Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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Who brought marshmallows?

Filed under: — stan @ 10:09 pm

On my way home today I saw that the Station Fire had a big flare-up this afternoon. Given that all of us here in Pasadena have been living in the smoke and ashes of this fire for over a week, was it a faux pas that I was barbecuing dinner tonight?

Dinner was pork chops marinated in rosemary and balsamic vinegar, and corn roasted in the husk. It was all quite good.



Filed under: — stan @ 9:49 pm

I took part of the afternoon off so that Lucinda and I could bake blueberry muffins, black walnut bread, and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies to enter in the Los Angeles County Fair. It was unbearably hot in the kitchen, but in the end, everything turned out quite nicely. Then we made the trip out to the Fairplex to deliver everything. The guard gave us directions, and we drove through the fairgrounds to the hall where the food exhibit will be held. They put little tags on everything I brought, and now we’re done. Apparently, they don’t announce the results. You have to go to the fair to find out. But we’re looking forward to going to the fair anyway. After all, what’s not to like about a place where you can get chocolate-covered bacon?


I think this might be an interesting adventure, too

Filed under: — stan @ 6:25 am

Last year I went to the Los Angeles County Fair, and at the time, Susan and I hatched plans to enter my perfect blueberry muffins in the fair this year. Susan is out of the picture now, but the fair is coming up. So I decided to still put the plan into action. And I’ve even improved the recipe a bit since last year.

The contest rules don’t specify that the recipe has to be completely original, but I didn’t want to enter a recipe that I didn’t make up myself. The only exception here is the black walnut bread. That’s my grandmother’s recipe. I’ve never seen it anywhere else, but I didn’t make it up, either. The blueberry muffins and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are my recipes that I’ve developed right here in my own kitchen.

I think this will be an interesting adventure.


Good thing we ate beforehand…

Filed under: — stan @ 10:53 pm

food, inc
Tonight, Leslie and I went to see “Food, Inc“. This is the new documentary about the American food system, how it works, what’s in it, who controls it, and all those unsavory details. Think, “Super Size Me” meets “The Corporation“. Yick. Fortunately, I’d made us a nice home-cooked dinner before we went, since this film has a way of killing one’s appetite. Still, it was a good film, and definitely worth seeing.


Blueberry pie!

Filed under: — stan @ 7:56 pm

Today I saw that Vons had a special on fresh blueberries, and I was suddenly seized with the desire to make a blueberry pie. From scratch, of course. So at lunchtime I walked over and got some berries. Then when I got home, I looked up a recipe and got busy.

I made a basic pie crust from the Joy of Cooking. Then I made the filling and put it all together. It was actually pretty easy. Easier than the apple pies I’ve made before. And it smelled nice when it was baking.

Now it’s sitting in the laundry room cooling. I put it there because that’s the coolest room in the house tonight. I hope it will be cool enough to cut before bedtime.


Summer’s a-comin’

Filed under: — stan @ 9:33 pm

That means it’s time for cookouts and dinner outside. And tonight was the first of the season. Lamb chops with coriander spice-rub, grilled asparagus, and couscous with kalamata olives. Yum.


And the verdict is…

Filed under: — stan @ 6:41 pm



Kitchen experimentation

Filed under: — stan @ 7:29 pm

After making the white chocolate mousse for Lucinda’s birthday cake last Sunday, I had one cup of cream left over. So I decided to try a little experiment. I’d had a frozen white chocolate mousse cake once at Evan’s in South Lake Tahoe, and I was thinking about trying to cook up something similar.

I figured that the one cup of cream would make just over two cups of mousse, so I chose a six-inch springform pan to start. I made a chocolate graham cracker crust for the bottom of the cake. I pressed it into the bottom of the pan and froze it.

While the crust was freezing, I made the mousse. When it was ready, I got the pan out of the freezer and put the mousse in it. Then I topped it with some mini chocolate chips and put it in the refrigerator to set. Once it is set, I’ll freeze it. Once it’s frozen I can remove the springform pan and it will be ready to serve.

So now we have something new to try after dinner tomorrow night.


Lucinda’s birthday

Filed under: — stan @ 10:33 pm

Today was Lucinda’s birthday, and she was going to be at my house, so I planned for a special dinner for her. I printed up a program for the occasion, announcing the special prix fixe menu for the evening:

After dinner, she got to open some presents. I got her another platypus shirt, along with a Wii controller and wheel. Susan gave her an iTunes gift card and a jewelry making kit. And after dinner we all went to the back and played Mario Kart.

It was a nice evening.


Valentine’s Eve

Filed under: — stan @ 10:06 pm

Since tomorrow night is not available for us, Susan came over tonight and I cooked dinner for us. I made chicken in a wine and feta cheese sauce with sun-dried tomatoes and capers, along with mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus. The recipe was based on one I’ve done before, but with a few modifications. And it turned out quite well. For dessert, I made some heart-shaped chocolate cakes, which we had with mint chocolate chip ice cream and a little whipped cream on top. Yum.

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