, I can now confirm that even pre-bacon, this stovetop smoker was worth every penny. I love barbecue, but Seattle's not exactly a great place for it, other than like 2 weeks in the summer. Now I can have delicious barbecue all year long! And while the house did smell like a lovely BBQ joint while it was cooking, it didn't last for more than a day. (Not that I personally would have minded if it had.) There was minimal smoke from the smoker during the full two hours the baby back ribs were cooking -- I was amazed! Ribalicious! )

Oh, and while I was at H-Mart, they had TV screens up showing a Korean drama, and I saw Ga Eul! Her character was helping her sick mom. It was kind of like seeing an old friend, lol. Except when I was in the parking lot texting [personal profile] akscully about it, some asshole woman slammed her car door into my car! SERIOUSLY, WHY DO PEOPLE DO THAT????? You wouldn't believe how many times it's happened where I've been in the car and then the person next to it just opens their door without a SINGLE CARE for my car. I would understand if I was parked like a jerk, over the line and what not -- but I was parked perfectly in the middle of my space!! I mean, I sometimes feel like I am the ONLY person who is careful and considerate when I'm parked next to someone, to keep my door from hitting their car. And of course she didn't speak a lick of English, so all my admonitions of how she should be more careful, etc., basically fell on deaf ears. I was so frustrated. It totally left a little ding on my car, and I probably should have asked for insurance information and what not, but I knew I wasn't going to report it, so I just left in a huff. Still, I probably should have, just to make her sweat for a few days and learn that there are potential consequences for being an asshole.

OK, so I have a guilty confession to make. I read and loooooooooved Outlander years ago. I loved the characters, the universe, the story. Outlander felt epic and magical. But I couldn't get into its sequel, Dragonfly in Amber. It took me AGES to finish, and at the end of it I didn't feel much any desire to go on. I haven't read any of the books after that, because the characters stopped being appealing and the historical intrigue that's present in every novel feels so convoluted that it doesn't much interest me. Yet I still consider myself an Outlander fan, so I've always felt guilty that I haven't actually read the books in the series. I don't have much hope that, left to my own devices, I'll actually ever read the other books, so I hit on the great idea that if I read all the details about them on Wikipedia, it might spark a renewed interest. Unfortunately, other than the two novels I've actually read, the Wikipedia summaries for the other books are totally sparse, really not much better than what might be on the book jackets. All I know is that they end up in crazy places with crazy connections and all the relationships are super complicated (more complicated than I really like; Claire being married to Jamie and Frank while traveling to the past and meeting Frank's ancestor in Outlander was about as complex as I like it). And it's not even that I don't like series that have a billion characters and a complex storyline (A Song of Ice and Fire, anyone?) -- but where Diana Gabaldon has taken Outlander is not as compelling to me as ASoIaF. :/ I guess maybe I have to stop calling myself an Outlander fan.

I don't know if anyone else is following [profile] f_march_madness, but I actually got in early enough this year to enter the pool. Unfortunately, while I made some good picks, I also made some bad ones -- namely, I should not have picked Scully. Apparently people are totally over Scully. I have Leslie Knope taking it all, but she's going to face some stiff competition from Donna Noble, who people apparently LOVE. (Since I haven't watched past S1 of Dr. Who, I don't know her at all, but I have to root against her or she is going to bust my bracket.) Even though I picked her myself, I'm surprised that Sansa Stark is so handily beating Buffy in round 2. Apparently poor Buffy is in the same boat as Scully in that they're in fandoms from too long ago.

As for real March Madness, aka, the NCAA men's basketball tourney, our office is doing a pool again this year. Since UCLA's not even IN it (sigh), I won't have to be torn between school loyalty/sentimentality and who I actually think will win. The problem is that I haven't been following college bball at ALL this year, so I have no clue who's good and who's not. Therefore I am once again using Slate's advice on what teams to pick. It didn't work out last year, but it was a very close thing, so I figure, why not.
sarea: (Default)
This will be my only concession to the holiday I loathe most (in fact, the only holiday I loathe), and only because it has to do with Game of Thrones:


My mom and I had a row this morning. This turned into a big rant. )

<deep breath> Onto calmer topics. The homemade bacon. I promised I'd write about how this turned out. The answer is: Not as great as I'd hoped. I think it is just as easy to make at home as I've read, but there are several things I'd change the next time I do it, and I think there are two things you need to have at home to achieve bacon that's like the kind you buy in the store: a meat slicer and a smoker. The former is more important than the latter. You just cannot hand slice bacon to be as thin as the kind you get in the store. It's impossible, at least for the normal home cook. In theory you can make tons of bacon and freeze it, so it's probably worth the investment if your household consumes a lot of it ([personal profile] elle_blessing, I'm looking at you). Other notes: )

I haven't done a meme in awhile, but this will help pass the day more quickly. Stolen from any number of people.

Name a character and I'll tell you my top 3 ships for them.

My fandoms:
- Harry Potter
- Merlin (BBC)
- Downton Abbey
- Misfits
- Roswell
- Alias
- The Vampire Diaries
- Mortal Instruments
- Lost
- Game of Thrones (specify TV or book series, so I don't spoil you accidentally)
- Friends
- Community
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- Angel
- Firefly

I obviously watch many more shows/read more books than that, so you can also go off this list and if I'm familiar with the fandom I'll do my best to answer!

Speaking of books, I finished The Woman in Black. It was creepy, but not as much as I wanted, and I liked the style, but it was entirely predictable. Once one hint was given, I figured out the entire plot and all the details.
sarea: (troy & abed rapping)
I've started using MyFitnessPal again. I started it like 2 years ago, used it for a bit, then stopped. After my latest doctor's appointment, I felt inspired to go back to it. I really need to lose weight. I barely recognize myself anymore! Usually when I think of dieting, I get really discouraged because it seems like some far away goal, I won't see results right away, it'll take years do undo what I've done, etc. But right now I am on a "lose 1 pound a week" plan on MFP, and I realized that that meant if I really stuck to it, I could be close to my goal weight by the end of the year! An actual, real day that's within sight! So I'm giving it a shot. I have terrible self control, so we'll see. I keep telling myself that I did it before so I can do it again, but back then I had more things going for me -- I lived in a neighborhood where I could safely take long walks, I wasn't running a food blog (there's a certain amount of pressure to, you know, be making/consuming good food when you run a food blog), and I had good distractions... namely, World of Warcraft. >.>

It's made me want to play WoW again. I know, losing weight through playing WoW is like the antithesis of the image people usually think of when they think of video gamers (see South Park's "Make Love, Not Warcraft"). But for me it worked. In order to have fun, you have to interact with the game. Your hands are kept busy. I often ate only a bit of my dinner before I'd get distracted playing, and then I felt full. It's the opposite of watching TV for me -- when watching TV, I like to be doing something else, and eating is perfect. So I just eat and eat. Portion control is very difficult when I'm watching TV -- I don't eat until I'm no longer hungry; I eat until I'm stuffed.

So I'm going to try. Keeping the fitness diary really helps because 1) seeing how many calories something is, is really an eye opener; 2) I don't want to have to add stuff to the diary; and 3) it helps me realize what '1 serving' really amounts to. Last time I cut out, like, everything that was 'bad' -- ice cream, chips, fried foods, bacon, other junk food. I'm not going to do that this time because I think it was so restrictive that I had to fall off the wagon at some point, and I want something I can keep up with long term. Then again, last time I did it not to lose weight, but to improve my cholesterol. That seems under control now (at least so says the physical that I got in September), because I've generally been eating better (just too much of it).

I want to be able to wear all those nice jeans I've unearthed in my closet! LOL.

But speaking of bacon and TV... >.> Today is the last day I'll be curing my bacon. I had enough dry cure to cure it for 6 days, so I'm stopping here. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (the British "meat guru" whose advice I'm taking) says that a 5-day cure is perfect for breakfast slices. Longer cures allow the bacon to last for months, but become unpalatably salty (you have to boil away some of the salt before using). I obviously don't have some drafty shed in which to hang my bacon, so I'll just have to use his alternate suggestion and keep it wrapped in cheesecloth in the fridge. I've also been reading other food blogs about homemade bacon, and there's this ultra simple method of doing it (even simpler than what I did, which was already pretty darn easy), where you just keep it in a plastic bag the whole time with the cure and flip it over every other day to redistribute the liquid (because it does release a lot of liquid). Since I had two slabs of pork belly I probably should have tried one of each method to test which was better, but oh well.

Finished American Horror Story. Spoilery. )

Watched through ep 4 of Downton Abbey S2. )

How awesome does the new season of Game of Thrones look?! The trailer (thank you, [personal profile] akscully):



Also, [personal profile] ropo found this for me. We'll stop by the next time we're in Vegas. In fact, I think I saw this place the last time I was there!

sarea: (Default)
Yesterday I had stinky tofu hotpot with T and B. :D Hotpot is soooooo delicious and good to have on cold days, which is all we've gotten recently. I'm mostly over my cold except for a slightly runny nose, and the chilly weather doesn't help. Then B had to work, so T and I headed over to Plato's Closet where I bought way too much stuff, including a North Face jacket that cost as much as like, 5 other items put together. But I really wanted it. Like I said, it's very cold lately! Then we went to a European deli, because I love buying salami and cheese from such places. Except the cheese I sampled (I asked for something sharp) ended up being even stinkier than the stinky tofu, lol. Then we went to Starbucks, where I made the mistake of getting a venti frappuccino with my free drink birthday card. I was really craving the taste of a frappuccino, but after awhile I was like, it really is too cold to be drinking this. T nicely did not say "I told you so."

I had to send my mom to the airport yesterday morning. Her flight was at 7am. You do the math. To add to the fun, the time change happened overnight, so we had to keep that in mind when planning the timing. (When are we going to STOP with this asinine time changing thing already! The reason for it is less critical than it used to be, and plenty of places are rightly opting to not observe the practice.) I couldn't even enjoy 'gaining' an extra hour due to how early I had to get up. All I could think about was getting back home/in bed!

It was really nice to have my mom around, but it's also best for our relationship that we don't live together. Her favorite meal while she was here was the salmon she had at Etta's, but her second favorite was the meal I cooked at home a few days ago! What I made. )

Saturday afternoon, we went to the Pacific Northwest Ballet with K and her little girls. The company performed "Love Stories," a selection of scenes from 5 love story ballets, including Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and Romeo & Juliet. The girls love the ballet, and were totally enraptured the whole time; I'm kind of embarrassed to admit that I fell asleep during the first act and the third. I guess I just do not appreciate ballet. There's no talking, or singing, or anything that keeps me engaged. They spend 20 minutes expressing themselves through dance, which frankly doesn't really 'speak' to me (they could get the same thing across in 2 minutes if they just freaking said what they were feeling); I don't find ballet dancing all that beautiful, in fact I find it kind of freaky and unnatural how they're always on their toes (which I know ruins dancers' feet), and the guys are not appealing at all. I mean, the girls get to wear skirts and such; why can't the guys wear something similar? Put on a pair of pants or shorts, for god's sake, you just look ridiculous. Anyway. So yeah, I'm severely lacking in appreciation for ballet. Even though I love Billy Elliot. Sorry, Billy.

An update on my media consumption!!

TV Shows: Still watching and enjoying Goong. Except for when they focus on matters relating to the adults/succession of the throne. That storyline bores me to tears.

I'm now three episodes behind on Merlin. >< I also haven't watched any more Vampire Diaries.

I've totally gotten into a reality TV show for the first time: Top Chef. :D I like it because it deals with "amateurs" rather than experts who everyone already agrees is at the top of their game. (It's the same reason I prefer college sports to professional sports.) Each season starts off with a selection of about 15 up-and-coming chefs, and they participate in challenges throughout the season until one is crowned Top Chef. It's really fun, I love the head judge Tom Colicchio, I love the guest judges, and I'm continually impressed by the creative/delicious-looking dishes that the contestants come up with. I could never do that with food; I'm much more a recipe follower than creator. I started with season 4, because that's the season Stephanie Izard won, but now I'm going to go back and watch the others.

Books: I read Room by Emma Donoghue. I didn't much like it, and only finished it because it was a very quick read. I found the narrator, a 5-year-old boy, REALLY annoying. Adults should stop trying to write from the POV of a little kid, because it never sounds right. The kid always sounds way too adult, and way too kiddie, at the same time. I also found his mother really annoying. They're both supposed to be victims, and the whole time I found myself disliking them, so either I'm heartless or the author simply wasn't good at making me sympathize (beyond the very basic human level of feeling bad about their awful situation). Also, it was disturbing subject matter, but it actually wasn't as disturbing as the real-life stories we've heard of the same, so in that sense it almost felt like a protective fantasy rather than some harrowing tale that really draws you in and makes you feel every second of the horror and desperation of the situation.

I've never read a single Stephen King book. At first it was because I didn't have any interest in his usual genre, and horror still isn't my favorite. But then it was because he was so hyped, and so prolific, that I couldn't imagine I'd really be able to enjoy any of his books. But it looks like I'll be reading him for the first time -- a coworker who really likes SK gave me the first three books of The Dark Tower series, and since he's reading ASoIaF on my recommendation, I feel that it would be nice to reciprocate.
sarea: (damon)
[personal profile] grrm has been selling lesser-known books of his off his overstuffed bookshelves, and since I CANNOT RESIST such things I've been buying them to put into my own overflowing bookshelves. However, he signs each book and I enjoy reading his little inscriptions. :D Plus it doesn't appear that I will ever get to meet him in person to get my silver first of A Game of Thrones signed. Sigh.

I'm still not much in a reading mood, but I finally finished Lisa See's Peony in Love. That one took me months and months. Right now I've started the first Dresden Files book, Fevre Dream by GRRM (one of the books from see above), and The Grand Tour, sequel to Sorcery & Cecelia.

My mom is staying with me right now, which is wonderful because she's made such an amazing recovery. But on the other hand, she is DRIVING ME UP THE WALL. I thought that given everything that's happened, I'd somehow turn into a saint and have endless amounts of patience for her. I don't. Somehow, my mom is able to push my buttons like no one else, and she still does it. This has always been our dynamic and I guess it always will be.

Restaurant Week is over at last. This is the most I have ever participated in a single RW -- I believe I went to 12 places -- and it was too much, especially because half the dinners weren't all that great. Next time I'm going to restrict it to only 2-3 dinners, with no restriction on lunch, because RW lunch is always worthwhile. The final RW outings. )

Then today we went to Bellevue to eat at Boiling Point, which is a Taiwanese hot pot place that specializes in stinky (fermented) tofu. If you're not Chinese or totally immersed in Chinese culture, you won't like it. In fact, it'll be completely heinous. But my mom and I love it, LOL. Then I actually made dinner tonight! I made Jamie Oliver's vegetable lasagne. I so could not do it in 30 minutes, but then I made a different version than he did so it's not really a good test. It was really, really good but my version was too soupy; we had to use bread to mop up the sauce. To go with it I made a simple salad of butter lettuce and radicchio, with olive oil and lemon juice dressing. For some bizarre reason I had it in my head to make another dressing -- a sesame vinaigrette -- that I ended up having to save in the fridge.

[profile] jade_okelani and I have started Vampire Diaries S3! Spoilers for 3x01 'The Birthday.' )
sarea: (boys in books)
Has anyone done acupuncture before? My coworker raves on and on about how awesome it is and how she feels like a million bucks after each session and how "doing needles" has changed her life. I'm very tempted to give it a try myself, particularly since today's Tippr deal happens to be for an acupuncture/massage session...

I baked a rack of spareribs last night. If you've never done this, DO IT. It is so easy and rewarding (due to utter deliciousness) and doesn't cost that much, esp for how many people it'll feed. The only thing it takes is time. I was able to get a rack of spareribs at Fred Meyer yesterday for just over $6 (though I think they weighed it wrong; I think it was heavier than they said it was). Went home, cut it in two so that it'd fit in my roasting pan, which I lined with foil and sprayed with canola oil. Seasoned both sides with salt, pepper, and garlic powder (but really you can use anything you want). Layered a quickly sliced onion over the ribs, then tightly covered everything with another sheet of foil. Baked at 275°F for ~2 hours. After two hours, I removed the top foil, drained the juices (which can then be made into gravy, should you wish), and basted both sides with barbecue sauce (a mix of Stubbs, which is too sour, and Trader Joe's Kansas City Style, which is too sweet), then put it back in for another hour (sans foil), flipping once. For the final touch, I basted the meat side with barbecue sauce again, then put it under the broiler for 4-5 minutes. This produces extremely tender ribs easily eaten off the bone. If you want them to literally be falling off the bone, add an extra hour to the baking time (pre-basting).

I really, really want Head Country barbecue sauce, which is the best bottled barbecue sauce I've had, but it is sold NOWHERE near me. They seem to serve only the middle of the country, not discriminating between north and south. If you live in that part of the country and can get your hands on this sauce, can we work something out? /bats eyelashes PLEASE? I really don't want to have to buy a case of 12, or pay more in shipping than for the product itself. But maybe because it's heavy, there's no help for it. In which case, sigh.

I have found a YA book that sounds AWESOME. Some of you may have read it already. In which case, shame on you for not telling me about it! ;) It's called The DUFF by Kody Keplinger, and kind of sounds like fanfic (in that teenagers are actually having sex, and the whole enemies-with-benefits thing might appeal to other D/G fans). Supporters of the book say that the sex is dealt with in a realistic way; detractors are anti-sex or anti-realism, I can't really tell. Basically it's more for older teens/adults, I guess.

Here's the premise:

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn't think she's the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her "the Duff (designated ugly fat friend)," she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren't so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone. And eventually, through this realization, Bianca begins to see how harmful her unhealthy way of dealing with her problems has been, and finds a way to confront them head on.


One detractor's like, "Bianca's lame! Every time she has an issue she just has sex with Wesley!" Which, contrary to the point of her review, actually makes me want to read the book more, not less. :)) That's how I roll.
sarea: (Default)
I've been wallowing in self-pity over my horrendous bracket busting by mainlining Fringe. I'm on the last episode of S2 now. The part I'm on? FAN FICTION WRITER'S DREAM. I may have to write femme slash. There's stuff I've been wanting to talk about, more than the little comments I've been posting, but I think I might as well wait until I'm fully caught up.

I've made the cha-siew (I have no idea why it's called "char-siew" everywhere, it's a Cantonese dish, I speak Cantonese, and it's "cha-siew," damn it)! It turned out delicious, but not restaurant like. The homemade version is more soy sauce-y, while the restaurant version is more sticky sweet. I think I want to play with the recipe on my own a bit to make it look and taste more like the restaurant version. Still, even if I never get there, this was yummy and worth making because it was so easy. Photos! )

And since I want to keep a weekly record...

AeroGarden Week 2 )

Went walking with K. in Lincoln Park today -- with yesterday's walk on top of that, my legs are so sore. I wish I had a really great park near me so I could walk like that every day without having to drive so far.
sarea: (Default)
I've been avoiding talking about this because I didn't want to jinx myself, but I don't think I really have a shot so I'm just going to do it. It's NCAA tourney time, and as has been the case the past few years, I wasn't paying attention to college basketball until March Madness started. It's always fun to participate in the office pool, though -- even though last year I finished dead last. >< This year I read an article in Slate about how to win your office pool by finding the best 'bargains' in the field and betting on those. It uses a combination of computer statistics, national averages (of which teams people in general are voting for), and your own intuition. I decided to try it out, since I haven't had much luck with other methods in the past. I have to admit, as I was making my selections, I still had to fight against the desire to pick the teams I normally would pick.

I'm actually doing fairly well! After the first round (day 2), I was tied with two others for second place in the office pool! I've called 5 out of the 7 upsets that have happened so far (but unfortunately also picked some that didn't pan out). We have 30 people playing this year, so the winner gets around $200 and also 2 tickets to a Sounders game. :P

I don't know if my streak will continue after today. I personally think my picks are kind of crazy and really have no chance (I have Texas winning it all), but it's an interesting experiment. At least I'm doing better at this point in time than I was last year.

The worst point in the tournament was when I was closely following the UCLA-Michigan St. game, and was super excited when UCLA eked out the win. Only to check my bracket and realize that I hadn't picked UCLA! *headdesk* Oh what a high price to pay for my disloyalty!! I should've just picked them to advance from the first round anyway, just to avoid a scenario like this. Losing the point and feeling bad about not believing in them. Sigh. It's just that every year I get overtaken by sentiment and I didn't want to get caught up in that again. But the Bruins did lose their game today, which is annoying because hardly anyone picked them to move on, so if I was going to be wrong about them, it'd have been great if they continued to win and everyone else's brackets got messed up in the process. :P

========

In non-basketball news, I've planned out the next 3 things I'm going to cook.

1) Alton Brown's pan-fried chicken.
2) Cha-Siew, which is Chinese BBQ pork.
3) Chili crab, which is supposedly a popular Singaporean dish (according to this blogger from Singapore; I'm sure [personal profile] adelagia will correct me if I'm wrong), except instead of crab (or lobster, which is what the blogger used), I'm going to use shrimp ... and fish balls, because I'm a rebel.

========

The walk in Discovery Park with H. was lovely today. We totally lucked out because the sun came out for the first time in like WEEKS so it was a perfect day for a walk. I could totally feel how out of shape I was though, omg.

Also, no more fears on the "misunderstanding" front. As I suspected, I was just being paranoid. :))

========

Four little Fringe comments. Spoilers. And beware of spoilers in the comments too. )
sarea: (flapper girl)
Brief thoughts on Fringe, through the first seven-ish eps. )

========

Dinner with J. Friday night was lovely. We never seem to run out of things to talk about, and at the end it's like, argh, I had 5 other things to tell her! Pair was cute, but the food left something to be desired. The gougeres were terrible and the mussels were way overcooked. They have nothing on The Stone House.

The dinner party last night was really fun. I generally like every member of my team on a personal level; it's just that our work styles sometimes clash.

My attempt at appetizers didn't quite go the way I wanted. My woe and other party details. )

========

I've just put in a big Amazon order for the Buffy S8 and Angel S6 volumes that I haven't been keeping up with. I'll need to reread everything from the beginning because I suspect it's not going to make any sense if I don't! One thing I regret from Comic Con is that one of the Buffy artists was there signing comics and I didn't even think about bringing mine. D'oh!

I've been rereading the Hot Gimmick manga, and I'm kind of blown away by how adult themed it is. It was the very first manga I ever read, so I just kind of figured they were all like that.

Next on the manga front I'm going to be reading Skip Beat!, which I may or may not actually get into. Apparently it was going to be made into a TW serial called "Extravagant Challenge" starring Ariel Lin, but for some reason it got shelved. I have all 22 volumes except for 2-4 from the library.

It is so ridiculous that you can't put holds on holds. What that means is that you often get things out of order, depending on when your turn comes up, or else you have to keep a separate list of what you want, rather than being able to conveniently use the library system to keep track of it. Which even then might be doable, except if you want things that are high in demand, because then it behooves you to get on the waiting list asap. If you did it one at a time, it could be months in between! I suspect this also delays people getting books, because as there's no late charges, people probably just keep the later books until they get the earlier ones, then read all at once. The good news is that I wrote to Sno-Isle about it, and the response was that they are going to institute the feature I want in the April timeframe. Yay!

========

I saw this on [personal profile] rainpuddle13's LJ and had to share because it is so creepy and COOL! Zombie ants! For real! The fungus that kills the ants takes control of their tiny ant brains and guides them to the ideal location for the fungus's growth. Seriously awesome. I mean, human zombie stories are all so lame and pointless -- all they do is kill with no real purpose.

========

I've had the AeroGarden for 1 week now, and 5/7 herbs have sprouted. It's even possible the other two herbs have sprouted as well, but they're in the back, the light's in the way, and I can't really tell. The thyme is ahead of schedule; I could see little sprouts at 4 days and it was supposed to take a minimum of 7 days. I think I'm going to try and take pictures every week to keep a visual record of the growth!

First 2 pictures! )
sarea: (Default)
Living Social's deal today: $9 for 2 tickets to Fandango. Pretty good deal if you go to watch movies at all (or is an excuse to go!). Limit 1 per person. The promo amount expires in June, but the amount you pay is still good for some time after that, which is unusual and pretty cool of them to do.

I am the laziest person in the mornings (and okay, in general). I will do almost anything to be able to sleep 10 minutes longer. I set my alarm for 20-30 minutes earlier, so that I have time to put on my makeup and maybe grab a little breakfast, or if I'm REALLY ambitious, I set the alarm even earlier and figure I might curl my hair. More often than not -- in fact, almost always -- I stagger out of bed when the alarm goes off (my 'alarm' is just a CD player, but it's not next to the bed), re-set the alarm for 10-20 minutes later, and dive back under the covers. This happens 1-2 times, each time justifying in my head why I am allowed to sleep a little longer. When I finally can't avoid it anymore, I get out of bed and rush through what I have to do, because at this point I have to rush or I'll be late. There's minimal makeup (if any; sometimes I end up putting it on in the car), no breakfast, and definitely no hair curling. On the better days, now that I have a Keurig, sometimes there is a cup of coffee.

So yesterday was a pretty typical morning for me. I threw on what was convenient that wasn't my pajamas and ran out of the house. It wasn't until I got to work that I realized I was wearing my shirt that has the Hogwarts coat of arms on the front. "Maybe no one will notice," I thought. Except EVERYONE noticed and felt they had to make a comment about it. I brazened my way through most of the comments -- "I am wearing this because I am just a really cool person" -- but omg it was pretty embarrassing. It wasn't just people I knew, perfect strangers commented (though they were usually nicer, like, "I like your shirt"). It was really hard not to be overly defensive, like, "I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE THINKING, THAT I MUST WRITE HARRY POTTER FANFIC. WELL I DON'T. I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT FANFIC IS."

And the day before THAT, on the bus on the way home, I suddenly had a HUGE craving for steak. Like, I had to have it. It was the first day of Aunt Flo's visit and I guess I felt like I needed to replenish my body with iron or something, because I was determined to have a bloody steak for dinner. I even thought about going to Outback or something, but I'm trying to be more responsible when it comes to my budget, and eating steak in restaurants is kind of a waste when it's so easy to do at home. I also desperately needed to pee. So of COURSE this is the week that Safeway has no steaks on special. Thank goodness for my Windows Phone 7 because I was able to check the weekly specials at Fred Meyer next door and see that they had NY steaks on 'sale' (in quotes because I don't think $4.99/lb is really that great a price, especially for supermarket steak, but certainly better than the $8-10/lb Safeway was asking for theirs), so I booked it over. Actually this was in the midst of rush hour, so even though it was right next door, it still took like 10 minutes. There was ONE package of NY steaks with the special pricing left, and I swear, had anyone else approached them at that point, I would have been like, "I will KILL you." I guess I was inspired by Jamie Oliver (I've been watching his "30-Minute Meals" episodes and they're seriously awesome, I'm kind of in love with him now), because I had dinner done in half an hour. Steak, broccoli, cheesy English muffins, and mashed potatoes and gravy. Everything but the last I made/cooked; the potatoes were nuked leftovers. And last night I made potatoes for real -- Jamie's "cheat" on roasted potatoes, and they were quick and sooooo good.

I've been continuing to noodle about what to make for the Dinner with 12 Strangers this Saturday, and last night took out Rose's Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Beranbaum. I love her books but I know from other stuff I've made by her that she is NOT beginner friendly. Man is this especially true of this book!! This one cake recipe was like, no joke, TEN PAGES LONG. They are all gorgeous though. I'll have to scan some of them and show you guys. I think there are two possibilities that I have in mind right now. One is a Gâteau Breton, which is basically like a tart-cake-shortbread combo type thing, and the other is something I'll have to cobble together from an idea I got looking through the book: an orange-flavored cake with orange curd, covered with a chocolate ganache. Chocolate and orange together is a flavor combination that, after years of trying it out, I've finally started to enjoy very much.

Edit: Does anyone have £3,000 they want to lend me? Or give me, I'm not picky. Ted Nasmith is apparently selling some of his original artwork, including the art he did for the A Song of Ice and Fire 2011 calendar (which [personal profile] ropo got me for Christmas :D). Probably my favorite is the one of Winterfell, though I also like Castle Black and The Wall, and Storm's End (couldn't find a direct link).
sarea: (jayne)
Tonight [profile] corianderstem is taking me to the Stone House for a bday celebration. Woot! I just love that place.

I haven't cooked anything in a really long time... there was Restaurant Week and then my mom and aunt being in town, then it got so cold that I don't really want to be anywhere but under my covers! But last night, after getting my Amazon Fresh groceries, I made a complicated red sauce (recipe given to me by a coworker) that involved pancetta, Italian sausage, and country-style pork ribs. PORK! Also an entire bottle of red wine. The pork rib meat isn't even used in the resulting sauce; you take them out after two hours (and eat them!!); their only point is to infuse more flavor into the sauce. How hardcore is that? The resulting sauce is extremely complex and delicious.

I'm already wibbling because I won't be able to watch Merlin 3x10 at the earliest until late tomorrow night. That means I must avoid LJ like the plague for fear of being spoiled.

All right, you coconut haters, I will admit that coconut shavings are not my favorite. But the FLAVOR of coconut is so awesome!! In fact, I got a Ciao Bella coconut gelato in my Amazon Fresh order. All the flavor of coconut without the shavings. MMM.

Dead Poets Society: one of the best movies of all time. Y/Y?

Tomorrow: massage, pick up chocolate cake, B.'s birthday party, Merlin 3x10. SWEET.

I just found out that these extendable lamps on all our desks that no one uses are these designer ones that cost $375 each. WTF. Seriously, what? I can think of at least 10 better ways to have spent that budget.
sarea: (prince arthur)
I am so all about Prince Arthur/Bradley James now. I didn't think he was very hunky until he started making me laugh on a regular basis. The deadly warrior/heir to the throne of Camelot/good looking stuff is just a bonus.

I've finished S2! I probably won't start S3 until they've aired at least 6 episodes, so not for another couple of weeks. Which I guess is like half the season. WTF. Seriously, remember the days when TV shows had like 22 episodes in a season? No wonder David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson were so burned out!

More spoilery commentary. )

Chase just called to schedule my closing date for my no-cost refi! Yay! It's going to be next Thursday.

Unfortunately, the eun daegu jorim did not turn out as well as I was hoping. It *smelled* great, like the real thing... but the liquid was too soupy (the Ka Won version is more like a thick sauce) and the fish was tough. I don't know if the texture problem was me cooking it too long or if whiting is simply not as silky as black cod. Maybe both. But I don't know how to cook the fish a perfect amount while at the same time reducing the sauce to something thick. This will require some experimentation.

OMG and btw? When I was setting to cut the fish into steaks, I was like, hmm, there's something different about this fish than when I usually get whole fish... and I didn't realize until I cut into its midsection that I realized: THE FISH HADN'T BEEN CLEANED. So for the first time ever, I had to gut a fish. It was so gross. Seriously, they couldn't clean the fish before freezing it?!

My mom and aunt are coming into down at the end of Oct/early Nov for my birthday. I thought they wouldn't since I'm already going home for Thanksgiving, but it will be cool to have them here, especially for the sake of K.'s kids. Plus now I have to think of where I want to go for my bday dinner. I think most likely it's going to be Spring Hill's fried chicken dinner. OMG though, I just saw that they've raised the price to $98 (from $80)! Sheesh. The only must-have I would like for my bday is Bakery Nouveau's chocolate cake. OMG best cake ever.

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