31 March 2012

Carbonated Tea

I haven't drank soda in a really long time--maybe 6 or 7 years! It's not because I dislike the carbonation; it's mainly because I avoid high fructose corn syrup/sugary drinks. Today I made some carbonated black tea, and it was delicious!! It's also super simple to make, so I wonder why there isn't a huge market for it.

All you need is half a cup of really strong and cold black tea, 4 teaspoons of sugar, and half a cup of seltzer water. Swanky hm?

18 March 2012


Went to Tartes! Had a really cute-paper gift card! With a typo! ("Past tries", eh? -- instead of ""pastries'). Tartes is this little pink shack with a little bit of floorspace, a display window with a whiteboard sign, and an electric mixer (no mixing/folding by hand, I guess...).
There's also a huge rip in the wall.
Surprisingly enough, I managed to obtain four representative items for exactly $15, which is pretty neat when you consider that the items end in .25, .50, .75, and .00.
1. Chocolate chip pecan cookie - $2: Extremely normal chocolate chip pecan cookie. There aren't even that many chocolate chips or pecans in the batter! I.e. I can make a dozen of these for ~$2.

2. Key Lime Pie - $5.75: Gooey lime curd (but is it KEY LIME curd? I don't think I know the difference between "limes" and "key limes"...which is good because I can use inexpensive normal limes to make lime curd) without sizeable zest. Shortcrust shell that wasn't sweet. Normal whipped cream. Cute, though.

3. Chocolate Chip Toffee Bar - $2.50: Lots of chocolate chips, walnuts, oatmeal and pastry. Toffee bits in 2 forms: tiny crispy chunks, and globs of toffee goo.

4. Lavender Pound Cake - $4.75: Normal-textured poundcake, but it smells and tastes like lavender! Who knew that lavender could be a cake flavour? The icing is also extremely lavender-y and melts perfectly in my mouth. ICING!

Overall...not particularly impressed (except for the lavender icing), mainly because
1. kind of expensive (well, it was "free", but I wouldn't exchange $15 for this), especially as these aren't even made with local or special ingredients
2. I have higher standards since I know how to bake these things/make curd

212 Arch St.

16 March 2012

Magic Carpet

So I guess I've been to Magic Carpet more often than any other food truck, and now I've tried all the pita bread sandwiches that I've wanted to try. The one below is the Sloppy Jason (from Monday), which is basically a vegetarian chili with tofu. It isn't as good as the Magic Meatball sandwich, though.
 SP got a falafel and rice thing which came with one pita bread.
 Today I got a the falafel sandwich, and I think that it's the best thing to get here; the tahini sauce is great!! Other ones that I've tried include the seitan sandwich and the tofu salad one. Those weren't too special. I guess the sandwiches with the tomato-based sauces aren't as good as that tahini! I guess if I come here again, I'll only get the falafel sandwich. However, I really need to branch out and try the other food carts.

15 March 2012

Harry Potter: Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans

My brother got these from Harry Potter World, and we split the package extremely evenly in half (in terms of the number of beans and the flavour of the beans). Although I find the packaging neat, I guess I've always imagined the beans in a small, maroon coloured draw-string sack.

 The main problem I have with these beans is that half of the flavours are "normal" jelly bean flavours, and they even taste like normal jelly bean flavours! Sure, that's not the majority, but 80% (maybe more) of the beans are composed of these 10 trite flavours! See below:
10 "Harry Potter" Flavours:
Bogies - 5
Black Pepper - ONLY 5 IN TOTAL.
Dirt - 4 total
Earthworm - 5
Earwax - 1
Grass - 4 total :(
Rotten Egg - 3
Sausage - 2 or 3
Soap - only TWO in total! Grr!
Vomit - 3

10 "Normal" Flavours (with Jelly Belly names in ()):
Banana ("Top Banana")
Blueberry ("Berry Blue") - At least 20 blueberries. :( So unfortunate.
Candyfloss ("Cotton Candy")
Marshmallow - only 5 :(
Green Apple
Sherbert Lemon ("Lemon")

Could it just be chance that all the interesting the flavours from Harry Potter are so rare?

Sure, they didn't want to give us 24 rotten egg flavoured beans because (presuming that they taste disgusting) no one would eat all 24 of them, whereas everyone loves a kilo of lemon jelly beans! But, now I can't share with my friends. I can't watch my family's reactions, or my friends' reactions; I only have enough to try :(.

1. Black pepper (grey): Tastes like a sugary gummy dipped in a lot of pepper (but not enough to burn your mouth after swallowing the bean). Extremely realistic and replicable in the kitchen. Actually, this is a good combination; pepper and dried cranberries (or other sweet dried fruit) unexpectedly go extremely well together.

2. Bogies (off-green): Sweet, slightly tastes like ginseng, saltiness.

3. Rotten Egg (speckled white/yellow): A weird sweet twist of durian, onion, garlic, and sourness.

4. Vomit (speckled orange/red): Initially, it tastes like oranges, but then after chewing a bit, it tastes like mild slightly like chili sauce oil. I guess the oranges part was an attempt to recreate HCl (acid).

5. Earthworm (red with black spots): Sickly sweet, and tasted like traditional Chinese medicine and ginseng root.

6. Sausage (pink spotty): My brother hated this one, but I actually thought it tasted like a combination of sugar, pepper, bacon, barbecue sauce, and stale jerky. Again, I haven't eaten animals in a while, so I'm not calibrated to bacon or barbecued food.

7. (Earwax-to-be) Marshmallow (the other 2 white ones): We thought that they were earwax flavoured, but it turned out that they were BOTH marshmallow. Unfortunately, I did come across 1 earwax flavoured one, but it looked like a marshmallow one...
Earwax (white with sparse yellow streaks, not in picture): um. gross. Not sure how they got this flavour (did they taste earwax?). Not sure how to describe it either...

8. Soap: Sweet lemon detergent. It's funny because detergents are usually basic, and here we are, chewing an acidic, soapy, lemony bean.

9. Dirt: Smelled like dirt. Tasted a bit like dirt and ginseng, but it was way too gummy to have the texture of gritty dirt. I mean, smooth dirt? Not too real. If they threw in sugar grains or sprinkles to add to the texture of the dirt, this jelly bean would've been cooler.

10. Grass: Tasted like sweet, fresh, grass. Amazing! I want grass jelly! (but not actual Asian grass jelly) 
My favourite flavours were grass (for sure!), sausage, and black pepper. My least favourite were earwax, rotten egg, and bogies.