onefixedstar: (Default)
I made chocolate profiteroles last weekend, subbing in pastry cream for the whipped cream called for in the recipe. Actually, to be fair, B made chocolate profiteroles last weekend, while I read out the directions. About the only work I did was separating the egg yolks for the pastry cream and holding the pastry shells while B filled them using the old ziploc bag trick [livejournal.com profile] semiotic_trader reminded me of. We were a little doubtful about the pastry cream, which on its own had a rather unappetizing texture, but it turned out to be quite good when served with pastry as intended. And now that I've witnessed the making of pâte à choux, perhaps some day I'll try doing it myself. Perhaps when I have guests who can help eat the result.

It was actually quite a social weekend for us, though since we did all of our socializing elsewhere, that was no help in consuming the profiteroles. On Friday night we had a movie night with a friend and his 40-something inch television (or was it 50-something inch?) so that we could all admire the clarity of Blu-ray. On Saturday we saw The Bourne Ultimatum with [livejournal.com profile] semiotic_trader and [livejournal.com profile] a_just_society and then went down to the Distillery District for (a rather mediocre for the money) supper. [livejournal.com profile] semiotic_trader and [livejournal.com profile] a_just_society are on vacation right now, which sounds like a lovely idea. It's something I'd like to try again, sometime in the future.

On a completely unrelated note, our regular mail carrier seems to have vanished, leaving behind a rather careless replacement. The replacement carrier apparently hasn't noticed yet that there are mailboxes for the individual apartments inside the side door of the house, so she or he has been leaving piles of mail outside. On Monday, the carrier left the mail outside of the side door. On Tuesday and Wednesday, I found the mail outside of the front door, which serves as a private entrance to one of the apartments. The building has an odd set-up, I admit, and perhaps it's not surprising that the carrier hasn't taken the time to look around, but I'm not enjoying the new daily hunt for the mail. What really worries me is that I didn't discover the new delivery system until Monday, but as we didn't get any mail last Thursday or Friday, there's a possibility that some letters and packages have simply been lost.

Mmm...pie

Aug. 9th, 2007 01:18 pm
onefixedstar: (mystery)
I've been on a pie kick lately.

It started with Taste T.O.'s review of Madeleines, Cherry Pie, and Ice Cream. I'm sadly afflicted with a prominent sweet-tooth, and the thought of a hitherto undiscovered dessert shop in my neighbourhood was very exciting, so B and I paid them a visit one Sunday evening. Unfortunately, it turned out that their website is out-of-date and so we arrived well within the website hours but an hour after they had actually closed for the day. Disappointing, to say the least, but our disappointment was mostly rectified by a quick trip to the supermarket for an apple pie and some whipping cream.

The apple pie was good. Perhaps not as good as a pie from Madeleines would have been, but you have to take pie where you can get it, and Sobeys is open 24 hours.

The next weekend, B pointed out that we were being overrun with strawberries, and suggested that a pie might be an excellent way to cope with that situation. So I went on the hunt and came up with what looked like a fairly decent strawberry pie recipe. As hot as it was, I didn't want to try making the pastry myself, so we bought a frozen pie shell and mixed up the very easy filling. That pie also turned out very well, though I do recommend cutting back on the sugar as many of the commenters suggest.

Today, on my breaks between working on my proposal, I've been reading about how to make different kinds of pastry. It's possible that acknowledging the fat content may be enough to prevent me from ever eating pie again. If not, then I fear that a successful attempt at making pie crust may lead into other pastry-making ventures. (Danishes! Cream puffs!) It could be bad. But very tasty.
onefixedstar: (mystery)
Do you know what's a good time waster/procrastination technique? Cleaning out three years worth of (primarily) commercial emails from my commercial email account. Blumer remains unfinished, but I'm down to 2 pages from 5 in my hotmail account and I've discovered a bunch of new recipes from Epicurious's recipe flash that I'm now eager to try. Woohoo! Oh, and speaking of Epicurious, this roasted-corn salsa is really good. I haven't tried the steak half of the recipe. (Tonight's pesto was pretty good too, but not special enough to post the recipe.)

Hmm, maybe I should think about going to bed soon. (Sleep is another great procrastination technique.)
onefixedstar: (academic)
Wow, my blog is dull these days. I read, I read, and I read some more. The lively life of a graduate student! And then sometimes I curse my broken graphics card (I'm definitely taking it in for repairs this week), and I read a bit of the news or check if my flist has been updated, and then I go back to reading theory. I suppose I could post book reviews...anyone want a review of Blumer's Symbolic Interactionism?

I do occasionally take breaks, mind you. Last night, for example, we watched The Return of the King, and B laughed his way the through the ending, decreeing that it was too long to be touching. Tonight I think the big adventure is going to be my first attempt at making pesto. We have a thriving basil plant that's just crying out to be used, so it seemed the logical choice. But for now, it's back to reading.
onefixedstar: (academic)
27 essays down, 40 to go. Well, in theory, if you look at the class list. If I count the ones I actually have in my possesion, there are only 29 left. These essays were due six days ago, with a penalty of 10% per day (excluding weekends). Admittedly, there were a couple of extensions granted for illness, and I haven't checked the assignment box since late Thursday, but...there are either a lot of people who dropped the course recently, or a lot of people who are going to do very badly on this paper.

Oh--last night's chicken turned out wonderfully. I used the brown at high temperature, then cook at moderate temperature method and stuffed the cavity full of lemon and onions and garlic and fresh rosemary. And put butter seasoned with garlic and rosemary and sage under the skin, and a bit of olive oil on the skin to help with the browning. Not healthy, but very tasty. The gravy, sadly, did not turn out so well, so my goal for next time will be to work on that. And test the slow roast method. In the meantime, B's fridge is full of rich gold chicken stock, and I'll be heading back there later this week for some homemade chicken noodle soup.
onefixedstar: (mystery)
Inspired by a recent post in [livejournal.com profile] cooking, I made some biscotti this afternoon. Four kinds, in total: lemon, vanilla almond, cinnamon, and double chocolate cherry. It turned out better than I expected, flavourwise, considering that I mixed the dough and then added the flavouring agents after separating it. Cookingwise, I toasted it a little too long on the second baking, but otherwise it turned out well. I especially like the double chocolate cherry.

In tangential news, B is going to be organizing a session at a conference in Urbania, Italy in July. Schedule permitting, I may go with him. Yay, Italy!
onefixedstar: (mystery)
I allowed myself to become a pawn of advertising and bought one of the ePac backpacks that have been advertised everywhere in Toronto for the last month or so. And yes, I must admit, I love it. My love does not arise from the quality of the construction or design (both are decent enough, but not substantially better than my last backpack). It's not the padded straps, or the separate iPod carrying case, or even the clever bottom-zip pouch that lets you pull things out when it's stowed under the seat in front of you on the airplane. No, my love arises solely from the fact that this bag possesses a separate laptop pouch that actually holds my 15.4" widescreen laptop. No muss, no fuss, just a simple slot to slip my laptop into. It's lovely. And it will be even lovelier the next time I go through airport security, and am able to leave the security area with my laptop in my bag, rather than hobbling along (my shoes having also been x-rayed) with laptop in one hand and backpack in the other because I couldn't put the two back together without taking everything else out and you can't use the search tables to repack.

Also, on a completely unrelated note, grapefruit and avocado is a surprisingly tasty combination. (We skipped the lobster...)
onefixedstar: (sandmanweber)
Tonight was Networks Discussion Night II. Three of the invited members couldn't be there, leaving only five of us to discuss. It was a bit small, but as I'm terribly fond of all of the people who did make it, I didn't mind. (I don't dislike the absentees, I just don't know them as well.) We talked a bit about isolation, and the recent discovery that mean and median size of American core discussion groups seem to have shrunk a little over the past twenty years, leaving the U.S. with an unfortunate number of people who apparently don't talk to anyone. Lots of debate about why the change and whether people are feeling unfilled and where they're going instead and whether it might apply to Canada too. It was a short meeting too, which was nice. Tomorrow, I have a long RA meeting and an almost-as-long student government meeting, Wednesday a TA meeting, and then I'm done! Well, apart from all of the work I haven't been able to do over the past 2 1/2 weeks while I've been in meetings and job talks.

In other news, as part of my only remaining hobby, I'd like to try making potato and leek soup this weekend. Anyone have any good recipes?
onefixedstar: (mystery)
With the onset of autumny weather, I've begun craving winter foods. B, on the other hand, is trying to get as much use out of his grill as he can. Friday night, in true Canadian fashion (he's learning fast!), he swept his deck free of snow and grilled some steak. On Sunday, in keeping with my desire for comfort food and his southern roots, I made chicken & dumplings. Overall, I think it turned out pretty well. B's only complaint was that there weren't enough dumplings.
onefixedstar: (sandmanweber)
I've noticed that cooking is slowly creeping in as my major hobby. I don't even do that much of it, but it seems to be the thing that I think about the most when I'm not thinking about school. It amuses B to no end when we come across a dish in a magazine or show, and I decide we should try to make it ourselves. He doesn't enjoy following recipes, but he's very good at following any directions I give him, though I think I'm undermining his confidence in the kitchen. He made French toast on Sunday, and came in twice while I was in the shower to ask how for instructions. I need to do something about that. I also feel slightly guilty because before we starting going out, he was on a very simple, long-life diet featuring lots of plain steamed vegetables and nuts with minimal meat and carbs. Very nutritious, relatively easy to cook, and terribly boring (IMO). The food I make is tastier, but I don't think it's quite as healthy.

I didn't make any spectacular dishes this weekend. Friday night we ate out, Saturday we took advantage of the relatively nice weather to grill steak, and Sunday we made a basic stirfry and a rather odd version of Thai Spicy Eggplant that involved vinegar and no fish sauce. (I have a good Thai cookbook, but it was at home and I wasn't, so I searched online and that was the recipe I came up with. I was also somewhat hampered by the fact that B didn't want to buy either fish sauce or red pepper flakes.)

I think I need more cookbooks.

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