28 February 2005

april in town

april's visit is the best excuse to go out to eat and make elaborate meals at home. today for lunch we went to los jarritos for tacos, enchiladas and their awesome cheesy beandip, followed by a stop at Sweet Life, where i was finally able to bust out the extend0-fork.

i discovered the extendo-fork in chicago, back the weekend of my dad's birthday, at Restoration Hardware, while shopping with cindy. The fork, used to plunder the plates of your fellow diners, looks like a normal fork, but extends about two feet. as one of those people who is happiest when able to eat off of every plate on a table, not just my own (with the expectation that my fellow diners will do the same), the extendo-fork is pretty much a dream come true. no more awkward reaching now that i have the magical fork. i bought one for cindy, too...it seemed like the sensible thing to do.

when we went to moto, i hid the fork in my bag, knowing that it would be useful at some point in the meal. as we finished our bouillabaisse, i noticed my brother lingering over his bowl, leaving a few bits of fish unfinished. well, well. by this point, i'd cleverly swapped moto's fork with my own extendo-fork. i held up my fork and turned to my brother. "Mike," I began, "will you be finishing your fish? because if not, i'd love to take it." and to the shock (and, i'm sure, delight) of my fellow diners, i extended the fork to it's full reach and plucked the piece of fish from his bowl. needless to say, we spent the rest of the meal taking turns with the extendo-fork, posing with it, plundering plates, etc. as mentioned, i think we completely horrified my parents' acquaintances, who are quite the trendy and fancy lot. but the restaurant employees seemed entertained.

24 February 2005


today, on this my 28th birthday, i had the following to eat:
  • quinoa and chickpeas with peanut sauce
  • chocolate cheesecake tartlette from sweetlife (thank heather!!)
  • summer sausage, chocolate chip cookies (thanks laura!) and ryvita crackers
  • chicken fingers and fries
  • two beers
many meals of champion, non? it's almost too embarassing to post.

22 February 2005

moto photo

some more photos from Moto at my exciting new flickr account.

18 February 2005


still on the healthy eating kick. last night, i got home from a lovely run (see! so healthy!) and whipped up some broccoli and tofu with ginger-soy sauce. on brown rice, sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds so it even looked kinda pretty.

but don't assume, dear readers, that i've gone to the darkside. for dessert, i had leftover tiramisu and rasberry cheesecake from Sweetlife. i'd gone there the night before with emily, who is leaving the northwest in a few short days (sigh. sadness.). she got the tiramisu and i got the cheesecake--her's was totally better and i'm afraid that i ate more of hers than mine. tacky? yes. but it was good! so, lesson learned: when at sweetlife, go with the chocolate. always the chocolate.

i will say, though, that my cat was very interested in the broccoli. he was crawling over me trying to get to my plate. he usually begs, no matter what i'm eating, but he's only gone to such lengths in the past with ice cream. i'm not sure what it is about tofu, broccoli, brown rice and ginger-soy sauce that did it for him, but he was sure desperate to get some. weird.

16 February 2005


dinner last night: brown rice, baked tofu and sweet potato, and steamed kale topped with miso soup (containing miso, tofu and seaweed).

am feeling healthful and virtuous.

15 February 2005

spiral into nasty

after a lovely weekend of Moto and Red Apple (because what better way to follow up edible photos than all-you-can-eat polish buffet?), i had the following for dinner last night:

1. free beef
2. annie's macaroni and cheese

needless to say, it made me ill. i could barely get out of bed this morning, and i blame last night's dinner.

today, i tried to eat healthy: yogurt, apple, cheesestick, carrot and celery sticks. it wasn't particularly exciting.

13 February 2005

Homaro Cantu stole our cookie!

last night for my father's 60th (!) birthday, the family went to Moto, a new chic restaurant in chicago's "meat-packing district" (read: uber-trendy restaurant district). moto, opened within the last year, is led by Homaro (omar) Cantu, its 28 year-old executive chef. i'll be 28 in two weeks. what have i contributed to the world? not sure. canu has contributed the edible photograph, sauce that comes in a turkey baster-style tube (so you can draw on your plate), sorbet orbs, and doughnut soup. needless to say, dinner, the 18 course Grand Tour Moto (gtm) with wine progression was a fascinating experience. cindy lent me her camera and photos will hopefully follow shortly.

before i get into things, let me tell you, my dad opened up presents at dinner and my brother gave him a packaged frosted cookie with edible ink markers. you know, cuz we were eating at moto. when omar came by the table, my dad showed him the cookie and he thought we had brought it for him, so he took it! he stole our cookie!! Homaro Cantu stole our cookie!! what could we do? nothing. so, i hope he liked it.

that said, i had a blast, but there's something about moto that recalls a restaurant scene out of some future dystopian dark comedy in which trendy wealthy people pay exorbinant prices to eat food they wrongly believe to be chic and sophisticated when it is, in fact, lumpy oatmeal and stale chips. if you see my point. don't get me wrong, dinner was fantastic, but i couldn't get out of the back of my head the image of our dear friend omar, sitting in the kitchen, snickering at us as we ate our salsa-flavored gelatin cubes, green curry ice cream dots and popcorn-flavored packing popcorn (which we didn't get; it was in the 10-course meal). but i did love the "edible literature," despite the fact that it wasn't literature at all, but a description of the cheese printed on the cheese. and i enjoyed the "deconstructed bouillabaisse" cooked at the table in a translucent box (patent pending) sprinkled with lemon rind. also on the menu:
  • champagne and scallops (smoked scallops, cream cheese, salmon roe with grapes infused with fizzy stuff) with an edible photo of the dish)
  • maki in the 4th dimension (a piece of sushi wrapped in a photo of classic maki types)
  • onion...crouton...nitrogenation (french onion soup, pretty much, constructed at the table using liquid nitrogen, i think)
  • lobster&orange (a aerated orange, squeezed over lobster poached in butter. fantastic)
  • duck pull apart (an inside out eggroll)
  • sunchoke&kalamansi (sunchoke puree with kalamansi (it's like a lime) foam)
  • sweet potato pie (sweet potato chain and cube, escher-influenced)
  • bouillabaisse deconstructed (see above)
  • orange orbs (carrot red pepper juice frozen inside a balloon spun on dry ice, with balloon carefully removed to create giant orange orb. we were told to wait until they collapsed, but my brother cracked a hole in his which was very satisfying to see. this was one of my favorites.)
  • skirt steak with red wine and beet puree applied your way(see above)
  • margarita with chips and salsa (salsa-flavored gelatin cube atop a piece of cilantro and corn puree, served with a margarita sorbet "chaser")
  • prime dry aged beef w/braised pizza&garlic (not impressive except that the garlic was lightly grilled and skewered on the tip of the spoon...aromatic and whatnot)
  • edible literature of grana padano (see above. it was a lovely creamy cheese)
  • green curry, hearts of palm w/salted sugar (carmelized hearts of palm with green curry ice cream dots (think: dippin' dots))
  • oatmeal stout w/venezuelan chocolate (a cup of liquid stuff, which was my least favorite, tasting similar to the thick watery layer at the top of a bowl of oatmeal after it's been sitting for a bit and before it's stirred)
  • squash ice cream pellets (more dippin' dots, this time representing "pumpkin ice cream," served in a small cup with a sprinkle of pumpernickel crumbs. it was good)
  • doughnut soup (a cup of a light cream colored warm liquid doughnut, rich and sweet, which i rather enjoyed, despite having an aversion to doughnuts--they give me headaches)
  • french toast with hot blueberry syrup (little blueberry gelatinous blobs with french toast croutons. omar, if you're out there, you must make this with a touch of mustard in the blueberry. it will be divine, i promise! this was pretty good, but mustard would've made it truly unique and wonderful.)
  • chocolate cake with hot ice cream (frozen chocolate mousse with panna cotta, more or less. i couldn't say one way or the other how this was, as we were on our fifth hour of dinner and i was quanked)
  • cupcakes (special for the birthday, more gelatinous blobs with sweet croutons, this time meant to taste like cupcakes, with rainbow sprinkles. tasted more like non-cupcake specific sweet gelatinous blobs. cute, but needing a little work. although, i think my palate was blown by this point)
if the purpose of the restaurant is to make food fun and weird, they succeed. some acquaintances of my parents were down a few tables and i'm guessing that they were horrified by our behavior. but how can you not be loud and boisterous when you're eating a giant orange orb?

10 February 2005


my dad had a bad day today, but for one highlight:

"I did have rare Kangaroo over steel cut oatmeal with a Eucalyptus sauce."

ew. i think.

09 February 2005

show us yer beads!

last night k&a hosted a charming mardi gras party at which i ate FAR TOO MUCH food. i'd just been to the gym and was starving. i think it would've been okay if one guest hadn't shown up with a giant mushroom pizza. it only got worse when someone else offered me a snickerdoodle. not to imply that these were the only things i ate, because i totally stuffed myself until i was actually in physical pain. sigh. what's a girl surrounded by great food to do?

08 February 2005

portland, part two

oh yeah. saturday l. and i ate at a charming creperie, sharing a cheese, tomato, mushroom crepe and some sort of goat cheese salad crepe. both were wonderful, the owner had an accent and the service was terrible. it was very french.

scotch egg

in portland this weekend with laura for a long lost college buddy's birthday. we arrived on friday and went to The Farm, a semi-vegetarian (i.e. pescetarian) restaurant, where i felt compelled to loudly launch into the Free Beef story while crowded in at the bar, surrounded, presumably by sensitive vegetarian and semi-vegetarian types. laura, jess and i split the baked brie plate, a beet salad and some sort of fried tofu dish. the brie was kind of boring, but the other two dishes were fantastic. i'm always impressed by tofu that not only has taste, but has interesting complex taste and textures. i also had an intolerably sweet drink called the tequilarini or something like that. actually, i just made that up. it sounded nothing like that at all. but it included vodka, pomegranite juice (that nasty Pom stuff that a. likes), orange juice and a slew of other sweet flavors. i had to ask them to water it down with club soda. but, hey, last time i was at the Farm, i had a mint julep, which was honestly one of the best things ever. you win some, you lose some.

saturday day i'm sure we ate something, but i can only remember the endless, daunting, soul-sucking costume shopping to which we submitted for most of the day. i also remember happily hearing "Only You" by Yazz (that's Yazzoo to all you British readers) in one of the thrift stores and, more happily (happilier?) discovering that laura has the erasure love. we did have an almost 100% shopping success rate (i failed to find a cream-colored blazer). saturday evening was the party. alcohol was consumed and promptly danced off.

sunday morning, we ate at the Horse Brass, after the anti-Horse Brass member of the party decided to skip breakfast (we had been very accomodating...i don't know what we did). the Horse Brass is a pub. we arrived at 11am-ish to people drinking pints. one of my arteries clogged when i looked at the menu. we ordered two scotch eggs for the table, three english breakfasts (laura, ann, me), some wussy two egg and sausage business for the squid, a boddington for me, a boddington for laura and coffee all around. honestly, i'm amazed i survived the whole ordeal. i have never in my life consumed such a massive quantity of fatty, fried, meaty food in one sitting...with beer.
the scotch egg (pictured) is a hardboiled egg, wrapped in sausage and deepfried. english breakfast included: fried oil-drenched bread, toasted bread, ham, sausage, beans, stewed tomatoes, eggs, potatoes and was absolutely obscene. and then there was the beer. did i mention the beer? we made it through one egg and a startling amount of english breakfast before calling it (mumbling, more like it) quits. the remaining egg was divided amongst ann, laura and squid, and probably thrown away later in the day. don't get me wrong, breakfast was fantastic. it's just that it got me wondering about the life expectancy of the scots. it's lookin' pretty bleak if they eat like this on a regular basis. needless to say, laura and i had both expected to leave after breakfast, but had to wait a good four hours before either of us felt alert enough to drive home. i wonder if they have darts competitions at the Horse Brass. i hope so.

06 February 2005

free beef

on friday, i took my car into Les Schwab, a tire store that is found all over oregon, so they could look at my back left tire, which seemed to have a slow leak (though, there were no signs of leeks. har!). i arrived at the work to a message explaining that i needed new tires. i was all sad about the several hundred dollar cost, but when i got to the tire store, everything got much better. turns out that any purchase of new tires comes with free beef during February (Free Beef Month). you get either one giant box of dried beef products (two summer sausages, one pack of beef jerky and one pack of beef sticks) or a small box of dried beef plus two types of refrigerated beef (hamburgers, chops, roasts, etc.). the thought of chosing something that could spoil sketched me out, so i went with the big box. the dreadlocked hippie girl, who was also in the shop retrieving her vehicle, looked horrified by the whole process. she was probably a vegan.

this is a brilliant promotional scheme. how could free beef be anything but genius? the folks who like beef are thrilled by free stuff; the folks who get a kick out of getting beef jerky at the tire store are so amused by the entire promotion that they forget that they just paid $400 to les schwab; the vegans and vegetarians of eugene are suitably horrified. me, my reaction was the desire to call every single person i'd ever met to tell them about the free beef. if it hasn't happened yet, it's only a matter of time before some media studies or cultural studies student writes some brilliant postmodern tract on meat, tires, the essentializing of masculinity, gender norms and road kill. you know, "Blood on the Road: Free Beef As Subtextual Gender Narrative" or something like that.

02 February 2005

new kid on the block

i try my hardest to bring my lunch to work, and i usually manage to succeed. today my friend dave was going to treat me to lunch but he has to quarantine himself from the world for a few days because he's picked up conjunctivitis (which i had in sixth grade, forcing me to miss a week of overnight camp). so, i found myself without lunch. food options in the campus area are pretty grim and, like yesterday, i usually stick to the reasonably priced frozen entrees available for purchase at the bookstore. however, the art museum on campus just reopened after four years and new to the building is the Marche Museum Cafe. the museum is next door to the library and it is, in fact, the corner of the building that houses the cafe that is closest to us. i've heard good reviews, so i decided to check it out. i am now dining on a portabello and tomato panini with a field green salad. i couldn't be happier! it is full of tasty goodness (and by "goodness," i mean "cheese"). and it comes with a wee sampling of cornichons and olives, which makes me oh so happy! this is probably the best thing that's happened since i began work here.

01 February 2005


i had rice and beans for dinner two nights ago, lunch yesterday and dinner last night. it's amazing how far you can stretch a batch of food when there's only one person eating it. having spent most of my formative cooking days preparing food for 60-80 people, in a college co-op, i have a particularly difficult time cooking small amounts of food. even when i cook a reasonable amount, i tend to spice the food as if it were enough to feed 60-80. it can be problematic.

at any rate, i'm now eating the first non-rice and beans meal i've had all week: an amy's cheese enchilada with corn and beans. a dramatic departure, eh? but i got home from work late last night and had to be in very early this morning, so i didn't have time to make lunch. for $3.99, i can't complain. it has this strangely pleasing flat almost floury taste that all vegetarian frozen entrees possess.