Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Chinotto Cocktails

If you haven't had Chinotto, it tastes like sweet orange rinds, like Campari without as much bitterness, an almost licorice flavor. The drink gets its name from a bitter sort of orange. I don't like Campari, but I adore Chinotto. I love that it comes in little glass jars that are really the perfect size for a sweet lunch beverage.

I think it would be really delicious to make cocktails with Chinotto. At first I thought about a good vodka, but a nice bourbon would be better, because the bitter flavors in Chinotto are a lot like the flavors in a Manhattan.

When I googled Chinotto Cocktails I came across this article by Eric Felten in The Wall Street Journal about using Italian sodas to flavor your cocktails which includes two chinotto cocktail recipes that include tequila and apple brandy:

Il Diavolo

2 oz blanco tequila
¼ oz fresh lime juice
1 to 2 tsp crème de cassis
3 to 4 oz chinotto soda

Build in a highball glass with ice and stir gently. Garnish with a slice of lime.

Della Mela

1½ oz applejack (apple brandy)
½ oz Benedictine (optional)
3 to 4 oz chinotto soda

The article also mentions the rise in bartenders making their own sodas from simple syrup and carbonated water. I was recently at The Orbit Room and they had some old fashioned selzer water dispensers behind the bar, which was not only cool but extremely stylish, making the $10 cocktail price tag seem like that much more of a deal if I got to see those kind of antiques on display. Way cooler than the soda "gun" you get at most bars.

5 Days of Sentinel Sandwiches

Day One Smoked Salmon Sandwich

5 days of Sentinel Sandwiches begins. Day One features Salmon salad with dill and pieces of lox on top, butter lettuce, and seeded bun. The Sentinel is a small lunch kiosk with daily changing amazingness. Chef Dennis Leary of Canteen barks out orders and slings out sandwiches in the teeny tiny kitchen.

Day Two Veggie Sandwich with Curried Raisins

Day two featurees the veggie sandwich with mushrooms, swiss chard, golden raisins, curried raisins with sun-dried tomato spread and goat cheese and topped with butter lettuce on seeded bun. I enjoyed the cooked leafy greens, which added extra texture to the sandwich. The goat cheese was spreadable like cream cheese or marscapone.

Day Three Corned Beef

This may be the swansong of the Sentinel, the corned beef with sauerkraut, carmelized onions, gruyere cheese and russian dressing on ciabatta. It has the most bravodo of all the sandwiches and the corned beef was not too salty. I might have gone for a little less meat, and a little more dressing, but that's picking nits. It was a pretty damn amazing sandwich. Oh and let me also note that all of their sandwiches come with a homemade dill pickle. I have never liked dill pickles before in my life, but I think I may have turned a corner. I really like their dill pickles. They are so refreshing and so crisp, and it was the perfect note after the corned beef sandwich.

Day Four, Meatloaf and Meunster

Meatloaf and Meunster sandwich with mayo and butter lettuce. Wow, this was some serious business. The meat loaf was thick and soft, and cooked with a touch of pink on the inside, so that puddle on the paper in the bottom half of the photo is a mix of mayo and bloody meat juice. Today, I received an Andes mint as opposed to the usual butterscotch.

Day Five, Deviled Ham With Meunster

While remarkably similar to the meatloaf sandwich, the deviled ham and meunster sandwich was distinct in texture and flavor. I looked up the ingredients in deviled ham and it entails mined ham that has been mixed with scallions, sour cream and spices like cayenne, taragon and mustard. It is not as spicy as it sounds. This deviled ham tasted mildly of tabasco and there was a bit too much ham for my taste. The sandwich also had butter letturce, cream cheese, and the occasional walnut.

Bonus Day - Chicken Salad Sandwich

Chicken salad with lemon, sesame and chili. A surprsingly light and very meaty chicken salad sandwich. Shredded pieces of chicken breast are tossed in a light aioli with lemon juice and a touch of sesame and chili. I would put this right behind the veggie sandwich for lightness. Thus concludes the Sentinel's Winter menu. Amen.



Sandwich love in full force with poems, carbs, and more. Bloggers after my own heart.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Chicks and Bikes

I just found this blog. I find it cool and fetishistic. It reminds me of girls at car shows.

Chicks and Bikes

Bar Soap

Apartment Therapy's Sexiest Bar Soaps

There is something so personal in a bar of soap. The way it makes you happy, the way other people react to the way you smell. I recently made the switch to bar soap from liquid soap, and love it. I never want to go back. It's cheaper, it lasts longer, it's better for the environment because you're not shipping the water that comes in liquid soap, and there's something so much more tactile and satisfying about it.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

i think you just modified my sense of inner peace

I have had yoga instructors that are completely uninvolved, listlessly telling you to breath in breath out, and go back to downward dog.

Then there are the big personalities. These are usually the people who single you out in class, noting that you need to squeeze your elbows together and using your name so the entire class gets to think about your elbows. Yoga is not a competition. I don't appreciate anyone get rewarded or reprimanded during class. It's odd. It's such a personal exercise, why announce other people's achievements/problems to others?

I do enjoy having modifications done. I don't mind the hand pressing my shoulders back or the pull of my hips back in downward dog. This kind of contact makes me feel like the yoga instructor is my yoga buddy, just helping my stretching along. Only a few times have the modifications felt vaguely sexual.

I like the chanting and I want my instructor to help bring me to a spiritual place. A few lines of poetry or a short discussion about energy is wonderful (and I admit to tearing up in class prompted by the spiritual talk), but I did have an instructor once get out a tambourine and sing acapela to us. That felt like a bit much.

Also, my other big debate when it comes to yoga is the music played while you are in class. Personally, I am anti modern music. I don't want to know that you like Moby, Elliot Smith or Damien Rice while we are in class. I come to class to leave things like taste in music behind. It distracts me to have lyrics and modern music while I do yoga. I want to be displaced and for that reason, I favor chanting, music in languages I don't know, or classical music. I'm also down with no music at all.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Things to consider when selecting a karaoke song:

1. How long do I actually want to be on stage?
2. How much will this make my friends laugh?
3. Do I know the words well enough that I will be able to dance or embellish? Conversely, do I know so little of this song that it will be funny for my friends?
4. Do i not care what my friends think? Do I want to indulge some long held fantasy that I can be Patsy Cline or Whitney Houston or Robert Plant or Bob Dylan?
5. Will I ever get on stage? I've already had 4 drinks.

I've often wondered what the WORST karaoke songs to sing are. I nominate slow ballads that not many people know. These are the least interactive songs to select. Things like "Desperado" don't count because everyone knows the words.

Karaoke is a community activity. You go out with your friends and sing for a big group of people who are usually out in packs of friends. They are all just like you and they are not there to pay $6 for a gin and tonic to watch you fuck up some long slow ballad that they don't know the words to. On the other hand, they are there to watch you fuck up songs that they know and love.

Which brings me to the karaoke cliches/standbys. We all know and love them a lot and if you've been to karaoke, you've also seen lots of people try to sing them. Pretty much everytime that I go out for karaoke I hear at least one of these five songs:

1. Don't Stop Believing by Journey (undoubtedly the most popular in my opinion. I hear it without fail)
2. Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns and Roses
3. Me and Bobby McGee by Janice Joplin
4. Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler
5. Living On a Prayer by Bon Jovi

Not a bad way to spend a saturday night and $30 . . .


Basically every item of clothing that I have purchased in the recent past has been a varying shade of navy blue. I find myself stepping out the door in entirely blue-fits. While it is a little funny, I enjoy indulging in the lack of variance.

Now we all know that monochromacy is completely illegal when it comes to sweatshirt and sweatpants combos. It is completely unacceptable to be seen in public this way, unless you are a)elderly or b)Rocky Balboa.

I asked my roommate her opinion of monochromacy in fashion, and she was totally pro. I think it's really in right now especially if it's an all white outfit, which reminds remind me of the temple garments I recently read about that some Mormons wear while they are at church. The garments were referenced recently in an episode of Big Love that upset the Church of Latter Day Saints.

I also often think of sartorial monochromacy as something that boys and certain types of hipsters do. You know what I'm talking about, that dude who always wore brown hoodies with brown dickies, or hipsters/emo kids/goths/punk rockers/hessians etc. in all black with eyeliner. I use a photo of AFI for reference. I would have picked a better band for reference, but this is all I could come up with in my google image search for "all black clothing hipster."

Friday, March 20, 2009

Incredibly Malleable Horoscope for the week of March 16th

Gemini - You -- or your partner -- could come up with all kinds of good reasons why you can't be successful doing what you really want to do. This is especially true in the first half of the week, when the Moon in your 7th House of relationships squares Saturn in your 4th House of home, family and emotions and Uranus in your 10th House of career. You might not be able to avoid hearing those voices (inner or outer), but you don't have to take them to heart. In fact, I wonder what would happen if, instead of trying to block them from your awareness or buying into their bad wisdom, you started asking them devious questions. Like "Where'd you get that belief?" Or "What makes you think that today's conditions are going to last forever?" You've had at least one stroke of insight about your life's work in the last week and you've got a couple more coming in the next week or two. Nurture those seedlings and shoo away the boo bugs who'd bite them down before they have a chance to grow.

sale / coffee / lost

there was a giant sale in front of the Hundreds today. Twenty to thirty street-weared out kids were sitting in front of the store. It was odd to see them out so early in the morning with their baseball caps and oversized shirts.

coffee. had to use a credit card. I know it's no skin off specialty's back to run a card for a $1, but there was that minor pang of guilt.

i watched lost in full, and in review, unlike what i thought previously, it was one of the best episodes EVER. not filling us in through explanation, but using the time travel plot to actually put us in the middle of it. a true example of creatively showing and not telling.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Going to Vegas in t-minus 8 days. Any suggestions for what i should do? I googled the wall of chocolate from the Bellagio and it looks lame. Just a fountain behind glass. I heard the buffet at Paris is great.

I'm excited to see the insanity. To me Vegas is the culmination of man's id--it shouldn't exist--they pumped a ton of water into some place in the middle of the desert. It is an ecological abomination and the paramount of everything Americans imagine that they want in the most indulgent corners of their brains. Drinking outdoors, air conditioners that magically make cigarette smoke disappear, tons of tans and breast implants, Paris in the middle of Nevada, a pyramid (wtf?), and the promise of unabated wealth as a reward for not working very hard at all.

I will probably just be imbibing quite a bit, lounging around by the pool, and being wayyy too excited that the hotel room has cable.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Liberia’s Blackboard Blogger

"Alfred Sirleaf is an analog blogger. He take runs the “Daily News”, a news hut by the side of a major road in the middle of Monrovia. He started it a number of years ago, stating that he wanted to get news into the hands of those who couldn’t afford newspapers, in the language that they could understand.

Alfred serves as a reminder to the rest of us, that simple is often better, just because it works. The lack of electricity never throws him off. The lack of funding means he’s creative in ways that he recruits people from around the city and country to report news to him. He uses his cell phone as the major point of connection between him and the 10,000 (he says) that read his blackboard daily."
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