lauralh: (HAPPY!)
I haven't really been keeping up with LJ; my free time at work is spent reading about rationality and, uh, fan fic. I'm also re-reading the Harry Potter books to see if my enjoyment is different when I know everything already. The answer seems to be yes, as insignificant details are brought into new light rather than just "JK Rowling isn't that great of a writer." Although I still stand by that sentiment, she's not as totally crappy as I initially thought after the first book.

Anyway, I got stones thrown at my glass house for disclosing this to my other HP-fan-friends, so what the hell. My favorite fan fic besides the aforementioned Methods of Rationality is by FAR The Very Secret Diary, Ginny Weasley's account in diary format of her actions in The Chamber of Secrets, with Tom Riddle replying to her. It's deliciously creepy, with layers of evil seeping through till she figures out what's going on. Being forced to write, in blood, "Her Skeleton Will Lie In The Chamber Forever" must have really done a number on her psychology. It's a seriously effective mindrape, the author has done her job.

edit: Here's the only Twilight fanfic I've read, "what if Bella were a rationalist?"

I do still read other stuff besides fanfic, ahem. The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Percy Parker and The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker was a decent trilogy minus one. (Bilogy?) Basically about Victorian ghostbusters who meet the reincarnation of Persephone, and the devil's search for his missing bride. And there's some Jack the Ripper stuff in there too. The first book is more straight up gothic homage, the second, more fantastic, but both are fun. Although they could have used more sexy fun times, but that's just me.

And now, cooking. I made cinnamon ice cream Friday, lemon snow pudding Saturday, and "white trash" strawberry ice cream last night. (The first I didn't add rum to, the last was um, Carnation Instant Breakfast packets, a jar of preserves, half a lemon juiced, and some milk.) But Reg reminds me that last year I was eating lots of cream cheese pie and was um, unhappy with the results, so I'm gonna chill out with the fatty foods for a while. (We did walk about 6 miles Sunday - home to Golden Gardens and back, in a big ol' loop.)
lauralh: (Default)
This Book by Amy Sedaris is quite funny, but it's also pretty practical, a good guide for an amateur to learn how to cook to impress people. Not considering myself in this category, I hadn't opened it since getting it for xmas a few years ago. But I have become a cupcake convert recently, and Amy Sedaris has done for cupcakes what Starbucks did for coffee. Starbucks doesn't have the best coffee, but it had actual varieties of coffee and it was typically better than your standard diner fare. So yeah, now White People in cities pay $3 or more for gourmet cupcakes. These are not Betty Crocker cupcakes, and the best are almost worth $3.

Still, I was pretty sure I could do better. I started with the boxed cake mix, adding a few extra ingredients here and substituting there, and then I found this recipe for frosting. Initially I used salted butter - cos that's all I had - and it turned out fairly gross. Actually I couldn't get it to bind initially, my butter was too cold, but finally it warmed up enough to turn perfect. Friday Kell got me the unsalted butter I needed, and I added too much vanilla and cinnamon - in theory. In practice it tasted divine, like French Toast in icing form. I added some V&C likewise to the Betty Crocker mix, and voila, FRENCH TOAST IN CUPCAKE FORM.

Unfortunately I'm now out of cupcake papers, so I'm using Ms. Sedaris' recipe to just make a flat rectangular cake instead of cupcakes. (There's a flat cake recipe later in the book, but...)


May. 27th, 2010 06:40 pm
lauralh: (Default)
I accidentally made the best tomato sauce in the world last night. I am one of those people who only likes tomatoes in sauces and salsas, but I riffed off this recipe I found on and voila.

My sauce:
* one can chopped tomatoes (the kind w/olive oil and garlic is good)
* one or two cloves garlic (optional, but I love garlic)
* half an onion (Purple is my preferred)
* cooking oil (I got peanut oil, it rules)

Heat up a tablespoon of oil over medium while you dice the onion and garlic. Sautee the onion till it starts to go transluscent, then add the garlic. Open up the can of tomatoes and add it to the pan when the onions are clear. Add a bit of salt. Let the mixture go to a boil at medium for 5 min, then cover and lower heat for simmer. It should only take 5-10 min for the sauce to turn delicious due to caramelization. Serve with pasta.

Posted via LjBeetle

the sun

Apr. 5th, 2009 04:39 pm
lauralh: (FOR YOUR HEALTH)
• I totally got heatstroke or something yesterday after my walk. It felt like one of my standard headaches, but I was flushed in my cheeks and white everywhere else on my face. I drank a lot of water and eventually, after a couple hours in the dark (with tylenol and aspirin) I felt ok.

• Part of my "therapy" was ingesting salty foods, like steak cooked on cast iron skillet and mac'n'cheese. Heh. I dunno, something worked.

• I discovered a cool corner on 80th and 24th with sausage shops, woodfired pizza, espresso/gelato joint, and a deli corner store. I tried to get Reg to go today but failed.

• Made brownies in the cast iron skillet, after using a tortilla to clean the steak juice off. The Western Family Cocoa recipe probably has too much butter, but that worked fairly well for my purposes. So nice and chewy.

• Started reading "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again," David Foster Wallace's article on cruises. It's somewhat frightening me and yet making me excited. I might consider visiting a tanning salon to avoid severe sunburn before the trip.
lauralh: (beach)
Last week was the start of some really nice weather, and apart from one or two days it's been holding steady and almost obnoxious. I decided that I should walkabout each neighborhood and spend no more than $5 a day till it starts to rain again. Today was Pike Place and the Waterfront. I had an apple and a latte (not at the same time) and sat at Victor Steinbruck park and walked around the Market and made my way to Alaskan Way and the Seattle World Trade Center.

Afterwards I bussed back home and bought some lamb to make soup. It smells really good.


Oct. 3rd, 2008 10:25 am
lauralh: (nice hair)
Since receiving the gift of a Kitchen-Aid mixer, I have used it for all sorts of things. Cakes, cookies, pasta, bread, whipped cream, pudding. I made a scratch applesauce cake last night. The unfortunate thing about this mixer, of course, is that if one eats what one makes one will gain weight. So I go through phases. I've barely used it this summer, mainly because it was so goddamned hot. I did use it for pasta one time and I sweated like a pornographer in Tokyo for hours.

Applesauce strikes me as old-person food. I don't know, growing up in Louisiana we had no use for such fare. Most Yankee food offends me this way. These are ingredients, man, not full-blown snackfoods. The only thing I feel affection for is creamed butter and sugar. I still have to stop eating it or it will make me sick, of course. Anyway, one of Reg's coworkers brought jars of homemade applesauce to work, and he tried to get me to try it, but I was like "um I'll make a cake out of it ok?"
lauralh: (bruise)
I was convinced last year to get a pair of running shoes half a size too large, that is unless I wear thick wool socks, which I normally don't do in the summer. But I did today, because yesterday I felt off balance all day, culminating in the incident where I ate shit as I got off the 15. Fortunately this stop was right across from a walgreens, so I was able to go in and buy some lovely things to disinfect. I mainly landed on my hands, and primarily my right hand. The palm was slightly blooded, and the pinky and knuckles were abraded rather badly. After ten minutes with peroxide and tissue the dirt was gone, at least, but I had a new friendly bruise on my left knee. Which is great cos I got one on the opposite side of that knee a week ago, and the bruise is still visible. It hurt quite a bit to walk as the patella hit either bruise.

That at least is not as bad today, but my right arm around the shoulder feels like someone tried to rip it out of the socket. Fortunately I already have my computer workstation set up for leftie-mousing, but everything else is killer. Even reading a book using the right hand hurts pretty bad. Also, I barely got five hours of sleep last night. I did pamper myself a bit today, having ice cream at 3 and making my own burger for dinner. (Beecher's Flagship cheese mixes amazingly well with Kraft American, by the way. As do butter-fried shallots, if you swing that way.)


Feb. 27th, 2008 06:27 pm
lauralh: (Default)

pork Originally uploaded by lauralhb.

in the Dutch Oven:
• 3.5lbs pork butt/shoulder
• 1/2 bottle sweet BBQ sauce
• 1/2 bottle spicy BBQ sauce
• 4 cloves garlic
• 2 sprigs rosemary

Brown pork on stovetop with a bit of oil, on all sides. Put in 150F oven after covering with all of the above. Go to work. Come home. Eat.

lauralh: (Default)
Just so you all know, I made chocolate chip cookies in maybe 20 minutes. And they are definitely the best I've ever made.

Also, Dexter season 1 is the best thing ever, and only partly because it's only 12 episodes.
lauralh: (Default)
it is very important when baking not to confuse the similarly shaped cans of cornstarch and Comet.

edit: i did not actually confuse them for more than a second.
lauralh: (pirate queen)
First, The Professionals. This is about a rich white cattle baron hiring a bunch of kinda-thugs to retrieve his "kidnapped" wife. Claudia Cardinale makes a good movie great, cos she's hot and shit. And Jack Palance is just creepy. As usual.

The next day we watched a bunch of Simpson season 8, and had breakfast at Hale's with Heather and Michael.

And later The Magnificent Seven, which is a remake of the Samurai movie. Agriculture is noble or some such nonsense. Plus, the one girl was not as cute.

I made a giant focaccio loaf during that movie, and then we watched Fox Cartoon Night. The American Dad episode did not suck too badly. It was about the Log Cabin Republicans, and Stan's attempt to be one of them. After Family Guy I re-read all of the Y: The Last Man graphic novels we own and fell asleep.

Making chicken tonight. And probably lentil soup.
lauralh: (infinite wineglass)
Nothing like homemade red lentil soup, crusty bread from the bakery, and Spire for dinner.

I came upon this passage in that Greek gods book:

"It is worthy of the most ingenous and creative of humankind that in the period of their greatest religious inspiration they resolved to recognize and worship the divine not in absolute power, wisdom, or will, but in the primal forms of reality; thus their religion exhibits the same evidence for the unity of nature and spirit as does their plastic art. [...]Such views of the divine the modern philosphers of religion refuse to recognize."


Jul. 15th, 2006 12:32 pm
lauralh: (pirate queen)
I woke up early, anxious about money, and cancelled a pending payment. Finished Another Day in Paradise by Eddie Little then headed to the grocery store. Bought fruits and meats and coffee, came home and made coffee, bacon, and smoothies. (Mix juice, banana, peach and raspberries in the blender.) Shook Reg awake, poured coffee down his throat, and he seemed to perk up a bit.

The Eddie Little book is pretty hardcore. Anyone who liked A Million Little Pieces should check it out. It takes place in the early 70s and is clearly pretty autobiographical. Junkie teenage boy and his girlfriend become thieves and learn to crack safes.
lauralh: (cynical or sarcastic)
Last night I made freaking excellent ciabatta and me and reg and Paul and Shannon gorged ourselves. Oh jesus. I also discovered that I need to buy a new hard drive. Finally, we watched Ultraviolet which was surprisingly enjoyable and not even that stupid.
lauralh: (sunglasses)
Last night I was starving and I wasn't sure why. I had cheese on toast and then roasted a 4lb free-range chicken with olive oil and lemon juice and lots of various spices. Also, spinach salad. I became so amazingly full.

86% humidity. Fuck this.

I'm almost done with Paradise, an amazingly funny novel about an alcoholic Scotswoman and her alcoholic boyfriend. I wonder how much of it was based on her own life. I actually forgot it was a novel till someone in the book said her name.
lauralh: (pirate queen)
Persian Salad
lauralh: (sunglasses)
The best thing about making bagels Sunday morning is eating one for lunch Monday afternoon.
lauralh: (blue hair)
Tomorrow I am going to make homemade bagels.
lauralh: (blue hair)
I am madly in love with Joel's succinct immigration post.

On the way home I stopped at the store and bought foodz. Once home, I cut up a chicken breast, seasoned, oiled, and cooked in the oven for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. In the meantime I ate a spinach salad, made cheese sauce, and steamed broccoli. I am feeling rather satisfied and am about to open up a wine cooler that I had forgotten about, from the ski weekend.

I am about to finish Spook by Mary Roach. She writes better than I do, but still in a very casual, not TOO funny manner. She's basically a skeptic, but the book investigates various claims about the afterlife. Mainly reincarnation and mediums. I just read the part where she tries to tape dead voices of the Donner party.

And tomorrow is Friday.
lauralh: (Default)
I notice nobody really does the Friday Five anymore, which is ok b/c it was dumb anyway. But today's is about food. I am personally quite fond of food. Yesterday I had the last few choco-beans that I had, tortilla soup loaded with veggies and topped with sour cream, and some fancy cheese at Zig Zag. But the only reason I like going out is to try stuff I wouldn't/can't make at home. I learned how to cook when I was 20 or so, when I started living in a place with my own kitchen for the first time. Initially I just used a recipe book, and Usenet, and my boyfriend taught me a few tricks as well. As I was in college and had nothing better to do, I bought a loaf pan and learned how to make bread. And cinnamon rolls.

After I graduated I kind of stuck to a few basic recipes. I'd cook enough food for six to eight people and live off it for the rest of the week. I experimented with vegetarianism and learned how to use wine and spices to add flavor rather than meat. When I moved in with Nick, I would dig up recipes for things we enjoyed in restaurants, and attempt to recreate them at home. Mixed results, but almost always tasty. When I lived at the Red Door, Steve would eat almost anything I cooked, and it was fun. I started making jambalaya that was nothing like what I'd ever had at home, but tasty, cheap, and healthy.

to be concluded?


lauralh: (Default)
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