24 May 2010

salvage the vegetables before they rot (aka potato) soup

Actually, the title is sort of misleading... the potatoes weren't close to rotting but the celery, onion and carrots were.

Sometimes I buy vegetables because they're "good to have" and serve as a good base for a myriad of dishes. These usually include celery, carrots, onion, and garlic. I bought a whole bunch of stuff over the past several months and promptly forgot about them when I stopped cooking. Looking through my pantry this evening, I found a whole bunch of stuff that was about to go bad, so I threw it together to make a soup and it's pretty good.

Potato Cheese Soup

1 medium onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 medium-large carrots, peeled and diced
2 T olive oil
2-4 cloves garlic, grated
32 oz vegetable stock
32 oz chicken stock
7-8 medium yukon gold potatoes, peeled and roughly cubed
fresh parsley
celery leaves
grated cheddar cheese

Heat olive oil. Sweat onions, carrots, and celery and add a big pinch of salt. Stir occasionally. Add in chicken and veggie stock and bring to a boil. Add in garlic and then the potatoes. Bring it back to a boil and allow the potatoes to cook until tender. Stick blender it and then taste for seasoning. Add salt, if needed (probably so). Stir in parsley and celery leaves. In each bowl, garnish with a large helping a cheddar cheese and homemade croutons.

22 May 2010

Colby, on Justin Bieber:

"Why is he so popular? Isn't he like... Canadian?"

and now i'm quite literally ROFLing.

20 May 2010

I should probably go to sleep, but I'd like to not fail out of grad school

hollek@conestoga:~/masters$ lol
No command 'lol' found, did you mean:
Command 'col' from package 'bsdmainutils' (main)
Command 'sol' from package 'aisleriot' (main)
lol: command not found

that shouldn't be that funny, but it's 5:40 A-fucking-M and I'm still up and not finished with this "draft" of my thesis. It's due at some point today and I have a feeling that people are going to be getting a copy of this at 11:59 PM.

Also, my teeth hurt from these Ricola Lemon Mint lozenges. I don't think they can actually be called "throat drops" but rather "candy masquerading as medicine".


Dear my body,

I sincerely apologize for the chemical warfare that I've been waging against you for the past few weeks. I promise to make this up to you by entering a medically induced (Nyquil) coma upon submission of my thesis to my committee. In addition, if we're still nearly on the verge of death, I promise to take us to a doctor's office.



18 May 2010

sometimes caffeine can totally replace sleep... and sometimes it can't.

So I was taking a look at analytics wondering what the hell I had done to alienate my entire readership (of 3 people) when I realized that, oops, I had taken out the analytics in the CSS code when I changed the blog back to a default blogger face thing. (Yes, I just called it a face thing because I'm tired and frustrated and I've reminded myself clearly why I hate programming.)

also, I may have just written this program to get results for my masters thesis:

program shitfuck

implicit none
real:: crap, n, want
do i = 1, 27
read(1000,*) n, crap
want = sqrt(sqrt(n)*crap/n)
print*, want
end do


bonus points if you can figure out what language this is programmed in (aside from, ahem, french).

17 May 2010

Addendum: Patience

Ever since I started blogging more, I've lost readers. Hmm. Perhaps I should stick to the food and have quality, sporadic posts instead of frequent non-food personal posts. I haven't quite decided. This is more and more morphing into a personal blog with occasional food posts, which is mostly okay with me but I've been thinking about getting Colby to help me out with the food blog portion since he's been cooking a lot more (and can add to the calamities). Thoughts?

So yesterday I made truffled fries. It turns out that you really need to keep it to a single layer and watch it after awhile. At a certain point, the fries start to get super tender, such that they totally break apart when you move them. Keep gently stirring and make sure they don't stick to the bottom of the pot. Also, seriously, be patient. It takes a long time, but it's worth it.

16 May 2010

Truffled Pomme Frites or French Fries with truffle oil for the unpretentious

This is totally a food blog. I swear. Hence, I am going to be talking about food.

Dinner tonight is being delivered in two parts. The first was from Costco and some ready made Asian wrap, which tasted a lot better until I read the ingredients. For whatever reason I can't deal with food coloring. I know that most foods have it in some capacity, but if I see it in the ingredients list and it seems unreasonable for it to be there, I stop being able to eat whatever it is that has the food dye. It looked like it was supposed to be spinach wrap, but instead it was just a normal flour wrap with green food coloring. It took a whole lot for me not to throw up in my mouth.

So we took a break. I started making part two and Colby chopped down a tree.

Part II:

Truffled Pomme Frites

2 medium sized potatoes
vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 c fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped fine
sea salt
1/2 T truffle oil

Peel and cut the potatoes and then mandolin them to get a consistent size. Rinse under cold water. Place in a large pot and try to make it a single layer on the bottom. Pour in just enough oil to cover and then put on low heat. Stir occasionally to make sure that they don't stick. Check to see when the fries, I mean pomme frites, are starting to get really tender and raise the heat to medium low. (This will take like an hour, btw.) Let fries get golden and crispy and take them out of the oil with a spider to drain over a cookie sheet. Toss the fries with sea salt, garlic, parsley, and truffle oil.


14 May 2010

Assorted Thoughts

My new procrastination tool is notecards. Well, aside from my apparently renewed interest in blogging. I have a set of colorful 3x5 cards on which I'm making flashcards for my second year defense. So far, I've only started in on star formation. It's a pretty good time waster and it keeps me interested in so far as it's pretty and multi-colored.

I've been going to Sodade Coffee House pretty regularly for several weeks and now that the semester is over, I've been coming here to write my thesis. Their music selection sounds basically like my Guster Pandora station, except no stupid commercials.

I found this video the other day. Again with the colors. It's almost as good as stop motion post-its.

Writing figure captions has to be the most horrible thing in the world besides cockroaches and genocide. I'm not being dramatic here at all.

I'm kind of scared of the Amazon download interface. This is making it way easier to buy random music. For instance, I just bought Steve Martin's bluegrass album. I've been listening to a ton of bluegrass lately and I honestly think it stems from watching Father of the Bride Part II the other day.

C-x r k used to be my favorite emacs command, but now I think it's definitely M-q. Also, whenever I try to save something I do C-x C-s, which is sort of a problem because sometimes that means that I cut and then save something that I definitely didn't mean to.

Titanium suffers from a huge identity crisis. It's totally an Fe peak element, but it acts like an alpha. Silly.

This is becoming less and less of a food blog. I wonder if I should repurpose or just keep posting whenever I feel like it. Also, I'm redesigning the site layout with the help of N! It's probably going to look better whenever i get around to messing around with the CSS stuff, but for now it's white and boring.

One Step Forward Ten Steps Back

he - "Guess what I downloaded today?"
me - "I don't kno--"
he - "the beta version of Starcraft II!"
me - "How did you get a beta key to that?"
he - "Oh.. I pre-ordered the game the other day..."
me - "Oh........"

10 minutes later

he - "I can't play it on my computer because it's too old"
me - "yay! I mean, oh that's too bad. So when are you going to order a new computer? ha ha"
he - "oh, I already did that"
me - "you're joking, right?"
he - "no... a couple days ago."
me - "um... why didn't you tell me?"
he - "I... uh... wanted it... uh.. to be a surprise!"

12 May 2010

CSWA fodder

Today I was searching for an email from a collaborator/advisor in my gmail account. I typed in her last name, "Lastname" (okay, it's not actually Lastname), and then realized that i was on google buzz so it searched that instead of my inbox. There were several stories linking to a press release about an exciting science result and then there was a blog entry talking about it. I took the time to read it because I was interested in how the public digests this information, as it's the same field that I'm in. First of all he didn't understand *something*, but what bothered me was something else. I noticed that the (male) blogger referred to my collabordvisor as "Ms. Lastname" and "Miss Firstname". Note, she most definitely has a PhD. What I wonder is if it were a male scientist who had made the discovery had the press release, would he have referred to him as Mr. Lastname? Or Mister Firstname? I find that highly unlikely.

10 May 2010

I have better Colby in my refrigerator: part II

Colby and I have one car. It's a nice, new car, which is why we only have one and not two. This isn't usually problematic because he drops me off at school and then he goes to work. It's going to get remarkably more sticky this summer (pun intended... oh yes, I definitely watched Garden State last night) because I'll be working from home (aka in coffee shops). As much as I hate feeling trapped in the house, he hates feeling trapped at work. This morning I woke up to the garage door closing and ran out of my room thinking "bastard!"

He left, without even giving me a kiss good-bye, to trying to make sure that I was still asleep and therefore could not get the car. I promptly called him and the first thing out of his mouth was, "can't you just go back to sleep?" So I willed him home and then got the car so I could go work outside the house.

Sneaky boy and his sneaky ways. He's been hanging out with the puppy who can jump on the kitchen table and at scraps for too long.

06 May 2010

Twenty years of classes: check.

Greetings from Lucid Lynx. In my first act of celebration of the temporary reprieve of grad student Lent, I decided to upgrade my operating system. I was a little bit terrified that things weren't going to work with ooimpress or ssh or something else that would mean that I would fail both my class and my second year defense. Fortunately, the only thing that seems to be awry is Java, which is sort of a tricky beast.

Grad student Lent has been put on hiatus until Monday when more deprivation is slated to occur. On Wednesday I gave my talk, Hobby-Eberly Telescope Chemical Abundances of Stars in the Halo (CASH) Project: Spectroscopic Analyses of the First ~80 Stars. (You can take a look at the talk here, if you're so inclined.) I think that my committee mostly liked my talk. About 10 minutes after I finished the talk, I had class and right after that was over, I was handed a 27.5 hour take home exam. It wasn't so bad, but it was noteworthy as it was the most interesting exam I've ever had. Oh, and also, it's the last written exam that I'll ever take. I'm done with classes for the rest of my life. At least, I'm done with classes that count for credit.

So I decided that I was going to take tonight off and not do anything related to school and now... I'm bored. How crazy am I? I just don't know what to do with myself when I'm not studying/making a talk/measuring abundances in the atmospheres of the oldest stars of the Milky Way galaxy thereby unraveling the mysteries of the early universe.

So as boredom set in, I went to the fridge to see what was there and found a pint of strawberries that were on the precipice of being trash... I mean, they were really ripe and I had intended to let them ripen. It had nothing to do with forgetting them in the bottom of the fruit bin. Nope. So I decided that I was going to make a strawberry-lemon agua fresca... and then I noticed that I had vodka in my freezer.

strawberry lemon vodka fresca (see what I did there?) (Adapted from the agua fresca recipe in Gourmet)

1 pint ripe strawberries, washed and hulled
2 c cold water
1 c ice
juice from 1/2 large lemon
1-4 Tbs sugar (this is to taste)

Blend strawberries, water, ice, and lemon juice in a blender til it's super liquid-y. Taste and see if you think you need sugar. (I started with 1/4 cup and it was wayy too much.) Blend briefly to incorporate the sugar. Pass through a fine mesh strainer and squeeze the juice of the solid bits. Take six ounces of the juice + 1 shot vodka, add ice, a lemon slice and resist the urge to crack open Stellar Photospheres out of boredom because Grad Student Lent starts again on Monday.