Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Double Down

We made a pact to try this together - KFC is currently featuring a chicken sandwich called the "Double Down". The sandwich features 2 Original Recipe boneless chicken breasts (you can opt for grilled, but why bother?), 2 strips of bacon, 2 slices of Monterey Jack and pepper jack "cheese" and is topped with a white, creamy substance that KFC refers to as "Colonel's Sauce".

Our original idea was to split one of these and eat nothing else the rest of the day, but we somehow came around to ordering one apiece AND having sides and drinks. Phew!!

It was freshly made and the initial bite was hot and juicy. The soft bacon was a bit lost among all of the other flavors, which was a shame. Maybe if it'd been crispy, it would have added to the texture and I would have noticed it a bit more. I was unable to distinguish between the pepper jack and the Monterey "cheese" - they kind of just blended together into a melty miasma which was highly processed (no surprise there) and not really cheese-like at all to me. As for the Colonel's Sauce - it was very salad dressing-like. . . almost like a peppercorn ranch that was all pepper and no ranch. I suspect this was added to the sandwich to help coat the throat and make the whole thing slide down your gullet without complications.

All of this being said, it wasn't as bad as we thought it would be. Certain improvements could be made - Pat and I both agreed that adding a honey mustard sauce in place of the Colonel's Sauce would be a step in the right direction. Perhaps adding a bit of crunch would help - I know the coleslaw that I put on a couple bites improved it for me.

It didn't sit in my stomach like a rock and didn't put me into a food coma - of course, I didn't feel like reading up on the nutritional information on it. . . I'm sure that would have had a worse effect on me than eating the sandwich.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Fifer, her friend Amanda and I attended the Wonderland Community Launch - it's really going to be an amazingly creative space when it's complete.

For those of you that don't know, Wonderland is located at the former Wonder Bread factory down near Italian Village. The project will take the sprawling factory and transform it into a studio space/exhibition space/workshop/recording studio/performance venue/rehearsal space/office and retail space for artists, musicians and other various creative types. It's a massive project and I really cannot wait to see what they come up with.

The community launch invited the public to come see the progress that has been made and view the future plans for the space. There were many acoustic performances by local bands and it was great to see the huge turnout.

Flotation Walls played a energy-filled set - watching the crowd get into their performance was show all on it's own.

The costumes got filthy-filthy from all of the machine dust and grease and such. It's going to be a treat to clean them! Wish me luck

Down and Dirty

I spent the day out at my friend Sidley's house, working on our vegetable garden. Sidley had tilled the plot twice, but the grass clumps were so very stubborn and had to be removed before we could start sowing seeds. It was a great day for it and Jeff came along to help out. I played with worms and was completely filthy by the time the sun went down. Sid had a lovely chicken and vegetable soup waiting for her hungry farmhands. I ate two huge bowls and promptly fell into a food coma.

At the end of the day, roughly 1/3 of the patch had been planted. We've got beans, peas, carrots, parsnips, beets, turnips, lettuce, cabbage, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, peppers, leeks, radishes, broccoli, cauliflower, watermelon, rhubarb, summer squash, okra and zucchini.

I can't wait until stuff starts sprouting and there's a bounty to share!

Lunchtime Feast

another lunchtime bento!

This time around featured turkey dumplings, red pepper and broccoli stir-fry and rice. Supplemented with some ramune, everyburger, caramel corn and hello panda treats!

Sundress and FloWalls in Cincy

Jessie and I rode together to catch the show at Northside Tavern - the only bar I've ever been in Cincinnati. All of the elements came together and it just made for a great evening. The music was good, Pat's pants were up to scratch, Taco Bell/KFC didn't fudge the order too badly, the friends were friendly, the dancing was fun and sweaty and there were smiles galore. I love seeing people smile so much!

After the Sundresses killer set, we all spent the night at Mackenzie's lovely home. . . It's nerdy to say, but I really felt as though I were in Middle Earth, staying at the Last Homely House. It was comfortable as hell and after getting a belly full of beer and homemade spaghetti chili, I slept like a fat little Hobbit.

Just a fantastic time, all around.

Please check out The Sundresses and Flotation Walls - some of the best music I've ever heard

Pants of Yellowness

Add Image
Phew! I really do apologize for this spam-like mass posting of entries - I was incredibly busy sewing, working and cooking!

Pat has been back playing with Flotation Walls now for several months. He asked that I make him a set of pants for their show in Cincy. While I had the noble intentions of completing the ENTIRE costume and not just the britches, these pants proved to be pretty labour-intense. Also, I'm a terrible procrastinator!

These are proper yellow man-jeans. . . 5 pockets, fancy topstitching, a waistband with belt loops, back yoke, crazy raised knee-action, serged seams and a proper fly. I'm pretty pleased with how these turned out and I hope to find more of the same fabric to do the same for the other lads as well.

For those of you that aren't familiar, this time last year I was tasked with creating costumes for Flotation Walls. You can take a look at them in my flickr set

Muppet Egg Bento

Another bento. . . I know, I know - I just posted about one!

Whatever - deal with it. That egg is super-cute and there's no denying you love his adorable, squished little face!

Other contents: green pepper slices, strawberries, some poorly constructed kappa maki, pork and mushroom dumplings and rice with furikake

Parcels from Far Away

I have a nice flickr friend who knows my great love of all things Cheese and took it upon himself to send not one but TWO parcels to me.

The first one contained a postcard and some lovely assam tea and the other had some English Cheddar and mustard! I'm in heaven. . . I can't decide what is better - the contents or the amazing packaging! I'm a nerdy sucker for foreign postage.

Thanks so much, Carl!

Tiny Tigers

Here's another installment of the weekly bento that I make for myself and my best friend/co-worker. I got the idea for the tiger faces over at The tiger faces were awfully fiddly, as I don't own any nori punches just yet. I like a challenge, though!

My quick little recipe for white chili:

1-1.5 lbs pork, cut into bit sized pieces
1 can of diced green chilies
2 cans of great northern beans, drained
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 can of chicken stock
a little cornstarch
1 chicken flavour bouillon cube
salt & pepper
red pepper flakes
cayenne pepper
sriracha sauce

In a large skillet, fry the pork and onion together in a little bit of olive oil. Season with the cumin, salt and pepper to taste. Cook until pork is just done - don't overcook it as you'll continue to cook it as it simmers with the beans and stock.

Dump the beans into a large pot and simmer over medium heat. Stir in the pork/onion mixture and the can of chilies. Add red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper to taste. Reserve about 1/4 cup of the chicken stock and whisk in a bit of the cornstarch. This is what I use to thicken the mixture up. Add this to the beans and meat, along with the rest of the can of chicken stock. You may have to adjust the level of cornstarch added to get the desired consistency. . . I usually just wing it. :D Now's the time that you'll also want to add that bouillon cube for a little extra kick of flavour. And of course the sriracha to taste

Simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes or so. It's ready to eat, but like most chilies and stews and such, it's better the second day.

I serve it with grated cheese, chopped cilantro and a dollop of sour cream!

Pink Spiders

It's been a bit since my last entry and I've got a lot of catching up to do!

This is one of the projects that I've had stewing in the back of my mind for some time and it's finally come to fruition. I've had this fabric in my stash for aaaages, but never knew what I wanted to do with it. I think it works nicely in this little ruffly-tiered dress that I've concocted, even if the large print of the spiders gets a bit hidden.

I didn't have enough of the spider fabric to make all of the tiers the same, which bummed me out a bit. The pink band still looks a bit odd to my eyes, but I'm considering adding some black bias stripes to it to help break it up a wee bit.

I'm pleased with the fit, even if strapless dresses aren't great for the top-heavy.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Bikes, Books and Bento

My car's been out of commission for a bit now, so if I have a day to myself and want to get around, I usually wind up riding my bike. It's a purple beast from the 1960's - I love it, but it's really, really difficult to ride it up some of the long, sloping hills around my place. Yesterday, I decided that I wanted to take a trip to my local, awesome Japanese grocery store. Easier said than done! I was feel a bit under the weather, was totally dehydrated. only halfway there. . . there was nothing for it - I had to have a bit of a lay-down at a busy intersection. I was cursing the bike for it's lack of gears to help my fat arse get up the hill.

After 25 minutes of being sprawled in the grass, praying that no one would think that I had collapsed and lost consciousness and call an ambulance, I managed to catch my breath enough to make it the last leg to the store. I picked up some supplies to make an awesome bento lunch for me and my best mate Pat, who also happens to be my co-worker.

Later that evening I was quite restless, and I wound up staying up a lot later than I should have. I think it was well worth the effort - my tamago turned out pretty awesome, if I do say so myself. I am looking forward to making bento lunches a weekly thing and improving on my skills.

Pat also brought me some things to occupy the free-time that I always seem to have on my hands. A novel of "Papillon", several anime that I've yet to see, Jim Henson's Storyteller, some Neil Gaiman graphic novels - it should keep me busy for a bit.