Archive for December, 2010

Just wiped the tears from my face and my eyes are still a little crunchy on the side from crying.

The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein is a novel narrated by a dog (that believes he may be part terrier) and is about the journey that he has with his master, Dennis, through life. 

The narrating dog, Enzo, goes for a ride in Denny’s race car with him, is there for his master when Denny struggles to balance his new wife and his passion for racing, and eventually finds a new playmate in their daughter Zoe.  It’s a heartbreaking, heartwarming and very inventive view of the life of a family from a different kind of perspective.

And while you might think that a book narrated by a dog would be silly, this dog is a highly educated and witty from watching cable television eight hours a day and adds humor to what many humans would think of as everyday kind of stuff.

How do you know if you’ll like the book?  If you liked the movie “Fluke”, have a dog, want a dog, ever had a dog, or have a heart…this one is for you.  PS: Am I the only one who thinks the author (Garth Stein)  is pretty darn good-looking or what?  Also, if you would like a more detailed review, I highly recommend going here.

Rating: *****/5 stars

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Recently me and a coworker (we’ll call her Stephanie for all intensive purposes) decided to start a little tradition.  What we decided to do is pick a day about once a month to try a new or fabulously known global cuisine in the Twin Cities.  These trips are called “Exploring Global Cuisine”.

Earlier this month we traveled to Thailand.  Alright, well, almost.  West 7th in St. Paul is close, right?  Supatra Thai Cuisine is a restaurant that was suggested by Stephanie after I mentioned my investigation into Thai food.  It’s right by her house and is a place that her and her husband frequent.

IT was a GREAT recommendation on a place to wet my feet into Thai food.  The restaurant wasn’t divey at all,  it was very intimate and quaint,  has wonderful menu descriptions, and their presentations is second to none.

For my meal I strayed from the lunch specials and chose the classic Pad Thai.  You could tell that it was all fresh ingredients and had just the right amount of peanutty goodness.

Fresh lime, lemongrass, and noodles. Life doesn't get any better!

The owner of it actually has a cook book and teaches Thai cooking classes!  I wish that there were more of them, but, I’ll have to try to get into the one in March if possible.

My summary on Supatra’s is that if you’ve never had Thai food and want to have a good first time experience or if you like ethnic food and you live in the Twin Cities, it’s a “must try”!

I will definitely be coming back!

UPDATE!  11/7/2011 – We did go back and it was just as good as I remember!

Supatra's super fresh spring roll...yum-o

I need to ask Steph what this was...more details tomorrow.

Will need to check on this one too...my bad.

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Giada.  Obviously people like her since she just got a new show, new cookbook, and whole product line at Target but am I the only one annoyed by the following things?

  1. Does the way that she says “mozzarella”, “prosciutto” or “caprese” drive anyone else up the wall?  I understand that she has an Italian family, but, she moved to the states when she was 8 years old.  I’m watching a show that she’s on right now and I want to punch her as she’s talking about a caprese kabab and describing it with an accent like she is a resident of Northern Italy.  (You may have studied in Paris chikee but that doesn’t mean you can make me feel poor or worthless because you say “parmesan riggiono” with an accent.)
  2. Perfection.  It annoys me that she’s 40 and has perfect boobs and loves to flaunt it.  Just google her once and you’ll see what I’m talking about.  She can’t even help it and I can’t figure out if she’s had a boob job or not, or if she’s still got that baby perk going on.  Probably not since everything else about her is perfect. 
  3. She eats Italian food all day long and weighs under 100 pounds.  Seriously?  She claims that “yoga or walking” three to four times a week and portion control is the key.  If that’s not annoying than I don’t know what is….

Feel free to chime in on the comments as I would LOVE to hear them!  I feel like I’m the only one in the world that is so torn up about this!?$%&

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I know that I am about 20 years late on the train for the “prey” series but that doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy them, right? 

At the recommendation of a coworker I picked up “Rules of Prey” and thoroughly enjoyed it.  It certainly didn’t hurt that the backdrop for the entire serial-killer-thriller was in the Twin Cities. 

As a transplant from Iowa to the Cities for years, John Sanford did wonderful job of weaving highways, major streets, landmarks, and even newspapers (including the one that he used to be a journalist for) throughout the story.

The entire set of novels is based around Lucas Davenport; a sports car driving, game inventing, bad-a*s detective.  While he might be a little cheesy, Sanford openly admits that he’s meant to be a 1/2 movie star, 1/2 cop.  I mean the guys’ a writer now….not a journalist for Pioneer Press so he can do what he wants!

The “prey” series spans across 21 books so if you enjoy the first one at least you won’t be stuck waiting for the hard cover to come out.  It’s a quick quality series that leaves you on the edge of your seat and once I put a dent in a few other books on my list, I will most likely be returning to the series.  There is also a new “prey” book coming out in 2011 so I’ll have to watch out for the book signing circuits around here! 

Review: ****/5 stars

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I don’t even know where to begin but I will.

The men in my family have an obsession with the ever mysterious chaga mushroom and everywhere I turned this weekend, there it was…not just on birch trees rotting away.

It started with getting home on the Thursday before Christmas and seeing some ice tea in the fridge.  After drinking it, I couldn’t figure out what it was.  Clearly I hadn’t been introduced to Chaga as of yet…

“Oh, that’s ground up mushroom juice.  Don’t drink that.”.  Well, okay then. 

Then there is the conversation on X-mas Eve afternoon.

Dad: “What does Mom want for Christmas?”
Me: “I think that she really wants you to fix the faucet from what it sounds like”.

In the two hours of daylight that followed…him and my uncle ended up welding a custom-made chaga crushing contraption. 

Chaga Juice: 1
Mom’s Sink: 0

It’s obvious to any fungus expert that the chaga still needed to be finely ground with a KitchenAid fitting.  That is where my sister Diane comes in.  She’s getting sprayed with ground fungus in the face and not having one more minute of it.

Chaga Juice: 2
Diane: 0

If this racoon poop ends up curing or preventing cancer or treating HIV (as my dad and the internet claims) I would feel very bad about being a sceptic.  I guess that as long as it’s helping his arthritis I’ll just zip it.

PS: He fixed the sink today and put in a new faucet…

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