tuftears: Lynx in Chef's Hat (Cooking)
2017-08-12 06:42 pm

Random Food Snaps part 1: 85C Breads, Gotts's Impossible Burger, Mike's Chicken Ramen

It's been a few weeks of random food photos. Let's start with the food I didn't (strictly speaking) cook.

First off, we have a couple unusual "bread" items sold at a Taiwan bakery chain that has a few shops out here, 85C:

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tuftears: Thoughtful Lynx (Thoughtful)
2017-07-29 05:39 pm

Trip to Italy: June 15-16, St. Peter's Basilica, the Colosseum, Wandering, and Return Home

Are you all ready? It's time for the last installment of the Italy trip report! Huzzah!

June 15th began with us waking up at the Hotel Majestic, where we made our way downstairs to the breakfast buffet bright and early-- the tour groups would leave at 8, so we were up bright and early around 6 and had breakfast around 7:30, after our showers.

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tuftears: Thoughtful Lynx (Thoughtful)
2017-07-22 12:27 pm

Trip to Italy: June 14, the Herculaneum and the Vatican

This was it, our last night aboard the Le Ponant. As noted in my last entry, we'd actually arrived in Naples last night so the ship wasn't rocking as much as it would have at sea, but I took half a sleeping pill to be on the safe side and get some sleep. We got up bright and early so that we could pack up our luggage-- they needed to be ready at the door at 7:30 AM.

On the downside, one of my suitcase's tiny TSA-approved locks had gone missing. My brother had advised me to take along an extra one or two-- I should have listened! Ah well. I used a bit of wire to secure the now-unlocked compartment.

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tuftears: Thoughtful Lynx (Thoughtful)
2017-07-10 09:09 pm

Trip to Italy: June 13, Amalfi, Italy

Quoting from the paper we were given: Amalfi is a charming, peaceful resort town on the scenic Amalfi Coast of Italy. The town lies at the mouth of a deep ravine, surrounded by dramatic cliffs and coastal scenery. Narrow alleyways wind through the town up the slopes between the sea and mountains.

Amalfi was one of the first Italian cities to emerge from the dark ages and by the ninth century was the most important port in southern Italy. It's the oldest of the four great Maritine Republics (including Genoa, Pisa, and Venice) that lasted through the twelfth century. Its maritime code, known as the Tavole Amalfitane, was recognized in the Mediterranean until 1570. ...

Once again assisted by a sleeping pill to gain sweet Morpheus's embrace, I woke more or less ready to face the world at 6:30 AM-ish. Dracosphynx, up as well, clambered up to go see where we were going to make dock.

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tuftears: Thoughtful Lynx (Thoughtful)
2017-07-04 03:42 pm

Trip to italy: June 12, Lipari, Italy

Thanks to confusingly European-named sleeping drugs (Zolpidem, known as Ambien in the States) I was able to get another 5 hours of sleep or so. We got up a bit early and greeted the dawn.

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tuftears: Thoughtful Lynx (Thoughtful)
2017-07-03 05:14 pm

Trip to Italy: June 11, Trapani, Sicily

Readers, I managed to get some sleep and I was finally revived! It was a huge weight off my back.

It was, granted, five hours, but I had a medically guaranteed formula for getting to sleep now, and a decongestant that seemed to do a pretty good job of keeping coughing at bay without interfering with aforementioned sedative.

So, refreshed with sleep, I proceeded to refresh myself with breakfast while the ship was en route to Trapani, Sicily.

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tuftears: Thoughtful Lynx (Thoughtful)
2017-07-02 08:06 pm

Trip to Italy: June 9 and 10, Taormina and Palermo, Sicily

I didn't get any sleep that night. x_x

As such, looking at the schedule for June 9th and finding it centered on another Greek theater, and the back streets of a town, and being desperately tired, I opted to stay on the ship instead of going out.

... You will not be surprised to learn that I didn't manage to get any sleep on the ship, either. Boat gently rocking me to sleep, my left hind-paw.

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tuftears: Lynx in Chef's Hat (Cooking)
2017-07-02 07:00 pm

Cooking Experiment: Oyakodon (ersatz)

Every now and then I get an urge to try making Japanese cuisine. This time it's the Oyakodon - literally the 'parent and child bowl', so named because it features a chicken and egg together.

Well, this isn't really an oyakodon; practically speaking it's just inspired by the concept. I don't know anything about making Japanese dashi, but I do know how to make a chicken stirfry!

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tuftears: Thoughtful Lynx (Thoughtful)
2017-06-28 01:12 pm

Trip to Italy: June 8, Siracusa, Sicily

Cue another night of failing to get sleep as the Le Ponant was tossed by waves! A bleary-eyed Tuftears rolled out of bed early in the morning to refresh himself with food.

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tuftears: Thoughtful Lynx (Thoughtful)
2017-06-25 03:04 pm

Trip to Italy: June 7, Malta and the Le Ponant

I did not so much wake up as toss and turn all night, despite my determination to get to sleep. Partly travel stress and jetlag and being in a tiny hotel bed, partly my cold and drinking lots of fluids meaning that I also needed to go to the restroom frequently. It wasn't an awesome night.

Since we had taken showers immediately before going to bed, so we could get up and out the door bright and early in time for the breakfast buffet and tour group departure... we had pretty bad bed hair.

I should note here: we were strictly warned not to drink the water in Malta, and that goes for the showers as well. It was rather discomfitting. I was glad my older bro had provided me a large refillable water bottle that allowed me to stay hydrated, especially as I was fighting off a cold.

There are no pictures of this. Just the fact I had to ask for a comb from the hotel staff (and thanksfully they were able to provide one) is sufficient shame for me. x_x

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tuftears: Happy Lynx (Happy)
2017-06-20 08:22 pm

Trip to Italy: June 5 and 6, Arrival in Malta

Per Dracosphynx, we had made reservations for this trip well ahead of time-- early in 2016, I think. So I was not thrilled when my co-workers managed to give me a cold just before the trip. Thanks, you plague rats. :P

Fortunately the symptoms appeared to be treatable with DayQuil and NyQuil, and in hope of shortening the duration of the cold, I packed along some zinc lozenges as well. Thus fortified, I shipped out Monday, meeting Dracosphynx at the airport.

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tuftears: Sleepy Lynx (Sleepy)
2017-06-17 09:19 am

I m back!

Trip report soon. For meow, I am sleepy. x_x 13-hour flights are annoying, but Economy Plus is definitely a big improvement over just plain Economy.
tuftears: Lynx in Chef's Hat (Cooking)
2017-05-29 06:24 pm

Cooking: Memorial Day BBQ for One

Happy Mew-More-Y'all Day!

It being a week before I go on a trip to Italy with [identity profile] dracosphynx.livejournal.com, I regretfully decided against going to one of the cons in the area or friends' BBQs - last thing I want is to be battling sickness while on the plane! So I cooked myself some BBQ-ish food.

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tuftears: Sly Lynx (Sly)
2017-05-28 07:44 pm

I has shed my wynter fluff!

I got a haircut back in the fall but six months later, my hair has grown out a bit uncomfily long so I figured I'd better get it cut short again, in time for my upcoming trip.

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tuftears: Lynx in Chef's Hat (Cooking)
2017-05-20 08:34 pm

Food Catchup: Kung Pao Chicken Tacos, Chorizo Fried Rice, and Meatloaf

After a friend posted on Twitter about General Tso's chicken burritos and other acts of Chinese-Mexican fusion cuisine, I thought I'd give it a try...

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tuftears: Lynx Wynx (Wynx)
2017-05-20 08:11 pm

San Francisco Japantown: Cherry Blossom Festival 2017

The other week, [identity profile] dracosphynx.livejournal.com dragged me up to the San Francisco Japantown for their 50th Cherry Blossom Festival. Whee! It was fun, though at this point we both know pretty much what to expect.

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tuftears: Lynx Wynx (Wynx)
2017-05-20 07:40 pm

Google Popups and Food: Crittenden and Tech Corners

A thing that the Google catering team does is to have "pop-up" community events at various campuses. These typically feature a large number of "social" venues like tents and sofas, a stage and speakers for live performances, and of course... food!

My team recently moved from Mountain View to Sunnyvale. As if to bid us farewell, they had a pop-up at Crittenden!

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tuftears: Lynx in Chef's Hat (Cooking)
2017-05-06 09:42 pm

Random cooking notes to myself

* Bake bacon in oven at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, not 20. 20 gives you almost charcoal.
* Bake Trader Joe's Apple Blooms at 400 degrees for 25 minutes, not 350 degrees at 15. It's still icy in the middle otherwise.
* After boiling ramen noodles, bake them at 400 degrees for 50 minutes, shaped in individual portion discs or squares, for making delicious "pan-fried" noodle stirfries.
* Make microwave popcorn easily: 1/4 cup of popcorn kernels at 2:30 minutes in the microwave in a safe bowl with cover, with 2 teaspoons of ghee or butter-flavored olive oil and a dash of salt mixed in.

Feel free to pop any cooking questions you have but I don't guarantee to know the answers. -_-