Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Winter Break, Oh Yeah…

Happy Hanukkah to all the Jews of the world! (including myself!) I’m really glad to be finally done with my first semester finals. I came back to my dorm after my last final at 7pm blasted music on my speakers until and RA came and told me to take notice for the 24 hour quiet hours in the building. Whoops! I guess I was just in such a state of ecstasy. I am also very excited because I’ve spent the past couple of months searching and searching for a job for next semester. It’s just so competitive in a place like college to get a job. I’ve been rejected so many times, it’s such a self esteem boost *haha*. But on the day that I was going to leave back home, I got a email saying that I got accepted for a job! I was so happy I just started squealing with joy and staring at my reaction in the mirror (I mean, who doesn’t do that?).

Okay, so recently Food Network Humor posted a hilarious video based on Sandra Lee’s Kwanzaa cake: the most racist and inaccurately represented piece of food on the planet. So, in case you didn’t know Sandra Lee is a klutzy drinking Food Network “personality” who shines little to no genuine personality on television and creates ridiculous and barf-worthy ‘tablescapes’ and themes for each episode. The her entire show just drags on with each 1-hour segment. So for one episode, yep, she decides to celebrate all three major winter holidays by cultivating all of the limited and inaccurate knowledge that she knows about these unfamiliar cultures and throws together some “inspired” cakes for her viewers.Of course, any viewers that she has must be part of some cult of cocktail drinkers that probably get drunk with her in bars. In this episode the “Kwanzaa cake” consists of a angel food cake topped with icing, filled with “African” pie filling, and then drizzled with pumpkin seeds and acorns. This cake just emanates with racism; there is nothing as unsettling as a clueless person imitating the life, breath. and soul of this traditional holiday; I bet her black friends (if they exist) come from all around to share in such a spectacular cake. Oh yeah… if a god-like figure such as Sandra Lee can craft such a vivid representation of the great annual harvest, then anyone can! What’s great is that everything on this cake is fit for human consumption, including the acorns! I can imagine that everyone’s inner squirrel must squeal for joy to finally come across a recipe that consists of acorns. Sandra Lee, you are my hero. This cake is a masterpiece, and you should enjoy this wonderful creation from a devoted fan.

Connor has lately gotten me pretty hyped up about the new movie, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, based on the novel with the same name by Jonathan Safran Foer. The movie follows this boy who has been deeply affected by the death of his father during the 9/11 attack. His father had always instilled in him a sense of adventure and chasing after mysteries, and so when the boy finds a key left in the closet by his father, he feels like there is still a part of his dad that he needs to discover out in the real world. Despite the absurdity of a little boy freely running around New York City by himself (not a forced isolation like in Home Alone 2) there was still a sense of magic from the trailer that was absolutely stunning. I am really curious about the emotional changes and discoveries that this boy makes as he looks for more about his father. I can relate to him, sort of. I mean, I’ve found a key in my closet when I was little, became obsessed with it, and wore it around my neck everywhere I went with the hope of finding what it opens. Of course, that lock ended up being directly adjacent to where I had originally found it *haha*. The point is, I was attached to it and the mystery behind what it opened. Little kids are just so free, they can become attached onto hobbies or other interests so much more than adults. And although these attachments are temporary, the relationships are so intimate that children build their own magical world around them. I am curious to see how the boy’s interest in his father in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is painted throughout the movie.

Also, I’ve been looking back at a lot of my older posts lately, gosh, my writing has changed so much over the past couple of years. I came across this web archive website called web.archive.org that was posted in a previous Club Penguin related post and I am re-realizing now how amazing the website is. It basically makes copies of older versions of web pages and posts them as an array across a timeline. Remember Ask Jeeves? I certainly do: the first search engine I probably ever used on the computer. I sort of miss seeing the old butler on the askjeeves.com website. I discovered using this website that the website was renamed ask.com in 2002 and that he left at the end of February 2006, how sad. I’ve always enjoyed a little bit of nostalgia in my day.

Michael

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A Much Anticipated Post

(April 27th, 2010)

Dearest Planet Earth, our exotic and beloved home,

I had a ball celebrating this year’s Earth Day with the annual feature-length film by Disneynature. I have found that it is a tradition to go with my friends each year to see nothing more than landscapes and animals on planet Earth. I treated myself to the film, Oceans, which came out on Thursday and was rather impressed. My friend interested in Zoology pointed out the names of sea creatures mentioned and kept me fed with random facts throughout the film. Even though the film did not have a distinguishable plot, line of characters, or special effects, all I can say is that the visuals truly capture your eye  and keep you attentive to this documentary. Every once in a while we would feast our eyes on the impressive feat of a whale or dolphin shooting out of the depths of the water or gasp at the ocean-floor-dwellers devouring their innocent prey. We would laugh at the penguins sliding on the ice into the antarctic waters or stare in awe as the baby sea turtles slowly dug their way to the surface of the sandy beach.  There was some brilliant footage of certain parts of the ocean that I never knew existed. It is such a vast area, and there are probably parts in the dark depths that man has never travelled. I wouldn’t say that I am that interested so much as to watch the entire volume of Planet Earth CDs by Discovery, but I just feel that every Earth Day we should treat ourselves to a little piece of the grand world that surrounds us and understand the power of protecting the environment and promoting life of all living creatures. Just like almost every nature documentary, Oceans talked about how pollution of the waters  has disrupted the lives of innumerable sea-creatures. It was rather sad to see a transition from crystal clear blue ocean to rusty, dirty pools of trash. At one point it showed a whole shopping cart on underwater on bed of sand. I mean, really, of all things? It would be rather nice if humans could just get along with this other parallel dimension. For a small segment at the end of the film, it showed a scuba diver approaching an innocuous shark swimming freely through the water. The diver followed the movements of its tail in a peaceful way as to not frighten it and kept up for it for some time. Such a bond between man and shark clearly shows how people can come closer to animals and stop abusing them.

Ever since the end of winter break, the focus of junior year has been on achievement in the upcoming test: the ACT. So far I’ve gone to classes for the five sections, just so that I can work for a higher score. We’ve taken a practice five-paragraph essay twice in English class. This test is just looked upon so seriously: it decides the level of college that you get into and decides the direction of your life. The intimidation starts with the fact that juniors have to sit in a room for five hours with one twenty-minute break in the middle. Electronic devices are denied entrance; not even a book or a snack out in the open.  The test alone is not even built to finish on a humane level. Having to look down at a bubbling sheet for hours, the neck gradually starts to suffer from such pain. The rather mind-numbing part, the essay question, is right at the end: the last thing that one wants to think about at that point of the test. The reading section is what I am mainly worried about. It is preposterous that the test only supplies thirty minutes to complete four readings and answer questions on each, in no particular order of difficulty or appearance in the reading. My weakness of reading fights against me in this test. Luckily my strength in mathematics helps me a bit. The math section is not only simple, but actually enjoyable. I finished the practice test with plenty of time to spare since I viewed each question as a puzzle or brain-teaser. Well, this test is tomorrow and I hope to say that I feel ready for it. Sleep and a healthy breakfast is what every adult has to tell you to do the night before, so I will definitely strive for that. I just hope my brain can deal with the intellectual burden that the ACT forces upon everyone.


I discovered something rather new this weekend: the intense flavor and texture of a homemade pizza. A couple of months ago a new pizza delivery service, HomeMade Pizza Co,  was erected in our neighborhood. Without a doubt, they have a unique style of preparing dishes. The company pools all the dough and toppings together and allows customers to cook pizzas from home in the oven or on the grill to truly press the title of “freshly baked”. This literal interpretation becomes profoundly visible when this bakery-fresh delicacy arrives at the dinner table. Beforehand, the customer is given a variety of options on the structure of their pizza: from breading to cheeses, sauces, and toppings to spices. It is now perfectly acceptable to call this a finely crafted piece of art, suited to the consumer’s taste. I absolutely loved the first time I tried my own. I decided on a sausage pizza with basil and oregano spices; I could already smell the sticky dough brim when I tore the plastic wrap off. Overall, this pizza has a natural taste, unlike the greasy fast-food pizzas from places like Dominoes or Pizza Hut. The bread is just like heaven: it is nice and fluffy inside, feels and tastes fresh on the outside. I would definitely recommend this restaurant to any pizza lover, since the restaurant gives you the freedom to experiment with different flavors. Their website is located here.


Donut Holes!

Donut holes: simple and spherical little morsels that every simple cook ought to make at least once. I was so excited when I had found out that we would make them in cooking club one week, so I decided to take a couple of pictures. The little donuts turned out to be pretty tasty, and I thought that I might share our success with them to the world. The process is pretty simple. Here is a list of things needed to create a batch:
* 1 canister of Pillsbury biscuit dough
* vegetable oil
* crock pot
* cooling rack
* large spoon that can strain liquids
*optional: granulated sugar, cinnamon powder, cocoa powder, any fruit jelly. These would be used for the toppings.
1. Start by preheating the crock pot to 350 degrees and fill the basin with vegetable oil: enough so that the donuts can fry in it later.
2.Open up the canister of biscuit dough. It should already be divided into sections. Divide each section into four equal parts and roll into balls.
3. Once the oil is hot in the crock pot, drop in the balls of dough and begin to rotate them in the oil so that they are cooked on all sides. Once they are golden brown, pick them up with the large spoon and let the oil drain out
4. Let the donut cool on the cooking rack, but still let it retain some heat so that toppings will stick to them.
For a chocolate glazed donut, mix granulated sugar with cocoa power in a small bowl and roll the donut hole in the mixture until it is completely coated. The rough surface of the coating will start to melt and become more of a glaze
For a cinnamon donut, mix granulated sugar with cinnamon powder and repeat steps above.
For a plain glazed donut, simply roll the donut hole in granulated sugar.
For a jelly donut, dip the donut into any fruit jelly of choice.

Donuts leave you with such a clear slate, so you can basically dress them up any way that is most desired. Be creative with your batch of donuts!




Macaroni and Cheese!

(January 8th, 2010)

Dear Planet Earth,

I was so delighted to finally come home from this long, dreadful week at school. I have been anticipating it all day and I’d worked up a massive headache from schoolwork by the last period. The walk home wasn’t so smooth, since I had to tread through deep snow on the sidewalks, unable to pass on the busy streets, but I was glad that I even made it to my doorstep. I’m glad to finally get a nice relaxing break from all the stress. It seemed as though as each day went by, the load of work increased. I was pleading for a snow day to come on Thursday, but the weather never responded back. Luckily I had a little break on Wednesday, which was the day of cooking club!  I had been called out of class the day before to answer a couple of questions for the yearbook, since I am one of the people in charge. I was so proud to be recognized; I deeply answered each question they threw at me in order to give them enough to write about.  By the time Wednesday came around I felt like I was in the groove of things, ready to cook up a new dish with some of my friends/ table mates. To my surprise we were cooking an all-time favorite: Macaroni and Cheese!

Yes, Mac & Cheese, an all-time favorite. How rather intriguing that my website and this delicious meal correspond. It sparked an idea inside me: how about including a delicious recipe of my own? No no no… I’m not talking about the cheap, microwaveable macaroni dinners that have a foul taste. I’m talking about a smooth, creamy, scrumptious meal that will cause a group of hungry barbarians to attack and devour it. Or, at least in my own case of trying this recipe. I was unable to grasp a photo of the bowl because people were already starting to take portions from it by the time I got my camera out. Anyway, here is what results when you cook this recipe:


Everyone starts to go after it!

Any delicious Macaroni and Cheese meal is based on how creamy the cheese sauce is. If it tastes bitter, dry, or chunky in the dish, it would be best find a better recipe, such as the one provided:

You will need just five ingredients to make the most gooey cheese sauce you’ve ever tasted in your life!
2 T. Butter
2 T. Flour
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1 cup cheese
1 cup milk

Instructions:
1. Melt butter in a medium sauce pan over low heat, continuously stirring. Once melted remove from heat. (It’s best to do this so that the mixture doesn’t get burnt on the bottom)

2. Stir in flour and salt to make a paste; add milk a little at a time

3. Return the pan to the stove-top and cook over medium heat, stirring until thickened. Once thickened, remove it from the heat again. (It is best to remove it from the heat because when working with dairy products, they tend to overcook very easily, which causes the cheese sauce to come out not as smooth).

4. Add the type of cheese preferred. It is better to add in a variety of different kinds in order to have an interesting, unique flavor. Stir it until it is completely melted

Follow the instructions on the back of a box of macaroni. Usually one cup of noodles is enough to feed one person, so multiply that by the total number of people intended to feed. Once the noodles are done, you can just pour it in a bowl, top it with the cheese sauce and mix.

You can also add some spice to it afterword to give your mac and cheese a kick. I recommend sprinkling some onion powder on top; I just love the flavor it adds to the dish. If you can take the heat, try hot sauce as well! Try experimenting with other toppings, you never know what you are going to find!

The cheese recipe could also be used for fondue, and it can also be used to top other foods such as different types of vegetables. Have fun working with the recipe.

Bon Appétit!

Crêpes!

Hello everyone and Happy New Year! I felt like sharing a recipe that I had prepared a couple of days ago for some delicious crêpes. I’ve been dieing to make them ever since I got something to top it with! My creation is shown above in the form of a dessert crêpe: decked out with chocolate syrup, a french vanilla ice cream filling, nutella, and powdered sugar! Of course, crêpes can be prepared in several ways, including a breakfast crêpe (with fruit  whipped cream, or pancake syrup), or a savory crêpe (with cheese, turkey, chicken and/or vegetables). Depending on what kind of mood one is in, a crêpe can be prepared to fit that style! Below is a basic recipe that I used to make the one above. It serves about four people, so make sure there are some hungry guests who would be delighted to try some as well!

Ingredients:
2 Large Eggs
2/3 a cup of milk
1/2 a cup of flour
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
1/4 a teaspoon of salt

1. To start off, melt the butter in a microwave. It ought to take only 30 seconds depending on the type of microwave.
2. Mix together all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl:  the eggs, milks, flour, butter,  sugar and salt. It could take a little while! The lumps should disappear after about a minute or so. Even if there are still some small lumps afterwards, it really shouldn’t affect the taste or texture in the end
3. Place a skillet of medium size on a stove top at medium heat. Apply some form of grease to the surface. It is best to use vegetable oil or a small amount of butter. Sprinkle a small amount of water on the pan to see if it is warm enough. If the water starts to dance (aka sizzle), then you are set!
4. Measure 1/4 a cup of the batter and pour onto the hot skillet. Tilt the pan so that the batter flows to clear the empty areas on the pan. Once the edges of the crêpe start to turn a little brown, it is ready to flip! For the first crêpe, this may take a while, but the time required on the skillet will decrease as the cook makes more. I’ve found that it is best to use a spatula to scrape the edges off the sides of the pan before flipping it so that it does not collapse into pieces. Let the crêpe cook on the opposite side (it shouldn’t take as long to cook).
5. Dress with toppings and eat immediately. These crêpes cool off very quickly!

Have some fun spicing up your crêpe! I had one other thing to say: the Mikeroni page is now going to be merged in with the homepage. All of my past entries will still be located on the page, but the ones for 2010 and later will come out in the form of posts. I’ve found this to be more efficient and visible to viewers, which is why I’ve decided to bring this into effect. Anyway, I hope everyone had a great New Years. I decided to spend mine at my friends house this year, which is a complete change of plan for me. Anyway, I came around six and we had snacks, played video games, and watched a movie. Most importantly, we tuned in to watch the ball drop in Times Square. I barely recognized it since my trip there during last spring break; there were so many people cheering and partying! Anyway, some wise guy decided to light some fireworks at midnight, so we all went outside in the below-freezing weather and started yelling and screaming. A while later, my friend showed me how to use my iPod, since I had just gotten one a couple of days ago (I know, I don’t really keep with the times *heh*). iTunes still bothers me greatly! I still am confused how to navigate its many tabs, pages, and clickables. I do hope I will eventually get used to it. In the mean time, I’ve been relying on my family to set it up for me. So far it hasn’t been great, since one wrong move in syncing it with my computer completely clears away all of the songs I had put on it. I slept over at my friends house that night, it was just so late to get a ride. Luckily there was a guest bedroom: it was sweltering hot during the night, but I managed. My friend told me that I finally fell asleep around 2:25am -exhausted. I don’t know how, but he managed to fall to sleep in a rocking chair! How uncomfortable! We woke up around eight o’clock. I’m not sure why, but waking up during a sleepover is always an awkward moment, since the early bird has to check over on their friend to see if he/she is up yet. Plus, it is nearly impossible to tell whether someone is fake sleeping, resting, actually sleeping, fake resting, or just lying in bed. The signals are so screwed up, that early bird just has to wait for that other guy to make a move. My panic about “what to ask/what to say” finally ended around ten: we decided to actually get up. I enjoyed a nice bowl of cereal and freshened up for the day.

Can you believe the school week is coming back in two days? It is rather frightening to think about, since I’ve been away from academic thoughts for so long. I hope I didn’t knock out any brain cells! It’s going to take a little while to readjust, but I believe in myself.

Breakfast Delight!


Happy Thanksgiving to all! I’ve been dieing to write about a recipe that I’ve made in the past several times that I have completely made and perfected. As you might not know, I adore cooking, and it is something that I continue to do in my free time. I help out at the cooking club at my school and we play with tons of recipes. In short, I just want to put a little more of myself into this website, since I have been working on it for over two years. The recipe I want to share with you today is one that I’ve created myself based on my love for the very first meal of the day, Breakfast, of course! Whenever I eat out at pancake houses or other joints serving breakfast foods, I am usually torn apart on what to order, because of the number of options available. It wasn’t until recently that I’ve discovered the legendary “Breakfast Sandwich” which combines several continental breakfast based foods into one delicious, not-quite-so-nutritious sandwich. This mighty burger is packed with various flavors that I have come to know and love. After enjoying myself a couple of times, I came up with the idea of creating my own recipe to make at home, with all of the flavors I adore. After several attempts, I finally perfected a delicious sandwich, which I am dieing to share with the world. Above is a picture of my culinary masterpiece. Isn’t it just beautiful? I decided to make them in the style of a slider, or a mini-burger. Two should be enough to quench any size of hunger in the morning. I’ve come up with a list of steps to follow in order to make your own in the kitchen!

First of all, there are a couple of ingredient that need to be acquired before setting off to cook:
2 plain mini bagels (whole wheat bagels could work as well.)
2 sausage patties (feel free to substitute it with bacon.)
2 slices of American Cheese
1 medium-sized potato (Idaho potatoes work the best for this.)
2 large eggs
2 tbsp. of vegetable oil (olive oil works too)
1/4 tsp. of salt
1/4 tsp. of pepper

1/4 tsp. of minced onion (onion powder works as well.)

Along with that there are a couple of other things that should be on hand:
Medium-sized frying pan
Small frying pan
Cheese grater
Cutting board
Apple peeler
Spatula
Paper towels (in the case of any spillage)

1. Form the sausage patties to be about 1/4 inch in thickness and place in the medium-sized frying pan. Turn heat on to the lowest setting and let the meat cook until it turns brown on both sides. This will take quite a while to cook, so set it aside.
2. Meanwhile, peel of skin of the potato and grate it over a cutting board. Use a paper towel or a strainer to get rid of all of the liquid from the potato. Add in minced onions.
3. Heat up 2 tbsp. of vegetable oil in the small pan on Med-High- High setting and add in the potato and onion. Flatten out using a spatula into the pan until a thin pancake shape is formed. Sprinkle in the salt and pepper on one side. Flip once the opposite side is of a golden color. Once cooked fully, remove from pan.
4. Crack eggs into the same pan (it should already be greasy from the vegetable oil still) and scramble on Med heat (frying them would work too).
5. Set bagels with open ends up on a plate (toasting them would be beneficial to do beforehand). Assemble in any order, as long as the cheese is not on the bottom, since it will seep through the hole in the bagel.
6. Enjoy your precious creation!

This really is a simple recipe that doesn’t require the purchase of that many extra ingredients, but it sure is a tasty addition to any morning. Enjoy! 🙂

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