Tuesday, May 31, 2011
The water reservoir at the top of the machine is monochromatic with an incomprehensible detachable piece for determining how much water is in the machine. Being used to clear, easy-to-read dials on the side of the Mr. Coffee, I was thrown back by this accessory. It looked like something I'd have used in the Middle Ages as a rain gauge. And as a result of my blind guesswork and lack of inclination to pull out the measuring cups, I ended up with watery iced tea.
With a machine as specialized and focused on variety as this, the fuzzy detail in water measurement isn't a big deal if you drink coffee every day and have a specific mug that you use. You can easily just measure your water in that and then use it to brew the coffee. With the BOI, it tends to be a different story, as you then have to allocate for the amount of water you want to use, the water you're going to displace when you add the ice, and then the extra water you'll add from the ice, melted when the beverage brews. And the most realistic amount for a cup of iced tea, a 12 oz. glass with 4 ice cubes, is too large to fit underneath the dispenser. All smaller cups, like the one shown above, overflowed when I tried to brew with them. What gives? It seems like this isn't engineered for iced beverages at all. Not only have I still not found the ratio I desire in a cold drink, I'm now relegated to the couch at night because I keep mumbling about BOIs in my sleep.There is a silver lining to every Keurig, though. Keepitcoming Love, who was initially sworn against the Keurig, has found it immensely simple to use and appreciates the varied gear they sell to mix up your morning cup of joe. As for me, I'm going to have to keep tinkering with it to reach my ideal.Special thanks to the folks at Keurig's PR team for hooking me up with this gadget! They didn't pay me to write this, but I might have propositioned one or more of their coffee machines one drunken night. It's okay, the machines aren't on payroll.
Monday, May 30, 2011
From the moment I looked at the package, I knew that this strange Japanese pack of candy and I were destined to meet. After gathering and reflecting upon a few random possessions from my room, I had a strange feeling that the well dressed Ninja business man on the cover was an omen of things to come. I felt that I was looking at a future caricature of my future self as depicted by Japanese candy executives. I now think I have a great future goal to work towards. Instead of being a special agent in the FBI working to stop white collar crimes such as tax evasion or corporate embezzling I now am planning to become a ninja accountant, yup a ninja accountant.
I took that strange package to my Japanese roommate for a translation which only resulted in “Ninja Food – Blueberry”. The candies themselves looked like beans made of candy. There was probably only 15 in the package, just enough for a small candy snack break. There is no time is the life of a ninja accountant to stop and have a large amount of candy when there are statement of cash flows to complete in the shadow of darkness.
These candies tasted pretty accurately of blueberry. It didn’t taste too artificial but one could also easily tell it was a good replication. There was a thick layer of candy covering over a hard gummy center. The outer covering was a good hard candy covering, somewhat like a yogurt covered raisin, but with candy. The blueberry taste was rather heavy in the outer candy coating but tapered off when you got to the gummy center. The center was just a very chewy slightly blueberry flavored hard gummy. The gummy center was a lot harder and had semi-leather like texture compared to regular gummies that one would get.
This candy would have been better if the whole thing was just made of candy and did not have a gummy center. The gummy center was a piece of leathery disappointment after a relatively good blueberry candy. The gummy center also did not have enough taste to compensate for the leather texture.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Friday, May 27, 2011
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
And gratuitous amounts of hot sauce.
OM NOMS. So easy, even the Pioneer Woman could do it. Albeit with more butter, but still.
Tomorrow's avocado porn: Tempura battered avocado, two ways!
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Friday, May 20, 2011
Mama Mary's Soul Food, predecesed by Sandra's, is a surprisingly upscale establishment on Whalley Avenue, a restaurant in muted earth tones and metals with quirky, blasphemous touches one notices mid-bite. Some are funky, like sitting in refurbished pews and taking menus out of the hymn book racks, and some a little strange, like the haphazard mismatched living room set tables to the right, where plush armchairs crowd each other around small bar tables, flanked by booth seats three feet away from the tables they are supposed to occupy. Michael Jackson, gospel, and soft R&B plays softly above as the fans whir and a steady stream of people filter in and out.
The service, though painstakingly slow, is worth the shift from a hectic schedule to soul food time. Upon ordering, we were promptly served our respective drinks, a delicious homemade sweet tea and lemonade, and two thick slices of the most tender, fresh cornbread I have ever been privy to consume, the top half inch of it soaked in butter. When the Rapture comes, it would do you wise to wander around Mama Mary's. Remember, when the looting begins, the cornbread can be yours. This is a side dish that I would gladly come back for. Not only is it free, but it is laced with just a slight sweetness and a soft, moist crumble that falls apart at the slightest fork prod.With this as a small tease in mind, I expected nothing short of mind-blowing entrees and sides. We took a sweeping approach to their menu, taking advantage of the easily customizable dishes to order the maximum number of different items we could possibly sample. Swagger dove right into the scarier parts, ordering chitterlings with collard greens and candied yams and I opted for a more prosaic, yet blatantly Southern dish, fried catfish with macaroni and cheese and fried okra.The small plate, roughly the size of a small watermelon, was heaped with orbs of fried okra and a large pile of pasta. The star of the plate, the catfish, occupied a scant quarter of the plate, but was piled high. After sampling pieces of each dish, it was apparent that this was a restaurant where one would go for the chicken (or fish) but stay for the sides. The catfish wasn't particularly outstanding on its own, but with a few squirts of the well-loved Kurtz hot sauce, present at all tables, it was transformed into a vinegar-heavy, spicy fish with a delicate crunch and buttery, flaky texture.
Both sets of sides were even more sumptuous, the fried okra my new alternative for popcorn chicken. That was a flavorful snack, with a light batter that belied its weighty center, with a slight heat and a heavy crunch. This was the first time I'd ever eaten okra, and it was an absolutely perfect example. The vegetable inside was firm and fresh and needed no seasoning to eat, simply providing an earthy, salty flavor on its own. It stayed crispy for a few hours and made an excellent afternoon snack. The macaroni and cheese was regrettably unimpressive, with a cheese-heavy yet flavorless texture and a presence that seemed only to serve the purpose of filling rather than sating the palate. Wholly ignored by all.Swagger says, "I, on the other hand decided to go for a more exotic and possibly more authentic dish at Mama Mary’s. From the moment when I was essentially challenged by the menu by it saying “for a true Southerner”, I felt that it was my duty as a former Southerner to get the chitterlings or as I was taught to pronounce “chit’lins”. For the people who don’t know, chit’lins are pig intestine. The chit’lins at Mama Mary’s was absolutely delicious. They had the smarmy distinctive stink of what a good chit’lin should have. (Note from Foodette: They carry the pungent odor of boiled human skin.) It had a soft melt in your mouth texture with a little bit of chewiness. They were cooked in a spicy sauce with just the right amount of heat and flavor as to not overtake the natural taste of the chit’lins.
The sides I opted to get were the candied yams and collard greens. The collard greens were nothing too special but the candied yams were a whole different story. When biting into a piece of heaven that was the candied yam, I may have literally saw Jesus’s eyes. This type of sensation has only happened on one other occasion. The yams were cooked to a soft melt in your mouth softness in light cinnamon flavored syrup. I could probably eat these yams all day and every day. Candied is an understatement here. These were more like dessert yams, with a caramelized sauce and a fork-tender yield. They brought the ignoble tater to a beautiful place, where the starches were melted down to a pudding-like consistency, married to the very sugar molecules themselves. Just for the candied yams I would go back again. The candied yams and cornbread at Mama Mary’s are possibly the best things ever. (Note from Foodette: Swagger let me eat his last yam and now I must name my first born after him.)"
If the world ends, we'll probably be around until October 21st. After all, this blog is a sure sign of hell on earth and none of us are going up with Jesus, unless it's to slip him some whipped cream vodka for whatever heaven-tastic party he's planning up there. See you on the other side of the Rapture, folks. It's been a good run.