Clean Cuts Barber Shop

 (not Clean Cuts, just a cool barbershop photo)

I found a new hair cut place, Clean Cuts Barber Shop.  It's a Black barbershop, just like the ones the barbershop movies are based on.  It's just a couple blocks down the street from me and while I like my Korean barbers at Cutaway, I know the barber at Clean Cuts, Shamelle, wife of a high school classmate of mine.

Anyway, she did a nice job with the hair cut (though the haircut is a little '80s) plus it really is a whole different experience getting your hair done at a Black barbershop.  People are coming in talking about where they traveled to, a teenager comes in he was the prom king and was supposed to bring a photo of himself.  I'm chatting away talking about her husband, kids, ranting about housing prices, reminiscing about the prom.  It was pretty cool, you just don't get this at the Supercuts.

I've been told that I have a "Ghetto Free Pass card" which I guess means I'm allowed to hang out with Black people.  I'm not sure how I "earned" it.  I thought that was kinda funny.  Quite a different experience from the Asian dude that hates black people no?

restaurant food

I'm kinda sick of restaurant food. I've been going out a bit lately and here's what I don't like:

  • there are *no*, *none*, *zero* healthy, cheap, everyday type restaurants — a place where you could eat everyday and feel good about it, e.g. a healthy $5 – $7 meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • food portions are huge, I'm now just getting maybe two appetizers and sharing dessert versus getting an entree, it's no wonder as Americans we are so overweight;
  • the prices in general are whack, way overpriced! Across the board.
  • the food is more or less the same (across genres), not very creative menus, nothing is wowing me lately (and I've been going to good places);
  • Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Thai, Vietnamese places cater to an American palate so the food is not necessarily "authentic". Sure different ingredients here but I hate it when it's dumbed down.

It's not that I can do better, I can't. But at home at least I can control portion size, the quality of the ingredients, cooking some things correctly (salmon or any fish overcooked at a restaurant sucks!), and price to an extent.

To me the only good thing about going out to a restaurant these days is that I don't have to worry about washing dishes and putting them away. And that's about it.

chocolate souffle

I hate going to a restaurant and ordering a chocolate souffle and getting one of those molten lava cakes which I guess is a sort of chocolate souffle cake but not really. The picture to the left is what a chocolate souffle is supposed to look like. I made one last night and it's not hard.

The recipe: It's a 1/2 cup of milk with 2tbs of sugar, with a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and sift in 2tbs of flour. Add 1/3 cup of melted chocolate over a double boiler, bittersweet, I use Scharffen Berger. Cook for a few minutes.

Take away from the fire and add 2 egg yolks, a 2tps of butter. In a separate bowl, beat 3 egg whites until it forms peaks, fold in the mixture. (Be careful here not to deflate the egg whites). Put in souffle dish quickly. Pop in the oven 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve immediately.

Serve with creme anglaise or a raspberry coulis, and a dark chocolate sauce.

It's a light dish and it's off the chart.  Grand Marnier souffle is another classic.  Have to try that next.

driving through Arizona

This is what my drive to Arizona looked like a couple weeks ago. I'm in the Blue X3. (I need to help reset the marketing around BMW X3 so that soccer moms stay away from this car dammit)