Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pork Roast: 18 hours later

Pork roasts are versatile. Using the most basic of seasonings, they can turn into a wide variety of dishes.

Toss a couple of onions and potatoes into the slow cooker as well, and it can easily become a very hearty meal for a week.

Now, notice I mention slow cooker. This usually takes about 4-6 hours for a 3 pound roast, on low. 4-6 hours. Not 18.

Yes, we had a pork roast that sat in the slow cooker on low for 18 hours. Parts were burnt. Thankfully it wasn't on high, lest it all be burnt.

It wasn't bad, just a little dry.

I managed to rescue it with salsa and a can of diced tomatoes. I pulled the pork apart with a pair of forks, tossed it (with its juices that were in the slow cooker) into a skillet with part of a jar of salsa and a can of diced tomatoes.

Simmered it all on low for about an hour, (lid off) and the pork was no longer dry! We plan on turning it into yummy enchiladas.

In the end, it turned out all right, but seriously. Don't leave a pork roast in a slow cooker for 18 hours.

If anyone was wondering, I didn't survive the zombie apocalypse. I was turned turing my attempt to get rescued! I then nommed a human in revenge.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Food During a Zombie Apocalypse Day 6 - Zombie Nutrition

I am still alive, but I wanted to talk more about zombie food.

I touched on how brains are a sometimes food for zombies.

Brains are popular, but they are in scarce supply and only getting scarcer as more and more humans are eaten for food. Don't let them go to waste, for sure, but they should only supplement your diet, not be the entirety of it.

Look at the various bits of flesh and see how you can adapt them to more conventional recipes.

Keep in mind that there are only half the number of humans left. What happens when all the humans are gone? You're going to want to start thinking about alternate food sources!

Pigs supposedly taste like humans - but will they support the false life that zombies have?

Tomorrow is the last showdown! One last hurrah to try and get the remaining humans out. Good luck to all of my fellow humans who must brave the zombie horde today. I will see you tomorrow - or not!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Food during a Zombie Apocalypse - Day 3

I hunkered down yesterday in my stronghold, avoiding all zombies. Instead, I made yummy food!

I made Greek, it turned out all right. Used chicken sausage because that's about all that's available in non preserved, non Italian form. I highly recommend using a heavier meat than that though. The chicken was yummy but the flavor didn't stand out.

A slightly spicy sausage would also go well with it, the cream sauce turned out very light and yummy. Feta was also a very good garnish cheese.

As a zombie apocalypse food, it's very good for early in the stages - helps use up some of the perishable foods like cream and sausage, and provides slow release energy in the form of carbs.

Zombies could also enjoy this dish, possibly with a nice human thigh or liver. Brains are a sometimes food, didn't you know?

Speaking of the zombie apocalypse, the humans were able to slaughter a huge number of zombies last night, pushing the numbers low enough for them not to be a concern until about midday today.

And today I'm going to run away to the other side of the state where the zombies have yet to get to (they don't do well crossing mountains).

Yesterday's update never came because I was swamped with homework, sorry!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Food During a Zombie Apocalypse - Day 1

So it's day one of the zombie apocalypse. All you need is a little common sense and a nerf blaster, right?

Not really.

How do you expect to eat? Where are you getting food from? Dining halls are death traps. As are any food selling locations.

Little known fact: Zombies only hunt between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Evolutionarily speaking, it doesn't make sense for them to try and hunt when there are times of little food. Kind of like how polar bears hibernate.

So how do you use this to your advantage? Avoid *becoming* zombie food by talking to a veteran human. Learn what "camping" and "building hopping" are and how to use them to your advantage.

Building Hopping - moving between one building and another without spending too much time outside to minimize zombie food possiblities.

Camping - staying in one building for long periods of time (sometimes till the zombies stop hunting for the day) to avoid exposure risk

Sack lunches are your FRIENDS. Those combined with camping work really really well!

I'll update this post again at the end of the day to tell any horror stories trying to get to class!


So I survived! Day one is done! I only shot 1 zombie, and only saw 2 where they could have gotten me. Stay tuned tomorrow for zombie cooking tips!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Gyros & Tzatziki

Now that my finger is healed up (for the most part) I'm back to using the blender (at least, the food processor attachment).

As a fan of gyros and doner kebabs, I decided to make some for my roommates. The recipe for the meat was pretty easy (I used Alton Brown's recipe) though finding a regular (not non-stick!) loaf pan proved futile. Pyrex makes a very nice glass thing that is vaguely loaf-pan shaped.

I managed to not get my finger caught in the food processor, and managed to puree two pounds of lamb in about 4 batches in a tiny food processor attachment to the stick blender.

Keep in mind that onions hate being processed even more than they hate being chopped. Onions usually don't bother me much. My eyes will water but what ever. However, when I ran that thing through the food processor, I had tears streaming down my face. I was about ready to get out my roommate's chemistry goggles that she uses to chop onions!

The fun (and yummy!) part is always the tzatziki. I don't use Alton Brown's recipe, I think that it's overly complicated. Really, you only need greek yogurt (or regular yogurt that has had the water drained out) a cucumber, garlic, and dill.

Remove the seeds from the cucumber and salt heavily, cut side down. Mince the garlic (as much as you'd like) and mix it and the dill into the yogurt.

Rinse the cucumber and chop it up, and then mix the pieces into the yogurt. Viola! Tzatziki!

Sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, and crumbled feta all go well for people to make their own gyros with!


So it ended up more of a meatloaf consistency than a gyros meat consistency. Very very yummy, but it didn't congeal right. If you can, do it on a rotisserie. If not, pan fry the meatloaf like bits and it works just fine, even if it's not long juicy strips like you get from the doner kebab stands!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Battle of the Blender

So, I was going to update a few days ago (my roommates were moving in, it was nuts!) but I managed to get my finger caught in a blender and couldn't type.

I learned some important lessons when trying to make hummus:

Hummus should not be made with a stick blender, they jam... (The blender was not ON when I stuck my finger in there, I promise. I'm not that stupid.) Preferably with a food processor.

Don't cook with sharp things when you're overly tired.

Hummus with blood is not yummy.

If you've stuck your finger in a blender and don't make any noise, your roommate is going to assume you're making smoothies with red berries until you explain.

Did you know that low blood pressure can make you lose sight AND hearing?

ALSO! This kitchen has become blood thirsty. My roommate cut her finger while washing a knife a couple of days after I tried to blend my finger.

Anyway, I will have a real update soon. The tip of my finger hurts and so it's hard to type. (Left index, no it didn't require stitches).

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Day of the Great Garlic Massacre

So I'm an avid Babylon 5 fan, which my father introduced me to, and purchased the cookbook for my father on Fathers' Day a few years back.

Mr. Garibaldi's Bagna Cauda recipe was something I always wanted to try, and we finally did it tonight.

Looking over the recipe, I knew I couldn't use basil, I wanted to try something I could share with my roommate. The thyme worked well as a yummy substitute.

Anchovies are apparently hard to find in Germany, we were forced to use anchovy paste (which worked just fine).

But the garlic. I knew we had plenty of fresh garlic (almost a full bulb) and so didn't think about getting another one.

I started to chop, and discovered that the cloves I grabbed had started sprouting. So I grabbed more. Same thing. And more, and more... the entire bulb had started to sprout. I had been cutting the cloves in half and pushing them off the cutting board.

Cloves and garlic peels everywhere, trying to find something acceptable. There was naught but a clove. Whoops. Okay.

I shuffled through the carnage, trying to find the least green pieces. We were only doing a half recipe, but 2.5 tablespoons of garlic when you've got a clove to work with isn't the best feeling. I ripped apart the second best cloves, pulling sprouts out of them. I minced it all fine, and then measured it. Half a tablespoon short.

At this point, the garlic mess is all over the counter and my father is wondering if I need help (and not with the cooking).

I managed to get the last half tablespoon without too much more carnage (but have you seen how much space most of a bulb of garlic can take up when it's in about 100 pieces?!)

It came out perfectly, if a little salty (even without any extra salt!)

Bagna Cauda recipe from Dining on Babylon 5 (slightly modified, original in parentheses)
8 fl. oz Extra Virgin Olive Oil
125 g Butter
5 tbsp minced garlic
10 anchovy fillets
Salt, pepper, (1/4 tsp) thyme (basil) and (1/2 tsp) oregano to taste

Heat the oil, butter, garlic, and anchovies in a pan until the butter melts. Simmer for 4 minutes and then add seasonings.

Eat like a fondue! (Toast was great, though the recipe also recommended carrots and bell peppers)

Bagna cauda keeps surprisingly well in the fridge. I reheated it in the microwave for about a minute and it turned out just fine (go by the smell. When it stops smelling like anchovies and starts smelling like bagna cauda again, you're good).

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Let's talk about steak for a moment.

In my recent travels, I had the delightful experience of eating a perfectly cooked steak. I asked for a rare steak, my preferred method of eating them.

The kind waitress warned me that it would be "very rare."

The steak was beautiful. Seared on the outside, pink and cool on the inside. The center had obviously never seen 145 degrees. It looked more like a perfectly cooked piece of tuna than a steak. There was blood on the plate.

It was easily the best steak I had ever eaten. Now why can't we have such nice things in steak houses in the United States? Why are people so paranoid about the germs?

I do understand people who have compromised immune systems or other concerns, but what is it about over cooked steak that appeals to people?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Airports, oh Airports

It's been a while, but I've been traveling.

Airports are not the ideal place for eating healthy. Depending on the location of the airport in question, results may vary. In Toronto, I found a place called "Coyote Jack's" a burger place that wasn't fast food.

Chicago had a number of pizza places, though I didn't eat during my time there.

In Riga in Latvia there was a small sandwich shop that provided good food.

Some recommendations:

Avoid fast food (obviously)
Look for local food places if in a foreign country
Bring your own food if possible

So what is not "fast food"?
Any place that makes their own food (not just heating up pre-made food)
Places with a high turn over - not a lot of product sitting around
What is the local food like? Chicago = pizza, things like that

Following those guidelines, I managed to stay allergy-free despite spending nearly 2 days in various airports.

Anyway, I'm still jet lagged badly (went from Washington state to Germany!) so good night all!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Baking without Sugar

I recently turned the grand old age of 20, and tomorrow is my party, so naturally there needs to be a birthday cake. However, one of my dear friends is highly allergic to sucrose.

The cake would be an easy fix - just swap out the sugar for a fructose substitute in a smaller batch and make cupcakes.

The first choice for a frosting needed both brown sugar and powdered (confectioner's) sugar, before I got confirmation that my friend was coming. Whoops.

So the second choice is a whipped cream frosting with raspberries. It only requires a tablespoon of regular sugar and should be fine with a fructose substitute.

Off to go grocery shopping, we hit another problem - the only fructose they have was processed on the same equipment that processes peanuts. Whoops. Well, we got it anyway, (way too much I might add) and made a separate batch of cupcakes with fructose. A 2/3 ratio of fructose to sugar (2/3 cup fructose for every 1 cup sugar) worked very nicely.

It all went over very well - about half the cake got eaten and the cupcakes went home with my friend.