30 June 2008

There's no use crying over spilt milk... but spilt coffee is an entirely different matter.

I'm actively attempting to convince myself that this Seattle's Best coffee doesn't taste horrible if I pour it into my own coffee cup, which was prematurely emptied by this terrible force known as "gravity".

27 June 2008

Pandora just picked "sunny came home" also, "Greek" salads and wedding dresses

I woke up at the crack of dawn (8:15) to spend 45 minutes to get to work for a skype conversation that never happened. Oh well. This meant that I got to have *real* pop for the first time in weeks. Yes, I find it necessary to self-congratulate with high-fructose corn syrup and carbonated water. The other real reason for coming into the office today when I could have been otherwise sleeping is the promise of free food stolen from the honors-type undergraduate association for the college of natural science at the University of Texas. I find it a bit scary how quickly my life is approaching PhD comics.

This Saturday will be four weeks in Texas. It still hasn't really sunk in that I've moved halfway across the country for at least the next five years of my life. It also hasn't sunk that I'm getting married in less than six months, but I've finally got my dress and veil. That was a bit of a relief. Thankfully, most things are coming together. My friend Chris is coming to visit on Wednesday and Colby has a job interview later that day. I suspect that there will be much tasty food making in the upcoming couple weeks. :) We've been cooking almost every night, so we've made a few things that I haven't really updated with yet including abomination pie, oatmeal cookies that weren't really noteworthy, and a host of other things that may or may not get mentioned later

Orzo Salad

1 lb box orzo
chicken stock
2 small tomatoes, deseeded and diced
1/4 medium red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 tbs olive oil
3 tbs lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp dried oregano
3 tbs roasted red pepper, diced
1/3 c crumbled feta cheese

Boil ozro in a combination of half water and half chicken stock. drain, save some liquid for thinning. combine lemon juice, lemon zest, 4 tbs olive oil, oregano, and salt+pepper to taste. Add 1 tbs olive oil to orzo and combine dressing and everything else.

This turned out to taste mostly the way I expected. It was way too salty the first day, but after it sat in the refrigerator for awhile it was pretty good.

20 June 2008

Monkeying Around

So I've been meaning to post, but every time I start, I get interrupted. I guess that's not a horrible thing and up until the past couple days, I've been productive at work (which is unusual for me). In an effort to accept the fact that we are dirt poor, Colby and I have effectively stopped eating out and we've been cooking a lot. I've done some experimenting with deglazing pans. Also, I accidentally made monkey bread which is partially the result of an argument. At least our fights are productive.

Here are some mostly unconnected thoughts in my head, linked only by the fact that they fall under the category of confessions:

I'm secretly a Martha fan

I tell everyone blue is my favorite color, but it's clearly pink

I used to love Sunny D. A lot.

My favorite chip dip is cottage cheese with a bit of black pepper.

I hate sci-fi, but like parts of "fantasy" (and by parts, I mean His Dark Materials and Neil Gaiman)

"Monkey" Bread

2.5 c flour
2 tsp sugar
1.25 tsp baking powder
.5 tsp baking soda
.5 tsp salt
1.25 c milk
1.25 tsp lemon juice
2 tbs melted butter

.25 c sugar
.75 c brown sugar
2 tbs melted butter
2 tsp cinnamon

start with the intention of making cinnamon rolls and proceed with the filling and mix mix mix. Then get into a fight which involves him sulking to the couch and you improperly making a buttermilk substitution. whisk together the dry ingredients for the dough bit and then more sulking. gently fold in the milk that has had the lemon juice in it for like 5 minutes (which makes it "thicker", but not thick enough to save your intended cinnamon rolls from the fight). fold in the sugar mix and dump into a pan. Bake at 425 for some indeterminate amount of time, but if i were you, I'd start checking in like 15 minutes.

Tomorrow we're (Colby+Kyle+me) going to the farmers market to get tomatoes and mushrooms and maybe some breakfast and then after that, we're going to Barton Springs (which is super cold and we haven't told Colby who doesn't do "cold". TEE HEE HEE). I almost got some heirloom tomatoes at the supermarket, but I decided that I didn't *need* them. Tomorrow looks like it might be a greek orzo salad that I've been envisioning for weeks on end.

09 June 2008


The essence of certain dishes is patience. These are not ideal for me. Also, we got the internets today! Yay internets! More on goulash later, though (i.e. expect an edit on this later). I'm preparing myself for a washer/dryer set tomorrow. Onto discount shopping, for now.


that probably looks way cuter in ascii.

So, back from the discount (but NOT Evil-Mart) shopping, I've acquired laundry materials, a coffee maker, and coffee from Caribou!! The coffee was, sadly, not discounted, but it's still going to be super tasty (and probably a big regret when I'm totally wired after drinking it!)

Dinner tonight was a feeble attempt at my Dad's goulash, which was just given to me in email form like... about 45 seconds ago:

Gram K would be proud of you, that was one of her standard dishes. We had it home, we had it at Barton City, we had it at the campground in Tawas when I was a kid. My recipe is 1lb sirloin hamburg chopped and browned with fine-cut onions, 2 cups macaroni noodles slightly undercooked (like 20% reduction in recommended time), 1 large can diced stewed tomatos, 1 small can sliced mushrooms, 5 1/2" thick slices of Velveeta cheese. Brown burger with onions, drain. Add tomatos, mushrooms, macaroni and Velveeta on lowest heat, cover, stir occasionally until Velveeta melts into a thin sauce, serve hot, salt and pepper to taste...

my version was slightly different:

2 medium portabella mushroom caps, roughly chopped
1/2 onion chopped
3/4 lb ground chuck
1 sm can diced tomatoes
2 tbs flour
2 tbs butter
3/4 c milk
handfuls of cheese
olive oil
chili powder/paprika/oregano/garlic salt/onion powder

sautee onions and mushrooms... and by "sautee", I mean turn on the wrong burner and wonder why the hell the pan isn't getting hot. Then sautee. Add in the GB and then after it browns, drain some of the fat (because, yuck) and then add in the tomatoes. In a different pot, make a roux (butter+flour+salt...+milk) add cheese after it thickens and then add the cheese to the pot. Then taste it and be all like.. hm.. this is missing something and add in the spices at random.

Also, Jon and Kate plus 8 is like a ridiculously adorable show and makes me want my future hapa babies like.. yesterday.

Risotto Part II

There might not have been a post about part one. This isn't actually part two; I think there may have been about five attempts, mostly with different recipes, but "part II" sounds better than "Part VII, I think," therefore this is entitled "Part II."

I haven't been keeping up with blogs, let alone writing one. This is mainly due to the fact that the only place that I have internet access is where I'm supposed to be continuing on in the extraction of my echelle spectra in IRAF, which is a horribly painful procedure that, surprisingly, a large percentage of people that read this know what I'm talking about. Yay for astronomy friends! Colby and I have mostly settled in, what with the furniture. The office is yet unfurnished, with the exception of a hutch that's supposed to be resting on a desk; however, the desk is currently in use as our dining room table. Who else has a dining room table with a special drawer for a keyboard? Oh, that's right... no one! That's because we're super cool (and by "cool", I mean "poor"...)!

Anywho, my new favorite method of making risotto:

2 c arborio rice
28 oz (2 cans) chicken stock
1/3 c white wine
2 tbs butter
2 cloves of garlic crushed (ooh, guess what, Kyle? You can't actually use your abomination here)
s+p to taste

heat the chicken stock in a pot with the crushed garlic cloves. different pan: melt butter, add in rice... let it cook until it looks toasted. Add in wine; stir til absorbed. add in the chicken stock like a half cup or so at a time, stirring until absorbed. Keep doing this forever, but don't put the garlic in. After it's all creamy and stuff take out the garlic (which should be super soft by now) and then mash it and mix it into the risotto. And then add lots of vegetables which neither Colby nor Kyle will eat. And by "lots of vegetables", i mean summer squash that's been boiled, tomatoes and spinach which is wilted in. Also, I added like two handfuls of parm. cheese at the end, along with some dried parsley and fresh basil. s+p. w00t.

See? It's a real recipe. Go me!

04 June 2008


It's extremely possible to drive from Michigan to Texas in one day; however, it's extremely unpleasant to do so. Colby and I left Stockbridge, MI at 5:00 AM on Friday morning and arrived in New Boston, TX at 10:00 PM, a mere eighteen hours on the road later. (No, that's not a miscalculation: Texas is on central time.) We got up bright and early the next day to finish the trip. I got to drive from Dallas to Austin, which was only slightly terrifying. I only thought we were going to die about 10% of the time, though, so that's a plus.

Since then, we've acquired an apartment (okay, we sort of had that one in the bag), a couch, television (like the last CRT TV available in all of Texas), washer/dryer set, a rice cooker, and a new-found independence that's really frickin' weird. I'd describe it if I could, but it's almost straight from that pool scene in Garden State (when your home is not really your home), but different. I guess this is the beginning of the terrible ordeal known as "growing up".

The kitchen in my new apartment isn't by any means spectacular, but it's a major upgrade from my old apartment. I've finally got counter space. It's amazing how much simpler everything becomes when there is room to work. The inaugural meal was stir-fry with rice noodles and after that we've been good about trying to cook every day and whatnot.

The other night, Kyle came over and we had mustard chicken with pasta dish, which went as such:

marinate chicken (aka let it thaw in the fridge) in spicy brown mustard+olive oil+honey+lemon juice mixture with some salt and pepper. It should probably be 2:1:1:1, but that's mostly a guess on my part. Pan fry. Eat. The pasta sauce was just a roux with cheese+sauteed mushrooms, garlic, s+p which was poured over 1/2 lb of penne with some steamed broccoli. Yay for fake attempts at being healthy!

Today, we're going to the farmer's market in Triangle Park and later on, I'm making dinner. I'm thinking risotto with tomatoes, spinach, and yellow squash, with fresh corn. Yay summer!