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>New Wearable Feedbags

26 Aug

>Check this out!

Some Odds n’ Ends From Amsterdam

30 Jul

Amsterdam in June feels like February in California–COLD. Thus, after an afternoon of meandering throughout town, a tall glass of hot chocolate was in order.

My buddy Sam and poked our heads into the closest cafe to grab a glass of the good stuff and a warm safe-haven from the chilly weather.

Sam modeling with the hot chocolate

Since I was only in Amsterdam for one day, I did not have a chance to taste all of the typical Amsterdam dishes such as: raw herring, Dutch pancakes (similar to a French crepe), poffertjes (much smaller than Dutch pancakes, and they are puffed and served with butter and powdered sugar) and licorice. I did, however, taste stroopwafels. Oh stroopwafels, how I love thee.

Two buttery thin waffle cookies sandwiched together with a layer of thick syrupy honey molasses. Oh man, so freaking yummy. Very dense though, upon eating more than one stroopwafel, you can definitely feel your belly get heavy.

I also went to the Heineken Brewery, where I got at least 3 beers to sample. I participated in a beer tasting where the “expert” taught me a bit about foam and presentation of the beer. Also, I learned that the beer is actually 95% water and the rest is a combination of hops, barely, and yeast. I got to go into a room that simulated the experience of a beer being bottled–the room shook and we got splashed a bit. Silly, kitschy, fun.

Speaking of silly, kitschy, and fun…I went on a “booze cruise” with my traveling group and yes, it is what you think it is. A lovely little cruise along the canals of Amsterdam complete with endless wine and beer. To kick off the cruise, we were given little bottles of Flugel.

According to this website, “Flugel combines vodka with the taste of black currant and the energy boost of guarana, B vitamins, and caffeine. This “healthy” vodka is currently available in The Netherlands, Belgium, and France. It is targeted to youth partygoers. The tiny 20ml bottle is actually the size of your palm, and could be easily concealed inside a pocket. The Flugel contains 10 percent alcohol by volume.”

Oh, and we also got to munch on these yummy little pastry snacks while sipping on our wine, beer, and Flugel…

A captured moment: the blonde bombshells with their drinks and pastry snacks 

For dinner, we ate at a floating Chinese restaurant, the Sea Palace. Honestly, I was quite disappointed. Ok, the decor was nice but I was not impressed with the food at all. It just did not get me excited and it tasted sub-par. The rice was super buttery, too, which I do not usually expect from a Chinese style rice, even for fried rice. I guess I am just spoiled with good Chinese food back in the U.S.? Oh well, it was an experience nonetheless.

Stepping outside of Amsterdam for a morning, we visited the quaint village of Edam. We visited a cheese and clog shop, two very significant symbols for this town and for the Netherlands in general.

First, this adorable woman gave us an overview of how they make their cheese…(we got to taste like 10 different cheeses, too!).

And boy oh boy did it smell strongly of cheese in there!

Then, this studly man demonstrated the skillful art of clog-making. He makes it look so easy.

Stylish, eh?
There were clogs everywhere used for everything including cigarette ashtrays!
The town of Edam was small but lovely. Cheese n’ clogs aside, I had a spectacular day riding “granny bikes” around the village.


The famous town of Pisa

29 Jul

There you have it, folks. The leaning tower of Pisa:

The main drag of the town of Pisa is small and jam-packed with tourists and open shops on the street selling souvenirs and…well, pasta shaped like this:

If you can’t see what I am talking about, take a closer look…

Yes Pisa, you are great.

>Sprouts Cooking Club Fundraiser at Pizzaiolo

4 Feb

300 apple fritters. 19 frittatas. Toast, jam, butter, homemade pork rillette. Straus yogurt and granola parfaits with bananas and berries. Espressos and Americanos. Volunteers arrived early Sunday morning to help prepare for the Sprouts Cooking Club fundraiser brunch held at the trendy Oakland restaurant hot-spot, Pizzaiolo.

Sprouts Cooking Club is a children’s cooking program located in the Bay Area. The program emphasizes hands-on cooking with local, sustainable ingredients and with chefs from around the area. Donations from Straus Creamery, Whole Foods Market, McLaughlin coffee, Organic Valley Farms, and Alter Eco Fair Trade supply the kids with the ingredients and materials necessary to get their hands busy and their creative juices flowing.

Here are some of the kids from the summer. They are very serious about chopping their ingredients to make homemade salsa fresca and guacamole at Picante restaurant in Berkeley:

These Sprouts go above and beyond in the kitchen—not only are they excited about all of the fresh meals they get to prepare, but they act so maturely and are not afraid to connect with all of the guest chefs, asking questions and experimenting with different textures and flavors! Going into a restaurant and seeing where their food is coming from and how it is prepared is another integral portion of the program.

Cooking and enjoying a meal together is a real treat, and in April 2010, some of these lucky kids will have the chance to travel to FRANCE to cook! This trip will provide the kids and their families an opportunity to experience first hand what another country’s culinary and cultural lifestyle entails.

At the fundraiser this past Sunday, we had Jed working the frittatas and overseeing pretty much everything. Jed is actually going to go to France with the kids in April!

Tony was manning the coffee.

Volunteers from UC Berkeley were all over the dining crowd, directing people to their seats, clearing tables, washing dishes.

And I was standing over a hot pot of oil, frying up some delicious apple fritters. Dunked in glaze, these fritters were sweet and soft, and the apples gave them a nice bite.

This blogger sums up the exciting story of how Karen Rogers, founder and director of Sprouts Cooking Club, came to start the camp and foster an ever-growing next generation of chefs and food lovers.

Hooray for young, budding kid chefs!

Meet my Dogs: Finnegan, Penny, Molly

27 Jan

Meet Finnegan. We call him Finn. Finn is the sweetest dog you will ever meet and maybe the laziest, too. Finn looooooves to lick.

He especially loves to lick sweaty feet and floors. He will just lick and lick, making some pretty grotesque noises as he licks. If ever something happens to drop onto the floor, Finn will be there to lick it up. He knows the smell of peanut butter. Immediately he starts crying if a jar of pb is nearby. He also really likes to stand in front of the warm oven just when I need to open it. But how could I possibly get mad at him for being under my feet and in my way all of the time? He is just so darn loveable. All he wants is love. And when he sleeps, he sticks his tongue out. It’s precious.

Meet Penny. Her name is Penny Lang. She is the color of a penny. Oh, Penny, you have so many different personalities. You jumped through about four windows, you ate raw scones straight from the cookie sheet, you went through a few Prozac treatments, you are just insane. Insane, but so cute, so so so so so so cute. The best part of your day is when we load the dishwasher.

You just can’t wait to lick all of the forks and plates and bowls as they go on in (don’t worry, we do run the dishwasher after she helps us lick our plates clean). Some of my friends are scared to death of you, others just love you to death.

Meet Molly. Look, she is smiling! What a beaut! Check out those eyebrows. Molly, you fell into the pool, you got stuck in between a gate, you will not stop following my mom everywhere she goes. Molly has been known to pick up some nasty treats on her walks, example: small animals, feces…Molly is a fighter, she had some tough kidney stones to deal with, but she came out stronger and healthier than ever. You go girl!

I love these dogs.