Friday, June 30, 2006

mango pasta salad

mango pasta saladI had nothing planned for dinner and 2 mangos in the fridge. So i used one of em to make this refreshing pasta salad:
- half a pack of farfalle (like 250g or something)
- 1 mango (and i still have one for bfast!!! coulda used both tho), cut however you can
- 1/3 green pepper, slimest chunks
- carrot, thinly sliced
- a leftover piece of corn on the cob, kernels knifed off
- a bit of tofu broken up
- 1/3 english cuke, super thin
- a bit of chopped cilantro
And the dressing:
- lemon juice +
- red wine vinager = about 1/4 or 1/3 cup, equalish portions
- bit of tamari
- s & p
- 1 tbl crushed coriander seed
- a bunch of that green tobasco (a real jalapeno woulda been better)

I mixed it all in a long shallow lasagna type dish, i figure the dressing would mix better. Then i set it in the fridge for a few minutes, had a smoke and openned a beer and sat in my hammoc. Then i couldn't wait any longer and started eating it. It was pretty good. I'm still eating it.

And tomorrow is canada day. This is good. Plus its a long weekend. This is also good. Things are good. Have a super weekend!!!!!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

delayed report tripping

lady libertySo i got back from the trip. Over a week ago now, but the time has flown. New york was an absolute blast. 7 and half hours to get there, not too shabby. We stayed in a relatively nice hotel in manhattan. As we showed up, parked our car next door, and started walking to the door there was an apparently miscellanous new yorker outside who asked "You have reservations?" and we said ya and told her the name - she's like "nobody here by that name"... but of course, there was, just minor confusion. That was the rudest anyone was to us for the entire time we were in the city. Everyone there was super cool.

The first night we spent wandering around manhattan. Went through union square. Its this super cool hangout spot filled with young folk and all folks alike, folks playing drums and some kickass skaters. That was cool. We wandered a whole whack loads and eventually found our way into the Bleeker Street Bar (or something). It was fun, pints were had, good times. Then went off to the Peculiar Pub, it was a university crowd (apparently) but also quite cool. Not too drunk, we went back to the hotel, but not before i ate some street meat, some wikid beancurd rice things from this korean take out, and then finally a scicilian slice. Holy crap, awesome stuff.
peculier pub
The next day was straight up wandering. From our hotel (i think it was at 33nd and 2nd) southwest a bit to broadway, all the way up through times square to central park where we took a load off, and then trained down to the pierish area, checked the statue, saw wall street, and wandered back shopping, touring, seeing, and finally a quick snooze back at the pad. After which we went to meet some fellow canadians at a bar to watch game 6 of the oilers game (they won). They then took us to mcsorleys. Very cool spot. Apparently the longest continually running bar in ny, since 1854 or something (not sure about prohibition, but o well). They only serve 2 kinds of drinks. Light beer, and dark beer, a buck a piece (actually a little more, i think 24 beers was 28 bux or something). The place was dripping with charm.

Phew. The next day, hungover, we drove into brooklyn and checked diner quickly for some greesy spoonage. Not bad. Then through hasidic jew town all the way to coney island. "She's my coney island baby..." ya i kept hearing that but it wasn't playing. But the hot dogs were. And some of the ugliest people on the planet - very few attractive folks out of the 50 or so thousand people that were out on the beach, but i wasn't complaining (much). Once full and hot and flustered, off to AC!
boardwalk view
And in AC, well, I gambled and drank free but slow to be delivered beer. Mostly we only played 2/4 limit holdem, but i tried my hand at a tourny (only 22 folks) and some 1/2 NL. All was wicked fun although i lost a bunch of money - i was within budget, but still annoyed i lost. Thats me i guess. I didn't know what to do when i was raised the rest of my stack (about a hundred bux) when i had top 2 pair!!! Damn mofo coulda had pocket tens too and still destroyed me, but no, he had to have QJ!!! Damn 25 dollar preflop raise didn't help. I'll learn for next time, and will probably call all over again. O well, it was a massive blast.

AC is basically a shit hole, i'll probalby never go back unless i'm in the area. The gambling is relatively small scale, and thats about all thats there. The city is "scary", and the only place that is safe is the boardwalk, which is actually kinda nice except for the occasional really scary crack-whorish looking people walking by. I hate to generalize, but damn, some nasty nasty faces were seen. And then there was the off key singer who would tap her foot and belt out american anthem style songs only to pause every song or so to spit a massive wad of phlegm over the side of the walkway. You bet i gave her 2 bits!!

o the humanity!!!
On the way home we hit up some philly, got a cheese steak sandwhich, and toured the streets a bit. Very cool town. All low rise, lots of charm n class n love, very cool. And then we roared home slightly poorer but much richer for the cause. Good times had by all. All pics are viewable here.

There is more to tell - like that korean place in ny. The 2nd night my meal was this 5$ squid n cuke dish, so frickin spicy *I* couldn't finish it!!! I can finish anything, especially whilst intoxicated!!! I ate it at a little corner near the hotel, like 3am or something. Good times. Ahh, so many good times.

The AC deally left my wanting more... more gambling, more degeneration, more lucridiviness. I'm going to vegas, sooner than later. There's just no excuses anymore.

Friday, June 16, 2006

new york new york!!!

Well four of us are off today on a 4/5 day journey, one that will bring me, for the first time, to the first city of the world, new york city. I've never been, and never really had plans on going until a month or 2 ago a bunch of us, intoxicated no doubt, decided we should go to atlantic city to get our gamble on. Hell, if we're doing that, why not stop in for a night/day in new york? Damn straight.

Leaving in 2-minus, 2 hours. Back on tuesday. 2 nights in each city. Tomorrow i'll be strolling around the fair streets, hopefully seeing places seen so many times on seinfeld and sex in the city and various other media outlets. Originally i wasn't so excited, but now i totally am. How could i not be? I've seen and heard stories of this famous city for my whole life, never dreaming i'd have a reason to go. Now i do, and now i get to see it with mine own eyes. Many pictures will be taken, hopefully one or 2 will turn out and get posted here days five from now.

And even better, i'm off work next week!!! I'm gonna hopefully tackle massive washroom renovations, removing it all, drywall, new sink, tile, paint, etc.. I just have to hold in my crap for a few days, or eat lots of fast food to use their can. And after the binge trip i'm heading on shortly, this may not be an option... having these as my biggest decisions and tribulations, fills me with great pleasure, satisfaction, pride, and humility, i take none of this for granted, and am very grateful to be in this position... :)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

thai in ottawa

So over the past couple of months, i've finally gotten off my ass and hit up some thai restaurants in my area. Heres a brief review/synopsis:

Coriander Thai (Kent St.)
Very dark and quiet decor, awesome food. First time i've had tom yum soup, and won't be the last, it was phenominal! Had the soup, and a salad and red curry dish, all tasted absolutely superb. Have since had takeout, and it wasn't nearly as good, and the portions seemed awfully small (hint, trend beginning).

Savanna Cafe (Gilmour St.)
Ok, not pure straight up thai, but pretty damn close. Only had one dinner here, a friday night job with some good wine and a desert... my meal was ok, not super kick ass, i think i had the ramen noodles with a bunch of seafood. Not nearly spicy enough, but still ok. I'll definitely go back though, the decor was nice, and its just a good spot. Service, very friendly. Portions were pretty consistent with coriander. No tom yum here, i think we had some rolls, must've been some freshish rice paper cause it was thick - and good.

Hot Peppers (Somerset & Lyon)
Finally hit this spot up. Never even went to zibbibo, which is what this place was a year and a half ago, but finally checked this one. Decor was nice, cute little wine bar upstairs, friendly and helpful staff. We did have the tom yum here, and while it wasn't quite as spicy as coriander, it was better - not by much, but it was, and it was absolutely amazing. For mains we had one of the salads and a seafood dish (i think), and neither was super kick ass, but it was pretty good. The cocunut rice was pretty good too.

Green Papaya (now on Preston)
Definitely nice decor. The place was quite busy for a sunday night, and the food took its time, but it was a nice meal. Tom yum - kinda flavourless. The food itself was good, we had the jungle curry and a shrimp salad, but man the portions were quite small. Even all the rice went with no problem. Lots of sauce with the curry which was good, but the whole meal left me wanting more. Even after the cheese cake (cheese cake isn't thai!!) i was still hungry.

Conclusion
All in all thai food costs way to frickin much. For a regular dish you're looking at 10+, and one dish ain't gonna cut it (for me anyways). The tom yum soups are awesome though, and hot peppers takes the cake. I think coriander has the peppiest stuff, full flavour just exploding, but the one time we had takeout it was less than desirable - these resaurants definitely have their best dishes and i'll have to figure out what those are. Unforutantely for 60+ per person its a bit of a kick in the teeth, especially for me who can go to cam kong (review pending!!!), spend 15 bux, and be ridiculously full and satisfied (and for another few get a mango slushie which is an explosion of satisfaction).

If anyone knows of any other thai restaurants i should hit up, i'm all ears - and once i figure out how to harness the flavour of the thai chile pepper from my mortar and pestle, i ain't ever going out for it again (actually i'll need to figure out what yum truly is at the bottom of my soul, then make it, and then i'll be good).

Saturday, June 10, 2006

super easy a olio

a olio
Made this before my 10k race 2 weeks ago - dang, its been 2 weeks since my dang race. Anyways, if you want a light, easy, superb pasta meal, heres whatcha need:
- de cecco fettucine, its like 3 bux for a 500g 'box', when i say box its cause it comes in spools, its the cheapest, best, dry pasta money can buy, typically at nicastro type italian grocs - below recipe uses about half a box
- 3 or 4 cloves garlic, coarsly chopped
- 3 spring onions, chopped, 2mm at the oniony part, 2 cm at the green part (for flare!!)
- a can or a bunch of oil soaked artichokes
- 15 cherry tomatos, halved
- holy crap fresh sweet basil too!!!, roughly chopped
- olive oil!
Then do this:
- fill a big pot with water, a bit o salt, start it to boil (not if you're lucky and have gas though, you could probably wait a bit)
- get your fry pan (large, or use a wok), put 2 tbl of oil in, heat it on medium
- toss in the chopped onions, saute for like 2 min
- then the garlic, in she goes
- saute for a bit, don't burn or really cook the garlic too long!
- then toss in the rest, and bring the heat down so as not to overmassively cook
- put the pasta in when ready, cook 5 min or so (it doesn't take al long to become dente)
- when its done, skoop it directly into the pan/wok, retaining some juices, but not too much
- mix up as best as can, add more oil if you want, serve immediatly with fresh parma and fresh pepper.
Yes, very tasty, my idea of a perfect meal really. This'll serve 2 for lunch, or me before a 10k race (i had a bit left, but only cause i didn't want to get over stuffed).

Friday, June 9, 2006

the pros and cons of my neighbourhood

On my way home tonite i saw something i haven't seen in a while. A pro and con of my hood. She was standing right outside the store i buy my cigs at, accross from where i do my laundry drop off, and dry cleaning. I don't think she's in either of those businesses. I had the urge to ask 'are you lost?', or 'whats going on?', but i didn't. I also had the urge to say 'get the hell outta my neighbourhood!!'. But i didn't do any of that. If she was on *my* street, i probably woulda been a bit more defensive. I remember a few years back when i lived a couple blocks away, me and my drunken friends yelling obscenities at these ladies that were trying to make an honest but perhaps unethical dime. Now, i feel like this is more of my home, and perhaps theres something i should be doing to protect it.

But then again, if she's not here, she'll be somewhere else, in someone elses neighbourhood. There must be a market after all, supply and demand and all that crap. Who's to say she isn't as much a part of my neighbourhood as i am. In fact she (or they) have been here much longer than i have. Gladstone is notorious. And she really doesn't bother me that much... its more the people she brings. The crackheads (thats what i call people that mostly bum change but occasionally bum change and are totally tweaked on something) would really piss me off if they hung out on my street, but when they're only surrounding the bars i hang out at on bank street its not such a "close to home" annoyance, and simply tolerated.

She's probably still standing there now... waiting for the con. Hopefully she has a good nite i guess. I of course would prefer her to have a sobering night, decide its time to quit, get some other income supplement, and never bait her hook in my, or anyone elses neighbourhood again. But that is wishful thinking. I remember amsterdam about 8 or 9 years ago. That was something. Girls in the windows with red lights over their heads. But even that amount of organization still concealed alleys and nooks and crannies filled with even more undesirables that didn't fit into the system. There will always be flaws, and always cracks in the system waiting to be filled if the desire is there. If humans developed their brains faster, we'd never of needed the pleasure aspect of sex to realize we needed to procreate to survive - we woulda known reproduction was the only means, and pleasure would of never been an issue. Just think of the things we could of accomplished... bah, we probably would've used our increased intellectual capacity to trick evoltion into blessing us with sex organs that gave us pleasure... damn we're smart. We live for sex, and because of sex we live on.