31 October 2009

NaBloPoMo: November 2009

Sometimes the best lunches are the simplest. Today is kimchi ramen with a poached egg atop. So delicious and so easy. All I had to do was tell my husband what I wanted for lunch and it appeared 10 minutes later. :)

I think that I'm going to try to do NaBloPoMo for November. I've tried to do it many times before, but I always fell short sometime mid-month, but this will give me a reason to blog for a bit, at least.

30 October 2009


My shameful foodie confession for the day is that sometimes i like really (and I mean *really*) mediocre food when I'm stressed. I had a committee meeting today which I thought I was totally going to rock, but ended up sounding like I hadn't done anything and didn't know what the hell I was doing. It was pretty much awesome and didn't make me want to quit astronomy to be a hobo at all (sarcasm). So to celebrate, Colby and I hit up Luby's, the Texas version of... well, I've never quite been to any place like it. It's basically a cafeteria with sit-down looking seating with real waiters who offer to get you free refills and salad dressing.

In all, it wasn't half bad and it was much better than the cafeterias at Michigan State. Then again, people who go to MSU get the freshman -15 because the food is so bad. I'm pretty sure, though, that the next time I go there will be when I'm 75 because the place seems pretty geared up for old people because the food is all soft and easy on the dentures and there's a drive way next to the door that allows you to drop off Grandpa right near the start.

28 October 2009


okay, so i've been absent lately. I blame this on getting pretty sick last week and on the stresses that are involved with moving, taking tests, and trying to dedicate my life to something that I really hate at the moment. Since I'm not going to post anything of substance until after my interstellar medium test, I'll leave you with amusing tidbits daily:

(12:58:45 AM) Chris: I need to eat dinner
(12:58:51 AM) Chris: also: decide what I want for dinner
(12:59:22 AM) julie: turkey sandwich with brie, field greens, fig spread, red onions, roasted tomatoes, and balsamic vinegar
(12:59:35 AM) Chris: yeah, my life isn't cool like that

12 October 2009

Fakemosas: What to do When Your Shortening Smells Like Freezer Burn

We've been getting dim sum a whole lot lately. There's a great place on the weekend called Chinatown-Mopac which serves it on Saturday and Sunday and is located above Musashino, my favorite sushi place in Austin. My fervor for dumplings (and dumplingesque items) was so great that one night I went to HEB and got frozen spring rolls, samosas, and chicken potstickers from HEB. It was a lot cheaper than getting dim sum from Chinatown-Mopac, but it was a lot less satisfying.

I decided that I wanted to make my own dumplings and with the tip from April from The Hungry Engineer, bought Asian Dumplings by Andrea Nguyen. I've made three different dumplings from the book so far and they've all been fantastic. The first two were very true to the original recipe, but the samosas are a bastardization of her awesome book. I'm definitely going to try to make samosas the proper way, but discovered that the shortening I had on hand (which is required for making the dough) smelled like it had been sitting in my freezer unsealed for 3 months (because it had), so that just wouldn't work and Colby was sick of running to the grocery store. Since I had the mix already made (because I'm nothing if not disorganized), I decided to use wonton skins instead because it seemed like a better idea than throwing away a bunch of potatoes. The results were pretty good, but I know that the recipe in the book will be far better and much more rewarding. I'll take it as a lesson in learning to get organized, but for now, here's a recipe for fake samosas for the cluttered at heart.

Adapted from Asian Dumplings by Andrea Nguyen

2 medium sized Yukon Gold potatoes (~10 oz)
1 1/2 T canola oil
1/4 c fresh (or frozen and thawed) peas
1/4 c finely chopped onion
1 tsp minced ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garam masala

wonton wrappers
canola oil for frying

boil the potatoes in water until they are easily pierced with a fork. let cool and peel the skins. cube into 1 cm pieces. In a frying pan, heat 1 1/2 T canola oil. Add in the garam masala, coriander, and cumin until fragrant. Add in the potatoes, onion, peas, ginger, and salt and fry until the onions are wilted and the entire mixture is warmed. Remove from pan and then let the mixture cool.

Place a rounded tsp of the potato mixture into each wonton. I'm not a good person to ask about how to do this, but I'll try to explain how to do this through pictures:
Fill a small pot of oil about 1.5-2 in deep and heat it until the temperature reaches ~340 F. Place the samosas in a couple at a time. Cook until they are golden brown on both sides, flipping midway through. This should take around a minute, but watch the samosas closely and make sure that your oil is hot enough (but not too hot.)

Place fresh samosas on paper towel to soak up the oil. Let cool and then enjoy the fruits of your labor!

07 October 2009

High Altitude Ground Beef Sandwich

So I haven't posted anything lately, because I haven't really made anything new or exciting. As per usual, I blame this on school. In the past month or so, I've proctored and graded 3 exams in addition to taking my own, being in class, and trying to get a research project done. This makes me want to not do anything except sleep and zone out in front of my TV. (Monday nights = best night of television, by the way. Lie to Me, Castle, and How I Met Your Mother make for a great way to start the week and actually have my looking forward to Mondays.) Needless to say, we've been eating out a lot and tonight we finally went to Elevation Burger.

I'm sort of surprised that it took us this long to try it out considering its premise: grass fed beef and natural ingredients. It's a similar concept to Terra Burger, but they claim to use organic or natural, as opposed to grass fed beef. Colby got the Elevation Burger, which is two patties + two large pieces of cheese and I got the cheeseburger because I'm a one patty, one slice sort of girl along with a side of fries. For the two of us it ended up being a little under $18, which isn't bad, but is sort of pricey for burgers+fries. It's sort of par for the course for what I've deemed (in my head) the upscale fast food places (like Five Guys).

I found the burger to be incredibly salty. If it weren't for the cheese and bun, the patty would have been inedible. Colby thought it was salty as well, but he couldn't tell if it was the burger or the cheese. Aside from the saltiness, I actually enjoyed the burger as a whole: bun+cheese+patty+ketchup, but it wasn't the best I've had. I'd place it between Five Guys and Terra Burger in taste, but the grass fed meat definitely gives it an edge over Five Guys.

The fries are another story. Colby thought they were too salty, but I didn't mind that as much as I minded how mushy they were. The fries are a little larger than the ones at Steak'n'Shake with the texture of the fries at Wendy's after they get a little cold and mushy. I could write a whole post on my favorite fries, but I'll save that for another day. In all, they weren't inedible, but they weren't very good either.

I think that we'll probably end up here at some point in the future. We ended up being the last customers in the store (oops), so maybe the incredible saltiness was a fluke.