Random (but not really)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

More Destruction

More buildings being knocked down in Morgantown.

This one is downtown, on High St, and uncovered some old advertisements.


That would be Comuntzis Resturants, if you can’t read the text.

Written by Michelle at 3:02 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Morgantown  

Thursday, February 20, 2014

No. No No No.

This is not how math and statistics work:

About 92 percent of all malware attacks are delivered by zip files.

“Whatever it is, it can wait,” Meyers said, “because you have a 92 percent chance of losing access to all of your data. Those are not good odds.”

no no no

Written by Michelle at 1:47 pm      Comments (1)  Permalink
Categories: Non-Sequiturs  

Sunday, February 9, 2014



I am positive that you can substitute Loki or Anansi or Coyote or any other trickster for that chapter.

Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes: A No Bullshit Guide to World Mythology

See an interview here.

However, I take issue with his contention that mythology is boring. I’ve found it anything but. Perhaps I’m a weirdo.

(via Fixed That For Ya)

Written by Michelle at 3:53 pm      Comments (1)  Permalink
Categories: Fun & Games,Non-Sequiturs  

Thursday, February 6, 2014

This Week’s Amusement


What happens when WVUH masks their phone number.

I totally keep playing this over and over.

Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Non-Sequiturs  

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Food Week: Turkey Burgers

Michael makes this, because meat squicks me out. This is also our fallback position when I don’t want to cook. We have these about once a week.

1 pound ground turkey
1 egg
1/4 cup bread crumbs (or something similar)
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/3 cup onion
4 tablespoons dried parsley
dash salt
dash pepper

Line cooking sheet with foil.

Squish together with your hands until ingredients are combined.

Make ~1/2 cup patties and place on cookie sheet NOT TOUCHING. Depending upon the size of your cookie sheet, you may need to make another layer of foil.

Place sheet–uncovered–in freezer for a couple hours. Once frozen solid, place into stacks and put in ziploc bags.

To cook, heat frying pan on low. Add 1 or 2 tbs oil. Add frozen patties to frying pan, cover, and cook on low until done.

Cheddar cheese
Turkey bacon
Fresh spinach
Red leaf lettuce

Serve with sweet potato fries, baked in the oven.

Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (1)  Permalink
Categories: Food  

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Wednesday Word Association: Food Edition

Today’s word is: dinner

Written by Michelle at 7:00 am      Comments (3)  Permalink
Categories: Fun & Games  

Food Week: Penne alla Vodka

This is a favorite of mine, adapted from the Cooks Illustrated Italian Favorites 2009.

1/4 cup minced onion
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 – 4 garlic cloves, minced
1 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes
1/4 – 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/3 cup good quality vodka
1/2 cup neufchatel cheese (ie “light” cream cheese), softened and cut into squares
fresh Parmesan cheese
Penne pasta, 1 lb

Heat 4 quarts of salted water, to boiling.

Heat large saute pan over medium heat. Add olive oil, and then onion, cooking until onion is light golden. Add red pepper flakes, and then garlic, the add the tomatoes and ~1/2 tsp salt.

Once everything is well mixed, turn off flame and add vodka. Turn the flame back on, and cook 8 to 10 minutes, or while pasta is cooking.

Cook pasta according to directions.

When pasta has a few minutes left to finish cooking, add cream cheese to tomato sauce. I’ve found that Philadelphia actually melts and incorporates better than the store brand, but YMMV.

Drain pasta and return to pot. Pour sauce over penne and stir.

Serve, with fresh Parmesan.

Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Food  

Monday, February 3, 2014

Food Week: Wraps

The hospital serves a really unhealthy version of this that is INSANELY delicious. I tried to make it healthier.

There is a LOT of room for flexibility here. You can use lime or lemon here, I personally hunted down lime powder, because I really like the flavor the lime adds.

And you don’t need a wrap if you can’t find a gluten free ones. For lunch, Michael just plops everything in a bowl to eat.

1/2 onion, sliced
chicken, sliced or cubed
garlic, minced
vegetable/canola oil
1 tsp chili powder (or to taste)
1 tsp cumin (or to taste)
lime juice (or lime powder) or lemon juice [When I need fresh lemon for something, I get several lemons, the put the remaining juice in ice cube trays to freeze, then store the cubes in a ziploc bag with the air sucked out. This works perfectly for me.]
hot sauce (I’m partial to Melinda’s Mango Hot Sauce)
spicy ranch dressing (this is the key ingredient to the uber deliciousness)
lettuce (or spinach) sliced/shredded
sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
wraps (I’m partial to spinach wraps; I know I’ve seen gluten free wraps]
rice (Mexican rice is an option, but I don’t like it. I’m actually happy with plain brown rice.)
1 can black beans
1 cup or so frozen corn

Mince the garlic into a tablespoon or so of oil, then set aside. Slice the onion (or mince it, but I think the slices work better with this recipe)

If you want the black beans and corn, heat 2 tbsp oil in a small pot. Add a clove or so of minced garlic, a tsp or so of cumin, the black beans, and the corn. Mix occasionally, until heated through, then drop the heat to low. Feel free to add other spices.

Heat your largest skillet over medium heat (a drop of water should sizzle fiercely). Add 2 or 3 tbsp of oil. When the oil starts to shimmer, saute the onion. While the onion is cooking, add the chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Once the onion is soft and translucent, push it to the edge of the pan and add the chicken.

Spread the chicken evenly over the bottom of the pan and then STEP BACK AND WAIT. When you saute chicken, you want to let one side cook well–you’ll notice that when one side is cooked, it will actually unstick from the pan. This is when you can then stir it around to make sure the chicken is well-cooked. So you can poke individual pieces to see if they’ve become unstuck, but you’re better off not paying attention to it.

Once the chicken is sauted, add 1 to 2 tbsp lime juice and hot sauce to taste.

Heat wraps you’re immediately going to use on a place in microwave for ~10-30 seconds. They should be warm and pliable.

Layer chicken, rice, black beans & corn, cheese, lettuce, spicy ranch and wrap as best you can. If you are me, you’ll make a huge, but delicious mess as you eat.

Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Food  

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Food Week: Spaghetti with Fried Eggs

This is very basic, and very delicious. We serve it with turkey sausage and fresh bread and butter. Fresh ingredients are a requirement–you’re not working with a lot here, so what you have HAS to be good.

Mis en place is important here. Get everything ready to go before you begin–water in the pot, eggs cracked and ready to go, garlic minced, etc. You don’t want to be scrambling (HA!) trying to do several things at once.

This recipe is adapted from “Cook’s Illustrated Italian Favorites 2010”.

2 slices bread (When I have leftover bread, I just process it and put it in the freezer for later)
10 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, total
fresh ground black pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 – 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
spaghetti or linguini or fettuccini, 1 serving per person
Fresh grated Parmesean cheese or Parmesean & Asagio mixed
1/4 cup fresh parsley (I’ve skipped this and it’s fine. If you use dried, use only ~1 tbsp)
1 large egg per person, each egg in a separate bowl,

To make bread crumbs:
Preheat oven to 375 F
Pulse bread in the food processor till you get crumbs.
In a small bowl, mix together bread crumbs, two (2) tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. It’ll start lumpy and then look like moist bread crumbs.

Toast bread crumbs for 8 to 10 minutes.

You can make a large batch of bread crumbs, store them in the freezer, and then just toast/heat them before using.

While the bread crumbs are toasting, start the pasta water boiling. Use a large pot, and salt the water well.

While the water is heating, heat a non-stick skillet on low heat. When the pan is hot, add 3 tbsp of olive oil (I actually use a little less). When the oil is hot, add the garlic, peeper, and some salt, stirring until the garlic foams, about 8 to 10 minutes. Once the garlic is cooked, put it into a small bowl.

At this point, I turn the pan down to low, to keep it warm.

When pasta is al dente, drain water and then return pasta to the pot. Add 3 tbs olive oil, garlic, parsley, and salt (I actually skip the salt here) and mix well.

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in pan. Fry the eggs sunny side up.

Divide the pasta between the bowls, sprinkle with cheese, sprinkle with bread crumbs, then, when eggs are done, put a fried egg on top of the pasta in each bowl.

Serve and eat immediately.

The original recipe had you mix the Parmesan with the garlic and a 1/2 cup of pasta water, but for me, this turned into a lumpy mess. Sprinkling the cheese with the bread crumbs turned out MUCH better.

Written by Michelle at 12:45 pm      Comments (2)  Permalink
Categories: Food  

Food Week! First, the Basics

My friend NeuronDoc hates to cook, but she wants to cook more both because it’s healthier, and because she wants to sent a good example for her daughter.

So I’m going to a few recipes that I think are easy, and also very delicious.

But more importantly, some basics:

1. Use fresh ingredients, whenever possible. When you’re only using five or so ingredients, they have to taste good.

2. Most ground spices should be replaced once a year, as they lose their potency once they are oxidized (exposed to air). Whole spices keep longer, since they are ground.

3. You can do a lot of prep ahead of time–having serving sizes of pre-cut onion or chicken in the freezer makes life much easier.

4. Mis en place (French for “get your shit together before you start”) is incredibly important. Get everything laid out and ready to go, so you’re not halfway through a recipe and realize you don’t have something essential.

5. That said, there are lots of substitutions you can make, if you don’t like an ingredient, or you don’t have something on hand. Just know you’re going to be making a substitution BEFORE you start cooking.

6. Keep staples on hand. Find a recipe you like that’s really easy to make, and keep stuff for that on-hand, for nights when you want something easier. Making and freezing soups is also good for this. On our house, turkey burgers are the default fall-back position. They’re easy, they’re delicious, and you can experiment with things you put on them.

7. I am a HUGE fan of kitchen scales. Measure cups are good, but if you want to quickly measure spaghetti, taring a tall drinking glass and then measuring out 2 oz of pasta per person is really easy.

8. Almost everything I make contains garlic, because I love garlic. I always mince the garlic first, into a tablespoon or so of oil. This helps release the aromatic compounds AND the healthy compounds. Also, immediately after mincing the garlic, wash your hands with DISH soap. This should remove the oils that makes your hands stink.

If I remember, I’ll try to make an index here, for the recipes as I make them.

Spaghetti with Fried Eggs

Other recipes:
Butternut Squash Risotto

Written by Michelle at 12:04 pm      Comments (3)  Permalink
Categories: Food  
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