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Exnem over at Renderosity makes the most realistic and versatile digital food I've seen. Witness the Amazing Super Burger Pack, which, with a 55% off [!] sale + my Render Rewards, set me back a whopping  $3.53. Cleverly done and beautifully sculpted and textured, this is a wonderful product. And now I want a burger.
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The one time in my life that I didn't want frozen yogurt, that's exactly what I got. The aggressively chilly fridge at work froze my yogurt. I tried thawing it in the microwave, but 30 seconds left it still semisolid, while another 30 turned it into a runny, unpalatable mess. Pas de yaourt pour moi. 

Yogurt

Jul. 23rd, 2013 10:58 am
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I just ate a yogurt that supposedly expired at the beginning of May. Not dead yet!

Babycat cracks me up. Whenever she sees us opening up the little Greek yogurt containers, she goes O_O and parks at our feet, licking her little chops. If we give her the peach or strawberry yogurt, she sticks her little face in the container and licks out all the leavings. She refuses to do the same with the blueberry, though. 
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Ingredients: strawberries, pancakes, whipped cream [no "whipped topping!"]

Prepare strawberries. If fresh, wash, hull and chop up. If frozen, microwave until yielding, but still solid, then chop up. Place in container and smoosh up with spoon, fork, potato masher, etc. Goal: to achieve a consistency of chunky tomato sauce. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours to allow berries to soften and juice to leak out.

Prepare pancakes.

When ready to eat, put down strawberries first. Then cut up pancakes and put down a layer. Add whipped cream. Stir until pancakes are impregnated with strawberry juice and whipped cream. Consume messily. Works well as breakfast, dessert, snack...heck, anything really!

This recipe has been brought to you by the 10 lbs. of pancake mix, 6 lbs. of frozen strawberries and 3 15-oz. cans of whipped cream I bought at Costco.
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GO AWAY STOP MAKING ME THROW OUT ALL MY BREAD AND RICE AND PASTA AND PANCAKE MIX I'M TRYING TO SAVE MONEY HERE BY BUYING IN BULK AND YOU LITTLE SHITS AREN'T HELPING

I HATE YOU GUYS YOU'RE SO ANNOYING AND BESIDES YOU ARE FUCKING UP OUR FRESHLY PAINTED WALLS BECAUSE I HAVE TO PASTE YOU WITH A PACK OF PHOTO PAPER AND THEN HALF THE TIME AFTER I SCORE A DIRECT HIT YOU'RE STILL FUCKING ALIVE AND WHEN I DO GET YOU YOU LEAVE BUG GUTS ALL OVER THE WALL 

THE PANTRY LOOKS LIKE AN INSECT CHARNEL HOUSE ALL BECAUSE OF YOU

WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU LAYING YOUR FUCKING EGGS ANYWAY WE ALREADY GOT RID OF ALL THE OPEN BULK PACKAGES AND SEALED EVERYTHING IN PLASTIC STORAGE SO ARE YOU INCUBATING INSIDE THE STORAGE AND THEN MAGICALLY TELEPORTING THROUGH THE PLASTIC OR SOMETHING

STOP HAVING CONVENTIONS IN OUR PANTRY GO BOTHER THE UPSTAIRS NEIGHBORS WHO COULD THEN DO SOMETHING USEFUL WITH ALL THEIR ELEPHANT STOMPING AND SQUASH THE SHIT OUT OF YOU
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Do NOT get three weeks' worth of burritos at once. They don't keep well in the small freezer at work. :( 
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These little shits have been everywhere in our pantry recently. In our attempt to evict them, we jettisoned 25 lbs. of rice and 10 lbs. of pancake mix. This incredible waste of food seems to have removed their source, though several of them are still flying around, waiting for me to hit them flat with a blank book. We need airtight storage for our cereal-based foods.
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Dannon Light and Fit "Greek" yogurt is to real Greek yogurt as lightning bugs are to lightning.

In other news, too many artificial sweeteners in one food make my teeth hurt. 
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Great Harvest makes big and little bunny breads the week before Easter. I picked one up Friday because it was so cute. It freaked out the local doll population.
Read more... )
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Based on 2009's invention, cold chili glop.

The following makes 4 to 5 servings.

Ingredients:
  • 1 can of beans [~14oz.] -- black, red, pinto, etc. [black or pinto recommended]
  • 1 cup uncooked rice -- brown, white, basmati, long-grain, etc. [brown or white recommended]
  • 1 jar of salsa [~16oz.] -- any type [Green Mountain Salsa recommended]
  • 8-12oz. sour cream or plain yogurt [low- or full-fat recommended]
  • salt to taste

Optional:
  • shredded cheese [sharp cheddar recommended]
  • browned meat [which obviously makes it not vegetarian] [lean ground beef or turkey recommended]
  • hot sauce
  • tomato paste
NOTE: I have never included browned meat, tomato paste or hot sauce in my own experiments, so I just stuck them in the recipe at what seemed like the appropriate point. I claim no responsibility for any disgusting results you may incur by following my instructions.

Steps:
  • Start rice cooking. Put x cups of rice in at least 2x cups of water. 2.5x cups is even better, as you can always drain off the excess water later. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. 
  • While rice is cooking, open beans. Rinse and drain to get rid of slime. Put them in a clean pot large enough for at least twice, if not thrice, that amount of beans.
  • Simmer rice for a while [40+ minutes], stirring regularly and sampling occasionally. Rice is done when it is soft, but not mushy, and has absorbed almost all the water. Usually these two events coincide, but not always.
  • Remove rice from pot when done and put in with beans. Mix thoroughly. Put hot water and soap in rice pot to soak so leftover rice doesn't congeal.
  • Open salsa. Dump in with beans and rice. Mix thoroughly. Sample. Add salt if desired.
  • If adding meat, hot sauce or tomato paste, these ingredients should go in at this point.
  • If preparing for later consumption, add enough sour cream or yogurt  to make the chili gooey, but not sloppy. Mix; sample; salt.
  • Add shredded cheese if desired. Mix; sample.
  • If preparing for immediate consumption, heat rice, beans and salsa until they are all hot. Then add sour cream or yogurt, then shredded cheese.
  • Eat it.
  • Store leftovers in sealed plastic or glass container. Chili nukes really well, but can also be enjoyed cold. Good for at least 5 days, it actually improves flavor with age.


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Got more trail mix today in different combinations of ingredients than before. No carob chips this time, as they really make the mix taste funny. :(
  • raisins x 1.96 lbs
  • peanuts x 2.18 lbs
  • cashews x 1.33 lbs
  • cranberries x 0.87 lb
I know that the cranberries will make the mix SOUR, but hopefully the saltiness of the peanuts and the sweetness of the raisins will offset this flavor.

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I put some I Can't Can Easily Believe It's Not Butter on a slice of Anadama bread last night, then put Nutella on top of it. This was probably a waste of a perfectly good Great Harvest loaf, but it tasted like cake! The oil in the non-butter spread made the Nutella smoother and sweeter, like cake + frosting.

I promise to use this knowledge only for good. :p

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In an attempt to put more complex carbohydrates and protein in my snacks, I picked up some bulk fudz at City Market Markup this afternoon:
  • peanuts, roasted, salted and blanched x 1.45 lb
  • carob chips x 1.5 lb
  • raisins x 0.81 lb
  • raw cashews x 0.57 lb
  • raw filberts [hazelnuts] x 0.35 lb
That's about 4.7 lbs of fudz! I hope this combination works. If not, I'll try again. I'm already thinking that I need at least 1 lb of raisins, only 1 lb of peanuts and at least 0.75 lb of cashews.
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Mostly Slate pisses me off, but occasionally it publishes something interesting. Today's find is an article on the history of curry.

Archaeologists from the US and India are working in the Indus River Valley. They analyze the microscopic signatures of food remains to determine what people ate thousands of years ago. The ingenious methods are fascinating to read about.

Surprise surprise -- they were currying the heck out of their cuisine, just the way we do today. [Well, not in exactly the same manner, but surely with the same amount of enthusiasm!]

...Now I want curry...

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I waited outside for 15 minutes today [estimated windchill factor negative a billion] because the Hindquarter, Cloud 9 Caterers' former fire engine and current mobile food van, was parked in front of my building today, and I had to test out their burger ["House Grind, Smoked Country Bacon, Lettuce, American Cheese, Tomato Jam"] and onion rings ["Buttermilk Soaked, Malt Vinegar Aioli"].

First I ate the onion rings. They were light and crispy, with no sogginess that I usually associate with larger, cheaper versions. Their noticeably salty flavor [which I liked] was cut by the mild aioli. That's glorified mayonnaise for you philistines. :p

Then I ate the burger, which came on a toasted, buttered bun. I appreciated this detail, as untoasted buns distract me from my burgers with their chewy texture. The meat was juicy, tender and done medium, as far as I can tell [outsides definitely cooked but not hard, insides lightly cooked but not red]. The bacon added a nice smoky note, and the cheese and lettuce were fine. Everything merged together into a hearty mess of flavors, except for the tomato jam, which did not overpower the burger, but definitely had a slight medicinal aftertaste. Could'a' done without that, but, for $11.00, I was very pleased with my meal. Definitely worth waiting 15 minutes in the cold for!
 


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I am eating frozen yogurt from SoYo, a local shop. Their yogurt base is light and slightly icy [but not crunchy], with obvious notes of dairy and a definite yogurty echo of sourness. This gives all their flavors much more depth, texture and gustatory interest.

I'm currently eating ginger flavor, which is like eating yellow fireworks, and cassis [black currant], which is like eating a delicately scented perfume. This is the best frozen yogurt ever. It's extra yummy when it has fresh, locally grown fruit on top! :9
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This is a funny anti-grapefruit rant. [Starts off discussing grapes, but eventually gets around to grapefruit.]

This is not a funny anti-grapefruit rant.

I myself only like certain kinds of grapefruit.

The insipid yet corrosive floor cleaners in any produce section NO. It's like someone peed acid in my mouth; I feel the uncontrollable urge to run out to my car and use the windshield scraper on my tongue to remove the contamination.

The delectably piquant and juicy ruby red specimens that are usually larger and more expensive YES. I love the sharp clash between bitterness and sweetness; it's such a bright, clean flavor. As a bonus, it can also be used as a paint stripper in a pinch. :p

I also love grapefruit soda, like Fresca!

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At least for a while. I think they're the culprits that have been giving me heartburn in the last few days. :( :( :(
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I was all proud of myself this weekend for a) finding my Swiss Army knife and b) restoring it to smooth working order by lubricating it with 3-in-1. I aired it out for several days in an attempt to get rid of the oil smell, but it did not work, so I took it to work, cut up an apple with it and ate the apple. I also ate some 3-in-1 residue. It doesn't taste very good. On the plus side, I must have licked all the residue off because my jackknife no longer smells like lube.

:(

Jul. 28th, 2012 10:51 am
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Mint chocolate chip Klondike bars give me indigestion. Too bad because I love "green ice cream."
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Dammit...I just spilled my spaghetti all over the kitchen floor and part of the kitchen rug, so then I had to clean it all up. Rugs should not exist in kitchens anyway.
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This perky little cat started hanging around our porch yesterday, rubbing all over the slats in the railing and rolling over so I could pet its belly. Its presence irritates both my landlord and her two indoor cats to no end; Leo and Zing, my landlord's cats, glare at the outdoor cat, while the outdoor cat lazes around on the landing. After hanging around for over 24 hours, it jumped up and bounded away shortly after I snapped this picture. We have no idea who owns it, but it looks well-fed, and it's known in the neighborhood as a friendly feline of unknown origin.

P.S. As a completely irrelevant aside, I just had one of these [Wicked Whoopies orange creamsicle whoopie pie!!!], and it was delicious. Fortunately I bought it from the local Shaw's without needing to order a dozen online. :d
Strange kitty cat. )
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I've been taking some supplements for a while now: women's multivitamin, calcium, omega-3 fish oil, vitamin D. There's no definitive evidence that omega-3 fish oil supplements or vitamin D supplements have any health benefits, so I'm eliminating them. Time to save some money and rid my nightstand of smelly useless pills!  I'm sure that I get enough vitamins and minerals from my food to stop taking the multi, but I'm not confident enough in the calcium distribution of my diet to stop with the calcium, though. Hmmm...
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We noticed yesterday that my work water bottle had yellow-green mold hanging around the bottom. :p Given that I haven't replaced it since last July [it's just a drug store water bottle with a squirt top], I decided to throw it out and get something else... This time my water bottle will be bigger and easier to clean...and I'll put a recurrent reminder in my Outlook calendar to clean out the bottle at least every month.

In GOOD news, the best bread in the state is made just diagonally across the street from my workplace at Great Harvest Bakery. I go there at least twice a week to stock up. They're very sneaky, in that they give out free slices of some of the day's creations. That's how they hook you... Since I became addicted last summer, I have tried many types of bread, including the following:

smoked Gouda and stout
pizza bread
nine grain
Gold Rush [a hearty bread with cornmeal]
Mountain Crunch [a sweet bread with gold and brown raisins and cranberries]
Popeye [has spinach]
cran apple orange
almond babke
brownie bread
challah
carrot cake cream cheese roll
spinach feta
apple cheddar
maple cinnamon chip
blueberry coffee cake
farmer's white
farmer's wheat
coconut almond tea bread
Mediterranean olive
green chili cheese
cinnamon swirl

They also make delicious BLT panini for lunch.

Confession

Jan. 6th, 2012 09:57 am
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There is nothing quite so pleasing as a newly filled gas tank, unless it is a newly filled larder!
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...Tabasco green pepper sauce makes almost everything better!!
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Got some [unfortunately plain-flavored :( ] Turkish delight today. Noodge had fun playing around the box. RealPukis are perfect for peeking out from behind things.Read more... )
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Verdict: Creamy, sweet, milky chocolate mixes well with chewy small bits of salty-sweet bacon. These flavors really complement each other, providing an overall depth of flavor that, while not sophisticated, is robust and pleasurable. It's not worth the ridiculously high price that I paid for it, but it is a very good bar. If someone else buys it, you should ask to try some squares.
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Verdict: Dark chocolate with an afterburn. The cinnamon and chilies combine to leave one's mouth pleasantly tingly and warm after eating. Other than that, it's a regular bar with the usual taste of dark chocolate overwhelming any tastes contributed by the cinnamon and chilies. Not worth the inflated price I paid.
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Verdict: Sweet, smooth milk chocolate blends with equally sweet and smooth cream filling with a sparky flavor from freeze-dried strawberries. The creaminess of the chocolate mixes well with the slightly lighter weight of the cream filling. This is a squishy, rich bar -- I could only eat half at once -- with a dominant, but complex, taste. The two sweetnesses together may be too much for some people, but I really liked it. This is delicious high-grade chocolate for a decent price. Buy it!
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I'm not a food connoisseur, but I like good food. I went to Cardullo's in Harvard Square today and returned with $mumble$ of specialty chocoate: two Ritter Sport milk chocolate bars with strawberry creme [favorably reviewed by all the candy blogs I was drooling over yesterday], a Vosges Red Fire Bar [ancho and chipotle chilies, cinnamon, 55% cacao] and a Vosges Mo's Bacon Bar [bacon, smoked salt, 45% cacao]. Here is a picture of my haul. Tasting reports later. Read more... )
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I baked a sweet potato this evening! I cut it into quarters and nuked it for 6 minutes. Then I put some margarine equivalent and sea salt on it, and it tasted good. I am pleased at my success.  Read more... )
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It makes sweets taste foamy and insubstantial in a bad way, and it makes my knees feel brittle. I much prefer my sweets with cane sugar, maple syrup, fruit juice and other sweeteners not made by torturing corn. That said, I do consume some HFCS, such as in today's candy bar [Milky Way], which, much like fast food, I immediately regretted eating after I finished the last bite. People in my cohort, class and income bracket can be so conditioned to consume junk food without thinking about it that we're sometimes startled when we realize, Hey, this tastes bad.
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Pictures of ingredients and results below. Note: I only used one of the containers of yogurt, but, even with all the rice, the glop was definitely gloppy and a bit on the runny side. I could probably cut the yogurt down to 2/3 of what I used. In any case, it's a mild, filling meal. It should last me at least 4, if not 5, lunches.Glop in full color below the cut! )

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Anyone who knows me knows that I can cook, but think it a waste of time. I am, however, perfectly willing to mix things up and assemble food. In fact, if I can put my major source of dinner in one bowl [e.g., bowl of pasta with veggies, bowl of salad, bowl of soup], I consider in a triumph. These tendencies inspire my cold chili glop, detailed below. Blah blah blah I like food blah blah. )
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There is a yummy concoction common to many countries in southwest Asia ["the Middle East"] and far northern Africa in which stewed tomatoes, sauteed onions, peppers and garlic are put on brown rice with loosely poached eggs on top. Andala Coffee House, right near my apartment, calls it shokshokeh, but the dish is also spelled shakshuka, chakchouka, etc. Since I first tasted shokshokeh at Andala, I will spell it Andala's way and tell you about Andala's ingredients.

Now shokshokeh is a recipe that varies depending on what you put in it. The only constants are eggs and tomatoes. The Andala version has stewed tomatoes, sauteed onions and garlic on top of fluffy brown rice. On top of the tomato sauce are two poached eggs seeping into the tomatoes [but not too much]. I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner because it's a good amount of food, neither too heavy nor too filling.

As I mentioned, recipes for shokshokeh vary. Here's one from Jewlicious that eschews onions. The one from MoTV calls for scrambled, not poached, eggs. The one from Mediterrasian.com has a lot of fiery red spices in it, but the version I have experience with is mild and savory. Maybe I will try to get the recipe from Andala!

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So Shakesville talked about a woman who was raving about her bracelet made out of pressed beet slices and copper. I therefore clicked over to Margaret Dorfman, who makes bowls and jewelry out of thin layers of dried fruits and vegetables, then presses them together to make delicate, translucent works of art. Look at the beet and starfruit bracelets! They are so vivid and yummy. They are making me hungry.
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I made up a delicious drink yesterday. The ingredients are plain seltzer water, raspberry syrup and frozen mangoes, in whatever quantities you desire. You can also use any type of fruit syrup for the Italian soda base and any type of frozen fruit for the ice cubes.

Basically you make an Italian soda by combining seltzer and syrup. Then use some frozen fruit for ice cube substitutes. You can pour some more syrup directly on the fruit for an interesting flavor. As you drink your Bloody Sunset, the seltzer will partly melt the fruit, making it edible by the time your Bloody Sunset has sunk to the bottom of the glass.

It looks kind of like blood and is therefore favored by silly vampires who are sick of drinking things at 98.6. Yummy! )

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A perennial favorite of mine, this scholarly study [with photos] documents Peeps wreaking small, fluffy havoc on Staley Library at Milliken University in Decatur, IL. I particularly like the expressions on the librarians' faces.
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Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies, also known as two gooey oatmeal cookies stuck together with sugar paste, are delicious. I think the soft, chewy texture appeals to me the most; I have a peculiar affinity for glutinous foods. They're like oatmeal cookie whoopie pies, but without overmuch whoopie.
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Verdict: A dense, moist, fluffy cake, substantial, but not as heavy as pound cake, this lightly flavored grapefruit cake is perfected with a grapefruit glaze that cuts the sweetness with a zippy bit of citrus flavor.

Recipe from Smitten Kitchen. Made by my wife!!  Picture by me. )
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...tastes like corrugated cardboard impregnated with glue.
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It's hard to add healthy amounts of fruit into your diet when the fruit is actively out to get you. One of my favorite bits from Eddie Izzard.
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An ad for "Spam Fiesta Peach Cups" in Family Circle, April, 1956, would have you think so. Even given some of the gloriously flamboyant casseroles of this period, this recipe still sounds like the half-baked brain fart of a desperate, hung-over promotions board hopped up on Vivarin.Read more... )

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In the spirit of The Gallery of Regrettable Foods, Wendy Mclure mocks revolting 1970s vintage Weight Watchers Technicolor recipe cards. Hilarious.

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Feministing links to a recent PETA  "demonstration" outside City Hall in Memphis during Vegetarian Week. With a mostly naked man and woman splattered in red paint and wrapped in plastic wrap on an 80 degree F + day, PETA is apparently demonstrating that inhumane, degrading treatment of non-human animals may not be okay, but inhumane, degrading treatment of people is perfectly fine. Mike Brown, photog for the Commercial Appeal, who photoed the event, agrees with me on the astounding levels of hypocrisy and sadism demonstrated in PETA's stupid, sexist tactics. Aforementioned photo is below the cut. Take the link about Mike Brown for complete context. I previously discussed objectification of women as meat here. 
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...I never thought I'd see them copping to it in an ad of theirs. Can you guess what the ad below [by Haye and Partner, Unterhaching, Germany, ganked from Ad Goodness] is selling? Frankly, my first guess was "shit sandwiches." Fossilized sandwiches? Coprolite sandwiches? Answer below ad.

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Once you get beyond the sheer gross-out factor of DYED and CANNED SAUERKRAUT, the character sketches of the pro-kraut women are hilarious.  

We've got Cousin Nina, an anorexic who is apparently channeling a stereotypical gay man. [She also moonlights as an Asian-stereotype dominatrix, Lady Lotus of the Orient.] We've got Aunt Sam, who combines nutritional nerdiness with a flamboyant past as a daring aviatrix. There's Sister Allison, whose obsession with dyeing kraut, giving the colors cutesy names and forcing other kids to do it suggests that she's a few leaves short of a cabbage head. [Her staring eyes provide a startlingly direct portal to the yawning abyss within.]  And there's Mama, whose mysteriously stunted growth reminds us that perhaps we shouldn't hit the kraut for EVERY SINGLE MEAL.

You could dye this stuff a reddish-pink and feed it to zombies in lieu of brains.

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