semiotic_pirate: (Juicy Oranges)
Farfalle Noir

This began as an experiment. One that, instead of going horribly awry, went fantastically well. It turned out so good, in fact, that the DH practically licked the bowl and then held it out for seconds. This is a pastafarian tribute to the great Flying Spaghetti Monster, may you be blessed by the touch of its noodly appendage.

The ingredients that I used, except for the freshly grated, aged parmesan, appear in the picture below.

Farfalle Noir 1

1. Prepare pasta according to directions, coat lightly with olive oil, set aside.

2. Mix together two cups wine, a 1/2 cup or more of the basil pesto, and two tablespoons or so of the parsley paste, while bringing to a simmer over medium heat.

3. Add pasta, stirring frequently to coat the farfalle pasta thoroughly, allowing the liquid to reduce.

4. Once nearly fully reduced, drain the olives and white beans, then add the olives and beans to the pasta, stirring until fully coated. Continue cooking until beans are fully warmed through.

5. Serve in a bowl, with parmesan to taste/preference.

Farfalle Noir 2

When I first made this, I didn't have any white beans on hand, but did prepare it using the rest of the ingredients. Also, the first time I made this I had made the pasta the night before, coating it in about half of the above listed pesto. I then used it the following night to finish off the recipe. So, yes, you can make part of this ahead of time if desired. This paired wonderfully with the wine that was used in the reduction. This is what my serving looked like. Feel free to use more pesto if you like to season with a heavy hand.
semiotic_pirate: (Pirate Grrl - RIOT)
Although I've never tried the sauce myself. I have many friends who swear by it and I am ready to defend their culinary choices. I'm posting the below b/c some people are seeing only a paywall while others are not encountering it at all and can see the article without problems. I don't know what the issue is with the website - and if it is just a matter of reading it on a mobile browser, or what. So. This post will self destruct in 24 hours or when I remember that I've got to self-destruct it. Okay?

Save Sriracha!
Save a beloved hot sauce from smelly politics
March 21, 2014|By Ernesto Hernandez-Lopez

Local politics in California has ignited fear for fans of Sriracha, an extremely popular hot sauce, created for pho, a Vietnamese soup, and now fancied for Asian, taco and fusion dishes, sushi and street food. Celebrities, home chefs, even workers from the mailroom to the top offices are fans. Sriracha lovers around the globe are closely monitoring the actions of a small Los Angeles suburb that recently went to court to stop its production. The small city of Irwindale, east of Los Angeles, argues that Huy Fong Foods, maker of Sriracha, a hot chili sauce, emits harmful odors from a new plant within the city boundaries.

Read the rest behind the big curtain. )
semiotic_pirate: (eyeball)
Make your voices heard people! Food, not fuel. See this link for info on the situation:

and this link/document for how to make your voice heard via public comment:

Written comments must be received on or before October 11, 2012.

Here's the email I sent:

Greetings -

RE: Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2012-0632

I think that the mandate for the amount of ethanol produced should be suspended. Specifically, the amount and use of corn to produce that ethanol. Although I am a supporter of alternate fuel sources, I do not believe that we should take sources of FOOD and turn them into fuel. There are plenty of alternatives to corn and other food grade inputs (like soybeans for biodiesel) in creating fuels, (cellulosic, alga sourced, etc.) Please, at the very least, lower or suspend the Renewable Fuel Standard requirements for next year.

Please see this fantastic article about the nutritional content of the ethanol that goes into our fuel tanks and the effect of the lack of this food source in feeding people.

As someone who works as an analyst in agricultural banking, I am seeing the effects of the yield and quality reductions in our nation's grain crops. Those effects are being felt by every level of agricultural production; from the farmer that is harvesting the grain, the marketing cooperative/company, the input cooperative/company, the protein ranchers and farmers with their input prices, the further processors, the consumers.

Food. Not Fuel.

Thank you for listening.

*real name here*
semiotic_pirate: (Core Rat & Hot Pockets)
On this, its sabbath... we shall celebrate with pasta, and sauce, and meaaaatbaaaaaalllsss!

Quinoa shell pasta
Roasted garlic napoletana red sauce
home made meatballs

Meatballs (for two):

preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Pray to FSM that wind storm doesn't knock out power. prepare baking sheet (I put foil on mine then spray with original Pam).

One pound grass fed 90% ground beef
appx 1/2 cup of gluten free italian seasoned bread crumbs (thanks Dee's!)
1 tsp roasted diced garlic
2 tbsp dijon mustard
two generous dashes worcestershire sauce
one dash chipotle tabasco sauce
One truly free range egg (the shell is a bluish green and the yolk is a dark orange color - mmmn, a chicken with bugs in its diet!)

Put all ingredients except ground beef in bowl. Gently mix together until you have a slurry. Add ground beef and squish together with freshly cleaned hands until well mixed. Form meatballs with a 1.5-2 inch diameter; place each one as formed, evenly spaced, on baking sheet. Put in oven when preheated. bake for 20-25 minutes.

Yum. Enjoy.

Until I found out I could bake them in the oven, I had almost declared myself too tired to make the meatballs. Huzzah for baking!
semiotic_pirate: (masked wine taster)
Well, spaghetti day anyway. From my local, fantastic, GFCF bakery I found containers of italian seasoned breadcrumbs... I'm very much looking forward to taking some grass fed ground beef and getting my hands full of it, eggs, the breadcrumbs, and other things, and making some truly wonderful meatballs to go with some tasty pasta.

The pasta will likely be one primarily made of quinoa and corn. This type of pasta is much better tasting and with better mouthfeel than those made from rice. I'm not talking rice noodles made in Asian dishes - those are tasty in their own right - but the ones that are made to fulfill the Italian pasta dishes.

It's been quite a change to start enjoying meal planning and cooking again.

If any of you are unfamiliar with the saying "Wednesday is Prince Spaghetti Day!" you only need to know that I grew up just north of Boston, Massachusetts in a small city called that was once the location of the Prince Spaghetti factory.

At one time, I lived very near to the train overpass that appears in the above photo. At another time, I would drive down that street and see that sign every day on my way to work. There was an award-winning “Wednesday Is Prince Spaghetti Day” spot ran nationally for 13 years - hopefully my embedding skills will allow you to watch it:

These days, people joke that Wednesday is the sabbath for the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. That's as good a reason as any for the making and eating of the practically ritualistic/traditional pasta meal.
semiotic_pirate: (eyeball)
I'm a little late to the table on this, but I am celebrating the 100th passing of Julia Child's day of birth by watching "Julie & Julia" - don't forget to saaaaaave the liver!

Ohh. I think I may have some sherry somewhere in the house.

Yes. One last thing. Don't forget the butter!

Bon Appétit!
semiotic_pirate: (two-head-calf)
Calorie Count website… I've decided to keep track of what I'm inputing into my body like I had to do for a nutrition class I took over the summer back in 96. Now, normally, I would just go with this site and keep track of what I've eaten in a journal of some type, maybe even a spread sheet. But who needs that when you can use Calorie Tracking at the Daily Plate via LIVESTRONG. The site offers a LOT more than just calorie tracking. I can't believe how much stuff there is for someone to keep track of fitness, weight, nutrition, goals, etc. I really like how you can create "meals" made up of all the stuff, including how many "portions" of each you are consuming during that meal.

I am so looking forward to seeing all of the upcoming 3-D movies that are going to be released in the next year or so, click the picture showing my most anticipated to see Wired's very well laid out, detail driven list:

Squee! Sleestacks! And Will Ferrell is starring. Sweet.

Quite a few of the other movies may turn out to be better than Land of the Lost but I have a special place in my heart for the Sleestacks.

Paid Holidays for 2009:

January 1, 2009 New Year’s Day
January 19, 2009 Martin Luther King Day
February 16, 2009 President’s Day
May 25, 2009 Memorial Day
July 3, 2009 Independence Day (day before, Friday)
September 7, 2009 Labor Day
October 12, 2009 Columbus Day
November 26-27, 2009 Thanksgiving (day of and day after)
December 25, 2009 Christmas Day

This must mean we are back to having two floating holidays. Yay!

Did you know that before the invention of the light bulb, the average person slept 10 hours a night? And no wonder I don't like waking up in the morning. Now I know why I always crave those ten hours every night and why I would prefer to be a night owl too.

Anybody else out there interested in switching to an algal-based diet? C'mon, with this guy in charge of the menu, how could we go wrong? Our taste buds are sure to be happy, eh? Oh yeah, we can run cars on alga-sourced fuel too.
semiotic_pirate: (OH NOZ!)
One wonders if this product is real... Any of the people on my f-list in the London area want to find the on-the-ground store in Covent Garden and tell me if the chocolate anus is real?

via [ profile] typefiend

I like how one of the testimonials is from a couple that held an Inappropriate Foods Party, to which I'm sure someone else brought the South Park Chef's Chocolate, Salty Balls.

What would any of you bring to an inappropriate foods party if you were to go to one of these shindigs? What would you consider an inappropriate food?

I am all of a sudden reminded of the second Indiana Jones movie... that dinner party scene...


Apr. 23rd, 2008 08:22 pm
semiotic_pirate: (Pirate Grrl - RIOT)
Look what speculation did to the real estate market. Squeezing people out of the market of buying homes because people were "flipping" them as investments and driving up the prices. People who made more money (collectively, two-income trap) as a couple were squeezing out single (average) income buyers. Maybe speculation isn't such an ethical thing to be involved in... Kind of like unregulated usury, eh? Credit card rates that are uncontrolled and sub-prime mortgages for everyone - the consumer doesn't know the difference or how to protect themselves from exploitation. Read the following article released today on the European version of the Business Week website. "Capitalism is literally consuming itself."

Speculators Worsening World Food Crisis?
Biofuels and droughts can't fully explain the recent shortages—hedge funds and small investors bear some responsibility for global hunger

by Beat Balzli and Frank Hornig

Not long ago, Dwight Anderson welcomed reporters with open arms. He liked to entertain them with stories from the world of big money. Anderson is a New York hedge fund manager, and as recently as last October he would talk with enthusiasm about his visits to Malaysian palm-oil plantations and Brazilian grain farms. "You could clearly see how supply was getting tight," he said.

In mid-2006 Anderson was touting the "extraordinary profitability" of field crops from corn to soybeans. He was convinced that rising worldwide hunger would be synonymous with highly profitable—and dead-certain—investment bargains.

In search of new investments, Anderson sends dozens of his employees to visit agricultural regions around the world. Back in New York, at his company's headquarters on the 27th floor of an office building high above Park Avenue, they bet on agricultural markets from Peru to Vietnam.

But in the towers above Manhattan's urban canyons, it's easy to lose touch with the ground. Hedge fund manager John Paulson was recently celebrated for achieving a record annual profit of $3.7 billion (€2.3 billion). Those who work in this environment have only one rule: Don't disappoint profit-hungry investors.

"I'm constantly wired," Anderson used to say, back when he talked to journalists. His nickname in the industry is the "Commodities King," and his Ospraie hedge fund is the world's largest. These days, though, Anderson avoids the media. He's even kept his face out of the media by buying up rights to all photos of himself on the market. His spokesman is now paid, mainly, to say nothing.
Read more... )-----------------------------------------------------------------

I disagree with Rogers, mainly because there are a limited amount of fertile fields out there and eventually they'd be used up, neh? At least with crops as they are now (type and genetics) and the potentially skyrocketing input prices for those things Rogers mentions - fuel and fertilizer (assumed to be petroleum based).
semiotic_pirate: (speak your mind)
Interestingly enough, there was a book I read recently: Illegal Alien by Robert J. Sawyer (C)1997 that posited a device that was used on the alien starship as their primary source of food. It was a "tube" of meat that slowly grew which they sliced pieces off of when they wished to eat. They used a single, long, flexible molecular chain connected by two handles to cut those pieces off, by the way... The tube was meat, but not an animal... a product of genetic engineering, having only what nervous system is required to support a very simple circulatory system. It is not alive; it feels no pain; it is simply a chemical factory, converting raw materials fed to it through a wall receptacle into edible flesh, balanced perfectly for the alien's nutritional needs. Wow. Science fiction, meet reality:

April 11, 2008, 9:13 am
Can People Have Meat and a Planet, Too?
By Andrew C. Revkin

The world has seen the first international conference on manufacturing meat. This is the process, tested so far only at laboratory scale, of growing pork, chicken, or beef through cell culture in vats instead of raising and slaughtering animals.

My colleague Mark Bittman wrote a fine piece recently about the greenhouse-gas consequences of conventional meat production. Others have explored the environmental and ethical impacts of factory and feedlot farming. Manufactured meat, in theory, provides an end run around these issues. What if you can have your meat, be ethical, and environmental, too? (And presumably they’ll engineer the bad fats out as well….)

The three-day meeting of the In Vitro Meat Consortium, held at the Norwegian Food Research Institute, is wrapping up today. (They might want to do something about that name.) It brought together biologists, engineers, government officials and entrepreneurs seeking – for both environmental and ethical reasons – to move from animal husbandry to technology as a means of providing the kind of protein people crave in a world heading toward 9 billion ever more affluent mouths.

A paper presented at the meeting concluded that, for the moment, the costs of cultured meat can’t come close yet to competing with, say, unsubsidized chicken. (A pdf is downloadable here.) The paper noted the reality of the climb up the protein ladder as countries move out of poverty, with global meat consumption at about 270 million metric tons in 2007 and growing at about 4.7 million tons per year.

It laid out the theory: “The environmental impact of meeting this forecast demand from existing livestock systems is significant. Cultured meat technology offers an alternative production route for a proportion of this consumption. This would then allow a downsized livestock production system to continue to be ecologically sound and to meet basic animal welfare needs.”

The group noted that costs for research, large-scale testing, and public relations will be significant, and anticipated that governments and nonprofit groups would chip in. That seems idealistic, at best, in a world with deeply entrenched interests linking ranching, the agrochemical industry, and giant restaurant chains.

But one could envision someday a model, say, of a solar-powered facility in southern California or Singapore basically turning sunlight and desalinated seawater into growth medium and then tons of cruelty-free, sustainable nuggets of chicken essence. (The promoters of this technology don’t envision anything, for now at least, beyond nuggets and ground meat. No filet mignon.)

For the moment, startup costs aside, the conferees concluded that unsubsidized chicken-raising still comes in at half the price. But the century is yet young.

I asked a few folks about facets of this, among them Peter Singer, the ethicist at Princeton who’s written for ages on animal rights and environmental values on a finite planet.

For those seeking an end to animal slaughter for human sustenance, is this kind of a cheat, I asked?

“Not necessarily,” he said. “My interest is in ethics, but whatever works best. If it is harder to move people on ethical grounds than it is to provide a sustainable humane substitute, I’m all for the substitute.”

I then went to my bellwether of techno-optimist thinking, Jesse Ausubel, the director of the program for the human environment at Rockefeller University. He said there is no reason to doubt that a long-term trend toward more concentrated food production will eventually lead to manufactured meat.

In fact, he said, there is essentially little choice on a crowding planet to pursue technological solutions to feeding ourselves, shifting away from carbon-containing fuels, and otherwise limiting our ecological imprint. Human nature is probably harder to change than technology, he said.

“If behavior and technology do not change, more numerous humans will trample the earth and endanger our own survival,” he told me. “The snake brain in each of us makes me cautious about relying heavily on changes in behavior. In contrast, centuries of extraordinary technical progress give me great confidence that diffusion of our best practices and continuing innovation can advance us much further in decarbonization, landless agriculture, and other cardinal directions for a prosperous, green environment. For engineers and others in the technical enterprise the urgency and prizes for sustaining their contributions could not be higher. Because the human brain does not change, technology must.”

What do you think? Can we change human nature? Should we?
semiotic_pirate: (LeChatNoir)
Slightly stale article, had meant to post it when I first saw it - got distracted by life.

Why Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness
Economists and psychologists—and the rest of us—have long wondered if more money would make us happier. Here's the answer.
By Sharon Begley | Newsweek Web Exclusive
Oct 15, 2007 | Updated: 8:41 p.m. ET Oct 14, 2007

All in all, it was probably a mistake to look for the answer to the eternal question—"Does money buy happiness?"—from people who practice what's called the dismal science. For when economists tackled the question, they started from the observation that when people put something up for sale they try to get as much for it as they can, and when people buy something they try to pay as little for it as they can. Both sides in the transaction, the economists noticed, are therefore behaving as if they would be more satisfied (happier, dare we say) if they wound up receiving more money (the seller) or holding on to more money (the buyer). Hence, more money must be better than less, and the only way more of something can be better than less of it is if it brings you greater contentment. The economists' conclusion: the more money you have, the happier you must be.
Read more... )
If more money doesn't buy more happiness, then the behavior of most Americans looks downright insane, as we work harder and longer, decade after decade, to fatten our W-2s. But what is insane for an individual is crucial for a national economy—that is, ever more growth and consumption. Gilbert again: "Economies can blossom and grow only if people are deluded into believing that the production of wealth will make them happy … Economies thrive when individuals strive, but because individuals will strive only for their own happiness, it is essential that they mistakenly believe that producing and consuming are routes to personal well-being." In other words, if you want to do your part for your country's economy, forget all of the above about money not buying happiness.


And for those of you who believe that helping others can make you happy, there is this awesome new site that combines testing/learning vocabulary and providing needy, starving people with food. Welcome to Free Rice. It is addictive, both in the sense of a game and in the sense of being able to provide food for people who need it.
semiotic_pirate: (Default)
Several years ago, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
approved a process called irradiation [] for
protecting meats, fruits, vegetables and spices from disease-causing
bacteria. Irradiation uses gamma rays, electron beams or X-rays to
break up bacteria lurking in mass-produced food.

While consumers expressed little interest in purchasing irradiated
foods, which must be labeled as such, the FDA recently proposed
changing the rules governing how irradiated food is labeled.
Currently, it must be labeled as "Treated by/with irradiation" and
with a radura symbol. Under the proposed rule, manufactures would be
allowed to replace the word "irradiation" with "pasteurized."

A public comment period on the changes is open until July 3, 2007.
You can write the FDA [] about irradiated
foods, or use the Organic Consumers Association's online form

Here are answers to commonly asked questions about irradiation:
Does irradiating food make it radioactive?

No. There are three different methods used to irradiate foods, and
while one of them does involve the use of nuclear radiation, none of
them render the food itself radioactive. Each method uses an energy
source, either gamma rays, x-rays or electron beams, to produce high
frequency energy that breaks the chemical bonds in cells that are
essential for cell growth and reproduction.

Gamma rays, made with radioactive cobalt or cesium, are used more
often than the other methods; however, the food never comes in contact
with the material, so it can't become contaminated in that way.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
[] , too much of this radiation can make
some of the atoms in the food unstable, (aka radioactive), but the FDA
limits the amount of energy that can be used to prevent this from
happening. Currently, the process has been approved for meat and
poultry, spices, as well as certain fruits and vegetables.

Will eating these foods harm my health?

No one really knows for sure, because there haven't been any studies
conducted on people who have eaten irradiated foods over a long period
of time. At the very least, irradiated foods are slightly less
nutritious, since the process destroys nutrients such as thiamine (an
essential B vitamin) and also vitamin C. The U.S. Department of
Agriculture [] claims that this loss is
insignificant, which isn't surprising since it's the same position
they've taken regarding the nutritional decline of our food supply

Among the concerns voiced by George Tritsch, research professor
emeritus at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y., and
others is that bombarding foods with gamma rays creates free radicals,
the unstable molecular fragments that go about our bodies crashing
into cells as they search for an unimpaired molecule to render them
stable again. In addition, certain fats subjected to irradiation
produce potentially carcinogenic byproducts, such as formaldehyde and
benzene, although many scientists dismiss this concern because
similar compounds are created during ordinary cooking processes.
semiotic_pirate: (all seeing eye)
Wages Through the Ages: Men Earn Less Than Fathers at Same Age
Why Are Men Today Earning Less Money Than Their Fathers Did 30 Years Ago?
May 25, 2007

A new report finds that men in their 30s make less money than their fathers did at the same age, raising questions about deeply held notions of social mobility and the realities of the American Dream.

It's not just because they're typical Generation X slackers either.

In 2004, the median income for a man in his 30s was $35,010, the study found. Adjusted for inflation, that's 12 percent less than what men the same age were making in 1974.
Read more... )

So, not only do women receive lower wages to start and lower wages over time as their male counterparts - men are making less over time as well. I'm trying to figure out if it is strictly wages, or buying power that is decreasing. I love how they start talking about "family wages" because even economists are admitting that both people HAVE to work in order to accomplish the version of the "American Dream" that the advertising industry and others want us to believe in. I'm not talking about the American Dream of home ownership or whatnot, I'm talking about the American propensity to over-consume, live beyond our means, keep-up-or-surpass-the-Jones' mentality and on and on. Oh, that and a male economist towards the end blaming the decrease in increases on women entering the workforce. Bitch, please! And what is with the continuous editorial flubs? Gah.

I recently read a Dean Koontz novel from the 1970's about subliminal advertising and its effect on the human psyche, consumption patterns and such. Everything except the drug that he made up that made people willing to even go against core principles to follow the subliminal messages was/is REAL. I would be very interested in finding out how far subliminal messages have come since then. From what I do know now, it should be illegal but isn't, and that is scary indeed.

And Now, more bad food from China:

Imported Monkfish May Actually be Poisonous Puffer Fish: FDA, May 27, 2007

Americans should not buy or eat imported fish labeled as monkfish that may actually be puffer fish containing a dangerous and potentially deadly toxin called tetrodotoxin, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Thursday.
Read more... )
Finally, giving in to some silliness, I'm watching Ice Princess on Disney. Or is it ABCFamily? Yeah.
semiotic_pirate: (EZ-Bake Oven)
"I was able to sublet a huge room for $500 a month in the 200 Street area Dikeman st. the end of Subway A before hitting the Bronx, 30 minutes from middtown. I loved it there, my roomate was an old lady who had a dog. She allowed me to cook and even invite friends I later made for dinner."

from here.

Bwahahahahahahaha! I wonder if they had fava beans and a nice Chianti too.
semiotic_pirate: (Pirate Grrl - RIOT)
hat tip to [ profile] sunfell

Future Food
"Future Food" on Google Video
There is a revolution happening in the farm fields and on the dinner tables of America -- a revolution that is transforming the very nature of the food we eat.

THE FUTURE OF FOOD offers an in-depth investigation into the disturbing truth behind the unlabeled, patented, genetically engineered foods that have quietly filled U.S. grocery store shelves for the past decade.

From the prairies of Saskatchewan, Canada to the fields of Oaxaca, Mexico, this film gives a voice to farmers whose lives and livelihoods have been negatively impacted by this new technology. The health implications, government policies and push towards globalization are all part of the reason why many people are alarmed by the introduction of genetically altered crops into our food supply.

Shot on location in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, THE FUTURE OF FOOD examines the complex web of market and political forces that are changing what we eat as huge multinational corporations seek to control the world's food system. The film also explores alternatives to large-scale industrial agriculture, placing organic and sustainable agriculture as real solutions to the farm crisis today.

Go here for more information. **OUTRAGE**
semiotic_pirate: (EZ-Bake Oven)
December 11, 2006
Times Sq. Ads Spread Via Tourists’ Cameras

Advertisers have long been drawn to Times Square as a valuable place to reach consumers, paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for space on billboards and blazing video screens.

But recently they have discovered that down on the ground, new technology has given low cost, face-to-face marketing campaigns something of a cutting edge as consumers spread their messages on the Internet.

Take the recent display of public toilets set up by Charmin bathroom tissue: Used by thousands in Times Square and viewed by 7,400 Web users on one site alone. Or Nascar’s recent display of racecars; videos of the event have been viewed on YouTube more than 1,800 times. More than 60 people wrote about the event on their blogs and 60 more spread the word — and pictures — on the Flickr Web site.
Read more... )
semiotic_pirate: (Juicy Oranges)

That is what happened tonight. Unbeknownst to either, I made plans to bake the cornish hens CoB picked up last night in our Original Roman Pot which was originally from Pottery One but I picked it up a few years ago at a thrift shop still in its original packaging, aka RÖMERTOPF®. Some company out of Waterbury CT made this one.

Looks kinda like this:

While I was planning dinner, CoB was planning on going to CompUSA after spending some time at our local Starbucks. While he was there, he found what he could not resist buying (on sale for $9.99); he bought us a copy of Oceans 12. The whole reason the guys are runnning around doing these gigs is because they've got to pay back the money they stole from the CASINO in the last film. Yeah.

So, here we sit, waiting for the chicken to be done while watching the film. To make it even more wonderful, Casino Royale is coming out this weekend.

Life is good.

semiotic_pirate: (Juicy Oranges)
So I decided to break out an old appliance, squirrelled away in a cabinet... to make the most amazing lunch evah! I had totally forgotten about this little item, until I stumbled across a Hello Kitty version of it over on Cute Overload. Mmmmn. Pepper turkey with swiss and cranberry sauce, toasted into those little triangles! Of course, I had lost track of the instructions. I had no idea if my experiment would work - or explode in my face. Hence, the Googling of Toastmaster Snackmaster, where I found THIS:

Toastmaster Sandwich Maker
by David P. Kleinschmidt

The Toastmaster Sandwich Maker has one purpose in life. It grills cheese sandwiches. Its operation is simplicity itself: Clamp it around a raw grilled cheese sandwich, wait four minutes and pull out a cooked grilled cheese sandwich—no fuss, no muss. (Actually, there is rather a lot of muss if you use too much cheese. It kind of oozes out the sides of the machine and gets in the electrical work and you can never quite escape the smell of molten Brie. But I digress.)

I got one of these for Christmas one year while I was at college. Not being the kind of person who reads things—like the “instruction manual,” say, or even “the box”—the Toastmaster Sandwich Maker got rechristened The Snackmaster. But after a few poorly considered liverwurst and Tilsiter sandwiches gooped up the whole kitchen, it got re-rechristened The Snackblaster. But I digress again.

After I got back from break I was comparing loot with my roommates. I held up the machine like I was the messiah of some kind of Betty Crocker cargo cult. “Behold!” I proclaimed. “The Snackblaster!”

“What’s it do?” asked one of the nonbelievers.

“It makes grilled cheese sandwiches!”

“Oh yeah, we have one of those at home,” said one particular smartass. “But we call it a griddle.”

“No, no! This is a revolution in cookware. It turns grilled cheese sandwiches into grilled cheese sandwiches with patterns on them.” But they did not understand. They mocked and belittled me. And when they came home to the welcoming aroma of grilled salami and Gorgonzola, they mocked and belittled me harder, and with their noses pinched shut.

Years later, I was sitting in a caffé where they charge extra for coffee to pay for the second “f” in their name, when I noticed something familiar sitting in the refrigerator case. A selection of nine-dollar grilled cheese sandwiches—with patterns on them. I jumped to my feet and saw, behind the counter, the biggest Snackblaster in the world. Later I even saw one at Williams-Sonoma, but they called it an “Italian-Made Panini Press” and charged a hundred bucks for it. The Snackblaster had become trendy—vindication.

I called up my former roommate, who now works for the NSA, for the first time in five years. “The cookware revolution is here!” I shouted jubilantly into the phone.

“What? Who is this?” he asked.

“¡Yo soy Che Gruyera de las Snackatistas!” But I had to hang up quick to go clean up the dill havarti that was spurting out of The Snackblaster.

Pros: Turns grilled cheese sandwiches into grilled cheese sandwiches with patterns on them.

Cons: Shamefully, my NSA dossier now lists “Che Gruyera” as an alias.
semiotic_pirate: (Juicy Oranges)
Maybe the worlds largest fresh water fish has been caught. The Mekong giant catfish was 9 feet long weighed a massive 646 pounds. It was caught in the Mekong river in Thailand on May. 1st by a group of fishermen who fought the giant for more than an hour before they haul it in. The fishermen indicated they tried to keep the catfish alive but failed and it was later eaten by local villagers.
According to officials with the World Conservation Union, the Mekong giant catfish species is listed as critically endangered. This indicates it faces a high risk of extinction in the wild. This rare specimen, captured in Chiang Khong district of the country, was the largest one recorded since Thailand began keeping records in 1981. The National Geographic web site indicates the fishwas as large as a grizzly bear. source

I've seen this joke elsewhere, that one of the groups trying to negotiate the release of this Giant Mekong Catfish was these guys. Har har. Personally I'd suggest this instead. Yum.

One big fish
Thai men hook 646-lb. catfish, may be world's largest
Posted: Thursday June 30, 2005 10:57AM; Updated: Thursday June 30, 2005 12:54PM

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) -- Thai fishermen caught a 293-kilogram (646-pound) catfish that may have been the world's largest freshwater fish, wildlife conservation groups said.

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semiotic_pirate: (EZ-Bake Oven)
Fair warning, anyone with any dairy issues should avoid the following. Sorry [ profile] surelle. :(

Well, I inspired by [ profile] shogunhb when he described his flair for food experiments, mixing of flavors and so forth. Couple that with [ profile] surelle's post about comfort foods. The result is what I had for lunch today.

Mix mac-and-cheese with an alfredo sauce mix. That's right, all cheese packets are in play. I used two Shaw's brand mac-n-cheese boxes and a packet of Knorr Alfredo sauce mix.

Start big pot of water boiling.
When you pour the pasta in, start the alfredo sauce in another saucepan, preparing it as directed on the packet. ::insert picture of me stirring both pots at once::
The alfredo sauce should be just boiling (put it on another burner set to simmer) as the timer goes "ding!" for the pasta.
Drain pasta, dump back in pot, bring back to stove (keep from any of the burners though, yah?) and dump in marg/butter, milk, and cheese packet, stir (don't forget, you are timing the alfredo sauce with the occasional stirrings at this point). Alfredo sauce done, dump into already mixed mac-n-cheese mixture. Serve immediately to rave reviews.

Sweety went back for seconds. ::pats self on back::

Next time maybe I'll add shrimp and broccoli to the mix.

EDIT: I had originally intended to include this silly meme and then forgot. From [ profile] psychoredhead07, who turns out to be a vivid blue.


1. Copy and paste this into your journal:
<*font color="yourusername"> <*b>yourusername<*/b>
2. Eliminate the asterisks.
3. Replace "yourusername" with your user name.
4. See what color you are.


semiotic_pirate: (Default)

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