sarea: (Default)
Ermahgerd, I went to the Seahawks home opener on Sunday! One of my coworkers got tix as a thank you for her work on this series of articles that we've worked on the last 3 years, and she invited me to come with. It was a very cool experience to go to a Seahawks game live, even though it's harder to figure out what is exactly happening on the field than on TV. Our seats were in the 100 level, but near the end zone (kind of kitty corner rather than really end zone), so when the team was on the other side of the field, I couldn't see what the hell was going on and had to look at the big screen. Of course the Seahawks had to stretch it out until the very last seconds, just to ratchet up the drama. I brought ear plugs and had them in the whole time, but honestly it didn't seem that bad other than for really critical moments.

And Russell sprained his ankle, so yay for that... not. Not only is that bad for the Hawks, it's bad for my fantasy team, so now I have to try and get Matt Ryan back, who I had dropped for Jason Witten. Argh. But other than that, I won both of my fantasy matchups this week, which is kind of exciting. In one of them I even pulled out a miraculous win, because I was down by like 40 points and somehow came back to win it. (It helped that I had Carson Palmer as my QB and my opponent had the NE defense, so every time I gained points, he lost points. It was another scenario where I got to have my cake and eat it too, because I wanted the Cards to lose, but Carson to do well.)

My friend and I ate in the stadium, at Kraken Congee. Congee in a football stadium! How awesome is that? It's definitely a hipster variation though, because it was NOT traditional Chinese congee. It had aioli, pork belly, and crunchy corn. It was pretty dang good though, I must say! Pictures. )

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I now have a butter bell, and I am very excited about it.

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The lye is supposed to arrive tonight, and I'm super excited about making my first batch of soap -- I'm going to do a really standard starter soap, even though I have created my own recipe and I'm eager to try it out.

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I finished Orphan Black S4, so with that, I'm all caught up!

Spoilers )
sarea: (spaghetti)
I have discovered a wonderful treat: the stroopwafel. Some people at work were in Germany last week, and they brought back this popular dutch cookie. It's two wafer-thin waffle cookies with a thin layer of caramel sandwiched in the middle. It's about the size of my palm, maybe a little bigger. I didn't know what I was getting into when I took one from the box... I thought it was a crisp waffle cookie, but it was oddly heavy. And then I bit down, and it had a soft, chewy give. I was like, what is this wondrous thing?! Then devoured it in about 5 seconds. I found out later that you're "supposed" to get a hot beverage, then place the stroopwafel over the mug, and the steam from the drink will make it all warm and gooey in the middle. Of course, I was forced, by scientific principle, to try it out, and I have to say, I actually prefer just eating the cookie without the steaming step. Three boxes of these things quickly (and I mean overnight) dwindled to half a box, so I was forced to do some research on where I might be able to get more, without having to go to Europe.

And I discovered that I had not one, but two sources! Supposedly they sell the full-size version at World Market. I haven't gone yet so can't confirm or deny their existence there, or if whatever brand is sold there is any good. The second source is Trader Joe's! I really should have known. They sell a mini version of the stroopwafel (the package says "Caramel Bites," but the TJ's in-store sign says stroopwafel), which I have now had, and I think it's even BETTER than the ones my coworkers brought back. It has a stronger hint of cinnamon, which I enjoy. And yes, they carry them even in far-away Trader Joe's locations, including (just for example) ones in the suburbs outside of Chicago.

I recently had a hankering for a shrimp roll. You know, like a New England lobster roll, but with shrimp instead, and not puny bay shrimp, but PROPER shrimp. I had a vision in my head of what it would be like, consulted a few recipes online, then made my own version. Some of my experiments like this turn out to be terrible, but some of them turn out to be AMAZING, and this was happily one of those times. Recipe for Sarea's shrimp roll )

Now... my thoughts on the Kids Baking Championship finale. )

[personal profile] adelagia and I saw Joel McHale at the Paramount last weekend, and he was, unsurprisingly, HILARIOUS. A lot of his comedy, however, is less about what he says and more about his delivery. He basically can say anything and make it funny.

Going to watch Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot next week, which I'm hoping will be good.

I may be doing some work travel in the near future, which I am semi-excited about. Semi, because I'm eager to go to San Francisco and New Orleans, which is where I'd be going, but it's back to back, which is a little brutal. :/

I met with 2 financial advisers last week. They were both fine, and who REALLY knows about these things, but I'm likely going to go with the one I felt more comfortable with. Is she a better financial adviser than the other guy? Can't really say, which is the trouble with these things, but at least I feel like I can talk to her more openly. I have a follow-up appointment with her tomorrow, and then we'll see where it goes from there. I also contacted a CPA that she referred me to, to help with my taxes this year... she seemed a little socially awkward, but as long as she's good with taxes, I suppose I don't care.

Two shows I'm into right now: 11.22.63 and the first season of American Crime Story, about OJ Simpson.
sarea: (Default)
I wanted to share with you guys the inside of one of my cherry pecan macarons:



In the words of 11-year-old Jane on Kids Baking Championship, "Not to toot my own horn or anything, but... TOOT TOOT." Jane is total GOLD on the show. Her interviews are amazing. If the producers have any say at all in it, she'll be on the show as long as possible. (I just watched her audition vid and she and her brothers are just adorable.)

Since Chinese New Year is coming up, I've decided that this year, for the first time ever, I'm going to try and make a CNY food item. I'm going to make tang yuen, which are sweet, black sesame paste-filled rice balls in ginger syrup. Except instead of syrup it's going to be more like a ginger broth, because the balls themselves are already pretty sweet, so I think eating them with ginger syrup is overkill. (In fact, growing up, I only ever had those balls cooked in plain water. It was news to me, when looking up the recipe, that everyone else always made them with ginger syrup.) I'm not crazy about Indian gulab jamun for the same reason... they're like little donuts completely soaked in syrup, and I can only have one or two tiny bites before I'm done.

OH YEAH.

Jan. 30th, 2016 10:12 pm
sarea: (macaron)
Successful macarons!!!!!!!



Were they perfect? As you can tell, no, no they were not. But they were legit macarons, with feet and everything! I'm so excited.

Can this be? A way too long treatise on making these macarons. )
sarea: (sherlock and watson)
This is going to be a way-too long post about one of my favorite things to eat: dill pickles. I generally like to eat them with sandwiches, even strange concoctions like peanut butter with pickles (don't knock it til you've tried it. I'm serious).

The pickle saga. )
sarea: (Default)
Does anyone know of a way to (quickly) thinly slice green papaya? I know experts can probably do it with a knife, by hand, but my knife skills aren't pro. Last night I made som tam (Thai green papaya salad) with shrimp, and I busted out my mandoline and used the thinnest julienne setting. Only... they were still too big/thick. A grater won't work because the pieces shouldn't be small like that; they should be long strips, almost like noodles. :/ I was happy with the flavor otherwise (I specially bought palm sugar for the purpose), though maybe a little too sweet, which I'll adjust the next time, if there is a next time. It was actually a lot of work!! I won't begrudge the som tam prices in restaurants anymore. Thai street food vendors bash green papayas with a knife, then shave it off, but that seems like it would take an inexperienced person a really long time, not to mention be dangerous. (I have purchased this julienne thingy from Amazon. I am unconvinced it could actually work the way I want, but I'm willing to spend $14 to find out.)

Next, macarons. I have tried to tame this pastry chef's beast before. A few years ago, over several days, I tried to make macarons. Tried, and failed. It's a very costly endeavor to keep failing at, because you're wasting a ton of eggs and almond flour. :/ So I have never successfully made a macaron that had feet, with the right texture of crispness on the outside and chewiness on the inside. It's not just me; other people have had difficulties with it! IT'S REALLY HARD! Anyway, after all that dismal failure, I gave up.

Buuuuuut last night on Kids Baking Championship (my new favorite show), they made macarons. And yes, some of them failed. But they were all excited about making them, and had clearly made them before, successfully (even if they didn't have those results on the show). And many of them made beautiful macarons. It was really inspiring! (Also embarrassing that 10-13 year olds can master macarons and I can't.) So now I want to try to make them again. But I have much grocery shopping to do!
sarea: (spaghetti)
I am really hitting it out of the park in the food department recently. ;) I made some killer lasagna. This was the recipe I used. It took like 4 hours, what with grating my own cheese, making the bechamel and all that, but sooooo worth it. It made a ton, which is good for leftovers, but also problematic for my not-that-big freezer. I think the next time I make it, I may actually try making my own pasta, so that the pasta itself retains more "bite."

Recently I've been watching a lot of Food Network programs. My favorites include Chopped, anything with Guy Fieri in it (especially DDD), Kids Baking Championship, and I've only seen a couple of eps, but I also enjoy Worst Cooks in America. I feel so accomplished watching those people. LOL. Depending on the day, they just show like 6 hours straight of a certain show. So when DDD is on, I just watch Guy stuff his face over and over and over. One of the eps from last night featured him going to Kuma's in Chicago! Eee! And I swear, the food truck he went to in Key West was the one I went to, that had the really amazing food. But darn it, it looks like I didn't write about it in LJ (which is odd, because I could have sworn I wrote about it SOMEwhere...). :/ See, this is exactly why I need to be better about keeping this thing up to date! I'm sure I would have talked about it and given the name of the truck. >< I might still be able to go through my pics and hope I caught the name, I suppose. I'm pretty sure it had to be the same one -- Garbo's Grill is where Guy went. The food was AMAZING. Also in Key West was Better Than Sex, a dessert/alcohol place that was also a fantastic experience. Jeez, I'm going to have to dig up all my pics and make up for the fact that I didn't do a post! Wow, and in going through my email, I realize that I didn't do anything for Santa Fe, either. Mea culpa!

I guess it being an "El Niño year" is driving up produce prices. The biggest one is the price of green onions. They're usually maybe $0.50 for a bunch? In CA you can even get them for like $0.20/bunch. But recently it's been insane... $1.70/bunch??! I had to look up why, and found this article. Global warming is fucking everything up! (Duh.)
sarea: (Default)
My manager has been on vacation this last week, and today is my last day of freedom. :-( It's sad, but it's been nearly as relaxing this week not having him around as it is to actually BE on vacation.

I have discovered the joys of the cheese/curated meats section at Whole Foods. Mmmm. But good lord, I'm going to end up spending my life's savings there. But the Prosciutto de Parma is just AMAZING. And today I spent $43 on a hunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano. >< How wrong is that... I was reading my Marcella Hazan cookbook and I wanted to make pasta tonight (with the aforementioned prosciutto), and she has a whole section about Parmigiano-Reggiano and how you should always get it cut straight from the wheel if you can, as long as it doesn't look dried out on the edge (and if you can find such a specimen, to buy extra, and she tells you how to store it). They had a bunch of little pre-cut wedges, which the cheese person was like, I only cut those like two days ago. I asked if they could cut a wedge from the wheel, as I wanted something bigger (and cut from the wheel). It was this big production and I felt kinda bad, so I bought an extra-large wedge (over 2 lbs). Now I have to guard it with my very life. :P

I got myself a really pretty toe ring. Picture of the ring! )

It's weird but I use to have a very plain toe ring that I wore every day and totally got used to having it on. I lost it at some point, can't even remember how now, but for years I still the "phantom" of it; I'd try to wiggle it around with my other toes like I used to. I don't know why it took me so long to get around to getting another one!

I'm watching a Korean drama called "The Master's Sun," recced by [personal profile] akscully. It's about a girl who can see ghosts, and whose life has basically been ruined by them, because they won't leave her alone (they're constantly asking her to do favors for them). She used to be really popular, pretty, ambitious, smart, etc., and now she's a shell of her former self. She meets a guy (a rich CEO type, of course) who has a past himself, and for some reason, when she touches him, the ghosts disappear. So they strike a deal in which he'll allow her to touch him sometimes if she'll help him track down the person who kidnapped him in his youth (the guy who plays the younger version of the lead guy is a total cutie -- he has dimples like Kim Bum!) so he can recover the ransom that was paid. I'm enjoying it so far, though I don't really "feel" for this couple so far. Partly it might be that I don't find the hero attractive. He has like... deep-set, "bruised"-looking eyes (I don't really know how to describe it) that I don't like. Jamie Campbell-Bower has similar eyes and I think he's hideous, and his eyes are partly why.
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! )
sarea: (Default)
I don't know why I have been talking about food even more than usual lately. BUT I had to mention that I am very excited about the reservations I have this Sat for Joule, the restaurant that K and I go to monthly. K's going to be in NorCal until I leave for SoCal, and I won't be back until March, so this is my only opportunity to have their February supper. Since they're not good about updating FB about what that is on a monthly basis, I just called and asked what the menu is... and it sounds ah-may-zing. Joule's February Family Supper menu. )

One of my favorite coworkers in the world, C., lives in New York. She's turning 50, which she just told me and blew my mind, because she literally looks like she's in her mid-30s. Anyway, the last time [profile] jade_okelani and I were in New York, I asked her for recommendations on places to go to eat, and she gave great advice. Anyway, for her birthday her husband is taking her (and 8 guests) here. Her birthday cake is going to be from this bakery. Look at one of their cakes:



They also make cupcakes:



Seriously, I can't even imagine the work that went into these.

Now a little something for you gamer nerds -- and if you like old skool Eminem ("Guilty Conscience" is one of my favorite Eminem songs), this is a really awesome parody of that song + Starcraft II. I don't play SC2 enough to fully understand all the terminology, but it really doesn't matter.

Eminem + Starcraft parody! )
sarea: (gerbils snuggling)
Apparently Alexis Stewart, Martha Stewart's only child, is releasing some kind of memoir/autobiography. According to this article: While talking about their neighbors, one of whom was a woman who was married to an wealthy unattractive man, Alexis says Martha gave her this little piece of advice: "[My] mother actually told me when I was a small child, 'Now Alexis, if this ever happens, you make sure you have sex with somebody else to have their baby. Don't have his baby.' She was very practical about it. It was a survival skill -- you have someone rich and ugly who takes care of you, and you have someone who's hot and makes attractive babies."

Is that supposed to be bad advice? >.> I'm terrible, I know.

Slowly making my way through the fresh figs. What I did with them last night: split them in two, smeared each half with a dab of chèvre, wrapped bacon around them, then broiled for about 7 minutes. Fattening? Yes. Delicious? YES!

I don't know what to watch next. There isn't anything that's really calling to me, and I don't really feel like catching up on new episodes of the various series I watch, because I'll probably wait for most/many of them to finish airing before I do, or at least air more episodes first. Now that I haven't seen them in months I don't feel any urgency about it. I also don't feel like reading. [personal profile] akscully thinks that I should finish playing Mass Effect. I probably should, except I can't really remember where I left off or what I was supposed to be doing.

I really need to go clothes shopping.
sarea: (nathan kelly)
1) Howard Overman, who created and writes Misfits, is one of my favorite writers for Merlin. I was worried that with the success of Misfits, he would stop writing for Merlin, but he's said he will write for S4. Woohoo!

2) So many good things coming in April. HBO's Game of Thrones premiere. City of Fallen Angels. Hmm that might be all. But both those things are so exciting it's like having 10 things!

3) This weekend I am going to make homemade Pop Tarts, from Flour, with strawberry filling. Only thing is making the pate brisee, which is easy enough, but then you have to wait for it to chill and I'm an instant gratification sort of person. Also, my kitchen is not ideal for making pastry, because of the limited counter space. Oh my kingdom for counter space!

4) The Snickers Kudos bar I just ate was really good, and it was only 100 calories. That means I can eat 10 of them, right?

5) I am one episode away from finishing Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. I've enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would, and am bummed that they never got a third season. I mean... even Roswell got a (terrible) third season and that went off the rails in S2. I guess the ratings for T:TSCC must've been really bad ... or bad enough for what I am assuming was a fairly expensive show to make. It's too bad.

6) I've made my own balsamic vinaigrette to take to work when I get salads. I just don't like their salad dressings. I feel kind of lame taking my bottle to the cafe, but oh well.

7) With Swag Bucks, Bing Rewards, and the Living Social deal, I now have $40 in Amazon g.c.s! I think what I'm going to do is build up my Amazon credit this way, and eventually I'll have enough to buy an eReader. I don't need one immediately, and I can just slowly build up to one.

8) So... I used to hate Swiss cheese. It was flavorless and pointless to me. But I guess as I've gotten older my palate has changed, because now I find myself wanting to put Swiss cheese in my sandwiches and burgers. Gruyere is still my fave cheese, though! Jade recently found a gruyere-cheddar melange at Trader Joe's that is AWESOME.

9) I'm still loving my Keurig. Favorite flavor: Tully's Kona blend. I don't even know why I bother trying any others, because that one is heads above the next best.

10) I'm going to be better this year about taking more vacation time during the year so I can spread it out, rather than lumping it all up at the end. With carry-over vacation, I have 8 weeks this year. I don't plan to use it all, but I need to use at least 4 weeks. Anyway, I'd like to go somewhere in the U.S. where I've never spent significant time (nixed: most of California, NYC, Boston, Washington D.C., D.C.-area Virginia and Maryland, Las Vegas, Hawaii). Any suggestions? Where do you think I should go and why? I'm looking for ideas!
sarea: (simon hood)
Terrible news. Five Guys Burgers & Fries has finally opened their Lynnwood location, and it's less than a mile from my park and ride! The Northgate location was just inconvenient enough that I only went once in awhile, if it was on my way and it happened to be a meal time. But now it'll always be right there, after work, when I'm hungry. This is a DISASTER.

Slowly getting better. I feel OK, I just have annoying cold symptoms. Even more annoying than those is the fact that my new contacts still haven't come in.

Finished watching all 3 seasons of The Inbetweeners. It's so hilarious (there's always ONE point in the episode that makes me fall on the floor laughing), but also a bit sad to watch because these guys are SUCH tools and hardly anything good ever happens to them. The show is based on how pathetic (and funny) their lives are, but in another sense it's also kind of like watching A Series of Unfortunate Events, because you know that, whatever happens, it's not going to end well.

I did practically no cooking over my vacation and I thought I'd lost the urge, but now that I'm back home the interest is coming back as well. I got a few new dessert cokbooks (including Flour by Joanne Chang, which looks amazing -- it's sold out on Amazon and has been for over a month), but I'm on a more savory bent right now.

Speaking of food... Oh pickle and peanut butter sandwich, how I have missed you! I am continually amazed at how good this combo is every time I eat it (usually for breakfast, cuz it's quick and easy). Unless you don't like pickles or peanut butter, try it, you might actually like it.

I've borrowed the first season of Castle from the library. I've never seen even one ep of this show, so I'm ... cautiously optimistic? I just gave Hawaii Five-0 a try (3 episodes), and despite my love of Grace Park I had to chuck it. The lead character is an annoying asshole and the episodes are boring. If I want to see Grace Park I'll just pull out my BSG Blu-rays. <g> Anyway, my goal this weekend is to finish two books I'm partially through: The Magicians and Peony in Love. I started reading the latter while at [profile] jade_okelani's, and while it's nowhere near as strong as Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, which has made it onto my list of fave books of all time, I just want to finish it.

I'm considering getting earthquake insurance for my parents' house, as it's in California. Problem is that it basically doubles the homeowners insurance, and the deductible is 15%. So basically, at least to my mind, it's only worth it if the house falls down completely. But if disaster struck and it actually DID get totally ruined, insurance would sure come in handy. Anyone have experience and/or opinions about this? I'd really welcome other thoughts because my own are constantly changing.

Have you guys heard of SwagBucks? It's a program where you earn search points to get stuff like Amazon gift cards and what not. It's been going around LJ, I think. Anyhoo, if you're interested and so inclined, sign up using my referral code -- it'll earn me extra passive points. :D Thanks if you do!
sarea: (katherine)
Slowly but surely, I am getting all the things done that I need to do in order to be able to leave on Sat.

- returned all library books to the library (I got 1/3 of the way through The Magicians)
- put my mail on hold
- put various lists on vacation hold
- mailed off Merlin to three cool ladies
- took pets to vet and got health cert
- watched Vampire Diaries 2x09 (and now I know why there was not a peep from my flist about it, what a forgettable episode, though the C/S interaction was cute. I don't even want to TALK about the D/R)
- finished Sherlock (once again, [personal profile] adelagia was spot on and warned me that the second episode was far weaker than the other two, which are great, especially the first ep)

I don't know why, but the Seattle area has a lot of self-named European Delis that specialize in imported European goods, especially cheese and salami. It's very general, there's never any specificity (sorry, Inception!Arthur) as to which countries in Europe are represented, exactly, though they seem mostly Russian. Or something. Anyway, I love those places. My favorite thing is Estonskaya salami or something like that. I think it must be made with crack. It is SO GOOD. I bought half a pound today and my plan is to make myself a sandwich to take on the plane with me.

Die of adorableness. Two paws up! )

I'm getting a facial at Julep after work today. I don't really like facials and I've only gotten like two of them in my entire life, but this was part of a package, so. It's not even that I don't like people touching my face (which I know is an issue for some people); I like it when I'm getting a massage. It's that I don't notice ANY difference before/after.

I loved Merlin 3x10 so much I am thinking of doing a pictorial summary of it, even though I know my time should be spent elsewhere.
sarea: (Default)
Gorgeous day today. Might explain why my allergies have gone crazy -- at least I assume they're allergies, since other than sneezing, itchy eyes and needing to constantly blow my nose, I feel perfectly fine. :P I don't get it though, I've been taking my antihistamine pill every day for Jaime, shouldn't that work for seasonal allergies also?

Speaking of Jaime, he has this toy mouse. It's like a little puppet. It was very cute at one point, with dangling arms and legs, whiskers, pink ears, etc. Both its arms are now gone, its feet have been amputated, and its body is now quite grimy and sad. It actually resembles a REAL dead mouse, as opposed to a cute stuffed animal. You do not know how many times how many times I have found this disgusting thing on my bed. He sometimes carries it around in his mouth like it's a fresh kill, and all I have to say is that I am very thankful I don't have a mouse problem, because if I ever found a real dead mouse in my bed, I would freak. out.

I had the most amazingly delicious dish at Ka Won, my favorite local Korean restaurant. It's a black cod stew/casserole, served on a huge sizzling platter. Since it's supposed to serve like 4 people, it's not cheap. I'd love to try making my own sometime, but online searches for recipes have yielded nothing, and none of my Korean cookbooks have it, either. Sigh. If you know of a recipe for this dish, called "Eun Dae Gu Jo Rim" in Korean, please let me know, I'd be so grateful!

In the last few days I've rewatched all three Bourne movies, and I must say that it's one of the best action/suspense trilogies out there. (And Die Hard, of course.) Usually a good movie's made, then subsequent sequels follow, which don't live up to the first. They have a great blend of action, character development, shades of romance, and intrigue -- with enough complexity to keep things interesting and provide depth, but not so much that it becomes ridiculously convoluted and unintelligible.
sarea: (mulder & scully)
OMG!!!!!!! Amazon Fresh is finally delivering in my area! *does a dance* I've been waiting for this for sooooo long. Some of you may not have heard of it because they're only in the Seattle area right now, but I know so many people who use Amazon Fresh and LOVE IT. I know, I thought the whole grocery home delivery thing was dead, but Amazon has somehow made it work. I have not heard one bad thing about it, only people raving about how great it is.

It is ridiculous how excited I am about this.

=====

OK... I have Mockingjay in hand (thank you, Amazon, for the expediency), but I don't actually feel like reading it. I read the first few pages, and it just sunk me into depression. I guess I'm just not in the mood for dark, post-col (as we used to call the genre in XF fandom) stuff. :/ I do want to know what happens, but I also don't want to ruin the book for myself by reading it before I'm ready. I'm going to wait, and will hope that everyone will be very careful about spoilery information!

=====

[community profile] trashy_eats is currently in LJ Spotlight and we have soooo many people posting now, I can barely keep up. Yet I can't look away. It's like a gastronomic car crash.

I joined the comm thinking that there would be a lot of food that's bad for me, but prepared in creatively delicious ways (like English muffin pizzas), maybe some different but interesting combos (say, chocolate-covered bacon), or maybe just stuff that's bad for you but also yummy, like the deep-fried Twinkie I've always wanted to try.

But I've found that a deep-fried Twinkie is child's play to these people. I thought I knew about trashy food; it turns out I know nothing about it. I am constantly amazed by the ingenuity (and iron stomachs) of these posters. Some examples (which my uncreative mind would never have come up with) follow. Keep in mind that these aren't just things people eat because they were dared to or something, but because they honestly find it delicious (and many times come about due to lack of funds -- truly, necessity is the mother of invention):

  • Warm a tortilla in a pan till it's a bit brown. Slather with mayo. Roll up and eat. Proclaimed by the poster to be "HEAVEN... I swear it's awesome."

  • Variations of peanut butter ramen. Cook ramen noodles until soft, then add spoonfuls of chunky peanut butter. Add other ingredients such as scrambled egg or scallions if you are "feeling wealthy." So many people have posted their versions of this dish.

  • Ramen, period. Apparently I am the only person on the planet who has never used ramen for anything other than making ramen (though I will dress it up with egg or veggies or whatever). So very many posts about what else you can do with ramen. And the best trashy post ever, for "Gourmet Ramen a la Felon" -- recipe from a guy who learned how to make his variation in prison after bartering some cigarettes for food.

  • "Deathwiches." Basically, sandwiches inside sandwiches, your creativity is the limit. Example: Go to McD's and order a Big Mac and McChicken sandwich. Open up the Big Mac. Place McChicken sandwich on top. Place the other half of the Big Mac back on top. Eat. (This is a fairly tame example. Apparently McD-specific ones are called "McGangbang.")

  • Instant stuffing + instant gravy + canned chicken + crushed pineapple. Proclaimed "a staple meal."

  • This entire post, in which the poster has made trashy eating a lifestyle.
I love this community, though in a different way than I thought I would. There are very few things shared on the comm that I would actually want to make and eat myself (though I AM intrigued by chili dog pizza), but I am constantly entertained by the posts and taking my brain to places it never would have gone on its own.

=====

To those of you who asked for books from me and provided a way for me to get them to you, I plan to mail them out today. :D What with those and the PBS and Half.com orders, I'm going to be one of those annoying people at the post office who have more things to mail than I can carry at one time.

=====

I've started rewatching The X-Files from the beginning, and am on S2 now. (I'd burned myself out on XF so much that I couldn't even watch a single ep for YEARS.) There are so many little things I'd forgotten! Krycek started out as Mulder's partner! Scully was young and chubby! Skinner is interesting! It's amazing how quickly they became "Mulder and Scully." There were only like, 3 episodes in which they seemed like they were getting to know each other. And then it was all familiar touching and glances that lingered a second or two too long.

=====

Wow, I guess I've blabbed enough for one post. So I'll end with...

TV Show Meme, Day 25 - A show you plan on watching (old or new)

HBO's A Game of Thrones, of course! I am so flipping excited for this one, it cannot come soon enough.
sarea: (Default)
I have appropriated the 27" monitor of the coworker who is no longer with us. Is this bad luck or karma or anything else? I figure he would want me to have it. He left me his candy dish, after all, and I don't think he got along very well w/ our other coworkers.

Now that it's summer I get to have my favorite meal:

Open-Faced Caprese Sandwiches

I wish those were tomatoes I grew, but they're not. Open-faced sandwiches now remind me of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo because the characters in that book were constantly making/eating open-faced sandwiches. I wonder if that's a Swedish thing, or if it's just something the author likes to do.

I'll put this next picture behind a cut tag. Bacon-wrapped meatloaf! )

A pictoral update of my garden!

A coworker of mine, who's into sci-fi/fantasy novels, has rec'ed a few novels to me. Jonathan Strange & Dr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke, The Beginning Place by Ursula K. Le Guin, The Magicians by Lev Grossman, and Jack the Bodiless by Julian May (the first book of the Galactic Milieu trilogy, which is like, her favorite series ever). Have any of you guys read any of these novels? What'd you think of them? I don't know if her taste matches mine (I rec'ed Temeraire and GRRM to her).

Edit: Oops, forgot to add the next part of the TV Show Meme!

Day 14 - Favorite male character: Michael Scofield, Prison Break

He's super intelligent, insanely hot, and says very little. In other words, perfect.

YAY Friday

Jul. 23rd, 2010 12:17 pm
sarea: (russell excited - up)
It's Friday. It's been a crazy week. Publishing for Monday's content should be set. I am giving myself the afternoon off.

===

My favorite new coffee drink is the Americano. I love the deep coffee flavor. I've finally figured out how to achieve an almost perfect Americano, but there's still one thing missing. My favorite Americano consists of 2 shots of espresso in a short cup, with room. So the espresso to water ratio is bigger. However, I also like my coffee drinks very creamy and sweet, so I add sugar (preferably vanilla sugar) and cream. I like the short because of the espresso-water ratio, but also because I don't actually drink that much -- I usually can't even finish a tall. I also like my drinks scalding hot. The problem is, with as much cream as I like, the drink is usually lukewarm when I'm done "fixing" it to my preferences. Not quite sure how to fix that except nuking the drink right afterward, which I don't like to do because it changes the flavor.

At Starbucks, it costs less than $2 for a short Americano, and I don't want to turn it into $4 by doing a lot to it, lol. However, their short only consists of 1 espresso shot. I'm not sure if it makes more sense financially to get a short and add a shot of espresso, or get a tall (which comes with 2 shots) and get less water. Next time I'm going to add vanilla syrup, since by paying with my Starbucks cash card that should be free. Unfortunately that doesn't help my lukewarm drink issue.

===

My mom called me last night and was like, I want to come visit you guys and meet Jaime! So I booked her a flight. If only the timing worked out so that she could come at the end of August, it'd be better, as Alaska's having a sale during that time period. Sigh.

===

I've been hearing/reading a lot about Beer Butt Chicken, and I think I might be one of a handful of people who have never made it. I love, love, LOVE the high-roast method that Jade and I discovered a couple years ago, and swore I'd never cook a chicken in the oven any other way again, but I might have to try beer butt chicken. I just have to know.

===

When K. graduated from medical school oh, about 16 years ago, some of us went to New York for her graduation. While there, we shopped at Tiffany's (well, *I* didn't) and afterward went to Bergdorf Goodman for lunch, as they have a little cafe there. Several of us ordered one of their chopped salads, and it was the best salad EVER. We all agreed. Years and years later, we still remember that salad.

I guess I never tried to search for it online or anything because I didn't know what it was called, the salad ingredients are fairly generic, and it's been so long that their menu had probably totally changed, and maybe they didn't even have a cafe anymore.

Well it just goes to show that it never hurts to try. A couple of weeks ago I did a search for it using "Bergdorf," "salad," "thousand island," and "beets," which were the only things I knew of for SURE that were descriptive of the salad. And viola! Someone else had waxed poetic about it in their blog, in 2006!

"Goodman’s Café, hidden in a corner of Bergdorf Goodman’s beauty department, is definitely a ladies who lunch (and shop) spot. For me, it’s all about the Gotham salad. This chopped salad is made up of diced chicken breast, ham, Gruyère, tomatoes, beets, bacon, hard-boiled egg, iceberg lettuce and Thousand Island dressing. While there is nothing extraordinary in the components, the combination is a real winner! I love the texture of the crunchy iceberg, sweetness of the beets, softness of the egg, sharpness of the Gruyere, and the extra kick of the bacon. It is one of my preferred light lunches, accompanied by a glass of Duval-Leroy Brut champagne."

The Gotham Salad! That's what it was!! Now I want to replicate it. The problem is that I think the key is in the dressing, and I have no idea how they make their thousand island dressing or where they buy it from. I mean, the rest of the ingredients are pretty run of the mill. So it must be the dressing that brings it all together to make The Best Salad Ever.

===

And finally, I leave you with...

TV Show Meme, Day 12 - An episode you've watched more than 5 times: Bad Blood, The X-Files

I LOVED this episode. It was funny and wonderful in so many ways. It's probably not the best episode to watch if you've never seen XF before at all, but if you know the characters and their nuances well, it's hysterical and fun, with just the right amount of MSR (Mulder Scully romance). Plus, Luke Wilson is in it.
sarea: (baby tomato)
It's currently 60°F and rainy, and I'm wearing a tank top, skirt, and flip flops, but I'm not even going to bitch. After hitting the 90s in the last few days, I've decided that this is better. I mean, if it has to be one extreme or another, I prefer this. But what I would love even better is a normal Seattle summer, where it's just gorgeous and perfect for 3 months. The good news is, it looks like after today, that's exactly what we'll be getting for the next 10 days -- 70-75°F the whole time. Squeee!

My vegetable garden is soldiering on, even though they're all like WTF from this insane weather that has a 30° difference from day to day (much as we all are). A few more little tomatoes are peeking out, and I saw a little bee near the tomato flowers yesterday. Pollinate your heart out, little bee! I've started to pinch my basil plants, but my lesson learned from this year is that I need way more basil. Pinching a few at a time doesn't really give me enough to work with, it's not enough for pesto, and once pinched, it doesn't keep well. With more plants, every time I pinch I should have enough to make pesto, at least. The carrots are getting super crazy leafy, except when I dug down to check on the carrots themselves, they're PUNY. I guess my soil isn't loose enough for them. Seriously, the leaves give the impression that they must be huge; they're just making a whole lot of noise over nothing. The birds keep getting to my strawberries before I do. They think the netting is a joke and are laughing at me behind my back. The garlic leaves seem to be dying down, but not as much as K.'s; it'll be awhile before they're ready to harvest. The little zucchini plant is doing well, it's now surpassed its predecessor, but it's not big enough to develop flowers yet. I bought a little jalapeno pepper starter, and it's insanely greedy for water. If I don't water it daily, it droops. O.o Finally, after a second bout with the neighborhood cat, I've moved the catnip indoors to my office, which door I am keeping closed so Jaime doesn't wreck what's left of the poor thing. I don't know if it will fare well inside, and if it doesn't I guess I'll move it back out and just hope that the darn neighborhood cat doesn't succeed in killing it entirely.

I have like four or five story outlines going right now. This is exciting because it's been awhile since I've had that many story ideas clamoring to be written. The difficulty is in concentrating on one of them; I'm not good at multi-tasking when it comes to writing. If I try to write two stories at once, they both suffer. I just need to let one of them take over. Unfortunately, the one that's calling out the strongest right now is also the one I don't have all the answers for, plot/story wise, so I can't start writing until I have all the answers, that's just how I work.

C.'s 5th birthday party on Friday was fun, though dealing with little kids -- even peripherally -- exhausts me. The Molly Moon's truck gave out ENORMOUS scoops of ice cream, HOL-EE. In pictures the scoops are like half the size of the kids' heads. Maybe it was partly due to the fact that a photographer from Seattle Weekly was there (K. had to ask all the parents if it was okay with them that he take pictures of the kids with their ice cream), and little kids with giant ice cream cones make for better photos. I also made these mini sugar donut muffins (idea from [profile] romanticalgirl), and they were an huge hit. I wasn't there when they broke them out, but D. says that kids were double fisting them and cramming them into their mouths. He also said that he tried to hoard some of them from the kids because he liked them and wanted to eat them later (shameful).

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