Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Mothers Day

What to get this year? I'm running out of time! I would have sent some of my fresh roasted coffee beans (I need to write about that soon), but Mother has 1-upped me and bought a "real" coffee roaster, so that is out. I have a friend who works at a high-end beauty products store and says she can get me 50% off. But I can't remember what time she works, and if I go at the wrong time, I will doubtless get sold a bunch of stuff for regular price. And now I feel guilty for acting as though Mother does not deserve full price beauty products...

Monday, November 05, 2007

Dr. Moon

Sorry for the long silence. This news story was so amazing, I had to post about it. It seems that moonlight is the miracle cure for asthma, cancer, you name it! Check out the story here and the groundbreaking research group here. Also, you should watch this video.

[later -- It seems that some people weren't sure whether I was kidding about this. Well, don't worry. I still have my head on straight. I just thought it was funny.]

Friday, June 15, 2007

exquisite blend

I just had the most amazing cup of coffee. I was in Pasadena last weekend, and I stopped by Peet's (several times). I picked up four half pounds of fresh beans:

Costa Rica

All these are wonderful in blends and delightful as soloists, as well. I began the week (Monday - Thursday) with a cup each day of one of the four.

Monday was a trip to Ethiopia. The elegance of their coffee is exemplary. Flavors including cocoa, earth and grape stem are all in good proportion: none of them screams; none hides in the corner.

Tuesday, I visited Kenya. Always a treet. Pungent tea and young wine are at the forefront.

I then moved on to Columbia. The Columbian coffees tend to be a bit subdued. There are few or no bright, acidic flavors in this coffee. This may be seen as boring to some, but it allows the coffee to be brewed exceedingly strong without becoming harsh; similar to mocha java, for example, but more evocative of roasted nuts and less reminiscent of cocoa.

On Thursday, I treated myself to the exotic Costa Rican experience. This coffee is a real sparkler, the feistiest of the siblings. Acidic hot tar flavors leap from the cup and are backed by floral and citrus tones. The coffee is not without body, however, with the brighter flavors supported by fresh walnuts, and pine straw.

And today I started mixing. This is an activity that kept me entertained as an undergraduate, living in Eugene, where I could purchase fresh regional beans from local roaster Full City (and occasionally from Sisters Coffee Company, which was en route between Eugene and Bend). I mixed two parts Columbian beans with one part each of beans from Costa Rica and Kenya. I used almost enough Columbian beans to brew a cup by itself. But the Columbian beans strike a very different note than the Costa Rican and Kenyan beans, so I could get away with that.

The results was a very strong, yet delicate cup. The most prominent flavors were fresh citrus and oaked sangiovese (really). These were backed by a lovely foundation of nuts and berries. Amazingly, the result was actually less harsh than pure Kenyan or Costa Rican beans, despite the very generous total volume of beans included. It shows the effect of spreading the flavor impact over the entire palate.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

poor idiots

I've just been informed that this link is broken. What used to be there was a bunch of people who were going crazy because they couldn't remember where the line, "Wait for it...wait for it" came from. Of course the line is old and shows up all over the place. But there were people watching the entire Matrix and Star Wars trilogies, trying to find the line. I feel sorry for them.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Juice season

Now that the valley has seen a few days over 100 degrees, it's time to start stocking my refrigerator with juice. So far I've got apple, orange, pineapple, mango, cranberry, black cherry and pomegranate. I've also got a fresh lemon left and yogurt, bananas and frozen berries for smoothies. I need to buy limes, coconuts, club soda, tequila, vodka and rum. Oh! And the little umbrellas. Actually, the liquor is kind of silly, since the point is to stay hydrated. But it sure does taste good.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Squaw Peak

I wasn't getting any exercise. As a result, I felt like I wasn't getting very much exercise. So I decided to start going to the top of Squaw Peak a couple times a week. If I can keep it up over the next couple months, I will probably last all summer. I think in July I'll have to get there at 5 AM for it to be bearable. Anyway, it's a beautiful little hike. Only a little more than a mile each direction, but it climbs about 1200 feet in that time, so it's a good quick workout.


There's a restaurant chain in Phoenix (not really a chain; two restaurants -- I guess that makes it a "dimer" -- sorry; chemistry joke) called Chino Bandido. They serve Mexican and Chinese combinations. Now, to many of you, that may sound unappealing, but it's actually pretty good. I had their food for dinner last night. I had a jerk chicken quesadilla, sweet and sour chicken, pork fried rice and black beans. Oh, and they give you a snickerdoodle on the side.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

more food

okay, this time the pictures are in chronological order.

pork chop, salad, corn, applesauce.

salad, toast, blue veined cheddar (i didn't make the cheese).

flourless chocolate cake. slightly overcooked, unfortunately. turned out perfectly a few days later (below).

lamb chop.

mango banana milkshake.

spicy lamb.

stumptown coffee... oh... yeah.

fish fry.

flourless chocolate cake. this is SO easy to make.