Archive for the ‘Gastronomic Adventures’ Category

Batsy Goes To The Birds



Issue #67, Detective Comics (September 1942)

Batman & Robin: “Crime’s Early Bird!”

Moody!Monday, Batfans.

So SO sorry about the delay in Emo!Thor last week. I was a sleep deprived little Snarkstress, let me tell you. I went ahead and made sure it posted, so look at YOU getting a two-fer-one special today! (more…)

Wherein We Join The Low-Carb Crew


In an effort to prove that there is more going on in our lives than merely an obsession with Thor, Marvel, Comics, and Video Games, we’ve decided that for the first month of the new year we’re doing something different around Hús af Snark.

I will only say that the mere idea of a “diet” is completely abhorrent to me.  Life is too short to count calories all day long.  But we’ve been meaning to clean up our eating style for a while, and being in a city now where there are fresh markets literally every few blocks, it’s rather ridiculous for us to ignore the plethora of yummy veggies everywhere.  As a result, we’re going to cut down the carbs, up the veggies and protein, and do what we can to enjoy all the bounty surrounding us.

I’ve been pouring over books, weighing our options (ba-dum-bum!), and since neither of us is comfy giving up meat entirely, we’re just going to drop the refined sugars down to a bare minimum and see what we can do.

I’m not expecting miracles. Neither is Dragon.  We’re just going to immerse ourselves, for the next month, at least, in an eating style I once swore I would never even contemplate.

If you hear screaming? It’s probably me, fighting off the urge to just nibble on one dry strand of pasta, in the throes of a carb-addict’s remorse fit. *sigh* But I will say this…I’ve given up cigarettes, and if I can do that? Carbs should be no sweat.

Prepare for an abundance of snark. You have been warned!

~Go Team Low-Carb
The Snarkstress *H*

A Very Harry Birthday


I’ve felt the need to gush for a week now about how nifty my birthday turned out to be this year, and I’m finally getting around to doing it. I only wish I had more pictures to share! Unfortunately, the main part of my birthday didn’t lend itself to pictures because they were “not allowed” to be taken.

I shall explain.

Ignoring the banality of the majority of the day due to working (for both of us), we’ll fast forward a bit.  We had to go out to West Seattle to drop off a card to one of our friends and then it was back to downtown.  See, about 3 weeks ago, my Dragon pointed out that there was a Harry Potter Exhibition going on at the Pacific Science Center. I hemmed and hawed about making it out there because I absolutely detest driving downtown, but ultimately we decided that it might be a nice outing for my birthday, provided we didn’t get any freak snowstorms.

Finding Pac Sci wasn’t difficult, thanks to our handy bitch-in-a-box (aka Magellan), and parking in the tiny pay-per-hour parking lot rocked.  In fact, we now know where to park the next time we decide to hit up the Seattle Center for fun.  Once in line inside the building, we noticed an issue we hadn’t considered…timing.  See, I suppose it’s normal in big cities to have timed events, all the better to keep from having 1000 people in one showing, leading to trampling and hurt feelings.  The only open time slot was 4:30.  When we got to the line? It was 3pm.  Dragon suggested doing it another day, I told him no, damnit, we fought our way through too much downtown traffic and random close-calls with S.L.U.Ts to turn back now. If that meant I had to sit there and wait for 90 minutes, then by golly, I was going to do it.

Here’s where a little bit of awesome comes into play: when we got to the window, intent on seeing the 4:30 showing, the clerk told us that he’d just had two 3:30 tickets open up…did we want them? Uh, yes please! So a little Snarkstress’ birthday miracle happened.  After tromping through a bathroom (apparently sans toilet paper) we hurried out across the courtyard to get in line for the exhibition.  I was determined to have fun, come hell or high water, and the only slight blow to my chipper mood was when the guide informed us there weren’t to be any pictures taken nor cellphones used for the duration of our visit.

Well poo, I thought. That’s no fun at all.

Of course, the exhibition itself was totally worth the price we paid to gain admission.  Over 200 props from the movies, including full set pieces, costumes, even creatures were all on display. I got to touch Snape’s robes. *tiny squee of awesome*  We meandered through the Gryffindor sleeping area, the Potions room, the different offices of each Defense Against The Dark Arts professors (yes, even Umbridge’s), pulled Mandrakes in the Herbology classroom, sailed through the Quidditch area, drifted into the forest (complete with Buck Beak AND Dragon AND giant spider), relaxed in Haggrid’s Hut, crept through the graveyard, and danced in the Main Hall, all before spilling out into Diagon Alley, where I got one of Hermione’s Time Lockets.

Here’s my only complaint, because honestly, the whole thing was massively spectacular: I know that the world of Potter is mostly for children. I’m a fan, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not my whole life. That said…if you have children and you want to take them into public? Please, for the love of Odin, keep an eye on them and ensure they at least have a tinge of manners.  I know kids will get excited and bouncy and that’s just fine. But after a few body slams from chitlins left to run wild, an elbow or two from others as they tried to jockey into a better position, with nary a word of rebuke from their parents…well…it’s moments like that that I remember why I tend to shy away from large gatherings.  It wasn’t just the children either! I seriously had a 6′ tall, mid-40′s dood practically knock me over to see something that HE COULD ALREADY SEE. *facepalm*

Aside from the above, it rocked.

And then we decided to go to dinner, which was, thankfully, closer than we’d anticipated to the area we were already in.  Pasta Freska. Oh. My. Gods.  I won’t say it was the most amazing food I’ve ever had? But it was damned close.  No menus, no hassle.  Declining wine (I had to drive and I don’t like wine much anyway), we were brought a fresh raspberry lemonade that was to die for. The chef came out and asked us what kinds of things we absolutely did NOT like and then created this “beautiful meal” that just melted me into a happy little puddle of culinary goo.  Seven courses, each one resplendent with rustic Italian simplicity, each one better than the one before.  Eggplant, salad, spaghetti, stuffed chicken, mussels, salmon, and dessert. Words cannot express how fantastic this was.

In the spirit of gastronomic adventure, both Dragon and I tried something we’d never tried before: mussels. Steamed. And practically drenched in a sweet cream sauce. They were incredible.  This from the woman who swore up and down she’d never eat one.  And, too, even my picky Dragon ate them and everything else set down in front of him! I was so proud of him!  We only traded once: he prefers white fish and I prefer salmon, so when we both got the opposite, we traded. BOTH were good.

Of course, I had to run out of the restaurant after dessert to make sure I pulled the car out before the parking garage closed, leaving Dragon to pay the bill like a manly man would, but even then…sublime.  A place we are most definitely going to visit again!

The end of my birthday resulted in heading home, looking at the lights along the way, and being oh-so-thankful to not only be living in this incredible city, but to have made it through another year in, more or less, once piece.  And with another year looming, just days away, I wish the same to all of you: Health, happiness, and love in 2011.

The Snarkstress *H*

Cookie Conundrum


I ask you, dear readers, have you ever found yourself craving a cookie, but you’re completely torn as to which you’d prefer? Chocolate Chip? Peanut butter? Pecan sandies?

We have the solution to solve your cookie conundrum!

Presenting: Couchlocked Cookies!

These marvelous morsels are a little bit peanut butter cookie, a little bit milk chocolate chip, a little pecan sandie, and just a smidge of bittersweet chocolate chip too. But most of all? They’re entirely made of yum!

Couchlocked Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup chunky peanut butter
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

1) Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
2) Beat butter, sugar and peanut butter in medium bowl until creamy.  Add egg and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; add to butter mixture, blending well.
3) Stir in chips and pecans.  Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls (I use one of those cookie scoop thingies) onto ungreased cookie sheet.
4) Bake 12 – 14 minutes or until light golden brown around the edges.  Cool for about 1 minute on the sheet and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 3 1/2 dozen or so.


Celebrate National Coffee Day!


One of my favorite comedians, Robin Williams, made a comment about Seattle once that I find incredibly true: “I was thinking of quitting coffee, but this isn’t the town I guess….Every five feet, Starbucks? Yeah! Tully’s? Yeah! Seattle’s best? Yeah, baby!”

I used to think he was merely exaggerating.  I now know that he was not.

To put it into perspective, there are, within two miles of our house, TEN Starbucks stores.  That’s just ONE franchise. I’m not including all the smaller coffee huts, drive-thru stands, and cafes lurking out there within that same radius.  A guesstimate? There are at least 40 different places to get coffee within a two mile radius.

And keep in mind: we do NOT live in downtown Seattle.

According to The Daily Beast, Seattle is #1 among the most caffeinated cities in America.  Understandable, what with this being the birthplace of Starbucks. (Or, as my mother likes to call it: Starbuckies,)  There truly isn’t a corner in the city that doesn’t have a coffee joint within a stone’s throw.  In fact, there is even a downtown coffee tour, offered by Seattle By Foot, just in case you wanted a little…guidance on your bean knowledge.

Coffee is a big deal here.  So much so that there is currently a legal brew-ha-ha (see what I did there?) going on about how much skin a bikini barista should be able to show during the winter.  Yes, I said bikini barista. They exist here. In abundance.  Who doesn’t want a little boob with their bean, I mean, c’mon! And let’s not talk about the prostitution charges for the bikini stands, or the “bud” charges for another.  Serious. Business.

Taking ALL of that into account, it might surprise you that we don’t drink all that much coffee. Shocking, I know. J tends to get a majority of his caffeine via Mt. Dew, while I…don’t. Don’t get me wrong, I love coffee just as much as the next person, but I’m not nearly as addicted to it as, say, my mom.  My current love affair revolves around a nifty little machine called the Keurig Mini.  (I just realized how many links I’m putting in this post, and I assure you, I’m not advertising for them, getting paid to put them here, or anything. I just happen to like showing you what I’m talking about and giving credit where it’s due!) Anyway, my Keurig dispenses coffee one cup at a time, which is a good thing because I tend to nurse that cup into oblivion.

There was a time when we’d go out and spend $10+ on fancy coffee drinks from local retailers, only to find that the tastiness of the drink depended entirely on WHO was making it.  And frankly? That got old.  Especially with J being such a diva about his coffee. Seriously. How difficult is it to make a vanilla caramel macchiato with whipped cream on top? Apparently, it’s rocket science.

In any event, here we are on National Coffee Day. I’ve got my cup o’ Jet Fuel with two splenda and some Sweet Italian Cream. J had HIS version of it this morning when I shuttled him off to work.  And millions of people across the world are enjoying their own cup o’ bean today.  Are you?



**Intro/Outro music provided by the Free Music Archive, titled “Message” and performed by My Teenage Stride**