19. November 2013 · Write a comment · Categories: Cooking, Random · Tags:

…and yes, I realize it’s only Monday. I’m pretty sure this won’t be beat, unless we’re quoting stuff either of the Fords said at the special council meeting today. And then it’s just a laundry list of quotes; but those aren’t as fun as I never heard them in person.

Grad student 1 to me: Jamie, you’re the only white person I know that cooks with wood ear mushrooms.

Grad student 2 to grad student 1 in a deadpan tone: [Grad student 1], you’re such a racist.

Today’s weekend wandering was encouraged by the beautifully sunny (albeit briskly chilly) weather. I was totally intending to head over to The Green Grind, but after realizing how amazing the walk down Christie Street was after eating breakfast over at The Stockyards, I had more ambitious plans in mind. The trees are all starting to turn (if they haven’t already lost their leaves), and I wondered how the Don Valley was looking, so I planned a longer excursion (despite hauling my laptop for working on anyways).

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27. December 2010 · Write a comment · Categories: Cooking, Geek · Tags:

December 27 – Ordinary Joy. Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?

Some days you really have to live for the little things. Some mornings, you really just have to live for the little things, especially. What better tone to set the day than a wonderful morning?

One of my favorite simple moments was the weekend breakfasts during the late summer/early fall. I would get up around 8ish, and Emily would have already left for work, so I would have the entire kitchen to myself. I’d fire up the broiler and broil some bacon. I’d diced up bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms, and toss them with some shredded cheese inside a large omelet. As the omelet would be finishing and the bacon would be draining off, I’d get the toast made, and finish sautéing up any leftover potatoes I might have had from the night before with the residual vegetables. Top that all off with a large, fresh cup of coffee, and I’d have one loaded breakfast.

I would take one of the large stoneware plates, load up all my food, and march it and the cup of coffee out to the porch (which faces east), where I’d sit and let the sun beat down on my bare arms and legs, basking in the sun like a cat. I’d take my time, enjoy the food, sip on the coffee, listen to the breeze, and just enjoy the quiet weekend morning. I didn’t think things could be so fantastic!

Despite the large cup of coffee, all that food typically put me into a minor food coma. I’d have to be careful, or I’d fall asleep into a mid-morning nap with all that delight going on in my stomach and on my skin. But hey, that’s what this post was all about, wasn’t it?

02. November 2010 · 1 comment · Categories: Cooking, Random · Tags: , ,

I made some turkey and quinoa meatloaf over the weekend, which was quite delicious! I can probably afford to not pre-cook the quinoa with it, as there was plenty of residual moisture at the end of baking it. I even took the trouble to germinate the quinoa before cooking it, so technically it should have been far more nutritious. *shrugs*

The Apple Disaster still tastes awesome!

When did honey get so blasted expensive? I just loaded up on a couple bottles of it for sweetening tea (while fighting off this headcold), and they set me back nearly $15! I don’t recall it ever costing quite this much, but I really have not purchased this much honey in quite a few years.

Oh yeah, and the honey kick? It appears that it has some antimicrobial activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. Additionally, studies have been done that demonstrate the ability of honey to kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria, although most of these are in a topical application of the honey. Regardless, implications for it preventing recurrence of rhinosinusitis is a huge perk if it will help diminish this infection in my sinuses.

On that note, now that I’m on a steady dose of pseudoephedrine1, I’m finally on a mild upswing after yesterday’s utter misery. Hopefully it will continue throughout the week, and I can be >95% by the weekend!

Now, back to watching Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb!

1Pseudoephedrine is the only nasal decongestant that really works worth a damn for me. I’ve tried some very hefty doses of phenylephrine with little luck in actually clearing any congestion. So I’ve committed to just using Mucinex D (or similar) decongestants; they’re loaded with 10mg/hour (in a 4 or 6 hour dose, 40/60mg respectively) pseudoephedrine and really hit the spot (although it leaves me a little brain-spaced for its duration).

My weekend didn’t exactly take a fabulous start. Considering I didn’t get home from the lab until 0:04 Saturday morning, my sleep schedule has been atrocious all weekend. I only garnered about five hours of sleep that night, so between errands early on Saturday combined with working on my presentation for the upcoming department research day, I had to crash for a couple hours for a nap. I wish I could have pushed that a little earlier on, because shortly thereafter I headed over to Clark Dever’s for a good ol’ gathering they were throwing. Unfortunately, I showed up relatively later on in the original schedule for the shindig, and most of the guests had left. I did get to meet a couple folks there, but poor Clark and Susan were just too beat at that point of the week (but I still appreciate the invite and food I got to try). Luckily, I at least did come out of it learning how to open up a crab and get at the goodies all bare-handed.

Saturday was a 50/50 bust for productivity. Got presentation work done, shitty timing on a social event, watched TV into the wee hours of the morning (running on the odd sleep schedule), so thank god Sunday was a little more coherent. I made round two of some delicious lentil and pasta soup (see below, left). The soup was fantastic much like the first time. I had intended to swap out half of the orzo for barley, but I realized too late that I was out of barley. I’ll have to save that for next time.

In addition to this, I also made some (long since craved) Vietnamese imperial rolls (see above, right). They were delicious, but they needed some more kick to the filler material. I think I might have overdone the amount of rice noodles that I was supposed to use, so that might explain the mild flavor. Next time, I’ll probably also try to use the rice wrappers instead of the easy-peasy egg roll wrappers.

I’ve got more to fill in on, but right now I need some more sleep. This week’s going to be a bit crazy, much like last week, but I’ll make it through. I always have so far, and will continue to do so (at least until my brain snaps, or I develop Alzheimer’s)!

After a couple weeks of eating like crap1, I feel an urge to purge the ick from my system. I spent nearly two weeks finishing off a batch of homemade mac’n’cheese (made something like 3-4 quarts worth in the end), beef and mushroom stroganoff, a tray of brownies2, and I still haven’t touched some leftovers from last weekend at Shannon Pub and cheese from the wine’n’cheese night with my friend who was in town. No wonder I feel like crap! All that food, loaded with fats and relatively devoid of any real vegetables.

I picked up two bags of frozen blueberries, one large bag of frozen strawberries, a quart of relatively non-additionally-sweetened yogurt, and have plenty of limeade in my freezer to make fruit smoothies every morning this week to go with the oatmeal I plan to eat virtually every morning. Additionally, I made some more of my apo-meat spaghetti last night3 to tide through the week as lunch leftovers, and some hard-boiled eggs or fruit-laden Aldi-brand yogurt if I’m craving some harder protein at some point. There are some bell peppers and onions in my fridge dying to be used in fried rice for dinner4, and some sweet corn in the freezer that’s been taunting me for a couple weeks now!

I guess it’s not a true purge by any means, but my body does a great job of craving some legitimate vegetables when I’m due. Ever since I got hooked back onto tomatoes in high school, I get cravings for them almost weekly if I don’t get any. I used to despise broccoli, and now it’s the first (hot) green veggie I crave when I want something greenish and not sweet5, followed quickly thereafter by spinach (cold). Onions have always been tasty (even raw), mushrooms I need to experiment more with fresh (used canned ones so often over the years), and I’m actually contemplating *gasp* cauliflower! I saw a delicious bisque recipe for it; sure, it’s not so healthy, but I damn near never eat cauliflower. Perhaps I’ll make a recovery from that much like I did with pork chops and steak from my younger years6. Holly did get a nice start on that food a few years ago by broiling the cauliflower; that was actually fairly tasty!

1Not total crap; just relatively unhealthy. Homemade cooking can taste fantastic, but boy sometimes can it be a little deleterious to my own personal health.
2The brownies were a stupid move. I had a craving for them one night, ate two of them post-baking and my craving was sated.
3I still had a couple quarts left from the last time I made a batch. I’m selling myself a lot easier on it without any meat in it; I don’t have to worry about having/picking up any ground meat for it, and it almost tastes better as long as I have plenty of chunky tomatoes in it!
4Note to self: need to cook up rice tonight so it’s ready to go tomorrow or later this week. I seem to be more of a man of the moment; if I can’t make it right now, I won’t make it. I need to work on my patience and planning with my cooking in those cases.
5Green and snow peas are my automatic go-to food for greenage cravings. They’re sweet to my palate, so I gorge on them on salads…mmmm!
6My mother bastardized some choice food items when I was younger. She would broil pork chops and steak to beyond well done; they were tough and dried out, and I couldn’t stand it. I never enjoyed eating steak until I got to college and finally indulged in eating some medium-well steaks. Ever since, it’s always medium or medium-rare. Similarly, she would boil (and often overcook) broccoli and cauliflower. Broccoli I got over quicker because I liked the taste of it cold, but cauliflower got to the point it made me want to gag. It’s a miracle I’ve gotten to the point that I will even purchase it of my own volition!