Friday, October 29, 2010

sufjan stevens on my mind

went to see sufjan stevens at the orpheum last night.


i was really looking forward to it to begin with, but he overwhelmed my expectations. in a few words, i would describe the experience as beautiful, disturbing, complex, intense.

he mostly played from his recently released album, 'the age of adz' (pronounced odz), which Punelson magazine describes as '...frustrating... impossible to play in the background... but fascinating, intriguing and – once you get over your first, bewildering listen – actually very enjoyable.' i agree. i didn't love the album the first time i listened to it, but after a couple times through it, i couldn't stop the melodies from lingering in my head all day.

but as much as i love age of adz now, listening to it on my laptop is dull compared to the live performance. when sufjan talked about his new album, he talked about exploring emotions, and the psychological. the album suddenly made more sense to me, and i connected with it.

it was not a relax-and-fall-asleep-in-your-seat kind of concert. he kept me on the edge of my seat. he was on stage with an ensemble of 11 people. himself & his many instruments were joined by 2 guitarists, 2 drummers, 2 trombones, 2 backup singers/dancers, 2 pianists. the orchestration was amazing. the songs were intense, well-timed, and thought-provoking. songs about love, songs about volcanoes erupting, songs about schizophrenics, songs about the apocalypse. there's a theme of 'whining and consternation,' sufjan noted.

(not sure how to credit this photo. i found it on

as a performer, sufjan stevens is charming. a little shy & quirky, he nevertheless portrayed a confidence in himself and his music. it doesn't hurt that he's an attractive one, either. oh, and he can dance.

he told us that we had the most spirit he's seen, or something like that. i didn't believe him. he must be at the start of his tour if he thinks that. or he was just saying that to make us love him more. maybe he was talking to the front row of people, because those of us in the balconies i would not describe as 'spirited.' when he was at the end of the 20 minute long song 'impossible soul,' he was dancing on stage with the backup singers, and was singing 'do you wanna dance?' i mean, comon, if that's not an invitation for the audience to get our butts out of our seats and jump around a bit... i don't know what is. but no one moved. and i'm way too canadian to jump up and dance all by myself. oh well.

you can find another review of the concert here, if you're interested.

here's a clip from last night, when he played his (probably most famous) song, chicago:

to sum it up: sufjan and his concert have been on my mind all day. i can't wait to go to another concert of his. no, he didn't play one of my favorite songs, but i can forgive him. if i have to. i guess.

(obligatory food-related photo, since this is a food blog, not an i'm-obsessed-with-sufjan-stevens blog. also this is post #98. one more post before my contest closes!)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

97: eggs eggs eggs

you can never get enough fresh backyard eggs. our awesome landlords shared some with us recently.

they. were. tasty.

oh yes, and my sister and i won the balloon doodling contest! technically she won, and i'm not technically credited at all, but that's okay, because i know she'll share the prize with me. check out how we will look in the future.

p.s. this is post #97. two more posts before my contest closes!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

post # 96: alliumphobia

alliumphobia - the (irrational) fear of garlic

i don't know who could fear garlic. garlic is awesome. garlic that is super old and dry in the grocery store? not the best. garlic freshly picked and sold at the farmer's market? the best. if you haven't tried using fresh garlic before, hasten to your local farmer's market and mend thy ways.

garlic, or allium satvia in latin, is a relative of the onion. that's reason enough to include this photo:

p.s. this is post #96. three more posts before my contest closes!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

an airy self-portrait

this post has nothing to do with food, but that's not the point. the point is, i want to share something with you.

my roommate - andrea armstrong - and i took a self-portrait on the weekend:

we collaborated for a doodling-on-a-balloon contest at doodlers anonymous. andrea did the doodling, we both did set-design, and i set up the lighting and took the photo. check out everyone's submissions here and fave your favorite designs! (hint: ours is super awesome) you do have to join to vote, though.

p.s. this is post #95. four more posts before my contest closes!

Monday, October 18, 2010

i am a liar (but you can enter a contest and win stuff yay!) - contest closed!

sooo.... i thought i had posted 100 posts, and even bragged about it a few posts back.

apparently, i am a liar.

this post i am writing right now, is #94. sure its close to 100, but its no merit badge like 100 is. my blogger homepage tells me i'm at 102 posts, but it's a bit sneaky and counts all my unposted drafts as 'posts' as well. i am so ashamed that i lied to you all, and let you think i was somehow accomplished in the blogging world.

but i would like to make it up to you. i'd bake cupcakes and invite you all over, but that wouldn't be fair to some of you who are far away, and it would honestly be a bit creepy for me if i invited the whole internet world over to my place. also, it would be expensive and my place is way too tiny.

instead, i will start small with a contest and see how it goes. yay contests! free stuff!

the prize: a pack of 5 specially-made-for-you photo cards. by me, of course. (i know: extravagant, right?)
how to enter: comment below, (with your name, please!) and answer me:
1. what is your favorite dessert?
2. what should i attempt to bake before christmas?
(they don't have to be different, but let's be a bit creative here)

the contest will close when i post my 99th actual post. the winner will be chosen randomly, and will be announced when i write my actual 100th post! that means you have 5 more posts of mine to read before the contest closes. AND you don't have to be from a certain country or continent to enter this contest, because cards are flat so postage won't be too horrific.

let your friends know about this contest. or don't, and then you'll have a better chance of winning. (but really, do.)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

flourless chocolate cake

this loveliness is a flourless chocolate cake. (although i did use flour to dust the pan before i poured the batter in) it gets its texture from the whipped egg whites. subtle and not too sweet, the chocolate in this cake is just right to be a dessert following a rich, heavy meal. which i did last weekend when i took this cake to a thanksgiving dinner. cut up into 16 tiny slices, the serving size was just enough to satisfy but not overload.

i got the recipe from bread & honey. i won't bore you with the recipe, i'll just let you follow it from the link.

for those of you who don't care to follow the recipe, here's some more pretty pictures! (i'm really happy with how these photos turned out)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

une omelette (100th post!)

for some reason i feel like celebrating, because i just realised i've written 100 posts on this blog. but, over a span of 3+ years. really joey? you want to celebrate mediocrity? yes, yes i do. :)

i am realising that i will never get to the point where i feel like i am amazing at what i do, unless i decide right now that i am okay with NOT being amazing. if i don't take risks because i'm afraid of failing, i won't ever get better at what i do because i'm not trying. if i take risks, i may fail, and if i fail, then succeeding the next risk will feel even better.

okay, back to my post about omelets.

i love eggs. any style of egg, i love (not actually true: i don't like raw, and i don't like it when the whites are still runny). but, there's something about the omelet that takes an egg from being good to being deliciously decadent. ever wake up feeling meh? make yourself an omelet (if you have time and are not running off to work) and you will feel like a king. or queen.

i still haven't perfected the omelet. it often falls apart on me... but whatever, it still tastes amazing, so who cares? the great thing about omelets is that you can put anything inside. fried onions, veggies, meat, herbs, cheese... be creative. any kind of cheese, many kinds of cheese, or no cheese at all if you are lactose intolerant. but the best part of the omelet is the cheese, really.

i like to whisk my eggs (2 or 3)with salt, pepper and a bit of milk, though some people just whisk the eggs. i find the milk makes it a bit fluffier. better yet, yogurt, for a richer omelet (can an omelet with eggs and cheese, fried in butter get any richer? yes... it can, and its amazing). put your pan on a medium-low heat. when its heated, grease your pan and pour your egg mixture in. make sure its even on the pan, and wait a bit, making sure nothing is burning. when it looks partially cooked (still gooey, but you can lift the edges with your turner), sprinkle cheese of choice throughout the entirety of the omelet. on one half only (if your pan cooks unevenly like mine, choose the side that is less cooked) add your filling. carefully edge your turner under the other half of the omelet, make sure its not sticking anywhere, and flip over the filling. if some of it falls apart, just patch it up. cook a minute or 2 longer, remove from heat, and serve.

i used to make omelets by flipping the whole thing BEFORE adding the filling, but i always found them over-cooked and rubbery. not flipping your omelet makes for a perfectly-cooked omelet that is fluffy, gooey, and melts in your mouth. but try it out and experiment! every pan and stove-top is different, and everyone's preferences are different, too. find what you like best and enjoy the heck out of it.

anyone have a favorite omelet filling? or great ideas for one?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

disturbed by processed, fast-food chicken. i can't believe i used to eat it..

warning: disturbing images below. please continue to read!

i am not a vegan, nor am i a vegetarian. i do highly respect all vegetarians and vegans, however. so this is not about me not eating meat. its about me not eating fast-food meat, like chicken nuggets, chicken burger patties, etc. see photo below:

photo from this blog. read more here.

they mechanically separate the chicken, grind it all up, remove the bacteria (apparently by soaking it in ammonia), add food coloring and flavor... its disgusting. why go through that much bother to make something that doesn't really look like chicken, doesn't really taste like chicken, and is so unnatural? and yet we consumers totally buy it. its fast, its easy, and we put it in our stomachs anyways.

jamie oliver does these experiments where he shows kids the process of making the chicken nuggets, and then has the kids decide between the nuggets and the real chicken afterward. worked well in the UK (see video below)...

... but then he tried it in america. (see video below).

...failed. which is really sad what it says about america. i think he'd do a lot better in canada, but i still think there's a good number of people here who would react just like those kids in the video. sadly, i think i know of a few people too who just might not care where their food is coming from.

would you still eat the chicken nuggets? i want your thoughts and opinions!
i won't condemn you if you would still eat them. i'll just shake my head and invite you over for some real, homemade food. or you can answer anonymously and i'll never know.

update: october 11, 2010

some more posts to read:

huffington post
peas and thank you - hilarious, have to read it
potted meat product - i can't believe anyone would buy or eat a product (it doesn't deserve the title 'food') called 'potted meat product'!?

Monday, October 4, 2010

yam fries

yam fries: delicious, not that hard to make, and just plain awesome.

to do:
  • wash yam(s)
  • peel or don't peel (i didn't peel)
  • pat dry (if wet, they will be soggy fries)
  • chop up to whatever size you like (just make sure they are roughly similar sized)
  • toss with olive oil, salt, pepper & whatever other spice you'd like (i added a pinch of coriander; you could add minced rosemary or cayene pepper for example)
  • spread evenly on a baking sheet (normally i put parchment paper down, this time i didn't do anything & they didn't stick), make sure you don't crowd them too much
  • *bake anywhere between 375 F and 415 F; take them out every 8 minutes or so to check them & to turn them; bake until they are soft on the inside and crispyish or nicely toasted on the outside.
  • once cooked to your liking, remove from oven, and sprinkle with some fleur de sel if you have it. i just bought my first jar of it, so i am now allowed to be snooty and talk about fleur de sel all i want to. :) serve with some kind of dip. i wish i had an awesome dip recipe to share with you. i used some old (probably too old to use, honestly) curry powder dip mix and mixed it with yogurt and mayonnaise. its a great dip, i just can't tell you what's in it or how to make it yourself. :(
*if you bake fries normally, do what you normally do and pay no attention to my baking instructions. i really didn't know what i was doing and just winged it. if you are someone who needs to know exactly what temperature and exactly how long it takes... then stop reading my blog :) just kidding, maybe try and look up another recipe & see what it says! (that's right, i AM too lazy to google it myself at the moment...)