Monday, May 28, 2012

The Pros of Cons

This weekend was FanimeCon... "con" being shorthand for "convention." I didn't buy a badge this time, because it's this first time I've actually lived in San Jose (where the convention was held) and I didn't know how much time I'd actually want to spend over there, since I wouldn't need to stay in the hotel with my friends. So, I just hung out with my attending friends a couple times and took a couple pictures. We went to Pizza Chicago again-- twice. Great pizza. My friends are really pros when it comes to cosplaying, or dressing up in costumes. They got really into it. They'd have totally different costumes for different days. I was just happy to be there and marvel at the creativity.

This is a friend of mine at a past con, cosplaying as this character named "Golbez."

I didn't know these guys from another past con, but you will recognize them as Mario and Luigi. They had the voices down really well, too!

This is one of my other friends from a past con. She played Snape from Harry Potter.

Ariel and Ursula from The Little Mermaid. There's a unique costume idea!

Here are some robots of some sort. Transformers, maybe. Those costumes must have been heavy!

So, that's fun. It was nice to have an extra day off work. I didn't really do anything, just relaxed and read a book and some cooking blogs. Hope everyone else had a nice holiday!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Boogie on the Bayou, and more sushi

Well, the festival was okay. It was really hot that day, and there were a lot of people. It was crowded because there was not very much space on the narrow street in which the festival was held, plus a lot of people were at the festival all at once. A lot of the same booths were there as I saw in Mountain View. There were a few New Orleans/Southern food booths....

......and one little Jazz band that made an appearance before wandering off...

.....but it wasn't as exciting as my friend from work had hyped it up to be. He was really disappointed because he lived in New Orleans for years and it is a lot different than this festival. I had an ok time though. I got some really good jambalaya, and there was a gelato place along the street so I got some gelato. I got to choose 3 flavors for my size, so I chose: white chocolate raspberry, creme brulee, and tiramisu. As far as I'm concerned, nothing is a bust if there is gelato involved! I could see myself going back to Campbell just to get some more of that delicious gelato.

It has gotten even easier for me to make sushi with practice. This week, I made coconut curry shrimp sushi with cucumber and avocado, topped with a chipotle mayo sauce. Eating that delicious, spicy jambalaya at the festival just made me realize how much I like spicy/really flavorful foods, and I should cook that way more. Using multiple spices together to create unique flavors is really an art, and it's an art I want to learn.

On Saturday, a friend came into town to visit me and we went to San Francisco. We walked to the Mission district and got dinner at Bar Tartine. I heard it was a good restaurant from one of the blogs I read. It's kind of one of those "hidden gems," because on the outside it's just this unmarked, inconspicuous little shop. I knew we were there because the map function on my phone told us we were there, but I had to ask a security guard nearby exactly where it was, and we were right next to it. Their dinner menu is really specialized, it's just one page. My friend and I shared a biscuits and gravy dish with potato and herbs that no longer seems to be on the menu, and the stuffed chicken with stewed smoked sausage, sauerkraut, mushrooms and sour cream. These dishes were just packed with flavor, so even though they were not huge dishes, we were quite full and satisfied by the end. Two servings of bread before our dishes came out helped too, I'm sure.

This weekend is Fanime again! That is the anime convention held here in San Jose that I went to last year. It will be nice to see my friends and all the people in fun costumes. I realized I never shared any pictures of people in their costumes, but next post I will post costume pictures from this time and last time I went.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Fun times in Mountain View

So, a few weekends ago I went to Mountain View for "A la Carte & Art." It was a lovely, sunny day, and everyone was out to celebrate the arrival of Spring.

There was art, there were crafts, there was food.....

 This one's for you, Al. Bacon wrapped hot dogs!

There was music......

And there were other nifty things... such as the sushi making kit I bought.

It's really simple to use, you just put the nori underneath, the rice inside the frame, use the top part to make a channel for the filling, add more rice, tuck it in, pull the frame up over the roll, roll it up in the nori, wait a few minutes, and slice up the sushi! What takes longest of all is the rice. You have to get a special kind of rice and then you have to cook it, and then you have to mix in some rice vinegar and sugar and mix it around for a bit, and let the rice cool to room temperature. After that though it's pretty basic.


....and after! It actually makes about eight pieces but I didn't put all of them in for the picture. In this sushi roll I added salmon, cucumber and avocado.

So, I've definitely been enjoying myself in my free time. I finished up with my end-of-the-semester projects and final test, so that gives me a little more free time in the evenings. Can't wait to try out neat new combinations for my sushi rolls!

Friday, May 4, 2012

♥ Soup ♥

This Friday night.. nothing sounded better to me than some soup, some bread, and a couple episodes of Mad Men. I found a nice soup with an app I downloaded off my phone, it's kind of like a soup I made in the past.

It's got.... ground turkey, carrots, celery, potatoes, garlic, black beans, chicken broth, and diced canned tomatoes. All simmered to delicious perfection for 30 minutes. I cooked the ground turkey first, of course. After that, the rest of it came together very easily.

Tomorrow, my housemate and I are going to an arts and crafts festival in Mountain View. Apparently the Cinco de Mayo festivities over here can get a little rowdy, but a nice arts and crafts festival is a safe, pleasant alternative. Have a good weekend everybody!