July 01, 2005

Pork Chop

Perfectly seared porkchops for dinner tonight. I'm not ordinarily a fan of pork loin, as it goes from cooked to dry very easily. It doesn't help that the temperature chart I've been using is off. Pork is cooked at 140 degrees F. My stupid chart says 170 degrees. Pork doesn't have to be cooked quite as done as it used to be - as long as there's no pink, it's fine.

Posted by JAY at 07:49 PM | Comments (0)

July 02, 2005

Recipe: Balsamic Vinaigrette

Even my father, who's decidedly anti-salad, liked it with this dressing. Proportions are very very approximate.

1 egg yolk
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 TBS sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced really fine (or pressed)
black pepper, salt (a few healthy pinches)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp mustard

Whisk together everything but the oil together, starting with the yolks.

Continue whisking vigorously and start adding the oil, drop by drop. As the mixture starts to thicken, you can continue adding the oil in a thin stream. The goal is to emulsify the oil into the vinegar (the yolk and the mustard help with this).

You can add as much oil as you want - as you add more, the consistency should get thicker and approach that of mayo (which is usually past what you want for a salad). Taste and add sugar, vinegar or oil as needed.

Posted by JAY at 07:57 PM | Comments (0)

July 03, 2005

Deep Frying

Mmm, fried meat. It's pretty simple, really.

Take seasoned chicken and thin pork chops. (Thyme, salt, pepper, etc)
Dredge in seasoned flour and baking powder (fsalt, cayenne/black pepper)
Dip in whisked egg thinned with a bit of milk.
Dip it again in the flour mixture.

Fry until cooked in a shallow pan with hot (325 degree) oil until done.

Posted by JAY at 08:06 PM | Comments (0)

July 05, 2005

Recipe: Butter Tartlets

I made some butter tarts with some leftover pastry dough and some mini tart pans that I had bought in the Cookstown outlet mall. All of the recipes for tart filling are about the same. I've included it below so that I don't have to look for it online.

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 egg
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp vinegar
1 pinch salt

Whisk it all together and bake in the oven at 450 in the lower part of the oven for about 13 minutes. You'll want to only fill the tarts 1/2 full as they'll bubble up.

Posted by JAY at 08:22 PM | Comments (0)

July 09, 2005

Down My Street

Well, there's some progress on the new house, which has been delayed until February now. They've got the roads paved and it looks like they're putting in the sewer drains now. This is what the view down my street will look like. My house would be on the left.

Posted by JAY at 08:27 PM | Comments (0)

July 12, 2005

Piano Distracted

Since quitting World of Warcraft (it was just taking too much free time, and not quite fun enough for the hours it demanded) I've been playing a lot of piano. Unfortunately, I keep finding more things I want to learn, so I'm progressing very slowly on all of them:

Canon in D, Pachelbel (finished, end is too slow, inaccurate)
5th Symphony, Beethoven (2/8 pages, haltingly)
Claire de Lune, Debussy (3/6 pages)
Thank You, Led Zeppelin (piano arrangement, about 1/2way)
Smells Like Teen Spirit (piano arrangement, just started)
Moonlight Sonata (just downloaded, think I'll only do the easy part)
The Homecoming, Hagwood Hardy (ironing out bumps)

Sigh. That list eclipses the number of songs that I can actually play.

Posted by JAY at 11:37 AM | Comments (1)

Automation?

Group work can really be frustrating. I'm part of an "Automation Team" at work where we attempt to automate installs. Part of this process involves folders being mirrored from the servers to the workstation.

This can be done 2 ways: (A) put all the folders in a single "mirror" folder and mirror that folder with a single command. (B) copy each folder individually as things get added. Needless to say, (B) requires an administrator to add/edit a new copy command every time a folder gets added, and add commands to ensure that folders are deleted from the workstation.

So it seems like (A), where administrators would set up the command line and never have to edit it after that, would be the way to go, right? Surprisingly, there was a lot of vocal resistance from someone on the team.

Debate is fine, but the arguments were, approximately:
"I'm just old-school" Huh?
"They'll forget how to do it if they don't do it every time" (Uh, the Automation Team's mandate is to, well, automate repetitive tasks to avoid pointless work and human error.)
"I don't want to do it that way"
"I think you all suck."

Yay, group work. This team is optional for me, so I'm starting to wonder if it's worth the hassle. Stay tuned for the next debate.

Posted by JAY at 05:34 PM | Comments (0)

July 16, 2005

Salad and Pie

Today for dinner I made a large grilled chicken salad with an orange-maple dressing and garlic bread croutons. It was pretty good (even my sister liked it). After dinner I used some leftover pastry that my mom had in the fridge to make a pie - we were a little short on apples, so I added blueberries. It's cooling on the kitchen table now. There's vanilla frozen yogurt there too, so it should be yummy.

Posted by JAY at 07:57 PM | Comments (2)

July 25, 2005

Harsh Betty's Lemon Chicken Recipe

Harsh Betty put this up on her site and I'm gonna try it tonight. I think I have all the stuff for it at home and it has no salt in it (for Mom). Might try adding some pepper, either black or red... and some garlic.

Lemon Chicken Recipe
(by request!)

Start off with a bunch of boneless chicken -- depending on how frugal I'm feeling, I might either debone a whole chicken or just get some boneless thighs. Cut it into strips, maybe 3/4" wide. Dredge it in cornstarch, and fry it until golden brown in a very shallow bath of hot oil, then drain in a colander lined with paper towels, or however you normally deal with fried things.

Then you toss it in the sauce and serve it over (brown, in my case) rice.

Here's how you make the sauce:

1 lemon
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup cider vinegar (does it have to be cider vinegar? I dunno, I've just always used that since I normally keep it around; I don't see why you couldn't try another variety though)
1/3 cup brown sugar
a little cornstarch dissolved in a little water, for thickening

Slice the lemon very thin and remove the seeds. Bring water, vinegar and brown sugar to a boil, and throw in the lemon slices. Simmer until lemons are soft. Add cornstarch mixture (and continue to cook and stir until completely mixed in) to thicken it to your desired consistency; I throw in some yellow food coloring sometimes, too, for that day-glo Chinese restaurant effect.

Posted by JAY at 08:36 AM | Comments (0)

July 26, 2005

Sour Lemons


Huh. I must've done something wrong, because the lemon sauce was REALLY bitter! Either I simmered the lemons too long, or next time I need to exclude the pith and just use zest and juice... I thought the sugar would overpower the pith's bitterness.

And of course, the sauce looked so nice that I didn't taste it before saucing the fried chicken. Was I ever disappointed!

ETA: Not your fault, Sue! I must've screwed up somehow!

Posted by JAY at 06:56 PM | Comments (2)

July 27, 2005

Caramel Cake w. Burnt Butter Icing

This cake was a bit of a fiasco, but it tasted good. Or at least, it had my mom raving. I thought it could be more caramel-ly. I was kinda scatterbrained when I made this, and kept forgetting to watch the sugar syrup as it boiled. Then, I didn't realize that I was supposed to reserve some sugar for beating the eggs separately... and I could really use another Kitchenaid bowl for that, too. It tastes good, but it was kind of a pain to make.

Posted by JAY at 06:03 PM | Comments (1)

July 28, 2005

House Fire!

Ok, this isn't actually my house - it's simlar to ours, just down the street. Not sure what happened, but the whole left-back side of the roof collapsed. Everyone was ok, though - no one was in the house when it was burning.

Posted by JAY at 06:16 PM | Comments (0)

Updated

Finally got around to updating the sidebar...

Bye bye Belle, it was great while it lasted - hope the book is a bestseller.

Welcome back Sue, in a new home!

Emily also has a new home.

Jen has a new blog... update, dammit! :) ... Hmm, now I think I misplaced the gallery link. Oh! There's a new one! *goes rooting around*

Posted by JAY at 07:13 PM | Comments (2)