Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Requested Recipes: Raw Vegan Macadamia Nuts

Jenn thinks she's got a stumper for me: she wants a raw vegan recipe using Macadamia nuts.

I'll admit I was a bit worried with this one - I don't have any Raw-style cookbooks and am an adventurously non-vegan eater. Still, we have a couple of excellent vegetarian cookbooks that we often refer to, and I was able to find this recipe in Entertaining for a Veggie Planet, by Didi Emmons. Obviously to make this recipe Vegan all you have to do is pick a favorite fruit granita or sorbet instead of the dairy ice cream, and I'm sure not roasting the nuts to make it Raw is totally legit.

I nearly had to use my "Phone a Friend" on this one; I would've depended on Terry Romero, a friend of mine who co-authored Veganomicon and has a new Vegan cookbook recently out: Viva Vegan. Jenn, if you do not own either of these books, you should! Terry, I'm going to tag you when this post makes its way to Facebook - do you have another raw macadamia vegan recipe that springs to mind?

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Requested Recipes: Strawberry Cupcakes

Long-lost Robinson Ram Katie asked for a recipe for Strawberry Cupcakes. Actually, Katie was never 'lost' per se, I just never knew her while we were at the old alma mater.

Usually I let M do all the baking - she's great at it, usually enjoys it, and I reap the full rewards of that combination. So this comes from one of M's cookbooks: The Cake Mix Doctor Returns, by Anne Byrn. It looks, if I may say so, scrummy. I have very high hopes that Katie is going to make these to bring into work one day soon!

Another fabulous place to go for baking recipes is my sister Kari's baking blog, The Virtual Goody Plate. There's even a section just for strawberries!

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Requested Recipes: Parsnips

Emily requested Parsnips - like Leeks, we always have a ton of these from our weekly veg box in the winter unless I turn them off in my preferences. Thus, it pays to have a lot of parsnip recipes while living in the UK. Likewise, all my recipe sources for these are British cookbooks.

Bacon and Eggs with Parsnip is from the Abel & Cole Cookbook, published by the same people who bring us our parsnip-laden boxes
The Roasted Parsnip recipe is from Betty's Cafe in Harrogate; published in A Year of Family Recipes, by Lesley Wild
Root and Cheese Soup is from Tender, Volume I by Nigel Slater - he has a whole chapter on parsnips actually!
and the Parsnip Cake is from Jane Grigson's English Food (even though it's adapted from an American carrot cake recipe).

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Requested Recipes: Pistachios

Rich requested Pistachios: "Not that I have any right now, but I will after I find an amazing recipe. Pistachios ftw!"

I love pistachios too. Remember to buy Preshelled for cooking! I made that mistake once. You can find them at Trader Joe's.

I originally thought of a pilaf I've made that has pistachios in, but the recipe turns out to be for a lamb pilaf, so that was not very Rich-friendly. Instead you ended up with a trio of desserts - I didn't think you'd mind that too much.

The crumble is from Tender, Vol II by Nigel Slater, the Phyllo is from the Joy of Cooking, and the ice cream is from Tangy Tart Hot & Sweet, by Padma Lakshmi.

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Requested Recipes: Canned Chicken in Broth

Mark writes: "Dave, I have about four cans of canned chicken in broth that my mother gave me when she worked at the church cannery. I'm scared to death to open them. What can I possibly do with them besides donate them to homeless shelters, which they may find offensive? =o)"

I see your dilemma, Mark. There aren't a lot of recipes that call directly for "Canned Chicken in Broth from the Church Cannery" and let's face it, we wouldn't trust them if there were. So a bit of adaptation is called for. If I were going to use chicken already in broth I would sub it into this Pozole recipe from Mexico: The Beautiful Cookbook. Let me know how that works out for you.

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Requested Recipes: Szechuan Peppercorns

Dan said "How about Szechuan peppercorns? We have a huge bag that I don't think we could ever completely consume."

I, too, have a large bag of Sichaun Peppercorns from Penzey's spices, far too many to use a teaspoon at a time. Still, the only recipes I have only call for a tiny bit of this (until recently illegal in the USA) spice.

The Guinea Fowl is from Tender, Vol II by Nigel Slater, and the Poached Chicken is from the Spice Bible, by Jane Lawson.

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Requested Recipes: Leeks

Steph said "I think I want a good recipe that has leeks in it. Haven't made them in awhile."

I'm always on the lookout for good recipes for leeks too - we always get loads of them in our weekly veg box in the winter.

The Braised Leeks is from Classical Turkish Cooking by Ayla Aglar - I have actually made this and found it pretty pleasant.

The Leeks and Mushrooms is from Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America, by Jose Andres.

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Requested Recipes: Strip Steak

Andrew said "I'll start you off easy...I have strip steaks that I want to have a tasty marinade, I don't know if you need an ingrediant there or not, but the main dish is strip steak....10 ounce I believe (4 of em)."

To which I say I'm including two recipes; one for strip steaks and the other with a marinade. I'm sure the marinade would be just as good on strip steaks as on sirloin, just as I'm sure the roasted garlic butter would be good on ... everything.

Both are from Weber's Big Book of Grilling.

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Requested Recipes: Coconut

Requested by Amanda.

Coconut Pancakes from Thai: The Essence of Asian Cooking, by Judy Bastyra

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Requested Recipes: Ube (Purple Yams)

Requested by Kelsey.

That is indeed a tricky one. None of my recipes seem to feature specifically Ube, so you get one of the few recipes I have that calls for true yams at all. It's from The Joy of Cooking.

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Requested Recipes: Ground Fennel

Requested by Maren

Monday, December 06, 2010

I learned a new word.

So, while I was in Rome a couple of weeks ago, I picked a couple of the excellent Getty Imagery Guide books - Angels and Demons in Art (_not_ about the Dan Brown book), and Old Testament Figures in Art. Both extremely cool, fun to look through, and fascinating to me even though I've never been much of an artophile (whatever, that's totally a word now). Both guides are so excellent that I'm adding some other interesting ones from the same series onto my Amazon wishlist.

But! In the Angels & Demons guide, in the section about Charon, I learned a new word! An esoteric, rare word used to describe only a very particular thing, but a very interesting thing. This, for me, is the best kind of word. One that will set my heart to beating if I ever encounter it in print again, one that I will keep hidden in a side pocket in case I should ever chance to have a legitimate (ie not manufactured) opportunity to use it.

An obolus is a specific Greek coin, but it also means the coin put into a corpse's mouth during burial in order that they might pay Charon the passage across the river Styx. Obolus. I like it.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

All Caps Scores & Answers

Thanks to all and sundry who played on the blog, on buzz, or on facebook. The very fact that I have my blog content propogated elsewhere made tracking scores a bit more complex than it should have been, and there might be an error or two in the final scoring, but I'm pretty sure it holds to the standard of everyone getting points for first mentions in their chosen mediums. If, not, they're only Fake Worthless Internet Points, right? Without further delay:

  1. (43 Fwips) Davey Cruz
  2. (40 Fwips) Eric Cooper
  3. (32 Fwips) Rob Greene
  4. (31 Fwips) Michelle Younce
  5. (25 Fwips) Kenneth Yee
  6. (20 Fwips) Anne Austin
  7. (15 Fwips) Geary Younce and Matthew Crowley
  8. (13 Fwips) William 'Wam' Atkins
  9. (10 Fwips) Frank Manna and Nick Renfroe
  10. (9 Fwips) Gabriel Soll
  11. (6 Fwips) Karen J Cordano
  12. (5 Fwips) Don Corcoran
  13. (4 Fwips) Agatha Jenkins
  14. (3 Fwips) Nathan Grow
  15. (1 Fwip) Tona Hangen, Kelly Bresnahan, Akaemi Barnett
Congratulations to all of you! Many of you had correct answers that were just a little too late, and all of you would have scored higher if you were just taking it as a recognition test rather than a competition. On the whole, I was highly impressed with your abilities - I chose some pretty obscure frames from some of those films, and very few went fully unanswered. Here are all the answers from all the rounds, in case you care to go back and check yourselves:

Round 0 (No Fwips Awarded):
  1. Brad Pitt in Troy
  2. Olivia Hussey in Romeo and Juliet
  3. Arnold in Conan the Barbarian
  4. Cary Grant in North by Northwest
  5. The end sequence from You Only Live Twice
Round 1:
  1. Buster Keaton in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
  2. Michael Caine and Sean Connery in The Man Who Would Be King
  3. George Hamilton in Zorro, the Gay Blade
  4. Eric Bana in Black Hawk Down
  5. Sebastien Foucan in Casino Royale
  6. George Lazenby in On Her Majesty's Secret Service
  7. Yuji Okumoto and Brian Imada as the Howard Cosell racers in Better Off Dead
  8. Kate Magowan in Stardust
  9. Christopher Walken in Last Man Standing
Round 2:
  1. Bob Hoskins in The Long Good Friday
  2. Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon in Some Like it Hot
  3. Carole Boquet in For Your Eyes Only
  4. Sam Rockwell in Galaxy Quest
  5. Rex Smith, Kevin Kline, et al in The Pirates of Penzance
  6. Deep Roy in The Neverending Story
  7. Sam Elliot in The Golden Compass
  8. Emily Blunt in The Young Victoria
Round 3:
  1. Nick Cage in Raising Arizona
  2. Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly in High Society
  3. Tim Curry, Mike McKean et al in Clue
  4. Steve Martin in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
  5. Richard Harris in The Count of Monte Cristo
  6. Robert DeNiro in Ronin
  7. Phoebe Cates and Rik Mayall in Drop Dead Fred
  8. Ken Marshall, Liam Neeson, and Alun Armstrong in Krull
  9. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Nora Zehetner in Brick
  10. John Goodman and John Turturro in Barton Fink
Round 4:
  1. Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday
  2. Tim Curry in Legend
  3. Humphrey Bogart in The Big Sleep
  4. Gabriel Byrne and J.E. Freeman in Millers Crossing
  5. Arnold in Predator
  6. Peter Weller in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the Eighth Dimension
  7. John Leguizamo in Romeo+Juliet
  8. Stanley Tucci in A Midsummer Night's Dream
  9. Sean Connery in Goldfinger
Round 5:
  1. Russell Crowe and Ron Rifkin in LA Confidential
  2. Rutger Hauer in Ladyhawke
  3. Christian Bale in Empire of the Sun
  4. Eric Bana and Brad Pitt in Troy
  5. Sean Bean in Patriot Games
  6. Tim Roth and Gary Oldman in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
  7. Cory Feldman, Martha Plimpton, et al in The Goonies
  8. Sir Ian McKellan and Jane Seymour in The Scarlet Pimpernel
  9. Bogey again in The Maltese Falcon
  10. Cate Blanchett in An Ideal Husband
  11. Rupert Everett in The Importance of Being Earnest
  12. Madeline Stowe in Last of the Mohicans
  13. Paul Newman in The Sting
  14. Owen Wilson and Jackie Chan in Shanghai Noon
  15. Grace Kelly and Cary Grant in To Catch a Thief
  16. Pete Postlethwaite, Steven Baldwin and Gabriel Byrne in The Usual Suspects
  17. Al Pacino in Heat
  18. Harry Hamlin, Burgess Meredith, et al in Clash of the Titans
  19. Christopher Walken and Grace Jones in A View to a Kill
Any that you're kicking yourself for not recognizing? Which of these movies that you've seen do you enjoy most? Is there one that you want to see now based on this contest?

Monday, November 01, 2010


Competition is fierce!
Scores going in:
  1. (24 Fwips) Eric Cooper
  2. (23 Fwips) Davey Cruz
  3. (22 Fwips) Michelle Younce & Rob Greene
  4. (21 Fwips) Kenneth Yee
  5. (20 Fwips) Anne Austin
  6. (10 Fwips) Frank Manna
  7. (8 Fwips) William Atkins
  8. (6 Fwips) Karen Cordano
  9. (5 Fwips) Don Corcoran
  10. (3 Fwips) Nathan Grow
  11. (1 Fwip) Nick Renfroe, Kelly Bresnahan, Gabriel Soll, Akaemi Barnett

Sunday, October 31, 2010


A couple of these are total giveaways.










Fake Worthless Internet Points (FWIPs) after Round 4:

  1. (22 Fwips) Michelle Younce

  2. (19 Fwips) Kenneth Yee

  3. (16 Fwips) Anne Austin

  4. (15 Fwips) Rob Greene and Eric Cooper

  5. (7 Fwips) Frank Manna

  6. (6 Fwips) Karen Cordano

  7. (5 Fwips) Davey Cruz and Don Corcoran

  8. (3 Fwips) William Atkins and Nathan Grow

  9. (1 Fwip) Kelly Bresnahan, Gabriel Soll, and Akaemi Barnett

Saturday, October 30, 2010

CAPS ROUND 3 (Blog edition)

Ignore this note when it shows up on Facebook; refer to the FB-posted one.











Scores after Round 2:

  1. (10 Points) Kenneth Yee & Michelle Younce & Anne Austin

  2. (7 Points) Frank Manna

  3. (5 Points) Don Corcoran

  4. (4 Points) Davey Cruz

  5. (3 Points) Rob Greene

  6. (2 Points) William Atkins

  7. (1 Point) Kelly Bresnahan, Nathan Grow, Gabriel Soll, Karen Cordano, Akaemi Barnett

  8. (0 Points) Everybody else!