Category Archives: alchemy

kitchen witchery/things being made

i made a thing and ate a thing.

Recently, as you know Bob, I was in Portland. My feller and I (as you also know, Bob) discovered this magical place called the Waffle Window, and today, for breakfast I (with some pre-prep) re-created a waffle-palooza made of lime curd, strawberries, coconut pana cotta, maplesalt coconut chips and whip cream. I didn’t have liege waffles, so I dipped the freezer case belgian (sometimes a girl’s gotta do what she’s gotta do, yo) waffles in a simple syrup. Holy geez, Batman. They were sticky and delicious and MAGIFUCKINGYUM. Um, Swearing. I don’t normally do that on ye here intergoogles, but dudes. The pana cotta was not awesome outside of the waffle. Agar agar, I do not understand this thing, and have never used it before, but it was so nice to make something ‘set’ without having to mentally go through the process of ignoring gelatin (not veggie-friendly. I have a cheat with fish sauce/anchovies, but boiled cow feet are tougher to move past) – not that I’ve ever made a thing with gelatin, either. So! Delish. Seriously. I know have a metric oodle of lime curd, though. Do I need oodles of lime curd? Probably not. I will now have to google to find out what to do with it. I could make fried oatmeal, but this thing sounds complicated just at the moment. Or perhaps, I am lazy :D

Also – finally watching ORPHAN BLACK. And ee. Did not realize full eps were on Space, but now we’ve watched 3, and there should be more but must wait until feller comes back. Damn this watching teevee with other people, altho! Now I won’t be watching teevee until bedtime, so that’s a good thang.

gosh I need to edit the categories on this blog. So many categories! :D

okay, that’s enough for now. i should go edit Gingerbread, which I have now renamed GingerbeadV2: Asylum, for Reasons. We’ll go into them later, if this experiment works.

oh, hey, is that cornbread?

more mad cookery

don't mind us we just cook here
don't mind us we just cook here

So here’s another nom nom nom meal from the mighty kitchen. Heidi has a version (and if you like meat-free, you must read 101 Cookbooks. Anyway, here’s the recipe for Lentil Almond Stirfry. Note Heidi’s mad food styling ways that hilight all sorts of nutritional nom in ways my flourescently-lit, iphone food photos never will.

I present variation:

i promise it's yummy
i promise it's yummy

my variation is with green beans, although I like brussells sprouts. I also didn’t realize I was out of almonds, so woop. I also added some extra green chilies and lo’ it’s all kinds of spicy around here, now. So really it’s not Heidi’s recipe at all, but it has mint! I swear! Extra minty organic goodness FTW!

appearances can be deceiving.

we go yum
we go yum

Eventually today’s in the kitchen with Dina will involve foods that look revolting on the iPhone but are mmm mmm good.

But this, first:

food stuffs
food stuffs

groceries. Important things like black beans and tomatoes and garlic and crushed ginger. You will notice the tomato in the box. It is this:

this is genius
this is genius

tomato paste in a tube. Because there is nothing more useless in the Whole Entire World than canned tomato paste. This is also super concentrated, lasts forever and means no random teeny tupperwares or crusty cans hiding in the back of the fridge. I’ve been making my own pasta sauce for years and find this adds the awesome. If you are not familiar with such a convenience, hi thee to your italian market and get.

I say GET.

because if you get, you can make two of the most unappetizing looking meals on the planet, Chana Masala and Mushroom Stroganoff.

Exhibit A
Exhibit A

see, not photogenic at  all, but I make some variation of curried chickpeas fairly regularly, mostly but not always in the winter-time and I dig it the most. It’s good and easy and yum. I don’t consider anything that consists of “dump in pot” as having a recipe, so I don’t have one. You take some things (chickpeas, green peas, canned tomatoes, spice mix) and dump in pot.

Of course, next to this beauty, the above looks like a motherfreakin’ Monet:

Exhibit B
Exhibit B

I promise that in the right lighting, the red wine and sour cream and mushrooms and onion goodness really doesn’t look like high-end dogfood or welsh rarebit. And it’s freaking good, too.  I should know, I had it for dinner.

Fo’ shizzle.

and then, tea:

fill me.
fill me.

in my super pretty thin-as-anything christmas gift of a teapot, that i think is the most beautiful thing in the whole world.

if your kisses can’t hold the man you love: episode #1


Today’s culinary adventures involved roasting walnuts/pecans for cereal, and cooking quinoa for cereal. Red quinoa, actually, and lo’ do i love me some nutty grain goodness but i bought some instant quinoa and yeeps, that stuff was full on-not awesome.  Also typed this many times in a row? Quinoa becomes one of those “that is so not a word”, words.

I’m just sayin’.

then we roasted tomaties, for this sammich. Although Heidi’s tomatoes look like nuggets of roasty perfection and mine always resemble baby food. I roast tomatoes alot.

They still, however, taste like candy. NOM. My tempeh is currently marinating, and I have arugala instead of lettuce because I am WILD like ‘dat.

And then, if I can wrangle up some baking soda, there will also be banana bread because we bought nine million frozen organic bananas for like $2.oo.

Also, I now have nieces. YAY FOR NIECES!


splinter is weaksauce, homeskillet.
splinter is weaksauce, homeskillet.

This is Ratatouille, purchased arbitrarily ages ago at the Ikea for a $1. He hangs out in my kitchen on an empty box of Diamond Kosher Salt.

He supports me in kitchen adventures, like breakfast:

crepes > pancakes
crepes > pancakes

I had a bit of a chat with the Rat today, about cooking and eating or, in my case, not eating because eating sounds like -work-.  I replaced the white sugar with cane sugar a while ago and need to make a trip to the community for other foodings that are not made of over-processed garbage, like margarine. A recent tub of marg freaked me out so we are now an all-butter household.

Worry not for my cholesterol, we vegetarians have exceptional cholesterol levels.

Although, part of the non-eating issue is that I don’t have over-processed garbage, as a rule, in the house, and so every meal requires some sort of preparation. I know, hello first-world problem, but!

I have a bad relationship with food.  I think the way to resolve this is to have items made, already, that I can just quickly put together, without it taking twelve and seventeen hours. I’ve already been making interesting things from 101 Cookbooks, but I’m sure this whole me+Rat thing is requiring of more prep-time to really make it go.

So we’ll see if I manage to get decent groceries tomorrow. I will report live, as it happens, this cooking thing.

this is the future of glue.

i found 13 dollars in change on the floor and have this old vitality milk jug of much awesome but seriously what is uglier than change in a jar?

I know. Almost nothing, really, in terms of home decor.

so I make with the decoupage, using an old piece of scrapbooking paper I had for some reason.

there is no whiskey in this jar
there is no whiskey in this jar

it’s a lovely chocolate brown + cream and I finished the top edging with some lovely organic cotton yarn. Because really where else would I put fancy organic cotton yarn but around a bottleneck.

Good gravy I’m classy.

I finished my first fascinator, too. I used a base for a change, which was certainly easier in terms of attaching of feathers and flowers (it is jet black and peacock blue) but I, for my own head, prefer the comb-based ones because of the way the ones I made a couple of years ago frame my head. This one should have a home already, provided its intended wishes to go through the lengthy adoption process. I’m also hoping to get a decent photo but really? Photographing black silk flowers on top of a black backdrop surrounded by things that are black?

might as well tell people it’s a sky devoid of stars and not much more.

hello there.

one or two or nine of my favourite things (any reason why favourite things can’t take up more than one space?) in coming home is the complete silence-not-silence. The rumble-gurgle of the fridge, the sleepy cheaps of a 42gram wonderbirdie. The quite of sunbeams and people walking overhead.

I am as fond of loud, cacaponous explosions of joy and synthesizers as i am of this.

Just this.

In grand tradition i forgot one of my xmas gifties at mamas and papas, i suspect, on the night stand. Alas. It will meet up with me later, when the moon is full and the dogs are howling. It’s a ring, and it’s all big and modern and crazy and awesome.

there were flowers for fascinators purchased, all dusty victorian travel-back-in-time because they’re autumn, all fall leaves and forget-me-knots, and I adore them.

so let's kick the last nail in.
because it's opening night.

and I’m excited to make them and build and see what secrets they tell to strangers in run-down drinking bars at 3am.

Hrm, this is what happens when you’re romantigoth at heart.

I spent a lot of time thinking about Ellis, Underground. I think Ellis needs a wandering-adventure-companion, and I decided I’d like that to be Theo, previously from “Failing the Rorschach Test” and other stories. Theo-not-Theo. Same vein anyway, some rivethead/cybergoth mashup with a penchant for kevlar.  I figure it’s rough out there in Umbrella, better take back up.

but it’s too darn hot

which is of course, a lie, because we’re not anywhere near the season in which it is too darn hot, but! Yesterday I decided I wanted to make fascinators and sent the notice of this out into the universe. I have 2 of my own as you remember from an earlier post in which there are fake flowers on my head – but honestly they’re a tough sell around the office. I think it’s the diamontes. Nothing screws up regular folks like fake bling, I’m telling you.

Anyhoodles, I put this out into the world and then scoured etsy and bought all kinds of feathers and combs.  Considering headbands as well — since I’m not using hat-forms, the alligator clips are not the best solution.

I’m also not sold on headbands because they limit the wire-wrapping and unless someone has some trick I don’t know about, the best way to get these things built is with floral tape and wire.

I still need flowers – I can’t handle buying things based on nothing more than an out of focus picture.

The other problem is I don’t need 10 fascinators, at all, so I have this idea to make fascinators for the people. Because I think more people SHOULD be fascinating and fabulous and wear flowers in their hair (to this end I think I will make a slightly more subdued one for myself, as well). I considered selling them on the etsy shop, and then I considered random acts of kindness-ing them, which really, if you’re trying to start a Fascinator Revolution, might actually be the way to do it. Or, I’ll sell them for cheap-cheap just to recoup my costs, which are actually higher than one might think but whatevs, it’s crafts!

anyway, thinking of fascinators kind of reminds me of Cole Porter.  I have no idea why and really I haven’t listened to a Cole Porter song in about nine million years but I used to be all about the CP, back in the day, when my life was slightly more fascinating and I was hanging out in drinking bars with drag queens.

You know how it goes.

Have a picture of the dresser in my bedroom:

it's baba yaga's hut, baby.
it's baba yaga's hut, baby.

i really need to start taking photos in better light. The iPhone’s great but you need to work with it, instead of against it.

data gram/saturday

When you start work at 5:30pm on a Saturday night, telecommuting with a co-worker because there’s this operational review presentation for the VP that has to be in immediately before first thing monday, making a latte with the JJ Bean Nero Espresso at 9:3o-ish pm seems like an outrageously grand idea.

it also explains why it was 3:00am before I went to bed.  We tried to grab beans from Kawa and couldn’t remember what roaster they used, nevermind the address,  (they are not in the right part of town for me, normally) so made the jeep turnaround and hit Bumpy’s instead. (Learned thing today – Kawa *does* sell 49th Parallel, which I should have remembered but I am old and my head is full of Ops reviews).

This was my first adventure with the Nero and I’m in love with it. I adore my Black Cat (intelligentsia), but this? Is coffee to die for.

I’m pretty sure, or kind of sure, it’s because the Black Cat I put through the machine was on the tail-end (ha! I make pun!) of fresh by the time I purchased it (lesson learned, fancy coffee shops do not mean freshest beans. I’m looking at you DeVille*!), and that took away from some of its inherent awesomesaucin’ness, or maybe I’ve finally just found the most perfectly perfect espresso.

Heck, maybe something else is going on around these parts that I haven’t been alerted to, yet.

As they say in the theatre, something strange might be afoot at the Circle K.

I realize that I’m on the verge of sounding like one of those lunatic snobby von snobbersons but this is totally fun for me, it’s like wine but not wine. Chocolate but not chocolate (although you can not deny the allure of good chocolate, nor can you deny it has flavour notes) and seriously, I’m sure to someone that actually knows something about coffee I come across like a goofy amateur, but you know? Totally cool with that.

I’m not making desert foam anymore and my crema on the JJ Nero was kind of outstanding and not bitter at all.

Really, you know, when things are not always groovy, working towards something else, even if it’s just a cup of freaking coffee?

Can actually kind of turn down the suck.

Like produce markets turn down the suck. Lookit this cornucopia of vegetable nonsense:

it's what's for dinner

*i still adore my DeVille, not checking the bottom of the bag was clearly my oversight. All this teaches me is people downtown don’t buy enough Black Cat for the serious restocking to commence!