28 November 2009

I watch... Glee. :(

I resisted for 11 episodes, but I finally caved over Thanksgiving... :( Yes, I'm watching Glee.

It's sort of like Freaks and Geeks minus good writing and likeable characters + music.

And in other news, my in-laws have left, my Thanksgiving dinner went really well, and I'm super looking forward to the end of the semester. :)

25 November 2009

last vanilla ice cream recipe that you'll ever need

Sometimes the simplest things are the best. Like seriously. Not joking.

Best Vanilla Ice Cream like evAr:

1 can evaporated milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1.25 c cream
vanilla bean, split and scraped

heat evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla bean on medium heat, stirring constantly, until it simmers. Remove from heat and in a separate container, add cream. Stir together. Place in the fridge overnight to chill. Remove vanilla bean (and rinse and add to a sugar jar) and strain. Place in your favorite ice cream maker.

24 November 2009

I am (not) thankful for stellar seminar

Operation mise en place is in place. I've decided to prep things this time, instead of measuring everything out at the last minute. It turns out that being prepared makes things go more smoothly. Who'dathunkit? So far I have the brine mix (minus the liquids), tarte tatin dry goods, and pumpkin pie filling and crust stuffs ready. Colby's currently hacking through a loaf of sourdough bread for the stuffing and I'm cramming information in my brain to make sure that I don't sound stupid when I give my talk tomorrow.

"What talk?" you ask. Well, see, I'm a genius and forgot that Thanksgiving came at the end of November and decided that it was a good time to give a talk. I'll be giving a 30 minute presentation on isotopic lithium abundances in metal-poor stars. Since you're all on the edge of your seat about it, I'll tell you the punch line: lithium-6 is SUPER hard to observe and unless you're the world's most careful scientist, or a liar, you haven't seen it in the sense where you have a legitimate detection.

23 November 2009


I've sort of given up on NaBloPoMo... although this technically extends my streak. This week I have to present at Stellar Seminar, make a Thanksgiving dinner for the in laws and resist the urge to run screaming from my own house.

22 November 2009

Iron Chef America

I sort of hate Iron Chef America. Shh. I know that I'm supposed to be obsessed, but I can't stand Bobby Flay and the best one (besides Morimoto, who is sort of a sell out) left awhile ago. That would be Mario Batali. Alton Brown is quite possibly the only reason why it's tolerable.

21 November 2009

Thanksgiving Menu!

This is mostly for my own benefit... and it doubles as a post. Sweet.

butternut squash soup
some sort of salad


sausage and wild mushroom stuffing
roasted brussels sprouts
green bean casserole
mashed potatoes


tarte tatin
pumpkin pie

20 November 2009


I'm going to go to karaoke tonight... sober. This should be interesting. Maybe I'm not done with alcohol forever and always anymore?

Madras Pavilion

I ate myself into a food coma last night. Madras Pavilion is way too tasty for its own good which is why I spent 10 hours having cracked out dreams (instead of like 4 hours).

We started the meal with mulligatawny soup, which is lentil based. Very good and actually sort of filling. We followed with amazing samosas which were served with some sort of herb chutney (I think it had to have cilantro and mint) and some sort of spicy Indian bbq sauce. After that was the dosai which are giant crepes with a spicy potato and pea filling served with an amazing coconut dipping sauce and some sort of smoky tomato sauce that's almost more like a chili without, you know, meat because MP is a vegetarian place and apparently also kosher. And after all that they bring out the entree which consists of saag paneer (creamed spinach), lentil daal, and chana masala (think chicken tikka masala, except with chick peas instead of chicks) accompanied with rice that had been cooled with veggies and saffron as well as raita, "pickles" and naan. Dessert shows up and it's rasmali and it's too good for words.

I guess this will be a double post sort of day to make up for my sleep. :)

18 November 2009

Assorted thoughts

For dinner I heated up some leftover chicken and made couscous stuffed red bell peppers. It was pretty good and Colby ate like 2 cups of couscous because Colby:carbs::black holes:matter. I'm also in the middle of making a crustless quiche and sipping on homemade hot chcocolate. I'm also not the least bit motivated to post recipes, so I thought I'd share links to things that I think are noteworthy.

First and foremost, I've mentioned on twitter that Aiming Low is one of my favorite blogs. It's funny and relatable and gives me something to read on the bus... or, you know, anywhere I have my phone. In the past two days, the founder of the blog, Anissa Mayhew suffered a massive stroke and is in the ICU. The writers at Aiming Low have started a page to keep updates on her condition and started a way to send help, but mostly are asking people to keep them in their thoughts/prayers(if you're into that sort of thing). Most people who read this blog probably don't read Aiming Low, but I wanted to share this not just because I'm a fan of the site, but because I sort of understand what their family is going through.

On a lighter note, The Delicious Life is posting a lot again (yay!) and has compiled a list of assorted recipes from Thomas Keller's book Bouchon.

And now thanks to Chris, my new favorite blog is On Becoming a Laboratory and Domestic Goddess, written by "Dr. Isis". She's funny and has an awesome taste in shoes and is a must read for all you female scientists out there. (Do I know my audience or what? Hello people from the astronomy department! ;) )

And finally, here's a visualization of the risks associated with the HPV vaccine. Seriously, you should probably get it if you're female, single, and plan to be sexually active between now and t = infinity.

17 November 2009

Miso Glazed Salmon

I've been chronicling what I've been eating for about a week now. I told a few people about it (so, like... Colby), but it's sort of embarrassing how much I eat. I guess I understand now why I've gained so much weight. It's easy to blame it on school and stress, but in reality, I've mostly just let myself go because I'm lazy. I'm taking the opportunity now to refocus my energies in getting healthier by eating less and exercising more. I'm definitely not going to turn this into my personal diet journal (because that's what my super secret livejournal from high school that has since been deleted was all about), but I'll share insights into how much it sort of sucks and what I'm eating (since that's really what matters on a food blog).

Dinner tonight consisted of an awesome salad (if I do say so myself), leftover gnocchi, and miso glazed salmon

miso glazed salmon in parchment

2 salmon filets
1.5 T miso paste
2 T brown sugar
1 T hot water
1 T soy sauce
1 small clove garlic, grated
1/2 tsp grated ginger
salt + sichuan pepper
olive oil
parchment paper

set oven to 400. Whisk together miso paste, water, brown sugar, soy sauce, grated garlic, and grated ginger to combine. Drizzle salmon filets lightly with olive oil, only to coat. Season with salt and sichuan pepper on all sides and coat with about 1/2 of the glaze (save the rest to dip in the salmon). Place the salmon in parchment and crimp closed. Place in a baking dish and cook for ~20 minutes, or until the salmon is 145 deg in the middle.

You could also just use cooking spray instead of olive oil, but I hate cooking spray like... a lot. Also, black pepper for sichuan pepper is also fair game.

We got our (wild caught) salmon from Costco on our (yuppie) shopping day. Unsurprisingly, the pieces are freaking huge, so I only ate half. Thankfully, Colby liked the recipe and ate the rest of mine as well. :)

16 November 2009


Since I'm tired, here's a picture I drew for Chris

15 November 2009

yupping out.

Real Estate Intervention is kind of a depressing show. It makes me scared for when we have to sell our house, but that's not going to be for some time. Right now, we're finishing up fixes to the paint job and furnishing the rest of the rooms. We had a rather yuptastic afternoon, starting with bamboo bathroom accessories from Crate & Barrel, a quick trip to Verizon to fix the trackball in my BlackBerry, a stop a Nordstrom Rack (which is *awesome*) and then finally a tour of Costco where I was taunted with hordes of ridiculously cute little kids.

I guess I don't have too much to say. I roasted a chicken. It was tasty, but I'm not done tinkering with the recipe. Also, roasting chicken scares the bejesus out of me because I'm never sure if I'm giving myself salmonella. Hopefully I'll figure it out before I make a huge mistake and end up in the ER.

14 November 2009

Gnocchi... gnuff said.

There's a giant wad of potato yumminess in the bottom of my tummy. I'm pretty sure that I don't have to eat for the next three days and I'll be fine. We had a couple of the people who helped us move over for dinner and I made gnocchi from scratch. It was really freaking good, but I'm super full. It was also pretty simple.

4 lbs potatoes
3-ish c all purpose flour
2 eggs
1 t kosher salt

Boil the potatoes and let them cool enough to handle. Remove the skins and rice the potatoes into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Gently sprinkle/fold about 2.5 c of the flour into the potatoes. It's really important to not overwork the dough. Gently break the yolks of the eggs and pour into the center of the potato bowl. Knead the dough until it comes together, adding in the rest of the flour if it's needed. In my case, I needed all 3 c because the potatoes were a little bit wet from being a bit overboiled.

Grab a baseball sized amount of dough and place on a well floured surface. Roll into a long skinny tube and cut into individual pieces. You can smash each piece a bit with a fork to get the "grooved" look of gnocchi (and also so that sauce has a place to go). Boil the gnocchi for ~1 minute or so. The pieces should float to the top. Nom nom nom.

13 November 2009

IKEA hijinks

IKEA has a lot of our money. Things we have from IKEA: this desk I'm sitting at, the accompanying drawer set, random kitchen implements, couch, dining table, chairs, bench, about 3 or so of those little LACK tables... the list goes on. In order to celebrate our new house, we went there tonight... and by "we went" I mean that I was driving and Colby had no choice. Mostly, we moved from a cramped 2 BR/1 bath apartment (and by cramped I mean that we had way too much shit) to a house that was over twice as large so we needed to fill some space. 2 hours later, we came back with a futon chair for the office, 2 bar stools for the kitchen island, another chair for the dining table, a couple garbage cans, closet organizers, and tummies filled with Swedish meatballs and lingonberry jelly.

So... since we had dinner at IKEA, I didn't really eat the pumpkin gnocchi that I made... which is sort of good because I just tried one and it wasn't very good. It turns out that whole wheat flour tastes like bitter ass... which is why little kids like white bread so much. I told myself that I was trying to healthy up the pasta, but in reality, the whole wheat flour that I have is going to expire in the next 6 days... which probably tells me that buying it in the first place was a mistake, but instead of listening to that instinct, i'm just going to try to sneak whole wheat flour into as much stuff as possible. :)

p.s. real post tomorrow. making gnocchi for realz without the pumpkin, whole wheat flour, and ickiness.

12 November 2009

Musashino is Japanese for yummy

The closest that I've come to preparing food today was either when I washed the apple I ate at 10 am or when I almost set my office on fire when I microwaved my soup for too long. Dinner at Musashino was holy crap amazing, but also crazy expensive. Oops. Oh well, sushi should probably be one of those things you splurge on because cheap sushi makes for terrible nights.

so basically, I'm phoning this entry in because I'm supposed today and I'd really just like to hit the sack.

11 November 2009

at least it's a post.

Things I almost forgot to do today:

charge my iPod
change the load of laundry
post to the blog

All of these would be tragic, if forgotten. See, if I didn't have my iPod, I pretty much would get no work done. Also, I wouldn't have a white noise generator to take naps. It turns out that the new nanos have a radio feature and you can pick which region you want to listen to. I picked Japan and listened to static for a blissful 30 minutes while I slept in my office under the cover of Colby's hoodie. I only awoke when my butt totally fell asleep, which is ironic, I suppose.

I've been trying to be good about doing the laundry as well, but usually I put in a load, forget it's there, re-wash it a day later. repeat. about 3 more times. This would have been unusually bad this time, though, because our crazy awesome 1000-thread count sheets were in there and I'd really like to sleep on them again free of both dirt and mold.

finally, I'm surprised that I've been able to post every day, considering the move and all the stuff that's going on at school. it's okay, though, because I remembered before I hit the sack... because now I'm old and can't stay up past midnight.

and since this is a food blog, today we ate "mustard chicken", which is something that Colby makes. I should get him to write a "guest post" (so I don't have to write 30 posts in a month) about it. We also had more of the butternut squash soup and I made this pumpkin bread, with a few tweaks. I'm not totally happy with it, so no posts on that... yet.

10 November 2009

Thai-inspired butternut squash soup

I've been experimenting with butternut squash soup because I want to serve it as part of Thanksgiving dinner. I should probably decide soon enough because Colby's getting sick of it and Thxgvg is just around the corner with the added pressure of Colby's immediate family joining us for dinner. {begin rant} It was pretty awesome... they invited themselves at the last minute after I told everyone in the astronomy department that I would host the department's Thanksgiving party. Colby, being unable to control himself, was totally cool with the idea of his entire family showing up and so then I had to cancel the party because my crazy father-in-law asks me about the alignment of the planets and the year 2012 every *freaking* time I see him, so putting him around a bunch of proto-astronomers was just a bad idea.{end rant} *ahem* where was I?

Oh, right. soup.

My friend pointed me to the Whole Foods recipe for butternut squash soup and it's a great base and I began to experiment from that. My favorite incarnation of it thus far has been Thai inspired and is what we ate for dinner tonight.

1 medium butternut squash, roasted
1 T butter
2 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, grated
2 T pine nuts
1 T brown sugar
1 T red curry paste
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 large stalk of celery, diced
32 oz vegetable stock, homemade is preferred

To roast the squash set the oven to 400 and split the squash in half. Take out the seeds and rub 1/4 T butter on both of the cut sides. Season with salt and pepper and place in the oven cut side up for about 35-45 minutes, or until the flesh is easily pierced with a knife. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1/2 T of butter with the olive oil in a stockpot. Add in garlic and ginger and stir until fragrant (~30s). Add in the onion, carrots, celery, and pine nuts and about 1 tsp kosher salt. Let this sweat for a few minutes until the veggies soften. Add in the curry paste and stir until the veggies are all coated and everything starts to smell awesometastic. Add in the vegetable stock and the brown sugar and let the mixture heat through. Add in the squash and attack with a stick blender until smooth.

This could also be served with a tiny dollop of creme fraiche to help cut through the heat. It's a little spicy, but in a really good way.

09 November 2009

New Kitchen

We finally unpacked the kitchen enough such that I could actually find enough bowls, pots, and pans to cook a meal. Granted, the entire house is still in boxes and bags, but there's a ton of space in the kitchen so I settled on my new go to meal: pasta with garlic, artichokes, and sundried tomatoes. I served it with a salad made with spring mix, crimini mushrooms, getost cheese, and croutons with a bottled dressing (shameful, I know!).

garlic pasta toss
1 lb spaghetti, cooked to al dente
reserved pasta water
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
6 oz sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped
6 oz jarred artichoke hearts, quartered
1 T dried basil
parmasean cheese

heat EVOO in a crazy large pan (or stock pot if you don't have one). add in garlic and stir for 30 or until fragrant. add in artichoke hearts and sundried tomatoes and stir to heat. add pasta and basil and toss to combine. If it's too thick, add in the reserved pasta water to thin. season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with grated parm.

p.s. if you've never had getost, you should really try it. it's pretty awesome and it goes well with fruit.

08 November 2009


There is something completely wonderful about the first time you step into a place that you're going to live. Everything is empty and no boundaries have been drawn. Seeing that same place emptied after living in it for a year and a half, however, is not quite the same. The couch obviously belongs against the wall and the TV in the corner. It's no longer filled with possibility, but rather with memories and indentations from the furniture.

Leaving our apartment was bittersweet. It was the first place that Colby and I lived together and where we spent the first 10 months of our married life. This new house, though, makes up for it. It's amazing and I can finally put all of my kitchen supplies together. We're still in the midst of getting organized, but I almost have my kitchen back... which means that I almost have my food blog back. :)

p.s. pictures soon... once we're done unpacking.

07 November 2009

Moving Part 2309483

I've been cheating my way through NaBloPoMo with kind of watered down posts. I think this is what happens when i'm forced to write every day. Oh well. I haven't been publicizing the fact that I've been posting in the usual spots, but once I post something of substance I will.

As for now, we're done with most of the painting for awhile. All we really need to do is to touch up some spots where we totally sucked at painting (and trust me, I do). Today is going to be filled with moving and Sunday will be cleaning the apartment time. Such (not) fun to be had...which is why I'm posting so early today.

P.S. my meals today were Potbelly's and Jason's Deli. Ugh. I can't wait til I have my kitchen back!

06 November 2009

We've been painting for most of the day. One room looks amazing. The other room looks kind of like crap, but I'm trying to live with it. MÝ best advice in terms of painting is to sit on the color for a week, at least, to make sure it's not a horrible decision.

05 November 2009

Another quickie

The fact that we don't have a full kitchen anywhere at the moment means that we've been eating out a whole lot lately. We've been to Luby's, Zoe's Kitchen, and today we went to Taco Cabana. Mind you, it's not fancy eating, but they're Austin-ish establishments and now I can say that my suspicions were confirmed about Taco Cabana and it's a giant crap hole. Regardless, it fed me and shortly thereafter we went to our new HOUSE. :)

So we're painting tomorrow, moving on Saturday, and hopefully getting unpacked shortly thereafter. Expect no posts of substance because that's what NaBloPoMo does to a blog.

04 November 2009

Packing Part 26

Okay, I admit that the last post was a cop out. I also admit to waking up at about 11:30 last night and asking my husband to post for me so I wouldn't miss a day for NaBloPoMo. I should actually talk about what that is in an upcoming post... but I'm still tired.

We've been packing all evening. It's been less than fun, but we're close to the point where we get to start cleaning everything (yippee...), but we need to be done with that so we can purchase paint stuff tomorrow. Given all the packing, my best laid plans with that menu have definitely been thrown out the window. The kitchen is almost completely packed away now so yesterday we hit up Firebowl one more time and tonight we tried Zoes Kitchen. I might have to review both of these places, but let's just say that I'll miss Firebowl and not so much Zoes Kitchen.

Colby made the observation that once we move into our house, we'll actually be "grown ups". I recoiled at the idea and immediately left the room. The idea of being an adult beyond the legal sense is something that I do not embrace warmly. I'm still convinced that we're playing the most drawn out game of house ever... and it's totally the most fun ever.

03 November 2009

will post later too sleepy now :(

02 November 2009

Collisionless Boltzmann Equation my butt.

So the reason why I don't post as often as I would like is because of stuff like this:

\int{v_{j}(\rm{CBE})d\overrightarrow{v}^{3}} \Rightarrow \frac{\partial{}}{\partial{t}} \int{fv_{j} d\overrightarrow{v}^{3}}+\sum_{1}^3 \int{v_{i}v_{j}\frac{\partial{f}}{\partial{x_{i}}}d\overrightarrow{v}^{3}} -\sum_{1}^3 \frac{\partial{\Phi}}{\partial{x_{i}}}\int{v_{j}\frac{\partial{f}}{\partial{v_{i}}}d\overrightarrow{v}^{3}}=0

I've spent the afternoon up to my eyeballs in LaTeX, which is the scientific community's answer to Microsoft Word. It's actually a lot prettier, but that's a different post for a different day. Basically, I'm taking a class that is 90% based on presentations and tomorrow I'm going to have to fake that I know stuff about tensors. In order to skirt any responsibility of actually understanding them, my partner and I have decided to talk about the tensor virial theorem, which we went over in a different graduate course (galaxies). I had really hoped that I would never have to see TVT ever again, but I guess that was too hopeful on my part.

So yes, instead of going to play softball tonight, I'm going to type more things out that look like the above and hope that I don't fail my courses. Oh, and pack.

01 November 2009

Moving Menu

We went to Costco today because I wanted to get out of the apartment and Colby wanted to go for a walk... and because we needed to go and buy stuff to retain our yuppie badges. Mission accomplished. In an effort to, you know, minimize the amount of stuff that we need to move, we spent 70 bucks on things that we probably didn't need, but will definitely have to move because everything is in bulk.

We're also working on packing up the kitchen and hence will be on a limited kitchen supply list. Here's what I think we'll have: baking sheet, omelette pan, stock pot, pizza pan, bamboo steamers, sauce pan. I think this means that I need to actually plan out what we'll be eating for the week so here it goes (and let's see if we'll be able to follow it...)

fiesta chicken salad (ala O's) w/black beans, tortilla chips, and a salsa yogurt dressing

pasta w/artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, chicken

salad w/sun dried tomatoes, mozzarella, chicken

some sort of chicken w/cream sauce (Colby's making it)

painting day... so... it'll be take out.

moving day... also take out, with my moving peeps.

assorted snacks will include: dumplings, noodle soup, mac'n'cheese

I've been trying to make a calendar which highlights all the meals that I'll be making, but I honestly haven't stuck to it at all. Maybe when I do, I'll eventually post it, but it's not worth it right now.