Friday, August 31, 2007

pasta from the gods





Desperately low on substance in the fridge, i needed to eat something... and i needed it fast.

One of the beauties of having a house, and some yard, is the veggie garden. This year i planted a bunch of tomato plants, basil, red peppers, lettuce, and cilantro. The tomatos have been good allthough a little sparser than i would've expected (considering i planted 13 plants), the basil has been great, cilantro had its times (remember to pick flowers!!!), and the lettuce much the same as the cilantro. The peppers are just coming in full force now.

So back to lunch. I needed some, and had very little in the fridge. Some sundried tomatos was about all that was in there. So i went out to the garden, picked a bunch of basil, and the one tomato i could find. I came inside, pulled some shallots out, and sauted them down with some balsamic till tender. Then added sliced sundrieds and garlic. Of course s & p and oil al mucho. Once done, i took the whole bit along with the pile of washed basil, into the cuisinart with you!!! They had a bit of a pesto party in there they did. Cooked the de cecco pasta (the spooled fettuccine, best dried pasta money can buy), spooned directly into the original saute fry pan, added the pesto, and voila, lunch. Chopped my one tomato on top, some red pepper flakes, and now it is in my tummy, but not before taking this pic on top of my new filing cabinet. What a way to kick off what will likely be paradigm shiftastic weekend.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

omg all your can eat sushi in ottawa

When i was in Vancouver a few weeks ago i got to partake in the glorious transcendence that is all you can eat sushi. It was good, great, amazing... but now, upon my return, i have heard of not one, but 2 all you can eat sushi restaurants in Ottawa!!! Yes, its true!!!!!

Having heard that, and having spent the vast majority of my weekend 5 feet underground under extreme physical duress (more on this later), i knew the only thing that would appease me was a mountain of raw fish. It was risky, considering the place we were going hadn't been open long, but i was game.

The place we went was on carling between maitland and the 417. It is called 1000 Sushi Islands. O man, we were not disappointed.

There's just nothing like the tenderness and flavour of fresh raw salmon sashimi (i don't know how they get it here so fast, but man i'm glad they can!!!). The texture is like a really thick al dente noodle, but a little more forgiving. The smell, o so good. No need to bathe in soy/wasabi, these babies are islands unto themselves. The quality told me right away that this place was legit. Their seaweed salad was probably the best i ever had. Tempura, of which we tried the shrimp and squid (i know, squid tempura, wow!!!), and it was all delightful. They did rainbow rolls which were killer, and their spice salmon rolls were a little different as far as ingredients, but man were they good. Unagi. Awesome. The pieces were a little small, but it was ALL YOU CAN EAT!!!! SO WHO CARES!!!! The only thing that didn't blow me away was their hand roll thingys, but i'm not a big fan of those anyways.

The service was good, but it seemed one or 2 of the things weren't what we ordered, or stuff we ordered went to the wrong tables. They come around and fill your water and tea quite regularly, as well as take additional order sheets whenever you have new ones ready (i think we went through 4 sheets). No liquor license yet, but pops are included with the buffet, as is everything - nothing on the menu had a price, except the whole buffet which was 20.99 for fri-sun, and 19.99 (lunch was cheaper, and there are kids and seniors discounts). The menu does say you'll be charged for what you don't eat, but i assume this is only if there are piles of things untouched (if anyone has experience with this i'd love to hear about it).

So ya, 1000 Islands Sushi is an ALL YOU CAN EAT sushi place. Its in ottawa. I think the food was better than sushi 88. Which might mean i never go back there, as even being the cheapest sushi restaurant in town i've never left there with a bill under 50 bux, and never full, and our bill was 43 and change... o man. I'm totally stoked.

The best thing about it: sushi full. Normally when i'm full, and i mean stuffed, with other types of food, i kinda want my body to digest. I go for indian buffet, i stuff myself on 2 plates or so, and i feel like i'm going to die. I recognize it is not healthy to eat so much in a sitting, but when i do so with sushi, i feel like i'm in heaven. No bloating, no barfing, no tooting, no burping, no nothing. Just pure peace. Pure sushi full. And this is something you only get with all you can eat, cause i never eat "enough" at a regular place to reach this level of gastronirvana. O baby, ottawa has never seen so bright.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

sonotube dimensional annoyances

I've bought some sonotube's lately. Not branded "sonotube", likely cheap rip offs, i got 8" versions from both rona and home depot. The ones from rona are actually smaller than 8"'s, would probably make a 7.5" concrete form. The ones from home depot are a little bigger than 8", likely to make and exactly 8" concrete form. Am i the only one bringing a tape measure to these places to pick stuff out cause whatever dimensions are printed on whatever are not to be trusted??

While not the most exciting thing to happen to me lately, i thought it was worth mentioning. Its been a great summer, but now its time to build!!! I'm building a balcony in my backyard, i'm all permit ready, and now i have to dig 6 feet into the ground in 2 places. This isn't going to be pretty.