A blog about all the things we love, regardless of how uncool they are.

3-Day walk for Breast Cancer

Posted: May 30th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Life | Tags: , , , , | Comments: Dork out with us! »

This week I started training for a huge event to take place in November. I’m joining Jason’s mom and family in Dallas, Texas to do the 3 Day walk for Breast Cancer which benefits Susan G. Komen for the Cure. My mother and sister-in-law are also flying down from Wisconsin to join us for the event.

Since I decided to take on this challenge, I have learned of so many friends and family who have been touched by breast cancer, whether personally or through a loved one. The statistics are staggering. Of the 192,370 women who will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, 40,170 will lose their lives to breast cancer. Another 1,910 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and 440 men will die from the disease this year.

About one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Although older women are more at risk to get breast cancer, the disease knows very few boundaries. All women–regardless of race, ethnicity, age or family history–are at risk for breast cancer.

The 3-Day Walk for Breast Cancer is a 60-mile walk that takes place over the course of three days. Each participant makes a commitment to raise a minimum of $2300, all of which goes to breast cancer research. I am thrilled to be a part of this event. Although this will be a challenge for me, it is so exciting to be a part of something so much bigger than myself.

So far, I have rasied about $600 of my $2,300 goal through the generosity of friends an family. If you are interested in donating to help me reach my fundraising goal, please click the link below. Any amount is greatly appreciated and your efforts will not go unnoticed!

Thanks for reading!

Click here to donate!


Around the World in Photoblogs

Posted: May 26th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Photography | Comments: 1 Other Dork »

I have to admit, I’m a sucker for photoblogs. Sometimes I get lost for hours, just looking at what different people are shooting and being inspired by it all. I’ve started to notice that I’m particularly drawn to photographers who are constantly exploring the surroundings in which they live through their work. I guess I’ve always been attracted to the idea of how an artist’s surroundings affects their work. Who would Bukowski or Fante be without Los Angeles? Miller without Paris? Philip Glass without New York? Britney Spears without Louisiana? Ok, maybe not that last one.

Anyway, if you’re interested in losing a large portion of your day, then get started experiencing different parts of the world as these photographers immerse you in the places they call home.

Paris – Un Jour a Paris / Cyril Genty

New York City – Joe’s NYC / Joseph O. Holmes

Toronto – MUTE

Chicago – Greyscale Gorilla / Nick Campbell

Africa – David Rizzi Photoblog / David Rizzi


Meet Sam.

Posted: May 21st, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Photography | Comments: 2 Other Dorks »

dsc_0263

One of my parents’ cats and an all around swell guy. He let me get this shot of him a week ago. :)

Oh, and about that project I’m working on -  close.. so close.

dsc_0243


Japanese Comfort Food

Posted: May 19th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Recipes | Comments: Dork out with us! »

dsc_03251

I can remember it very clearly – the first home-cooked Japanese meal that I ever had was none other than the staple, curry rice. It was wonderfully prepared by one of my best friends in the world, Chewy. I instantly fell in love with the dish, and enjoyed how it stood on its own from the curries of other ethnicities. Back when we lived in the same city, Chewy and I enjoyed many a night in front of a plate of curry, sometimes laughing, and other times talking about more serious matters – but always enjoying the meal. Every time I take my first bite from a dish of Japanese curry, I think of those days. I’ve made the dish myself on a semi-regular basis for several years now, always following the recipe on the back of the curry sauce box and trying to add those few special touches, just like Chewy showed me.

Well, several months ago I was sitting down to my morning (tuba) warmup and noticed that someone had left a copy of the New York Times Magazine in the room, so I proceeded to flip through it on breaks. I eventually came across this article on Japanese curry and a chain that had moved into New York that specialized in only curry, Go Go Curry. Well, the article concludes with a recipe for Katsu Curry – curry, rice, and a beautifully fried pork cutlet. I was so surprised when I read through the recipe – no use of packaged sauce?! Mangos?! Apples?!

I knew that I would attempt this homemade curry recipe some day, and that day finally came last night. Chewy, I’m sorry my friend, but I’m not sure that I can go back to the sauce mixes – Japanese curry from scratch trumps all! And best of all – I don’t think it’s that much more difficult to make than the sauce mixes are! I’ve included the recipe from the magazine article below, and I encourage everyone to try it! You’ll be amazed by how similar, yet completely different, this dish is from the sauce mixes. Making the pork katsu is entirely optional, as the curry stands quite well on its own. But this katsu recipe is simple and really tasty – what a great meal! Enjoy!

Katsu Curry (from the New York Times Magazine)

For the sauce:
3 tablespoons butter
1 pound ground pork
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons curry powder, preferably S&B (see note)
1 onion, peeled and quartered
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 green apple, peeled, cored and quartered
1 mango, peeled, cored and quartered
1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and cut into coins
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into coins
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth, plus more as needed

For the pork:
Peanut or canola oil
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup panko bread crumbs
6 thin, center-cut boneless pork chops, lightly pounded
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cooked short-grain Japanese rice
Raw cabbage, thinly sliced
Tonkatsu
sauce (optional) (see note).

1. Make the sauce: Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the ground pork and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat has browned and the moisture has evaporated. Mix in the flour and curry powder, turn the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, to make a porky roux.

2. Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse together the onion, garlic, apple, mango, ginger, carrot, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce until a grainy purée forms. Transfer the purée to the pork and mix until combined. The sauce should be very thick.

3. Stir in the chicken broth and cook, partly covered, over low heat for about an hour, stirring occasionally. If needed, add a bit more stock to loosen the sauce.

4. Prepare the pork: Heat 1 inch of oil in a frying pan and set a candy thermometer in the oil. Place the eggs in a wide shallow bowl and the panko in another. When the oil temperature reaches 320 degrees, season the pork chops all over with salt and pepper. Cover them, one by one, in the egg and then in the panko, and fry in batches in the hot oil until browned, for about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate and let drain for 5 minutes. Slice the pork chops against the grain. Serve the curry sauce over cooked Japanese rice. Top with the sliced pork and serve with a small handful of sliced cabbage. If you choose, drizzle the cutlet with a little tonkatsu sauce. Serves 6. Adapted from Hiroko Shimbo, author of “The Sushi Experience,” and Sam Sifton.

NOTE: S&B Oriental curry powder and tonkatsu sauces can be purchased at Katagiri, 224 East 59th Street, (212) 755-3566, or ordered through www.asianfoodgrocer.com.


Sewn Birthday Card

Posted: May 19th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Crafts | Tags: , , , | Comments: Dork out with us! »

dsc_02851

I got this super special surprise from Anthropologie in the mail a few weeks ago. A little envelope made of fabric and sewn together, with a card inside that said I could have 15% off of my purchase during the month of May since it’s my birth month. I thought to myself: (a) How delightful!, (b) A DISCOUNT?? At Anthropologie?? That never happens!, and (c) I think I’ll copy that cool sewn envelope with a birthday card inside idea. (I don’t have a picture of the card, because I already used it to buy a beautiful dress).

It just so happens that my big sister’s birthday is the day before mine (tomorrow!) and here’s what she’s getting!

dsc_02981

The tutorial for the notecard can be found here. I modified it just a little bit. I used an old dorky notecard with orcas and dolphins on it and cut it in half. Then I sewed the fabric to the front of the card and sewed the back of the card to the front with a clean line of stitches around the edges.

To make the envelope, sew two pieces of fabric, right sides together. Turn inside out and tri-fold. Sew up the sides and around the top. Add a button hole and button and voila!

So go make someone’s day and send them one of these!

dsc_02922