31 December 2015

Happy New Year!

Hello reader! Thanks for stopping by in 2015. I hope you have an excellent 2016.

Here is a video with a cat and a nephew and a 'sad companion' and a big pillar of fire. It is excellent.

28 December 2015

Not Bad, Not Bad at All

Courtesy Ruby's Dad (best pups) here is another pasty Irish ginger* doing some work in the kitchen. Another = another one besides me. That thing Bill Burr cannot identify is a pastry cutter.

If you were wondering what it looks like in my kitchen then imagine something a lot like this: a similar generous application of the f-word, but with more hair. And less crisco. 100% butter crusts or I don't know you.

* "pasty Irish ginger" is possibly redundant. The Irish are an island people but they are not a tropical people.

27 December 2015

Let Your Nerd Flag Fly

This was better than I would have ever expected. That Amsterdam flag is cool as hell. I want one. Most of the American city flags, not so much.

Design-by-committee is the worst. A camel is a horse designed by committee. Failure everywhere.

Two Friends are Boss

I'm pretty sure I have posted some sweet, sweet jams from Two Friends earlier on teh blogspace. These are some good-ass jams! Get down with these jams! This is some instant party shit right here. Cue that up for your New Year's Eve extravaganza. Or put it on when you have to clean up around the house. Same thing, pretty much.

25 December 2015

Dammit, Pie

Before the Issues
Happy Christmas! Me and Barry the Boss Bird are hanging out today before we do our Christmas Activities.

I made a pumpkin pie for Christmas day dessert. Didn't go well. First I couldn't get the right cookies for the crust. Hrrmph. No bigs I will work around it.

The crust started out promisingly but then it got weird (LIKE A RELATIONSHIP, AMIRITE? HONK). Blurgh. Okay whatever I can fix it. Let's make the filling.

Made the filling and I have wayyyy too much. Like, a whole extra pie worth of filling. Maybe make a second, backup pie? But I only have one pie pan. BLURGH.

Put pie filling in the pie, put in oven. :: forgets to turn off convection function, pie cooks extremely quickly :: Ugh EFF EM ELL. So the pie and I are at odds. Life goes on. In the mean time there are sweet pump-up jams and I am going to make egg nog. Can't mess that up, right? Good lord let's hope not.

22 December 2015

Log de Noel, Made Fresh

Plural of Fungus is Fungi
Here is a thing that I made in a baking class. I rate it okay. As these things go (things = "frosted cakes made from scratch with two types of buttercream frosting and meringue decorations") it is good I guess. Very alright. Above average, most likely. Not my cup of tea but if you like frosted cakes then you would probably like this. They are a chore to make so I was glad to be able to make it in someone else's kitchen space.

Officially it's called a 'buche de noel', and there are supposed to be some accent marks in there somewhere but I cannot remember where they go. It is a yellow sheet cake with frosting on it (amaretto buttercream frosting, in this case) rolled up in a spiral with more frosting on the outside (chocolate buttercream).

I enjoyed making the remarkably realistic looking meringue fungus to go on the cake. That shit looks real as hell! It tastes good if you like meringue. I stuck some chocolate stuff on there to give it some additional texture but the end result is only adequate. Not much for cake decorating over here; it requires an artistic skill and interest that I do not possess.

Anyway, if you want some tips on how to make a (pain in the ass, pretty-good-I-guess-if-you're-into-that-sort-of-thing) traditional holiday cake, I got you covered. Hit me up.

19 December 2015

Force: Awakened

I wrote some words about the new Star Wars movie back when the trailer came out. If you care to review them you can do so at your leisure. The important thing to know is that the new movie is really good! It goes a very, very long way towards pushing the awfulness of the last three movies into the rearview mirror.

In the fullness of time no one will remember the prequels, as they were not only bad when they came out but they have gotten worse with age. George Lucas is a porkchop clown disguised as an overgrown ewok.

Best thing about the new movie is Rey. Strong female leads FTW! The actor is believable and her character is the opposite of the typical Disney princess-in-distress trope. This is a promising development.

Worst thing is General Leia. Carrie Fisher has spent the last 40 years stoned to the gills on whatever combination of drugs she needs to get through the day and it SHOWS. It's not that she is old, it's that she is barely sentient. BB-8 enunciates his lines more clearly.

Anyway, it was a fun movie. Go see it.

Make Treats

Today I made 7 layer bars and also some fudge. Both things are very easy to make, although wrangling the fudge out of a big pot into the 9x9 pan for cooling is a challenge. It needs three hands because the pot is heavy and you can't hold and scoop. Since you have to candy sugar to make the fudge the pot is also very hot. I wedged it against my Surgery Baby and was able to mostly get it out of there.

Editorial Aside: As someone who regularly handles supposedly dangerous objects (i.e. firearms) without incident I make a special note to identify things that are truly, legitimately dangerous. I never fry food at home so the two most dangerous things in my house are the Cuisinart blade and candying sugar. I am as aggressively vigilant about safety around those things as I am about gun safety. Moreover, I'm not at all uncomfortable handling guns, but candying sugar makes me juuuuuuust a little big anxious. That shit is No Joke.

The Surgery Baby is the gut I developed after not being able to get as much exercise as I would like in the months following surgery. It is definitely not superb, but I'm middle aged so there's not much I can do about it in the short term. Good news is I'm back at the gym now, but my exercise program is restricted. Some stuff I can get back to doing eventually, but some stuff is off limits forever. Lifting weights? Okay, with limits. Walking or biking or swimming? All recommended. Running? Not so much. Not much fussed about it since I have never been much of a runner, but it is still kind of weird for someone to say, "Your running days are over." I'll have to find other ways to supplement my treat habits.

17 December 2015

But to Serve

Just in time for the holidays...

I cannot remember if I have posted already. Probably I have, because I have seen it before. Oh well. I laughed. 

Hot Jamz: CID - Like This (Original Mix)

This dancefloor destroyer has been out for a day, was picked up by some big DJs (which is why it landed on my page) and if this is the first time you heard it then it won't be the last.

It's got that irresistible dance feel that great 4x4 house tracks have. Enjoy.
Don't mind me over here, getting my dance on.

15 December 2015

Pretty Good, I Guess

[Edit: there was a video but it ran afoul of Bundesliga copyrights. Imagine something ridiculous in both concept and execution.]

First time I saw this goal I didn't use any actual words, just made a noise that sounded like the air being let out of a tire. 

Homemade Egg Nog is The Best

The Good Shit
Forget everything you learned from egg nog you bought in the store. That stuff is usually trash, occasionally decent, and never as good as the pure uncut good shit you can make at home. It cannot be as good, because it does not have the whipped egg whites and the nutmeg is going to become dull and bland. Yes you can put lipstick on a pig and dress that store-bought shortcut up a little with your own grated nutmeg but: come on, people. If you're going to do it then do it right. Go all the way.

Backstory: My peep got me a Game of Thrones mug ("Crows Before Hoes", with a picture of Jon Snow) for Christmas and I needed to break it in with something delicious, such as bourbon, egg nog, or the tears of my enemies. I'm not much for drinking alone on a weeknight and the tears of my enemies taste of ash and bitterness so I opted for some delicious homemade egg nog. Recipe courtesy Alton Brown.

It's pretty damn easy to make, especially because I threw caution to the wind and opted not to cook mine. Yeah I said it! I got those free range farm fresh eggs for $8 a dozen so those happy chickens (and their eggs) aren't bathed in their own shit. You gotta take your time though, because something something proteins and emulsions and blah blah blah. I love Alton Brown but sometimes I don't want a chemistry lesson, I just want to make some delicious goods and stuff them into my face.

So happy holidays, and make some homemade egg nog this year. You deserve it. 

04 December 2015

Hey What's New?

Nothing. Literally nothing is new. There are no new things. Yeah there are holidays and "Black Friday" but is any of that new? Nah. But this mix is pretty good.

Winter doesn't officially start until 21 December but I guess it is cold in other parts of the northern hemisphere so this is a "Winter-Mix" [sic]. I'm not feeling it yet. It kind of got cold here, and by that I mean I thought about closing a window. I didn't, but I definitely considered it. Instead I put a long-sleeved shirt on.