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Hey! So as the aftermath - I was preparing those dishes because the other visitor said she was going to make a roast for them.

That day, I then find out she's not doing it, and the host is instead, and she's been drinking the whole day. Which makes the day good too, but I was a little wondering about what else they made too.

So they actually had made roast, scalloped potatoes, vegetables, and a cheese platter! We all laughed about me bringing about 5 bags of groceries, including 3 wines.

That being said, spot prawns are the easiest food. You can have them raw or cooked, and you can even deep-fry the heads. So in this case, I steamed them for 2-3 minutes, and at the same time melted some butter, added garlic, sauteed, then added dill, lemon juice and porcini sea salt. Toss the prawns with the butter and you have succulent seafood.

Stinging nettles and daisy buds are also dead easy. For stinging nettles, to answer Jeremy - yes they are edible! You do need to cook them if you're not used to the irritation, though, because the cooking will render the irritant inert. Having the steamer at the ready, I threw them in the steamer basket, and boiled the sea asparagus, which is important because sea asparagus is really green-tasting but also very salty, so it at the least needs to be blanched. Preparing a base of sliced BC heirlooms as well as raw daisy buds (they're quite neat), you throw the other items on top and then throw on some white truffle balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and toss, and well, those two ingredients make anything taste good. When added to these unique veggies, you have a tasty salad.

I had prepared the crepes at home before going out there, and well, those are dead-easy. Flour, milk, eggs, melted butter, a touch of sugar and a touch of salt, whisk, and fry like pancakes. Great with chocolate chips (which I got from Cocoa Nymph, where else?) and some fresh-roasted hazelnuts from the farmer's market.

Because they had scalloped potatoes, I didn't make gnocchi there. I thus took six cooked potatoes home and wondered if they'd be fine to make gnocchi today. And yep, they are. I was experimenting with eggless gnocchi because I want to see if I could make a version that'd be great for vegans and it works! Cook potatoes in water til tender, peel, demolish in a ricer, add flour until the they can aggregate to make a ball of dough. Cover with a moist towel and let sit for 20. Then take sections, flour, and roll out into long cylinders approximately 1/2 an inch in diameter. Cut with a sharp knife to make pillow-shape cylinders, boil until they float, cool in a bowl of water, and toss with whatever you want. Homemade gnocchi is so much better than what's in the supermarkets - so much fluffier and the potato flavor really comes out!

So... I did okay! And to Sandy - I apologize for my snarkiness, I was figuring out how to share 100+ photos on Dropbox (so easy once you figure it out!). Plus, food can take many shapes - both highly involved and highly simple. But it all involves with playing with your food, which I totally embrace as a philosophy!
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My friend and I are visiting her brother and his girlfriend for dinner. We're bringing the foods, and so while my friend's making the roast, I am doing:

1) a salad of stinging nettles, daisy buds and sea asparagus, among other things
2) homemade gnocchi with a simple tomato sauce
3) steamed spot prawns with dill and citrus butter
4) crepes!

Wish me luck!
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Okay, so the Facebook idea that not many people have apparently eaten anything interesting has apparently not proven true.

As such, I put together 100 of the more interesting foods/food items/beverages I've had on the earth. I'm guessing that of the people on LJ, the median score will be at least 60.

Give it a shot if you've got time! I can't vouch that everything I've had is good, but the wide majority of things on here is good.

Try! Collapse )
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Which of the following fish, if any, would not be considered kosher?

- Halibut
- Black cod
- Lingcod
- Salmon
- Red Tuna
- Mackerel
- Red Snapper
- Barramundi

Thanks in advance!
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I thought I knew one and a half words solid.

I was wrong.

I think it's one and a quarter, now.

I'm going to zerg rush you all, now.
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Friday to Sunday was one of the most crazy fun weekends I've had ever. Thank you so much to everybody; life would suck without you guys.

And I am going to collapse into bed. Mmm... more than 5 hours of sleep...

Be careful of Nigel and his Jedi mind-tricks! Congratulations to him for having an awesome tournament. He has to teach me how to play, and I accept that playing well is not going to ever happen for me. I'll take competency.

If I play enough this year... my goal for the year: STEEdom.
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Okay, my predictions:

- Number of wins Betsy will have: 10, give or take a half point
- Number of times Ed will play 'yo': 11
- Winner of the wheelchair race between the two Jesses: neither, Dielle will also injure herself before tomorrow and sweep the darned thing
- Who will be ratingest and claim the hand of Chai after the tournament: Jesse "Overgrown Teddy Bear who makes Orca Sounds" Day
- Number of times Cesar will claim he came to Vancouver, only to find out he got deported back to Caracas: 6
- Number of wins I'll have: none, because I will sit out to make the group even (thanks for the inspiration Eric!)
- Who will win Division 3: Tony Verma. Just you wait.
- Who will win Division 2: Mike Perl, who will be 12-2 after losing to Reuvena and Yukari
- Who will win Division 1: Who else? The Wong!

To a great weekend ahead!
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Can I tackle noodles for a dinner party? Only time (the next 24 hours) will tell.

My planned menu:

- baked orecchiette with meatballs (okay, these aren't erally noodles but still)
- linguine sauteed with olive oil and garlic, served with two accompanying sauces: mussels in a white wine sauce, and asparagus pesto
- papardelle with oxtail stew
- pad thai
- pho
- Singapore laksa
- Beijing sesame-flavored noodle salad

As side dishes:

- two types of gyoza: shrimp and chicken, and vegetarian
- combination raw and aburi (blowtorched) sashimi - mackerel, salmon, tuna, and yellowtail
- baked herb-crusted lingcod fillet
- steamed tofu with black bean sauce, broccoli and scallops
- stir-fried vegetables (pea sprouts, bell peppers, and celery)

And dessert:

- cocoa fettuccine (I bought this on a whim at Pike Place Market; it didn't taste bad at all!) with a vanilla cream sauce and mint chiffonade
- baked bananas with melted dark chocolate and berry (not sure, it looks like blueberry) compote

Oh, and a fairly sizable cheese/charcuterie (smoked tuna, salmon, and a duck sausage) plate with grapes.

10 wines, 4 kinds of juice, peppermint tea on hand too.

... I'm so going to fail this. But I'll do it in amazing fashion.
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What can be said about 2011? It was about the best year possible and I can only be thankful for all the memories. Among them, I:

- grew a great deal as a lawyer, basically overseeing major deals (including a merger and a takeover) on my own, and can apparently draft contracts in French for DRC law
- furthered my friendships with my boss and assistant, and just getting to know how much more awesome people they really are
- hosted a series of dinner parties where I met a bunch of new people, got to try out a bunch of new dishes (and have them succeed!), and share my love of food and excessive wine with others
- spent a lot of good quality time with the folks, and while not always agree, better appreciate some of their philosophies towards life
- learned some new piano pieces for the first time in years
- got to drag my friends, my brother and my sister-in-law to one of the neatest culinary experiences ever, and also saw an XP happy dance; restrained by a seatbelt
- organized two Scrabble tournaments and didn't totally screw either up
- got to travel to SF and Kelowna for a week each and stay with friends that I personally consider equivalent to brothers of mine
- spooned Cesar and apparently that led to him not being so dramatic for a weekend, as he placed in the money... (moral of the story: I'll sacrifice my body to save my mind)
- stuffed money in shoes
- got someone else addicted to watching Starcraft 2
- played mahjong in an arcade in Richmond, with prompt schooling not by Eric, but random master Gabe
- had my first ever play of Angry Birds as a carnival game at the Richmond Night Market
- admired Betsy's takoyaki-haggling abilities
- curled with friends and have the jeans to prove it
- learned about how Nadja used a $200 bottle of wine for cooking... in her defense, she didn't know it was $200, was with a completely batshit crazy ex-friend and the wine probably sucked at this point in time
- catch up with old friends that I haven't seen much of in years - Judy (one of my best friends who brought me into Scrabble), Jon (the son of my boss, who I went to high school and uni with), Swetha (another old HS friend) et al...
- got to see Sunshine show her awesomeness by giving away a kidney to an almost complete stranger, then get pregnant and go whitewater rafting at the time, and hear from her and Jon about the birth of Katherine Marie. Congrats!
- was lucky enough to run into fields of all you complete losers in the Scrabble tournaments I entered, except Eric and Jesse, who cheated
- had the luck to have the health, friends, family and ability to have all of this happen and enjoy it

There's a very good chance I'm missing other things but they were also awesome. The problem is, I'm so lucky to have the problem of trying to remember all the awesome stuff over the past year... a very bad problem indeed, right?

My resolutions? To try and create more of these memories, for myself and for others. I'm lucky to have all of you as friends. (Passing a 13 in ITG would also be pretty awesome but I think I have to be realistic.) This has already started, if the text messages I sent JD this morning were any indication.

Take care! To new possibilities...
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