Tag Archives: cooking

Aga-meme-non

Woah, this is super satisfying and calming.

Protected: Oh man…

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Would a passionate speech about horology be considered a glockenspiel?

I think it would be super cool if someone came up with a cookbook in which all recipes were stupid reconfigurations of mathematicians’/statisticians’ names or mathematical objects.

Examples:

  • Fibognocci
  • Tukey Sandwiches
  • Vennison
  • Bonferroni and Cheese
  • Putnaan (“Putnam” and “naan”…anyone?)*
  • Gabriel’s Corn
  • Mandelbratwurst
  • Fig Newto—OH WAIT

I’d buy a cookbook like that.

 

*Yes, I know Putnam wasn’t a mathematician himself, but he’s got that competition named after him, so yeah. It counts.

Is a gluon that’s not completely dry simply a tachyon?

So unless I’m hallucinating (it’s like 5 in the morning and I had Red Bull), the University of Arizona nursing department’s looking for a stats instructor to develop/lead an online intro stats course.

HOW COOL?

I’m totally going to apply. That would be a super awesome job. I think I’d be good at teaching stats just because I’m so obsessive about them and I really like to explain them to people.

Anyway.

In the meantime, here are some of my favorite internet-found recipes, ‘cause for some reason I really feel like cooking at 5 AM.

  • Eggplant Hummus – based on Trader Joe’s BADASS eggplant hummus. Best hummus ever.
  • German Chocolate Cake – My grandma used to make me this for my birthday. It freaking rocks.
  • Green Monster Muffins – Spinach muffins? Rock on! These are really good.
  • Peanut Butter Blondies – Also known as “these will kill anyone allergic to peanuts if they’re even in the same room.”
  • Poppy Seed Loaf (run this through a translator) – Safeway used to sell these all the time, but now they only sell the muffins. Poppy seed-saturated sweet bread is best in loaf form.
  • Potato Sour Cream Biscuits – Pretty much everything Noble Pig has posted is amazing, so check out the blog.
  • Rolled Spinach Omelet – Made this for my mom and she loved it.

Oh my god I want this so bad

Holy freaking crap: http://modernistcuisine.com/

Modernist Cuisine is a six-volume, 2,438-page set that is des­tined to rein­vent cook­ing. The lavishly illus­trated books use thou­sands of orig­i­nal images to make the sci­ence and tech­nol­gy clear and engaging.”

This is like food science on crack.

Anybody who knows me knows I’ve been into cooking as of late, and this humongous wealth of knowledge is quite enticing. The photographs look amazing…I was reading a bit about one picture featuring a cross-sectioned action shot of noodles being stir-fried in a wok.

The article was saying how there was no Photoshop involved and that the photographer actually had to capture the flying noodles as they were stirred in the half-wok. Pretty badass.

Too bad the set of six volumes costs $600, or these would be mine.

Here are the FAQs from the site in case you missed them.
Very interesting indeed.

Stir fry—Claudia style!

HI PEOPLE!

So I have recently acquired a wok and have decided to try out stir fry. My first attempt was pretty damn good, and even though I’m probably doing it all wrong, I decided to share it (mainly ‘cause I took a pretty picture, haha).

You will need:

  • Some sort of uncooked egg noodle – 100 grams or a bowl filled with uncooked noodles. The noodles will compress once they’re cooked, so don’t worry about fitting them plus the veggies in a bowl once you’re done.
  • Broccoli – 35 grams of small stalks with florets or a about half a cupful
  • Carrots – 2 ounces julienned or about a half a cupful
  • Red pepper – 1 ounce cut into cubes or however you prefer (about a loose handful)
  • White or yellow onion – 20 grams sliced or cubed (enough to fill your palm)
  • Mushrooms – 15 grams sliced, or about a small handful
  • Canola oil (or some sort of equivalent—whatever oil you like that’s good for high heat) – 2 teaspoons
  • Stir fry sauce (again, your choice) – about 3 tablespoons

It’s best to get all your slicing/combining/other cooking done before you actually start the stir fry, so do all this before you even turn on the heat beneath your wok.

Combine broccoli, carrots, pepper, onion, and mushrooms into a microwave-safe container, add about three tablespoons of water, and microwave on high for about 1:45 or 2:00, depending on how thick you’ve kept your broccoli stalks. While this is microwaving, put a pot of water on the stove and get the water boiling. Also, go ahead and put a tablespoon of stir fry sauce and the two teaspoons of canola oil into the frying pan/wok and mix it up for later.

Drain the water from the veggie mix and set aside. Once your water starts boiling, cook your noodles to the package instructions (the variety I use cook very quick and are done in less than a minute—don’t overcook or you’ll end up with squishy and that’s not very appealing). Once they’re done, drain the water and set aside. Start heating up your frying pan/wok. I get mine up to about a 5 or 6 on the oven knob, just until the sauce starts to bubble.

I know I’m going to get chastised for this, but I add all my veggies at once. Everything seems to be pretty uniformly cooked once I take them out of the microwave and they’re not going to be on the heat very long, so I don’t worry too much about different cooking times like I know you’re supposed to do. It all tastes fine in the end, in my opinion. If they’re sizzling like hell, though, you’re doing this part right. Stir them up with the sauce so that they’re all coated—this’ll take about a minute.

Make a well in the veggies and dump in your noodles. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of stir fry sauce atop the noodles and mix well with the veggies. I usually cook for another minute and a half to two minutes, just until things start sticking to the frying pan/wok. Turn off the heat and transfer everything to a bowl.

Yay! I think I’m getting better at this cheffing stuff.

 

 

Today’s song: Dog Days Are Over by Florence + The Machine

 

Bad Romance: The Cookie Version

Okay.

Don’t laugh at me.

Last night I had a dream about Lady Gaga (not the first time this has happened) in which she gave me a recipe with which to express her song Bad Romance as a batch of cookies.

I’m not kidding.

Well, okay, she didn’t give me an explicit recipe. She just told me what to do (“make Bad Romance into a batch of cookies”) and gave me four distinct ingredients that had to be included: Oreos, cream cheese, blueberries, and Nutella.
So that’s what I attempted this afternoon. She didn’t give me any real direction in terms of the recipe in the dream, so I just kind of made things up as I went for a small seven cookies batch. What I finally ended up doing was making a cream cheese blueberry cookie base, sprinkling them with crumbled up Oreo (just the cookie part), and then topping them with the Oreo filling mixed with Nutella.

This is what they look like:
 

So what’s the taste verdict?
Meh.

They don’t live up to the awesomeness of Bad Romance. I think they would have tasted better without the blueberries, but that may be because the cookies were small and the blueberries were overly intrusive (they have big blueberries in Canada).

They’re pretty, though.
 

 

 

Today’s song: First Train Home by Imogen Heap

More Cheffing

I think I need to start a cooking/recipe blog separate from this, because this is turning into a near-weekly thing, and since I already have promised a science-related blog every week (or so) and I don’t want my blogs to turn into a compilation of themes, it might be necessary to do so.

Anyway.

I was screwing around with “what has been in my fridge for x weeks and is about to expire ‘cause I eat the same things everyday so why do I bother buying anything different?” ingredients and I stumbled upon a few things that make a tasty little appetizer thingy if you ever have people over or are asked to bring food to a party or whatever you social people do.

What you shall need:

  • 1 can of Pillsbury Crescents (the “makes 8 crescents” size)
  • 3 string cheeses
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • Parsley flakes
  • Garlic salt

Open the can of crescents, trying to keep them all intact. Roll out and separate the 8 triangles, then ball the triangles up. The “let’s roll this into a ball” step is solely to make the next step easier: cut the balls of dough into to equal halves.

Remove the wrappers from the string cheese and cut each string cheese into 5 pieces. You’ll note the discrepancy between the 16 half-balls of dough and 15 chunks of cheese. Since it’s not worth opening a fourth string cheese and since 15 fits best on the baking pan anyway, either eat the extra chunk of dough raw (tasty!) or just cook it regularly.

Press the cheese chunks into the balls of dough, then mold the dough around the cheese, creating a tight seal where the dough meets itself. You’re going to want a seamless little ball of dough filled with cheese.


Place these balls crease-side up (though they shouldn’t be visible) onto a baking pan. Now you’re going to make the tasty part. In a bowl (or microwave safe measuring cup, in my case), combine the butter, a good sprinkle of parsley, and a half a teaspoon of garlic salt. Microwave until the butter is totally melted, then stir to evenly distribute parsley and garlic salt. Spread this concoction liberally onto the tops of the dough balls.

Now bake according to the instructions on the crescent can (I believe it’s 10 – 12 minutes at 375°). When you take them out, you’ll notice that the crease has now reopened, leaving a nice neat little pool of cheese in the middle of a doughy bowl. Freaking tasty! They’re also good cold.


WOO COOKING!

 

 

Today’s song: I Want You to Want Me (Live) by Cheap Trick

Saturday Chefing

Or should that be “cheffing?” Either way.

Do you have a potato? DO YOU WANT A TASTY DINNER?

This amazing blob of beige is made from a potato (and miscellaneous) and tastes substantially better than it looks. It’s good when you want something that has a lot of weird textures to it but you only have, well, potatoes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 potato
  • 1-2 tbsp. peanut butter (I used chunky, but I’m assuming smooth would work just fine)
  • A small amount of olive oil
  • A packet of ketchup, like from McDonald’s or something
  • Salt
  • Mrs. Dash (if you so desire)

Here’s what you do:

Take the potato and peel half of it. I’d say cut it in half first, but I think it’s easier to peel one half so you have the other half to hold on to. Next, wash off the peeled half and run it over a cheese grater until you have grated the entire half into a bowl. Fill the bowl with cold water and stir gently. This will get the extra starch off of the slices so that the hash brown part will be crisp and not chewy.

Next, drain the water from the bowl, dump the potatoes onto a paper towel, and pat dry. This will also help with the not-soggy hash browns. Return the potatoes to the bowl and squeeze the whole packet of ketchup onto them. Stir until all the pieces are coated.

Add the smallest amount of olive oil to a skillet (maybe a dime-size amount) and bring to a medium heat. Dump the grated potatoes into the skillet and kind of mold them into a little patty.

This was actually my first time attempting to make hash browns of any kind, so here’s where my guidance is more “cook them until you think they’re done.” I tried to base my doneness off of the hash browns at the University Inn, if any of you have ever had those.

Anyway, while that’s cooking, take the other half of the potato, put it on a paper towel, and microwave either for 4 minutes on high or on the “potato” setting on the microwave. Once it’s done, take it out, let it cool for a minute or so, then saw off the end where the potato was exposed from grating (it’ll be hard as a rock anyway). Scoop the flesh out of the skin into another bowl, trying to leave the skin intact. Unless you’re not into eating potato skin; in which case, maul away and just omit the skin from the final conglomeration.

Take your 1 or 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and throw them into the potato flesh and just stir it all up. It’s going to look weird but it’ll taste awesome.

Assuming your hash browns are done, go ahead and dump them onto a plate. They’ll be super hot, so it’ll be good to let them cool for a bit. While they’re cooling, coat the inside of the potato skin with salt and re-add the potato/peanut butter mixture to the inside. Put the skin on top of the hash browns, then sprinkle the whole mixture with Mrs. Dash. Me being me, I can’t taste Mrs. Dash very well at all, but I added it anyway for a little color. I don’t really know how it tastes with the spices, so omit it if you want.

Anyway.

It tastes really good. Leaving the peanut butter potatoes in the salted skin kind of makes them soak up the salt, and that makes it even better.

WOO POTATOES!

 

Today’s song: Repetition Kills You by The Black Ghosts

I’M A CHEF WATCH ME BAKE

HOLY CRAP I COOKED AGAIN!

It’s almost the same thing as last time because I still have half a bag of cornmeal (and because I freaking love cornmeal), but I was curious as to what would happen if I put ice cream in the oven, so I gave that a shot this time.
These taste good, but they’re also pretty, which makes them snazzy. You should have seen me experimenting with this while trying to write down the ingredients, it was quite funny. Here’s what you will need:

Base:

  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup cornmeal
  • ¾ tsp. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • ¾ tsp. vanilla

Ice cream cookie:

  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • ½ cup ice cream (I used Oreo ‘cause it’s badass, but use whatever)
  • ¼ cup peanut butter

Top:

  • ½ cup cashews
  • 1 ½ tbsp. brown sugar

To make the base:

Melt butter into sugar and beat until mixed. Add the egg and beat again. In another bowl, blend the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Add slowly to the butter/sugar mixture, stirring as you add. After all this is done, dump in your vanilla and stir once more.
As in the previous cookie recipe, you’re going to have to store this in the fridge for a bit. Get some cling film, roll the dough into a ball, wrap it tightly with the film, and stick it in the freezer for half an hour or so.

While it’s chilling out, go ahead and make the ice cream cookie (and get your oven preheating to 350°):
Melt butter into sugar and beat until mixed. Add the egg and beat again. Add both the ice cream and the peanut butter at once and blend slowly until everything is an amalgamated nasty looking thing (yes, it will look pretty gross). Slowly stir in flour, baking powder, and salt. I really guesstimated on the amount of flour I used, so here’s a picture of the consistency you’re going to want:

It’s also going to feel like a dead squid. This is okay.

Now that a half-hour has passed (maybe?), take your cornmeal dough out of the freezer. It’s going to be super crumbly, but you’re going to want to flatten out little portions of it large enough so you can cookie-cut circles out of them like so:

Put these pieces on a cookie sheet. Then get your ice cream dough and flatten it out as best you can. Like I said, it’s going to feel like some sort of dead sea creature owing to the coldness and consistency of the ice cream, and it may be a bit difficult to roll it out without getting it stuck everywhere, so use copious amounts of flour and cut carefully. I used a slightly smaller round cookie cutter, but the same size as the cornmeal base size works, too. Place the ice cream cookies on top of the cornmeal ones on the cookie sheet.

Now it’s time to beat the crap out of some nuts. Put the cashews in a sealable plastic baggie and sprinkle them with the brown sugar. Shake the baggie a few times to distribute the sugar, then pulverize the nuts with a spoon/rolling pin/mental powers until they’re broken up but not powdery. Sprinkle them atop the cookie layers and bake for about 12 minutes.

Yay! I think my favorite part of these is the fact that there are three different consistencies going on.

And, you know, cornmeal.

 

 

Today’s song: You Make Me Happy by Lindsey Ray

Life lessons and AWESOME COOKIES

It’s Canadian Thanksgiving today. NO CAMPUS FOR ME!

Anyway, today’s life lessons are as follows:
1. I should not be allowed around cornmeal.
2. I should not be allowed to “experiment.” My kitchen now looks like the Pillsbury Doughboy used it as a toilet.

Today’s AWESOME COOKIES are as follows:
I had a bunch of random ingredients left over from various cooking endeavors, so I decided what I could to with them all. These cookies are the result. I must say, they’re a lot better than I expected them to be. I shall take them to the office tomorrow and distribute them freely, I think.

I call them chocolate crunch cornbread cookies and they look like this:

What you will need:

Cookie base

  • ½ cup butter (one stick)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

Chocolate stuff

  • ¼ cup cashews
  • ¼ cup Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal
  • 2 packets of chocolate Pocky (about 15 sticks)
  • 4 tbsp. peanut butter (chunky or smooth, your choice)

Note: the base was adapted from this site. I don’t like lemon or cranberries, hence why they’re absent from my ingredient list, plus I don’t think the chocolate would taste good with the cranberries, but what do I know?

OKAY, steps!

1. Soften butter and mix with sugar. Stir in the salt and egg yolks and beat until just mixed. Add the cornmeal and flour and mix until everything’s pretty evenly amalgamated. It should still be a bit crumbly.

2. Dump the mixture onto a cutting board (or whatever you’ve got) and get yourself some cling film. Roll the dough out gently (it’ll crumble fairly easily) into a tube shape until it’s smooth and delightfully phallic. Wrap it in the cling film and twist the edges like you’re making a giant sausage. You want the dough nice and compact so you can cut it up later.

3. Put the giant penis rolled dough in the freezer for about 45 minutes. While it’s chilling out, you can make the chocolate stuff! Combine the cashews, cereal, and Pocky (break the pocky in half first, it’s easier that way) in a sealable baggie.

4. Now just beat the hell out of it. I used my “grad school is destroying my soul” frustration augmented with the back of a spoon. Try to get the nuts totally pulverized, but if you want a few larger chunks of Pocky and cereal, that’s cool. I realized after I was done with this whole endeavor that grinding these ingredients into a coarse powder would probably work best, but I have no such apparatus for accomplishing that (and I’m too lazy to beat a baggie with a spoon for an extended period of time), so I just left it kinda chunky.

5. Dump the contents of the baggie into a bowl and add the peanut butter. Microwave for about 40 seconds and stir. This’ll melt the peanut butter so it’s manageable as well as the chocolate on the Pocky. You should get something gross-looking like this:

6. After the 45 minutes are up, take your dough out of the freezer and get slicin’! I cut mine into ½ inch slices, and that seemed to work fine. Now’s a good time to preheat your oven to 350° F.

7. Spread the chocolate concoction liberally onto the tops of the cookie slices. It should hold together fairly well, so don’t worry too much about getting it everywhere. However, if you went the “I don’t have a food chopper” route, make sure you don’t have any sharp Pocky sticks poking out. ‘Cause they hurt like hell.

8. Place the cookies on an ungreased pan and cook for 15 minutes.

Yay! Now you have tasties. These taste a lot better than they look, trust me. I got about 20 or so cookies out of this recipe. Enjoy!

 

Today’s song: My Philosophy by Holiday Parade

HOT DAMN, Tukey Sandwiches!

No, that is not a misspelling.

NNNNH I have such a freakish urge to cook.
Hence these.

They’re a tribute to John Tukey, American statistician and source of horrible, horrible lunch meat puns. Yeah, I know, I made the joke two days ago and I haven’t been able to go 15 minutes without thinking, “exactly what would a Tukey sandwich entail?”
Ingredients, process, and general apology to Mr. Tukey as follows (I didn’t really measure stuff as I made this, so fair warning).

You will need:

  • Bread. A small loaf works perfectly. You’ll need six pieces.
  • Butter. About a tablespoon will work fine.
  • Cheese. Colby Jack is preferred. Make sure it’s in a block so you can slice it.
  • Turkey. Clean pieces of breast meat are best/neatest.
  • Bacon. Three long slices will suffice.
  • Mayo. 2-3 tablespoons.
  • Cinnamon. A teaspoon sounds about right.
  • Corn bread (or muffin) dry mix. Three or four tablespoons will be fine.
  • Oil. Just a bit, maybe a teaspoon.
  • Mrs. Dash.
  • Water.

What you need to do to make this awesomeness happen:

1. Cut the crust off the six pieces of bread so that you have nice little squares.

2. Take three of said squares and coat one side of each lightly in butter.

3. Take the other three slices and toast them lightly, just enough to get them a little brown and provide them with a bit of structural integrity.

4. Mix the teaspoon of cinnamon with the mayonnaise. Add more cinnamon if you’d like. Mine looked pinkish when I was done. Once the three toasting pieces are done toasting, spread the mayo/cinnamon mix on one side of each of the three slices and set aside.

5. Place the buttered slices butter-side down onto a frying pan and turn on to low heat. Cut a three medium-thin slices of Colby Jack cheese and put a square onto each piece of bread as they heat up (note: they have up here in Canada land these cute little rectangular cuboids of cheese. They’re smaller in area than the bread, but I think it works fine that way).  Sprinkle the cheese and bread with Mrs. Dash and let it cook until the underside of the bread is golden brown and/or the cheese is gooey.

6. Cook bacon (I’m lazy, so mine was precooked and all I did was heat it up in the microwave). Tear the strips in half and position them in an “X” position on the mayo/cinnamon bread.

7. Now it gets fun. Take the corn bread dry mix and mix it with the teaspoon of oil and some water. I really didn’t measure this, but you’ll want a consistency similar to that of the mayo/cinnamon. Don’t make it too moist, but don’t make it dry enough to crumble.

8. Lay out the turkey meat and spread it with the corn meal mix. It looks gross, I know, but it tastes good.

9. Fold the turkey into nice little square packets and place each packet onto the bacon and mayo/cinnamon bread.

10. Complete the sandwich by putting the cheese/Mrs. Dash bread on top of the turkey and securing with a pretty frill. In my opinion, these taste equally good hot and cool, so if you made a super mess out of your kitchen like I did, go ahead and clean before you try them.

Voila!


So why does this qualify as a tribute to Mr. Tukey again?
– There are six pieces of bread because he came up with the Six Pack Test.
– The sandwiches are square because he came up with the boxplot.
– They’re small because he coined the word “bit.”
– They’ve got turkey in them because DUH.
– Cinnamon is brown. He went to Brown University. I’m funny.
– He was born in Massachusetts. Corn muffins are the state’s official muffin.
– The turkey is also Massachusetts’ state bird, which is hilarious.
– He made significant contributions to jackknife estimation, hence Colby Jack cheese. It’s a stretch, but so is this entire thing.
– And I just assumed he liked bacon.

So yeah. This is why I should not be allowed to have free time.

Claudia’s Awesome Salad

Hey ladies and gents. Today I shall present you with a recipe for salad. Because it’s a freaking awesome salad.

Ingredients you shall need:

  • Broccoli (1 ounce – I don’t know how many little florets this is; I’m picky about the way I cut my broccoli. Guesstimate or use a food scale)
  • Carrots (1 ounce – approximately three baby carrots)
  • Radishes (two medium-sized ones)
  • Cauliflower (2 ounces – approximately two large florets)
  • Shredded parmesan cheese (3 tablespoons, or to taste; I like cheese)
  • Lettuce (100 grams – I use iceberg lettuce)
  • Croutons (20 grams – about a small handful)
  • Dressing (2 tablespoons – I use Kraft Calorie Wise Caesar)

Use a cheese grater to grate the carrots, radishes, and cauliflower (I just run the whole cauliflower florets over the grater, it seems to work best that way) and combine with the broccoli, chopped any way you prefer. Add the parmesan and stir. It should look something like this:

Pick apart lettuce to manageable sizes and add to the mixture. Toss to mix everything up. Add the dressing and toss again, then finally add the croutons. Voila!

 

Note: this makes a lot of salad, but depending on the type of dressing/croutons/cheese you use, it can still be pretty healthy. My version runs about 250 calories (10 grams of fat, 4 grams of fiber, almost 11 grams of protein), which is pretty good for the volume. I eat this and Mini Wheats for dinner ‘cause I’m weird.

Woo!

 

 

Today’s song: The Fame by Lady Gaga

Admiral Ackbar should have worked for the Victor company

Life is weird.

Weird, weird, weird.

It’s even weirder when I try to cook and actually succeed in making something edible. I know it’s nothing too original, but I’d prefer semi-blasé over burning the house down. The stove in the basement here scares me.

Spinach scrambled eggs!
You will need:

  • ¼ cup frozen chopped spinach
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tbsp. mozzarella

Dump the spinach in a pan and cook it. Add the egg whites and scramble to desired moistness. Remove from heat and add cheese. Tasty!

 

Shut up, it’s a slow day. And my butt hurts because  my bike seat tried to surprise buttsex me this afternoon on the way back from Pullman.

 

 

Today’s song: Devil Eyes by Qua


School needs to end soon

Reasons why Claudia would not make a good housewife:

  • “Sauteing” is a foreign concept to me.
  • “Do not use too many mushrooms” is a phrase I do not heed very well.
  • Same with “stir continuously.”
  • If there is SAS in the room, my attention shall be diverted to it.
  • Ovens scare me.
  • I’m not that comfortable around microwaves, either.
  • My ingredient-buying heterogeneity to actual ingredients used ratio is frightening (aka I like maybe five things and buy way too many different things on various whims).
  • Dirty dishes? Yeah, they can sit there for another week, it’s cool.

 

Reasons Claudia WOULD make a good housewife:

  • If my husband wanted the same meal every day for a year, I’d be totally okay with that. In fact, I would insist upon it.
  • I’m an “aim to please” type of lady.
  • ORGANIZE! I like to ORGANIZE!