Tag Archives: food

Food porn

I haven’t had cable in years. When I did, I loved watching food shows. Wok With Yan, Emeril Live!, Iron Chef, and even the occasional Barefoot Contessa, were all some of my personal favourites to watch. But I haven’t really watched many food shows since I’ve been without cable.

Enter Netflix. (Read: damn you, Netflix.)

I’ve started making my way through David Chang’s The Mind of a Chef and it’s been too awesome so far. Let’s just say I’m glad I ate dinner before I started watching this show, because, even as I type this just thinking about the show, I really want some authentic, Japanese noodle house, ramen.

Oh, ramen. Why must you be so delicious? The best ramen I’ve ever had was in a little ramen shop in Oahu, Hawaii. It was also the first time I had ramen in an actual ramen shop. The second best was a ramen shop in New York City that I visited with my friend, Kathy, during the last thanksgiving. Miso-based ramen quickly became my favourite after that night. And now I want ramen. Really. Badly. I’ll just keep doing it to myself for this whole post, most likely.

But yes, with Netflix being the new cable for me, essentially, I imagine that I’ll be exploring more and more food shows as I spend more time looking for something to watch on Netflix than actually watching Netflix anyway. I did watch all of the available episodes of the original Kitchen Nightmares, which I found entertaining more than delicious and tantalizing. Though, admittedly, I salivated for most of the one episode that featured New Orleans inspired soul food.

And once upon a time, I fell in love with Pixar’s Ratatouille and was immediately inspired to cook like a real chef with every dish I prepared for the next month. I was really good at the presentation, but the flavour I could still use some work on.

But without fail, every time I watch food shows, I might as well be Stan’s Dad from South Park in that one “Creme Fraiche” episode. But just to a point. Not all the way. (If you know the episode, you’ll understand.)

Seriously, though, I need some ramen. Get me some ramen. Please.

-Mickey

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Sometimes all you need is dim sum.

I love dim sum. It’s the best. My favourite part about it, though, isn’t even the food. It’s all about the people. It’s meant to be shared and it’s the quickest way to make a group of friends feel more like family, even when you welcome new friends to the fold.

Dim sum in the winter is especially delicious and enjoyable. There’s something about delicious bite size food keeping you warm in the cold and wet of winter that just makes you forget about the conditions outside. And did I mention the people? They’re the best. You talk about anything and everything at the dim sum table with friends. And you laugh at all of it. And the only silence you experience is the wonderful food silence that happens because all of the delicious occupying your mouth. Ah, food silence. It’s the most comfortable silence in the world.

My advice? Order everything. At least once. I haven’t done it yet, but one day, with a group of dim sum loving friends (read: all friends because who doesn’t love dim sum?), all the items will be on the table. All of them. Even the ones that I don’t like, because someone will inevitably try it and finish it. (Chicken feet lovers, you know who you are.) Admittedly, it’s a little harder on friends who are vegetarian/vegan. Okay, it’s a lot harder for those friends to enjoy it since nearly everything is meat based, but even then they can enjoy a couple of delicious elements of dim sum. Not much of it, unfortunately, but again, it’s about the people you bring to the dim sum table than it is the dim sum.

Don’t get me wrong: bad dim sum sucks. But unless you’re getting dim sum from the wrong places (i.e. not restaurants), it’s really hard to have bad dim sum. Even store bought, frozen-food section dim sum is good in a pinch. Really, there’s just good dim sum and great dim sum.  I don’t even know how I can say that “bad dim sum sucks” because I can honestly say I’ve never had dim sum I didn’t enjoy somewhat.

But then again, I always have good people at the dim sum table, and, again, that’s what it’s all about.

Go have some dim sum. There’s never a bad time to do it. And then invite me. I’ll be there.

And don’t forget that your fortune cookie fortunes aren’t complete sentences until you say “in bed.”

-Mickey

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Back to your favourite you.

We all have a version of ourselves that we like the best. Whether it be what we consider our “prime” or a potential version of ourselves that we have yet to realize, this is the goal that we are always thinking about when don’t even know that’s what we’re thinking. This might not even be our ideal version of ourselves, just one that we prefer or have favourited.

One of my favourite versions of me existed about 55 pounds ago. I’ve been that version 3 times and I’m always at my most energetic when in that iteration. I’m working my way back to a better version of that guy right now. In fact, I’ve been working on becoming him again for the last 9 days. He is always powered up and ready to do everything. He fits in size medium shirts. He even has a surprisingly nice jawline. But there’s a better version of him for which I’m striving and today was a big step in that direction.

This better version has much healthier metabolism. He’s stronger, faster, and eats better than all other versions of me. He doesn’t have that gut he’s had forever anymore. He may even be able to see his defined and refined abdominal muscles. (A man can dream.) But my favourite part about this version of me is that he never let’s go of his goal to be and maintain this version. He wants to continue to be that ideal me.

I know I can get to this version. He might not be just 81 days away, but whoever I become in that amount of time will be even closer to that ideal me than ever before. The key is sticking to it. Accountability. Vision. Passion. All of these are my tools to that new me.

And I think once I’m happy with that new me, then I’ll be more confident to find that person with whom that new me will journey for the rest of our lives. (Sappy romantic version of me will probably always follow along. Truth be told.)

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– Mickey

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The Magic of Pub Fare.

There’s something about a pub that’s got a bit of magic to it. Not a bar. A pub. Whether it’s a firkin or not, something about the environment and design of a pub makes it so comfortable, regardless of your alcohol consumption. The best pubs have that vibe. The feeling that at any time you could burst out into song and everyone would either join in or just watch and enjoy. Of course, most people would either look at you weird or just ignore you completely, but for whatever reason, the possibility always seems to be there.

Random post, I know, but I’m currently sitting upstairs at the Firkin on Yonge where a good friend just explained that, due to two separate comments on his hair — that he looks like Bilbo Baggins and that he looks like Luke Skywalker — he can officially say that he is a Jedi Hobbit. It’s this kind of wild imaginative fun and randomness that can sprout up in this kind of setting, this environment of laughter, breaded pickles, mini poutine, and potato skins. Also, Irish nachos. Yum.

It’s a post-meeting meeting. That’s what’s going on right now. But really, that’s what a night out at a pub is for most working folks. There’s something about meditating on your own at home after a long day that is really beneficial, but there’s a whole other level to that when you can share that meditation over beer and pub food with good friends who have gone through that same day with you.

That being said, it’s looking like the night is starting to wind down. Some of us do have to work in the morning. (Not me.) Some of us have to schedule a new workout plan with our roommate. But more on that later. (Wow, such a future Mosby line.)

What a firkin good night. (Womp womp.)

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– Mickey

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Spaghetti Dinner.

That was a tiring day.

I think I just wasn’t ready for it. I was thinking today would be a lot less hectic, and was completely on the other end of the correctness spectrum on that thought. Anyone who works retail and doesn’t expect a full house knows what I mean. I just wanted to sit down. And eat some spaghetti.

My parents gave me an unexpected care package after I gave them and the family a dim sum late lunch. It was some mango juice, orange juice, garlic bread and my Mom’s spaghetti sauce.

For those who don’t know, my Mom’s spaghetti is my favourite dish of all time. I love Italian food, have had genuine Italian spaghetti from my Italian-born friends’ parents, aunts and uncles, and nothing beats Mom’s. I’m also addicted to garlic bread. (Insert Scott Pilgrim reference here.) So naturally, knowing that this was waiting at home made the second half of the work shift much easier to get through.

And it was delicious. I definitely ate too much of it, but based on how much better I feel now, I have no regrets.

Change gears. I played guitar and piano for two straight hours last night. It felt so good. I’m performing at The Central on January 12th, so I’m practicing up to make it the best acoustic set that I can. I’m thinking I’ll do some covers, a few originals, and just endlessly and adorably apologize throughout. Works for me. (Join me if you can!)

Shift. I keep getting distracted in daydreams. Thoughts of a possible future. A timeline that I want to exist. A universe where I find…

Sorry, another daydream. The more I do it, the more I’ll remember to remember. Or reveal.

Whoa, this shit just got Ryan Gosling…dreamy. (Zing!)

And now, an iPhone photo that proves I drive through the universe of The Walking Dead.

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-Mickey

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Day 7: Then and now – my Toronto experience so far. (Part 2)

Where was my career two and half years ago? Well, it was pretty much just getting started. I remember about a month after moving to Toronto in 2009 I received two life-changing e-mails, both of them contract offers, one for acting/creation and one for composing. Perfect. With my aspirations of acting and music being my main source of income, this was a welcome start. It was like the universe was my neighbour and put together a “Welcome to Toronto” gift basket for me as a housewarming present. Again, a very welcome start.

Both of those offerers of jobs have pretty much been constant sources of opportunity for me ever since. Keep in mind that, for artists, the words “constant job offers” can mean the world, and are rarely seen together in the same sentence in the early parts of a career. (Unless you count “I’m in a constant search for job offers”.  In which case, yes, we artists hear and say it all the time. Well, at least I did for a while.) So to have these projects fall in my lap a month into moving out on my own was lucky/a blessing/destiny/whatever mystical thing you want to insert here, and I’m very grateful for that. Yes, I attribute receiving work to getting the job done well when I’m on a project, but that starting point is usually the hardest part to find.

And now I find myself at a point where I can start actively searching for work, as opposed to waiting for when it’s convenient, or waiting for offers to fall in my lap. And although, again, I’ve been very lucky in how consistently that happens, the stupidest thing I could do is just rely on that to continue. You’ve always got to be prepared. (I know it’s cliché, but the saying “Expect the best, prepare for the worst” has always been something I’ve latched onto. It combines positive energy with the drive to be prepared. Pretty damn powerful, if you ask me.)

I’m actually just home from a wonderful afternoon/evening out with my friend, Marianna. Sushi and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, made for very entertaining time, including a sporadic, yet slightly planned, shopping spree on Marianna’s part. (Surprisingly enough, she was able to do two things I never thought I’d witness, personally, from anyone shopping for clothes: try on, purchase, and be happy with, multiple articles of clothing in less than 15 minutes, and do it under budget. She’s amazing.) During dinner, she basically kicked my arse into gear in terms of getting an agent. I think I fooled myself into complacency on that part, telling myself that I need to cut some hours first to make way for the boatloads of work that’ll come my way once I get an agent. (Not cocky, just positive, I swear.) But she reminded me that an agent isn’t guaranteed work, and there’s a good chance I won’t see anything for the first few months. Good point. So now, I’ve got this week to, at the very least, start the agent shopping process. And, if she remembers, I’ll be getting a request for a status report from Marianna sometime next weekend.

And that’s where I’m at now: on the verge of completing a goal I’ve had in my back pocket ever since I knew I wanted to make a living in the arts. I’m getting an agent, bitches.

I think this pretty much sums it up:

– Mickey

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Day 4: Nothing like a mini-reunion.

So my friend, Tamara, is down from Ottawa for a few days, and I just got back from a fun night of bar-hopping with some of my good friends from University.  I finally visited Real Sports Bar & Grill for the first time in Maple Leaf Square. Very awesome place if you’re into sports, and watching sports on a 3-story tall projection screen. Yeah. In a bar.

But aside from the locale being a fantastic experience, it’s always a good time to talk to people who you used to converse with everyday, after going sometimes years between conversations.  But isn’t it always that way? Every transition between lives seems to have with it a changing of the guard when it comes to friends.  Some you lose, some you rotate in and out as your close circle, and of course you gain a few to a lot more along the way. It’s great to know, however, that even your former close circle still stays relevant important when no longer so close.

I don’t have a lot to write about right now. I am pretty tired from a long, but fun day. Oh, I will tell you that I’ve recently/randomly got into FourSquare. I scored 140+ points today alone, thanks to all the places I visited/walked through/rode on.  Yeah, you read that right.

Hmmm…random finishing treat INTIATE:

A dog comforts her sister during a storm.

-Mickey

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