Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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But I’m still eating well…

Filed under: — stan @ 8:39 pm

I may be here alone, but I’m still going to eat well. Tonight, I made grilled chicken and asparagus on the barbecue. I use charcoal as a starter, and then throw on a piece of oak wood. It gives a nice flavor. I made a Thai-style peanut sauce for the chicken, and some jasmine rice. And I have leftovers to take for lunch tomorrow.


My office is different

Filed under: — stan @ 8:48 pm

My office is in an old house, and we have a patio with a little barbecue on it. So in honor of the beginning of Spring, we had a cookout today. We do this fairly often when the weather is nice. I usually do the cooking. And it’s great fun. Have I mentioned lately that I really like my job?


More getting out of the house

Filed under: — stan @ 11:58 pm

I signed up for another cooking class this evening. This one was about vegetables and grains. Not as glamorous as the soufflé class I did last month, but it’s likely to have more wide application in daily cooking.

This class did not have a hands-on segment. It was just watching them prepare the food and asking questions. But it was still good. I got some new recipes and techniques to try out at home. And the roasted cauliflower was quite good. It seemed a bit of an unlikely thing, but was very tasty.

About halfway through the class, we got a small salad plate with samples of the first two dishes they’d made. And at the end, we sat down to sample all the others.

It was a fun time.


More cooking adventures

Filed under: — stan @ 6:41 pm

Tonight, I made penne with chicken, mushrooms, and artichoke hearts in an asiago cream sauce. It was perhaps a fairly ambitious quick dinner, but it was good. And the fact that it was involved and complicated is a Good Thing. After all, I’m cooking a lot of very involved things these days as a way of attempting to assert some tiny degree of control over a world gone mad.


Nesting activity continues…

Filed under: — stan @ 7:58 pm

Cooking is still one of my most favorite ways to express creativity and reduce stress. So I’ve been trying a lot of new recipes lately. Tonight I made Thai-Style Chili Beef.

It was quite good. Very tasty. The recipe used Thai basil instead of the cilantro-mint mix that Cooks used. Since I had cilantro and mint, but no basil, I went that route. I used jalapeño peppers, which I was hoping would give it a good kick. As it turned out, they were quite mild. Next time, I’ll try serranos.

Still, it was very good. Lucinda and I liked it a lot.


Still more nesting activity

Filed under: — stan @ 11:46 pm

This afternoon, I got out a bit. I went to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Little Tokyo to see the Murakami exhibit. It was fun.

When I got home, I got down to nesting some more. It’s Saturday, so Cathy is going out dancing, and I’ve got my date with Lucinda. I made another pizza. This time with pepperoni, portobello mushrooms, sliced roma tomatoes, and goat cheese. And I cooked it on my new pizza stone. It was good.

After dinner, we made chocolate soufflés. I used the recipe I got in the soufflé class I did last Tuesday, and I used the new ramekins I bought on Friday. The recipe said it made two, so I doubled it. It ended up making six, and they were pretty full. I cooked two of them for me and Lucinda, and I put the other four in the refrigerator for later. They were pretty good. I liked how they puffed up, but we thought that the depth of the chocolate flavor wasn’t as good as the recipe from The Joy of Cooking. Still, it was fun, and we sat down to eat them while we were watching this week’s “L.A. Ink” that I’d taped on Tuesday.

I’m actually enjoying my time with Lucinda, and we’re both well-fed.


Getting out of the house

Filed under: — stan @ 10:29 pm

In my continuing effort to find things to do so I can get out of the house, I signed up for a cooking class on soufflé making. I’ve made chocolate soufflés before, using the instructions in The Joy of Cooking, but I was never sure if I was doing it right, since I’d never seen anyone else do it. So I thought it might be interesting to see how the pros do it. Turns out I was not far off the mark. But I was apparently making it harder than it needed to be. And also, the ramekins I was using were not quite the right shape, and apparently that and their weight do have an effect.

The class itself was a combination of demonstration and actual practice. They gave us a sheet with recipes for four or five kinds of soufflés. They demonstrated making and then fed us a Gorgonzola and walnut soufflé and salad to start. The main meal was salmon and asparagus in a Gruyère soufflé and a Roulade, which was basically a sheet of Gruyère soufflé rolled up with mushrooms and caramelized onions inside. For the hands-on part, we made chocolate and raspberry soufflés. It was a pretty fun time.


Continued nesting activity

Filed under: — stan @ 7:30 pm

Lucinda is out on a sleepover tonight, so I don’t have a date. I’m still nesting, though. I did the grocery shopping and decided to make a pizza from scratch for dinner.

I found a recipe for the crust. I made it and let it rise for about 90 minutes. Then I flattened it out and put the sauce, pepperoni, mushrooms, fresh mozzarella and sliced roma tomatoes on it. I baked it for about 19 minutes. I started at 400 degrees and ended up at 475. I should have gone with the higher temperature from the start. Still the crust had a nice crunch on the outside.

On the side, I made a little salad with avocado and vinaigrette dressing. It was pretty good.


More stuff I do to keep occupied

Filed under: — stan @ 7:55 pm

I’m still nesting.

Today I made buttermilk pancakes from scratch for the first time. They were good. And surprisingly easy to make. I’ll never buy a box of pancake mix again.

Since it was raining today, I couldn’t go bike riding. So here’s what else I do as a way to keep occupied and relieve stress. I build shit. I’ve been thinking for some years of setting up a little herb garden outside. So today, I went and got some wood, and I built this planter. I divided it in half, because it’s pretty big, and I haven’t decided yet what all the things are that I’m going to grow. So I filled half of it and transplanted my little rosemary bush and also the thyme plant. I also got seeds for oregano, dill, and cilantro that I started in pots on the windowsill. I’ll transplant them outside when they come up. Maybe by then it will be warm enough and I’ll put basil in the other side so I can make pesto this summer.

Now I’m off to the kitchen again to start on dinner. Broiled rib steak with fennel, ginger and cloves, and onions broiled with the same spices. Also, braised fennel, mashed potatoes, and asparagus. And finally, I’m making another pan of brownies for dessert.


More cooking

Filed under: — stan @ 8:27 pm

Cooking is still one of my favorite ways of dealing with stress. That and bike riding. And drinking beer. And I’ve been doing a lot of all three lately.

Tonight, I made a new batch of home-made pita bread and a some tzatziki sauce. The lula kebab meat came from the Armenian market up on Washington Blvd. And I got a recipe for Persian rice.

Now, what to make for dessert…

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