owlmoose: (teamoose)
This Sandwich Alignment Chart went around Twitter awhile ago, and I realized that it had been far too long since I ran a poll about what constitutes a sandwich. So, here you go. Vote, argue about your vote in the comments, send your friends.

owlmoose: (cookies)
Today, I'll be tackling the second of [personal profile] lassarina's topics: food! She had two questions which I am taking together.

What's your favorite recipe to cook?

I do cook, and enjoy it fairly well, although it's not something I do for pure enjoyment. I cook because I like to eat delicious food, and the food you cook yourself is often quite delicious. This is especially true when cooking becomes a communal activity, which it my house it almost always is. T and I try to make dinner two or three times a week, always together. We have a number of standby recipes, but we like to try new things, too. We've subscribed to Cook's Illustrated for almost as long as we've lived together, and most of our regular meals come from there. I don't know that I can pick a single favorite, but some of the items we make most often are carnitas-style roast pork (we had leftover of that just tonight) and pasta with tomato cream sauce.

So I like cooking pretty well. But what I really love is baking. Cooking, when done right, is more of an art than a science. As they say, "season to taste, cook until done." That's all well and good, but I need more parameters than that. What I like about baking is the precision of it. If you follow the recipe, then it works. (Well, usually.) I haven't done much with bread baking -- maybe I'll experiment with that someday -- and I'm useless with pastry crust, but almost anything else I am happy to try. My go-to these days is blondies. Easy, tasty, versatile, and a crowd-pleaser.

Unfortunately I can't link to the recipes because they're all behind the Cook's Illustrated pay wall. But I expect similar ones should be easy enough to find. And if you have questions about ingredients or technique, let me know.

What's your favorite food to eat in a restaurant?

This depends an awful lot on my mood, and what kind of restaurant. One dish I will almost always order if it's on the menu is lasagna. I am capable of making a quite tasty lasagna on my own, but I can't cook it at home because T is lactose intolerant, and although he can manage some things with cheese, mozzarella is particularly deadly for him. And lasagna (and similar baked pasta dishes such as ziti, chicken parmesan, and macaroni and cheese) are among my favorite foods ever. So I content myself with getting my fix when I go out, or will occasionally make a pan for a party.

I'd be interested in seeing you all answer this question, too, if you're so inclined! What do you like to make at home? What's your go-to when you eat out?
owlmoose: photo of little owl in a stocking cap (owlhat)
I made two desserts in one day, with only one unscheduled trip to the grocery store (I misjudged the amount of cream cheese I would need). Apple crisp and pumpkin cheesecake bars, both of which have been popular with my family in the past. So it should be good.

Tomorrow, I prepare the salad, to preemptively make up for all of the sugar that I'll be feeding them.

Good day

Nov. 15th, 2015 12:39 am
owlmoose: (library - sign)
Today was a good day. SE and I went with a local librarian group on a tour of the Sonoma County Wine Library, which is part of their public library system. It was interesting -- not so much for the space, but to see what can be done with such a specialized collection. Lots of books, of course, including this 16th century book on agriculture from Spain, as well as more modern texts, but also magazines, clipping files, wine labels, a really hilarious drinking game from the 1960s, and a selection of cool old bottles. Also I was happy to be hanging out with librarians and talking shop again, something I don't get to do much these days. Afterwards we went to a wine bar and just chatted, and I really appreciated it.

Of course I can't go up to the wine country without having some fabulous food. We dragged our husbands along (although they absented themselves for the librarian portion of the festivities), and had delicious lunch, tea, dinner, and dessert. Then I came home just in time to lend a hand to a last-minute Wind dominance victory on Flight Rising! Literally at the last minute; it was glorious. And now it is late and I must sleep, if I can come down from the victory high.


Nov. 16th, 2014 12:08 am
owlmoose: (cats - lexi innocent)
For the second night in a row, T and I went over to a friends' home for dinner. Last night: Mexican take-out. Tonight: home cooking (chicken parmesan, and we made a salad, and someone else brought pie and ice cream). Both nights: good company, great conversation, and way too much food. It's a good life.

Dining out

Nov. 13th, 2014 11:40 pm
owlmoose: (teamoose)
One of my favorite restaurants in SF is reportedly closing by the end of the year (the owner claims he won't be able to afford the new SF minimum wage, which, whatever, dude, it's a slow rise over three years, and your restaurant is popular; just jack up the prices a little and you'd be fine. Seems to me he was looking for an excuse to get out and took the opportunity to score political points -- he made the statement before the proposition even passed) so I went with a group for dinner tonight. A bowl of sangria, a pile of macaroni and cheese, apple crisp and make-your-own s'mores at the table. It all adds up to a good night, especially when you add in casual conversation with four of my best friends.

This is my Thursday Night Dinner crew -- a rotating group of about 20 people who take turns arranging dinner at a restaurant, almost every week on Thursday night (or sometimes Wednesday, depending on schedules). And this has been going on continuously since 1998, which is rather amazing, really. Sometimes we try new places, other times we visit old favorites. Luna Park is one of those favorites; I'd say we get there about once a year, on average, usually when I'm craving comfort food. I'll miss it, but I'm sure I'll find something else I like just as well. And hopefully the next one won't balk at paying its staff a living wage.
owlmoose: (coffee)
For many years, I have been without a means of making coffee at home. When I'm working, I pick up coffee on my way to work, and on weekends we eat breakfast out pretty often, and there's a cafe I really like across the street, and T doesn't drink the stuff, so it never seemed worth it. I used to have a four-cup coffee maker, but it was just taking up space, so we got rid of it long ago.

But now that I'm not going to a job every day, I've been thinking that it might be nice to have my own tools. And then I went to Hawaii, and there was no way I could get out of Hawaii without a bag or two of Kona coffee. I love the stuff -- it's so smooth, especially a nice dark roast. And this time I discovered Ka'u, another Big Island varietal that I really enjoyed. So I decided it was time. Last weekend, I picked up a small French press and a coffee grinder, and I used it for the first time on Wednesday, and again with our bacon and eggs today. It's described as "three cup", but that's in old-fashioned tea cup terms. It's actually 12 ounces, which is enough to fill one mug with a generous helping of milk (fortunately I like my coffee with milk). Which is fine, because I really shouldn't be having more than one cup a day anyway. Good stuff, easy to use, a lot easier to clean than fussing with paper filters. Thumbs up!

I doubt I'll use it every day -- I do enjoy a good latte, and the cafe across the street will sell me one for less than $2. But it's nice to have the option, and control over my own bean supply.
owlmoose: A photo of a Highway 1 roadsign, with the California Coast in the background (california - sign)
Today was a pretty nice day. T took the day off, and I wasn't scheduled to work, so we slept in, went out for Thai lunch, and then just walked around -- hit the Ferry Building (but didn't buy anything), watched the ice skaters at Justin Herman Plaza, checked out the holiday decorations at the Embarcadero Hyatt. Then we came home, where I made apple crisp for tomorrow's Thanksgiving dinner while T played Grand Theft Auto Online. The crisp is just out of the oven, and it smells fantastic. I wish I could eat it now.

I hope everyone's Thanksgiving and/or Hanukkah preparations are going well, for those of you who choose to make them! :)


Nov. 23rd, 2012 11:41 pm
owlmoose: (cats - teacup)
Too much food, too much sangria, too much fun. Dinner was awesome but I think I need to crash -- time to curl up in bed with more water and my iPad.

But first, the friands, which were delicious and received with much acclaim. Have some food porn. )

Good night Internets, I will see you on the morrow.
owlmoose: (cookies)
Today was the first of two Thanksgiving dinners, with family -- tomorrow will be with friends -- and it went well. One thing I am thankful for is that my family tends to be fairly low drama, on the family drama scale, so I rarely have to worry about arguments or family politics or walking away from a gathering carrying more frustration than I brought.

A couple of people have asked about the "wrong chocolate" that I mentioned in my last post. T was making chocolate friands, which are small fudge-like chocolate cakes, very dense, very rich, and frosted with ganache. The recipe calls for bittersweet chocolate, but we accidentally bought semisweet, which has a lower cocoa content. As a result, the cakes didn't bake up quite right -- the consistency was more like a slightly overcooked brownie, and we lost several because they stuck to the pan -- and the ganache didn't set at room temperature. They were still tasty, and my family was happy to eat them, but they weren't up to T's high standards. So tomorrow we will get the appropriate chocolate and see if the second batch comes together better. Pictures, perhaps, if we succeed. :)
owlmoose: (narnia - peter sword)
I finally got to watch this week's episode of Top Chef: Seattle.

Major spoilers. )

We also have most of Life After Top Chef on the TiVo, but... I don't know. I like Fabio well enough, and Jen, but I've never been too keen on Spike, and I soured quite a bit on Richard during All-Stars. I recently re-watched the Season 4 finale, and I'd forgotten how childish he came off with his whole "I choked" routine during the final Judges Table, when the judges were mostly complimentary about his meal. I didn't really notice at the time, but it seems to me now that he came in expecting to dominate that finale, and when the other chefs also did well, and better in some respects, it threw him off. That's the Richard that was on display during the first episode on Life After, and so I'm not exactly feeling compelled to keep watching. [personal profile] dagas_isa, any other Top Chef watchers out there, did you see the other episodes? Recommendations, or should we just let them go?
owlmoose: (cats - teacup)
When the scent of roasted brussels sprouts causes an instant and unstoppable craving. I could smell them in the hallway yesterday, and it smelled so good that we bought some at the store last night and cooked them up tonight (along with a roast chicken). Just cut them in half, toss them in salt, olive oil, and a little water, put them on a cookie sheet, and bake -- first covered to steam them, then uncovered for browning. Voila: delicious little bits of roasted vegetable heaven. I have a recipe to roast them with bacon and pecans, which is super yummy, but the simple way is good, too.

Brussels sprouts are a recent discovery for me, only within the last few years -- there's a restaurant in San Francisco that makes them when they're in season, and the first time I was there with friends and we ordered them, we ended up having to get a second bath, they were so good. But it was only last winter that I decided to take a hand at cooking them myself, and so far it's been a resounding success. I only wish we could get good ones all year; I don't like very many vegetables, so finding a new one I can happily eat is always a victory.


Nov. 5th, 2011 11:42 pm
owlmoose: (cookies)
Pretty low-key day today: as hoped, I did sleep in, although not quite as late as I would have ideally chosen, and worked on Mega Flare. Other accomplishments: played a couple of levels of the new Portal 2 DLC, made progress on my DA:Awakening replay (I could trigger endgame if I wanted, although I have some companion and other sidequests to wrap up first), helped T prepare a delicious dinner (roast beef, artichokes, and my new obsession, baby potatoes roasted in olive oil and garlic, omg so good), and finally watched the 2009 Sherlock Holmes.

How did I manage to go long without seeing this movie? I am a long-time admirer of Robert Downey Jr, and the chemistry between his Holmes and Jude Law's Watson was excellent. I can understand why people complained about Holmes's action hero-ification, but since I haven't read the books and have only seen a couple other movies, it didn't strike me as feeling off. T described it as a "reboot", and I would agree with that analysis. I enjoyed it quite a bit, and now I'm really looking forward to the sequel next month.

Also, the bromance was every bit as epic as promised, and if I'm saying that, you know it had to be epic, since I am notoriously slash resistent. For example, we also watched X-Men: First Class this week, and although I see why people ship it, I myself was not compelled. Overall, I have to say I was not as impressed by X-Men as I wanted to be, although the take on young Charles Xavier was interesting, as was the young Mystique. Actually, I found their relationship every bit as interesting and thought provoking as Charles's friendship/rivaly with Erik; I don't know enough about the comics to know whether it fits with existing canon, but I liked it a lot. But in the end, I was sort of "meh" on the whole thing. I liked the first two movies in this franchise better.

Tomorrow is a writing day at a friend's house, which is something I've never done before. Very curious to see how it will work in terms of promoting productivity!
owlmoose: A bright blue butterfly (butterfly)
Because I worked the Saturday before last, and my school was closed for Good Friday, I was blessed with a four-day weekend, and it was glorious!

Thursday: I started the day with a writing morning, for the first time in ages, during which I nearly finished a draft of my [community profile] ff_exchange story. Then I came home and worked on my Dragon Age replay all afternoon, followed by a lovely dinner with lovely friends and lovely wine in Alameda.

Oh, Dragon Age. I am so into this game, it's kind of ridiculous. To the point where, after a bit of agonizing, I broke down and bought the Ultimate Edition. To be fair, that cost about as much as buying Awakenings (the primary expansion pack) and one of the smaller downloads, so it'll probably be more cost effective in the end. Still, I have to face the fact that I have now purchased another copy of a game I already own. Does this make me a bigger geek than I already am?

Friday: Culinary adventures on the Peninsula with SE! We started with lunch and cupcakes at Vanilla Moon, then wandered down the street to an olive oil shop, where I was unable to resist walking out with a bottle of balsamic vinegar flavored with tangerine. It was really neat to taste dozens of oils and vinegars, play with blending the flavors, seeking out the perfect vinaigrette or dipping sauce combinations. The shopkeeper was really knowledgable and helpful, too.

Other stops included a taiyaki shop in San Mateo (little fish-shaped pastries filled with custard, bean paste, and other delectables including Nutella -- yum!); three attempts at finding a bakery in Redwood City that culminated in tea and pastries at Pamplemousse, which is our go-to place for such things; a spice store with a huge and fascinating stock; and a wander through Kepler's. Then we met up with T and SF for a tasty Japanese dinner of yakitori and other small plates, followed by a trip to Beard Papa for a cream puff dessert. Great food, great fun. I consider it rather a miracle that I didn't end up bringing home anything more than the vinegar, three jars of spices, one book, and half a dozen macarons from Pamplemousse.

Then we came home and played some Portal 2. This is a theme that will recur.

Saturday: The day of errands and lounging. Washed the car, got groceries, played Portal, made dinner, played more Portal, got some writing done, probably would have played more Portal but my wrists said "No." Fortunately, the writing went okay, on that front. I wrote the last little bit of my FFEX draft -- it needs a lot of work still, but at least that first runthrough is finished -- and then I started the Dragon Age fic that has been nagging at me ever since we finished the game. Well, one of them, anyway. Where all this will end up... we'll see.

Sunday: Easter Brunch! R and S hosted, we made hash browns, more yummy food was eaten, more good company was had, and then we dyed eggs. I don't think I've dyed eggs since the SKERG* Easter Brunch of 1997. There were some real beauties, too. Then we came home and played some Portal 2.

Oh, Portal. We started with multi-player cooperative, which is interesting and challenging. I would say, so far, that it's every bit as good as the first one. But I'll hold more complete thoughts for another day.

And so that was my four-day weekend. Which I really, really needed. And now, with luck, I'll be ready to go back and face the daily grind, rejuvenated and ready for more.

*SKERG, for the uninitiated, was the nickname for the apartment where I lived with four other people for a couple of years after college, so named because it was the most pronounceable combination of our first initials. I forget who coined it, but it stuck, to the point where we still refer to it by name, even though the household broke up almost 13 years ago.
owlmoose: Picture of a beanie moose and a small brown owl (owlmoose)
Meme time! Tagged by [livejournal.com profile] darcenciel.

First: If you've been tagged, you must write your answers in your own journal and replace any question that you dislike with a new question.

Second: Tag eight people. I tag anyone who wants to play along!

Questions and answers behind the cut. )
owlmoose: (Default)
Top 5...

From [personal profile] mako_lies: ...favorite Final Fantasy characters
5. Fang
4. Lulu
3. Baralai
2. Balthier
1. Auron and Paine (tie)

Narrowing this down was hard, and so was getting a decent spread of games. I would probably have a hard time narrowing it down to ten. Also highly mood-dependent; except for the tie at #1, the list might look different tomorrow. Strong runners-up: Nooj, Lightning, Fran, Ashe, Penelo, Larsa, Tidus, Braska, Yuna, Quistis, Freya, Garnet....

From [personal profile] ukefied: ...video games
5. Final Fantasy XII
4. Final Fantasy X-2
3. PuzzleQuest (original flavor)
2. Portal
1. Final Fantasy X

The order is, again, mood-dependent, except for the top two. Other favorites: Final Fantasy 9, Ratchet & Clank (the first two), Super Mario Kart (I never do racing games, but I had a lot of fun with that one), the Phoenix Wright series.

From [personal profile] dagas_isa ...dishes on Top Chef you'd want to try
Ooh, nice one. My memory is a bit hazy on these, but...
5. Blanking on a fifth. I'll come back to this later if I think of one.
4. That fruit crisp that Robin made last season; that whole Restaurant Wars menu, really.
3. Rick Bayless's mole. (Is this cheating?)
2. Stephanie's duck breast with cherries (Season 3, Episode 1)
1. Almost everything Kevin ever made, especially if it featured pork.

From [livejournal.com profile] imadra_blue ...DS9 episodes.
Argh, this is hard. Except, again, for #1. Best hour of television ever.
5. Our Man Bashir (4x10)
4. Improbable Cause/The Die Is Cast (3x20/3x21)
3. The Visitor (4x03)
2. Far Beyond the Stars (6x13)
1. In the Pale Moonlight (6x19)

Try me on another day, I'd probably come up with a different list.

Also, Top 5 Meals
5. The Ritz-Carlton Dining Room in SF, for our fifth wedding anniversary, which had the feature of containing a fois gras dish I actually enjoyed.
4. Pain purdue and cafe au lait at The Butler & The Chef, a little French cafe around the corner from us.
3. A little yakitori joint in Kyoto, Japan. I forget the name, unfortunately. Grilled skewers of joy, and they just kept coming.
2. Dinner at R&S's house, a few years back, with a cheese fondue first course, prime rib and crab for the main course, and chocolate fondue for dessert. Possibly the most decedent home-cooked meal it has ever been my pleasure to experience. Described here
1. The French Laundry. Because, really, how could I pick anything else for this? Documented in great detail, with photos.

One more came in while I was writing this up, and it deserves its own post, so look for that soon.


May. 23rd, 2010 02:36 pm
owlmoose: (Default)

Cafe au lait with sugar cubes. Now that is what I call breakfast.

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

owlmoose: (Default)
Just back from a really nice family Thanksgiving dinner, up at my Grandma's house. Food, yum. Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, beans, rolls... it was all there, except for the sad omission of pumpkin pie. No pumpkin pie! I am scandalized! T did make tasty brownies and some excellent soft gingerbread cookies, though, so I am pleasantly stuffed with dessert. But I think we may have to rectify this situation and make some pie for ourselves this weekend.

Even more important, of course, was the company, with the special addition this year of [livejournal.com profile] oswulf, who was in town with his wife for the holiday. Most of the local family were there, too, and it was good to see them all, but D isn't just my cousin -- he was my best friend for many, many years. So the opportunity to hang out with him for even a few hours is precious. I am lucky to have a family I enjoy spending time with.

I'm lucky in so many ways, really, and it's good to have a day to reflect on that. It's been a tough year for me and mine, but that doesn't negate the many things I have to be thankful for: solid marriage, financial stability, steady job that I mostly like, good relationships with co-workers and family, and so many good friends, including those of you reading this entry right now. You've probably all noticed by now that I don't tend to get emotional on people, but that doesn't mean that I don't love you all. And so here's a round of Happy Thanksgiving, all around. I'm grateful to be a part of this community.
owlmoose: (Default)
We tried a new tea shop today! Always a sign of a banner weekend. Ku Day Ta Tea Lounge (great name). The tea itself was of high quality and well-prepared, and the food was all tasty and in reasonable quantities. On the downside, the service was indifferent, which is a serious strike against any establishment that calls itself a "tea lounge" -- that designation suggests a particular level of comfort and service, and both of these qualities were seriously lacking. Also, if I'm paying afternoon tea prices, I expect refills of hot water for my tea, which were not provided.

It was more than worth an outing, and I would go back (with expectations adjusted accordingly. And a sweater -- it was really cold there for some reason). Still, the quest to find a tea shop that I enjoy as much as Lovejoy's continues...

Also accomplished this weekend: shoe shopping, a trip to the used bookstore, laundry, grocery shopping, playing with AO3 (on which more later), quality time with friends and with T, and some much-needed lazing around the house by choice rather than by force. Not accomplished this weekend: much in the way of writing. My plan to finish at least one story per week in November has now officially bitten the dust, along with both daily writing and daily LJ posting. This cold (which I think at this point has morphed into allergies) has a lot to answer for.


Nov. 13th, 2009 11:21 pm
owlmoose: (Default)
Another night of good company and yummy foods. This time, we went to an Asian fusion place in Union Square.

Also I bought yet more shoes today. What is it with me and shoe purchasing over the last year or so? There was once I time that I hated buying shoes and only did it when I absolutely had to. The Clark's store in San Francisco Centre has a lot to answer for... Sadly, they didn't have the shoes in the right size and color, so they're being shipped to me from Walnut Creek. Free shipping, no less. That's service.

Last but not least, AO3 Open Beta starts tomorrow! Looking forward to playing around with it. Will this be the killer app that finally gets me off FF.net once and for all? Stay tuned to find out.

October 2017

89 10 11121314


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 18th, 2017 02:55 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios