Tuesday, October 27, 2009

two birds with one stone

The plan was to spend a day at the National Portrait Gallery. Upon arrival, we noticed that the National Portrait Gallery was in the same building as the American Art Museum. So we were able to *quickly* go through both museums in one outing (at times, we were confused as to which museum we were in because the layout kept changing on each floor).

From the National Portrait Gallery:

Singer's first patented sewing machine.

Tom Thumb getting married. (All this time I thought Tom Thumb was a fairy tale.)

Unfinished paintings of George and Martha Washington. The artist got too busy to finish the paintings during his lifetime.

An artistic interpretation of George H. W. Bush throwing a horseshoe.

From the American Art Museum:

This piece is my favorite of all! Click on the image to enlarge, try reading it and let me know if you can figure out what it's saying.

Gorgeous gold piano.

The third floor to the building was just amazing.

I believe this horse is made out of bones.

Contemporary Art.

Red Bull Art of Can

Red Bull had an art exhibition at Union Station in DC this year. We went on the first day of the exhibition and they were still setting up the art pieces. So then we had to come back on the last day of the exhibition to see all the art you can make with a can of Red Bull.

Click here for the official Red Bull Art of Can website.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

pig races

I forgot to post these hilarious videos of the pig races I saw at the Virginia State Fair. You should watch each one in order, because it makes the last video ten times more hilarious. If it wasn't for the fact that I was holding the camera to videotape the race, I would have been rolling on the floor with laughter.


Race #1:

Race #2:

Race #3:

Race #4:

Monday, October 19, 2009

happy fries

I had lunch at Johnny Rockets at the mall, and was very pleasantly surprised to get fries served in this manner. I was having a rough day and this little happy face just brightened up my day.

However, that was not nearly enough ketchup for my fries, so the smiley face was soon drowned out when I squeezed a ton of ketchup on it.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

reverse chocolate chip cookies

The Boy mentioned that I should try out to make the black and white cookies that are sold at Specialtys, this sandwich/bakery chain in San Francisco. It was like a chocolate cookie with white and milk chocolate chips in it. So I googled for a recipe, but the closest thing I found was this Michael Romano's recipe for reverse chocolate chip cookies (chocolate cookies with white chocolate chips). They don't taste exactly as how I remember the Specialtys' black and white cookie tastes like, but it was still pretty good cookies. I found it to be more cakey, as in the cookie was light and fluffy. Well, try it out for yourself and let me know what you think.

1 1/4 cup sweet butter at room temperature

1 Tbs. sweet butter for buttering cookie sheets.

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 1/4 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour

1 1/4 cup cocoa powder

2 tsp. baking soda

10 oz. solid white chocolate, broken into 1/4 inch chunks (or 8 ounces white chocolate chips)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly butter a cookie sheet, or alternatively, line the sheet with a strip of parchment paper. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer or a hand-held beater, cream the butter and sugars until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs and continue to beat until they are well-combined, about 1 minute. Mix in the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda mixture until well incorporated. Fold in the white chocolate chunks with a rubber spatula.

Filling a tablespoon, scoop out individual cookies from the batter and place in even rows on the cookie sheet, leaving 2 inches of space between each cookie. Transfer the cookie sheet to the middle shelf of the oven, and bake for 8-10 minutes until the cookies are puffed and still to the touch.

Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and allow cookies to cool and set for 5-7 minutes before carefully removing them with a spatula. If you have used a sheet of parchment paper, slide the entire sheet off the tray, and allow the cookies to cool for 5-7 minutes. Meanwhile, you may re-use the cookie sheet immediately for baking the next batch.

Makes 60 cookies. (author's note: perhaps I made my cookies really big, but I was only able to get 36 cookies out of the batch)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

apple crisp

The crispy topping made full of brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, coconut, chopped nuts, flour and probably some other stuff...
....plus four or five apples cut up in slices....baked in an oven for half hour or so...
...and you get yummy apple crisp.
I'll have to ask my friend for the recipe. I recall it was out of a Betty Crocker recipe book though. It was super yummy with a scoop of ice-cream too.

wheat flour power

This is a tub of red wheat grains.
Here is a close up shot of the wheat, just in case you couldn't tell what it was.
This thingymajig here grinds the wheat grains into flour.
Three cups of wheat grains, plus one super-powered arm muscles and thirty minutes later, you get wheat flour.
Apparently, grinding your own flour guarantees that the nutrients are still there. Unfortunately, someone forgot to add yeast to the bread dough, so the bread didn't rise during the baking process. I tasted the lump of bread and it was still pretty tasty, just wasn't light and fluffy, but tasted like wheat buns to me. If it wasn't the requirement of muscle power (which I have none), I would probably start grinding my own flour too.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

bunnies bunnies bunnies

Bunnies from the Virginia State Fair.

fair sightings

More pictures from the Virginia State Fair. Some are funny signs, some are interesting, some are just kinda weird...like this man-pig playing guitar below.

$10 mechanical bull ride. If you can stay on for 8 seconds, you win $200 cash. We didn't see anyone win.
Old lady weaving a rug, or something like that.
Handy man making violins.

Sweet tea for 75 cents a cup, but you have to stand in line for half an hour. For $3.75 a cup, you could get sweet tea without the wait.
I had to try out the game where you use a bb gun to shoot out an entire red star.
I did not shoot out the entire star.
Man with a giant Stewie doll. Imagine lugging that around all day.
Diabetic funnel cake? Umm, maybe you should lay off the funnel cake...
Another person carrying around a giant stuffed toy.

Deep fried bologna sandwiches? Now that's going too far.

fair food

Virginia State Fair 2009 -- Pictures of good eats at the state fair.

Porky's BBQ was the place to be. Pork parfait, anyone?
I was debating between the turkey leg...
...and an Italian sausage sandwich. The sausage won, but I still wanted a turkey leg.
Deep fried pickles -- nope, I didn't try it. Friend L devoured it.
Deep fried mac-n-cheese. I tried one piece. It was okay. Friend L devoured it too.
Hawaiian shaved ice with blue raspberry and cherry. It was a hot day and I totally devoured all of it.

Deep fried chocolate chip cookie. I took a bite and it just tasted like fried dough. Friend L, of course, devoured one entire cookie and then I think she gave up on the second cookie.

Giant pumpkins. Nope, we did not devour these. Aren't these ginormous?