Archive for January, 2011

clip: super bowl food-off

January 31, 2011

Me? Writing about football? Not really. Not at all, really.

clip: blood warrior review

January 31, 2011

Not my best work (frivolity, gotta let it slide sometimes), but goodness is this album something. Have a read and a listen.

wintry wonders

January 31, 2011

more here

egg: poached

January 30, 2011

please excuse the half-eaten toast. got hungry after the initial failure.

It’s either time for 2012, or I’d better come up with another resolution. Two attempts this morning is what I needed to poach—and I mean, really nicely poach—this darling little egg.

The fate of the first was due to some sloppy swirling per a friend’s advice—not to say that method doesn’t work! (But Little Egg #1 would beg to differ.) I tried a second method I read online (here) for a gentler swirling of water, and this beaut came out. The yolk was wonderfully just-right-runny; the white intact with some give.

Time to buy (make???) some Hollandaise sauce. So long, Sunday Brunch (okay, who am I kidding).

cookbookery à la gmail

January 28, 2011

In my recurring attempts to organize my collected recipes over the last year or so, as I’ve begun really hunting down and saving those I’m compelled to try, I have inadvertently created my perfect recipe organizer.

I’ve tried desktop organizers, mobile apps, index cards, and even just bookmarking recipe pages on various websites, but these were either too tedious to sort through or had rather uninspired (by way of poor design or Geocities evocation) interfaces. My continual search for what to try next gradually led to me collecting recipe links in a single indefinite-draft email; at work or on the go, I’d send myself quick emails if I stumbled upon an interesting dish. In the kitchen, I’d take out my phone, open the draft or search for the recent email, launch the link … and wait and wait for the graphics-heavy or mobily unformatted page to load, squinting at the text that turned up.

So one day I took the recipe attempt of the evening, copied the ingredients and instructions directly into an email (on my laptop), and emailed THAT to myself. Lo and behold, I had my first crisp, clean e-recipe. I started doing this with every recipe I found (and retroactively fixing my existing haphazard collection), including keywords and the link back to the site, in case I wanted some additional info or to check comments for modifications and tips.

The real key to this system was in utilizing Gmail’s subfolder functionality. After enabling this Gmail labs feature (called Nested Labels), you can create functional subfolders within Gmail’s labels simply using a slash and extra text. I initially had a “recipe” label, into which I tossed every recipe I gathered. Being a compulsive organizer (and filer), I then figured I could sort my recipes by cuisine or meal type. Thus: recipes/breakfast, recipes/veg (vegetarian or just veg-based dishes), and so on. Color-coding the labels adds to the fun (naturally), and now I can search recipes by ingredients or just browse, say, Sweets and see just how many cookie recipes I’ve accumulated over the holidays. Best of all, I can bring up any of these recipes on my phone right in the kitchen when I’m ready to bake these hundred or so confectionary batches.

ref = references, as in "How to Poach an Egg"

 

vincible

January 24, 2011

I didn’t think this worth sharing at first, but what are ones successes without one’s failures?

The gent and I suffered my first slow-cook flop. In my defense, I followed an online recipe that praised its deliciousness (I’ll spare the author the shame/blame, because, let’s be serious, I probably screwed something up). The disaster was a chicken and brown rice casserole. While the texture and cook time were perfect, the rice was utterly flavorless, and the chicken did double-damage in flavor and Sahara dryness.

i skipped proper plating so as not to deceive. it sucked.

Politely encouraging as ever, B assured me it wasn’t that bad, which made me wonder aloud if my receding cold was affecting my judgment and taste buds. He didn’t miss a beat in replying, “No, no, it’s not good. Just not bad.”

I’ll try to salvage the leftovers by baking. In the meantime, I’ll rescind my notion that the slow cooker can do no wrong. And read about other chefs culinary catastrophes to feel better.

the truth

January 22, 2011

“And why do we only weep at the end of the movie? Why do we weep once we know that everything will be alright? We weep because the only way everything could ever be alright is in fiction. We weep because what we’ve seen can’t be true, no matter how badly we wish it were. We weep at the truth.”

The Instructions, Adam Levin

some words go with that

January 21, 2011

By the way, my coverage of the Fancy Food Show on foodspring.com: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3

Mind you, these were all written under conditions of gluttony, overexertion, and slight delirium.

Alas, I was too shy to approach Duff. Next time! (Summer show? Going, Duff?)

the last few days

January 20, 2011

they call this work.

 

sure shift

January 12, 2011

i had a hunch. i mustered up the courage to pitch it to the gent. something wasn’t right, and it wasn’t just the fact that i had to climb over B every night and every morning to get out of bed. (Actually, come to think of it, that was definitely a big part of it.) The bed was wedged in a corner, the only place it seemed to fit, and one of us (read: me) opted for the wall side and night after night of climbing/crawling/leaping over the other to get in and out.

bed: before shot

I’d only ever had one room among my many apartments that warranted a floating bed, as I had a desk and other furniture to fit and the corner was usually the most logical of locations to place the largest of furniture and waste the least square-footage. And frankly, I preferred my bed in the corner. Some fetal inclination, perhaps. But the day finally came that I realized just why “grown-ups” use the floating bed method (see above bed entry/exit description).

So I dared ask B to humor me a moment and give it a go. Letting skip a few beats before opinions formed about the change—allowing the eyes to refocus, readjust as when a light flickers back on in a dark room—we stepped back, and our simple gazes turned to admiration. This was right. yes, this was better.

bed: after shot

One of my aforementioned concerns was the space in the room that would be absorbed with the new arrangement; I thought at first that the room looked smaller, tighter. Then, looking around, I realized we had, in fact, more space. With the empty center of the room occupied, we realized the open walls can make way for another piece of decorative furniture, if we’re so inclined (we’ve since agreed on a floor plant, coming soonish).

This arrangement even helps to resolve another issue I was having with the longest uninterrupted wall in the bedroom. The three detail panels felt awkward with the bed (and, in the bed’s defense, vice versa); I couldn’t figure out what sort of art to include (or leave off) the walls, as any arrangement felt lopsided. Now with the improved symmetry, a single centerpiece or 3 one-per-panel pieces should look lovely. (NB: We’re still working that. Personally, I’d kill to get a headboard, but chances are this bed frame will soon fall apart and we’re trying to avoid frivolous spending. For now.)

An extra shot from the door frame of the closet below. Still needs work, yes (don’t judge me).

symmetry divine

P.S. Symmetry + sateen sheets = divine.