40th birthday extravaganza

August, 2019

All through August 2019, I celebrated turning 40 in several ways. We had an Ethiopian buffet at Dama with a special birthday menu (including fasolia, garlic wat, and passion fruit cake), a private screening of the movie Labyrinth in a big-screen theater room of a friend's apartment building, a vegan Vietnamese pho class, going to VegFest, some board games, a fancy cocktail flight at Barmini, and playing Artemis spaceship bridge simulator.

S'mores Party

August 16, 2015

We got a culinary torch, so wanted to make s'mores with them, and figured we may as well make a ton of s'more varieties. We had three kinds of salad for the main course to prepare for all the sugar, then had everything from graham crackers to cookies to biscuits to pretzel chips for the outer layer, many kinds of chocolate (shaved, nibs, bar, syrup, sprinkles, powder, etc.), and tons of other fillings like ice cream, strawberries, caramel, etc. We ended up having tons of fun but only taking two pictures somehow.

Alien Party

April 4, 2015

Ok, the same friend who had a Jurassic Park birthday did an Alien birthday, and we put up another blog about the chestburster cake and other goodies at Making an "Alien" themed chestburster cake. In unrelated gross cake news, here is what a cake of the guardian from big trouble little china (aka a beholder) looks like.

Double Blind Taste Test Party

December 7, 2014

Is it worth buying the more expensive brand of things? What about making tea "properly"? We asked this question across 16 categories of foods and drinks using double-blind taste tests. 'Twas grand. Double-blind taste test party.

Jurassic Park-ty

April 5, 2014

Ok, this was a Jurassic Park themed birthday party we attended, rather than something we hosted, but it was so amazing it deserves to be listed. We went kind of all out with making costumes and food with special effects (fire, sound, motion, and interactive discovery). Read all about it at Jurassic Park-ty.

Wine and Vegan Cheese Party

December 1, 2012

We were fascinated by the idea of aged vegan cheeses, so we made some tofu misozuke as well as some aged cashew cheeses from Miyoko Schinner's book. I wrote up an overview of the party (with photos and descriptions of each cheese we made), as well as an analysis of the flavor and cheesiness data that I collected from party attendants.

Double-blind Mexican Coke Vs American Coke Taste Test

October 9, 2012

I couldn't bear to listen to one more person rave about how much better Mexican Coke was without verifying for myself whether or not there was a discernible difference. In my admittedly small sample size (nine people), no one was able to successfully differentiate Mexican from American coke for all four samples. Read more at my "Does real sugar make Mexican Coke taste better?" blog post.

Flavor Tripping Party

March 17, 2012

Once we learned that there was a berry that made sour foods taste sweet, we knew we had to try it. Read all the details of how it went at our "How to Throw a Flavor Tripping Party" blog post.

Wedding & Honeymoon

May 28, 2011 & May 31-June 11, 2011

We totally got married and it was awesome. You can check out our wedding web site, or see some pictures. The honeymoon was even better!

Chocolate Party

May 15, 2010

We had a chocolate tasting party with 30 kinds of chocolates (sorted by continent of origin and % cacao) and three chocolate vodka infusions. We also had people try and figure out which of the 30 our "mystery chocolate" was, and try and match up each vodka infusion to the % cacao it was infused with. See some pictures, review our tasting notes, or see a guide to each chocolate

Star Trek Party

August 22, 2009

If anyone else wants ideas on how to throw a Star Trek Party, ours was pretty successful, and I have a "How to Throw a Star Trek Party" guide available online with more details. Basically I built a clunky but amusing website for it, we made a ton of food (from Cellular Peptide Cake (with mint frosting) to Hasperat & vegan Gagh, and even made fun custom labels for Star Trek drinks (from slug-o-cola to chech'tluth). We enjoyed it enough that we threw a second party in 2013 adding in crystalline entity rock candy, feta-ration cheese dip, combadge chips with bean me up Scotty, and color-changing martinis.

Science Party

July 16, 2005

The basic premise here was to invite a bunch of scientist friends (and a few other guests) and have everyone bring their own science experiment and/or fun demonstration. We electrocuted pickles as well as celery soaked in a variety of salts to produce different colors. We made ooblek. We determined that hot sauce removes varnish from pennies due to the combination of vinegar and salt. We made plasma in the microwave. We did tons of other experiments, and mostly played with fire a lot. See some pictures and more pictures