Thursday, December 15, 2011

Pictures Dec 2 - Dec 15 2011

Here's my with Carlo's grandpa's meat cleaver, trying unsuccessfully to look evil/insane, my sister took this pic last Saturday when she came over to hang out and help me make Carlo's birthday cake before we went out to dinner:

Here's the resident elderly Maltese named Teddy that lives at my MIL's house where we are currently staying, with a Subway bag on top of him, a.k.a. Subway Dog:

Here's something I came across on my way to work one day, someone had put up a piece of real artwork inside a tunnel that regularly has graffiti (not even nice well done stuff either) sprayed all over it to the extent that they have to re-paint it every 2 months in the summer:

This is outside the tunnel:

And inside:

Here's my dad and Carlo at the Kandas all-you-can-eat sushi in Laval, Carlo's mom brought us there for his birthday (it was on the 10th)

Me & Carlo's mom

My sister and I went to an Asian market and I decided to buy this. I had read about it on the internet, the flavor was good, I enjoyed the texture too, except for the fact that the seeds were too small and slippery to actually crunch between my teeth, which drove me crazy because I'm the type of person that has to chew the tapioca in my bubble tea. I ended up giving it to my sister hehe.

Some funny packaging on a box of cakes:

Here's the bowl of pasta I stuck a candle in for Carlo's birthday, it was in one of the pretty bowls I bought for him at the Asian market:

Here's the birthday meat cake I made for Carlo. Last year I decided to make him a meat cake for his birthday because at the time he was an assistant pastry chef and quite tired of sweet things so I decided to make him a savory cake. I got the idea from This is Why You're Fat, a now defunct website that featured over-the-top food. I decided to make it a tradition and repeat it every year since he liked it last year :)

Last year's was a total fail though, instead of cooking the sausage meat and potatoes separately, I cooked them together and I got a soup of sausage grease and potatoes with two meat discs floating in it, and had to remove the grease and potatoes and serve just the meat covered in cheese. It was too rich, and I screwed up the icing, so I decided to get it right this year. And I did! :D

To make it I took 4 large toulouse and blue cheese & green onion sausages each (maybe a kilo of each?), and cut open the casings to put the meat into separate bowls for each flavor. Then I added a good half a cup if not more of sriracha sauce to each bowl and mixed it in and set them aside. Then I peeled about an equal amount of potatoes and cubed them and boiled them.

While they were boiling I took a large pot, lined it with parchment and pressed the contents of one of the two bowls of meat in the bottom, as flat as possible, and baked it at 350 with the lid off for 20 minutes, or until I judged that it was cooked through and had shrunk away from the sides 1-2 inches.

I poured off the juices into a bowl and set it aside to make gravy with, then put a paper towel or two on top of the meat, and holding the pot over the sink with an oven mitt on the hand catching the meat I gingerly tipped it sideways and removed the disc of meat and set it aside on the cutting board that I would build the cake on. I did the same with the second bowl of sausage meat, changing the parchment paper in between.

When the potatoes were done I drained them and mashed them with a bit of water (we had run out of milk), about 1/2 a cup of butter, a few tablespoons of powdered fat-free chicken broth and a teaspoon or two of ground white pepper.

I layered an approximately equal thickness of potatoes on top of the meat and spread it out as uniformly as possible, then did the same with the second layer of meat and potatoes. For the cheese "icing" I used a mix of room-temperature cream cheese and Imperial cheese, it has a very soft spreadable texture that's a cross between very old crumbly aged cheddar and cream cheese. I used 2 packages of each, and had 1 package of cream cheese left over for the trim. To that I added several tablespoons of tuong ot toi (rooster sauce) until I thought it would be spicy enough for Carlo's liking. I gobbed it on roughly and then used a large chef's knife heated under running hot water to smooth it out. Then I added the cream cheese trim and candles.

We also went to another all-you-can-eat sushi place, Sushi Crescent for Carlo's birthday dinner. Here's Kristina and Stephan:

Stephan and my sister:

Christelle, me & Carlo

One Saturday morning Carlo's mom decided that she wanted to straighten my hair:

I did some mini-home improvement, I changed the light bulbs in the lamps over the kitchen table (they were long ones that stuck out the bottom of the shade & looked ugly) and the tablecloth too, although this one is a very thin one I got at the dollar store just temporarily till we get a good one:

I covered this patch of counter with some adhesive plastic shelf covering stuff, it was originally painted white and the paint had been all scratched off in places and it looked horrible:

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