25 April 2008

Food Fiestas

I adore alliteration and assonance. Anywho!

So after finishing up three talks in two days and the shorter of the two papers that I need so desperately to graduate, I'm totally not in the mood to continue working... which is when I started scouring the food blogs everywhere. Oh the internets, how you provide me with ample reasons to never work.

So in my quest to not work, I read a recipe for dumplings and it got me to thinking. I'd really like to have a dumpling party at some point soon. I had been pushing for a tapas party for awhile, but everyone thought I said "topless". Ew. I don't, however, have a space to do this in yet. I will soon leave my apartment and I'm not about to throw a party at my house. Or, really, at my dad's house... because it doesn't feel like home anymore. ::insert almost quarter-life-garden-state-esque crisis here:: I think Colby and I found an apartment in Austin. It has washer/dryer hook ups, allows pets, has a DISHWASHER, and is far enough away from downtown such as it's not completely distracting. I could have my own place again in less than a month. It feels good.

22 April 2008

sigma pi sigma and lobster mashed potatoes

Today was the physics honor society induction which involved me shaking hands with the professor who, more than anyone else in my college career, wants me to fall off a cliff. Okay, maybe it's not that extreme. Regardless, it was awkwardtastic. Following the "induction ceremony", we all went to the State Room on campus and had "fancy dinner". After a quick glance over the menu, it became increasingly obvious that I was getting the walleye simply to try the lobster mashed potatoes. Also, duh, there was wilted spinach. The meal, though promising, was a bit disappointing. The spinach was a bit bitter and the breading on the fish was soggy, but the mashed potatoes were okay. They were a bit drier than one would hope and the lobster could have been better executed, but I guess I can't complain too much because it was free. So very very free.

And now I'm back in the office for a long night of preparing three talks in the next two days (one on beryllium, another on lithium, and a third on lithium + the Ising model of a ferromagnet). Also, there's that bit with the senior thesis and trying to ensure that I graduate.

21 April 2008

On why I find PETA as disgusting as they find meat...

It's currently 4:04 AM and in the physics building, there is a campus security guard sitting in front of a door to a lab with a clipboard where people sign in to get access to the lab. So when I say "physics building", I mean the Biomedical and Physical Science (BPS) building... I'm just mostly lazy and that building means physics to me, not biology labs where they do research on glaucoma. This time, however, the B in BPS isn't so easily dismissed when there's a security guard on the floor where my office is located on a Sunday night.

PETA decided that it would be cool to have a "March madness" for the worst vivisectors, or something and chose the glaucoma research led by a lab at MSU as the worst. The research is done on cats, which involves (at some point) removing their eyes (under anesthesia) and then euthanasia. Glaucoma is a disease which causes the optical nerve to die and can lead to blindness. It's one of those fun side effects for many people with diabetes. Anywho, this lab has received threats because of the PETA story and they need security there to ensure that no one's going to destroy their research. I guess they're working on restructuring the lab security so that they don't need to physically guard it.

How does this fit into a food blog? Good question. I think it's mostly another example of why I hate "evangelism" of any sort (so... not food). How does making threats give someone the moral high ground over someone who's humanely researching a disease that affects millions of people? Would it be cool if they didn't have to kill cats to do it? Yes. Would it be possible to study glaucoma in the same detail? Definitely not.

I'm about as liberal/hippie as one gets; I believe in universal health care, that guns should be outlawed, and that capitalism is a terrible, terrible ism. However, I am also a human being and believe that the main goal of *any* species should be to ensure the propagation of the species. If we are to say that people are animals too, shouldn't we be doing what we can to make sure that things are better for us? I don't believe that we should kill for the hell of it, but I don't think that doing research to better the lives of millions of people and to find a way to prevent the number two leading cause of blindness is a bad thing.

PETA has recently put out a new initiative to award the group that comes up with a way to grow meat in a test tube. But is this really the best course of action for humans? There's a reason why some of our teeth are sharp and some of them aren't. People aren't meant to be herbivores, they're meant to be omnivores. How does one ensure that this is safe? Also, seriously, who wants to eat this stuff?

So that paper... that I have due soon. I should maybe work on that. Oops.

19 April 2008

tacos + jurassic park

The scores of people milling around campus should make me feel incredibly jealous. Should being the key operative word because who could be jealous of people outside where it's warm and sunny when I'm in the physics building on a Saturday working on a group project about lithium abundances in stars. Oh wait... I suppose the *amazing* slurpee I'm currently consuming can ease the blatant jealousy. Maybe. Fun fact: apparently, the state of Michigan consumes more slurpees in the month of January than California does all year. I'm not sure if I believe that, but some hipster kid told me that on a date once in high school.

We made tacos last night. I say "we" because the only thing that freaks me out more than raw, ground meat is fire. And grease+heat == fire returns true. Colby was draining the pan of the grease and he sort of spilled some on one of the burners. Scary! Oh well. At least it wasn't like that one time I tried making elephant ears in my apartment. How many ways can you say mistake?

I tried making "Mexican rice" (good lord, that sounds vaguely racist), but it didn't turn out so well. Mostly I added salsa and corn to the water and it kind of sort of flavored it. I added half a squeeze of lime as a last ditch effort, so whatever. I'm not too heartbroken over it, though. I guess I'll try again next time, though it probably won't be in this apartment. *sniffles* Actually, no, not sniffles, this kitchen sucks, I have half a refrigerator, and it gets to be like 5777 K in my apartment when I use the oven... so screw you DTN, I'm moving to Texas!

Okay. Yeah, so tonight is curry soup because I need to clean out my pantry and use that potato before it rots. Also the chicken. Also, what does one do with leftover taco meat besides make more tacos? We already made "omelets".

17 April 2008

Una tasa de cafe

Coffee from Sparty's is an abomination to taste buds everywhere.

Also, is it wrong to want to seduce people with food? I guess at this point, I mostly appease Colby with chocolate when he's grumpy, but I want to be good enough to seduce. I feel like if I had worked more at baking well, this skill might have come to me by now. Instead, I wanted to focus on cooking and for the most part, it's edible and fit for consumption. le sigh. I suppose I could try serving foods that have been traditionally known as aphrodisiacs, but I don't like oysters. This could be because my dad has always called them "snots on the half shell." This also may explain why I hate pimento stuffed green olives (which were deemed as "monkey eyes"... ass.) I am very highly caffeinated at this point, because, even as disgusting as Sparty's can be, it's not nearly disgusting enough for me to believe that I can actually stay awake and write a paper on rotationally induced slow mixing in F and G disk stars. Or at least, part of a paper.

In sad news, I will just miss the Okemos farmers' market. I'm kind of way sad about that because I <3 farmers' markets because you seriously can't beat the produce. Oh well. Also, I'm totally looking forward to having (I hope) year-round farmers' markets in Austin. Also, there are apparently TWO Whole Foods in Austin! Yay organic! In other someone related news, I was called a yuppie today.

and finally, story of my life, minus the Poe.


I just ate blue box. I'm kind of ashamed, but in my defense, I did mix in chipotle salsa. Also, in my defense, I'm now experiencing extreme acid reflux, so maybe I've learned my lesson.

16 April 2008

Dolsot Bibimbap

I should figure out twitter. Also, I should probably be sleeping, but it's kind of hard after all that iced tea. I have this incredible weakness for AriZona Iced Tea because it's essentially an Arnold Palmer, what with all the sugar and lemon. Note: sweet tea is gross; this is not sweet tea.

So it's been decided that this is going to become a ~personal~ blog as well, because... why not? Mostly about food though. I had dinner at Charlie Kang's last night. This isn't new or different, except it should be stated that though I love gochuchang as much as the next person, it does not feel good going through my sinuses. I have a horrible, disgusting story for those so inclined. I bet you aren't.

We're visiting Austin in May so we can scout out housing for June. I'm putting in an application to live in university housing as well. This is all rather frightening and adult of me. As much as I've become "independent" in college, moving away like this is far different. Maybe this is why I've stalled on all things pertaining to me getting the hell out of here...

12 April 2008

Stuffed Shells

Finally, a recipe! After the ravioli fiasco (oh yeah, they definitely didn't turn out that well. Sadness... and I have all these left over wontons. What to do? What to do?), I wanted to do some sort of stuffed pasta right, so I opted for jumbo shells stuffed with ricotta cheese.

4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 c mushrooms chopped
fresh basil
10 oz? ricotta
8 oz shells?

I've stopped following recipes. I took minced garlic and mushrooms and sauteed them in butter and olive oil with a little bit of salt. When they were almost done, I added some finely chopped basil and then incorporated this into the ricotta which I then put into the shells which I then covered with (gasp!) jarred tomato sauce added some mozzarella and parm over top and then baked at 375 for 15 minutes. Serve over wilted spinach and w00t. The sauce that I used was terrible. So next time I'm not going to dick around with that. I have about 5 oz of ricotta left and I'm not sure what to do with it. I was thinking about something along the lines of a berry dessert.

10 April 2008

Spring Cleaning

I've come to the point of no return with my kitchen where I'm beginning to use up certain items and not replace them. I just used up my last bottle of stir-fry sauce. It was, however, a tasty tasty meal that converted well into a single bowl dinner for Colby and me complete with the Sports Night DVDs that I got for my birthday. Muy excelente!

My dad put down a down payment for the hall for the wedding. It's exciting. I'm a little bummed that I didn't get to try out caterers, but I guess it'll be okay. I'm just looking forward to getting a new, bigger, better kitchen in Texas. I think. Maybe South Carolina. Not sure, but either way, I hope to have a stand mixer by the end of the year. woo hoo wedding registries.

08 April 2008

why I shouldn't go grocery shopping whilst hungry or stressed

I can't control food purchases. I can only control my nail polish-buying slightly better... which is why I walked out of Meijer without the four dollar bottle of Sally Hansen, but was armed with baby corn, blackberries, and ricotta. *However* I intend to make Thai-something-curry soup with chicken, potatoes, and other stuff; stuffed shells with ricotta+garlic+basil+mushrooms atop a bed of wilted spinach?; and stir-fry with lots of baby corn, broccoli, mushrooms! Go me. We'll see how much of this I actually cook before it all rots. I forgot the mozzarella!!

I need to make corn bread again soon. I think it's draining my soul.

02 April 2008

This has no recipe, but thought I should share

I made the "alfredo" sauce, which turned out really well. Added some broccoli as well. Yummy! Also it definitely was a one bowl meal which is for sure my favorite kind. :) I hope that we're not one of those couples that make people sick to watch. Anywho:

(01:10:40 AM) Julie: I am the master of cooking things I can't eat.
(01:10:47 AM) Chris: :)
(01:10:50 AM) Julie: oh my god
(01:10:51 AM) Chris: what did you make?
(01:10:52 AM) Julie: so much pain.
(01:10:58 AM) Julie: like an alfredo sauce
(01:11:10 AM) Chris: yeah, that is like the very definition of "Not for you"
(01:11:42 AM) Julie: which was 1 c cream, 1/2 c whole milk, camembert, mozzarella, a bit of parm, some s+p and garlic
(01:12:26 AM) Chris: wow...so the s+p+garlic then?
(01:12:29 AM) Chris: parm is probably ok
(01:12:39 AM) Chris: but milk/cream/soft cheese/soft cheese?
(01:12:43 AM) Julie: lol
(01:12:43 AM) Julie: yes
(01:13:05 AM) Chris: it's like you're new at this
(01:13:20 AM) Julie: but it was *so tasty*