Total Pageviews

random musings of a crazy cat lady

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Recipe Geek: Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Spice Cookies with Spices and California Orange Zest

It's still snowing and I am indulging in a lazy Friday night watching UNC open a can of whupass in the NCAA basketball tournament. I'm not a hardcore basketball fan so I decided to bake cookies. I'd been eyeing the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies over at Smitten Kitchen. It's a chocolate chip oatmeal cookie recipe with spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves) and the somewhat unusual addition of orange zest. The commenters were divided on the orange zest debate. Some loved it and some hated it. I decided to go whole hog and add the spices and orange zest, and I added a bit less sugar than the recipe called for. For the orange zest, I used one of the oranges from my old house; my parents had sent me a care package.
The dough was very sweet, and the combination of chocolate, spices and orange tasted really good in the dough, and smelled great while baking.

The cookies were very soft when I pulled them out of the oven, but then they firmed up nicely, and are a great combination of crispy and chewy. When they were warm, the orange flavor was a bit too strong. It was still pretty strong the next day. Good, but strong. I will probably use less orange zest next time around, but they are good for those peole who really like the combination of orange and chocolate.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Recipe Geek Family Reunion: sous vide cooking

As I mentioned in a previous post, my brother is now the proud owner of a sous vide cooker. It's a temperature controlled water bath. You seal up stuff in vacuum-seal bags and cook it very slowly.
He had the cooker in action this weekend. He cooked up 9 lbs of meat for Italian Beef sandwiches, which are sort of like a spicy French Dip sandwiches. It took about two days to cook. It came out very tender and moist, even though it was a cheap, fairly lean cut of meat. He sliced it up and delegated the broth making duties to me. This was perhaps a bad idea, since I have never eaten the real thing and sort of randomly added spices from Herb's spice cabinet (wordplay intended!) and then put some pickled peppers in there. It was a bit hotter than intended but I liked it. The sliced beef and broth were then transported to the tailgate and reheated in a tray over a Sterno. It was very popular and there were no leftovers.
The next day he cooked chicken breasts. Those only took a few hours. Once again, it was very moist and tender.
For things that have a browned crust, the meat is browned after cooking in the sous vide. A lot of high end restaurants use it for steaks.
Anyway, I was pretty impressed. Will I be buying one in the near future? I don't know. It's hard to justify for just me. My brother at least has Herb to help eat all the leftovers.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Dear People of Match: Special Toothbrush Etiquette Edition

Dear People of Match: In the event that you meet someone online and happen to go home with him/her, do not use any toothbrushes that might be lying around in the guest bathroom unless they are still in their original packaging. I don’t care if they are Oral-B’s, they are not intended for pre-nookie hoochie cleansing, or anything else for that matter.
Thank you,
-Old Biddy

In my sheltered existence, I have never had to worry about the fate of my toothbrush. It never even occurred to keep my toiletry kit in a safe place when I visited my brother. However, when staying with my brother and his buddy/roommate/landlord Herb at their bachelor pad, some things should not be taken for granted.
The big spring training tailgate bash was on Saturday. A good time was had by all. Herb had invited a date to come party with us. She brought a friend. They unintentionally provided a lot of stories and blog posts. Herb and Match Date (MD) were drunk off their asses and things degenerated into a lot of PDA’s. We left them at the bar around 9 and headed out.
After a day of sun and drinking, I was pretty sleepy since I was still on east coast time and am an old biddy. My brother dropped me off before going over to the afterparty, which was a few blocks away. I had the foresight to ask my brother for a pair of earplugs – I may be an old biddy but I am not completely clueless. And, since he lives with Herb, my brother has lots of earplugs. I took a shower and was about to go to sleep when Herb and MD showed up. She was very drunk and very loud. I heard her go into the bathroom, run the water for a long time, and then she returned to the living room and announce that she had used the toothbrush that was in the guest bathroom to clean something. Fortunately or unfortunately, I did not hear exactly what she used it for, but I suspect out that it was not her teeth, because if it were your teeth why would you announce that you cleaned something with it? Not that it really mattered, since there was no way in hell I was ever using it again, even though there was a 50% chance that she had used my brother’s toothbrush rather than mine. I put in the earplugs and went to sleep.
Some things run in the family, including a fondness for telling funny stories, so Herb is not going to live this one down for a long time.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Notes from an old biddy, part 33: another public service announcement re naked pics

Dear everyone,
Do not store naked pictures of yourself on your phone. Ever. Because if you do, and you happen to end up getting drunk and meet some other drunk people at a bar, weirdness may ensue. If said drunk people are of the sneaky variety and then you leave your phone on the table when you go to the bathroom, they might go looking through the pics on your phone and find pictures of your nice enhanced post-boob job boobs. They will then show them to all the other drunk and non-drunk people until you return from the bathroom. Just sayin'.
And, of course, it's a good idea to make sure all your nekkid pics are not accessible from your phone at all, even if you don't hang out with random smartass drunks.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Winter Mix

It used to be that Sheila and I would exhibit a profound negative impact on the weather whenever we got together, or even if I happened to pass though her neck of the woods on a connecting flight. I suspect that this is probably still in effect, but more recently my bad weather attracting skills seem to take effect whenever cowdude and I get together. Even though this is sort of an average winter and there are some weekends when it doesn't snow, we're batting 1000% for heavy snow falling either during the drive to or from each other's place. Checking the weather report helps a little, but not much. This weekend's forecast was for a storm to blow in this evening, giving me plenty of time to get home. Instead, it started mid-morning.
Ski resorts seriously need to start hiring us out when they need more snow.
In California and perhaps other parts of the country, 'spring mix' refers to a mix of different lettuces. Here in CNY, 'winter mix' has nothing to do with food. Instead, it is some to be determined combination of snow/sleet/hail/rain.