Hambaagu dinner

last nite, we had frnds over 4 dinner. since we gotten ths package of ranch direct ground beef in freezer, i've been wanting to make the japanese style hamburger/rice dish. so, tks to the Just Hungry blog, i found the recipe as my base to cook & learn from. as i also hv The Complete Tante Marie's French Kitchen cookbook for ref, i modified the recipe just a bit. instead of ground pork, i used porc sausage as the book suggested. for someone like me who's very lite handed w/salt, it's a good thing.
as for the onion, instead o typical yellow, i used the sweeter red.
one thing regarding bread crumbs... i now realize why not the crust, if using real bread. the crust doesn't really blend into the patty unless u really crush it all up b4 adding the milk.
as for the sauce, i hv the red wine & tonkatsu (to buy all the ingredients to mk ths will mk me end up w/more bottle n jars...so i just bought it), but didn't feel like buying ketchup also since i hv an opened can o tomato paste at home already. i substituted tomato paste + mustard + a very little bit o sriracha for a tad o heat.

rice wise, cooking w/out rice cooker is a little tough, for four ppl tho, i now kno we just need like 2 or 2.5 cups o rice instead. if cooking w/sushi rice, the water shouldn't b one extra cup, maybe 1/2 or equal amt?

i served glazed carrots with the rice to offset the colors + a little sprinke o fresh parsley.

b4 dinner, i made the mint, peas + feta salad w/lemon dressing. lighter offset to introduce the dinner.

for predinner drinks, we had fresh blood red oranges + champagne, wht a fresher combo than just reg oranges. very cool.

tht was last nite. i prepped most of the stuff during the day while i painted. a very slow process scrapping into the encaustics n filling the gaps w/oil pastels n buring it into the wax w/a torch. it's not as easy to control the wax n fire, etc. i'm really liking ths process tho. patience is required. surprise is always ther, nice or otherwise, i like tht, cuz it causes me to think how to turn it in my favor.
i will post my encaustics as soon as i get it downloaded from camera.


a new one... finally

this is my new drawing... not sure wht to make of it yet. not sure if i even like wher it's going either. we'll c.


good weekend

this weekend has been really fun.
friday nite, after dinner, we saw Coroline in 3D at the theatre, they don't give u crappy cardboard blue/red glass anymore.
sat, after a lazy morning, wnt into town to get my torch, had awesome cupcake at Saint Cupcakes, the creamcheese frosting was really yummy. it's nice to b offered mini cupcakes to buy instead of the large sized ones wher u get no chance to taste other flavors. the decor of the shop is quite nice too. for our late lunch, we wnt back to Half & Half, clam chowder & tuna melt, yum! after tht, we wnt home to get ready for our Beaux Arts Ball at the Portland Art Museum! i hv not dressed up in evening wear in such long time!

today (sun) we wnt to the skate park for big brother event. i watched all these kids fly around so easily on skateboards. i learned the basic moves n had a go on it for a few rounds. it's fun! n realized tht i've now got better balance than i did as a kid. thinking back, i never really had been encouraged in the outdoor activities unless they were the ones my mom wanted us to learn, which was tennis. if i hv the chance to b parent to someone or guidence to another kid, i'd encourage him/her to all kinds of possibility of outdoor activities. it isn't just the mainstream sports out ther. as we left the skatepark, we realized tht ths is also nearby the site of our encounter w/tht white volvo.
brunch at the J&M's Cafe in SE district. the belgium waffle w/ginger butter n real maple syrup! o yum!
nice day out n relaxing nite watching oscars. i have to admit, i've only seen a couple of movies on the nominated list. gotta catch up! o time to go baking cookies now.


time to leave OC...

almost here 2 weeks. tried to reconnect with many old frnds, but just running out of time. driving to everyone from OC is tougher than i remembered. ther's way more cars than ever b4. my family being further south also doesn't help much.
some ppl i just can't manage to meet up at all.
too bad.
overall tho, i had fun being home. even if the weather sucked big time. 40-50s most days/ nites. not much better than portland i must say. still, so cal does need the water.
love ths time o the yr cuz o the dramatic cloud formations
i wish ther's more time to c everyone n hang out
but time to go back to the class i'm taking.


number cookies

we made saber croquant last nite. but instead of waiting 12 hrs for it to set, we divided it up into 2 batches, 1 to cut up w/numbers cookie cutter, the other we waited til today to test wht the difference is. either way, it's all good. my tante marie's french kitchen cookbook is a great book even if it was published in 1962.


home less homeless

tues: sunny & warmest since i've been here.
so yesterday, as i was walking in town, looking for Ken's artisan bakery (very good macaron too). i saw a homeless man asking for money for a sandwich. after i bought some things to eat at the bakery, i felt bad for the guy n so as i was shopping in Trader Joe's, i bought him a sandwich. leaving the place, he's no longer ther in the corner. instead, ther's another guy in front of TJ's w/a sign. then another homeless guy came by n they greeted ea/other n asked if it was ok to set up his sign.... i can't offer my sandwich to one n not the other. n well... just overwhelming. so i returned the sandwich to TJ's.
it's a place we all fear to end up one day. homeless on the street. i feel very lucky to hv so much. i feel very insignificant to not being able to do much.
ths thought sat on my mind for a bit. thought i'd share n get it out o my sys.
onto other things....
along the way home, saw some interesting bldgs. color full.

today: sun's out.
ready to go out a bit? will hv lunch in area called NW23. so much to explore. n tonite will b my first class in encaustics. need to go shopping later for my supplies b4 class.
then tmrw, i head back to cali for a couple of weeks. yes, warmer temp n the kids. sean. my mini.


monday. sunny.

unwinding today fr/trip to whistler today.

last monday
morning we drove north to seattle, spending the day in seattle n t/nite @ ACE hotel. we walked thru pike street area, having fish n chips at the pike fish mkt. very fresh fish i must say. altho seattle is way colder than where i was. apparently being closer to sea means humid cold tht is bone chilling. saw a pair of great boots in the patagonia store, i think on return trip, if we stop by, i will buy it. better than an Ugg. in the early evening, we met up with Joseph & his frnds joe/betty at Rain sushi just a little outside downtown seattle. it was amazing food, very fresh, american woman sushi chef, how rare! altho the fish slices r way too american in size (huge).

tuesdayseattle to vancouver, then whistler.
weather was rain/bits of snow. crossing border n to vancouver. can't locate the dim sum resto betty recommended. so we continued on to squamish for a bite at zephyr cafe. meeting up in whistler w/everyone at 6.30pm. our condo is on 3rd floor above the grocery store in whistler village. early dinner n settling in to sleep.

slopes day 1: blackcomb
icy condition, gray but dry enough. nice lunch in the resto. tiring day. quinlan bbq'd. hot tub too after drinks n dinner. my skis r way faster than i wanted, but i'm doing ok i think.

slope day 2: whistler
gray soft snow. not bad. tiring cuz the previous day adds to today's tired legs. taking it a bit easy. dinner @ new korean resto. expensive but surprisingly good.

slope day 3: whitler then blackcomb
slower start today, but ther was a bit of sun on whistler side ths morning. taking the peak to peak gondola. wow, the view n ride was clear n beautiful. ppl here r so helpful n nice. breaking early for lunch n was saw the weather turn immediately. windy/fog+rain/snow! can hardly c well, but it's still good skiing. good thing we didn't ride the gondola when it was windy even tho we'r told it can stand up to 90km/h wind. better not scare ourselves.
made pasta for dinner w/shrimps. (had to stay off junky food)

sat: whistler, bowen island, vancouver
nice partly sunny day. def way more ppl here in whistler today. had a snack after everyone left at the Beet Root Cafe in village. it's cute n cozy. then drove down to squamish, back to zephyr cafe for some rice bowl. taking the 4.30 ferry from horseshoe bay to bowen island for barbara's bday dinner. nice family. i luv the table settings.
hyatt hotel in vancouver, soooooooooooooo nice to hv our own room n not b on sofa anymore.

sun: rain
since it's raining here, need to leave early enough. so quick breakfast n we'r on the road. ther's a 40min wait at the border! then we quickly arrive in seattle. Le Pichet for some raclette n onion soup. wow, it's the best i've had in a long time. i'm in love w/ths little bistro. n back to patagonia (altho they'll hv winter sale soon, the boot is already at 60% off) so it was nicer surprise to find my boot only 70bux. i guess it's all in the psyche. i had thought it was going to b just over 100. made it home by 8! resting up. unwind.