icepixie: ([Fringe] Two Olivias)
"Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a songbird will come."

I donated to the National Wildlife Federation last year, and in return they sent me a 16-month calendar I keep in my cube at work. It has a nature-related quote for each month, and that was the one for December. They attribute it as "an old Chinese proverb." Whatever it is, I like it. Reminds me of Millay's Sonnet XLIII, which is never a bad thing.


I'm attempting to leaven my low carb diet of vegetables, meat, and beans with new and interesting complex carbs,* so today I made buckweat groats, aka kasha, and added butter, salt, and garlic. It's very good! Reminiscent of quinoa, but with even more character.

* The pun is entirely intentional


I think it's time to admit I have failed utterly on [community profile] fandom_stocking this year. I only wrote one thing, and I don't think I'll be able to pull off anything else. :( I wish there were a way to see a list of who wants things like music or poetry recs, so I could at least fill some stockings with that.

On the other hand, this weekend I made about 500 words of progress on a Northern Exposure fic I've been working on...well, really for about a decade, if you count all the failed variations I've started over the years or the little fragments I've played over and over in my mind's eye, but the current version has a file-created date of August 2011, so. At this rate, I might finish it by 2030!
icepixie: ([B5] Lonely Hearts)
I've gotten behind on responding to comments and commenting on my flist due to RL busyness, but I AM going to catch up sometime this week! In the meantime, let me talk to you about fennel. I tried the actual vegetable (did you know it's a vegetable too, and not just an herb only suitable for flavoring? I didn't!), and sauteed, with a pinch of artificial sugar sprinkled over the results, tastes exactly like black/licorice jellybeans in vegetable form. It is deeply weird, but also pretty good.

We're exploring new and different vegetables because we've sort of gone low carb. Well, my mother has, and she's sticking to it the best, but my dad and I are joining her for solidarity and weight-losing purposes. It's actually done interesting and tasty things to our meals. We discovered quinoa, which is like rice but better--still amenable to being flavored by any sauce or spice you care to add, but chewy and firm, which I like in a grain. The other night we had guacamole and salsa over chicken with melted cheese (and today we're going to do basically the same thing, except with black beans instead of chicken). I even got my mother to eat fish, specifically tilapia, with a delicious sauce she made up using key limes, turmeric, garlic, and parsley. Om nom nom!
icepixie: ([Movies] Fred and Ginger heart)
I just made the BEST MUFFINS EVER. Strawberry lemonade muffins! I got the recipe out of an issue of Southern Living, and it's also available here.

Photographic evidence )

The recipe calls for strawberry curd to top it, but that looked like a lot of work, and I've been wanting to try lemon curd for a while anyway (IT IS DELICIOUS), so I went with that.

We used the rest of the strawberries to top a big salad. Not as good as the muffins, but who cares when the muffins are that good?
icepixie: ([Fringe] Two Olivias)
Onion pita + garlic hummus + tabouleh + garlic and herb feta = OMG YES. How did I not even know tabouleh existed until just a few months ago? This stuff is amazing! Though I used way too much lemon juice in this batch (my first homemade batch). It's very citrusy. I am thoroughly safe from scurvy.

The Fringe rewatch continues apace. I'm two-thirds of the way through S3 now.

Some thoughts. As usual, spoilers for everything that's aired. )

Completely unrelated to any of the above, today my brain decided that Astrid/Brandon would be a most excellent crack!ship. THINK OF THE NERDINESS.
icepixie: ([Castle] My fandom reads)
Castle spoilers )


My mom bought a can of Tony Chachere's Seasoning (BTW, [ profile] sleepingcbw or other Louisianans, how is that pronounced?), and duuuuude. I am going to put this on everything!

(Although possibly pinto beans don't need quite that much when it's also combined with a dose of chili powder...)


A random blast from the past: Seven of Nine and the Doctor singing "You Are My Sunshine"* and "My Darling Clementine," along with two other scenes. I shipped them so much after "Someone to Watch Over Me." Well, until I quit watching the show a year later out of sheer frustration. But they were adorable. ("Holodeck 2, tomorrow, 1600 hours. Just you, me...and a tuning fork.")

Relatedly, the Doctor provides an...interesting interpretation of "Rock-a-bye Baby."

* Enjoy the earworm. I'd apologize, but it's been in my head for a day now, and I lost all my sympathy long ago.
icepixie: ([B5] Lonely Hearts)
My mom has a subscription to Better Homes & Gardens, and sometimes I look through it, mostly at the recipes. I usually find them to be either analogues of things I already know how to make, or far too complex to mess with, but usually they at least make sense.

Bacon in chocolate chip cookies DOES NOT MAKE SENSE. Someone there needs to lay off the crack.


Tonight's Castle:

Nothing too spoily )

ETA: Pat Tallman was the victim this week! Awesome. Man, what has she even been up to lately? (Also, I wonder if it was intentional that they cast her to play a psychic. Heh heh heh. Apparently her Touched By Vorlons thing extends even further than B5...)
icepixie: ([Other] Cake)
Om nom nom. I love fruit with chicken, and I love orange and cranberry flavors together. Add in some cinnamon and this is a triple win.

This is technically based on a recipe for Chicken Tagine with Apricots and Almonds found in David Leibovitz's The Sweet Life in Paris, but in practice it bears almost no relationship to it.

Cranberry-Orange-Peach Chicken with Cinnamon Jasmine Rice )

Cross-posted to [ profile] fandom_cookery.
icepixie: ([Personal] Tea)
Apparently my local Kroger has turned into Import Central, particularly for European countries. This is AWESOME. McVitie's biscuits! Blackcurrant jam! Malteasers! About twenty different varieties of black and flavored black tea! Interesting herbal teas from Caribbean countries! German mustard and Swiss chocolate! Thai noodles! Indian curries!

This last one brings up a question. The only Indian food I've ever had that I can remember is korma--once at fair, and last week out of a jar.* I've liked what I've had so far, but don't really know where to go from there. Does anyone have any favorites to suggest? (I know making from scratch would probably make anything taste better, but let's be honest--I'm not even all that great with stuff where I know what the end product is supposed to taste like. I'm gonna go with the jars and cans at least until I figure out what I like.) There were lots of jars with interesting names full of interesting-looking sauces and chutneys, as well as things like naan bread mix and cannisters of poppadums (sp?). I like food with a lot of flavor--if it's bland, I will undoubtedly douse it with salt, pepper, garlic, and/or sugar. What should I try?

(I got a jar of tikka masala sauce today that I plan on trying later this month. The description sounded good, and I remember hearing the name when I was in the UK...)

* I know, I know--I lived in England for nine months and completely missed out on Indian food. I don't know how that happened. It wasn't intentional.
icepixie: ([Poetry] Swans)
I got a form in my departmental mailbox today asking me to give the secretaries my preferences for 101 class meeting times next semester. This seems so unreal. In August, I will be teaching two classes. This summer, I will be constructing a syllabus. CRA. ZEE.

Further craziness, in the crazy-amazing sense, is the chicken recipe I cooked up last night. It's not really a recipe so much as a "throw all these things together in the amounts you think proper and cook" kind of deal, but it is OMNOMNOMish nonetheless. I took two giant frozen chicken breasts and put them in a pan, added about an eighth of a cup of olive oil--maybe more--I drizzled, basically--then the juice of two navel oranges (I think a few tablespoons of orange juice along with that would've been effective, but I didn't have any), and a chopped-up third of a sweet onion. Then I sprinkled garlic and rosemary liberally over the whole thing, and cinnamon not so liberally. I let it marinate/defrost in the fridge for twenty-four hours before sauteing everything in a frying pan. For my leftovers, I tried dipping bites of the chicken in honey, and that was good as well.

Apropos of nothing: in an attempt to procrastinate on annotating articles for my 505 project, I had an epiphanic understanding of the circle of fifths last night. I finally get what it's doing, and why it's a circle, and why everything on the circle is where it is. I'm sure there's much more I don't get, but that's kind of awesome anyway. (The reason I was looking such a thing up trails back to the music from last Friday's BSG. I want the soundtrack nooooooow.)
icepixie: ([NX] Let there be light)
I made cranberry sauce for the first time this year. I was never a fan of the canned stuff, but since I've really gotten into dried cranberries over the past year or two, I decided to try my own version, cobbled together from multiple recipes online.

The amounts here made enough for my parents and me to have it on turkey and have some left over to drizzle on a loaf of cranberry orange bread next week. Keep the ratios the same and you can make as much or as little as you want.

4 oz fresh cranberries (about two or three cups; basically, this was a third of a 12 oz bag)
1 orange
1 cup sugar + more to taste (I probably ended up with two cups; you just have to keep tasting it as it cooks)
1/2 cup water
Splash of orange juice

Bring sugar and water to a boil. Peel orange and dice into small pieces (use a knife to get ride of the bitter white stuff just under the peel), then add orange and cranberries to boiling sugar water. Boil for about thirty minutes or until the cranberries have popped and the mixture is red and kind of jamish.


I'm done with my Bones moodtheme! I figured I wouldn't finish it until 2010, so that was a surprise. (Dear lord, there are a lot of moods. And some that are just unnecessary, like "recumbent" or "complacent," while they leave off infinitely useful moods like "dubious" or "horrified.") I just have to do some last-minute color correction then I will share!
icepixie: ([Movies] Remy OMG)
I just made the BEST CORNBREAD EVER. (If you're wondering why I'm making cornbread at nine o'clock at night, it has to do with needing to use up perishible items before I go out of town for a month next week, and a sudden urge for baked goods. I actually really like baking. I did not know this about myself until recently.)

It's regular Martha White cornbread mix, but I added bacon, onions, and a spoonful of sour cream. OM NOM NOM. Horrible for the arteries, but it uses up stuff that will go bad over vacation,


May. 15th, 2008 08:13 pm
icepixie: (Ned with strawberry)
This was tonight's impromptu cooking project. Aren't they cute? And so fruity and flaky and delicious as well. Mmmmm. (And they only took the puff pastry shells and some peach pie filling! Easy peasy!)

Pic )

I think this must be the pastry that they used to make the amazing apple fritters in the bakery near our hotel in Paris. (I think I had one for breakfast all five days we were there.) I must try it with apples, and all the other pie fillings in the baking aisle at Kroger...
icepixie: (Victorian rat)
Ratatouille is out on DVD, and we rented it because Dad hadn't seen it yet and I wanted to see it again.

Of course the movie was good--I believe I went on at length after I saw it in the theater about how it's one of the most adorable films I've ever seen, and I want to hug it and squeeze it and call it George. But as a bonus for the DVD, they also had a short film called, "Your Friend the Rat," a vaguely musical history of rats, hosted by Remy and Emile. It was cute and amusing all the way through, but the best part? When dramatizing why Alberta was particularly rat-free, they depicted the battle between Mountie and Rat as a video game wherein the Mountie (somehow dressed simultaneously in both the dress reds and the outfit of a particularly patriotic hockey goalie) used his arm padding/shield, which had a Canadian flag on it, to...shoot a laser in the shape of a maple leaf at the rat. I was on the floor.

(Oh, look, someone put it on YouTube. Why am I not surprised? Watch, it's hilarious.)


Now I really want to cook my sausage-and-garbanzo-bean soup tomorrow. (Much like Linguine, I am winging it with the soup. the first time I've ever made a soup that doesn't come condensed in a can. I hope it turns out edible.)
icepixie: (Ned with strawberry)
Okay, so, as a rule, I'm not a huge fan of pie. A few of the fillings are generally okay, but I'm opposed to piecrust. Basically, chocolate, pecan, apple, peach, and coconut cream pies are about the limit of my pie-eating, and that's, oh, twice a year or so.

However, Pushing Daisies awakened within me a yearning for pie (thanks ever so, Bryan Fuller), and it was egged along by a recipe + picture of a pear, cranberry, and caramel pie I saw on in a magazine last week. I've never had a pear pie (and I've been assured by reliable sources, i.e. my mother, that they cause severe gastrointestinal distress), so I decided to alter the recipe to cranberry-apple-caramel pie. And because fresh cranberries do not exist in my town, and who even knows what kind of apples are used to make a pie (hint: not me or anyone I know), I went the easy route of canned apple pie filling, canned whole cranberry sauce, and pre-made piecrust.

In the end, I think I could've saved a lot of trouble by just making an apple pie, because that's exactly what it tasted like. Or, more likely, I should hunt for real cranberries, because while these had no flavor whatsoever, I know from experience that cranberries do indeed have a taste, and it's a good one if you add enough sugar.* On the other hand, pie crust drenched in caramel sauce is kind of amazing, so that's a good thing to know.

In more pie-related discussion, I wandered into the pie article on Wikipedia tonight. It links to an article about a pastry with the euphonious name of "stargazy pie." As this picture shows, it's not nearly as sweet as one might think.

That article links to a lot of frightening things, such as the deep-fried pizza. One of the ways poeple eat them is apparently by breaking it in half, putting french fries in between the halves, and eating it as a sandwich. I begin to understand why Scotland has such a high heart disease rate.

* Yes, I know, I have a raging sweet tooth. Rar, it's raging at you.


Also on a sweet topic. belated happy birthdays to [ profile] tarzanic, [personal profile] serendipityxxi, and [ profile] ladysorka!
icepixie: (Jaye glee)
Sainsbury's has black-eyed peas!!! *loves black-eyed peas with a strange passion* Too bad they don't have smoked sausage and dirty rice.

Sainsbury's also has crepe-like pancakes and Nutella, which I have come to appreciate despite my aversion to hazelnuts. Sainsbury's is a very bad influence, you know?

(And theoretically they have soda bread, but I never did find it. Must mooch off of Chandra's... ;))

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