Thursday, August 30, 2007

budapest red ... oh noes!

well, now i have something to remind me of hair color. this picture makes it look less garish, (thank you mr. sunshine!), but it really is budapest red.

millions of women all over hungary, old and young alike, all sport the same hair color. you would think that with the fall of communism there would be zillions of hair color options flooding the market. that's what capitalism offers, right? more choice in hair color? maybe there are more colors available but the only one women buy is a freakish dark purply-red one.

in the hair color aisle, i looked at so many different boxes and they all looked more or less the same. i had a fleeting thought that this one might be too close to budapest red, but when compared next to some others it looked like a safe bet. but no. next time i will heed the small voice in my head that says "orange, not red."

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


the lovely and multi-talented vera obliged me with the recipe for failure cake, so named for its finicky-ness for actually forming a cake. i had a lot of plums, why not make failure cake?

i haven't cut into it yet, but i am pretty much certain it is a failure. the plums were very, very ripe. i added cornstarch to them and even drained excess liquid from the fuckers, but i fear the top crust of the cake hides a goopy, soupy mess of an interior.

however, all is not lost. i ended up with some extra batter (i have lent my springform pan to arlie, so i had to improvise with some other smaller baking vessel) and i pretty much love any food baked/served in a ramekin, so why not combine the extra batter with a ramekin and see what happens? success cakelettes happen, that's what!

having used all the plums i looked for something else and found a too-ripe-for-eating-unless-you're-gricklepants-banana and sliced that up. poured the batter on top and baked it. it's pretty darn tasty, especially since the batter had a bit of cardamom in it. i see many failure cakelette experimentations in my future...

morning scones

we had an abundance of half & half in the house so i have been wanting to find ways to use it up. or maybe i just wanted another excuse to make scones. and use some of the delicious lavender cherry jam vera gave me for my bday. on a super beautiful morning.

whatever the reasoning, i made scones. i decided to smear the round disc of dough with the lavender cherry jam and then folded it in half. i was in a bit of a rush to get them into the oven so that gricklepants and i would have ample time to eat them before he had to go to work, so i probably could've arranged them better prior to baking. they kinda fell over and the jam exploded out. i'm not too picky, though. they were delicious.

Monday, July 30, 2007


oh, bloggy, so many great things have been happening, but we've been so busy, and i 've been on a plane every week so far this month. so for now, no more pictures of kitchen experiments (but oh how delicious the boozy homemade maraschino cherries were!)

my birthday was saturday and it was a full weekend of celebrations. i flew back to pdx on friday night and gricklepants and i decided to have date night and go out to dinner. we went to farm, a place many people have raved about and so it was time for us to try it out ourselves. in a word: deelish. in two: deelishous.

we shared an appetizer of figs stuffed with gorgonzola and drizzled with honey and balsamic vinegar. it was phenomenal. i ordered the gnocchi with a fire-roastd red pepper sauce and gricklepants got the halibut off the specials menu. the halibut was the bomb-diggity. the gnocchi were a little heavy, but the sauce was supreme. we ended the meal with a slice of marscapone cheesecake topped with a blueberry sauce and it was so light and fabulous.

saturday morning meant a trip to the dmv since my license expired. having some previous experience with the dmv on a saturday we decided to awake painfully early. it wasn't awful, but it wasn't exactly fun either. and nobody wished me a happy birthday. i wouldn't have expected it but at the airport all of the security people wished me a happy birthday (i guess they actually do carefully read over your license!)

we got out of the dmv around 9am so went for breakfast. i wanted to go to le pigeon since it's rumored they have the best eggs benedict. sadly, i will never know because they are no longer open for breakfast. the doug fir was a tasty backup. then we went shopping! gricklepants gave me his wallet and left me at mabel & zora, my favorite shoppy store for girl clothes. i was pretty good and didn't go too overboard. oh! and at some point in here i opened up my present from gricklepants: a whole new set of pots 'n pans! i am super stoked.

after a nap we met up with jeremy, vera, jonathan, and arlie at thatch, a tiki bar i had read about. there was a tiki crawl going on so the place was full of people in bright outfits. it was fun. we were tucked away in the back in the tiki "hut." the drinks were good 'n strong and the food was surprisingly good (though, i can only really compare this tiki bar to the alibi, which is decidedly not known for its food.)

it was an awesome day! can it be my birthday everyday? please?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

berry season

this past weekend i went out to sauvie island - twice - to pick fresh berries. came home saturday with a flat of blueberries as well as some cherries from kruger's market. on sunday, gricklepants and i joined verabee on another jaunt to the island, this time to columbia farms, where we picked another flat of blueberries as well as a flat of raspberries.

i guess i got a little carried away because i'm not really sure what to do with all those blueberries. i knew i'd freeze a bunch, but man, there's a LOT. blueberry crumble cake from gourmet was made yesterday, and blueberry buttermilk pancakes this morning... i've been looking for new blueberry recipes since sunday but i'm a little overwhelmed. and i leave tomorrow for 3 days. so many blueberries! maybe i should feed them to pancake. do cats even like blueberries...?

so i made a cherry pie instead. that's more straightforward and does not overwhelm. still, i decided to experiment just a tad. i kept a few cherries back from the pie and decided to make mini pies with them. i rolled out some leftover scraps of dough, cut 1-inch circles and placed them in the bottom of a mini muffin tin. then i placed half a cherry on each circle and topped with a second dough round. i think they came out alright for being a last minute "hey, what would happen..." sort of thing. they do look a little like open clam shells, or pac-mans.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

monster island

wow... iceland is the most awesome place on this planet. our 5 days there simply wasn't enough time to see it all (even though it's a very small island.)

we landed right around midnight on saturday night and the sun was just touching the horizon, casting long shadows on everything; and on our bus ride to reykjavik, gricklepants commented that the lava field landscape would be perfect for a godzilla movie. this is true. when godzilla tires of crushing tokyo under his feets he should consider iceland. there he would have the extra benefit of the geo-thermal springs in which to bathe. i imagine even godzilla would appreciate the hot springs of iceland.

there aren't really words to explain just how awesome a place it is. we spent half our time in reykjavik livin' it up with our friends and hosts, tyler and korka, going to bars, seeing icelandic bands play (we saw múm!) and general exploring. we spent the other half driving around the countryside, which was unbelievably amazing.

aww hell, you should just look at our pictures here

Friday, June 29, 2007


Friday, June 22, 2007

lots of cooking

i've been busy trying to make the most of the summer and cooking/baking as much as possible. from the fresh berries on sauvie island to delicious meats from gartner's, gricklepants and i have been eating well.

some highlights...

the other weekend, our friends scott & pete came up for a visit and i felt compelled to show them the tasty things portland has to offer. first, we went to sauvie island to pick strawberries, which was awesome and ruling, according to scott.

scott shows off a tasty specimen:

we picked a lot:

which we put to good use (photo by pete):
that would a strawberry rhubarb pie along with a chocolate pavlova topped with whipped cream & strawberries. sinfully delicious!

the leftover rhubarb got turned into tasty drinks:
rhubarb syrup, liberal amounts of gin, plus lemon & lime juice. i have bought extra rhubarb to freeze just so that i can have this drink in the dead of winter. sometimes i am smart and plan ahead like this. just sayin'.

we had some non-berry food too:

most notably, we bought a big pork shoulder from gartner's and then cooked it up with beer. holy crap it was good. we served it with homemade bread and some asparagus. everyone seemed to like it, though it helps when you eat dinner at 11pm. i think we could've served wallpaper paste and it would've gotten rave reviews.

i think gricklepants was inspired by that weekend because the next weekend he wanted to make meatballs. growing up in the sault has spoiled him; apparently the best italian restaurants are there and every so often he gets nostalgic for some tasty italian meal from mrs. b's, aurora's pizza, giovanni's, minelli's, or suriano's.

i like it when gricklepants joins me in the kitchen. he's a good sous chef who can mince garlic like no other, but it's rare for him to take a lead role in meal prep, so this was very nice. we researched recipes online, slowly narrowing down our choices and finally chose one, knowing that this was just our first step toward finding the ultimate meatball recipe. we also decided to make the pasta from scratch too, which is always tasty and worth the effort. the meatballs turned out pretty good, though i'd like to keep tinkering and get them perfect.

the leftovers i think were even tastier:

there were other food adventures like a few batches of ice cream, banana cake, a plum galette, etc. but i think this is an already epic post, so we'll leave it at that. and we leave for iceland in one week so you'll have pictures of putrified shark to look forward to!