Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pho Delight

I must impart with you my first tastings of a Vietnamese dish by the name of Pho. Perhaps you've heard of it. Lists circulate every so often on facebook or other social media of the 50 foods you must try before passing into another life where apparently none of this food is available. One that I consistently saw on said lists was Pho. At first I was like, "what the heck? Why would I eat something that sounds like someone talking smack?" For real, pho looks like it should be pronounced fo or foe. Fo sho. And all that. However, after reevaluating my life [i seem to be doing that often enough these days], I figured that it would be wise to not let another few months pass without trying this magically elusive dish. Because, honestly, who knows what's going to happen in any given day? I didn't want to feel like the pathetic loser at the pearly gates. God would be standing there [or Saint Peter depending on what Bible you read. kidding. or something.] letting people pass right through onto the streets of pure gold. I'd get up there, and He'd be all like, "Julia, you did not finish that list of 50 foods you MUST eat before you die." I'd ask God respectfully if that list was simply a suggestion that some uppity foodie put together to make other people feel bad about their cuisine curiosity. And of course God would ask me to pull out my pocket dictionary and look up the word must.

Must - be necessary: to be important or necessary for doing something

Obviously I'd have to agree with God that the word must is imperative in this statement, and I simply did not live up to that food list. Thus, how could I be let into heaven without having tasted one of the many spectacular and curious cuisines of the world?

So I decided I must try pho.

Ironically it isn't pronounced f-o. That isn't actually ironic. However, it is said like the word "the". Just put the prefix "ph" and you get the Vietnamese soup dish.

I apparently ramble to no end late at night. My bad-ness.

To finish this up: I was in DC one night with my good/wonderful/superb/phenomenal friend Lauren, and I saw a Pho place. So we had to stop.

[we also had to stop because the Ramen place we wanted to eat at had a TWO HOUR WAIT. for a ramen restaurant.]

I ordered the beef pho, as suggested by our waitress. Let me tell you, it was superb. I'm literally salivating thinking about it [which is a little awkward to be doing in front of my dog].

Please note the attractive couple sitting behind me in this picture. Obviously I wanted my excitement over pho to be framed by their lovely figures. That's why my friend included it in her picture of me.

Lauren demonstrated how to put plum sauce, Asian basil [it's a real thing. look it up], sprouts, cilantro, jalapeno pepper and sriracha sauce on top. It takes a bit of dressing up, this soup, but it is totally worth it. I chose to not use the number one condiment in the world on my sauce as Sriracha makes my mouth burn like a raging forest fire, but I all the other toppings added such depth and diversity to the dish. 

Also, my nose kept running because it was hot out already. But I'm sure Pho is just delightful in the winter.

U Street, I'll be back for more Asian goodness. Perhaps I can knock off another food I MUST eat before I die of the list.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Making Strides in Becoming an Adult... Kind Of

Some celebrate momentous occasions with champagne and fancy cheeses. I pat myself on the back while telling everyone that I come into contact with that I have not bit my nails in three days. I haven't drunk diet coke in two days. I've been listening to the news on the radio instead of the local indie radio station. Oh, and I've started to consistently wear a watch.

Yes folks. I'm attempting to grow up.

No, I don't have a serious job. 

No, I haven't moved out of my parents house.

No, I don't go to bed on time or exercise regularly or eat on a consistent schedule.

But damn it, I wear a watch almost every day.

That is progress. At its basest form.

Oh yeah. I also got glasses that make me look like a hipster - thus an adult. 

I retract that statement. Hipster glasses DO NOT make one look like an adult.

Life Goals

Recently [meaning tonight] I have been attempting to reevaluate what I want in my life by way of career choices and goals. Leaving my current one hundred jobs in the next few months is my goal. Thus I know the road, so to speak, that I would like to travel. However, I don't know my end destination. Or rather, my next stop. All I can figure out at the moment is that I desire a full time job that pays fairly well. I also know that I would like to move. To be self-sufficient is a goal of mine. I just have no idea how these desires are going to manifest themselves in my life.

So tonight I started thinking and looking. A few months back I wrote down a few things that I'd like to see happen in my life. I need to do that again. And I need to be perfectly honest with myself. Does this ever happen to you? You sit down to write out some lists of what you want, but then you are embarrassed that your future children [or future cats, for when cats can read in the future] will read it and think less of you. So it happens that items that should be on the list don't make it. Alright. That's probably just me. I sound like a crazy person who can't articulate what they want to say. So I'm rambling and going on about nothing.

Essentially, I need to make some goals and dreams for myself. I have to stop living as though I am limited by some unknown force. No unknown force is holding me back from diving into something completely new and unexpected. I can't be whatever I want to be [although i am holding out hope for being a world champion sumo wrestler], but I also have more options and perhaps even opportunities than I realize. Why limit myself? 

Someday I want to teach history to a room full of enraptured students. Hanging on my every word, they will forever remember the day that I taught them about Rasputin [Russia's greatest love machine - ABBA's words, not mine].

Someday I want to open a bakery with one of my bestest friends in the world. I want to bake and decorate beautiful cakes that taste like magic.

Someday I want to give tours in a museum. And I want people to love those tours. I want them to be so caught up in the history that is being explained, that they forget that the tour is four hours longer than scheduled.

This is a start. But it is certainly not the end.

Now to get to applying to jobs.

Monday, August 20, 2012


I'm slightly [read incredibly humiliated and sad] embarrassed that I have not updated this little blog in quite some time. Upon contemplating my given excuse as to why, I had to look up how to spell embarrassed. I was flabbergasted at the spelling. No wonder I always spell it embarresed [note: this is NOT how you spell said word. please don't take after me and decide to spell it wrong ALL the time]. Really, I need to take lessons in spelling, grammar and the like. It doesn't matter that I have a college degree as it obviously did not raise my english pedigree [no matter that i boast of a minor in english].

Not that you would know, but I just took a fifteen minute respite from writing to venture to the library for French tapes. Then I realized that I'm not living in the '90's, and they are in fact French cds. I'm not exactly the best at picking up languages at all, but I going to Paris in December! And guess who gets to learn a little bit of French before we go. I do. Because my siblings are lazy. 

My goal is to blog more often. Feel free to heckle me if I am not actually doing so.

I'll leave you with some of my baking accomplishments this summer.

Mississippi Mud Pie Coffee Style

Lemon Blueberry Cake with Lemon Icing

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll with Maple Bourbon Glaze

Mini Chocolate Cupcakes

The returning Chocolate Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Filling, Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream and Chocolate Ganache on top

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Fashion in Downtown Annapolis

I got a new part time job. Now I have three. I think I'm a sucker for punishment. I am stoked about this new gig, however. Through the magical-ness (which includes scamming out the wazooo) of Craigslist, I stumbled upon a listing for bakers assistant at a nearby tea house. I applied (after spiffying up my resume of course) despite my lack of experience in the culinary world. Yet they hired me! I start next Monday, and I am beyond excited!

So commemorate this momentous occasion, I shall post pictures of my sisters. Yes, these have nothing to do with what I just wrote about. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Homemade Oreos

To celebrate the 100th year anniversary of Oreos [because who wouldn't want to celebrate that, really?] I decided to try my hand at making the homemade version. I wanted something quite similar to what a real oreo tastes like, but obviously there had to be some differences. Those differences would include the size, ingredients for the filling, and overall texture after they had "aged" a few days. 

The cookie was made by combining all the dry ingredients and then slowly mixing in the butter. It was incredibly crumbly, and it took forever to get all the butter mixed into dry ingredients. I may have sworn up and down when cocoa powder mixed with flour flew out of the Kitchen Aid for the umpteenth time. I may have also cursed the day I decided to try and make these cookies. Eventually I took my little hand torch to the bowl in order to melt the butter ever so slightly so it would stick together. 

Clearly Orly was not too invested in the process.

When I finally finished the actual cookie part of the recipe they ended up turning out very similarly to shortbread. They ended up being quite crunchy and sandy when eaten straight.

I wanted to mix things up a little, so I made a semi-sweet chocolate ganache for a filling along with the normal white chocolate filling.

The cookies with the semi-sweet chocolate filling were incredibly rich. Like almost too rich. Maybe that's a good thing though. You eat half a cookie and you're fine dessert wise? That would help with my ever expanding waistline. The white chocolate filled ones were not so intense, although the cookies was still incredibly rich what with the crazy amount of butter and cocoa powder. 

I loved the look of the dark chocolate cookie which was attained by using dark chocolate cocoa powder instead of the normal cocoa powder usually bought in store. Delicious. 
 Interested in making these tasty little treats? Here's the link to the recipe I used. By the by, this ladies entire blog is incredible! I found it one night and ended up using three of her recipes within days of each other.