Thursday, December 31, 2009

Under my feet, the earth moves

Up the saturation on this color palette!
Cue the cellos! (fp cres.)
Intensify your screams of agony!

I believe that to be believable, you must portray the believable in an unbelievable fashion.

Move aside, circumnavigate this convoluted world of yours.

You ain't got nothing on this.

Happy New Year to me. And to you, partner in crime.

But not to you, Sarah Jane. No, not you.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Failure to communicate.

Austin, we've got a problem.

I feel that what we've got here is a solid disconnect.

Fixable? Probably negative. The chasm is of a size far too great now. Perhaps if I had an infinite supply of 2x4's, one heavy duty hammer, an abundance of nails, and the will power to bridge that gap.

A bridge abridged.

I'm no civil engineer.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

These Holidays

I've taken this break to catch up on certain things that once defined me as an individual. I mean specifically, film & music. These are all things that I've ignored pretty much all year in the wake of my full-force career goal shift towards a less creative industry. Left behind a lot of things that I'm going back and picking up. Still several things that needs mending.

Since I'm doing all this revisiting and since the last few days of 2009 are approaching, I'd like to go back and highlight some of those great "naughties" moments that I remember quite vividly.

Fatboy Slim's "Weapon of Choice" music video directed by Spike Jonze featuring a dancing Christopher Walken.

Then of course, we have Zenadine Zidane's headbutt during the 2006 World Cup finals between France and Italy. France lost 5-3 in the end.

I haven't compiled any sort of best films of the decade list or anything, but hands down, my favorite would have to be Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, released in 2004, the year in which I really fell in love with cinema.

"Can I borrow a piece of your chicken?"
"I prefer to be Ruth, but I'm flexible."

This decade, I also fumbled my way for the first time through James Joyce's Ulysses. Although the novel is not specifically a product of this decade, this is definitely an accomplishment I want to highlight.

In terms of advertising, this is probably one of the best commercials to have been made this past decade. I know I posted this on my tumblr/facebook already, but I think it deserves another mention. This is Ogilvy & Mather's "Evolution" for Unilever's Dove Campaign for Real Beauty Fund.

That's enough for now. Until my next entry.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

25 Best Albums of the Decade

25 Best Albums of the Decade
Or, the albums released between the years 2000-2009 that mean the most to me:

1. Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
2. Broken Social Scene - You Forgot It in People
3. Radiohead - Kid A
4. Arcade Fire - Funeral
5. Modest Mouse - The Moon & Antarctica
6. Death Cab for Cutie - Transatlanticism
7. Cat Power - The Greatest
8. Sufjan Stevens - Illinois
9. The National - Boxer
10. The Streets - A Grand Don't Come for Free
11. The Postal Service - Give Up
12. The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
13. Beck - Sea Change
14. LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver
15. Spoon - Kill the Moonlight
16. Cat Power - You are Free
17. Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend
18. TV on the Radio - Dear Science
19. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!
20. Björk - Vespertine
21. Loretta Lynn - Van Lear Rose
22. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
23. Aimee Mann - Bachelor No. 2
24. The Antlers - Hospice
25. PJ Harvey - Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea

Oh, god. I know this looks like something off pitchfork, but I guarantee you that I created this before looking through their list.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Let the Listomania Begin!

Best Albums of 2009

1. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!
2. The Antlers - Hospice
3. The xx - xx
4. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
5. Passion Pit - Manners
6. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
7. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
8. Karen O and the Kids - Where the Wild Things Are [OST]
9. Taken By Trees - East of Eden
10. Antony & the Johnsons - The Crying Light

Monday, December 14, 2009

Tomorrow Morning means Golden Globe Nominations

And I have no clue what's going on with that. For the past four years of my life, I have been on top of awards season, ready with my predictions, formulating my own upsets. What happened to me? I know nothing. I've seen a mere 7 films released this year.
  1. District 9
  2. 500 Days of Summer
  3. Star Trek
  4. Watchmen
  5. Drag Me to Hell
  6. Bruno
  7. Me and Orson Welles
This semester -- no scratch that. This YEAR has been too damn busy. This winter break, I must catch up. Hopefully, I will also be able to make a Top 10. We will see.

Seems like we may have our first female Best Director in Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker). I will be previewing her work in the next couple of days too. Jason Reitman is 3 for 3 now with Up in the Air, starring a Best Actor-worthy George Clooney. Many great animated films this year as well -- The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Ponyo, Up!, The Princess and the Frog, Coraline, etc. And Mo'Nique may have a new epithet in a couple months -- "Academy Award winner Mo'Nique" -- thanks Lee Daniels's Precious.

Enough musings. For now, I must run to HEB to buy Sunkist in preparation for my apresentação português amanhã.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


From howstuffworks "How Sharks Work" article:

We do know that sharks are solitary animals, for the most part. They typically live and hunt by themselves, joining up with other sharks only in certain circumstances, such as mating. Some sharks will form schools on occasion, however. Researchers aren't really sure why this occurs because sharks don't really need protection from predators and they don't feed in schools. At this point, it's still unclear why sharks behave this way. In any case, the occurrence is very rare. Most of the time, sharks swim alone.

Friday, December 4, 2009

December is the Ultimate

Ultimate, not meaning the greatest but the last.

The last of many, many things. It's the ultimate month of this decade. It's the ultimate day of school (excluding finals of course). It's the ultimate minute that I will get to see some great professors.

We just had a sending off for Dr. Charles Rossman, Joyce Scholar and UT English Professor. Great, great guy - super enthusiastic about Joyce, embracing of his students, and obviously loved by his family: two kids, one who graduated from Law school, the other with an MD, both of whom traveled from Houston to sit it on his ultimate day of teaching, documenting with a cute little point-and-shoot the ultimate hour that he will share with young minds the wealth of knowledge and the years of research he possesses on Joyce. And this woman, who I mistook for someone simply wanting to return to college for reasons that I presumed to be a desire to increase her literary knowledge -- well, it turns out that this is his wife. She sat through the entire class and read through Ulysses for the second time in her life just so that she can spend with him his ultimate semester as a Joyce Scholar at the University of Texas.

This is me being sentimental and slightly envious. Envious because - well, have you seen those movies? Wonder Boys, The Squid and the Whale? I wonder if student-professor relations actually blossom the way they do in these films. Not exactly the way they unfold in these films, of course. But I mean, do they bloom? Do students (particularly undergraduates) actually form long-term real relationships with their professors?

Anyways, this is one reason why I'm really glad I'm graduating with a liberal degree here at UT. How can a student really relate to a professor on things like marketing strategies? Or multi-variable calculus? Or fluorescent microscopy? Or MATLAB (say what!?)? I don't think a student can. Beautiful humanities.

I'm feeling quite sentimental right now. It's December. It's snowing like mad in Houston. Biting, cold wind here in Austin with all 750,000 residents hoping and wishing for but one snowflake. One little snowflake. I woke up at 5:00 a.m. before the sun rose and listened to The National. It's the ultimate day of the preantepenultimate semester of my penultimate year of college. And this is me documenting this morning. If I'm this sentimental now, I wonder what the ultimate day of the ultimate semester of my ultimate year here will be for me. Guess, we'll have to see.

Ultimately, I want to say that I'm very sorry that you all will not be able to take Professor Rossman's James Joyce course. My apologies indeed.

And as one ultimate reminder for all those who may stumble upon this entry:
Remember, Madam, I never eat muscatel grapes.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

This is Just to Say

That this time of year, I'm usually prognosticating the Oscars. Sadly, my life has grown far too hectic for this kind of fun - or any general sort of fun actually.

Maybe I'll watch a few films during Thanksgiving break?

To name a few in which I find interest:

An Education, Precious, The Hurt Locker, Up (how could I have missed a Pixar?!), 500 Days of Summer, FANTASTIC MR. FOX (released wide on the 25th and receiving very positive early reviews), etc.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Cause of My Insufferable Headache

Is it
  • Not eating enough?
  • Insufficient amount of sleep?
  • James Joyces's difficult prose?
  • Perpetual process of writing+waiting?
  • Overload on school work?
  • The necessity for days with 28+ hours?
  • All of the above?
Too many variables to test out. Scientific method will not work for this experiment. What's that? Minus ten? Scales lie. Gravity lies. Newton lies. Time to warm up a boca burger. Scratch that first bullet off my list.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

What November Means

Write. Apply. Write. Apply. Deadline. Wait. Wait. Wait.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Come on Baby, Light My Fire

Slowly burning away, I am the animate equivalent of this candle. (Just to clarify, I did not employ a dangling modifier -- slowly burning away modifies the noun I for I am burning away. Shame on you if you assumed it should modify candle).

All I want for Columbus Day (United States of America), Thanksgiving (Canada), o Dia Mundial da Criança (Brasil) is a staycation.

Just read: "Feefawfum. I zmellz de bloodz odz an Iridzman." - James Joyce, Ulysses ("Proteus")

The stream-of-conscious of an underworked work-a-holic. Surrealism at its finest. You So Real mixtape. Download it. I compiled it. Tell me what you think. Que piensas? Que vocês acham? Was denkst du? Mixtape. Compilation. Fitter, happier, more productive.

Sorry, did I say animate? I meant inanimate.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Design Trumps Humanities

Currently enjoying this visual design class very much.
Loving working on InDesign.
Typefaces are wonderful.
Unfortunately, this is taking away the focus from some of my other classes. Joyce, American English, Portuguese.

Still trying to strike a balance between everything going on in my life: school, work, internship, community service, extracurricular activities, wasting time on social networking sites, sleep, social life (slowly beginning to lose grasp of the meaning of these last two words).

Wilco, I love you.
Jeff Tweedy, I love you.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

September's Embers Rekindle then Dwindle

Start of the new school year. What does this mean? WELL, after a fantastic summer working as a staff photographer for The Daily Texan, I have decided that it would not be in my well-being (aka my health) to continue in a paid position this semester given my heavy work/course load. I talked with my very rational photo editor and we decided that I could apply as a volunteer instead. No commitments and no obligations, but I'll still be able to come shoot when I can. I think this will be good because otherwise, I would stop taking pictures and I would be deeply saddened by this.

Unfortunately, becoming a volunteer would also mean I would probably not have the opportunity to do sports. Maybe next semester? At least, I was able to dip my toe this past summer, photographing an open practice the football team had. It was an enjoyable experience, too.

Above is the photo that was printed in the paper. Not bad for my first time? Wish I could have more opportunities. Oh, the wealth of opportunities that comes along with working for the newspaper. That's one of the biggest things I'll miss -- the opportunities, experiencing things I normally never would.

Digression: I should probably upload these onto my newly-created flickr (check the sidebar for a link). I feel like I'm on every Web 2.0 website ever created. It's hard managing them all, but I gotta do what I can.

Positive Note: I can get involved with other organizations on campus and in the community. I decided to continue teaching ESL at Casa Marianella. And I'm also weighing out the pros & cons of getting involved with three other organizations on campus -- trying to figure out which ones fit my interests/schedule best.

Side note: My stint at B-Side ends this week. Texas Monthly begins next week. Keeping the momentum rolling!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ennui Unbridled

First time blogging on my phone. It's much more difficult. That said I'll try to keep this short. Only doing this cause this part-time job is a bore. I just need something a little more challenging, where I use my brain a little more. I want to learn! I want constant self-improvement. Can't wait to start at Texas Monthly. Can't wait to start up school again. This part-time job - it takes care of the bills for now so I'm okay with it. I mean, I have to be.

In other words, I picked up one of the best albums I've listened to in quite a while. It's called Hospice by The Antlers. Check it out. It's so poignant. It tears me up inside. I guarantee it will do the same to you.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Putzen! Nettoyer! Limpiar! Pulire!

During the 5 hours of meticulously cleaning my kitchen, I thought up this awesome project. The thing about these project ideas that I have is that I'm not sure that I have the time to implement them. Until then, they're just awesome ideas, you know?

Well, this one needs some time to formulate further in my mind. See if it's actually possible to accomplish and maybe, just maybe, I can go forth with it.

For now, I must get back to sleep for tomorrow is another exciting day at my internship. And after that? More crazy cleaning. So far, I've taken care of the stove top and stove coil things, microwave (inside and out), tops of cabinets, refrigerator floor and vegetable drawers, counters and sink. I also organized my food in the refrigerator and my spice cabinet. I arranged them in alphabetical order inside a cabinet designated only for dried herbs and spices. Yesterday (Wednesday) was my first full day off in maybe two weeks. And this is how I spend the day. CLEANING. Wonderful. I also ran errands like crazy.

Tomorrow is oven exteriors, refrigerator exteriors, kitchen tables, pantry and floors. I know that this state of cleanliness will not last long once 1) roommates move into apt [this includes the two new roommates and Victor] and 2) school starts. I just won't have the time.

Maybe I can get my room and bathroom in before semester begins? We'll see.

Until then, check out this image of Penelope Cruz from the set of the upcoming movie musical, Nine. Oh, I cannot wait.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Lahat ng Tungkol sa Aking Ina

Shoutout to my mother who reads my blog every now and then.

Busy life means an inability to keep in contact with everyone living a distance greater than 100 miles away. Its awful.

Anyways, it was very nice talking to her and letting her know what's up with my life. But she'd basically pieced together bits and pieces of it through her expert internet researching abilities. Even though she reads up on me, we're still not facebook friends. That's just far too intimate.

Been blogging more in my free-time. Hmm... oh, that's right, because now that summer school is over and The Daily Texan has wrapped up until the start of the fall semester, I've got a little bit of time on my hands. Magnifique. Unfortunately, I've pretty much given up on blogging strictly about food. It's such a process.

Not much else going on. Gonna have to start making this ratatouille soon. My vegetables are getting kinda old now. I don't know how to make a classic ratatouille at all, but I'm just gonna... well... make my own version of it.

I wonder if she cares that I'm posting up her [facebook profile] picture?
This is my mother, whom I adore.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Ideas Overflow My Mind

I'm not sure what I'm doing at home on a Saturday night. It seems like it's the first night I've had off in over a week (9 or 10 days). So I think I'm just taking it easy. Sucks that I've got this thing looming over my head that I have to do before Monday. I mean, it's a super simple task but it still looms and looming's no good. Watch a couple films. Easy. Marketing/pre-distribution strategies. Not bad. Still looms.

I've had an awesome week and things seem to be going forward. But there's still something missing. I know what it is.

Much of it is tangible.

One, a blackberry.

I have a whole campaign that I've been working on to pitch to my mom regarding my investment in a smart phone. She adamantly opposes the smart phone. But I want/need one for these reasons.
  1. To better connect myself with the world (never home, always out and about, current phone plan not so stellar - 250 txts/month. Really, mom?)
  2. To increase my marketability in the job world (dependable, contactable, etc.)
Two, a good DSLR (Canon 5D, maybe?). I really want to launch a multimedia project this fall. But what's the point if I haven't got the equipment that I need to execute? Maybe I'll be able to check out equipment from the photo-j department again this semester? Let me make sure that I can before even attempting this project inspired by the Times. Maybe if I cut out all of my clips from The Daily Texan and present it to my parents all bound up and nice, they'll be overcome by sheer joy that they'd go out and buy me one?

Just kidding. These are missing from my life but it's not what I really need right now. Although, I'd still love to have them. We'll see.

In other words, Miyazaki's Ponyo is out in theaters now and it's receiving stellar reviews. Need to see it. Recently saw District 9. Social commentary very evident. Do not eat food while watching. Just a warning.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Beginning and End of Things

Mid-August means...

FINISHING summer school
COMPLETING my first semester as a photographer at The Daily Texan
CATCHING up on sleep
GETTING hired as a Marketing Intern at Texas Monthly!!!
INCREASING hours at a job that pays (minimum wage, blerg)
BEING the happiest I've been in quite a while
MISSING old friends (Rachel! Massiel!)
GROWING excitement about upcoming fall semester
ADDING two recipes to my repertoire (potato gratin & vichyssoise)
FEELING like I accomplished something this summer
Successfully BUILDING my resume

Looking forward to what the near-future has in store for good ol' Edmarc!!!
(This boy is in motion!)

Oh, how the summer has passed me by.

My first photo published by The Daily Texan (in the first edition of the summer). This is also the first in a series of many wild art shots by many photographers that involved kids and water.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

August 1st means Lifestyle Changes

New DIEtary restrictions are killing me softly. It's been 3 days. Maybe it's because I've got nothing in my pantry/fridge that adheres to these rules? And therefore, I'm just ill-prepared to start this. Anyways, gonna have to start going to Central Market.

What's in this week's potential lineup for food?
-Potato Gratin
-a crap load of pasta
-lots of bowls of cereal
-maybe some sort of spinach & garbanzo bean salad
-vichyssoise (cold French leek & potato soup)

I wonder how much weight I'll lose by the end of the month? Let's guesstimate. I'm hoping for 5 lbs. Then I'll be at my optimal target weight.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tilapia over Orzo

Wanted Salmon. Too expensive. Went for a cheaper alternative, felt like Sandra Lee. Anyways. I seared the tilapia first, then poured a melted butter/lemon juice/lemon zest mixture over them in a flat kinda casserole dish. Some garlic, some rosemary, some sauteed onions. Baked the fish in the juices and herbs topped with two thin slices of lemon (more acid!). It was delicious. Every time I bit into an onion, it was a burst of citrusy, acidic, tart flavor.

This was actually the first time I had orzo. I really liked it as a much easier to cook version of rice. Much lower maintenance. I just mixed the orzo with olive oil, some rosemary, some Parmesan and some Gruyere (my favorite cheese!). It was pretty mild compared to the strong flavors I cooked with the fish but it was a nice compliment.

Anyways, nothing too fancy but I had to blog about something. It's been far too long. And I successfully seared something. I was really proud. Because the searing didn't cook the fish all the way, just created this brown crust on the bottom. Then the baking finished cooking it through. It was so nice and flaky.

Anyways, happy Bastille Day. Made some croque-monsieurs for myself to celebrate this national French holiday.

OH. Also, last Saturday, I went to Blue Dahlia Bistro on 11st street (eastside in the historic French district) here in Austin, TX. Absolutely delicious. I ordered a prosciutto, mozzarella, pesto tartine. MMmmm. It was divine. Brought friends there too. One ordered a ham and cheese (super lame) and the other ordered smoke salmon (garnished with dill) and didn't eat it because he thought it was raw and got scared (super, super lame). But I ate it and it was so good. Salmon is just so flavorful. Not well-versed in the fish arena so it's nothing big when I say that salmon's probably my favorite.

Au Revoir!

Friday, May 29, 2009

My Experi-MINT

I said earlier that I'd make some stuff with mint. Well, here they are.

Penne pasta with a garlic-tomato-mint sauce
Um, just sauteed the garlic (delicious), tossed in canned diced tomatos, and added the chopped mint leaves at the very end. Nothing fancy.

Mint Julep
Obviously I didn't know how to make this because I actually crushed up the mint leaves as opposed to just bruising them. I would've tried again but now my mint leaves have gone bad. Oops. Maybe next time.

Mint Chocolate Chip Brownie Sandwich with Cream Cheese Icing
Oh god, I don't even know what to call this. They were supposed to be mint chocolate chip cookies but I didn't have enough flour. And I when I chilled my mixture, I knew it wouldn't be thick enough to be cookies. And because it looked more like cake batter, I just poured it onto a baking sheet and they came out kinda brownie-like. Although, I think I overcooked it as it was a little dry. So I whipped up a cream cheese icing, put it between two layers of cake, added another dallop on the top, sprinkled some powdered sugar and cinnamon, and garnished with mint leaves. I think it looks better than it tastes. Also, I didn't use mint in the actual thing but rather mint extract. I cheat.

As a result of this experiment, I don't think I'm going to eat anything mint for a while. Well, except mint chocolate ice cream. Mmmmmmm...

Friday, May 15, 2009

Spicy Jalapeño Omelette

This is a super simple meal. I mean, it's an omelette. How hard is that? It's not super complicated, but every now and then, I like making them just to try out different ingredient pairings and stuff. They're so good for experimentation. And they're also good for getting rid of ingredients that you need to use up. So ya, that's why I make omelettes all the time. It's never the same exact experience twice, it seems... for me at least. Here's my Spicy Jalapeño Omelette. I feel silly making a recipe thing just cause it's so easy but whatev. So easy in fact that I can't really explain what I did or give exact measurements. Also, this was the omelette I decided I would just go all out with in terms of spiciness.

Ingredients (serves 1)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 jalepeño pepper
  • habanero cheddar
  • a few dashes of ground cayenne pepper
  • a little bit of olive oil
  • salt + pepper for seasoning
Easy steps (takes like 15 minutes or less)
  1. Turn your stove to medium heat. Take your small skillet and pour in enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. I don't like giving exact measurements for this stuff -- I'm sure you guys know how much oil you need to do this.
  2. When it gets hot enough, throw your scallions in and let them sauté for about 5 minutes. I know scallions are mild enough as it is, but I used a fair amount so I wanted to cook them way down to sweeten them a little. If you like the pungent taste of scallions, just throw in 1 chopped scallion near the very end instead. Anyways, when they're done sautéing, add in a little more olive oil so that the eggs won't stick to the pan when you throw them in there.
  3. Beat your 3 eggs in a separate bowl. Season them with salt and pepper and then pour them into your pan. Turn the heat down to low.
  4. Dice up half your jalapeño. I used half only because I included the membranes and the seeds, the parts of the pepper which have the most heat. If you don't want the seeds, use the entire pepper instead for a mild spiciness. Or if you want a lot of heat, use it all up, seeds and all! Throw them into the pan as well, and kind of spread them out over the egg.
  5. Grate some habanero cheddar onto your eggs. Just grate however much you want depending on the level of spiciness you want.
  6. Then, I don't know how people make omelettes, but I just kind of wait until most of the bottom layer of the eggs is cooked and its hard enough that I can fold it in half and flip it over to close the edges. That's why I do this on low, so that the egg doesn't burn on the bottom but the rest of it gets cooked as well. So ya, that's what I did. Make your omelette however you usually do!
  7. Then when that's all done, transfer your omelette onto a plate and grate some more habanero cheddar onto the top.
  8. Sprinkle some ground cayenne pepper onto your omelette. Why would we want to do this: 1) more heat!! and 2) to add some nice color. Add however much you feel you can handle.
  9. I served this over toast and butter, which served as a sort of neutralizer to the spiciness of the omelette.
Anyways, this is a really badly written recipe just because there's so much room for variation. I really enjoy a lot of heat, but a lot of people may not. So you can vary the levels depending on how much of each ingredient you put. So anyways, that's what I did with this omelette. It turned out nice and spicy like I wanted. I just took a bite of the toasted bread and butter every time it got too hot. Then I would continue eating. Haha.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Lentil Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

This recipe is so easy. Here it is.
  • 1 lb lentils
  • salt
  • 1 1/2 cup of red grapes, cut in half
  • 1 1/2 cup of green grapes, cut in half
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • goat cheese (optional)
  • your favorite nuts, toasted
For the vinaigrette.
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/3 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/4 tsp of fresh ground pepper
So here are the instructions. They're a little long because I like to be wordy and spell everything out:
  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil (about 8 cups for 1 lb of lentils). Add salt for flavor.
  2. Clean your lentils by putting them in a strainer and running water through it just to make sure there's not dirt. Run your finger through them to make sure no other foreign objects are in there. When that's done, stick your lentils into your pot of boiling water for about 18 minutes.
  3. Cut your green and red grapes right in half and stick them in a large bowl.
  4. Clean and dice up your red pepper. We want to use red because they're sweeter than green. To clean out the bell peppers, you just cut the stem off, cut the pepper right in half and you can just scoop out all the membranes and seeds and throw them in the trash. I do it a different way but I can't quite explain it in words... and it all gets you to the same place anyways. Yup, then dice them and stick them into the bowl.
  5. Chop up 2 things of scallions and throw them in as well.
  6. Zest two lemons right over the bowl. When you're done, give it all a good mix just so you don't get huge clumps of zest in your salad.
  7. Now to make the vinaigrette. Squeeze the juice of two lemons into another bowl.
  8. Now, while you whisk, slowly pour in your E.V.O.O. so that it incorporates nicely with the lemon. We want extra virgin because it's fruitier. And fruity is good for this salad.
  9. Now pour in your salt and pepper. Stir and you're done!
  10. When your lentils are finished, strain them and lay them out on a wide plate, letting them cool down for 5 or so minutes. Use more than one plate if you need to (more surface area = they cool down faster. Makes sense).
  11. Then put the lentils in your bowl with the lemon vinaigrette. Make sure you toss it very well so that everything's all nice and mixed in.
  12. Then you're ready to serve. I just put a dallop of goat cheese to add a little creaminess and tartness. To keep this vegetarian (vegan even!), totally just omit this step.
  13. For texture, which I unfortunately didn't do, you would add your favorite nuts on top. This salad is very soft, very mushy naturally. The crunchiest things in it are your grapes and bell pepper chunks so just to add a little more protein and a lot more crunch, I highly recommend adding nuts. Toast them in the oven for a few minutes to bring out flavor if you want. Then you would sprinkle liberally over the top of your lentil salad and there you have it. This takes 25 or so minutes - tops and it's very nice and citrusy, which I like.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Massive Update: Salmon, Cookies, Spider, and Chile Rellenos!

Oh god, these last few weeks have been busy. Just haven't had the time to update what with school and all.

This is what has happened since:
  • Wrote 3 papers
  • Took 2 tests
  • Finished my photo story on Barsana Dham. Pictures of that soon, I hope? Maybe.
And here are some of the things I cooked since:

This is a sear-roasted lemon butter salmon fillet served over couscous. First time attempting to "sear" something. I didn't get that brown crust I wanted, unfortunately. And this isn't really a fillet-sized serving, but meh. I seasoned it with salt and pepper, stuck pieces of butter on top, wrapped them in aluminum foil and put them in the oven for about 20 minutes. Afterwards, I squeezed some fresh lemon onto them. And it was my first time cooking couscous, which is absolutely delicious. Couscous looks like rice but it's actually a pasta. I stove-cooked it in a chicken broth butter mixture for 5 minutes, then tossed in diced tomatoes, chopped parsley, chopped scallions, and finely grated smoked cheddar. Put a lid on it, let it sit, and served it under the fillet.

Chocolate Chip Cookies. This was actually kind of an "original" recipe. Rachel and I took the recipe for the dough and deviated significantly. We added nutella to the dough, added some milk. We sprinkled dark chocolate bits onto the top along with sliced almonds (which toasted nicely in the oven) and there it is! Chocolate cookies. They disappeared so fast.

Now, today!
Oh man, I was just watching TLC (Jon and Kate + Eight, I think) and this guy started crawling in front of the television. He startled me! Look at those eyes. Cute, yes?

But I'm terrified of brown recluses so I got my more brave roommate to kill it for me with Raid. Fortunately, it wasn't a brown recluse. Unfortunately, we may have killed it despite the fact that after spraying, we decided to catch it and set it back outside.

And for my chile rellenos!! My blog will never be a food blog without posting the recipes that I use but food blogging is not my aim. I'm a photo blog. I just happen to be cooking a lot. Anyways, for this, I took a lot of pictures throughout so I might as well do the recipe thing. These took me forever to make. It's a long process. But it was good.

Chile Rellenos with Tomato-Avocado Salsa

For the chile rellenos:
  • 4 poblano peppers
  • olive oil
  • a nice big block of your favorite cheese.
  • 3 eggs
  • a pinch of salt
  • about 2 or 3 cups of vegetable oil
For the salsa:
  • 4 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 2 haas avocados, diced
  • 1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • juice of 1 (or 2) limes
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 3 tbs cilantro
  • salt and pepper

1) You need to take your peppers and roast them in the oven. It doesn't matter if they're poblanos or anaheims. I used poblanos but I don't know the difference between the two yet, in terms of taste. They just need not be bell peppers. So how to roast? Take a baking pan, put some aluminum foil on them. Put your peppers on them, giving them room. Drizzle olive oil onto them so that they retain their moisture (if you have a brush, even better! Brush 'em down!). Stick them in the oven at 350 degrees for 40 minutes to an hour. Check them periodically throughout. When they start blackening on the tops, rotate them using the stem.

2) While your peppers are roasting, let's make a sauce to eat it with. How about a tomato-avocado salsa? Ok good. So you take 4 tomatoes, dice them, and put them in a large bowl. I used Roma.

3) Next, take 2 Haas avocados, dice those and stick them in the bowl. In case you don't know, you take a knife and start cutting down the middle of the avocado until you hit the pit. Then just start making your way around the seed with the knife. Once all the way around, just take the two halves and twist. They will split easily. Then take the sharp side of your knife and stick it into the seed and just pull out. Take each half of the avocado, using your knife to make vertical and horizontal lines in the fruit. Take a spoon, scoop them out and put them into your bowl with the tomatoes.

4) Take half of a medium red onion and finely chop it! Stick those into the bowl.

5) Squeeze the juice of 1 or two limes into the bowl as well.

6) Put into the mixture 2 tbs of vegetable oil.

7) Put in 2 tbs of honey (mmmm). The original recipe called for 2 tsps but I misread it and put in 2 tbs. It turned out to be a very sweet salsa. Which I liked very much.

8) Now, this is a salsa right? So it MUST have cilantro? Well, I don't like cilantro so I skipped this step. But if you want, put in 3 tbs of cilantro.

9) Season with salt and pepper to taste.

10) Combine all of them gently until the oils and juices and chopped everythings are all incorporated, making sure not to crush the avocado cubes or tomatoes.

Here's what it looks like. It's really nice and sweet and everything mixes very well. It's a little green because the avocado kinda dissolves into the oils. No big. Stick your salsa in the fridge for later. Anyways, once your peppers are done roasting, they should look like this:

Those are what they look like afterwards.

11) Stick them in a large bowl and cover the bowl with saran wrap. Let it sit there for about 20 minutes. Allowing them to steam like this loosens the skins so that twenty minutes later it just comes right off. Then you just peel them.

12) Okay, go over to your cutting board. Take a knife and cut a little pocket halfway down the peppers, being very careful not to tear other parts of the flesh. You want to take a spoon and scoop out all the inner white membranes and seeds. Discard those nasties.

13) Take your cheese and cut them into rectangular prism things the size of your peppers. I used Habanero Cheddar but it's really up to you.

14) Okay now to make the batter. Take 3 eggs (approx 1 egg for every 2 peppers if you want to know the ratio if you're making more) and pour only the whites into a mixing bowl.

This is the hard part... unless you have a blender, mixer, whatever. We need these egg whites whipped so that the batter will be light and fluffy. Since I didn't have any machine to do this, I had to hand-whip it with my trusty whisk! 15 minutes later and a right arm terribly sore, I've whipped those bad boys:

Do it until it's pretty much solid.

15) Take your egg yolks and fold them into the whipped egg whites. Add some salt if you like!

16) Take some vegetable oil in a large stew pot and heat it up real nice on the stove

17) Take some flour in a little bowl thing. You want to take your stuffed peppers, coat them lightly in flour. Make sure it's all covered up. You need it all nice and floured so that the batter you made with the egg whites will stick to your pepper. So after you run it through the flour, stick it in the batter, and then stick it into your hot oil and watch them sizzle and fry!

Just take them out when they're nice and brown. It takes just a couple minutes on each side.

18) Stick them onto a plate with paper towels so that they will soak up the excess oil.

19) When you're done. Stick it on a plate, and pour some of that salsa over it!

Presentation's not the best, but it tasted wonderful so it doesn't matter. I don't even like tomatoes but they were good in the salsa.

There's that. I know this isn't the authentically Mexican way to prepare this, but this is just my variation on the chile relleno.

Until next time!

Monday, April 20, 2009



Vareniki are Ukrainian dumplings. I made a ground beef stuffing, which was really pretty easy and tasted good. And I made the dough myself, which was a pain because I didn't realize it'd be so sticky (unless I made it wrong? I don't know, I've never made dough before). Served with mascarpone (because I didn't have sour cream) and drenched in lots of buttery goodness (which is why they're so yellow)!

Eh, it was okay. I don't know what I did wrong...

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Quickly -- my Swedish Potato Pancakes with Bacon and Lingonberry Jam:

I don't know what potato pancakes are supposed to look like but upon googling it, I think mine looks fairly good in relation. I'm gonna go do some research and find out what they should really look like at a restaurant when I have the time. Doesn't look too appetizing from the picture, I know. But it wasn't bad. I loved the tartness of the lingonberry jam. The pancakes themselves were very dense though. So full afterwards. Maybe a little wet? I squeezed the grated potatoes as much as I could given the fact that I was rushing for work.

And yes, my bacon looks yellow because I like to overcook my bacon (because I'm afraid of those brain tapeworms you get from undercooking pork).

That's all! Early morning tomorrow. Going to the temple. Maybe I'll put some pictures up from there. It's like a little patch of paradise, I kid you not.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


[The title's supposed to make sense when you see the second picture]

I prepared croques again today! But this time, I wanted to try just a regular croque-monsieur.

Rachel made herself a croque-madame. We used different cheeses for our own respective Béchamel sauces and this time, I did not burn our sandwiches during the broil! I used Dijon mustard also to keep it closer to the original French way of preparing this sandwich but Rachel didn't like it (wah wah wah). I put a little too much on mine though. But it was so so delicious still. I just love the sauce on top with all the melted cheese and the crunchiness of the bread (croque translates to crunch in English).

Et voilà (and there it is!) -- a croque-madame and a croque-monsieur... in a croque-mariage!

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Felicidade / Happiness

I have a friend who does these translations every now and then. And I figured I would want to try my hand at them too. I mean, why not right? It'll help with my learning of Portuguese, which is the closest thing I've got to a second language. I don't want to remain monolingual all my life!! MOM, Why didn't you teach me Tagalog growing up!?!?!?

Anyways, translating Portuguese is so great because there are so many awesome Brazilian songs from which I can choose! But the only thing about this is that a lot of these have already been translated into English by their composers, lyricists, etc. I mean, I guess that's okay. That shouldn't stop me, right? They usually change up the verses and stuff so they aren't really direct translations, right? Whatever, I'll still do it anyways. And yes, I acknowledge that there are some awkward lines. I did the best I could. (Also, I wish there was a way to put these up side by side)


Tristeza não tem fim
Felicidade sim

A felicidade é como a gota
De orvalho numa pétala de flor
Brilha tranqüila

Depois de leve oscila
E cai como uma lágrima de amor

A felicidade do pobre parece
A grande ilusão do carnaval
A gente trabalha o ano inteiro
Por um momento de sonho
Pra fazer a fantasia
De rei ou de pirata ou jardineira

Pra tudo se acabar na quarta feira

Tristeza não tem fim
Felicidade sim

A felicidade é como a pluma
Que o vento vai levando pelo ar
Voa tão leve
Mas tem a vida breve
Precisa que haja vento sem parar

A minha felicidade está sonhando
Nos olhos da minha namorada
É como esta noite
Passando, passando

Em busca da madrugada
Falem baixo, por favor
Prá que ela acorde alegre como o dia
Oferecendo beijos de amor

Tristeza não tem fim
Felicidade sim

Sadness has no end
Happiness does

Happiness is like the drop
Of dew on a flower petal
That shines serenely
Then dangles weightlessly
And falls like one love’s tear

The happiness of the poor seems like
The grand illusion of Carnaval
People work the entire year
For one moment to dream
To create a fantasy
Of kings or pirates or gardeners
For everything to end on Wednesday

Sadness has no end
Happiness does

Happiness is like a feather
That the wind carries through the air
That flies so lightly
But has a brief life
That needs to have a wind that does not stop

My happiness is shining
In the eyes of my sweetheart
It is like this night
Passing, passing

In search of the dawn
Please talk quietly
So that she agrees happily with the day
Offering kisses of love

Sadness has no end
Happiness does


In other words, I don't really have a picture that goes along with this so I decided I'd just rummage through my old images. I came across one I took on Sept 7, 2008, the day I first got my camera, and it totally could've worked had I known what I was doing. I didn't even expose correctly or anything. I took the image at 1/3 of a second -- why!? HAHA. So since it was really bad, I decided I'd mess around on Lightroom. Here's what turned out. Do you see the motion blur? Mmhmm.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Matzah Ball Soup

Six days late, I made Matzah Ball Soup, a very kosher dish traditionally eaten at Passover. It was my first time making matzah balls but it turned out delicious. A little dense perhaps but still pretty good. I didn't have a chicken or anything so I just made a basic vegetable soup to go along with it. It was surprisingly very good. I don't typically prepare soups so this is definitely a first step.

So chunky and so healthy! Matzah balls, carrots, celery, zucchini, potato fingerlings, chopped onions cooked in chicken broth for 40 minutes garnished with chopped parsley and scallions!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Ya, I've been watching a lot of Food Network and I've got this bug to cook. I mean, most of the stuff I've been making is pretty simple. This one was a little more difficult, but it was worth every bit of the hard work. I originally set out to make a Croque-monsieur (French toasted ham and cheese sandwich) but since I burnt it during the broil, I decided to add a poached egg on top in hopes of perhaps covering up the burnt taste a little more. And voila! Croque-madame!

Next time, I'll be careful to not burn my sandwich when I go to broil. Also, I'm gonna put more ham in there. I mean, it was delicious and all but I could've put more ham in my sandwich. I was being a pansy (actually, I wanted the main taste to be the Béchamel sauce/Gruyère cheese). Does this look good? Yes, I'm sure it does. I'm definitely going to make another one of these in the future. I've got enough cheese to do another, I think. It's absolutely delicious. I can't stop thinking about it.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Step One: Finding Friends

Blogging really isn't much fun if you're not blogging with people. Why write when no one reads? Or why use a social networking site when you've got no one with whom to network?! So first, I'll need to find people who use this regularly.

Secondly, I'll need to figure out what I want to do with this blog. Picture blog all about my dabblings in the various art forms? Most likely. Pictures I've taken, food I've created, stuff about film. I don't know, it's whatever I guess.

I just got a tumblr as well. Although, you can't really write blogs and post pictures up at the same time on there, can you? I'm not sure. I've yet to figure it out.

OH -- I got my blog name from a new Yeah Yeah Yeah's song called "Hysteric" off their new album It's Blitz! The album is really good, best I've heard this year so far. Granted, I've only listened to three so far, but it's still the best nonetheless. And that's after listening to Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavillion.

So to reveal my first photograph (and in keeping with the theme of this post, which is finding friends):

"Penguin Finger Friends"
Toy Joy

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