Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Monday, December 3, 2007
Sunday, December 2, 2007
There are a lot of things I have planned for when I return to the Los Angeles area. Chopping down a dead tree and starting a mushroom garden in it. Restarting my compost pile and fixing up a better garden setup. Not buying a car and bicycling everywhere.
That's the end of this post. Turned into a laundry list, which isn't to fun for readers. First mobile post though! Interested to see how it turns out. I'll end up editing it later.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Its easy to make too. Here's a link to the recipe. I recommend a side of baked potato to balance out the sweetness of using cream sherry on a watermelon.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Two things that don't go together right? Think again. This was the best week ever for experimenting with two foods. First of all, nothing came to mind at first when the two ingredients were put forth. Then, like a Singaporean rainstorm, they came out of nowhere flooding my mind. So I still have some other ideas I want to try out after this. It was quite successful and really really REALLY sweet. Less sugar next time.
What's in it? Mashed sweet potatoes, sugar, butter, vanilla, one egg, orange juice, and orange rind mixed together and baked in a orange peel topped with pecans and brown sugar, baked in a casserole dish at 350 degrees. Sadly, I didn't come up with the exact recipe. I found it online by accident after I had thought of something quite similar, though not as elaborate. Having the side of Mashed Carol Potatoes was fortunate as it helped to counter the sweetness of the sweet potatoes.
Monday, August 6, 2007
... served inside the egg shells. A fancy little trick that makes an ordinary omelet seem, a little extra ordinary. There's nothing to this other than taking the extra time to plate the dish. It does have an interesting effect on how you eat the eggs and bell peppers though. It forces small portions, and the with the small whole basil leaves, enhances the act of tasting the flavor in the items present. Additionally, having the eggs extra runny contributes to the plating of the dish, in which I don't think my eggs were as runny as they could have been. I was attempting to make the bell peppers look like the yolk of the egg. I think I might want to consider just cooking the egg whites next time to enhance this even more.
Looking at my photos, I realize I need to learn how to photograph food to make it look appetizing. Every little bit helps, and I feel like I'm falling a bit short. I was thinking a little moisture on the basil leaf. A bit more shine on the entire dish actually.
Saturday, August 4, 2007
I still ended up going to the grocery store afterwards, they don't sell milk at the farmer's market (not this one at least). I actually went twice in fact, something not to uncommon of me, especially on the weekends. It's not that I forgot anything, there's just not enough space in my messenger bag, and I have yet to go back to the bicycle store and get a rack so that I might use my panniers to carry goods to and fro. Milk, eggs (always an adventure when packed in a messenger bag) yogurt, cottage cheese, sugar and flour. I only wish I needed more vegetables so that I might have made use of my trip to the Saturday Market. Eggs and Bell Peppers tomorrow, I'm excited.
Monday, July 30, 2007
Today I made tomatoes and tofu. Trying to keep it simple by pairing two food elements and letting them interact with each other. Seeing as tofu doesn't have much flavor of its own, I felt it best to highlight the textural differences of the two items. The tofu was sliced thin and seared in a pan of oil and garlic. The (organic heirloom) tomatoes on the other hand were broiled in the oven, drizzled with some oil, and sprinkled with salt, pepper, and some chopped basil. They paired quite well, and I'm proud of my creation.
I also made some Rosemary Focaccia bread for the first time. It really wasn't that different from pizza dough, though the end result was a pleasant surprise. The crust is browned and crispy, while the center is light and airy. I look forward to trying more breads. (Kneaded and mixed by hand, its quite relaxing for me)
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Now I'm left with a ball of dough (I don't bake all the dough when I make cookies, I normally make them in batches of 6 or 12 over the course of a few days) in the fridge that I'm not to excited about. I'm considering making it into snickerdoodle cookies. Seeing as the flavor isn't too strong, there's not much to loose from furthering the experiment... by taking a step back.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
So, I let myself go the other day and ended up running for... a long time and distance. I probably should have had water and a snack with me for as long as I was out. I probably should've stopped in one of the coffee shops I passed by and asked for water. I'm still alive though. And it felt great. I didn't intend to go for as long as I did, it just sort of happened. I probably couldn't have ran for as long as I did with a specific goal in mind. It felt good to just get out there and go. That's all I've been trying to say right now. Sometimes it just feels good to get out and go.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
After solving this dilemma, things start to go much smoother. I mix the wet into the dry ingredients, and let it sit and rise while I wash the dishes I used to mix everything up. I turn on the stove to preheat the Cast Iron skillet, and throw in some butter to grease up the pan. Finally, I lay down my first three ice-cream scoops (I've been using an ice-cream scoop because I still have yet to buy a ladle, and may not because the scoop has been working so well) of the batter onto the pan. After a while I realize that it may not be cooking as fast as I want it to, so I turn up the heat a little. I flip the pancake, only a small corner of the batter splatters out to one side, not far enough to detach from the pancake or over the skillets side walls though. And the top of the pancake is so perfectly golden brown. It slowly rises in the pan as the side walls of the pancake expand, forcing the golden brown roof to rise in dome shape as the ingredients react to the heat forming the light airy caverns inside the pancake. The sides remain white as the original batter because they don't color from direct contact with heat, and gently puff out. I pull the pancake off the skillet and examine the bottom to make sure its a good color. Beautiful. I place it on the plate, and lather it up with some butter and pour some grade A dark amber over the center, watching it slowly spread over the pancake. I then proceed back to the skillet and put down three more scoops of batter for the next pancake.
Meanwhile I take my time eating the first pancake, its tastes as beautiful as it looks. The outer texture slightly crispy as it hits my mouth, only to be complimented by the fluffy interior. Even with all its weight, the pancake almost melts in my mouth as if it were cotton candy, without the graininess. I watch the second pancake as I did the first, and it turns out equally as well. Instead of eating this one, I place it in the tupperware for tomorrow or the following day's breakfast, it fits perfectly into the tupperware. Each successive pancake turns out just as wonderful as the first. Wonderful brown exterior, puffy cloud-like sides, with one small area of crispiness from the flip. They all fit snuggly in the tupperware containers. The air starts to fill with a sweet butter flavor, and I can taste the pancakes in my mouth without having actually putting a fork to it now.
By the end of it, I had two tupperware containers each with three golden brown light and airy pancakes that fit perfectly in them. Every drop of batter had gone into the pancakes themselves, and there was no extra drip before they reached the center of the skillet. Overall, this late night pancake session turned out to be the best series of pancakes I've ever made. What a night. And now I can't wait to get up and have three for breakfast.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
After redefining the trail, we headed further down the trail to the Sandy River and pulled out some Scott's Brush. Scott's Brush is an invasive species from Scotland that spews out hundreds of seeds if allowed to mature, and it would soon overtake the riverbank. All we had to do was pull it out by the roots, then leave it out to dry and die out. I stacked some orange cream marbled rocks while on the riverbank. None of the fellow hikers saw me do it, and when they came upon them one them thought they were mushrooms at first.
After that, we bushwacked back through the forest and a deer trail. We actually came across some deer bones, skull, vertebrae and some ribs. It was the first time I'd ever seen anything like it in the wild. They were pearly white too, nature was doing a good job of returning that deer to the earth.
Finally we had some lunch, and then removed some blackberry and thistle bushes from a field. Did I mention it was raining the entire time, because it was. Wasn't too bad though. Especially walking through the Oregon forests, the while under the trees we were able to keep pretty dry. It was a good experience overall, and I'd do it again. And now I know some people outside of work, a real estate agent, a conservationist, a Guatamalen and a roller durby competitor to name a few.
Thursday, June 7, 2007
When work slowed down, I just saved up all my info, got dressed, got on my bike, and headed over to the studio to continue working after the break from the change of scenery. Don, was at the studio when I got there, and after conversing for a while I got back to research, staring to make notes on ideas that were coming to my mind. By about two or three o'clock I was slowing down again, so I opened up Unreal Tournament to take a break. Don joined in for two rounds before he headed off. I stayed around for a while doing some more research, then headed off to the grocery store, bank and library.
When I got home, I read for a while and then accidently took a nap. Got up, did some more research. When I got hungry, I figured I'd continue with the bizarro day, and had some cereal, yogurt with blueberries. Took a shower, and when I got out made myself a German Apple Pancake. Since I didn't have my usual cookware, I decided to use my Cast Iron Skillet as the baking dish. And now its almost ten o'clock and I'm eating a monster sized Apple Pancake.
It has been a great day.
Saturday, June 2, 2007
I'm working at ID Workshop, and since day one its been a fantastic. I have been known to say the following things since work started: "Why do I want to go back to school?", "I can't believe they're paying me for this", and "Yes, I'm having fun." Of course, I will go back to school, I'm so close, I should finish up and get the degree.
Work aside, its wonderful being here. I bike to work and everywhere else, only using a car when someone else drives. I'm running and cooking everyday. I've started reading books and newspapers. And I have a list of things to do and places to explore while here in Portland.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
I couldn't really understand exactly what was going on because they weren't speaking English. Four people from the defense force showed up and started getting to work. They pricked his finger to get some blood. Put a pulse reader on one of his fingers. After a while, they put a oxygen mask over his face, and even decided to insert an IV into his arm. The whole process by them seemed to be somewhat disorganized. After about ten minutes of all this, some police officers showed up, and they collectively decided to lift him up onto a stretcher. Which again, wasn't a seamless process. They sort of paused when he was half way on the stretcher to take a break, before moving him entirely on there. Maybe his condition didn't merit it, but they didn't seem to be in any rush.
After this was all over, I asked the people at the Hawker Stand where I got my prata if they were going to do anything with the burlap sac they had sitting on some vegetable oil cans. They said they were just going to throw it away. So I asked if I could have it, and now I have another souvenir. I must note, I didn't take any pictures of the incident, I had left my camera at school. It might be for the better, because it forced me to write and interpret the incident myself, rather than passively accept digital capture of the moment.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
I had some freetime this weekend, and went to some Wetlands and Orchid Gardens. It was a enjoyable half day of an adventure. Pictures are up on my flickr account. The biggest take away from that trip would have to be the relaxing ability to explore at my own pace. Groups are great, but sometimes you get lost keeping up or waiting around. A take away about Singapore maybe... this is small island. It took less than 2o minutes to go from my apartment to the wetlands on the opposite side (north side) of the island. And then I could look out from the Wetlands and see Malaysia. It would have been a good bike ride.
Friday, February 9, 2007
Just as things got to get normal though, I found this amazing little Organic Food Shop in the market area near our house. Literally a five minute walk from my door to their door. On top of that, I went in with a recipe for a Singaporean desert, and owner (?) noticed and was more than happy to help me out. He even said to bring him future recipes days in advanced so he could get all the ingredients together for me. The store was barely the size of my living room at home. I was blown away by his dedication to customer service. I'll definitely be going back there on a frequent basis.
I also had one of the three greatest dishes I've eaten while in Singapore today (well, one of the was in Cambodia, so I am merely referring to the trip in general). It was Seaweed with Ginger. I don't know what else was in there, but the combination blew me away. It was in this odd little place that called themselves "Vegetarian" but served numerous dishes with fish, and possibly some with chicken. I won't complain too much, because the Seaweed with Ginger was amazing. Now what I really need to find is an amazing dessert place here. Or maybe that will be up to me in combination with my new friendly neighborhood shopkeep.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
If I had to pick out one moment from the trip, it would have to be a $5 tuk tuk ride late Saturday afternoon around Siem Reap to see the real city. The equivalent of a Cambodian Home Depot, in the form of a series of shops with minimally processed lumber (large staffs of wood with the branches chopped off, and not much else). Seeing all the people on their motorcycles and scooters. Driving by an outdoor market that had not one tourist inside. The best part was getting out of the city, and driving on an unpaved back road through lushly green fields. Lush and green to not do them adequate justice though. This is one thing that must truly be believed to be seen.
Monday, January 22, 2007
The other fun event of the weekend was the Night Safari. I am slightly surprised that I'm saying it was great. There was low light (go figure, its at night right?), the animals weren't that active, and some of them seemed depressed (the turtle museum has got me questioning viewing animals in captivity). It was still amazing though. I got to see hyenas, which I've never seen before in person. They're quite grotesque in fascinating way. There was also a tiger, which looked larger than I remember them being. Sadly, there were elephants, but they seemed so sad, because they're social animals, and there was only about 3 of them. I enjoyed it all, but as I noted before, I'm questioning viewing animals in captivity, between the turtles and the elephants, it was a bit depressing.
Earlier in the weekend, there was also the Aquarium. Which while small, was densely packed with interesting creatures and activities. There was a fish petting area, where you could pet um... well fish. It's actually kind of the reverse, because you leave your hand in the water, then they slowly gain the courage to come up and rub the side of their body against your arm. The entire courting process was entertaining, and I could sit there all day with my arm partially submerged, waiting for them to come touch me. The most interesting creature there was the seadragon. These thing are like seahorse, but bigger, more colorful, and amazingly captivating. I didn't even see two of them at first because they look sort of like seaweed, which is part of their disguise. They're an awesome sight to see.
And finally, some pictures from all of this. turtles
Thursday, January 18, 2007
We have finally started to get into "it" for our design class that we have over here. The actual lectures are somewhat academic, but we've finally got our projects assigned, so we can start the front end of the design process. It will be interesting to see how the MBA's take to this. There has already been some noteworthy reactions by them to our concepts and processes. Of course, I'm sure our take on business has been equally entertaining/frustrating to them.
The humidity becomes more and more bearable everyday. In fact, I hardly notice except for when I run. It still makes it difficult to hang dry clothes, I just hope the dryer doesn't do any major shrinkage damage to my clothes.
Hopefully more to say this weekend after I get a moment to digest it all a bit more.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
I did finally manage to find time to upload some photos onto the flickr account I started. I hope this link works:
With that, my break from homework must come to an end. But, hopefully, as I settle in more, I will be able to find the time to post more, with more energy as well.
Tuesday, January 9, 2007
Our first real day, with a class (Venture Opportunities in Business Management) was great. The class and teacher are wonderful, and the structure of the presentation of information was concise, understandable and to the point. I have a good idea of what I'm going to learn, and even how it applies to me as a designer. This is going to be an invaluable experience that I can't endorse enough, and its only just begun!!!
Sunday, January 7, 2007
Lunch at the food court was great. For my first lunch I had a Lo Mien with Tomato and Egg (I think thats what it was called). For my second lunch (I was hungry) I had a Thostas. I'm butchering the pronunciation and spelling of this dish, but however you spell or say it, it was good. It looks like a pancake, but has a completely different texture. I have a picture, which of course, will eventually be posted, just have to get settled more so that finding the time is easier.
The ordeal of buying a cellphone when you really don't want one can be quite tiresome. The dealer seemed to be quite helpful and intent on getting us the best deal. Just, the entire process of setting up such a permanent feature of residence was draining. After which, as a group, the Art Center group headed over to IKEA to supplement our apartments with things that should have been provided for us. I couldn't take it after a while, so instead of waiting around with everyone to go shopping, I ended up walking back home (did I mention it took Audrey and myself about an hour plus to get to Anchor Point?).
I decided to take a different path than the one that had landed us in Anchor Point, which pretty much me getting lost with the hope that I would eventually find something I recognized. I ended up in a National Park, and then on a mountain biking trail, without a mountain bike. Eventually I did find my way back to a street, and not so long after that, back to a familiar intersection. The whole experience of getting lost and finding myself was a decidedly enjoyable break from the humdrum day to day of consumerism.
Later on that night the eight of us from Art Center along with our instructor, Todd Belle, met up at the Crazy Elephant. We then walked around this river side area, "something Quay" and found an Indian restaurant, the Ivory, to dine at. It was great for me because a majority of the food was vegetarian. Not so great was biting into a seed in the potato dish that lit my mouth on fire or nodding off towards the end of dinner because of the long day I had.
My "Singaporian" observation for the day... really cool dining areas, with outdoor setups that look like hospital rooms, and a bar called Gold that has corpse doors in the front.
Friday, January 5, 2007
Chris, Sal and I are now waiting around. Trying to see if we can get out of the airport and cause some trouble in Taipei, just to say we were out on the ground. Also to breathe some of that overcast Taipei air. The airport mall is quite extravagant and amazing, with high end boutiques and loads of electronics.
Pictures and more later...