Archive for May, 2008

Death by Microwave

Posted in Portland with tags , , , on May 28, 2008 by Donna Arriaga

So, last night I decided to subject myself to the inadequacies of local broadcast news. While my disappointment with their insufferable news quality prevailed… something new and intriguing emerged.

Death by Microwave

Yes. Local news DID decide this was “newsworthy”.
**Not to be confused with very, berry blogworthy**

Some how, this video took me to the way-back-when days… to the very first time I witnessed such wicked sweet death by kitchen appliance.


(The clip is a little long and it takes a while to get to the microwave scene. You could always force the play head forward, but beware… you’ll miss the gruesome blender shot.)

Okay. One more Death by Microwave.

Fry Furbe Fry.

Roughing it with Thai Peanut Curry

Posted in Portland with tags , , , , on May 27, 2008 by Donna Arriaga

So the camping excursion was a blast. We set up camp at Rouston Park in Mount Hood. Sweet little spot right next to a swiftly running stream. Strike swift. After much deliberation and formulated thought, the conclusion was that waters were running anywhere between 5.5 and 6 mph. But that’s a whole other story.

To the point…


  • Thai Peanut Curry Beef Kabobs – grilled over open fire
  • Green Beans Sautéed with Thai Tom Yum Paste – cooked on Coleman camp stove
  • Foil Roasted Potatoes with onion, garlic, s&p, a dash of nutmeg, a whole lot of butter and freshly grated Parmesan – roasted over open fire

Yes, I know. The potatoes do NOT fit in with my Thai theme. But hey. What can I say? It’s camping. We’re supposed to be roughing it!

The key to this meal was the fire. We have grand master fire starter, Niko, to thank for crafting a dual-purpose fire. Half of the fire pit was dominated by red hot coals. Just perfect for roasting the potatoes. Niko constructed the other half of the fire with Boy Scout precision, so we had plenty of intense flame for perfectly caramelized kabobs.


Thanks for engineering the perfect fire Niko! (pictured right).

Cheese Racing

Posted in Portland with tags , on May 21, 2008 by Donna Arriaga

Okay, so I know that I just blogged smack about cheese racing in my previous post, but…

this “sport” is so down right ludicrous, that a little part of me couldn’t help but delve in a little further. I mean really, the Cheese Racing site offers this warning…

WARNING!! Cheese racing can be dangerous – the makers of this website CAN NOT be held responsible for any accidents or injuries that may occur. Practice safe cheese racing by following these simple guide lines.

  • Do NOT attempt ‘indoor cheese racing’. This is strictly an outdoor sport. (This includes tents!)

  • Be sure to ingest large quantities of alcohol and/or other chemical relaxant before (and during) play. This will relax the body and nervous system, thus minimising the pain of any injury and enabling you to play on.

Having said that, the sport does have an impressive safety record with zero fatalities so far…

And just a couple videos (and maybe a few cheese slices) to purge my system of it’s freakish interest in cheese racing…

a direct violation of Cheese Racing warning #1

Next, cheese racing the Out Doors way.
(Though I believe they may very well be in violation of Cheese Racing warning #2)

More Fun than Blowing Things Up…

Posted in Portland with tags , on May 21, 2008 by Donna Arriaga

It’s gotta be Playing with Fire.

And, since I’m going on a camping trip over Memorial Day weekend, I’ll have plenty of opportunities to to play god with fire. Or, play several gods at that… Pele, Hestia, Vesta, and yes, maybe even Vulcan. Not to be confused with the slightly less-than-godly Vulcan.

To spark my weekend intrigue (yes, lame-ass pun intended) I started poking around to see what I could see. When I came across this Slashfood post, I immediately empathized with the blogger’s opinion of individually wrapped fake cheese slices:

there’s really nothing redeeming about them. You get a mouthful of tasteless cheesy food product that coats your tongue like liquid plastic and ruins a perfectly good piece of grilled meat.

Because of my disdain for these slices of faux cheese, I was particularly delighted to discover a far more interesting and creative use for them. Cheese racing. This is a practice in which people (mostly like while they are under the influence of alcohol) toss the still-wrapped slices onto a grill, in order to see who’s slice will puff up the fastest.

While this is certainly an option, I am hard-pressed to waste my earned $ on nasty fake cheese. Even if it is to toss it straight into the fire. Because really, if I wanted to blow my money on something I’d just throw into the fire, I’d opt for (aside from the obvious firewood) something like a hand full of Black Cats. Hmmmm… play with fire and blow things up. Now we’re talking.

Seven Deadly Sins

Posted in Portland with tags , , on May 7, 2008 by Donna Arriaga

7 deadly sins

…served to perfection at the Beard House last April. At $155 per person ($135 for Beard House members), over 70 repentant souls had the opportunity to indulge in all seven deadly sins. The James Beard Foundation had this to say about their hedonistic pleasures:

There are decadent dinners and then there are those that are downright sinful. Join chef Thanawat Bates for an inspired menu of indulgent dishes that embody the seven deadly sins. You may have to say a few extra Hail Marys, but each delicious bite will be well worth the penance.

Hors d’Oeuvre

Pride – Whimsical Coq au Vin with Caramelized Onion–Mushroom Duxelle, Red Wine Reduction, and Bacon Chips; Rossini with Toasted Brioche, Bison Roulade, and Madeira–Foie Gras Hollandaise; and Gin-Cured Tuna with Toasted Nori, Watermelon, and Chinese Black Vinegar
Domaine Carneros Brut Rosé NV


Wrath – Scorpionfish with Spicy Slaw, Roasted Poblano Sauce, and Micro-Cilantro
Don Olegario Albariño 2006

Sloth – Beets with Watercress Salad, Candied Walnuts, Blue Cheese, and Horseradish Vinaigrette
Louis Jadot Pinot Noir 2005

Gluttony – Foie Gras with Sautéed Sweetbreads, Bone Marrow, Sabayon, and Hazelnut–Mustard Streusel
Inniskillin Vidal Icewine 2006

Greed – Wagyu Beef with Sautéed Abalone, Truffled Potato Purée, Sea Urchin, and Shallot–Sherry Vinaigrette
Sequoia Grove Cabernet Sauvignon 2004

Envy – Lemon Panna Cotta, Vanilla Cloud, and Orange–Vodka Caramel
Michele Chiarlo Nivole Moscato 2007

Lust – Truffles with Strawberry–Champagne Gelée, Gold Dust, Rose Aroma, and Chocolate