let me see


on the way to campus I was listening to Fresh Air, and Sideways author/screen writer Rex Pickett was on. I came into the segment when the interviewer (not terri gross this time) asked why Pickett didn't like merlots. listen to the segment here

In the movie one of his character says, "If anyone orders merlot, I'm leaving. I'm not drinking any fucking merlot."

Pickett explained that there are some very good merlots, but most of the merlots you get around here (here being california I assume) basically taste the same. Merlot is apparently (according to Pickett) a good blending grape, but not necessarily very interesting in its own right (unlike his preferred grape: pinot noir -- YUM).

I guess I just wanted to post this because I don't like merlots. I don't actually know why I don't like merlots, (although I have like one merlot... i think it was one andrei gave me for my bday once) and it seems odd since I like most other reds. I'd like to think that I was wine snobby enough to say that I don't like merlots for the same reason as Mr. Pickett. But I don't think that's the case. I just don't like 'em.

Listening to this segment was also quite apropros as minger had just brought up this very line from this movie just this past saturday at our wine party (see details of this and our weekend here).
let me see

Sichuan Delight

Over the weekend we all at twice (in the same day!) from the new Chinese restaurant near us in Redwood City. It's called Sichuan Delight, and it's located in the Target shopping center (2525 El Camino Real, Redwood City 94061).

OMG! It's soooo tasty! The woman there was super nice as well, and she was extra excited that Emi could speak Chinese with her.

It actually has quite nice interior, which I would never have guessed from driving by. And the food was excellent and spicy (although I'm sure it can be adjusted to your tastes, we probably had ours spicier than they might normally make because emi could assure the waitress that we could take it).

some dishes I recommend:

Spicy Sichuan Cold Noodles (LOVED IT)

Hot Noodles w/Spicy Peanut Sauce (also good, but I like the one above better)

Chong Qing Style Spicy Chicken (the owner's friends apparently always get this dish with shrimp when they dine there. If you've ever been to SPICES! in the city, it's a lot like one of their dishes -- the one that comes in a big basket of chilis, but not as dry)

Wax Gourd and Pork Soup (very yummy)

they also made us this smoked pork dish with leeks that wasn't on the menu, but was quite excellent. I'm sure if you asked for it you could get it.

For dessert they gave us complimentary homemade pumpkin mochi filled with red bean


everyone should go here. It's definitely one of the best Chinese restaurants in Redwood City and its nearest areas.

Oh, and did I mention that they have FREE DELIVERY! Finally, a GOOD Chinese restaurant with delivery!

ok, sorry for all the hype, but I just really loved this restaurant, and I want to get the word out since it's new.
hi there!

umm... i'm so gonna make this cake for my brother

Found off of Chocolate & Zucchini blog via Wendyknits!:

"This recipe is very easy to make, no need for a food processor. Like all dark chocolate cakes, it is better if made the day before (or at least in the morning if served for dinner). Pre-heat your oven at 200°C (400°F). Line an 8 inch cake pan with parchment paper. If using a non-stick pan, you can just cut out a circle to line the bottom.

Melt 200g of butter with 200g of good quality dark chocolate. If melting in the microwave, be sure to do it slowly, blending with a spoon between each pass. Add 250g of sugar, and let cool a little. Then add 5 eggs one by one, mixing well with a spoon after each. Finally, add a rounded tablespoon of flour and mix well. Pour the dough in the pan, and resist the urge to just dive head first into the pool.

Bake for 25 minutes. The recipe says the very center can still be a little trembling but mine wasn't. Let the cake cool down a bit, then turn out on a rack to cool completely. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, refrigerate, and take it out about an hour prior to serving the next day.

This cake is absolutely gorgeous, and it was suitably wolfed down by my appreciative co-workers. It has a nice crumbly crust, while the inside is 100% melty gooey chocolate goodness. Needless to say, it is pretty rich (I mean, did you look at the ingredients? :), so it is best served with something refreshing : ideally, Marie-Laure and Ludo's delicious fruit salad, but your own fruit salad, fresh strawberries, ice cream and/or whipped cream would be great too. Enjoy!"

only a tablespoon of flour! wow. but it looks damn tasty, and sounds damn tasty, i gotta make me a tasteeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
let me see

Sticky Strawberry Ice Cream

Now that I finally have a fridge/freezer large enough to house all my food + freeze the bowl for my ice cream maker, I have been itching to make ice cream. The first ice cream I made was cinnamon vanilla chocolate chip. It's actually quite cinnamony since I heated a cinnamon stick in with the cream and eggs when i was making the mixture. I like it quite alot, but I wonder why I don't see more commercial cinnamon ice cream?

Next batch of ice cream I decided to make was strawberry since I have a huge bag of frozen strawberries for my smoothie making habits. Being rather inexperienced with my ice cream maker, I realized that ice cream does expand quite a bit while it's freezing, but I didn't really know how to gauge how much was too much mixture for the machine. Suffice it to say, much sweet strawberry ice cream streamed out of the machine and onto my counter. More disturbingly, much of the sweet pink fluid streamed INTO the ice cream machine. I'm not even sure how that happened. I only realized this happened as I turned the machine around to clean up the outside, I found that melted strawberry ice cream would flow out of a different orafice in the machine.
Of course, not wanting to ditch the machine after only 2 uses, I decided to take it apart to clean out. Man! Strawberry goo was everywhere inside it. It had actually cooked onto some of the wire coils that run the motor. I got most of the goop up. I haven't tested to see if it works again, because I'm waiting for it to dry out a bit.

speaking of the ice cream machine, I went back to Amazon to check the reviews on my machine (I now think my freezer may not be cold enough). People either hate or love the machine, and they are quick to diss one another's reviews.
see reviews here

one review quote:

"Those people giving this product a low rating are being hypercritical, or, like the guy who gave himself 5 stars for not buying it, complete morons."
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Alton Brown

is the man! It was awesome seeing him in person at the Stanford Shopping Center last weekend. We lost a whole day of moving just for him!

He started the day off showing the audience how to make beef jerky in a brine and using a box fan and air filters. As usual, he was super funny and quirky.

Things we learned:
1. Alton also has a Ford F150, but he carries around over 100 bungee cords in the back, he has leather seats and the large towing package.

2. W is a chiropractor in Atlanta who hates Alton (i doubt the last part)

3. Alton's hair is even funnier in person. It's sparser but sticks up in funny ways. It has a lot of character.

4. Alton is a super friendly and nice celebrity. When meeting you, he makes sure to ask you your name and talk with you at least a little bit in the 30 sec he has with you.

5. Alton uses Macs over PCs

6. Alton's favorite thing to cook is anything that can be smoked.

7. He's still funny when he mocks Emeril... BAM!

links to other blogs or references to alton from that appearance:

one with pictures of the beef jerky demonstration

an animated recreation of alton at the demonstration

more pics of alton. alton does eat bunnies, but wouldn't eat their bunnies.

more alton pics with fans

Quote from http://www.blurty.com/users/pinkball/:
" Of course, I would really like to meet Tyler Florence but Alton Brown will do too (He's the very quirky host of Good Eats)"
hi there!

Bring out the Pig!

A couple days ago I tried a recipe that Better Homes and Gardens mentioned this past issue.

They were talking about throwing your own luau, and so they came up with a recipe for roast pig, w/o the burying and everything.

I tried it, and Ervy and I found it rather tasty. I don't know how it compares to real Kahlua pig as I haven't had enough of it to really say. But anyhoo, I'll probably do this again just for the tastiness. Quite good over rice

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I've also found some other recipes on allrecipes.com
these tend to call for the use of liquid smoke and a crock pot
see recipe

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