Saturday, February 23, 2008

Thoughts while prepping dinner...

I realize it sound weird that I'm prepping dinner at one in the afternoon (1300) but I'm doing southwestern goodness tonight and that involves copious amounts of chopping of fresh veggies. Chopping is one of my favorite kitchen duties - it's good thinking time. So here are the random things that have occurred to me as I chop:

  • The Great Cheese Conundrum: Alas, I have gained a Gruyere only to lose a Monterey Jack. (I've found white cheddar here - no sharpness distinction - but I still miss my MoJack)
  • I am so embarrassed to admit this - I forgot that I kind of like iceberg lettuce every once in a while...
  • My salsas are getting better but I'm still missing some magical ingredient...
  • How come no one in the world knows there is more to American food than just McDonalds?

Jiu Jitsu postscript: My thighs hurt so bad, the only time they don't hurt is if I stand with my knees locked or if I lay down...

Friday, February 22, 2008


Dark Feet
Originally uploaded by Arsmor
After the fifth time Mr K insisted I would probably not develop a fatal case of ringworm, I finally let him drag me to his Jiu Jitsu class. Ninety minutes of hurting muscles I was unaware of and feeling random parts of me jiggle unappetizingly. Translation: fine, Mr K, I admit - it was pretty fun. I feel like I should get that out in the open know because my thighs are hinting that I may have a different opinion on the matter when I wake up in the morning.

You are probably wondering why the foot picture to the right... I am such a girl sometimes: before going to class, I took a bath and washed my hair and - an error in judgment on my part - I exfoliated my feet. I figured other people were going to see them, so I should get rid of the more egregious dry skin, right? Yeah, well apparently that skin is there for a reason because now my nicely exfoliated toes are totally skinned up - the tops of my big toes look like a nicely pounded chicken breast... oh well. Lesson learned.

Anyway, off to bed in a few for me. Night night!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Have just observed Mr K's Jiu Jitsu class
which I am slated to begin on Friday.
Am filled with dread.
Am cowering on the floor.
Too dread-full to update about Prague. Eeek!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Prague eatin'

Old Czech Pan
Originally uploaded by mrphrtq
Hello hello hello! Here we are on part two of the Prague-blague (say it outloud...) After arriving on the first night, we were thrilled to find a restaurant located a very short walk from our hotel. We got a table in this funny little room - about the size of a bedroom closet in the US - it was nice because we were the only people in it. We ordered beers and wines and five of the six in our group ordered the Old Czech Pan for dinner. You guessed it - I was the holdout, opting instead for a chicken steak with asparagus and ham gratin - and it was crispy crunchy heaven on a plate. Old Czech plate was no slouch in the tastiness category either - served with a little flame under it, the metal pan was piled with cabbage and pork and potato dumplings and was a generous portion even by American standards. We enjoyed this restaurant so much, we returned there the following two nights as well for dinner.

All went well until the third night, when the kitchen had an "everything must go wrong" evening. Our food took forever to come out - well over an hour, and no one (but me) seemed particularly enthused about their dinners. Mine was tasty, but then again it was a mountain of pasta in cheese sauce with ham and broccoli, so it would be difficult for it to have ended up any way but tasty. Everyone else sort of picked and stirred their food until we decided we had enough and, skipping dessert, paid our bills. Afterwards, half the group went for a walk and to a coffee shop while Chris, Steph, and I sat in the hotel, eating Swiss cookies and playing Ligretto until midnight. The card game definitely salvaged our evening!

That's it for tonight's Prague post. See you tomorrow!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Back from Prague!

Group Portrait
Originally uploaded by mrphrtq
It's quarter to midnight here and we arrived back home at two in the morning this morning, so I'll cover Prague in a series of posts - a little now and a little later.

The excitement began at the Basel airport. After arriving at the airport, we checked in and were outside our gate, enjoying a nice snack - and the male part of our group was getting started on the beer in anticipation of the days to come - when we were rudely interrupted by a curt announcement that our flight was canceled. Eeek! We gulped down our snacks and beer and reported to the gate. The attendant helped us uncheck (unCzech - ha! Get it?) our bags... and then rechecked them before being boarded on a bus to Zurich. Once in Zurich we checked in again and re-re-re-checked our bags before heading to the gate. The second flight worked out and lasted a little under one and a half hours. By around 8 in the evening (we arrived at the airport around 1 in the afternoon), we were checked into the great little hotel Kasia found for us and ready to commence with the eating! Things number one to love about Prague: tasty, cheap, abundant food and beer. Meat and 'taters for days!

Check back in a few hours for Prague - the food post!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Burritos at last!

Originally uploaded by mrphrtq
One of the highlights of our trip back was getting a chance to stuff ourselves with all the foods we've known and loved since we were old enough to know food could be loved.

Our Mexi-food-fest started shortly after we arrived at my sister's house and made a quick run for a Taco Bell snack to hold us over until dinner - we had been eating airline food for the previous 20-some hours and were starving. More than the food, though, Mr K was dying for a BDC - Big Diet Coke - the kind that comes in a plastic cup absolutely brimming with ice - a rare American delicacy. (I should take a moment to point out that Mr K had to settle for a BDP as Taco Bell serves Pepsi products only.) After a snack, showers, and getting settled in, my sister make Turkey Chimichangas for dinner - topped with islands of sour cream floating in an ocean of salsa. What a great combination!

The following week we went to a wonderful Mexican restaurant in Atlanta with several of my friends who I've missed so much! Apparently the restaurant had problems keeping its liquor license thanks to some naughty local college kids, but even without margaritas the meal was really really great.

Other than Mexican food, we snacked on a couple other American oddities: Waffle House and Krystal (both Southern US cultural icons in their own ways and both typically open 24 hours). I started blogging about Waffle House but as the entry got longer and longer, I realized Waffle House might actually deserve its own entry - I spent so much time there in college, I can't condense all the memories into one paragraph. We'll stick with a quick description of Krystal - fast food. What makes Krystal different is the tiny size of the food and the square burgers. Being American fast food, tiny food means it is meant to be ordered in larger quantities - a typical meal is 3 or 4 small square burgers. My favorite is the chili cheese pup - a tiny hot dog in a bun topped with chili and melted cheese - it nestles warmly in the palm of your hand and must be eaten hot and with a stack of napkins nearby. Mr K prefers the Krystal burgers - served in a little cardboard sleeve that hugs the burger tight. The square bun is steamed lightly and topped with pickle slices and mustard and the thinnest square burger patty ever. No ketchup, no mayo, no tomato, no lettuce. Mustard, pickle, bun, meat(ish.) Hard to describe but wonderful in the weirdest ways. (They have a funny website and pictures of the square food if you're that curious...)

Anyway I think I've rambled enough today - I'm making myself hungry. If you have a minute, I would love to see some confessions of your guilty-pleasure foods in the comment section!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Do they have cats there?

Originally uploaded by hellomizk
That was the most entertaining question I was asked while we were visiting friends and family back in the US last week. "Do they have cats there?"

It will probably take a couple entries to get through all the fun things about our trip and I need Mr K to upload his photos for some things, so I'll start with what I have photographic evidence of - our shoppings! This is mainly my loots - Mr K also got several DVDs and Wii games and things of that nature.

The day after we arrived, we hit Best Buy - Mr K was beyond thrilled. Among the gems from that trip are Veronica Mars Season 3 and Ren and Stimpy on DVD! I also got Cooking Mama 2 for my little Nintendo DS and it is the funniest little game. A few days after the initial Best Buy trip, we had to return after Miz J showed us two episodes of Flight of the Conchords and we were completely hooked.

Another important stop - the grocery store. I got the giggles, standing in an aisle of canned goods bigger than my whole grocery here. I picked up random dry goods like taco seasoning that isn't all "weird and Swiss" (no offense to our local buddies) and onion soup mix for onion soup dip - trashy comfort snack. I found bizarre flavors of Jello and I stocked up on a few spices I was missing - namely Old Bay and Chipotle Chili as well as a big emergency back-up chili powder.

Next up - Borders! I was good and only got 3 new books but now I'm wondering if I shouldn't have grabbed a few more. I also picked up, of course, a ton of new cooking magazines.

Last stop of interest: art supply shopping! I got plenty of watercolor paper, since I've been running through it pretty quickly recently. Also got some crazy new paper called "Yupo" that I have never heard of - it says it is good for watercolor, but has the texture of a really smooth bristol - I'm interested to try it out. I also got a box of cakes of my favorite brand of watercolor - opaque instead of the transparent I use now.

In upcoming entries I'll babble about:
  • Seeing friends and family again (including my lil bitty niece)
  • Food, of course (I'm looking at you, FT in Bern...)
  • Western Sizzlin' (now I'm looking at Mr K)
  • Visiting my old college
  • Visiting my old place-of-employment-during-college
Post-link-including note: When I added the links of the pictures of Best Buy and Borders I was blown away again by how huge they are. To any non-US types reading this, Best Buy is all electronics, dvds, and cds. Borders is a massive bookstore.