Sunday, October 25, 2009


GiGi's Cupcakes,
Chattanooga TN

Lime Margarita and Texas Chocolate cupcakes from GiGi's. Such pretty frosting-- until the cat got curious about what was in the box and knocked it off the counter. The box landed upside down with all the frosting squished to the top.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Cooking with Dog

...because a dog hosts the show. Shame on you for thinking otherwise!

Notice that at the end, the ingredients are dredged through raw eggs before being eaten. An interesting cultural difference.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009



11550 Bellaire Blvd
Houston, TX 77072
(281) 879-8010

This Houston Vietnamese restaurant scores a 9.5 out of 10. Loved it!

Delicious pho, the signature vietnamese dish, is a meat soup that is eaten by adding fresh sprouts and herbs to the broth with a squirt of lime and your choice of sauce.

Fresh spring rolls. Herbs and shrimp wrapped inside sofened rice paper.

This dipping sauce is a flavorful combination of sweet and spicy.

Greens and sauces for you pho. Freshly made limeade and hot tea to drink.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Making Fun of the Rich

This house is for sale in the Chattanooga area for 4.9 million dollars.

To which I can only say one thing: "Suck it Beverly Hills!"

You know you have too much money when a helicopter is required to get a complete view of your house.

The living room has a very modern feel. If your last name is Flintstone or Rubble.

The kitchen is heavily laden with that wonderful, finger print attracting substance know as stainless steel. Ideal for a kitchen if you're not the one cleaning it.

A round bedroom. If only it rotated.

With so many chairs, I am gonna assume this must mean the house was built as a refuge for orphaned children, probably with cancer. The owners are now selling it because they have managed to place all the poor, parentless children with families. I am sure this is correct because why else would someone need so much space for a single family.

Is anyone else thinking "Beam me up Scotty" right now?

White chairs in the dining room. The help must just LOVE these people.

And white chairs in the living room.

The following must be imagined as being said in the voice of Thurston Howell III: "Muffy darling, I don't know WHY the help keeps quitting. After we bought those black mastiff pups and had the red wine gala to celebrate, they all just left! Makes absolutely no sense to me. Oh bother Muffy, I just spilled my chardonnay"

Because they wanted to recreate the look of the Northgate library in their own home. (This is only funny if you live in Hixson Tennessee)

The house is described as being designed with Frank Loyd Wright influences. I have been to many FLW houses in my time and was not impressed. Very poor tippers.

Roman pillars... so this must be the vomitorium?

Ok now I hate these people. An indoor pool.

This view makes me feel less bitter. It's looking a little Holiday Inn-ish from this angle.

And by the way, Capitalism: A Love Story is playing this week at both the Rave and the Bijou. Saw it yesterday and loved it!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Boathouse, Chattanooga Tennessee

The Boathouse,
Chattanooga Tennessee

I've decided that I don't really like most of the food at the Boathouse but will continue to return. That is because I love the view from the deck which, on weather pleasant days offers a relaxing view of the river that one can stare placidly at while eating their dry sandwiches and funny smelling coleslaw (seriously, it smells like fish). The freshly made guacamole is wonderful and probably the best thing they serve. So if you're smart, you will order that with a beer and then go home and make yourself a sandwich. Ok, the grilled greenbeans are good too. But, items claimed to be specialties, like the Voodoo Chicken--deep fried chicken with flavorless black beans and rice-- are rather dull.

The featured cocktail at the Boathouse is the Brazilian lime, sugar, and rum drink the caipirinha which, according to Wikipedia, the name "caipirinha" is derived from the word "hillbilly. " Should we be offended by that?

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Ristorante, by artist Annie Greene.

Believe it or not, this "painting" is made entirely of yarn that has been glued to the surface. A friend and I noticed another work by this artist while on a trip to an Atlanta area art museum today.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Gai Lan

I purchased gai lan at the farmers market in Atlanta, as part of my goal to try new and exotic greens. Of course, once I tasted it, I realized that I probably have had it before in Thai restaurants.

Gai lan, also called Chinese broccoli or Chinese kale, is much more bitter than broccoli although, like like lots of other types of produce, selecting the perfect bunch of Gai Lan, is apparently an art form (that I have not yet mastered).

I sauteed my gai lan with ground pork and served over rice noodles, and seasoned with mushroom soy sauce. This has a different flavor than regular soy sauce although I don't know if I would describe it as mushroomy. I do like it though and have been putting it on everything lately. I added a few hot peppers for color. And because I bought way to many to eat in one lifetime, so am trying to find ways to use them up.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Milas Taqueria Mexico

The second and final stop on the Great Houston Taco Experiment 2009 was Milas Taqueria Mexico. The tacos al pastor are excellent here and I would say they rival actual Mexico City tacos. We would have liked to have tried more Houston taco locations but with so much great Asian cusine in Houston, we thought it wise to sample more of the healthier Vietnamese, Chinese, and Middle Eastern restaurants, than lard cooked (but delicious!) tacos.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tacos El Mapache

The first stop on the Great Houston Taco Experiment 2009, to find the best tacos al pastor in the city. We hit up a few places that were rumored to have great tacos al pastor and Tacos El Mapache was on the list. I would describe these as having more of a roasted, rustic flavor than you find in other places. Definitely good, but not my absolute favorite. Gets a 10 out of 10 for ambiance though...a taco truck in a gas station parking lot with no seating. How great is that?! You eat your tacos standing, which provides the perfect opportunity to converse with other patrons.

Monday, July 6, 2009

They Have Got to Be Kidding

Chopstick holder, found on a the table of an Asian restaurant in Houston, reads "Work is Glory. Happiness to Everybody." So apropos for those of us returning to work after a three day weekend.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Chocolate Bar

A giant box of chocolates on the wall of Houston's Chocolate Bar.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Kogi Taco Truck

This from CNN about Korean, Mexican fusion tacos, available only in a mobile restaurant that patrons have to wait in line hours for and can find only via twitter.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

O'Hare: A Theme Thursday Post

The following is an excerpt from my travel essay titled Lesser Known Travel Goals.


Listening to recently returned traveler’s airport horror stories is so commonplace that I decided to make a game of it. This is similar to Bingo but instead, I call it O’Hare. Not because O’Hare is any more irksome than other airports but its five-letter name made a nice little square on my game board. The rules are simple. A recently returned traveler will receive one game piece for each travel mishap to be placed on the board accordingly. Certain mishaps qualify for extra game pieces (see below). If you get five in a row horizontally, vertically or diagonally you yell “O’Hare!” There is no prize, only bragging rights of course. Here are a few of the ways you can earn points:

-- your first glimpse at the length of the security line results in an obscenity, one game piece. Obscenity with descriptors, two game pieces.

--obnoxious plane passengers for any of the following reasons: crying baby, snorer, one game piece. Malodorous seatmate, one game piece unless it is the person you brought with you. Then no game pieces, sorry. Seated next to Australians, one game piece. And they are drinking, two game pieces. Religious fundamentalist (any denomination) trying to get you to accept (insert name of deity here) as your personal lord and savior, regional flight, one game piece. Transcontinental flight, default win.

--irritable security personnel. You can go ahead and put your game piece on this one before you even leave the house for the airport. Spending 40 hours a week telling people to take their shoes off does not make for a happy employee.

--Drug Enforcement Agency dog sat down in front of your suitcase, three game pieces. I 'm thinking of taking this space off though. These people might not be interested in playing the game.

--And, thanks to a fellow traveler in Cancun, my most recently added square: Airport wall fell on head. I also gave myself one piece for having to look at his particle board speckled hair for the duration of the flight.

Now here is an example of how the game is played. I once accidentally spilled an entire glass of ice water on a German man seated beside me on a plane. For that, he would have gotten one game piece plus two more for the fact that the plane was at least four hours delayed, and one for malodorous seatmate (In my defense, I had only wanted to spend as much time on the beach as possible before I had to leave). Given that irritable security is a free space, he would probably have five in a row and could yell “O’Hare!” That is, if he even knew that I was playing this game on his behalf. Actually he did yell something when I spilled the ice water on him, but I don’t think it was “O’Hare.”

Happy travels!

*Apologies to Australians, but y'all do have a bit of a reputation for being the fun loving merry-makers of the travel world.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Blue Duck, Tehran Iran

This restaurant in Tehran looks amazingly like a Shoneys. I am so disappointed. Is there no place exotic left in the world?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Free Knitting Pattern of the Day

From the Mochimochi blog:

It's knitted toilet paper. Coming next week: Knitted air sickness bags (kidding!)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Worlds Largest Swimming Pool: A Theme Thursday Post

The swimming pool at the San Alfonso del Mar resort at Algarrobo, Chile is 19 acres and holds the Guiness World Record for World's largest swimming pool.

Monday, April 27, 2009

As Requested....

This is the garbage statue of which I spoke in the last post. Its official name was Big Bil-Bored. It was created in 1980 and I would like to say that I don't think I ever met anyone that said they liked it. The statue, is made up of old crap, like used toasters and fans, encased in cement. In the end--1993 being the end-- the craptacular statue was torn down not for being an eye sore and an embarrassment, but for being an environmental hazard. It seems the appliances were rusting and rust water was draining off into the community.

Click here for a color, interactive image that allows you to zoom in. Have fun! You'll find yourself saying things like "Is that a ...plunger??? "

You can see some of the other art objects that were in this shopping plaza, such as my personal favorite, the Pinto Pelt, here.

Music Monday: Son of Svengooli

I am bursting with pride for my hometown right now. Son of Svengooli, like the garbage statue, and the car kabob are all Berwyn originals, so imagine the luck when I happened to find this on YouTube.

For those not from the Chicagoland area, Son of Svengooli hosted a show on one of those channels that doesn't come in very well, which featured horror movies. A hometown hero, kids dressed up like him at Halloween.

Knowing that this is the sort of thing I watched growing up, will probably explain a lot for my friends.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Homemade Pozole/Posole

Pozole (or posole) is a Mexican stew made with pork chunks simmered till tender, with hominy and onion. Right before eating it is garnished with ingredients such as cabbage, lettuce, radishes, cilantro, and crispy tortillas. The radishes when added, briefly simmer in the liquid, just long enough to remove the bitterness but not so long as to cook them, so they are still crisp. Lime is also squirted it in, before eating, giving the stew a fresh and zesty flavor.

All the ingredients for my homemade pozole were purchased at the local carniceria (Mexican butcher shop/grocery). The grocer told me that pozole is usually eaten on special occasions rather than as an every day meal.

I don't have my own recipe for pozole but instead used a hybrid of several that I found on the net, on various recipe sites. Next time I think I need to add some heat in the form of chipotle in adobo. It could have used that little something extra.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Crypto Flambe

For this weeks Theme Thursday: Fire post, I have for you a puzzle. Below is a list of delicious delicacies that may be flambeed. The instructions for this puzzle are simple. Each letter has been substituted with another letter of the alphabet. Your task is to find the correct letters and decipher the list. Scroll down for hints. The answers to the puzzle are at the bottom.

1. pjqwweqn htfekqq

2. fzozozn idnxqw

3. fzgqc zkzngz

4. nzrzozge

5. pdb zt leo

6. ikzyeor hqkks fqzo

7. pwqvq ntaqxxq

Hint #1: Words number 4, 5, and 7 are foreign words.

Hint # 2: Words number 6 is a beverage.

Answers: 1. Cherries Jubilee 2. Bananas Foster 3. Baked Alaska 4. Saganaki (Saganaki is a flaming fried cheese, popular in Greek restaurants, especially in the Chicagoland area) 5. Coq Au Vin 6. Flaming Jelly Bean (a cocktail made with oozo or anisette, blackberry brandy, and run or JD. It is then set aflame and legend has it that you are supposed to stick a straw in it and drink it while it is still on fire. But that's probably not a good idea.) 7. Crepe Suzette

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Scandal at Etsy: Seller Found to Outsource Modeling Services to Foreign Employees

In these hard economic times, many Americans are out of work and struggling to make ends meet. It is inconceivable then that local jobs would be outsourced to foreign citizens.

I discovered one particular incidence of this as I was browsing through the Turtlefat store run by store mistress Essiewb, and stumbled upon this:

Uh huh. You see the problem. Upon closer inspection you will see that that is a Hunny Pot in the photo. Yes folks, this is Winnie the Pooh, and Winnie the Pooh is a Brit. So basically, Essiewb chose to hire a British model rather than a good American model.

Such as:


or even this character:

Actually I am not sure about this guy. His resume states that he lives in "the Pacific ocean." I need to get clarification from Sponge Bob expert Knitwithcats to make sure he is in fact a "real American."

This is not the only controversy I have discovered with this store. Recently, I was contacted by a representative of the Tortoises United with Turtles Union (Tutu for short) about the slanderous continuation of the myth that turtles are in fact fat. Said the representative, who prefers to remain anonymous "We are not fat! It's all shell!"

I haven't decided yet whether a full scale boycott of the Turtlefat store is in order. This offense is almost unforgivable, especially since she used a common trick of those who hire illegal aliens, to cover her tracks. She hid the offending model among actual American workers--her two children, and a roll of toilet paper. For now, I will settle for a good, harsh, scolding.

And Milosez, I am watching you too. Be warned.