Monday, April 23, 2012

CAN WE GO BACK TO THE DAYZ. Except not really.

Despite protestations that I was never going to attend a fair again (too many times going to fairs convinced I was going to have a good time, only to puke up blue cotton candy or spend an obscene sum of money to get sunburned and nauseated by beer and deep-fried snickers which seemed like an awesome combination at first but then my friends wanted to go ride a spin-y ride and then I got sick (FAIRS ARE BAD PLACES FOR THE WEAK OF STOMACH), or one time I got yelled at by a cop in the parking lot who slammed his hand down on my car and screamed "DON'T YOU KNOW THE RULES OF DRIVING IN MINNESOTA??" -- this is what fairs do to people), I was easily persuaded to attend the Pima County Fair with @theKFoss by 1) The promise of a free admission pass and 2) Being told that Boyz II Men were the featured entertainers. 

Of course, I remembered almost immediately a reason I do stay away from fairs: rides that make can me pukey and discriminate against odd numbers: 

This is why fairs are bad for a teenager's self-esteem. It's a very restrictive model!

It was also quite hot at first -- I guess it was the earliest day on record that Tucson has hit 100 degrees. 

But gradually, as it became clear that I wasn't going to puke up blue cotton candy or cry over being a single rider (vast improvement over fairs of teenager-hood), I began to enjoy myself. Night fell, and night has the magical ability to turn to fairs from depressing places to magical, neon-lit tabernacles of delight. 

Plus, there are funny signs. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Semi-Vegan Returns to Meagan Another Day

More vegan eats! (From someone who is not actually a vegan, she just plays one at home).

Me and my room had some friends over for dinner and decided to make some vegan sushi. As with our holiday party, we went a wee bit overboard while shopping and prepared about eight million different kinds of ingredients.

The basics of making sushi rolls: not actually that hard: prepare rice with rice vinegar; spread a row of said rice of some nori; spread ingredients lengthwise on the rice; roll with a sushi mat; chop roll; eat with soy sauce and wasabi.

What's challenging about making sushi with fish is, you know, learning how to chop up raw fish so that you don't end up contracting an intestinal parasite that grows to be the size of your lower intestine.

What's challenging about making vegetarian sushi is managing to combine vegetarian ingredients in a way that's flavorful enough to come through and taste interesting (Easier said than done: the rice and nori cover up a powerful amount of flavors. And I love rice and nori, need a little pizzaz to your sushi roll, you know?).

So, in essence, there way a lot of prep work involved. We used Brigid Treloar's Vegetarian Sushi (Essential Kitchen Series) which helped provide some ideas.

There was a lot of chopping:

That's blanched* green onions, chopped cucumber...
*no clue what "blanching" is? I didn't either! It's cooking something very, very, quickly in boiling water, then dunking it in cold water 
Chopped red peppers, blanched asparagus,  seasoned shiitake mushrooms (soak dried shiitake mushrooms till they are not dried anymore, then boil in soy sauce and mirin)...
And also seasoned carrots (boiled in soy sauce and mirin).
If you're wondering why the above veggies looked so pretty, it's because my roommate chopped them with a mandoline. I'm scared of that thing and won't touch it. It makes such pretty, pretty vegetables though. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Leona Lewis Guilty Pleasures the Guiltiest of Guilty Pleasures

While watching a show on Netflix that I am very somewhat embarrassed to admit I was thoroughly enjoying watching (hint: it may or may not be called The Bampire Viaires* **), I heard a cover of one of my guilty-pleasure songs, Snow Patrol's "Run." 

For your reference: 

(Note: I'd never seen the video before but it's sort of epic. Why are they wading through water and waving around road flares?). 

I discovered that the cover was by Leona Lewis, singer of one my FAVORITE guilty pleasures, "Bleeding Love":