Sunday, 12 March 2017

Hello little ones

Literally no one reads this blog, but here we are, 5 years after I started sporadically using it, and I'm gonna start it up again. Brave, I know, to associate myself with my old posts.

Are you ready?

Yes, I, the sole user of this blog, am totally ready.

Well cool, get ready for some travel because we are moving to fucking Colorado in a week.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

At some point I got boring

I have now spent weeks doing nothing more than drinking with my dad, working, and cleaning or organizing at home.
I've been cooking meals and planning out my grocery shopping.

It's kind of disgusting.

I'll find something to rant about for you internet folks, but gosh golly if I'm not super domestic these days.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Fuck, we're eating well this week

I'm really getting into the swing of things with cooking again, and I'm loving the readily available fabulous ingredients all over the place.
Seriously, I hate Canada and I never want to return.

So, for about $150 in groceries (including snack and I don't want to cook tonight meals, like BLTs and salads and cereals and shit, so will probably extend thoroughly into next week including leftovers), I have put together a menu for the next week that is blowing my mind with awesome.

I've been looking forward to coming home to eat, because this is so nummy.

So, I thought I'd share the recipes I'm using, because you lovelies could have this too, if you wanted.

Game of Thrones night
I always make something overly fancy for Sunday nights because first off, it's always a good idea to have little celebrations during the week, and secondly, I fucking love The Song of Ice and Fire.
This week I went overboard and made bruschetta by knowing how to make bruschetta (it's easy, you don't need a recipe, just dice up tomatoes and basil and throw olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and parmesan cheese all up in it), and this little delicious pile of ridiculousness:
Oyster Stew
 This was by far the most expensive food I am making from this grocery run, but I highly recommend buying the $9 Lumpfish caviar and topping it with that caviar toast, because fuck me it's delicious. Other than that, shucked oysters go for $17/lb at my Central Market, but it was worth every penny and it fed me and the boyfriend and supplied me with two absolutely absurd lunches. Something really cheerful about caviar toast and oyster stew in the middle of your workday.

The rest of the week

The only other thing that I didn't use a recipe for was steak, which I had tonight. I covered 1 inch thick round steaks in a shitton of salt and pepper, then put my giant pan on high heat. I dropped butter in the pan, then dropped the steaks in and let them sit for a good 4ish minutes until they had a nice crust. Then I flipped them for like 2 minutes (until the fire alarm went off, panfrying a good steak is a smoky business) for medium rare.
Served them up with garlic herb parmesan mashed potatoes, which is potatoes you just mash with garlic, herbs (oregano and a touch of rosemary for anyone wondering), and parmesan cheese, all of which I had from other recipes. Side of salad and deliciousness has occurred.
I also put a compound butter on the steak, which is butter you squish stuff into, in this case I also used garlic and herbs. A little of that on a steak and you're eating like royalty.

Other than that, I'm making the following:
Tilapia with dill sauce, to be served with asparagus and rice

Spinach, Pasta, Pea soup

Rigatoni with Artichokes, Garlic, and Orange Zest, I'll be serving it with panfried chicken

Well, that's this week's actual meals involving effort. I'm not sure what I'll be making when I run out of all of this and the leftovers involved, but I'm pretty excited. I went crazy with the fanciness and it wasn't too expensive, so next week if I calm myself a bit, I should be able to keep up with myself in quality but drive the price down.

We're also now stocked with real plates (whoa!), cups (say it ain't so!), bowls (we can have cereal now!), and cutlery (holy crap!), as well as more than one pan.
I feel like a princess.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Living Selfishly and Helping Others

I've ranted here before about people sending me heartpull links under the guise that this means they care, when really this just means you care enough to copy paste, but I was making fun of myself on twitter and thought about the reverse of that concept. How can you live selfishly and hedonistically and still do good things?
I'm highly adverse to the idea that the "goodness" of an action requires some amount of sacrifice from oneself, especially because it means we don't pay our social workers, our teachers, our generally "noble" professions as well as we should, and there's an expectation that it's ok because they're good people.
I'm also rabidly against the concept that I can't be a lovely individual without making myself unhappy for the sake of others.

It's like the common argument against atheism "how can you have any morals, how do you know not to do bad things, if you don't believe in God?", only the opposite. I don't WANT to murder or rape or hurt anyone else, but I also DO enjoy helping other people. I get a little burst of seratonin, my day is better, I feel good about myself, all of these are perfectly valid reasons for me to help someone else for the sole purpose of making my own life better.

I've found donating time to causes that actually need people to donate time is a good way to go, like Make a Wish. I really enjoyed chilling with kids, especially since the primary purpose of my time with them was to make everything awesome oh my god. I've worked with Eels on Wheels, helping people with physical and mental disabilities scuba dive, which is basically setting aside time out of your week to hang out in a pool and get to share the experience of someone overcoming a huge obstacle, in a way I'm really never going to have to do in my own life. There are almost definitely local causes that need community involvement and don't require you to "sell" to everyone you know (which can be much more depressing than rewarding).
Sending money to your favorite cause is easy, not time consuming, and you get a whole week of knowing you're a badass person and no one can take that away from you. Especially since most causes need money way more than they need people to donate time (I find "shopping" for a volunteer cause that actually needs donated time to be much more difficult than you'd expect), you even get a little boost of superiority because sure, other people are talking about causes that are totally important, but you, wow, you sent money, and usually all that's necessary to make that tiny bit of difference is to send $15 or $20 you really wouldn't miss regardless.

Helping your friends is easy, too. People are constantly talking about the things they want/need, everyone enjoys surprises, and making that small effort to help out and make their day go completely badass is mindblowingly simple. Then you get the burst of feelgoods from getting them something or composing and sending a message of support, and a second burst of feelgoods from the ensuing thank you or expression of how someone else's life is better.

The best part is that the "goodness" of the action is in no way diminished by your motivations. That's the great thing about people who need things, or friends who are having a shit day; they really couldn't care less why people are making their lives better.

I dunno folks, there's really no reason not to make someone's life, somewhere, a little bit better than it was before you touched it. In fact, if you're having a crap day, it's a great way to boost it.

When we're talking around great tragedy like we are right now, when you're thinking to yourself "what the fuck, how is this shit still going on, who even does that", I promise you, sending money, hugging a friend whose having a bad day, that's the best coping mechanism, and that truth readily apparent when you see all the support going on over the country. I think that's a good thing, it's a human thing, and it's why we're mostly good people. Your brain rewards you for helping out your fellow man, and it's kind of why I feel OK about human beings as a whole. So yeah, be selfish, make yourself feel good, do something cool for someone else.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Food with Foodsauce #2 (Chicken Skillet Goop)

For the second and final installment....

Food with Foodsauce, The Second

Chicken and noodle single skillet something

Now this one, I'm going to recommend some changes from what I created. It's *good*, but it hangs out in the gravy realm of things when we really wanted more of a legit sauce. I'd recommend some more milk and some sour cream. However, I didn't have sour cream and the Boyfriend drank a bunch of the milk, so this is what I made. It was still pretty nummy.

You're going to need: Milk, butter, salt and pepper, flour, chicken stock, tiny shells, and (not pictured) chickens.
Salt and pepper your chickens, then cook them in butter. This is the easiest, unhealthiest way to make delicious tasting chicken. You'll need to remember this for future "I don't know what the fuck, but here's some chicken" adventures. You could just serve this over some rice and call it a day (if only we could make rice, ha).

Cook chickens until they are no longer pink in the center.

Add some more butter for a delicious roux.

Add flour, because that's how you make a fucking roux. Brown said flour.

Add milk and chicken broth.

Thicken. Add noodles and become concerned you're making more of a gravy than anything else. Noodles need to be itty bitty so they actually cook in the time involved and your crappy tiny skillet.

Chop up chickens.

Now remember you got broccoli for this thing, and hey, maybe this will help make the meal not be a gravy chicken on noodles and more of a foodgoop! Chop the broccolis really fast because they'll take a while to cook so they need to go in like five minutes ago.


Allow your foodgoop to simmer for, I dunno, let's say 5-10 minutes. I'm writing this up about a week after the fact so any memory of how long this stuff simmered is long gone. Add chicken, cover and let cook at a low heat. Use the paper plate food covering technology we discovered last skillet meal.

Now this is when I have the great idea that adding sour cream would be fantastic.

This is where I realize I don't have any sour cream.

This is where I realize that we can just add a ton of cheese and it's pretty much better than any of that nonsense.

Keep checking your foodgoop until the broccolis are steamed and the noodles are done. Uncover and then smother in cheese.


Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Food with Foodsauce #1 (or "Porkchop Single Skillet Meal")

I have two actual meals involving cooking planned for this week, before we get more paychecks and can get a more involved kitchen. I developed them by googling "single skillet meal", reading a bunch of recipes for like 5 minutes, then going to the store and just making shit up.
The rest of our week is covered by BLTs (yum) and pot pies.

So, without further ado, the pork version of my two part series:

Food with Foodsauce: Pork Edition

Porkchop Single Skillet Meal, Also There's a Salad

First, you're going to need the following:

Pork chops, itty potatoes, salt, pepper, garlic, flour, butter, and some mushroom soup.
You'll also need a knife, a skillet, and a spatula.

You can see I've already put a pad of butter on the skillet, go ahead and turn it on to some amount of heat.
Yes, you are using "a pad" of butter, and cooking it at "some amount of heat". This is not a cooking show, I don't know what I'm doing, I just try to make it taste good. We're cooking on the fly here, after working all day, with like no utensils. Work with me.

Alright, while your butter is melting, we need to make garlic happen.

Take one of the cloves, lay it on the counter. Take the knife, use the flat edge, and press down on the clove.

This will make it hella easy to peel, so do that real fast, then chop it up nice and tiny.

Fry that shit up nice, until the butter browns and everything in your place smells delicious.

We'll need to make the porkchops ready; use a plate or a bowl and add some flour, some salt, and some pepper. Mix them up. Use an amount of salt and pepper that would make the same amount of flour taste nice... I'll say halfish a cup of flour to like a half teaspoon of salt and pepper I guess? I don't know, get the hell out of here if you can't season flour on your own. Shoo. The rest of you, let's continue - flour the outside of your soon-to-be-delicious pork chops by kinda tossing them about in your flour.

Cook the porkchops in the garlicbutter until they're browned. Make them safely edible to your taste, they're pretty much done being cooked after this. I have it on half-heat right now, but my stove (I've discovered pretty dramatically) runs really hot. We're searing these things, so sear them at sear heat... but you want them to no longer be pink in the middle.

While you sear the porkchops, chop up your teeny potatoes into teenier chunks. We're going for delicious, bite-sized, and quickly cooked. Most of my teeny potatoes became quartered, the larger teeny potatoes got cut into smaller pieces to match.

Once your porkchops are seared, remove them from the pan.

Add some milk to your porkbuttergarlic, lower the heat a bit, and mix it up. You're making a quick gravy because I don't know about you, but I want mushroom soup enhanced gravysauce, not just porkchops in some mushroom soup.
Let it thicken a bit on your lowered heat, but it's fine to be lazy about this. It's all becoming thickened whether it likes it or not in a second.

Add mushroom soup. Mix and let it get all bubbly.

Add potatoes.

You made a freaking mess, clean it up real quick.
Stop being a klutz, geez.

Now fuck off for a bit. Leave it on a low heat, you need to let the potatoes cook. I covered it, that really helps, but I don't have a lid for my little five dollar skillet, so I was at first hesitant to use a paper plate. After I grew some balls, tried it, and we didn't burst into flame. So hem and haw around the kitchen for 10 minutes until you cover it and let it simmer, for maximum authenticity.
Go smoke a cigarette, watch 3-4 youtube videos, make a couple of clever points in an internet argument, smoke another cigarette, then remember to come back and check the food.

Add the porkchops kinda into what is fast becoming a delicious gravy goop. Don't place them on top like the picture, really work them in. Cover again and let it continue simmering until the potatoes are finished cooking.

I served this with a salad. Yes, I put motherfucking capers on my salad.

You're done! Successful food made.
When I did this, the whole thing was a ridiculous spectacle of tender gravy potato goodness, however I do know I was making shit up as I went, so it may not be as good for you. No promises made, but enjoy your impending culinary adventure.


Saturday, 9 March 2013

The 14 Bare Necessities of Your New Place

So moving and home development will probably be the subject of this blog for a while, since other than work that's all I'm doing.
I'm not anonymous enough to blog about my coworkers (they'll totally find it if I talk shit, and let's be honest, a blog about the positive attributes of your workmates is fucking boring), and all the IP concerns around game development would wring out all the juciness of actually discussing my job, so welcome to what will be Damianne's Home Development and Delicious Quest for New Meals Punctuated by the Occasional Rant Blog.

Yesterday, we moved into the new place, which is super excellent. However, we did pay for the security deposit, first month's rent, started up the internet and utilities, all of that fun stuff, on a single paycheck.
We're also still living out of suitcases and all of our things are still in Canada awaiting a large shipping payment to arrive so we're on bare necessities.

So, this post is about how to function on the least amount of crap you need to buy.

A bed

You can sleep on the floor, or on an air mattress, if you need to, but if I'm going to choose one thing I'll beg and plead and find someone to borrow from, it'll be a nice bed. Luckily my uncle has an extra one, so we're borrowing that. I am not asking questions about why he has an extra bed, I know he's been moving around a lot and it's been at his house, so maybe he bought a new one? I don't know. Bed secured, regardless. I bought new sheets for it anyway. It was previously being used as my father's guest bedroom bed.

A towel and toilet paper (and maybe a shower curtain)

You must go out and purchase toilet paper and a towel, it's easy to forget about if you're just coming off of a couch surfing stint like we were. Everyone always has these, and then you're on your own and you really need to remember to get them. Luckily I'm highly neurotic, so we managed to grab both before we moved in. The rest of your bathroom needs will be covered by the contents of your suitcase.
Our apartment came pre-shower-curtain'ed, and some places have glass doors, but if you're in this situation, you should remember to think about whether or not you need one. I've lived a week without a shower curtain, and it can be done, but it's uncomfortable.

A router or a long-ass ethernet cable

Internet is non-negotiable, and your internet provider assumes all you need is a modem.

Trash bags

You don't need a trash can, we're not fancy here. You will, however, need to collect the impending mountains of trash. 

Paper towels, paper plates, paper bowls, plastic cutlery

For holding and consuming your foods.

A skillet and a spatula

Microwaves are $75-$100, this will cost you $6. Eating on the cheap is going to involve the covered-by-rent oven and stovetop.

Dish soap and paper towels

For cleaning the single skillet and spatula.

A knife

This is optional, but I find it difficult to make skillet meals without chopping anything when my closest grocery is Central Market (which is lacking in those awesome frozen skillet foods, but over abundant in a selection of produce). I splurged and got a $10 chef's knife because it's fucking pink.

That's it. That's all you need to go buy. We also borrowed a card table and some chairs, but that just kind of came with the bed, I feel we would have been fine chilling on the floor up against a wall.

I'll be posting more this week on the adventures of cooking for two with a tiny ass skillet.
Good to be back in Austin!