sylke: (Default)
Mystery/problem solved!

I'm trying to email a couple folks, and the email is bouncing. Is there anyone with a comcast email address willing to help me do some testing to see if it's my server? Email my @livejournal address if so.

sylke: (sushi)
The husband really likes fat in his meals. Enough so that he gets actually grumpy when I make tasty but low fat dinners. He apologizes for it, he feels bad that he can't have the meals I want to cook without feeling satisfied, but the emotional change in him when he just puts a big ol' pat of butter on bread after a lowfat meal is astounding enough that I'm willing to try and find a compromise: healthy ingredients, but with at least some forms of fat for his sake.

Tonight's dinner was Pasta Primavera. Three sources of fat: olive oil, butter, and half-and-half to help form a "light" cream sauce. Relatively speaking, of course. Hey, at least it wasn't like an Alfredo. Despite feeling like I messed a few things up, it came out pretty tasty and satisfying, and I feel like I at least fed the boy his vegetables. This is how I actually made it tonight:

1/2 bunch young/thin asparagus, cut into ~2" pieces
1 yellow squash, cut into slices
1/2 zucchini, cut into spears
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, cut into thin, 2" slices (kind of like julienne but without the last cutting step)
linguine (maybe a half-box equivalent, we used handmade pasta from Rome [NY])
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
1 cp half-and-half
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in a large frying pan, medium-high. Sauté the garlic until it just starts to color, about one minute. Assume the water for the pasta is on the verge of boiling because it looks pretty close. Add all the veggies and the butter, season to taste with S&P and basil, and sauté until tender-crisp, about 10 minutes. Realize you were way off on the water, and start to accept that dinner's not going as planned. Pull out meat thermometer to test pasta pot, realize water is still 20 degrees shy of boiling. Pout. Add the half and half to the vegetable pan, let simmer, covered, for another 5 minutes. Decide the water's close enough now, and add pasta. Uncover vegetables, simmer sauce for another 3 minutes to reduce. Turn off burner and hope the sauce will thicken a bit as it cools because it's gonna be another 10 minutes at least on the pasta. Tell yourself that the squash doesn't really look that overcooked. Drain pasta when cooked al dente, plate pasta, then spoon veggies and sauce over pasta. Combine remaining pasta and veggies/sauce into one bowl now that it all will fit. Grate fresh Parmesan cheese over each dish. Realize that actually, the squash doesn't taste nearly as overcooked as you feared. Post to LJ with the recipe as a personal reminder after husband proclaims, "This is pretty good, we can do this again sometime."

Butter can probably be reduced to 1 Tbsp without a notable loss of flavor. Cook carrots and asparagus for 5 minutes before adding the squash, or cut all the squash into spears because the circles cook very quickly. Try a half cup of half-and-half next time instead, there was a lot of "saucy juice" left over, but the boy really enjoyed having extra sauce on his, so maybe that's not such a bad thing to add for his sake.

And don't start the vegetables until the water is honest-to-God boiling because that big pasta pot full of water takes like 20 minutes to heat up even at high heat. You'd think you'd have learned that by now, sheesh.

Lamb Stew

May. 31st, 2008 07:47 pm
sylke: (sushi)
No pictures because I'm lazy, but writing down what I did tonight because it was pretty tasty :) And I've found I tend to look to LJ first when I want to find a recipe I made up once upon a time. This was based on about 6 online recipes and what ingredients were lying around that I could use. Inspired because I accidentally defrosted a package of stew meat and a package of lamb chops two nights ago instead of two packages of chops...

1 lb lamb stew meat
3 sm carrots, diced
1/2 onion, quartered and sliced
3 red potatoes, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
olive oil
flour (~6 Tbs)
salt&pepper to taste
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp rosemary
3 cp chicken broth

Heat some olive oil in the bottom of a pot. Season the flour with salt and pepper (I was pretty liberal with the salt), dredge lamb pieces through the flour, and fry until the outsides are a little browned. Pour in chicken broth, and simmer for 20 minutes. Add all veggies, and simmer for an additional 20 minutes. Add seasoning and serve with sourdough.

Serves two with a little left over.

It was a little more chickeny than it had to be. I was lacking beef broth which is what I intended to use, so I reconstituted a few bouillon cubes. Next time, use beef broth or fewer chicken cubes.
I'd planned to throw the garlic and onion in before the broth and sautee them a little, but forgot. It turned out fine, it's one less step, but that might be something to try next time.
I really eyeballed the herbs, so 1/2 tsp is a guess. While the stew tasted fine, it wouldn't hurt to add more thyme next time, perhaps a full tsp.

[Edit: Second attempt was here: ]
sylke: (Default)
I should've figured, in this day and age, the Phoenix would be Twittering! *follows*
sylke: (Default)
I'm watching the landing coverage at NASA -- are you?

It's not like there's anything anyone can do, really, at this point. Either it's going to work or it won't, and because of the time delay on radio traffic, we won't start hearing about the landing sequence until the entire thing is over and done, at which point we just wait to hear how it went...

On jobs

May. 16th, 2008 03:09 pm
sylke: (Default)
[ profile] neatorama today posted some notable graduation speakers and included a few snippets from Steve Jobs' speech at Stanford in 2005. The bit that caught my eye:

“Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”

Musing about my own job. )
sylke: (Default)
What I find amusing is that I found out about this video by watching actual, live TV for the first time in ... a really long time. It was an ad for a Discovery Channel special where they went back and looked at what happened in close detail for this video.

Lamb Curry

Apr. 20th, 2008 07:57 pm
sylke: (Default)
More on the lamb adventures. I'd never made a curry before, and lamb curry seems to be a popular preparation, so I gave it a shot. I haven't taken any pictures, but it looks sorta like a lamb stew. ;) I made it on Friday, so I'm going to write down what I remember before I forget about it completely.

~3 lb lamb leg meat, cut into small chunks (think General Tso's sized chunks)
1 Tbs curry powder, maybe two
4-6 cloves garlic, pressed
1.5 onions, finely diced
salt to taste
1/4 cp olive oil
8-10 small red potatoes, quartered
1 small can tomato paste
1 14oz can chicken broth
sriracha to taste

Heat the oil in a pretty large pan on medium-high. Add the curry powder, sauté for about a minute. Add the onions and garlic, and sauté until the onions are translucent. Add lamb and brown on the outside. Add a healthy dash of salt, tomato paste and chicken broth, and a drizzle of sriracha, depending on how hot you want it. I probably added around a teaspoon or two and there was enough heat that you could taste it but not so much I finished the meal sweating. Cook/simmer on low for about an hour, add the potatoes, and simmer for another half hour, stirring occasionally and adding more liquid if the sauce is thickening up too quickly.

Since we'd just had fried rice the night prior, I served it over couscous instead and it was quite tasty.

Fun fact. A large Dutch oven on the big electric burner set to around 4, 4.5 gets oil hot enough that it melts plastic mixing spoons. And plastic spatulas. The dutch oven has since recovered, but I did have to start completely over with new utensils.
sylke: (Default)
If you haven't seen the original video, you should definitely YouTube it. But this test cut brought tears to my eyes. Donny Osmond and Weird Al, in front of a green screen, rockin' out to White and Nerdy. (Thanks, Monica!)

sylke: (Default)
From neatorama:

There are certain chord progressions that just work well. In the same way that there really are no new jokes in the world, there's really very little truly new music that has never shown up in some way before. This may not be the first time I've seen an ensemble do some juxtapositions like this, but it's definitely one of the better times. I'm impressed that the entire ensemble can hold their own parts vocally. That sounds pretty delightfully complex. :)
sylke: (Default)
In my random interwebbings yesterday, I had cause to Google-image search for "Rocky Road". (To show the dear husband that it was a candy, not just an ice cream flavor.) Page three surprised me with ... a penis cake. Apparently it was rocky road inside, see. How does one make a penis cake? A penis pan, of course. Second page of an image search for said pan led me of all things to a recipe for muffins, the ingredients for which called for two overripe bananas and a few strawberries, both of which were sitting in my kitchen and needed to be used ASAP. What luck!

2 cp all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 cp milk
2 very ripe bananas, pureed
sliced strawberries

turbinado sugar for topping (optional)

Mix all dry ingredients together, then add wet ingredients except for the strawberries and mix only until moistened. Lightly grease muffin tin. Fill each muffin cup 1/3 full, place a few slices of strawberries in each cup, then fill to 2/3rds full. Sprinkle a little turbinado or other raw sugar of choice on top. (Unless you want to try for penis muffins. [suggestive, not explicit])

I baked them for 30 minutes at 350, could probably get browner tops at 375. Makes about 9 muffins, depending on how full you make each muffin cup.

(Original recipe here.)
(cross-posted to [ profile] food_porn)

Lamb parts

Feb. 1st, 2008 07:16 pm
sylke: (Default)
Remaining lamb in the freezer:

1 shoulder
2 ribs
3 legs
lots of chops

Now I need recipes, hm....
sylke: (Default)
I'm working on my photography site, and currently my portfolio is just a huge table of small thumbnails. I want to put larger samples of my work up, and I'm soliciting opinions on what kind of format would be most helpful.

[Poll #1123957]

If you've seen anything you really like or, even better, really *don't* like, or just want to expand on an answer, please leave a comment! :)
sylke: (Default)
New Year's Eve found me and the husband at home, and me spending most of the day cooking. His aunt raises lambs for the state fair, and this year we purchased one and had them send the butchered cuts to us. 75 pounds of lamb has led to a number of Google searches for lamb recipes! I'd tried Osso Buco with one of our packs of shanks, and it turned out so tasty I had to use our new Dutch oven (thanks, Grandma!) to replicate it for New Year's. Like last time, too, I forgot to bring out the gremolada, despite having the parsley and the lemon in the fridge. Oops.

In the pot before being served:

More pics: Plated shanks and pie! )

New Year's Day found me too lazy to pull back out the camera, but we enjoyed dessert for breakfast: crepes with macerated strawberries, fresh blueberries and blackberries, diced bananas, the rest of the walnuts that didn't go in the pastry last night, homemade chocolate sauce (melted Ghiradelli bittersweet chips, caster sugar, vanilla and cream/milk), and fresh whipped cream with vanilla. Diabetic comas all around. :)

(cross-posted to [ profile] food_porn)
sylke: (Default)
While looking up what makes Pumpernickel so brown (long, slow baking causing a Maillard reaction), I ended up stumbling upon the Society for Flavor Chemists. They have regular symposia through the year, and the schedule for the latest one was available on their webpage. Possibly because it was a 50th anniversary, there was a strong focus on the history of flavor. I think my favorite was "Vanilla: Past, Present and Crystal-Ball", particularly where they said it was a "hands-on session". And the speaker? I totally want to have a title like "Director of Vanilla Technology." They have Lunch, Dinner, and a Cocktail Hour listed as part of the program. I have to wonder how much pressure is on the folks catering (or choosing the caterer) for that gig. These people are professionals in the world of taste--are you just going to serve them any old average Yellowtail or spring for the really nice wines? I wonder what lunch was. I hope it was something interesting, at least.
sylke: (Default)
Surprised there hasn't been more buzz about this.

Al Gore wins 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for "efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change."
sylke: (Default)
Fabric Mart Fabrics is having a sale, $5/yard for wool gabardine and wool crepes.

I just wish I was in the market for wool. :/
sylke: (Default)
Linked to me by [ profile] jpaulson.

Very impressive trash-art:

I thought it might just be a photoshop job, but I'm convinced it's real. And real incredible. This video gives closeups of one of the sculptures.
sylke: (Default)
From [ profile] skreidle
Mario level that plays itself:

There are some impressive tricks and timing. Comments imply this isn't the original game but a hacked ROM, and I gotta say the physics don't quite match up with how I'm used to playing the game, but it sure looked pretty cool.
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