soup!

Aug. 19th, 2014 04:39 pm
novapsyche: roasted asparagus, artfully arranged (asparagusroasted)
For the first time, I made pasta e fagioli. I used a recipe from a little cooking booklet my mom gave me. I followed it almost to the letter, except I added bay leaves, crushed red pepper & (once I realized I added too much of the last) frozen corn. (Something I discovered from following Thai cuisine: sweet balances heat.)

It's pretty good! It's spicy but good. I have plenty, so I should have more than enough to supply me with lunch for the week ahead.
novapsyche: roasted asparagus, artfully arranged (asparagusroasted)
It's late; I should certainly be in bed. But I made a dish for the first time this evening & thought I'd make mark of the situation.

Read more... )
novapsyche: a woman of stature circa 1900s peering out of a ring (womanring)
I'm still recovering from how crack-delicious my dinner tonight is/has been. Anyway.

James Brady, former White House press secretary, dies at 73 -- When could we expect another conservative gun-control advocate? Especially one who did not experience such a personal attack? Best to the Brady family.

Six Philadelphia narcotics officers arrested for robbing dealers -- "The 42-page indictment describes scenes that Hollywood would have trouble topping, including a 2007 robbery during which Norman allegedly held a man over an 18th floor balcony to get him to divulge the password to his handheld computer."

Tennessee Denies Public Assistance To Drug Users -- Error: just because someone may have used drugs in their life history does not mean that they are currently abusing drugs. Bad interpretation, bad policy.

Eating Fish Makes Your Brain Healthier, Study Says | Fish Consumption Linked to College Education -- NOT linked to omega-3 intake, amazingly enough.

Oxytocin Isn't Lacking In Children With Autism, Researchers Say

Lego sells out of Research Institute set after responding to 7-year old girl's request

Forget Charcoal Versus Gas. The Best Way to Grill a Steak Is With Molten Lava.
novapsyche: roasted asparagus, artfully arranged (asparagusroasted)
I'd been in the mood for a Philly cheese steak sub. But I didn't have the right kind of bread.

I did, however, recently purchase naan. So I decided to make a naan-style Philly cheesesteak pizza.

I sauteed the onions, bell pepper & mushrooms with a clove of minced garlic; slices of deli roast beef followed. I lined the naan with thin slices of pecorino & shredded mozzarella (as I didn't have Provolone), then topped it with the beef & pepper mixture. I popped that in a 400-degree oven for a few minutes, then added slices of fresh mozzarella on top; back into the oven for a few minutes more, until the cheese melted.

Now it's looking all gooey & cheesy & onion-peppery. I'm letting it cool a bit. Hope it turns out.

Edit: It's a good thing the only other thing I had to eat today was yogurt for breakfast. Wow, is this rich. I can just look at it & gain five pounds.

The taste is pretty good, but it's missing . . . something. Maybe some herbs, like dried oregano. Or some tang, a splash of vinegar. Something. Still pretty tasty.

2nd edit: Worcestershire sauce! That would be the thing to try.
novapsyche: a young girl sitting with her fist up to her chin, her face turned away, ringed by a blue crescent (crescentgirl)
On my way home from downtown today, I came across a 7-Eleven that proudly advertised, in multiple windows, its new proffering, "Doritos Loaded". I squinted to get a better look. The item is shaped like a Dorito, appears to have Dorito crumbles on it, but sports a liquid, cheesy center.

More horrible stuff to put into the body! I thought to myself as the bus pulled away from the stop.

Would you eat this thing?

My real question: what's your favorite healthy foodstuff to eat?

dinner

Jul. 20th, 2014 09:36 pm
novapsyche: roasted asparagus, artfully arranged (asparagusroasted)
I'd started marinating a porterhouse steak yesterday, separated (New York Strip Steak on one divide of the bone, tenderloin filet on the other), but the household decided to go for ground beef burritos with fixings.

Tonight, I'm dining on the strip steak section of the porterhouse, topped with sauteed white mushrooms & sliced shallots, alongside corn on the cob I bought from the farmers' market yesterday. This is a delightful dinner. I only wish I'd more mushrooms & shallots. Mmmmm.

quick lunch

Jul. 9th, 2014 01:09 pm
novapsyche: roasted asparagus, artfully arranged (asparagusroasted)
I puttered around during my lunch hour instead of eating, so I had to come up with something with seven or so minutes to spare. We still had leftover watermelon from the Fourth of July, so I took chunks of that & topped it with Gorgonzola cheese & basil for a little salad. It was pretty tasty! The basil really provided a refreshing contrast to the sharpness of the cheese.
novapsyche: a woman of stature circa 1900s peering out of a ring (womanring)
Gun Shy: What happened to the Second Amendment at the U.S. Supreme Court this year?

ABA: Lawyers can scour jurors' social media sites -- Yet another reason I won't be migrating to Facebook. It's bad enough (actually probably worse) that employers can demand your social media account particulars.

Christian radio host in Michigan busted in child sex probe, feds say -- "[Balyo] was cuffed while working at a Christian music festival in Gaylord on Friday." It's all about the cover story.

Time-traveling photons connect general relativity to quantum mechanics

Death to high school English: My college students don't understand commas, far less how to write an essay. Is it time to rethink how we teach? -- This article is so true. I read essays written by schoolchildren for a living. The general level of grammatical readiness is atrocious.

Artistic food deemed tastier, scientists and chef show -- "Participants were also willing to pay more for the Kandinsky-inspired plating[.]"
novapsyche: roasted asparagus, artfully arranged (asparagusroasted)
I came across this recipe about a week ago & finally prepared it last night. It was pretty good, though I think 1/2 cup Gruyere would be better (to balance the brininess of the olives).

recipe )

I tried the recipe primarily because it's one of the first I've come across that treats bok choy in a manner that doesn't conform to typical Asian flavors. I like the Mediterranean treatment, yet at the same time this recipe really highlighted for me the difference between Chinese cabbage & regular(?) cabbage. Bok choy has quite a distinctive flavor & texture.
novapsyche: a woman of stature circa 1900s peering out of a ring (womanring)
The Case for Reparations -- I'm still wading through this, as the article is long. But Ta-Nehisi Coates is always a worthwhile read, so I'm listing this sight partially unseen.

Tennessee man sues employer over 'white water fountain' | Cotton Warehouse Supervisor To Black Employees: 'That's When We Hang You'

GOP's firing squad idiocy: The hypocrisy of "humane executions"

The one thing Neil deGrasse Tyson got wrong

Chimps ace out humans in test of strategic thinking

Sleep's memory role discovered -- "[B]y disrupting specific phases of sleep, the research group showed deep or slow-wave sleep was necessary for memory formation. During this stage, the brain was 'replaying' the activity from earlier in the day."

Watercress tops list of 'powerhouse fruits and vegetables.' Who knew?
novapsyche: a person removing a shirt, revealing a system of organs & skeleton underneath (bodyundershirt)
I was remarking to [personal profile] netmouse yesterday, at her potluck where someone brought a very fudgy pan of brownies, that I was so glad I swore off sweets some time ago. In fact, I didn't even consider them food (at least, not as legitimate food choices).

Does this have to do with the insula? Possibly. At the very least, I liken the experience to that of what I underwent when I trained to become a bank teller. When I handled a large cash drawer (+$1000), money ceased to be considered as money but merely were individual paper instruments. Similarly, sweets no longer qualify as food but could simply be seen as any other item of life's backdrop.

I told my friend S. that I had three pieces of snack-sized candy bars from last Halloween still on a shelf in my bedroom, where I can see it much of the time. She was amazed that they were not eaten long ago.

(I keep commercial hot chocolate for when the craving for chocolate just gets too great. Otherwise, the only sweets I tend to keep are dried fruit & frozen yogurt. [I still drink too many presweetened beverages & use more honey/sugar than I need to in my tea/coffee, but other than that, I've gotten away from most processed sugars.])

Anyway. Here's to ill recognition!
novapsyche: a woman of stature circa 1900s peering out of a ring (womanring)
Ex-NYPD cop charged with hate crime over anti-Jewish graffiti in Brooklyn

How Oklahoma's Botched Execution Affects the Death-Penalty Debate

Condoleezza Rice latest graduation speaker to back out amid protests

Three students expelled for harassment at California college: report -- Remember the incident with the bike lock around a student's neck? That's this one.

Did Floyd Mayweather Use Abortion Rumor to Punish His Ex?

Wider Hips may Suggest a more Promiscuous Woman: Study -- I suppose this is not the time to give out my measurements.

Diners believe a meal is tastier the more they have paid for it, say researchers -- Like The Dave Matthews Band once intoned, "You pay for what you get." (This may indeed be cognitive dissonance at work, where the consumer, having paid so much for the meal, convinces him- or herself that it must be worth the cost, because otherwise they would experience self-criticism for spending beyond the meal's intrinsic value.)
novapsyche: roasted asparagus, artfully arranged (asparagusroasted)
Well, it's the season of pasta primavera. Also, I discovered some whole-wheat rotini at a reasonable price. So I decided to give this dish another whirl.

At least one of the online recipes suggested using cream sauce instead of olive oil plus Parmesan. I usually keep Buitoni alfredo sauce in my fridge, so I decided to do just that. However, instead of boiling most of the veggies, I sauteed them instead.

So I cooked the rotini according to box instructions (I probably could have salted the water more than I did). Five minutes before the pasta was ready to drain, I added about 1 cup chopped broccoli (pieces about 1/2" long); two minutes before draining I added maybe 2/3 cup frozen peas.

In the meanwhile, I sauteed about a cup of red & orange bell pepper in olive oil for about two minutes (making sure to season them with salt & pepper). I added minced garlic, stirring for 30-60 seconds or so, then added about 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms as well as about 1/4 tsp of crushed red pepper. I stirred all of these for about three minutes, then added a mixture of Roma & grape tomatoes. I cooked these for about a minute more.

Seeing that the pasta was done, I drained the pasta/broccoli/pea mix, then added the alfredo sauce cold. On top, I included the veggie mix. Last, I tore several fresh basil leaves by hand & incorporated them into the dish.

This was pretty tasty, all on its own. This was my lunch. Then, for near-dinner (as I have to leave for class pretty soon), I decided to warm more up but also include shavings of Parmesan as well as diced green onion. This by far improved the dish. It was to the point that I could hardly believe that I was the cook who had fashioned this.

This dish seems the best to sneak in some whole-wheat pasta. The veggies really push that bland flavor into the background. The broccoli was the star.

To recap the ingredients: rotini, broccoli, peas, olive oil, sweet bell pepper, garlic, mushrooms, crushed red pepper, tomatoes, alfredo sauce, fresh basil, green onion, Parmesan cheese.

freshness!

Apr. 20th, 2014 12:07 am
novapsyche: a young girl sitting with her fist up to her chin, her face turned away, ringed by a blue crescent (crescentgirl)
Today, for the second week in a row, I attended the local farmers' market. (Our farmers' market runs year-round, which is boggling, to be honest. I had no idea.) Last week, they really had no true produce, offering seedlings of produce instead. This week was a bit different.

I kept an eye out for asparagus ('tis the season) but none was available. However, I did pick up a smallish bag of arugula (a salad green I'd been meaning to try for some time now) as well as Swiss chard (also a new green to me).

Turns out, arugula isn't a salad green at all but rather belongs to the cruciferous family of vegetables (Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, bok choy, &c). With my Graves' disease, I should avoid this type of plant in the future, but in the meanwhile I will consume it moderately so as to get a taste for it (& to not waste my money!).

Tonight, I made a simple salad with arugula, strawberries, grape tomatoes, pine nuts & goat cheese with a honey mustard vinaigrette. I was really pleased with the result. The tomatoes mimic the strawberries when both are added. Also, strawberries pair naturally with the taste of pepper, which arugula provides. I would have used pecans if I had had them, but that was not to be. I think I will supplement the remainder of the salad with sliced almonds, which I do have. Next time, also, if I use pine nuts I will definitely toast them beforehand.

milestone

Apr. 13th, 2014 10:38 pm
novapsyche: roasted asparagus, artfully arranged (asparagusroasted)
I made my own hummus today!

I used the immersion blender [personal profile] netmouse & [profile] flinx gave me for Christmas. I'd bought tahini months ago but just got around to actually tackling the task.

The result isn't too bad--a bit thick & bordering on bland. I used a recipe for "Simple Hummus"; perhaps it was too simple. I ended up increasing the lemon juice (not fresh) for flavor as well as moisture; I also increased the salt for flavor.

The major mistake I made was to forget to add the garlic before the chickpeas. I don't know how much that incremental step made a difference, but it's something to note.

More hummus is to follow, no doubt. I love the stuff & would spend way more money on it than the cost of tahini itself (which is a little pricy but should last me the rest of the year).

monstrosity

Apr. 8th, 2014 08:11 am
novapsyche: Sailor Moon rising into bright beams (Default)
At the tail end of my dream, for some reason, my mind inserted the phrase "French toast Twinkies" into the mouth of one of the persons there.

I woke to find someone has already concocted a recipe for the things.
novapsyche: a young girl sitting with her fist up to her chin, her face turned away, ringed by a blue crescent (crescentgirl)
I went back to the gardening store & picked up two more seedlings, basil & chives. I was very pleased to see the latter, as I love the flavor of chives/green onions.

So that's a full windowsill now. The unfortunate thing is that, while I have a southfacing window, there's this huge overhang above it, so the plants don't get nearly as much sunshine as they need. I don't want to set them outside yet, as nightfall is still pretty chilly. At the same time, I'm fighting the urge to go out & buy a fluorescent light structure so as to string it up somewhere here in my bedroom. These herbs were meant as a convenient addition to my cooking attempts, not as a project unto themselves.

But they're totally becoming a project. I'm delving into gardening articles & online communities just as much as I did with cooking when I started getting into that activity. I don't have a yard, merely a concrete patio. I lost my previous gardening supplies after my sister's basement flooded & mold crept into all of my belongings stored there. I'm starting from scratch and, after pricing the next largest planters at the gardening store, I really don't have the budget to get too serious about this. So I need to--pardon the expression--nip this in the bud right away. (I do want to transplant these seedlings at some point, though, as their growth will get stunted for sure in such tiny flowerpots.)
novapsyche: a woman of stature circa 1900s peering out of a ring (womanring)
FSU under investigation for handling of Jameis Winston case

Family of beaten driver: He pleaded with attackers; why were they so angry?

Army ban on hairstyles including dreadlocks, cornrows prompts allegations of racial bias

Heterosexual Women, Please Stop Using the Term "Girl Crush" -- So, I identify basically as 98% heterosexual. Still, I find certain women attractive. I've been stereotypically crushing on Angela Bassett for over two decades now. If she were to somehow know me & be into me, we would be together right now. Right the fuck now. But, at the same time, I wouldn't use a term like "girl crush" to describe the sensation. So I kind of get both sides.

Stroke Brought on by Insomnia; New Study Finds Link Between Trouble Sleeping and Cardiovascular Risk Factors

Cereal box cartoons often stare down, entice children: study | more -- That's actually kind of creepy.
novapsyche: roasted asparagus, artfully arranged (asparagusroasted)
I'm just getting into peppers. Do you like them? If so, which are your favorites?

Most of my life, I avoided overly spicy-hot foods (primarily due to an incident when I was three, where I mistook hot sauce for ketchup). Only recently have I decided to delve into the varieties & complexities of hot peppers.

I've tried poblanos, serranos & habeneros. Poblanos feel really laid back to me, somewhat of a jazzed-up bell pepper: some piquancy, but very mild. Serranos, comparatively, have a much brighter, greener flavor & packs far more punch. It's got a nice little bite to it that lets your tongue know it's there. The difference between seeded & not is striking.

I really enjoy the almost floral flavor of habeneros. I will admit that I've never eaten one with the seeds & membrane still intact, so I have not gotten its full intensity of heat. (Peppers are scored by Scoville Heat Units. Bell peppers are 0; serranos are around 6,000; habeneros clock in at 350,000 SHU.) But, seeded, the addition of the peppers to Mexican dishes & even scrambled eggs is a delightful change of pace.

I would have picked up some Anaheim peppers this weekend, but it was obvious the peppers that were available had been sitting out for some time. They'd started to change colors, right on the shelf.

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