Sunday, March 24, 2013

My job

As a student I have learned a lot. I loved having labs and I miss them a little bit. I miss the fun atmosphere, especially the 6pm to midnight labs, those were the best. As I move on with life I learn a little bit more and I can see how far I have come and I know that there is a lot more ahead of me, but in the here and now I am loving every minute. I worked 9 hours today, that is the most I have worked ever in one shift, I think. If I didn't love my job I would have said that it was going to be too much and that I wouldn't be able to work for that many hours without a break, but I did it today because I love my job.

I love making people happy with cupcakes. I love the look on people's faces when they finally realize why we are called Tipsy Cupcakes and desserts. I love being able to listen to music and when no one else is around I sing and dance. I love that I can be creative and try something new and different with my boss encouraging it. I love that my bosses aren't strict, they are laid back and like to have fun and joke around. I love that my boss thinks cow patterned pants are awesome.

My job right now may not be my forever dream job, but right now it is my ideal job and I wouldn't change it for the world.

Here is a picture of a cupcake I thought of, which is a Tipsy Cupcake version of the classic Tiramisu:

Friday, March 22, 2013

The moment I knew

My English professor told the class something along the lines of  "If you think about something with out really thinking about it, then an idea will hit when you least expect it." I'm probably paraphrasing or misquoting him in some way in that sentence, but I'm letting you know this because my idea for this paper hit. I was awoken, after only two hours of sleep, by my idea and I just had to get up and try to write out what it was I thought about. I tried, unsuccessfully, to write it the old fashioned way first, with pen and paper, but got tired of trying to see without turning on a light.

I believe that there comes a moment in every persons life where they just know something is such a inherent truth that it changes them a little bit. This moment doesn't always hit when the person is young and just starting out, it takes awhile for some and thus the little bit older of a generation going back to school to get a degree in a new field. I'm one of the lucky few that got my moment early in life. If you love what you do for work then it doesn't feel like work. I had a hard time choosing what I wanted to do for a career in life and was sorta told that this is what I was going to do and when I was going to do it.

After spring trimester of junior year in college I got a job working at a Burger King, it was situated on an Air Force Base and paid better than any other job I could find. For me this job was all about making enough money to survive for as long as possible without getting a job during a trimester of school. I hated this job with a passion, but I stuck with it for the three months of summer. What made this job so horrible? The people I had to deal with, not the customers, my coworkers along with never knowing my schedule ahead of time and the fact that this was a fast food giant that smashed any creativity in its worker drones.

My boss, a plump kind of short (and I know short, I'm only 5'2") woman, her glasses filling the majority of her face never seemed to be clean; would put the schedule up for the week on Sunday nights when the fewest amount of people would know what shifts they would be working throughout the week. She also had a difficult time with requested days off, one particular instance comes to mind when she was flip flopping about giving me a day off. I requested the day off a month in advance, plenty of time for any other place that was accommodating, the week before the day I wanted off, she pulls me into her office.

"You can't have the 1st of July off, too many others have requested it off."
"When did they request the day off?"
"Before you."
"I requested it over a month ago, I don't want the 4th off as well." holding my rage back, so I don't yell at this woman who has such trouble with a simple schedule that I could do in my sleep. "I just want to celebrate my mothers birthday with her and my family on her actual birthday."
"I'm sorry." she apologizes to me like that would make anything better. I walk calmly out of her office to get back to work.

The next day she pulls me into her office again.

"I've talked to the other people who requested the day off and I've made it so you can have it off."
"No thanks, I changed my plans. I'm going to be working that shift whether or not my name is on the schedule." I was furious at this woman for having such control over my life and seeming to just fuck with it for the fun of it. 

My coworkers drove me insane with how rigid and serious they were about working at a fucking fast food joint. There was one shining light in this mix, that made work bearable, he was the one person that I actually enjoyed working with, I'll called him Joey. His real name was Joseph, but he hated it when I called him Joey, I would do it just to mess with him, he was much like an older brother to me. He was tall, with salt and pepper hair, and a tattoo that took me a while to figure out said both life and death. We would joke around and have fun. Then there was the complete opposite of Joey, I called her Fart Girl, not to her face just to people who listened to me complain, she just sucked any joy out of the day. She was not much taller than me, rather thin, and had a hairdo that would change weekly, one week it would be an afro the next cornrows then it would be cut into a bob. She was a complete bitch to me, and made work a hostile environment. She was a pompous, arrogant human being that thought she was better than everyone else and tried to be the boss of everyone, she was a little bitter about being passed over for promotion making her want to sabotage anyone else's chance of promotion before her.

I can remember one particular day where she was being especially horrible. I was on the cash register and she was in the back doing orders, a lovely woman comes up and orders her meal. In a few minutes the order was ready for pickup, this lovely woman takes the tray and sits down in the dining area. I'm busy with another customer, so I don't see her walk back up to the counter with her blue plastic tray. When I finish with the new customer, I walk over and ask "Is there a problem with your meal?"
"You bet your ass there is. This isn't what I ordered."
"May I see your receipt, so I can make sure to have your order remade correctly?"
"Here" she throws the receipt at me in a huff.
I walk into the back and quietly confront Fart Girl about it. In the end she remade the meal and was angry at me for wasting a sandwich when she was the one to screw the order up.I still believe to this day that she would purposely mess orders up when I was working the counter to have customers complain to me or even yell at me.

Joey hated working the counter and would send me up in his place. He would then make sure my orders were always correct. He would often ask "Think we need more fries put down?"
"Not yet, I think we have enough right now."
A couple minutes would go past and I would yell "JOEY, we need fries put down."
He would just look at me and pull the basket up and dump the fresh fried fries into the hold bin. He would say something along the lines of "I knew we needed more fries." That is just a small example of how he always seemed to have my back. 

Fart Girl tried to make my working there a living hell and it worked a little bit. I hated coming to work and would call in sick on occasion because of plantar fasciitis, a condition where the tendons in the bottom of the feet get inflamed and irritated, which would make standing for an eight hour shift impossible on some days. It always seemed to be much worse on days that I knew I would have to deal with her. One particular day I had such bad pain in my foot that I could barely walk, so I called in sick, even though it was not a day that I would have to deal with Fart Girl, but because I called in sick my boss called her into work and this made our feud a little bit stronger. A few days later while at work she starts to complain that she isn't feeling well, that she threw up in the bathroom and that she thinks she needs to go home. The boss turns to me and asks if I can pick up her shift and I reply that I could work a few more hours but that I had a doctor appointment. This made the boss happy and she got the rest of the shift covered. The next day I had off, I get a call in the morning asking if I could cover Fart Girl's shift for the day, I had plans and wasn't about to cancel them for stupid work. The next day I was back at work with her, and I overheard a conversation about why she had called in sick. It was because she had really bad gas, but I believe she just wanted to make me come in on my day off like I had purposely planned to make her come in on her day off to cover my shift.

It was on days after working with her that I would come home and complain to who ever would listen about how much I hated my job. I was so glad that I was getting a college education. I wouldn't become one of those people content about being stuck in a boring job at a fast food joint, or a person making minimum wage in a job they hated. It was on one of those days that I finally realized that I had made the right choice in my career path. I knew that I would choose a job in baking, my passion, making minimum wage any day over a job with higher pay. I knew that for me baking isn't just something that I do, it is a part of who I am and who I always will be.

Ideas will just hit you when you least expect them. They aren't always the greatest but occasionally it will change your life, like Steve Job's idea for the iPod. An idea can consume you and take control of your life if you aren't careful, this could be good, this could be bad. In my case this idea to write in the middle of the night was an okay decision, I may regret it tomorrow and I may decide to scrap the whole thing, but at least I got what was in my head out and can maybe get back to sleep because I no longer have all these ideas floating around in there. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Tri-tip Steak

For dinner Betty made this awesome tri-tip steak. It has been awhile since I've had some good solid red meat, as some of you may know I've been sick. I had to have my tonsils removed and before having them removed it was hard for me to swallow solid food so I didn't eat things with texture. I was missing having food with texture and having to actually use my teeth to chew food and while I have been able to eat solid food for a little less than a week now it was good to be able to have some good meat. It was tender and juicy, had good flavor even if it was just sprinkled with season all.

With it we had some delicious strawberries, which reminds me of an exercise we had to do in class. It dealt with synesthesia, which is a medical condition and having mixed signals in the brain. An example would be tasting colors, or hearing colors. The exercise was to describe a strawberry using music. This was a difficult task because it all depended on your music history and ability to relate that to something else. Some came up with things wildly different from me and had more of just references to parts of music, I can't recall the exact wording of anyone else but this is what I came up with:
 "The smell reminds me of the song 'We Intertwined' by The Hush Sound because the title reminds me of a spring day and the vines of a strawberry plant intertwining as it grows. The color is a vibrant 'Red Flag' by Billy Talent, a gorgeous ripe color. The taste is much like 'All I want is you' by Barry Louis Polisar because it is a sweet love song and I'm in love with these sweet strawberries." 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Thai Gold, a night out with family

Already this class seems like a bit of a challenge, my family doesn't go out to eat much, like once a month (if even that). It is even more rare to go out to eat with my brother and sister-in-law. Two weeks in a row going out to eat down, only seven more to go.

This week I was a little bit more adventurous, well my brother and sister-in-law (Merv and Mable)* choose the place to eat and I just went along with it saying "Yeah, that will be an adventure."

I'm guessing that they had found this restaurant while they were going to school and living in Golden, because this was a cute little restaurant that would not be easily found otherwise. It looks just like a regular house, minus the red awning in the front saying Thai Gold, and parking is not easily found, even on a Tuesday evening, I can't imagine what it would be like on a Friday night. There is no dedicated parking lot and we had to park a block over. There were five of us together and that made it necessary to have three tables pushed together, but the staff were happy to accommodate us because it was not very busy. No reservations are taken, but they do call ahead seating. 

There was quite a lot to choose from and there was something for everyone. There was a rating system of chili peppers which indicated how spicy an item was.

Thai iced tea, before mixing ($3)
Thai iced tea, after mixing

Merv ordered the Thai iced tea and I wanted to try it because it looked interesting but since I can't drink out of the same glass I ordered my own. I enjoyed the drink, it came out looking really interesting and tasted really good. It was an interesting combination of sweet and spice, it wasn't an overbearing sweetness but it was just enough to make it good.

Spring Rolls ($4)
 For our appetizer we ordered Spring Rolls. It would have been nice to know how many came with the order beforehand, that way we could have either decided to order more or not. Mable had said that she thought the rolls were a bit hot to the touch at first, but were correct temperature for me. They were not to soggy with oil and had a nice flavor, definitely worth the price and would recommend them.

Red curry with tofu ($10)

 Merv and Mable ordered the Red curry with tofu, you could also order it with chicken, beef, or pork. Merv ordered it as a 10+ chili dish and the waitress joked, so like a 15? Mable got it as at the menu listing of two and even that was a little bit spicy for me. The texture of the tofu was very odd to me and not very appetizing, it might have appealed to me more if there was chicken or beef in it.

Pan Pak ($10)

My mother (Betty) ordered the pan pak which seemed to be similar to chow mien in Chinese food, minus the crispy noodles. It had tofu and chicken in it, again the tofu was an interesting texture that was unfamiliar to me. It was a little sweet but was deliciously balanced with the savory side of the dish. The temperature was not consistent throughout the dish and had some parts that were a bit cooler than other parts.

Cashew Chicken ($10)

My father (Johnny) ordered cashew chicken at the recommendation of Merv because Johnny isn't very adventurous and is quite picky about what he eats. Johnny likes to stick to things he likes and Merv suggested that the cashew chicken would be the closest thing to Chinese food and would be the thing to order. Johnny said that it was a bit on the spicy side, even though there were no chili peppers listed next to the item on the menu. I believed it to be sweet but had a little bit of a kick at the end, just enough to notice.

Sweet Melody ($10)

I ordered the sweet melody thinking it wouldn't be that spicy and would be sweet. The name lies and gives a false sense of security. It was spicy and the more you ate the spicier it seemed to get, the slices of fresh pineapple did give it elements of sweetness and allowed my tongue to cool off from the spicy of the dish. If I went back I would order something different because I am not sold on this dish being my favorite dish of this restaurant.

Fried Snowball ($3)

I would declare the fried snowball as my favorite dessert, the plating could use a little bit of work, but that did not detract from the deliciousness. The dough on the outside was the perfect amount, the best way to describe the dough in my opinion would be to liken it to croissant dough that had been deep fried (if you haven't tried that before, do it now). The sauce was more a juice and was in the bottom of the glass which made it so only the last person to eat a bite got any of the sauce. The glass it came in was not very easy to eat out of and would have been better if we were given spoons instead of forks.

Overall experience: Great time. I enjoyed being able to sit down with my family and eat good food. Our waitresses were excellent at keeping the rice full and were there when we needed them and gone when we didn't want them around. The prices were really decent, and everyone had enough left overs for at least one other meal.

Best part: The fried snowball. Yes the main dishes were good, but I have to say I enjoyed the snowball, maybe a little bit too much. I'd also have to put service in this area because it was good experience with them.

Worst part: The location, I would go again to try some other dishes, but it was a little bit of a drive for us since we live in Aurora, and it wold have been nice if there was a dedicated parking area for the restaurants so people like Johnny, who are disabled, can get a close parking spot.

Thai food | 714 14th Street, Golden, CO, 303-593-1715 | $3-$15 | Closed Monday, Tue-Thursday 11- 9:30, Fri 11-10, Sat 11:30- 10, Sun 12:30-9:30; cash, all major credit cards.

*Names of my family have been changed to nicknames because they wish to remain anonymous. My name would be Mildred or Millie if it was to be changed, but alas my name is staying Sara in all my work.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Rock Bottom Brewery Review

Your experience at the Brewery will all depend on the night you choose to visit and time. Weekends are packed full of patrons, especially during any type of sporting event game because there are multiple televisions around that show the games. This particular night was a good night to visit, we were able to be seated right away and had the option of sitting in the bar area or the regular seating area. One of the first things that I noticed was that the music was not playing as loudly as it had in the past, making this a much more enjoyable time since there was conversations that could be had. It still had the feel of being a bar but in the dining area it was family friendly.

Our server was at our table within minutes of being seated, not really giving us enough time to look at the drinks menu, if we had not been before then we would not have known what to order to drink. The list of drinks is not the largest list but it is quite a large list. There is a chalkboard on the wall with a list of the beers that are available, this is the rotating list, there are big signs showing some of the beers that are always available on the walls as well. 

After the initial attention our server was not very attentive and could not be found when needed. She did seem pretty knowledgeable about the menu and was able to answer questions that were asked. There was a whole menu that was dedicated to the specials of the month. This was a special in more than one way, partial proceeds from the sale of items off this menu go to local Firehouses and the items were all themed around fire.

Our food was brought out in a timely manner and was all the correct temperatures and cooked to order.  My burger was a perfect medium. It may not seem like an adventure to order a burger, but the description had the words "smoky bacon jam" and I was curious to try bacon jam. In my book, bacon jam is the best thing to happen to any burger, the only downside to this burger was it seemed to be a bit greasy.

Black and Blue Burger from the Firehouse menu ($10.95 +$0.95 for onion rings)

 This club sandwich was delicious, it was warm enough to melt the cheese slightly. I don't know if it was the combination of the meats or what but this club was salty and did not have quite enough mayo for my tastes. It would not be something that I would order again.  The onion rings arrived warm and crisp and stayed crispy, until they were bitten into, then grease seemed to pour out of them.
Brewers Club ($9.95 + $0.95 for onion rings)
 Pork is not something that I normally eat because every time I have had it it has been dry or overcooked and was tough. This pork chop though was moist and tender, it was delicious. What made it even better was the apple butter that comes with it. This came with an apple coleslaw that was good, but had a bit too much ground black pepper in it. The mashed potatoes were creamy and had a nice flavor to them.
Fire Chief Pork chop from the Firehouse menu ($14.95)

We got the carrot cake to go because we were stuffed, but still wanted dessert later on.  This was a deliciously moist cake. Not too sweet almost not sweet enough to be considered dessert and could even be for more than two people.

Carrot Cake for 2, taken home ($5.95)
Overall it was a great time with good food. I would recommend it to a friend and then go with them. Even with the few things that could be improved I would still return to Rock Bottom Brewery again and again.

Best part: The food, it was delicious and makes up for anything else that might have been bad.

Worst part: It wasn't that bad of a thing but a little bit more attention from the server would have been nice,  not too much more attention because then it would have been too much.

Brew Pub | 9627 E. County Line Rd. Centennial, CO 80112, 303-792-9090 |$3.75-$26.95 | Sun-Thur 11 am - 11 pm; Fri-Sat 11 am -12 am; cash, all major credit cards.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


I am on a challenge, a challenge that I put before myself, this challenge is to try new food and different cuisines. Why am I doing this, you might ask. It is for a class, one of four classes that are my last classes ever as a college student.  This class is Introduction to Food Writing. I'm kind of excited about this class and to see how my writing changes and how it will progress.
For my homework, which is this blog and writing about food, I will be reviewing restaurants and having a good time eating food. I have my first restaurant picked out, it is actually a restaurant that I have reviewed before for a different class and did not have a good experience that particular time, I'm hoping it will be better this time. We have actually gone to this restaurant quite a few times, and the adventure that is happening this time is that I'm going to try something that I have not tried before. Not that big of an adventure, I know, but it is a first step and we all have to start somewhere.
I hope to see you in the future and that you can give me suggestions as to what to try next.