Monday, January 10, 2011

Moving on

This blog is no longer being updated. New material can be seen at:

There's not much there yet, and the format is a little rough, but that will hopefully change soon.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Year in review....except I can't remember.

You know, I realize that no one really gives a crud whether this blog is updated or not; but I must admit that I just flat out feel like a loser when it's not. And to look at it now and realize that it's been over a year.....well, what can I say - I'm just like thousands of other "bloggers" out there. There. That's my consolation. If you look at the last post that I made (about the stoemp), at the end of it, I say that I'm going to take the blog "in a new direction". Well, I have absolutely no idea what my idea was...not a clue. And yet, it seems that I have not learned from the folly of that statement - because I'm going to say it again! I want to continue to "blog"; because really it's the modern day diary. And a diary is a great vehicle for introspection and noodling; and who doesn't need a regular dose of noodling? So I say, yet again, that I am going to be a bit more regular about this blog with the stupid name. And since it really has had no direction at all up to this point - any direction I take it now will be a "new direction".

I'll close with posting a picture - mainly to show off my new camera (which is way better than the phone I was using before.) But also to show off the sweet beard I had back in January! This picture is in Barranca del Cobre (or Copper Canyon). It's just outside of Chihuahua, Mexico and it is absolutely breathtaking! It's like the green version of the Grand Canyon, only bigger (and green). So, enjoy the pic - ignore the beard.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Stoemp aux Choux de Bruxelles et Carottes

Well, its been a pretty long time - so I thought I'd at least make it look like I've been productive with my time by posting a recipe I'm trying out. I will try to post a play by play with photos, but my phone is sort of picky about which pictures it decides to send through.

So, the dish is a Belgian one called Stoemp aux Choux de Bruxelles et Carottes (or, Mashed Potatoes with Brussels Sprouts and Carrots). I know what you're thinking, "Brussels Sprouts?!", but this Stoemp dish is supposed to be a specialty in Belgium - so I'm hoping that my taste buds have matured since childhood and I will actually like the sprouts. By the way, they aren't just called Brussels Sprouts for the heck of it; both the British and the French acknowledge Belgium as being the birthplace of these little shoots. (And right here I would have a cute little picture of fresh Brussels Sprouts, but its one of the pictures my phone didn't like.)

So, on to the recipe. Perhaps a more accurate title for this dish would be Mashed Brussels Sprouts with a little Carrot and Potato, because you will need:

1 lb. Brussels Sprouts (fresh if you can find them at Whole Foods or a similar store)
7 oz. carrots
10 oz. potatoes (I just used regular russet)
4 tbsp. butter (aww, yeah)
bouquet garni (you can cheat like me and just throw in some parsley, thyme and bay leaf)

1. Halve the Brussels Sprouts and peel the carrots and cut them into thirds. Then cook them over medium in 2 tbsp of the butter for about 10 minutes.

2. Next, cover the vegetables in water and add salt/pepper and the bouquet garni, bring it to a boil and then boil for 5 minutes.

3. Peel the potatoes and cut into large pieces, then add them to the vegetables and boil for another 10-15 minutes.

4. Finally, pour off the water, add the butter and nutmeg, and mash it up! Add more salt/pepper if it needs it. (By the way, the last picture truly highlights how poor my camera is - the dish did not look that bad!)

That's it! Having tasted it now, I wasn't blown away, but its a very tasty way to get part of your vegetables for the day.

I'm thinking of taking this blog in a new direction; but I need to gather more creative juices. Look to see some more creative topics in the future.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Left Turns

I am a sucker. I am easily influenced by popular media: television programs, music, movies (heck yeah on movies), and sadly - television commercials. However, on this particular occasion I have not been influenced to go out and buy a Nissan Pathfinder. But a commercial of theirs has persuaded me to try something new, and completely pointless, this weekend. I just witnessed a commercial in which some young chap was yammering on endlessly about the possibilities of discovery when one chooses to drive their Nissan by only taking left turns....or something to that effect. To be honest, I zoned out after the first few utterances. But the idea did stick with me. I have decided that this Saturday (for I need a day that is empty and full of potential), barring foul weather or a hot date with a young femme fatale, I shall embark on a Left Turns Only adventure. (Actually, going straight is also allowed.) I generally park on the street - so I shall start my journey by heading due east on Longview St and continuing until I must turn left. This procedure will be repeated until I start getting scared or bored; at which time I will abandon the left turn rule and head home. I'm sure the stories will be glorious - so be sure to stay tuned for updates.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Currently Listening to....

I recently bought "Blacklisted", by Neko Case. If you like Alt-Country, or Diana Krall (because Neko is sort of a cross between the two) then you should definitely check her out.

Saturday, October 08, 2005


Well, I still haven't managed to get a digimatized camera. So, unfortunately, I will be unable to show what any of the items looked like. But I received a very awesome package from Eileen in Belgium. (And now that I think about it, I've already eaten a lot of what she the pictures would have been of empty packages!)

Anyway, it turns out Eileen did a little homework and snooped around my blog. So she included some tasty Japanese treats (because of my trip to Japan). She sent a little variety pack of wasabi treats: peas, lima beans (I think), almonds and peanuts. All coated in tasty wasabi goodness! Also included was a package of okazu nori, or "side seaweed". These are the little sheets of nori seaweed that usually accompany rice. They make a nice texture and taste contrast to rice.

She also noted that I am a number cruncher (both by trade and by hobby). So she included some statistics about the eating and drinking habits of Belgians. The average Belgian drinks 15 cups of coffee per week!! And 1 restaurant per 460 inhabitants! Dallas has a lot of restaurants, but I'm pretty sure we can't match that statistic.

And of course, some fabulous Belgian chocolate was included. She even tried to appeal to my Texan tastes by making one of them a chocolate bar with pink peppercorns! I haven't tried this one yet (I'm trying to be good and not eat everything at once!), but have great expectations for it! And also along the Texan theme were some "homemade" (presumably by Eileen. - if so, then very well done!) chocolates that have chili in them. Some chocolates shaped as diamonds, that were made in the diamond district of Antwerp. And finally a "typical Belgian cookie", that has already been consumed!

And finally, perhaps the most interesting item was the mix CD that Eileen made me. She stuck to a food theme, with the exception of "Come on Eileen" - which is more than understandable since it was Eileen who went to the trouble of making the CD. There were other various food related songs (some of which I didn't know), but I must say that any CD with a Jeff Buckley song ("Lilac Wine") is an instant hit with me!

So, Eileen, thank you very much for the unforgettable package! I'm trying to ration the goodies, but I have a feeling they will not see the end of the weekend!

Eet smakelijk, indeed!!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Ahh, playdough - thy taste is divine.

There was a time, not so long ago, when I actually had a litte intrigue and adventure in my life. When my days were made up of more than just crunching numbers and meetings. I have posted a few pictures of my time in Japan; and its time for post number 3 in this series.

In the picture on the left you see (from l to r) Kazuhiko (my college roommate), Stacy (my sister), me (myself), and Kinuyo (another college friend). We are taking part in tea ceremony. Kaz had been taking a class in tea ceremony etiquette and he arranged for us to take part in an actual ceremony. As you see us now, we have finished the tea and are about to chow down on some wagashi, the traditional sweet that is served with green tea. I must say that there are some Japanese sweets that I quite enjoy, but the wagashi we had that day is not really one of them. Plus, this picture represents my first exposure to said sweets.

You will notice that they look very similar to lumps of playdough. Granted, the taste is a little better - but the consistency is all playdough. Anyway, perhaps my favorite thing about the first picture is that you will notice that I have decided to tackle the problem of consuming playdough by appealing to the great green tea gods above. While my friend Kinuyo has decided that she will just flat out challenge anyone to make her consume what is before her!