Orthogonal Thought | Random musings from the creator of Cooking For Engineers and Lead Architect of Fanpop

AUTHORS

CATEGORIES

ARCHIVE

ACTIONS

All-Clad Tri-Ply Stainless-Steel Sauté Simmer Pan 4-Qt. $99 (William Sonoma)

Posted 16 September, 2011 at 3:22pm by Tina Jiang

I saw this deal posted on DealNews.com today and just had to post it on OT to spread the word:
All-Clad Tri-Ply Stainless-Steel Sauté Simmer Pan 4-Qt. - $99 (William Sonoma)
img60b.jpg

It's one of All-Clad's classic tri-ply stainless steel collection. We have a d5 version of this pan and simply love it and use it for everything - sauteing vegetables, browning meats, making pasta dishes, stews, etc.. I love its large, flat bottom (like a frying pan, great for browning meats), the sloped sides and flared rim (makes scooping and pouring things easy), the tight fitting lid, and the loop handle in addition to the long handle. We had a 6 qt. Tramontina saute pan which used to be my favorite pan, but I like the All-Clad saute simmer pan even more because of its sloped sides and flared rim.

Click here to read the rest of
All-Clad Tri-Ply Stainless-Steel Sauté Simmer Pan 4-Qt. $99 (William Sonoma)

What I Ate: September 7th, 2011 (South Congress Cafe)

Posted 9 September, 2011 at 12:17am by Tina Jiang
(Filed under: Dining, What I Ate) No comments

We were looking for a place to eat dinner last night, and decided on South Congress Cafe since we haven't been there in a while.

Calamari - seasoned sliced semolina breaded calamari steaks served with an orange ginger red chile sauce ($12)
As usual, the calamari was super tender and delicious.
Calamari

Click here to read the rest of
What I Ate: September 7th, 2011 (South Congress Cafe)

What I Ate: September 6th, 2011 (Tandoori Bistro)

Posted 8 September, 2011 at 3:24am by Tina Jiang
(Filed under: Dining, What I Ate) 2 comments

We are always looking for good Indian food in South Austin. In a previous visit, we tried the lunch buffet at Tandoori Bistro (1605 E. Oltorf, Austin, TX 512-383-8210) and liked it, so we came back for dinner to try more things.

Vegetable Samosas ($4)
Vegetable Samosas

Click here to read the rest of
What I Ate: September 6th, 2011 (Tandoori Bistro)

What I Plan on Watching During Fall Television Season 2011

Posted 8 September, 2011 at 2:52am by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Television) 1 comment

For the last couple years, I've been making a grid to plan out what TV shows I plan on recording on my TiVo HD. I can only record two stations at once, so some nights I have to make hard decisions. Luckily, cable networks tend to replay their shows, so, I can rely on catching an encore presentation instead of the prime time showing when I have conflicts. Green is what I'm currently planning on recording and yellow is what I'm interested in.

Monday
8:00pm 8:30pm 9:00pm 9:30pm 10:00pm 10:30pm
ABC Dancing with the Stars
September 19
Castle
September 19
CBS How I Met Your Mother
September 19
2 Broke Girls
September 19
Two and a Half Men
September 19
Mike & Molly
September 26
Hawaii Five-O
September 19
CW Gossip Girl
September 26
Hart of Dixie
September 26
NBC The Sing-Off
September 19
The Playboy Club
September 19
FOX Terra Nova
September 26
House
October 3
HBO Bored to Death
October 10
Enlightened
October 10
Angry Boys
December 5
The Life & Times of Tim
December 19

Click here to read the rest of
What I Plan on Watching During Fall Television Season 2011

What I Ate: September 1st, 2011 (24 Diner)

Posted 8 September, 2011 at 1:55am by Tina Jiang
(Filed under: Dining, What I Ate) No comments

A few nights ago we ate dinner at 24 Diner (600 N. Lamar, Austin, TX 512-472-5400), which was recently featured on Crave - a new show on The Food Network.

Corn Fritters ($7.95)
These were more like deep fried hush puppies than corn fritters. They are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. The dipping sauce was mildly spicy, creamy, and cumin flavored.
Corn Fritters
Corn Fritters

Click here to read the rest of
What I Ate: September 1st, 2011 (24 Diner)

What I Ate: August 17th, 2011 (Bee Cave Tavern)

Posted 19 August, 2011 at 4:57pm by Tina Jiang
(Filed under: Dining, What I Ate) No comments

We were in the Bee Caves area so we decided to check out Bee Cave Tavern (11715 Bee Cave Road, Bee Caves, TX 512-477-6535), formerly Zoot where we had dined several times before. We knew that the owner was changing the concept for the restaurant. Whereas Zoot was fine dining in a low key setting, BC Tavern is an upscale, family friendly tavern whose offerings include burgers and other comfort foods. We ordered an appetizer and two main entries.

BC Mac-n-cheese with black truffle ($12)
We absolutely loved this appetizer. We sopped up every last drop of the cheese sauce with our bread.
BC Mac-n-Cheese with Black Truffle

Click here to read the rest of
What I Ate: August 17th, 2011 (Bee Cave Tavern)

Las Vegas: The $20 Tip

Posted 20 July, 2011 at 4:42am by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Travel) No comments

I don't know if it's a bribe or a tip, but I can personally attest that slipping the check-in representative a $20 bill (folded and handed to her when she asks for ID and credit card) and asking, "Are there any complimentary upgrades available?" really does work in Las Vegas. From everything that I've read, this is one of the few cities where this trick does work. I did it on a busy tourist weekend (July 4th, 2011) and got a smile and an "of course!" as a response. The $20 bill disappeared and I had the choice of whether or not to stay in The Venetian as I previously booked or move to the quieter Venezia Tower (warning, there is no WiFi there) or to the even more luxurious Palazzo. We ended up going from the standard Luxury room at The Venetian (650 sq ft suite, 32-in flat screen TV and 17-in flat screen TV in the bathroom) to a Strip View Luxury room at The Palazzo (720 sq ft suite, 42-in flat screen TV in front of the bed, 32-in flat screen TV in the living room, and 20-in flat screen TV in the bathroom) for our entire stay. (Obviously, the longer the stay the more of a deal the $20 upgrade tip is worth.) (I spent some time on my last trip in a room in the Venezia Tower and it isn't as nice as The Palazzo. There's something luxurious about being able to control the curtains on the other side of the enormous suite with a remote control - something not offered in the Venezia Tower room I visited.)

What happens if there are no upgrades available (such as during a busy convention)? I don't have any experience in this, but from everything I've read, you get your $20 back. So if you're staying longer than one night and there are rooms worth upgrading to (for example, I wouldn't do this if I was staying at the Imperial Palace in a Deluxe room as the next level up is a "love" room with mirrors on the ceiling and probably very well used beds), it's certainly worth a try.

Las Vegas: How to get from The Palazzo to Venezia Tower quickly and from The Venetian to Walgreens without getting in the sun

Posted 19 July, 2011 at 4:25pm by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Travel) No comments

I recently stayed at The Palazzo for several nights and found that I wanted to minimize the time I spent walking around the casino floor. I'm not a big fan of walking through gaming areas because they are loud, crowded, and smokey. The Palazzo's casino is actually really nice compared to most of the other hotels because the pathways are quite wide and smoking is only allowed at the games (but many people don't heed the signs and just walk around with lit cigarettes… plus, smoke travels through the air and no one told the air to stay at the tables and machines). Because of my plans, I found myself walking from my room in The Palazzo to the Venezia Tower on the other end of The Venetian several times a day. By the end of the second day, I had found "optimal" paths through the massive complex. It was also 110°F outside and the sun could blister and burn skin in a matter of seconds, so I really didn't want to go outside if I could help it. I'm also a firm believer in stocking up on supplies at a drugstore like CVS or Walgreens whenever I travel for the necessities (water, mouthwash, rubbing alcohol, and other things you aren't able to bring on planes with you anymore). We asked several different employees from the front desk to a bell boy to the concierge and the directions we were given all involved going outside into the sun and walking along either the side of The Palazzo or along Las Vegas Blvd if coming from The Venetian side. By the end of the first day, we figured out how to get from within The Palazzo/Venetian complex to the Walgreens without exposing ourselves to the sun and being outdoors (in the shade) for about half a minute.

Note: All of these paths are reversable. To go the other way, just follow the directions backwards. I list them in the direction that I walked the most often and is easiest for me to remember. It's a good idea to walk them once in the direction I've written them down so going backward is more recognizable.

Click here to read the rest of
Las Vegas: How to get from The Palazzo to Venezia Tower quickly and from The Venetian to Walgreens without getting in the sun

Font size for large signs

Posted 18 April, 2011 at 4:53pm by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Miscellaneous) 3 comments

I had to make a couple of signs that were visible from the street the other day. I wasn't sure how big to make the letters, but I did know from past experience that people underestimate how big to make fonts for viewing from afar. Here's what I found as a guide. Hope it helps someone out.

Letter Height Estimated Distance
1/2-in 15 feet
1-in 35 feet
2-in 75 feet
3-in 100 feet
4-in 150 feet
6-in 200 feet
8-in 300 feet
1-ft 400 feet

Click here to read the rest of
Font size for large signs

NAVIGATION

SEARCH