Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Snow Land Online At Video Game Tourism

In the spirit of the holiday season, Video Game Tourism is running an article I wrote about how winter is represented in virtual worlds and video games. The recent show at the Getty Center, Japan's Modern Divide, got me thinking about how inclement weather can be massively defining for the survival, architecture and culture of those that inhabit these snow lands (including when I lived in Minnesota). One of my favorite winter break activities is to run around exploring snowy zones in MMO's. Yet, this article came out of realizing that the full experience, both of darkness and warmth, that comes with struggling to inhabit any Snow Land seems to be missing in modern games. Enjoy!

PS: If you want to see the photo book, Yukiguni, that I'm talking about in the article without having to pay $400 for even the '70s reprint, there's a video that shows someone flipping through it on Vimeo

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Recipe: Roasted Butternut Squash and Cauliflower Dinner Salad

What's that? A new recipe?!? I know I haven't posted any of my food creations lately, but between CULA, my own art and everything else 2013 has been a crazy year. That said, between Callie volunteering at the Santa Monica market and a small farmer's market near our apartment, I've actually been improvising more than ever in the kitchen.

The robust but complex flavors of this winter salad make it equally at home as a vegetarian main or as a side dish with your favorite roast chicken dish. 

Roasted Squash and Cauliflower Dinner Salad
Serves 2 as main, 4 as side


For salad:
1 lb butternut squash peeled and cut in to 1" chunks
1 lb cauliflower cut in to 1" florets
1 couple handfuls of baby kale, washed & dried
1/4 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup shaved parmesan
1 tbs olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

For dressing:
1 small shallot, sliced
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 clove minced garlic
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss squash and cauliflower with the olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. (The parmesan is quite salty so it's important not to over salt the individual ingredients in this dish.) Spread them out on a heavy baking sheet and roast until tender and nicely browned, roughly 30-40 minutes. Stir them every 10 minutes so that they evenly roasted.

2) Whisk vinegar, garlic, lemon juice in a large bowl. Slowly add the olive oil in a thin drizzle while whisking until combined. Add shallots. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

3) Once the squash and cauliflower has been cooked, set aside to cool for 5 minutes. 

4) Add squash and cauliflower to the vinaigrette. Toss to coat. Add baby kale, parmesan and pistachios. Toss to combine. Serve in individual bowls. 

5) Serve warm with a nice glass of robust Viognier if you prefer white wine or a lower acid red wine like Grenache or Tempranillo's softer expressions. 

Ingredient note: 

If you want to vary the flavors, feel free to toss a pinch of nutmeg, New Mexican chile powder, smoked parika, or even some fresh sage or thyme leaves in with olive oil when you coat the vegetables before you roast them. You could also use a white wine vinegar in place of the balsamic to make the dish even have a lighter flavor. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Garage Artists Co-Op Lauch Show: December 6th

Hi everyone - Just wanted to give you a last-minute heads up that I'm going to be part of a group show tonight in Los Angeles. If you're in the area feel free to drop in, take a look and have a beer. I'll be showing seven pieces from my "My Ex-Girlfriend's Failed Origami" chapter of The Neo-Japonisme Project. 5426 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90043. 9PM to 2:30AM.