Saturday, January 29, 2011

Books I Love- Every Last One | Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

Today I finished reading the second of two books I so thoroughly enjoyed I am compelled to write about them even though I’m concerned that my writing skills are not up to the task of accurately conveying my feelings. How can someone who is not a great writer write about great writers and their work without diminishing it? In case I completely blow it in the next paragraphs know this: wonderful books, must read.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Parenting at the Library

This goes out to all those people who for one reason or another (vanity, continuation of the family or the species, need for a ‘mini-me’, too cheap for birth control) decide to procreate. Some of you seem to understand the basic rules of the game but an increasing number of you do not.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Killing Time

That title is a bit more aggressive than necessary. It also connotes enough sloth to appear unflattering. So, what I mean is RESEARCH. This is what I do to help me produce more amusing, relevant, charming, controversial, and hopefully some day, lucrative posts. Hhhmmmm…..I just accidentally scrolled down and saw my post on Noodle Café and am now convinced I’ll die if I don’t get some spicy seafood stew and fried rice noodle rolls. Damn it!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Golden Globes

My take:

  1. Angelina Jolie has NO sense of humor (not a surprise)
  2. Brad Pitt chews gum with his mouth open (surprise)
  3. Softer hair with waves and a lovely rich toned dress really worked for Tina Fey
  4. Helen Mirren managed, once again, to pull off and glamorous AND age appropriate
  5. Despite my complete aversion to the movie I do agree with Natalie's Portman's win for Black Swan- she did an amazing job in a difficult role
  6. Claire Danes rocked color and I loved her Calvin Klein (classic!) dress 
  7. God bless Helena Bonham Carter for continuing to do wear what she wants to wear. After this long I have to respect her for it. More importantly, she is a wonderful actress.
Thoughts from any other armchair fashionistas?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Seis Cuerdas

In early December we were in LA for my company's Christmas party. You know, the one where apparently everyone but me knew my position was going to be eliminated the following week (I'm not bitter I just thought some context might help). Because it was warm and sunny we spent the afternoon before the party walking along the Santa Monica Promenade.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Noodle Cafe

I’ve covered a few topics in the last two months but have woefully neglected one of my true loves and the sort of thing I should be opining about more often- good food.

What I’m obsessing about right now is a small restaurant in Newport, Oregon called Noodle Café. We were in Newport for 3 days over the holidays and ate lunch there every day but Sunday (they aren’t open for lunch on Sunday).

Let me summarize in case you're too ADHD to read the details: I am STILL thinking about this food 3 weeks later and rationalizing that 4 hours is not too far to drive for lunch.

A key piece of information before I get to food specifics- all of the noodles are made fresh in-house which is critical. I’m not stating this categorically (and please feel to contradict me!) but I have yet to find an Asian restaurant in Portland that makes its own noodles. It is a dying art mostly because it is so labor intensive and difficult to do well. Lisa Cheng and her brother, Han are masters.

Now to the good stuff. Perfectly pan fried pork dumplings, not too greasy with just the right amount of pork inside. Soba noodle soup, with a clear beef broth that is both rich and filling and perfectly complements the lightness of the noodles and the zing of the thinly sliced scallions. Crab and corn soup (photo below), a light delicate broth with whole corn and large pieces of fresh crab. Served egg drop style with a lovely froth of egg white stirred throughout.
Pho with ribeye steak slices and meatballs- light rice noodles, bean sprouts and as much or little spicy heat as you want. DH did everything but lick the bowl. Shao mai (photo below), lovely little steamed packets of shrimp.

Finally, in a paragraph of its own, fried rice noodle buns. I have never heard of anything like this and have never seen them. Again, if I’m mistaken and everyone makes these tell me where you get them because I will move there. This is the same finely milled rice flour used for the noodles but it is shaped into a small roll and deep fried. The dough is so light and has the most delicately sweet flavor that, meshed with the thin crispy exterior, it is an almost perfect food. The only reason it is not is because it does not travel which I know because I attempted to purchase a dozen to take home and reheat. Lisa kindly told me she would not recommend that even though it meant losing a sale. In fact, she is so kind she gave me one on the house (my crying and refusal to leave might have had something to do with that).

There you have it. This restaurant has it all- a charming atmosphere, friendly and knowledgable owners (Lisa is also the waitress), and food that is well portioned, very reasonably priced, made with care and mouth wateringly delicious. Writing about it has been a selfless act on my part because it has induced extreme hunger pangs and longing for something I can't have but that's the kind of person I am. You're welcome.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Black Swan

Blood, more blood, stabbing and scratching- with glass, nail files, one's own fingernails, and a fair amount of sex. That about sums it up. 

If Blood Swan was a look into the psychological complexities behind the competition that exists among prima ballerinas then this movie failed utterly for me. As a reasonably intelligent adult I don't need any of the above components to get that point across. A 13 year old boy or a horror film buff might have appreciated Aronofsky's viewpoint but for me, nuance is much more interesting than being mentally bludgeoned. In fact, using such physical manifestations of inner turmoil feels like a real cop-out.

I get that I'm in the minority based on the number of nominations and stellar reviews but when the movie ended I laughed. I was that over it. The guy next to me did too so we're the only two people in America who missed the point of this movie completely. Lots of good dancing though.

Disclaimer: Obviously I'm not a movie critic nor do I claim to be. I just watch a hell of a lot of movies.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Anyone else have a spouse/partner/companion who seems to take an almost perverse pleasure in parking only in the spot furthest from the store's entrance? Every time? Even if the entire front row is available? 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Top 5 favorite holiday treats

Before I go back to including foods other than sugar into my food pyramid I wanted to take a moment and reflect on the sweets that most say holidays (and later guilt and self loathing) to me.

Riddle me this

If sleep is supposed to be the ultimate source of rejuvanation and relaxation then why do I wake frowning, hands and jaw clenched?
Copyright © Inside Out. All Rights Reserved.
Blogger Template by The October Studio