Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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Glad we cleared *that* up

Filed under: — stan @ 8:55 am

Trader Joe’s had these nice ribeye steaks on sale the other day. This is the first time I’ve seen something like this with an explicit nutrition information panel on it. But I’m glad to see that the ingredients list is simple and clear.


Another day…

Filed under: — stan @ 7:23 pm

…another chocolate soufflé. It’s actually kind of refreshing to be making something different. Seems like I spent the whole summer making peppermint chocolate cookies.


County Fair Time!

Filed under: — stan @ 10:14 pm

Today was our trip to the Los Angeles County Fair. This promised to be extra-fun, since this time I actually have winner in the baked-goods competition.

Kathleen and I went there along with Lucinda and her friend. We rode the skyride across the fairgrounds. Then the girls rode a bunch of other rides. Kathleen and I just watched. Partly because we didn’t feel like swinging 130 feet in the air, and partly because we just didn’t want to spend the extra money on more ride tickets.

We got some Dr. Bob’s ice cream. As always, it was quite good.

After that, we walked over the “Culinary Styles” exhibit hall to see my cookies on display. That was great fun. If you want to try making them, the recipe is here:


We got some chocolate-covered bacon for Kathleen to try. As was the case last year, we all just thought it was a bit weird.

And of course, no county fair is complete without a mechanical bull ride for the kids. We also saw the 1200-pound pumpkin. Impressive, but it didn’t seem like it was good for much else. We also saw lots of cows, pigs, and goats. No county fair is complete without them.

The girls rode some more rides and played a few carnival games. Then, at the end of the day, we had six ride tickets left over, so Kathleen used them to ride the little flying ride. It looked like she had a good time.

The rest of the pictures are in Lucinda’s photo album.


Check this out

Filed under: — stan @ 5:11 pm

My cookies won second place at the L.A. County Fair.

The recipe is here:



The moment of truth

Filed under: — stan @ 8:35 pm

Today was the day for entries in the L.A. County Fair’s “Culinary Styles” baking contest. I’ve been working on my recipes for several months now, and the day of reckoning has arrived.

I came home from work and baked up one batch each of my peppermint chocolate cookies and peppermint chocolate muffins. Then I picked up Lucinda and we headed over to the fairgrounds. We went into the building and dropped off my entries. This time I made a point to look and see just how much baked stuff had been entered. The long tables covered with baked goods reminded me of the final scene in “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. And my cookies and muffins were going to be taken in and put somewhere way back at the end of the tables, possibly never to be seen again.

Well, it’s still a good adventure.


More frontiers in the kitchen

Filed under: — stan @ 6:39 am

I put some mint in my backyard planter a while back. It was just sort of going along until I fertilized it, and then it took off. I could hear the plant yelling, “Wheeeeeee!!!!” and it got to growing so big I was thinking I’d have to cut it back. So I was thinking of things I could do with the mint, and I hit on the idea of making Mojitos. So I looked up a recipe, and we were off and running. I’d never had a Mojito before, but Kathleen had, and she said they turned out quite well.

So I’ve passed yet another frontier in the kitchen. Good fun.


Another icon of American culture

Filed under: — stan @ 1:39 pm

The inventor of the Easy-Bake oven has died. Read his story here.


And profanity ensued…

Filed under: — stan @ 8:49 pm

Ever wonder what it would look like if the pan of muffins you were taking out of the oven slipped and fell?


Thanksgiving, 2009

Filed under: — stan @ 10:35 pm

This year, I took Lucinda to San Diego for Thanksgiving to visit with my father. Our plan was to make a full traditional home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner in the kitchen of our room at the Residence Inn.

I made several things the night before, and got more ready in the morning before we left. Then we loaded everything up in a big cooler and brought it down there. The trip was an ordeal, since it was heavy and slow traffic all the way from the El Toro Y down to Encinitas, which amounted to nearly half the total trip distance. So what should have a been a two-hour trip turned into nearly four hours. But we made it there just in time to put everything in the oven and still be able to have it all ready by 6:00.

Once everything was cooking, we went and picked up Grandpa. And then we all came back to our room and had a Thanksgiving dinner that couldn’t be beat. It turned out that I’d only forgotten a few vital kitchen items, so everything turned out just fine. But next time, I will not forget to bring along containers to hold the leftovers. That turned out to have been a major oversight.

It was a nice day.


Pareidolia in action

Filed under: — stan @ 12:07 am

This evening, I decided to make fried chicken for the first time in a long while. And when I poured the oil into the pan, I saw a face in the surface of the oil. It looked a lot like Edvard Munch’s “The Scream“. By the time I figured out how to position the camera to get a picture, it had morphed into something more like Mr. Yuk. But either way, it was a fine example of pareidolia.

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