Love, Curiosity, Freckles, and Doubt

Where Nostalgia and Ambition Collide

11/6/09 08:02 am - ooh, shiny (again again)

elisem is having a lovely sale, for those of you who like shiny objects and/or know those who do.

5/5/09 07:40 am - ooh, shiny (again)

elisem is having another sale on her nifty shiny jewelry.

11/20/06 08:07 am - many happinesses are wished for you

Happiest of birthdays to beaq!

11/14/06 02:20 pm - putting the bien back in bientot

So as many of you probably saw in loree's journal, bientot, known to many of us as Doci, has broken her leg and is now being relocated to a rehab facility. I was thinking that it might be nice to send her some things to do while she's laid up.

I would be glad to coordinate collecting money and ordering things either from her Amazon Wishlist or from ideas that people might have for what she likes to do. My address for PayPal is eeyorerin@livejournal.com; I can only take non-credit card-based PayPal.

Or you can just send her stuff yourself, if you'd rather do that. In either case, suggestions (including Web site info, if you have it) for things not on her wishlist that she might like are welcome.

I've left this post public in case you want to link to it.

ETA: loree has mentioned that comestibles are probably not a good gift at this time.
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10/10/06 08:29 pm - apple-squash soup

Since various people asked for the recipe for the soup, here you go. I halved the original recipe and got about two servings out of it, so you might want to double it if you're cooking for more than you.

4 slices of thick-cut bacon
20 oz butternut squash
1 apple
approximately 1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
approximately 2 cups vegetable broth
approximately 2 cups apple cider
salt and pepper

Peel, clean, and chop the squash (I bought the pre-cleaned, pre-chopped kind) and apple. Fry the bacon on medium-low in the bottom of a stockpot until crisp; remove the bacon and set aside. Turn the heat to medium and add the squash; let it cook in the bacon fat for about 4 minutes or until it's dark brown on the bottom. Add the apple, sage, salt, and pepper, and cook for 4-6 more minutes, stirring every once in a while so that things don't stick to the bottom. Add 1 cup of the broth and 1 cup of the cider, and bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the squash and apple are very soft. Remove from heat.

Add half the bacon to the proto-soup. Puree everything using a stick blender or in batches in a regular blender. Add the rest of the broth and cider and reheat until it's a thick soup. (Add more or less liquid depending on how thick you like your soup.) Top with remaining bacon.

Next time I might try some onions, or some garlic in there. Still, it was really good as-is. Tangy and a little salty and a little sweet.

8/17/06 11:17 am - happy happy!

Happy birthday to elusis!

8/15/06 08:51 am - now get back on the floor

Happy birthday to entelein, who is one of the awesomest people I know. She is an amazingly creative writer, singer, actor, and puzzle-builder, and she makes one hell of an eggplant parmesan. I am so glad that I've had the chance to share her company and lots of inside jokes (Grignr?) for so many years.The happiest of returns to you, my friend, and many more in this year.

8/3/06 09:15 am - happy happy!

Happy birthday to lcohen!

8/1/06 09:32 am - many happy returns

Happy birthday to neuro42!

7/22/06 08:31 am - la la la birthday

Happy birthday to vixyish!

7/13/06 07:38 am - felicitations!

Happy birthday to wcg!

7/6/06 07:42 am - happy happy!

Happy birthday to eleanor!

7/5/06 07:21 pm - "he hates it salad" is probably not the best title

Two of the foods that allanc dislikes most are cucumbers and tomatoes. Of course, I love them, so he patiently puts up with my love of them as long as I don't serve him any.

When I had this salad at the Dinosaur BBQ a few weeks ago, I couldn't stop talking about it, even though poor Allan kept making faces whenever I insisted that it was sooo tasty. I've now made the recipe from the cookbook twice, and it's still really good, and so I share it with you.
Yum!Collapse )

6/22/06 07:39 am - moxie (crimefighter) birthday

Happy birthday to mvaldemar!

6/8/06 07:47 pm - mmm

Chicken, Apples, and Sweet Potatoes

Tonight I made rivka's Harvest Golds; chicken, sweet potatoes, and apples. I made about a third of what she did, since there was just the one of me (allanc is out for the evening), and I still had heaps of leftovers. I did put in too much water, so not everything evaporated by the time everything was delightfully steamed. Still, the sauce that resulted was tasty. I would definitely cook this again; I think it would make a great fall dish.

6/4/06 09:42 am - you're my favorite! no, you're my favorite!

Happy birthday to loree!

6/3/06 09:21 am - happy^2

Happy birthday to geredan and maleah!

5/31/06 08:58 am - birthday wishes

Happy birthday, wonderlandkat!

5/30/06 10:11 am - go helen! it's your birthday!

Happy birthday to the lovely and talented helenangel!

5/8/06 07:11 am - many happy returns

Happy birthday to quiet000001

5/1/06 05:44 pm - recursive peppers

Stuffed Peppers

allanc asked me to make stuffed peppers, so I consulted the Joy of Cooking and then improvised a little on their recipe. I've now made it twice, and am writing it down so I remember what I did the next time I make them. And so.Collapse )

4/28/06 08:40 am - many happy returns

Happy birthday to pegkerr!

4/16/06 04:27 pm - the peepocalypse is nigh

Peep Brulee: Before

Everyone who guessed that this year's Peepster Challenge was peep brulee guessed correctly!

Ingredients: Eggs, sugar, cream, vanilla, fresh and aged peeps. (Some from this year and some from last year.)

Implements: Mixing bowls, ramekins, improvised bain-marie, whisk, butane microtorch, sense of adventure!

Results: It tastes like s'mores on top of pudding. The fresh peeps carbonize on the outside and liquify in the center, and year-old peeps take on the texture of sponge candy.

For more, see my picture set (with narrative) on Flickr or the peepocalpyse video. (Allan shot all the pictures and the video while I operated the torch.)

4/11/06 06:56 am - happy happy!

Happy birthday to thelilalex! (And a happy first anniversary of parenthood to rivka and curiousangel.)

4/6/06 09:28 am - good things keep popping up

I have scanned selections from the Velveeta-themed cookbook that I got at a library booksale on Saturday.

Enjoy. I wouldn't recommend looking at them on your lunch hour.

4/2/06 08:58 am - happy happy!

Happy birthday to meallanmouse!

3/13/06 07:42 pm - is it still new england boiled dinnah if it has flavor?

I was going to take pictures of the lovely corned beef hash I made tonight, but then I realized that hash, when photographed, looks rather unappetizing.

Today's Blinding Flash of the Obvious was "Erin, you own a Cuisinart!" when wondering how I would render the leftover corned beef, potatoes, carrots, and onions into the requisite fine mush required for good hash. A few minutes with the spinning blades of doom, and I had a fine pile of hash components. Since I'd seasoned the cooking liquid well, I didn't really have to add much seasoning other than some Frank's Red Hot sauce.

Since I seem to be telling this culinary tale backwards, yesterday I cooked a corned beef brisket along with some dutch yellow potatoes, baby carrots, and a mayan sweet onion in a mixture of orange juice, brown sugar, mustard, apple juice, and pickling spice. It turned out very well, but next time I need to use about half the liquid that I did this time. Also, maybe some nice dark beer instead of the apple juice.

Tomorrow: reubens, of course. (Allan is out of town, so I am working my way through this brisket very slowly.)

3/12/06 10:47 am - many happy returns

Happy birthday to cai!

3/1/06 07:42 pm - birthday in the house!

Happy birthday to hotpoint!

2/27/06 10:53 am - a red red birthday

Happy birthday to tithonium! Now we're the same Earth age again.

2/24/06 09:34 pm - moo!

Happy birthday to cow

1/21/06 07:12 am - many happy returns

Happy birthday to nellorat!

1/20/06 07:30 am - happy happy

Happy birthday to sistawendy!

1/18/06 07:16 am - hello birthday!

Happy birthday to woofiegrrl!

1/16/06 08:24 pm - lavender blue

Blueberry Muffins

Another faculty meeting tomorrow leads to another vegan cooking experiment. This time it was blueberry muffins, using a recipe by Laurie Dolan from the June 2005 Vegetarian Times that I found on RecipeZaar. Recipe, with my notes and additions, follows.Collapse )

They didn't puff up much (probably because I overfilled the cups), but they're pretty tasty. Even though I used unsweetened applesauce and unsweetened soy milk, they were still pretty sweet but not too sweet; I might leave out the vanilla next time.

1/9/06 11:14 am - hurray!

Happy birthday to epi_lj!

1/8/06 06:08 pm - warning: moving apples

For Christmas, my mom got me the food grinder attachment and fruit and vegetable strainer components for my KitchenAid Mixer. I decided to try making applesauce with them, since I had about half a bag of apples that desperately needed to be used and I wanted to make applesauce cake later in the week.

The hardest part was figuring out how two of the parts came apart. I knew that you could remove the "grinding worm" from the food grinder body, but it took me about fifteen minutes to figure out how to separate the two. (The answer is "rotate the part that looks like it's completely fixed while pushing inward until the grinding worm falls onto your foot." I think the last part is optional.) Once I figured that out, getting everything snapped together was pretty easy.

I'd read the Amazon reviews saying that this thing made applesauce insanely easy, and I assumed they were exaggerating. They weren't. I scooped cooked apples into the hopper, squished them down with the provided food stomper, and watched it pour applesauce into one bowl and extrude the skins and a few remaining seeds into another bowl. I had about three cups of applesauce in under five minutes. I was really impressed by how well it separated out the skins -- I wished I had a compost heap going, since what it extruded would have been great food for it. The only thing that would have been nice would have been some kind of control over how fine the grind was -- on a food mill, I can use different size plates.

Cleaning it was a little tricky, since I don't have a bottle brush to get into the tight crevices. The manual claims that most of it is dishwasher safe, though, so I'll probably run the bits that were tough to clean through on the top rack.

That was so much fun! I have a feeling I'm going to end up pureeing everything for a while.

12/22/05 10:20 am - happy happy!

Happy birthday to okoshun!

12/20/05 05:46 am - a little monkey big red pants birthday

Happy birthday to randomdreams! I hope it's a good one.

12/10/05 09:00 pm - fudge, nature's perfect food

I've been making fudge for various department members as a winter holiday gift. Tonight, I tried a vegan fudge recipe to give to one of my colleagues. It's still cooling, but tentative results from sampling the leftovers in the pot indicate tastiness. It also set up firmly; a lot of recipes I read said that getting it to set properly (so that it's the consistency of fudge, not frosting) was a problem.

Edited to add: incredibly but not inedibly sweet, and the consistency was perfect. Good thing I packaged it up quickly, or I would have eaten more of it.

The recipeCollapse )

12/3/05 01:57 pm - a tangle-free birthday wish

Happy birthday to kightp! I hope it is full of yarn and Lush goodness.

11/20/05 09:17 am - fishie birthday!

It is the natal day of the most excellent beaq! All hail!

11/5/05 07:46 pm - just don't use those apples made from meat

My department contains three vegetarians, one vegan, one lactose intolerant person, and four omninvores. When it comes time to bring food for meetings or parties, it can be a bit of a challenge. We seem to have decided that the solution to the problem is "bring lots of different kinds of food and let people choose what they like," so there have been no complaints so far. Still, in an attempt to feed the largest range of people in the group, I've been honing my vegan cooking skills.

The recipe below came out of my need to use up some of the applesauce I made in October and also to try out my new Bundt pan. I combined several recipes and some of my own ideas in an attempt to get a cake that would not resemble a dry brick. The resulting cake was almost too moist, but I think that could be fixed by baking it a little longer or leaving it uncovered overnight. You could also easily vary the spices or leave out the cocoa (it doesn't make it taste like a chocolate cake; it just gives it a spicy note).

Applesauce Cake (Vegan)Collapse ) Both recipes I read said "This cake is egg and dairy free and low fat. Serve it with buttercream frosting, whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream." I think they missed the point somewhere.

In any case, the cake was very moist and tasty (thus fulfilling the "not a brick goal") and flavorful, although I think it could have used some cloves. My colleagues devoured it, which is always the best compliment a cook can receive.

10/30/05 08:51 am - happy happy!

Happy birthday to boxofdelights!

10/26/05 08:48 am - many happy returns!

Happy birthday to rivka!

10/18/05 09:17 pm - buttered up

I just made six quarts of applesauce with my new food mill. It only took about an hour (and some of that was cooking the apples), but boy do my hands hurt now. It tastes good, but right now I don't want to see another apple, so it's sitting in the fridge until I actually feel like eating it. Some of it is going to one of my co-workers and some of it will be turned into applesauce cake. Hm. I wonder if I own a Bundt pan...

While researching applesauce making, I discovered several recipes that told you to add butter at the end of the process. One of them was in a pamphlet from the New York State Apple Board, and I began to suspect that the Dairy Board was in on their marketing. (Having perused their other recipes, I am definitely thinking so, especially after finding the recipe for fruit salad that has a mayonnaise-cream cheese-sour cream dressing.) Then I looked applesauce up in the Joy of Cooking, where adding butter was listed as a "French variation." (No, you didn't have to make a roux first.) I'm wondering exactly what it's doing there.

Also, if anyone can explain this recipe as anything but "The Apple Board Test Kitchen got into the cooking sherry and began combining random ingredients," I'd really like to know.

In any case, I cooked my apples in apple juice, a little apple soda (it was about to go flat), pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon. Then I spent a lot of time pureeing. Somehow using the food mill wasn't as much fun as when I was younger. Now I'm lusting after the food grinder attachment with fruit and vegetable strainers for my Kitchenaid.
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10/6/05 08:33 pm - things that shouldn't go together but do

Tonight, allanc and I went to the local Japanese restaurant for dinner. For dessert, we had tempura ice cream, which was green tea ice cream with a spoonful of red bean paste in the center, rolled in sweetened panko, then deep fried and topped with whipped cream and a cherry.

It was wonderful. Sweet and creamy and crunchy and just a little tannic (from the tea in the ice cream). Next time we'll each get our own bowl.

9/22/05 09:53 pm - click-cluck moo

So tonight I made Chicken Makhani (Butter Chicken) and garlic naan. The garlic naan recipe (courtesy kissingcrust) worked perfectly until I tried to broil them, at which point my oven began cooking them extremely slooowly. I think I'll just buy the frozen naan from Super Bazaar from now on. Or acquire a tandoor.

On the other hand, the chicken came out really well. Recipe and notes.Collapse )

9/14/05 08:58 am - folded birthday wishes!

Happy birthday to bientot, who is one of the niftiest people I know!

8/27/05 11:24 am - to a fellow penguin-collector

Happy birthday to waysmeanstonola! I hope it is happy.
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