October 01, 2007

Recapping

Yes, lazy.

Been doing bunches of stuff, most of which I've probably forgotten. Dinner with Trev, Rucell and Riley... Nuit Blanche with Dave in the distillery district, Ken's retirement party at Sempre in Etobicoke, playdate and lunch with Naomi, playdate with Riley and a few dinners with the parents. I think that covers all the high points.

I am descending into sickness with a quickness. This afternoon I thought I had an allergy in my sinus cavity. It's since descended into a sore throat and nasal congestion. Drat. Looking for the Tylenol Flue right now.

Posted by JAY at 09:54 PM | Comments (0)

October 07, 2007

Thanksgiving Birthday

My birthday falls on the Thanksgiving weekend, so we do a LOT of eating. We made a turkey with stuffing, gravy, assorted veg, cheese sauce, pumpkin pie with whipped cream and chocolate cake. It was a pleasant, uneventful day with a bit of uncomfortable stomach from overeating. Leftovers will last a few days at least!

Posted by JAY at 07:37 PM | Comments (0)

October 10, 2007

FoxFire Essential Plugin: NoScript

I took my time evaluating NoScript on my work machine, but now, along with Flashblock (review) and Adblock, it has become essential on my home machine.

NoScript requires you to whitelist any scripts that you want to run (at least the first time), either just for the session or permanently. It's useful because it blocks crappy ads that, for example,
(A) highlight keyword content in the article you're reading with stupid pop-up text/links
(B) load stupid interstitial ad pages after a certain period of time or mouse over
(C) float ads over content
(D) prevents cross-site scripting vulnerabilities in popular webmail clients like gmail and HotMail (slashdot)

There are some articles out there that don't recommend NoScript. But they're all funded by script based advertising, so I don't consider them objective (other than testing it for longer than normal on my non-primary computer). Personal reviews that I've read are much more positive.

Posted by JAY at 08:00 PM | Comments (0)

October 19, 2007

Painting the Kitchen


Earlier this week, after work, I painted my kitchen a sort of dull green color that goes with my brown cabinets and stainless steel appliances - neither of which are in this photo, which must be a result of poor planning. Anyway, I used Behr Flat Enamel paint, which is pretty cool in that it's a matte finish with a scrubbable surface. The color accuracy isn't quite as good as the Sherwin Williams paint that I used in the hallway. It was also a bit harder to cover the semigloss in the kitchen, compared to the flat paint elsewhere - but the 'edging tool' that I used worked far better than the brush I was trying to cut in with. Overall, I'm happy with it, though there are some thin places because I only did one coat.

Posted by JAY at 06:54 PM | Comments (0)

October 20, 2007

Poker

Invited the poker gang over to my place for dinner and a game. As usual, it was a lot of fun - heh, even though I lost about $50! Oh well. Dinner went well too - except for some undercooked chicken wings (I blame my sister's house in Barrie, where I left my meat thermometer...) Dom came early, Aaron won big, Rick brought a yummy pizza, Ken's just retired, Sean came out about even (I think). A good time was had by all, though we need to research more poker variants. My kitchen table isn't ideal, either - it's glass surface reflects the cards as they are dealt. We covered it with a flannel sheet, but cards didn't slide as well.

On the menu was a whole bunch of roasted stuff (I just stuck everything in the oven), salad with homemade dressing (too sweet for Rick, just sweet enough for Sean), sausages, caramel corn and brownies. Everyone did a number on the brownies, but the caramel corn was hardly touched... strange, with Jen/Martin/Fiona/Dan, it's exactly the opposite.

Posted by JAY at 05:10 PM | Comments (3)

October 21, 2007

Dell Microwave


Dell had this Magnasonic 1000W stainless steel microwave on sale for $70 with shipping included! My old microwave was kinda small, old and white - so it didn't match with my other appliances and it was leaving cold spots in my food. This one is nice and fast - pretty awesome, for the price.

Posted by JAY at 07:09 PM | Comments (2)

October 25, 2007

Meeting at Mandarin

Went to a union meeting at The Mandarin (a Chinese buffet) with Sean and Dom. I totally pigged out on ribs, shrimp, roasted duck, prime rib, spring rolls and egg rolls. For dessert, I had a waffle with ice cream and blueberry sauce, a lemon meringue tart (surprisingly reasonable tasting), and a creme brulee (gross, didn't finish it).

The meeting half of the evening is always the downer - I'm usually bored out of my mind and sometimes end up misbehaving. We always contemplate leaving after the food, but guilt (particularly Dom's!) gets us to stay. In this case, it was a good thing - because I ended up winning the last door prize of the night! It was a fleece vest, appropriately sized XL.

Posted by JAY at 11:09 PM | Comments (0)

October 28, 2007

Recipe: Focaccia


This is the lunch that wasn't... the invited parties cancelled last minute. So that's why it's vegetarian. The focaccia, recipe adapted from RecipeZaar) was really, really good. So was the eggplant (grill marks courtesy of my grill pan) and roasted bell peppers. And of course, roasted garlic is ALWAYS good.

Edit: removed the garlic, adjusted temperature, corrected amt of olive oil in dough.

Recipe follows

1 3/4C water, at 135F (hot, but not burning, to the touch)
1tbs instant yeast
1tbs sugar
4-4 1/2C all-purpose flour (I used hard bread flour this time)
1tsp salt
olive oil
2tbs fresh rosemary, minced (half that if dried)
1 tsp sea salt or kosher salt

Mix the yeast, water, sugar, salt and 1 cup of flour in the mixing bowl.

Add the water and 3 tablespoons of olive oil and mix with a spatula.

While stirring/kneading (with the Kitchenaid), gradually add 3 cups of flour.

Add more flour gradually if required to make the dough wipe the sides of the bowl.

Let rest for 5 minutes.

Knead again for about 5-10 minutes, until smooth.

Turn the dough out into an oiled bowl and flip it so that all sides are oiled.

Let rise, covered for about 1/2 hour till doubled in size.

Knead down, let rest for 5-10 minutes.

Press out into a parchment lined half-sheet pan and brush with olive oil.

Let rise for about 20-30 minutes in a warm place, till doubled in volume.

With greased fingers, deeply press dimples into the dough's surface (almost all of the way through)

Sprinkle the rosemary over the surface, drizzle with more olive oil (really, the more the better, within reason).

Sprinkle with kosher salt and bake in a 350F-375F oven for 30-40 minutes, till golden.
(I used 325F with convection for 35 min.)
Internal temperature of bread should read about 200 degrees F.

Cool on rack for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Posted by JAY at 02:21 PM | Comments (1)