kadenza: (OSC)
Saturday was a pretty fun day at the loom. Just before Christmas we realized that the 210th birthday of the loom's original owner, John Campbell, was coming up in January and decided to use that as an excuse for a special event. We were given a roped off area and tables for displays, and targeted local fibre guilds and OSC staff with promotion. About 50 different staff members dropped by over the course of the day--everyone from office types and fabricator guys to security guards and hosts. Our main goal was to educate the staff about the loom, so they can better inform visitors about our exhibit, and I think we definitely accomplished that. They were allowed to come into the loom, actually weave on it, and also climb up top for a look at the Jacquard mechanism in action--they loved it. It was really quite fun, and successful enough that we're trying to come up with a reason to have another one later on this year.

My own contribution included a batch of punchcard shortbread. We decided there would be possible health and safety concerns with giving them out to the public, so I only distributed them to staff. In any case, they were a hit.

kadenza: (duh)
Well, there's another Pinterest fail for the books.
Cookie cups for ice cream on the back of a muffin tin... NAILED IT!

kadenza: (schnitzel)
Yesterday, El Guapo turned 38. I made him a cake and iced it with a recipe I found on the intarwebs that sounded so crazy I had to try it. It starts off like a bechemal sauce with hot milk and flour, of all things, but you end up with something the consistency of whipped cream that is dangerously tasty. Like, not-enough-left-for-the-cake dangerous. I did have some trouble getting the butter and sugar to be not grainy, however. I used softened butter, though the recipe doesn't really specify.

5 Tablespoons Flour
1 cup Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 cup Butter
1 cup Granulated Sugar (not Powdered Sugar!)

In a small saucepan, whisk flour into milk and heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. You want it to be very thick, thicker than cake mix, more like a brownie mix is. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. (If I’m in a hurry, I place the saucepan over ice in the sink for about 10 minutes or so until the mixture cools.) It must be completely cool before you use it in the next step. Stir in vanilla.

While the mixture is cooling, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. You don’t want any sugar graininess left. Then add the completely cooled milk/flour/vanilla mixture and beat the living daylights out of it. If it looks separated, you haven’t beaten it enough! Beat it until it all combines and resembles whipped cream.
kadenza: (schnitzel)
So I've had pretty spotty results from my first three crock pot endeavours, and I was beginning to suspect it's the crock pot itself that sucks. Hell, it's not even a real "Crock Pot", it's a ripoff, called Crock Cooker or something that my neighbour got at a garage sale just because she wanted the lid. Anyway, I mentioned this to my mother and she said that actually she had a nearly new one in the basement that she's barely used, and I'm welcome to borrow it. Um, yes!! So I hauled it out yesterday for its first trial. What can I say, HUGE difference. The meal I made (Vindaloo Vegetables from "Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker") was delicious and cooked to perfection! When Marshie returned from work he said he could even smell it from the sidewalk and that everyone in the 'hood must be jealous.

So anyway, I guess in order to be truly scientific I'll have to re-attempt one of the three earlier mediocre meals I made from the same cookbook and see if they turn out any better.

A side note on slow cooking-- it's kind of fun to start dinner at 10 a.m. and smell it cooking all day long, but I do wonder how efficient it is to have this electrical appliance running all day, particularly since we've just started Time-Of-Use billing (where they charge you more for power used during peak times). Because we have a gas stove, my normal cooking uses practically no power at all. I'll have to see if I can detect any evidence of my slow cooking activities on our daily power consumption graphs.
kadenza: (sammich)
I know many people will need closure on my crock pot and bread adventures. The stew turned out a little more watery than I expected, and the lentils were still a bit hard even after 8 hours of cooking. I think I went a little heavy on the harissa sauce and it was a tad spicy for my liking. Marshall, however, loved it and went back for seconds. Then I forgot all about it and left the rest in the crock pot overnight. I hope it's ok. If it's not, well, this might be my final post.

The bread wasn't a complete disaster but it was certainly... odd. The consistency was dense and crumbly and it barely rose at all. It was basically a small hard lump in the bottom of the breadmaker. However, it tasted ok, and made the whole house smell good.

In conclusion, I think I need more practice with the crock pot. Though it's true I am technically here and able to make meals most of the time, preparing dinner at 10 a.m. when I'm feeling more energetic is definitely a plus.


Dec. 23rd, 2009 08:51 pm
kadenza: (Sackboy)
I have now baked 3 double batches of Double Ginger Crackles so I'm getting pretty good at making them. Last night I started putting little slivers of candied ginger on top which made them look a little nicer. I divided them into boxes and distributed them to the neighbours. To Marshie's delight, there was one box left over so I assume they will all be gone soon.

The Pirates of the Carribean expansion pack arrived in the LBP store yesterday, which includes water as a brand new game element. After a huuuuge game update, Sackboy can swim! The water looks incredibly cool. The way it ripples, the way it bubbles, the way it laps around objects... reflections, shadows, interference patterns. So neat. And I have to say that Sackboy swimming is only the CUTEST THING EVER. He does a little breast stroke when he's swimming, and treads water when he's still. Oh, and his cheeks puff out when he dives as he holds his breath, unless he's wearing the scuba gear which is of course also adorable. I can't believe we still play this game on a daily basis a full year after its release.
kadenza: (sammich)
I'm making ice cream, green tea to be specific. Last week I had the worst green tea ice cream I've ever had in my life, and this is my attempt to counteract the experience. I have no ice cream freezer so I've tried a few different things. First I tried just burying the mixture (in a large ziplock bag) out in the snow for 45 minutes, which barely seemed to cool it at all. I think it was actually insulating it. Now I've got it in a large bowl in the sink with some snow, water and salt which nearly froze my hands off. This should work, but the bag tends to float rather than cooperate and be surrounded by the brine. I may update later as this exciting story develops.

kadenza: (sammich)
Vichysoisse, vicchysoisse.
I am making vichyssoise
But it won't be cold by dinner.

Brought to you by the useless post assoc.
(edit: I put it in a ziplock bag in a sink full of cold water. This could work)
kadenza: (phys ed)
My dinner for 12 (not including 2 babies) went quite well, though my parents had to bring a ton of stuff to help me pull it off, including plates, cups, cutlery, serving dishes, chairs, a second high chair and most of the food. So really it was my mother's dinner for 12 which happened to be at my house, but anyway it went well. Had to run the dishwasher 3 times to take care of all the dishes, and then wash the wine glasses and silver by hand. Whew. We made a kick-ass turkey, or so I was told. I made Marshall do all the gross stuff and then I took care of the oven part. It was covered in foil for the first few hours, then I took off the foil and turned on the convection thingy for the final hour which browned it up nicely.

Nattie has been kicking up a fuss at bath time lately and screams like we're dunking her into a tub of broken glass rather than nice warm water, and I've been worrying what the neighbours think. Now their 14-yr-old son got a drum set for xmas, so I don't feel so bad anymore. He's practicing right now, as a matter of fact, and Nattie is (was?) having her morning nap.

Today I'm doing a bit of relaxing, a bit of cleaning, a bit of cooking and then having more visitors in the afternoon. I'm kind of addicted to this Napoleon Dynamite game for DS I picked up at Wal-Mart. It's basically a bunch of mini-games loosely based on the movie (eg. llama-feeding, dancing, tetherball) tied together with a bad interface and lame storyline. It's terrible but I kind of love it, and it was so cheap they didn't even bother to lock it up in the cabinet with the other games.
kadenza: (sammich)
Yesterday I made yet another modification to my fav. recipe, Wacky Cake (aka Crazy Cake). This one was surprisingly good.

You take:
-a thing of cream cheese, softened
-an egg
-1 C mini chocolate chips

and beat them together. Then pour your basic wacky cake batter into muffin tins and drop a spoonful of this concoction on top of each. The cream cheese sinks into the batter as they bake, resulting in... CHEESECAKE-FILLED CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES! They look perfectly ordinary until you bite into them.


Mar. 7th, 2007 09:05 am
kadenza: (sammich)
I purchased a cauliflower the other day, and we ate it last night. I'm pretty sure it was the first time I've voluntarily bought one since moving away from my parents.

When Marshie came home and saw it sitting on the counter, he frowned at me and said, "What have you done with my wife?" But while I was at the gym, I saw this dude roasting one up on the Food Network, and suddenly had to have it.

Throughout my formative years, there were only two ways I ever experienced it: either a) raw with dip (blech!) or b) microwaved and covered with Cheez Whiz (ick!).

So anyway, I cut it up into florets, put them in a baking dish, drizzled them with olive oil and squeezed 1/2 a lemon over them. Then I sprinkled them with chopped garlic, pepper, salt and chives and baked until they started to brown at 400 degrees (about 20 minutes). Before serving, I grated some parmesan on top. Marshie was all over it. I enjoyed it very much myself. We ate almost the whole thing between us.

But you must admit, they are horrible-looking vegetables. So pale and sickly. I still won't go near their green brethren, broccoli. Vile weed!
kadenza: (sammich)
Midway through yesterday I realized it was pancake day, and that I had better get it into gear since it's about the only holiday I fully endorse.

So for dinner I made some awesome crepes with awesome sauce, containing two bunches of steamed and blended asparagus (with tips reserved and fried in butter for serving whole), white wine and 10-yr-old cheddar. Needless to say there is a ton of sauce left over, but I'll happily eat it on toast until the end of time.

I even made a tiny little crepe, filled it, rolled it, split it in two and gave it to the rats. They acted like they had won the lottery.
kadenza: (sammich)
So is it worth it to find the potatoes, wash the potatoes, remove all the eyes from the potatoes, peel the potatoes, chop up the potatoes (and an onion), boil the potatoes, drain the potatoes, get burned by the potatoes, add milk, butter, salt and pepper to the potatoes, and blend the potatoes to a fluffy consistency?

Hell, yeah!

*smack smack smack*

No deal

Nov. 14th, 2006 03:19 pm
kadenza: (sammich)
Marshie is giving a presentation at a conference out at the airport convention centre tomorrow. It's about pension plans, so he decided to liven it up by going with a "Deal or No Deal" theme. I helped him put together a bunch of sound effects and such (think music, briefcase-opening sounds, phone ringing) and I now kind of wish I could be there to watch.

I have an oven full of cupcakes baking at the moment, because it's my mother's birthday and everyone is coming over here later. I finally figured out over the weekend why they always turn out so dry and crumbly, despite the fact that I'm using the authentic Magnolia recipe: cupcakes are not cakes. This sounds obvious, but they are much smaller and should be treated differently. By the time the tops start to turn brown, they're already too dry. Once I realized that, they have turned out perfectly.
kadenza: (sammich)
I'm eating a delicious lentil stew that finished cooking moments ago. I've been wild for the lentils since the weekend, no doubt precipitated by a visit to Ethiopian House for lunch on Sunday. I really want to make my own injera (that big pancake/tablecloth thing they serve the food on) but I'm having some trouble locating teff flour. I found teff in its granular form at the market, but I definitely lack milling equipment.

so in my stew:
1 tsp oil
4 cups stock
3 onions
1 cup chopped carrots
4 stalks chopped celery
1/2 C green lentils (recipe says gold, couldn't find any, tastes fine)
1/2 C chick peas
1/2 C slivered almonds
1 t cumin
1/4 t cardamom
1/4 t cinnamon

simmer for 45 mins
kadenza: (sammich)
I have just put something called a Nut Loaf into the oven, my first deliberate attempt at a vegan recipe. Halfway though preparation, however, it became apparent that I was making plain old stuffing. Sage, breadcrumbs, celery... it's all there. I happen to love stuffing, but I hate it when you go to the trouble to chop and dice and whip and sauté and then have it turn out exactly like something that could have come from a package (helloooo, Stove Top). Angel cake, for example. I once took the time to separate and beat and fold the umpteen eggwhites, only to produce something that tasted just like Betty Crocker. So phoo.
kadenza: (sammich)
File under: I wish I had thought of this earlier...

I bought a bag of key limes last week and made a key lime pie out of them, which was tangy and delicious. The unfortunate thing about key limes is that they're about the size of quail eggs and it took maybe 20 of them to get half a cup of juice. By that time, my hand was sore from reaming and my fingers were stinging from the acidity.

I had about 5 limes left over, and today decided to incorporate them into some salad dressing. Suddenly I realized that they're just the perfect size to put into a garlic press. It worked a treat-- filtered the seeds, and squeezed those suckers dry.


Apr. 11th, 2006 06:06 pm
kadenza: (sammich)
Today is Marshie's birthday. He woke up and announced (in Mexican accent) "Today, El Guapo is 33 years old!" which is apparently a reference to some dumb movie I have never seen. He told me while falling asleep last night that all he wanted in the way of a special treat was chocolate pudding, so I made him some this afternoon. Real pudding, made with real chocolate. It was my first time making it, and it worked out quite well-- no lumps. It tastes so rich it makes your eyes cross, but damn, that's a lot of stirring. You can't leave it alone for one second while it cooks, or it sticks all over the bottom of the pot. Anyway, I'm sure El Guapo will be muy contento when he gets home.
kadenza: (Default)
First, I'll get this memething out of the way. The 5th sentence of my 23rd journal entry is:

That's over $100 canadian... cha ching!

I was talking about my first-ever ebay auction as a seller, and my item was a Barenaked Ladies fanclub-issue Christmas tape circa 1991, which contained exactly two songs. It eventually sold for $170, which exceeded my wildest dreams. Oh, how I long for the days when I had valuable crap just lying around. It was a tape! A lousy tape!

Made some salsa on Sunday for a gathering, and somehow managed to get jalapeno juice into my nose. I washed my hands several times after chopping them, but evidently the stuff is quite resistant to soap and water. The more I rubbed at it, the worse it got. My nose was burning, my eyes were watering and my entire face was sweating. I eventually resorted to dunking my face into a bowl of milk, which actually worked. But anyway, the salsa turned out quite well. Later discovered that [livejournal.com profile] clawfoot and I make a kickass Cranium team.

This week: I've got Bodyworlds on Friday, which I'm very much looking forward to. I've already had several dreams about it. Marshie's taking the afternoon off work so we can have fun at the Science Centre too. Then Saturday we're going to Niagara on the Lake for a winery tour and ghostwalk, and staying at a B&B. So yeah, that about covers it. The rest of the week will easily be taken up with a bunch of new stuff I'm designing for Uncle Harry's tea shop.

Oh, oh! And for the Serenity fans among you, I present Serenity in 2000 words or less. Quite amusing. I should probably mention that spoilers abound, but I'm pretty sure everyone's seen it by now.


kadenza: (Default)

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