Thursday, April 20, 2017

Joining the Herd... Of Unicorn

 So.  This happened.  Yes I got a Unicorn Frappuccino.  I would not have spent money on it.  I don't think I would even have used my star rewards that I earned for spending money on one.  But when I got the email that Starbucks had added a free item to my card for my birthday on the day that the Unicorn Frappaccino came out,it seemed like a sign.  And since they were going to give me one for free just for being born I decided to give it a try.  I went to a Starbucks that I don't usually go to where the baristas wouldn't know me and I would never have to see them again.  And I still felt silly asking for it.  And then I felt silly carrying it down the street.  And then I took a sip and didn't really know what to think.  It tasted like... bubblegum?  Maybe?  Did it change color?  Sort of.  If you swirled it around hard enough you could get the blue, whatever it is, to mix with the pink frappuccino to get a purplish color.  But I had to work at it.  And since the blue stuff is sour it did change the flavor as well.  A little.  Sometimes.  Mostly it was just all the same sweet indistinct flavor.  It wasn't bad.  But I'm not sure I liked it either.  After drinking one I have to say I don't get it.  I'm not sure what they were going for.  Obviously, the point was sales.  You create a buzz.  Everyone runs to buy it.  You have it just long enough for everyone to get one and then you get rid of it.  Because, let's face it, after you've had one you aren't going back for another.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

My First Taste of Ethiopia

honey wine
kiwi juice
 I tried Ethiopian food for the first time last night.  I didn't really know anything about Ethiopian food except that utensils were not often used and you picked up your food with the injera bread.  I figured that would be the biggest surprise and I really didn't need to know anything else.  I went to Asmara.  I must admit that I picked Asmara because Yelp said if I went there and used the credit card I had linked to my Yelp account I would get 7% of my money back.

mints and wet naps with the check
They let you pick between a traditional table and a standard table.  I would have chosen the traditional basket type table but I had drug my friend along and had not told him about the no utensils thing so I figured I should let him decide where we sat.  And being comfortable is important because you are going to be sitting for a while.  We were seated quickly but then everything was a long wait after that.  Even just for my glass of honey wine.  I only ever saw two people working there so it doesn't look like they have a large staff so that might be the issue.  We got there around 5:30 and it was pretty empty but about a half hour later there was a line of people waiting for a seat.

I wish I hadn't looked under the injera
best air hand dryer I have ever used
We got the spicy chicken wing appetizer.  The sauce on them was very good but I would have liked them cooked a little more because the skin was still really flabby and it was not a good texture.  They gave us a knife and fork to eat the chicken wings, but took them away before the entree. For the entree I ordered the Ahimilti Bebaynetu, which is the vegetable combo.  I didn't even try to pronounce anything so I just said vegetable combo.  And my friend got the spicy salmon fillet.  It comes out on this big plate dished out on top of big pieces of injera with more injera on the side to eat it with.  I wasn't even sure what one of the things I was eating was but it was all delicious.  My friend let me try his salmon too.  I am not a huge fan of salmon but the sauce on it was awesome. Everything came in a very flavorful sauce.  The injera under the food and the injera served to eat with were different colors but they tasted the same to me.  It is a pancake or crepe like bread and has a slightly sour taste.  And I am not sure you are meant to eat the injera under the food, but I did.  Because all the yummy sauces had soaked into it.  But I almost wish I hadn't because when you lifted it up you could see pools of grease underneath.  The food didn't taste unpleasantly greasy but my heart did not like to see how much grease I had just eaten.

mixed berry cake
We had to get more injera to finish everything.  But getting to order anything after the initial order isn't easy.  Our server was polite and friendly but always in a hurry since she was the only server I ever saw.  She did come to check on us on occasion but as soon as one of us said something she was off like a shot.  So I intended to get another glass of wine but I was not quick enough after my friend asked for a ginger ale and she was gone.  I didn't really need the wine so it wasn't that big an issue but it was a little annoying that you could only ask for one thing at a time.

vegetable combo and spicy salmon
The dessert menu is mostly sorbetta and gelato.  But I wanted the mixed berry cake.  Mostly because it had Chantilly cream in it.  My friend wanted the pear tart but he was told when he tried to order it that they didn't have it.  Which would have been nice to know before we had made our choices. But he adjusted and we both got the mixed berry cake.  I am almost certain it had been heated in the microwave.  The cream was warm and leaking out of the sides and the berries on top were still frozen in the middle.  It was okay but not as awesome as I had hoped.

spicy chicken wings
The bathrooms are clean and smelled nice and they have the best air hand dryer I have ever seen.  The air comes out of there at hurricane force and your hands are dry in like two seconds.

I liked the food and would like to try it again but I might choose another restaurant.  If you go to Asmara get ready for a long leisurely dinner because you will be there a while.

Weekend Cooking is sponsored by Beth Fish Reads. See the other posts here.

Friday, April 7, 2017

The Friday 56 and Book Beginnings

The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda's Voice

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that's ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post in the Linky here. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It's that simple.

Book Beginning is hosted by Rose City Reader. All you have to do is share the opening line of the book you're reading and what you think about it. Check out the other posts here.

My book this week is Raise the Titanic! by Clive Cussler.  I have read this before but it was a long time ago so it feels like I'm reading it for the first time.  Dirk Pitt is trying to raise the Titanic because there is something in the vault the government needs.  But of course the Russians want it too.

Book Beginnings:

The man on Deck A, Stateroom 33, tossed and turned in his narrow berth, the mind behind his sweating face lost in the depths of a nightmare.  

The Friday 56:

"Seagram," Sandecker grunted irritably, "you're a monumental pain in the ass.  Did it ever occur to you to call my personnel director during normal working hours?"

I remember liking this book more the first time I read it.  I used to read all of Clive Cussler's books.  It has been a while though.  Now I'm thinking Dirk Pitt is a bit of a jerk and the banter between him and his best friend sounds like one of those conversations where everyone is trying to pretend everything is okay when it isn't.  Just kind of forced and unnatural.  Oh, well, I guess some books are best left in the past.