January 03, 2005

Holiday Ick

I seem to be sick. Not sick enough to not go to work tomorrow, but sick enough that I've been sleeping most of the time and still feel tired.

This was an interesting holiday. Lotsa family drama, which didn't really involve me as a primary participant, so I can't really comment on it. However, it resulted in the Christmas dinner being postponed to Boxing Day.

I ended up cooking both Christmas and New Year's dinner. Nothing too fancy this time, pretty much traditional. New Year's was a prime rib roast with the trimmings and Christmas was a stuffed turkey with trimmings. Both were quite yummy.

Posted by JAY at 11:32 PM | Comments (0)

January 04, 2005

Hit Me!

Some weblog stats from last year along with a linky retrospective!

Total Hits: 3147
Search Hit Maker: slow/roasted/prime/rib
Esoteric Search Term: wasabi coated cashews
Proudest Search Term: funnel cake + toronto
(I bet I made someone's life happier with that one!)
Theme of the Year: Moving onward

January: 173 hits
54% Internet Explorer
31% Opera
21% Netscape

December: 361 hits
78% Netscape
20% Internet Explorer

Happy New Year! Blog-wise, I resolve to be a bit more self-referential, and link back when I do something that's pictured or recipe-d in previous pages!

Posted by JAY at 04:34 PM | Comments (0)

January 05, 2005

2004 Resolved

Last year, my resolutions were kind of derailed by moving and the associated chaos and I kinda forgot to keep track (especially since I don't have a bathroom scale anymore).

I only made about half of my swimming/walking weeks. The swim schedule changed, which makes it a bit less spread out through the week (Fri-Mon). Made the strength training, mostly (in front of the TV).

I certainly reduced the eating out - total success there. Except for Fridays when I'm in Richmond Hill, I only ate out once or twice.

Karate - didn't make, and probably won't for a while. The move/lack of a car makes that difficult, and I'll be moving again this year.

However, it looks like the end result was achieved in the end: I currently weigh 155lbs. So in the last 2 years, I've lost a grand total of about 25 lbs. Truthfully, I've been 155 for a while, and even got down to 152, so I've been backsliding a bit over the holidays.

Posted by JAY at 07:12 PM | Comments (0)

Resolutions 2005

I'm not really going to do it this year - too much going on! I'll try to keep up with the exercise that I've been doing and not eating out too much. This year is the year of the house, and I anticipate being plenty busy with that.

With that in mind, my resolution this year is to hold down my discretionary spending! I really don't need anything else (having just ordered my peppermill...) No more kitchenware, no more computer stuff, no more furniture.

I'll also try to lose some weight, or at the very least maintain my current weight.

Posted by JAY at 07:27 PM | Comments (0)

January 09, 2005

Pandoro

Dom gave me a pandoro, a towering sweetbread. I was dubious - the best before date is October 2005! - but it tastes really good. I've been experimenting with what to put on it... so far mainly with powdered sugar and blueberry-orange sauce. But I just reclaimed my mascarpone cheese (forgot it at the parents' house) so I'll probably whip some up as a sauce.

I also scored some dried herbs (thyme and rosemary) from Dom's garden! The fragrance and color are just SO much better than the stuff you can buy in the stores. I'll have to start a herb garden when I move. I used a few spoons of the thyme in a split pea soup and it tastes fantastic - I also got a really good ham hock with lots of meat and not too much bone.

Posted by JAY at 05:53 PM | Comments (2)

January 10, 2005

Perogies

These were yummy, but pretty unhealthy. But yummy! I didn't make the perogies from scratch. I just melted some butter and oil, fried bacon and onions in it till crispy and tossed with herbs and served it up with cheese and sour cream. Ok... let's see... fat (butter), fat (oil), fat (bacon), not fat (onions), not fat (herbs), fat (cheese) and fat (sour cream). But yummy!

Posted by JAY at 11:56 PM | Comments (0)

January 14, 2005

Creationism vs. Slashdot

Slashdot, among others, reports that a sticker being put on textbooks in an American county are unconstitutional in that they violate the separation of church and state. The stickers start by saying "Evolution is a theory, not a fact..."

This comment was hilarious: " Dear Creationists,
We'll put these stickers on our science textbooks when you put God's existence is a theory, not a fact on your bibles." Possibly the most apt and funny post I've read in recent memory. And I'm totally for having both stickers!

Posted by JAY at 12:34 AM | Comments (0)

January 15, 2005

Scalloped Scalloped Potatoes

I'm behind in posting and backdating posts. Sigh. I was out of bacon, so at the last minute I tossed in some scallops (sort of a bad culinary pun) into the scalloped potatoes. It tasted good (and smelled even better). I put a gratin topping on it of bread crumbs, cheddar and parmesan. I also ate the pork with a blueberry-orange sauce that I had in the fridge. Yummy!

Posted by JAY at 12:19 AM | Comments (0)

January 16, 2005

BBQ Ribs

BBQ ribs were on the menu tonight. I didn't have any barbeque sauce, so I made my own out of ketchup, balsamic vinegar, garlic, chili and brown sugar. The sauce was really good, but this was the tail end of the rib, and it didn't really have enough fat the slow roast that I gave it (when I tried it earlier with the center portion of the ribs (where the actual rib bones are) it was much moister.

Posted by JAY at 12:20 AM | Comments (0)

January 17, 2005

New Peppermill

This is my new peppermill, courtesy of Tom David, Inc., the Magnum Plus. I read about it in Taunton's Fine Cooking, which rated it the highest among many mills. I totally agree - it's by far the best peppermill I've owned. It's large grinder rains pepper down with the slightest movement at any grind setting. Being made of ABS plastic instead of wood, it has a much larger cavity that can hold over a cup of peppercorns. Check out the rave reviews that it's gotten!

In addition, service from the company was excellent. Some questions I had regarding billing were quickly resolved by a service representative who answered the phone on the second ring. Overall, an exceptional purchasing experience.

Posted by JAY at 11:01 PM | Comments (0)

January 18, 2005

Lesia's Apple Muffins

A co-worker at my office makes a wonderful tasting apple cake, so I begged her for the recipe. The only thing is... I don't have a Bundt pan. So instead, I tried making a (roughly) half recipe into muffins. It's not quite perfect yet, though - I had the rack too low in the oven, and I think I'll have to use a lower heat(maybe 350 instead of 375) as there is more batter exposed. This was an absolute pain to make - I didn't have any electrical tools at all so I did it all by hand.

Posted by JAY at 11:47 PM | Comments (0)

January 22, 2005

Cooking for Parents

Was invited to the parent's house for dinner today... and cooked dinner there. They had good stuff to cook, so it was pretty fun. I made pork back ribs with homemade honey-garlic-basamic sauce and a fried rice with lots of veggies.

Very yummy. Totally pigged out on the ribs, but that's OK because I've been doing my swimming since the new year started (3x per week) and only had soup for lunch.

Posted by JAY at 08:12 PM | Comments (0)

January 24, 2005

Combo Locks

Argh. Why can't I keep track of my combination locks? I've lost several now and as I left for the pool this evening I realized that I couldn't find it :(

Update: Left it in my father's car... Whew! Plus, I don't have to swim today!

Posted by JAY at 06:58 PM | Comments (0)

January 25, 2005

Moving Plans

Hmm, tried today to lay out my furniture in the floor plan of the new house. It looks like everything I have will fit into the master bedroom. Ah well, it'll be a while before I have money for furniture anyway.

In other news, here's the the stove that I want: This Kitchenaid gas range. This one might be a good alternative, though, and it's a bunch cheaper. Oy.

Posted by JAY at 11:22 PM | Comments (0)

January 28, 2005

Recipe: Brined Chicken

Dinner today was a whole chicken brined in a 1/2 cup salt to 4 cups water solution. I also added a 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar. After it soaked for 1 hour it was rinsed off and patted dry, seasoned with rosemary and black pepper and baked at 375F for about 40 minutes.

Brining plasmolyzes (bursts) the cell walls of the chicken, allowing them to absorb more water, resulting in a much moister and flavored breast meat.

I was impressed with the way my chef's knife (Henkles) sheared through the bone to halve the chicken through the back and breast.

To go with it was some rice fried with chick peas, lemon juice, onions and avocado. It was all very yummy. I didn't eat the whole thing but I had a LOT of the rice.

Posted by JAY at 05:24 PM | Comments (0)

January 30, 2005

Without Heat

The heating in the apartment appears to be broken - no one's radiators are working. I think I heard some odd water noise last night, so maybe that had something to do with it.

So there are now several alternate sources of heat in my apartment, which is quite toasty... space heater, oven, candle, lava lamp, monitor... yeah, I'm a one man electricity-burning machine!

Posted by JAY at 12:33 AM | Comments (0)

January 31, 2005

Shopping While Hungry

So I said to myself, "Self, you shouldn't shop right after swimming because you're hungry." But I rationalized that I needed some veggies, so 5 minutes later I was browsing discounted cakes on display in the grocery bakery. Also, I ended up picking about 2 weeks worth of meat from the meat aisle. And a head of broccoli. But hey, it only cost $26 for the lot.

Posted by JAY at 11:30 PM | Comments (0)