Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Ghetto Gourmet: Soup Edition

If you're like me, you like to eat. If you're even more like me, you're also broke, cheap and lazy.

I haven't spent an extended amount of time at home lately, so I haven't been going to the grocery to restock on food. That means when I do wind up spending even one night at my house, I'm usually home alone with very little food options except for the things left in the pantry and embarrassingly old leftovers in the fridge.

If you're really like me, your desperate MacGuyver-like culinary instincts will kick in and find a way to round up a motley lot of ingredients to create a palatable, yet ghetto meal for yourself. If you're smart enough (READ: Cheap), you can make yourself a tasty meal at home for less than a Del Taco meal!

This edition will cover making soup incorporating things you really need to use before they go bad.

Cup o' Noodles, Box o' Rice, Egg. The essential ingredient for this soup is your run-of-the-mill cup of instant noodles. To add some kind of nutritional value to this meal, I added one egg - the last one I had in my fridge. I also added 1/3 full small takeout box of rice in there because this was a box of rice that's been in my fridge for at least two weeks after I took it home from work a week after a board meeting we had (Like I said, embarrassingly old).

Chicken Broth and Sesame Oil Additional ingredients I'd strongly recommend but aren't required is soup broth and some sort of additional flavoring. I had an open container of chicken broth in the fridge that needed to be used, and I still had a bit of sesame oil to add to the mix. I would have added some soy sauce if I didn't have the chicken broth, but the powered soup flavoring and the chicken broth would have enough salt. If I had some Hot Cock (Sriracha) sauce, I could have added that, and opted out on the Tapatio or Tabasco sauces.

Start making your soup by filling your noodle cup with the advised amount of water and let it all sit in the cup for a minute or so and then pour the contents into a small saucepan (NOTE: I highly advise against substituting your broth for water. This mix is already pretty salty, you might as well dilute it, but maintaining taste).

Startchy-StartchTurn on the heat if you haven't already, then add your additional flavoring (I put about a teaspoon or so of sesame oil) and once the noodles were soft enough to yield, I added my rice. This rice was so old it almost was hard as uncooked rice, making me think it would take longer for the rice to soften than the noodles. Because I added so much rice into the mix, I eyeball added probably around 3 cups of chicken broth, or until it looked like the starch/soup ratio looked balanced to me.

How do you like your egg? I then added a dash of cayenne pepper into the mix, just to give it a little bite, and once the noodles and rice looked soft enough, I turned off the heat dropped the egg into the saucepan and gently stirred.

...and there you have it (I added the furikake topping for the looks, I didn't really like it in this soup).

Nomz away, and should you decide to make this yourself, share your experiences here.


Friday, August 7, 2009

Adventures in True Blue Love

Anyone who knows me knows that I have an undying love(/hate) for Los Angeles.

Anyone who's known me for the past few years knows that I've become a devoted Dodgers fan.

Growing up, I didn't have many people around me who I knew that loved baseball. I was raised in a house where basketball was the sport, and of course, the Lakers was our team (and still is). But as I stayed local for college and as I went out deeper into the many pockets of the Greater Los Angeles Area, I'd meet people who are Dodger fans. One former boss drove him and a few others to a game all the way from Hollwyood in his GEM car.

It was pretty much inevitable that I became a Dodgers fan, especially when I moved to Lincoln Heights, so close to the stadium where I could see the fireworks from our alley, befriending Dodgers fans and dated a pretty big baseball fan...being a bigger sports fan than I give myself credit for, the Dodgers made it very hard for me not to love them.

Of course, I am more than aware of the history of Elysian Park and Chavez Ravine and what happened to that small, tight-knit community that once lived there. For some, it’s the reason why they can’t support a team that did that to those people. As sad as I am that such a cultural gem of an area is no longer with us, I can’t blame this baseball club for what eventually happened to these people.

And then there’s this book I’m currently reading, Chavez Ravine: 1949 by photographer Don Normark, of the pictures he took of the people and sights of this world that soon ceased to be, and some of the surviving residents and their recollections of living there. These pictures represent a time gone by, of places and people that are no longer there or accessible, including the school that remains intact where it still stands, but is now completely buried beneath one of Dodger Stadium’s parking lots.

As tragic as the residents of that time had to leave their home and their community, the inevitable fact of the matter is that if it didn’t happen to them in 1949, much like every small and tight-knit community in this eternally progressing city, it was going to happen to them eventually. It just so happened that a bunch of Big Leaguers needed to find a new home at the time and the City had some land to sell at the time.

But as most of the people of Chavez Ravine dispersed to other areas of Los Angeles, another community emerged. A community of fans of this baseball team has become a part of this city and plays a part of bringing a fanbase and a different kind of community together.

I’ve had a very crazy week, which has regretfully kept me out of the loop on how my baseball team has been doing. I could kick myself for missing out on some amazing things happening, including my “boyfriend” Andre Ethier maintaining his Comeback Kid posterboy status with is walk-off homer at the bottom of the 9th last night, as well as Dodger Stadium usher William Gomez preventing Milwaukee Brewer’s Prince Fielder from getting into the Dodger locker room, preventing what could have ended the Dodgers’ successful and already drama-filled season.

Reading William Gomez’s story and his history with the team and the ballpark is just a reminder that “When a door closes, another one opens;” as unfortunate that the people of Elysian Park of old was forced out of their homes in such a manner, another community emerged from it - a community that helps, in part, to bring a little part of this metropolis of L.A. closer together, and create a history and legacy of its own, spanning well beyond the hills on which the stadium rests.

Want to be a part of Dodgertown, USA?
Be a fan on Facebook.
Follow them on Twitter.
There’s always their Official Site.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Flying Lessons Learned

[It appears that my girlfriend's taken my writing spirit and written another blog entry. Fortunately, I have many other spirits in my spirit jar. Without further adoodoo:]

Lessons learned. Or rather, lessons updated/relearned/revisited/reminded of.

Also, "Why Delta is Better Than Other Airlines."

You know, I used to consider myself to be a bit self-absorbed until I saw how people react to a delayed flight. I am not the only one on this flight that has been delayed 3 hours, but I may be one of the only ones not throwing a fit. Seriously, you're not the only one who's pissed off your flight was delayed.

(But when it comes to my boyfriend not texting me back within 2.3 minutes of the original sent text, ohhh boy, watch out because all hell is about to break loose and someone's going to end up with something thrown at their head).

I decided to entertain myself. As a girl with middle-child syndrome, I’m rather good at this. Perhaps all these people grew up with a lot of siblings and just don't know how to entertain themselves. Doubtful. But I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.

I decide to go sit at a bar by myself (which leads me up to where I am now). The lady next to me had some kind of voucher and her ticket said she was also on my flight. I asked her if they were giving them to everyone and she told me yes and to go get one. I go back to the gate and ask if I can have whatever they are giving out (please) and the woman laughs and says, "Okay. You'll take whatever we're giving out." At least she's in a good mood. I'd be screaming at the morons demanding earlier flights if I were her. She then asks if I'd like to move seats. She observes that I have a middle seat and I sigh because that’s the worst seat ever. Then she says, "oh, you don't need to move. The two people next to you moved, you now have the row to yourself. Would you still like to move?" I have all 3 seats to myself! That's only my favorite thing ever, aside from missing my flights and having to fly standby for the next one and then getting upgraded to first class. Now I can sleep on the flight.

Then, she tells me I have a $7 meal voucher (food is way more expensive than that, but that's nice of them). She also tells me that Delta is offering a $50 credit toward a future Delta flight. What?! I thank her and run off like a giddy schoolchild with my meal voucher and $50 credit.

Okay, as I'm claiming my prizes (I’m pretending they're prizes to get myself more excited so I don't get all pissy), this woman next to me is complaining, of course. She’s complaining that she has kids and a father and she's so inconvenienced and she's sorry for complaining but, she's inconvenienced. Bitch, you're not sorry for complaining, or you wouldn't do it in the first place. What the hell are you talking about. No one's sorry for complaining, that's the whole point of complaining.

What would you like this person to do? Put you on a magic carpet and fly you to your destination? Because we all don't have appointments and stuff to do tomorrow, right? You're the only one? I’m just as inconvenienced and I’m not bitching. I’m skipping around with my seven dollar meal ticket like a monkey with a banana.

I thought it was nice that Delta agents stayed so calm and helpful. And even offered any sort of compensation. Not many airlines do so much as apologize for delayed flights. So go sit down woman. There's clearly nothing anyone can do or we wouldn't all be sitting around waiting. What would these people like? They would have rather flown on an unsafe aircraft? I don't get it.

So the moral of today's story:

Do not complain. No one cares.
And you're annoying.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Oh. Hai.

Hello, potential readers of the Ad Adventurum.

If you actually try to read this blog, I am here to say that Frank and I haven't completely abandoned this blog...just yet.

Speaking for myself, I've been spending these hot, summer days out and about, going to the beach, getting eaten by waves, going to baseball and soccer games and hiking! Most of the time I'm on the computer is when I'm at work, and I'm not about to blog while on the metaphorical clock, and when I'm on my own computer, I've been working on pictures and other projects.

And don't worry, (I think) Frank and I are still friends. We're not citing artistic differences or anything, unless he's out there galavanting with the undead. Then we're going to have words. I'm happy to see some activity on his MyBrute account and heading to the beach every now and again, and one can only hope that there is some BBQing involved with him.

Do expect a few posts I've got brewing in the next few days, especially since I have some pressure from people knowing about the blog when I attended the first annual Blogger Prom a few weeks ago, and now I feel this little blog that could really should.

So stay tuned for hiking adventures and what caused two blisters on the roof of my mouth! And for Frank...I miss you.