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Category: eating in

05/17/10 10:03 - 58ºF - ID#51668

Fancy and Delicious

My Sunday was super fancy and delicious because I baked this:

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Yes!! I can't believe it either. It is the MOST delicious and fancy looking thing I have ever baked. Thank you, Maura. m/ You rock! m/


PS: More about the bread workshop later... (and possibly more photos, depending on whether I get them.)

PPS: Maura posted about the workshop on the fancy and delicious bakery blog:
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Permalink: Fancy_and_Delicious.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: eating out

05/13/10 10:11 - 59ºF - ID#51553

Monsoon Whatever Food: Hated it

The votes are in. (e:libertad) and I tried the monsoon food at the Roswell Cafeteria today and the unanimous vote is: Ehh! HATE IT.

Many reasons:

1. For something that is touted as "Indian", WHAT THE WHAT?! It's not vegetarian friendly! When I requested more samosas and bread instead of the chicken "curry" and rice, they said they would omit the rice and "curry" but could not give me more samosas and bread. The price for a reduced meal (sans rice and "curry") was the same as the price for the whole meal. They probably have some sort of instructions on how to sell the whole "monsoon entree" but not having any sort of alternative arrangements for people who don't eat meat (and having the audacity to call it "Indian") is inexcusable. And yes. I am authorized to criticize because I am Indian.

2. The shredded (cooked in some awful way) vegetables were an enormous disgrace to all self-respecting vegetables on the planet. I can finally see where all the hatred for veggies comes from. I really feel sorry for any kid that has to eat vegetables like that. It smelled like GRASS and was lukewarm. I think whatever they did to veggies today should be outlawed.

3. I didn't take the rice and "curry" but (e:libertad) wasn't too enthused about them either. He later got a heartburn because of the food. Indian spices promote digestion and don't give you heartburn. Another sign that calling something "Indian" and naming it after the monsoons doesn't make it even remotely "Indian".

I hope this ill-conceived fling with "Indian" food is short-lived. I will not be surprised if it gives real Indian food a bad reputation among people for whom this is an introduction to "Indian" cuisine.

Badly done indeed.



PS: That they called menu items "curry" should have tipped me about how un-Indian it would be, but I totally ignored my cranky assertive internal voice today. Shouldn't have...

PPS: Loved trashing the whole thing with beady eyes and whatnots with (e:libertad) ofcourse. :-)

PPPS: OMG, Fern is half my height, and she is hardly 3 (We ran into (e:enknot) and (e:megan) at lunch.)



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Permalink: Monsoon_Whatever_Food_Hated_it.html
Words: 363
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: eating in

05/09/10 08:39 - 45ºF - ID#51533

What do you eat?

I know this is a very unscientific way of going about things, but I am just very curious about what all of you eat. Take this poll if you dare:

Dairy:

1. How many gallons of milk do you drink per week? What kind?

2. How frequently do you eat any kind of cheese in a week?

3. How much half/half or creamer do you drink in a week?

Staples:

4. How much rice do you consume in a week?

5. How many loaves of bread do you eat in a week?

6. How many times do you eat any pasta in a week?

Meat:

7. How many times a week do you eat meat of any kind (including fish)?

8. How many times a week do you eat eggs?




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Permalink: What_do_you_eat_.html
Words: 123
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: eating in

05/09/10 01:25 - 39ºF - ID#51529

The best cup of coffee ever.

The best cup of coffee:

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- Brew Trader Joe's house blend in any coffee machine
- Add fat-free/1% milk in blender
- Add a heaped tablespoon of mascarpone to blender
- Blend and blend till foamy
- Heat 1/2 mug blended milk in microwave for a minute
- Fill rest of the mug with brewed coffee
- Stir vigorously
- Enjoy with homemade speculoos!


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Permalink: The_best_cup_of_coffee_ever_.html
Words: 70
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: science

05/09/10 09:27 - 35ºF - ID#51527

Acai Berry and the logic of creationism.

Ever wondered about the nutrient profile of the berry that promises to be the "one weird trick" and the "one ancient rule" to recurrent $80 dollar losses?

From: Schauss GA et al. Phytochemical and Nutrient Composition of the Freeze-Dried Amazonian Palm Berry, Euterpe oleraceae Mart. (Acai). Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2006 54 (22), 8598-8603

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None of the claims about Acai Berry have been scientifically proved. The berry doesn't taste exceptionally awesome either. It's a berry, just like any of the zillion other berries. The people in the Amazon eat it for subsistence just like the Irish eat potatoes. A look at the nutritional profile tells you why. Eating 100 g of this berry gives you nearly 534 calories - the amount you get from 5 100g small potatoes.

The people of Amazon live in tropical forestlands and don't drive cars all the time. They probably don't have 24 hour access to pizza delivery, fast-food, potato chips and all kinds of high-sugar snacks that were heaped in the cart during a recent grocery visit. They are not being force-fed high-fructose corn syrup through EVERY conceivable product on grocery shelves. They probably eat a lot of vegetables because they don't have as many staple-cereal farmlands.

But all that doesn't really matter, correct? We could totally have a million cakes in our pantry, eat a billion more, drink a zillion bottles of this "magic berry" and voila! - we will be magically moulded in the form of the lean and fit Amazonians. Sure, and we were all created from scratch in 7 days flat. It just wasn't enough time to give us a functional brain.
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Permalink: Acai_Berry_and_the_logic_of_creationism_.html
Words: 274
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: opinion

05/09/10 08:19 - 35ºF - ID#51526

UB 2020 Plan?

I just read about someone called Silver blocking the Bill that would make the UB 2020 plan a "success".


An editorial and opinion column in today's Buffalo News supports Assemblyman Mark Schroeder's criticism of Speaker Sheldon Silver for blocking a bill that would free up restrictions and allow UB and other SUNY campuses to become stronger economic engines in their regions. The editorial notes Silver "seems devoted to nothing greater than maintaining the disastrous status quo" and calls the bill "good for upstate." A related column in The Buffalo News and a story on WNED-AM also look at the issue.



I didn't quite get what exactly these restrictions were. So I read the three PDFs linked out from that page.

The only sentence about the content of the bill was:

Reports are that downstate members oppose letting campuses set their own tuition rates, a key part of the bill, because it could jeopardize the ability of poor New Yorkers to go to college.



Was the bill all about tuition? Does anyone know? Why can't these news items be clear instead of a mass of run-around-in-accusatory-sentence-cycles paragraphs? If writing about politics is this confusing, it's no wonder that people don't get whatever politicians are doing in their offices or if they are doing anything at all..
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Permalink: UB_2020_Plan_.html
Words: 248
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: art

05/02/10 03:21 - 64ºF - ID#51489

Until...

Sting sings.


The film is so comforting - like a perfect bowl of warm soup with pretty colours and crusty music to dip in. :-)
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Permalink: Until_.html
Words: 29
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: eating in

05/01/10 10:12 - 72ºF - ID#51483

Granny Smith Slices and homemade Nutella

Breakfast is a triumph today. I think I have finally perfected the art of making delicious Nutella the way I like it - without the ridiculous amounts of canola from Canada, semi-hydrogenated creepoid compounds or truckloads of sugar. As a bonus, it is mind-blowingly tasty! In four short steps, you can brute force your mornings from the nadir of suckiness to a zenith of awesome!

1. Toast a handful of hazelnuts till they are a toasty earthy brown. I guess you could roast them in the oven if you don't want to stand around stirring them. But I do like to stand around in my kitchen a LOT. I think it's the chessboard floor. There is something hypnotic about chessboards. It's like I am being checkmated by the stove but I make counter-moves and show it some aggression. Anyway, I prefer hands-on active approaches that make some noise early on weekend mornings (the better to annoy that perennially whiny hag next door who seems to think I am responsible for ALL the noise everyone else in the building makes and additionally, complains about it when I am not even in town).

Maybe it's time to get some speakers (that Chuck Norris would be proud of) and give her a flavour of what it might be like if I were in the serious business of making some REAL noise. So, how many hazelnuts, you ask? The average Nutella box proclaims that it has 50 hazelnuts to a jar. Yeah, if you didn't know any better 50 is a big number. But without the canola, sugar and dodgy hydrogenates, it makes up a paltry amount, so be generous. You could toast 50 hazelnuts and it will make nutella that lasts half a week.

2. Add the toasted hazelnuts to the blender, start blending till everything is a fine powder and sticks to the blades. That's hazelnut butter coming out.

3. Add chocolate soymilk (I used Sunrich, because I am in love with the brand) - just enough to cover the hazelnuts in the blender. Blend some more.

4. Add toasted thick and hearty steelcut oatmeal. Add a good sprinkle of flax seeds. Blend. Blend. Blend. Till it gets really creamy. Add chocolate milk at intervals till you reach the consistency of that artificial sham of a Nutella they sell here. My Oster blender does this job in around 10-15 minutes. Other blenders could be more efficient or could just break-down and die. You never know till you push their limits. So I suggest you give your blender its Nutella ultimatum today. Everyone knows that you should never wait till the kitchen apocalypse hits this planet. Every small appliance will grow extra appendages to hit you with.

That's it. Slice granny smiths (yes, other apples are just inferior. Admit it.) Spread the awesomeness of delicious Nutella on the slices and breakfast like a German!

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Permalink: Granny_Smith_Slices_and_homemade_Nutella.html
Words: 476
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: buffalo

04/30/10 06:10 - 74ºF - ID#51481

Aggressive sisterhood.

A couple days back, my friend and I were getting in his car and driving away, when two rather cute women approached us on Linwood. They asked us if we would like to exchange cards. Turned out they were not really hookers but were out proselytizing.

I thought it was a very interesting strategy. Pick fairly attractive young people to spread your virulent message and target a younger population - not with the traditional "could you spare a minute for us" but rather "hey there! would you like to exchange cards/numbers with us (broad suggestive smile)?!"

You have to wonder at what drives these nutters to pound the pavement and attempt to convince random strangers that the strangers' families are in mortal danger if they don't belong to such and such a religion/cult-group. Maybe we should take their cue and roam the streets yelling at random people about how smoking will kill them and their friends and why they should eat more fruits and vegetables.

What really worries me is do we already sound like this? Do people listen to us politely and then go home and shake their heads about how unlikely they ever are to change their lifestyles? What does it take for people to stop, think and change? I wonder if the tipping point towards religious commitment or adopting scientific lifestyles are similar. Do personal inexplicable losses lead to a more religious outcome while scientifically explained losses lead to conscious changes in lifestyle - for the better?



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Permalink: Aggressive_sisterhood_.html
Words: 252
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: goals

04/28/10 10:01 - 51ºF - ID#51469

Less things. More space!

I gave away my corner table and two chairs today. I am 3 steps closer to my absolute-minimal clutter-free goal.

My next elimination target is the pile of books, magazines and notes - about 3/4th of which I have digitized. I don't think I have ever re-read any of my class notes from mandatory coursework. I wonder why I have kept them so long. All my really useful notes and ideas are online or on the pages of books and pdfs I scribble on.

I love the wonderful feeling of living and breathing floors without those annoying chairs or that table that I didn't need anyway.
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Yeah, if you wondered, that evil clutter fairy is banned from my flat. She better quake at the sight of my curtainless windows.


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Permalink: Less_things_More_space_.html
Words: 130
Location: Buffalo, NY


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