Thursday, December 20, 2012


Technically, I can't drive. I don't have a license at the moment, I don't have insurance, and I don't have a car whose engine will start right away. So when I had a dentist appointment at 8 am, I decided to just walk there. It was a sad 30 minute walk along the Mukilteo Speedway, made even longer by the cold heavy rain (I didn't have an umbrella) and the residual throbs of a slight hang over.  Then I came home, ate some toast and fell asleep. When I woke up, I really wanted Taco Bell. Well alright, ok, I want it a lot of the time but I generally have the good sense not to give in. And all the grimy gross ones in New York give me a great reason to not go. But the one that's around the corner from my house is so shiny and clean and they're not grumpy with you. So there I was sitting in my pajamas, thinking I should just make the 6 minute walk over there. Just do it. But then, this was the moment I decided it was ok for me to drive. It took over 6 minutes to get the engine started and it wasn't even raining outside like it was when I went to the dentist. I pulled out of my cul-de-sac, drove the quarter mile down the road, went to the drive through, honked at some high school kids that totally cut me in line, ordered my "cheesey gordita crunch" and drove my sorry ass back home. If there was ever a moment where I needed to re-evaluate my life choices, I suppose this would have been it.


I have seen heaven and it is made out of roasted pork. I kind of want to just leave it at that, but no I won't. Yesterday Colin and I finally went to Paseo in Freemont, the Caribbean sandwich place everyone's been talking about forever. It was sooo lucky that we went yesterday because today is the last day they're open before they take a 7 week break. I would have been so devastated if I missed this before going back to New York. If I needed 5 good reasons to move back to Washington (yeah, Washington, not just Seattle), this would be #1. Well, maybe not but somewhere close to #1. Like #3.

Paseo Press : Succulent morsels of roasted pork nestled atop sweet banana peppers, draped with sheer slices of smoked ham, Swiss cheese, and caramelized onions; all melted together between a hot press
Stole that description right off of the website. 

There was also cilantro in there, which I wasn't expecting but was really happy about. It was amazing. Man, I don't even know how to describe it. It was just a sweet sticky sandwich mess all over my face and hands. You can't be afraid to eat this sandwich. The ham and pork were a little sweet made even sweeter by the onions, and held together with the right amount of melty saltiness from the cheese. Then your tastebuds get a little kick from the banana peppers and cilantro, it was perfect. Oh god, and the pork, it melts in your mouth. This is a zero-effort meat, you almost don't even have to chew.

Colin got the Caribbean Roast, which is their most popular sandwich. I didn't get to taste it but he seemed to enjoy it a lot. It's "pork shoulder coated in Paseo Marinade & slow roasted 'til falling into succulent morsels."

If I had ANYTHING to complain about (in a really quiet whisper) it would be that I wish they had wrapped the sandwiches better. Like burrito style so that everything stays contained in the sandwich and you can tear down the paper as you go. Those things are huge and so messy, and that's definitely part of the fun because it gives you a good reason to eat with reckless abandon and get sandwich all over your face. But my best sandwich bites where when I got a little bit of every ingredient, and that was sometimes hard to do with it all slipping and sliding around. But even without all the ingredients contained in one bite, it was still one of the best sandwiches I have ever had. I only wish that I had been hungry enough to eat the whole thing.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

home again

So I'm almost a week deep into Mukilteo. Does that sound kind of weird? I don't know if this still counts as home, but calling it "my parents' house" feels strange too. Maybe I can have two homes, it's confusing I guess. Anyway, it's been rainy and cold and gray, but that's just winter over here. It can be a real downer, but it's snowing now and that looks nice. Oh, nope. It's raining again. Well, anyhow, here's some food I've been eating.

1 taco and 1 enchilada and refried beans

I think this is that generic kind of Mexican food that you see in taco shell commercials and that people on Yelp will complain about, and you know, I get it. Compared to other more authentic Mexican food I've had, it's kind of blah, where all the elements seem to be right but it all has sort of the same flavor to it.  But with that said, I enjoyed my meal but not for any of the ways it was supposed to resemble great Mexican food in my mind. I liked it because I love cheese and there was a lot of salty cheese, and I like how soupy soft the rice gets after swimming around in sauce. It's nice to just appreciate food for what it is.

Colin's chicken carintas, which was confusing because I thought "carnitas" meant pork. My 20 second skim of the Wikipedia page tells me it means "little meats" but in food language, it means braised or roasted pork. I dunno, maybe it's just how they cooked the chicken.

My mom's been making lots of soups and stews. My first night home she had made ox tail soup, which is one of my favorites and she cooked it for like over 24 hours. It's nuts, she works full time too, so I'm not really sure how that got done. But then, after we had that plain, she added fermented soy bean paste to it and um, these leafy vegetables. It's so great because after a few extra days, the broth gets richer and deeper, and then adding the soy bean paste gives it another layer of flavor.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Szechuan Gourmet

I guess it's getting cold now. Like winter cold. I kinda forgot about that because I've been spending a lot of time in my apartment watching crime TV and it's weirdly warm in my place. Or maybe it's because I'm wearing sweats and Santa socks. I don't know. Anyway, Mel and I had ice skating plans but things came up and we decided to go straight to Szechuan Gourmet, which I was secretly thrilled about because I was afraid I was going to fall and die on the ice rink. And you know, I was hungry and cold.

I think the good (and bad) thing about eating with Mel is that we are always on the same food wavelength, which mostly means we don't ever think we're ordering enough food for the two of us. Once we got our food, I thought we might have ordered too much but by the time I got home and was ready for leftovers, I knew we ordered just enough. Actually, now that I'm awake and hungry again, I'm thinking we could have ordered more...

pork dumplings in chili oil
These dumplings were less pork and more dumpling skins, but that's kinda my favorite part so I didn't mind. And the pork bit was good too. But the chili oil, ahhhhh. I wanted to eat it with a spoon.

Mapo tofu
I love mapo tofu. On it's own, the tofu doesn't taste much like anything, but once it gets sauced up with that chili oil, fermented black beans and little pork bits, it's like little silky, soft pillows of flavor. I think tofu is a good canvas for those flavors and textures, especially the spiciness. It's that slow burning kind of spicy, the kind that hits you in the back of your throat and lingers for a long time until you kind of turn numb and get used to it. I guess that's just Szechuan food.

 sauteed baby bok choy
It helped with the heat, but not the oiliness. I just drank a lot of tea instead.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

I took a little browse through my posts over the past few months. What I learned is that I only eat bread, cheese, and hamburgers, which I like to eat with bread and cheese because otherwise it's just a meat patty. Occasionally I have some soup or some kind of meat that is generally covered in sauce or fried. This post is no exception. It almost makes me question if I really am lactose intolerant and "sensitive" (haha) to gluten or if I'm just being stupid. But then I'll have one beer or some cheese and later feel I ate a balloon. So I guess love just hurts.

I usually don't have this much cheese. 
 But I took two classes at Murray's the past few days and I've been saddled with all this amazing cheese I need to eat before next week. I can't remember all of the names because I can't find my course packet, it's around here somewhere. But let me tell you about my favorite cheeses. So that first cheese plate at 6 o'clock...the sort of off white one with the beige rind, to the left of the half moon shaped cheese. Ok, got it? So that one is pure decadence. It's a triple creme cheese, 75% butter fat and tastes like cheesey butter. It melts the moment it hits your tongue. On the same plate, with the orange-y rind that looks like Taleggio, that one is called Grayson and it stinks real hard. So obviously it tastes amazing, it's pretty soft, kind of sticky almost, and has this really nice tanginess to it. Then the plate on the top left, the two cheese at 3 and 9 o'clock were my other two favorites. Again, I forget their names but they were harder cheeses that are obviously pretty different from each other, but both have this really wonderful nuttiness and bite to it that I love. I wasn't a huge fan of the blue and goat cheese from these classes. The goat cheese log was pretty mild and good, but the wrapped one was too acidic for me. Same with the blue cheese. And one of them was really salty too. I thought those cheeses were better accompanied by some fruit or honey.

I also made some vegetable barley soup because I figured that it's not great if your meal is 90% dairy. The soup tasted like vegetables. I guess this kind of soup is best when you make your own stock, but I didn't. I like cheese better anyway.

Monday, December 3, 2012

2 snacks

Well, I had a lot of old bread and so I decided to make panzanella. Not the official Italian kind, which I guess is just tomatoes and onions and basil? Actually, I don't know, but that seems like a safe guess.

This kind had chickpeas, bell peppers, tomatoes, red onions, cucumbers, and feta

Alright, so the reason for this next snack is....I don't know. There really isn't one. I'm really just going to chalk all of this up to not working and my body going into hibernation mode. Well, we were GOING to get pizza but it was too late and Nikki needed to take a break and this McDonald's was the only thing open. I was just going to get fries but then one thing led to another...

#10 meal, crispy
I think the last time I had like a chicken sandwich from McDonald's I was in elementary school. Not that that doesn't mean I haven't had McDonald's since, I've just generally stuck to the potato items and occasional breakfast sandwich. Anyway, this wasn't as good as I remembered. The chicken was super crispy, but like not good, bordering on chewy, the way that processed meats get when they shouldn't be fried that much. I also realized it's all in the mayo. This sandwich would have been such a failure without that weird, off white oily mayonaise they use. It's the only thing that really tastes like anything and didn't make it desert dry. And the fries were cold! What happened?? McDonald's fries are the best because they're so hot and perfect, but not this day. So it wasn't the most successful McDonald's meal, but in the interest of being totally real about my eating, I ate it all and sort of liked it. I'm sure it would have been much less enjoyable if I was alone and not with my friends and didn't have happy fast food childhood memories.

 Oh, and Nikki got a cheeseburger without the burger. McDonald's vegetarian option. In some ways, I imagine that it tasted better than one with meat, mostly because those patties don't taste like much of anything at all.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Unemployment, Day 5

There's really not much I would have been able to do work wise in the few weeks between my job ending and going back to Seattle (so soon!). Well, I could have if I really wanted to, I guess. But I wanted to have a little break...before my next break. Hey, spending 3 weeks with your parents is wonderful but also hard work sometimes. Anyway, it's been really nice. On Friday, Julia and I spent the day doing things people who have jobs would do on the weekend but people who don't have jobs shouldn't do on a weekday. We went shopping and got coffee and took a nice aimless walk around and then decided to go to the Meatball Shop. Then I came home and took a nap. I think that's what like, uselessly rich and famous people do. Like Paris Hilton? Maybe?

Julia's meatball "smash" with mushroom sauce/gravy

Roasted brussel sprouts and apples with walnuts
This was the best! I'm pretty "whatever" about the Meatball Shop. Well, no. I like it a lot, but it's really heavy (and I always overestimate how hungry I am) so I won't go out of my way to go there. But for these brussel sprouts I totally would. Adding the apples gave it such a nice, subtle sweetness.

I got the special meatballs for the day, which was steak, bacon, and cheddar. It was a hamburger meatball, basically. I wanted tomato sauce but they gave me mushroom by mistake and I just went with it. I think it would have been better with the tomato sauce because it would have been a little sweet and tangy, but the mushroom sauce was so heavy. Can you imagine that on top of a hamburger? Yeah, it's one of those "I would definitely eat that but I already hurt thinking about it" moments. Plus the egg yolk!