Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Play: Personal Trainer: Cooking - Chickpea Curry

So this is a mix of Play and Eat in that I played a Nintendo DS game and, as a result, got to eat. Personal Trainer: Cooking is a Nintendo DS "game" that is essentially a cookbook on the DS. This week, I decided I would give it a go and use the software to make chickpea curry (aka chole), one of my favorite dishes.

With my DS in hand at Berkeley Bowl, I acquired each ingredient to make the dish, marking the checkbox until I purchased everything I didn't already have at home. Canned chickpeas? Check! Four tomatoes? Check! Turmeric, ground coriander, and chili pepper? Check! Check! and Check! When it came time to cook, I received step-by-step audio instructions from a soothing (American?) male voice. I could advance to the next step by either pressing the button on the DS or by saying "continue" although I stopped using voice command when the sound of my chopping would inadvertently trigger advancing to the next step. I also got to use the timer when the curry had to simmer for 5 minutes (warning - do not close the DS because the timer doesn't work in standby mode). After about an hour or so, I finished the curry and ate it with some naan from Trader Joe's. I also got to put a stamp on today's date and the game saved my stats.

My assessment? I was afraid the curry would be bland, but the seasoning measurements suited my taste. Using the DS as a shopping list and pseudo sous chef also appeals to my nerdy side. I think I will try gazpacho next time.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Wuji Mala and Karaoke

This is what you can get at Wuji Mala. Chinese style personal hot pot. You can indicate how spicy you would like the food from Level 1 to 5. (They also have a 0.5 for suckers like me.) Level 3 kicks my butt.

Went karaoke-ing at Gamba Karaoke on Saturday. They are open during the day!!! And they only charge $4.99 per hour per person!!! (Way cheap!) And they have Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, and Filipino language songs!

Most Notable Songs from this session:
Love is a Battlefield by Pat Benatar
Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler
I Don't Love You Enough by Andy Lau and Kelly Chan
Barbie Girl by Aqua
Wild Horses by Garth Brooks
Get Low by Lil Jon & Eastside Boyz