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Tonight: half-watching "Ken Burns': The West" and reading galaxy rangers fanfiction. Oh yes.

Yes indeed.
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Work is eating about 95% of my social energy right now (not in a BAD way, but definitely in a STRESSFUL way), so I'm having trouble interacting with my friends in a timely manner.

(I have 4 job titles at work; two are new, and last weekend was eaten by assisting a fifth department in moving our server up to the new server room on the second floor.)

When I'm low energy I'm primarily on twitter, since the ultra-short-form is low-stress low-commitment for me.

(also surprise!promotion and raise -- these are happies, and while I know that this week would have been just as busy and just as stressful if I HADN'T accepted, there is a lot of correlation feels like causation going on right now.)


And I have to putter around my house for another 45 minutes (I usually leave for work around 8:20) because I need/get to pick up my replacement bank card in person rather than doing the fail dance over trying to get it delivered to the place I live. (This happened 3 years ago when i first opened the account, too.)
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Makes one large or two small servings

1-2 c leftover (cooked and chilled) rice
1 medium-large zucchini, in 1/4" cubes.
1 tsp minced garlic from a jar OR 2 cloves, minced or well crushed
1 egg
2 Tbsp neutral oil
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp soy sauce


1. Cut up the Zucchini

2. Beat the egg

3. Heat the pan with both oils until very hot. (a drop of water should "dance")

4. Fry the zucchini and garlic until golden.

5. Move the vegetables to the outer edge of the pan, pour in the egg from a great height while stirring it as it hits the pan, ideally with a pair of chopsticks - tips held ~1" apart.

6. Cook the egg through.

7. Add the rice, cook until it begins to brown.

8. Add the soy sauce, stir until coated.

9. Serve.

start to stomach ~20 minutes, not including cleanup time.

This recipe is brought to you by I Had Some Leftover Rice And A Zucchini I Wanted To Use Before They Went Off.


And now you know what to do with all those zucchini you wish your gardening friends would stop giving you.
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Inspired by I had half a package of frozen spinach and half a package of sweet italian sausage tortellini languishing in the fridge after Thursday's mediocre frittata and Friday's IDGAF pasta with olive oil & oh-shit-I-am-ignoring-the blue-bits-on-my-parmesan.

This is so simple it's really more of a method than a recipe. I doubled what I actually did and came out with 2 servings of ~15 tortellini each.

*

Serves 3-4.

1 lb chopped frozen spinach, fully thawed and squeezed mostly dry
1 lb frozen peas
1 tbsp (~3 cloves) minced garlic
1/4-1/2 c olive oil, divided
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 "family size" package of fresh/refrigerated filled pasta or gnocchi
Salt & pepper to taste
Optional - 2 Tbsp parmesan or crushed/ground nuts/breadcrumbs for sprinkling on top. (a chiffonade of sweet basil would not go amiss here, either).

1. Cook the spinach and garlic in a couple of tablespoons of oil until they begin to brown. Remove from heat.

2. Mix the peas into spinach. Add enough oil to moisten & the vinegar.

3. Cook the pasta through. Toss to coat with the "sauce", or serve over rice/polenta with a side of protein.


Dietary notes:

As written, vegan/vegetarian-friendliness depends entirely on the pasta filling and topping you choose.

As written, not gluten free. Sub GF pasta or rice/polenta.

Hi

Jul. 22nd, 2014 08:18 pm
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The weather is now hot and miserable.

Dad has been released with a stint, a scrip for blood thinners, and lifestyle changes prescribed. He's back on the boat, and remains as ever the luckiest sonofabitch I know.

I made Budget Bytes Southwest Chicken Skillet for dinner, and it took 5 minutes active time + 40 minuites waiting ... basically the ideal hot day post-work meal. I used Mi Costenita menudo seasoning because that was the mixed chili style packet of seasoning my grocery store had for cheap - $1.19 for an ounce. (also apparently they are a small Chicago-local business.)

The skillet is VERY tasty overall - highly recommend. I'll be freezing 2-3 servings for lunches later, and fridging a serving or two to eat soon.

Make it vegetarian by swapping the chicken for another can of beans (pinto to kidney) or with cubed baked tofu, tempeh, or seitan.

(The best part of making shredded chicken by poaching chicken is that I get broth as a byproduct).

I want it to be the weekend so I can take a nap. As is, it'll be dishes, a murder show, and sleep for me.
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Here are pictures of my house: http://www.lemonsharks.net/post/91677165033/taraljc-lemonsharks-my-house-pics-didnt

use the arrow icons on the left and right of each photo to peruse.

Thursday: After work my [livejournal.com profile] taraljc and I went to World Market and schlepped my new chairs home (I bribed her with barbecue and custody of the remote control), and then sleeping lots.

Friday: Came home to my house to find my upstairs neighbors' 5-day-pay-rent-or-quit-notice mistakenly stuffed under my door, about had a heart attack, and then ate leftovers at my table (I SAT IN A CHAIR) and spent most of the evening reading a trashy romance novel. Then slept lots.

Saturday: Low-key morning, followed by three hours of MOVE THINGS! I collected T., reher old bookshelf, and two giant ikea bags full of books from her house and took them to my house, where she unloaded and I parked. Then returned her to her house. Did I mention there was a spider-friend who got loose in the zipcar? And that I spent ten minutes on the side of the road chasing him down with a mini legal pad to release him into the world?

Afternoon was sorting books and listing saleable ones on amazon and putting away the ones I want to keep for myself, while watching ~6 episodes of the X-Files. Evening there was loads of rain and a shooting in my neighborhood, along with dish-washing and laundry.

Sunday: Folding laundry and matching up socks while watching dinosaur shows on netflix, followed by showering and attempting to dry my hair with the blowdryer with the air conditioner on ... which tripped the circuit breaker, which resulted in an emergency weekend call to maintenance. Then I ran out and met up with [livejournal.com profile] aj for lunch (FILIPINO FOOD OM NOM NOM) in a park and enjoying the beautiful day and catching up after way too long. Transit there and home (so help me I want the CTA to LOSE MONEY ON ME being signed up for unlimited rides), where electricity had been restored! I (finally) unpacked and shelved one of my 3 giant bins of books, and then took pics and talked to my mom for over an hour (good talk) and am now going to enforce the "no screens after 9:00" rule by lying in bed reading more trashy romance novels.


I'm seriously considering re-approaching the way I handle my personal library, like ... I think I want to focus on building my non-fiction library, while culling my fiction mercilessly? Only keeping books I'm going to reread, or that I can reference, and donating books (either with a legal or quasi-legal e-copy retained) once I've finished them. Because do I REALLY need to have a copy of every book I've ever read or will ever read? Probably not. WILL I read most of my books more than once? Probably not. Is my space in fact limited?

YES, YES IT IS.

And that was my weekend. Overall good, if a little fraught. Overall restful, despite seeing lots of people and doing lots of things.

And most importantly I am really happy I didn't go to #Dashcon, because apparently it was an unmitigated disaster on all fronts. I watched it go down (in flames) throughout the weekend.
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Loads of flat leaf parsley
Loads of fresh mint - about half as much as parsley
Loads of cooked, cooled couscous
juice and zest of one large lemon
one tomato, de-slimed and diced small
Olive oil to coat
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Chop the leaves as finely as you can (or run them through a food processor, I don't care, then mix everything together.

And you have: not!tabouleh.

makes as much as you want, but one bunch parsley takes half a bunch of mint and a cup or so of couscous, and makes enough for 4-6 decent servings OR to take to a potluck and not feel bad about not contributing enough.

Yes I know that tabouleh ought to be made with bulgur but that takes way too long to cook AND I always have couscous on hand, so there. I also left out the onions because guess how much I loathe raw onion?

Maybe substitute roughly ground nuts for the grain if you swing that way?

SOOOOOUP

Jul. 5th, 2014 06:45 pm
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Thanks to google translate and my (admittedly faulty) memory of [livejournal.com profile] pico_the_great's mom's recipe, I now have sour cherry soup for the office soup-and-salad-off tuesday-after-next. I'll stash it in the freezer, pull it out to fridge-thaw next Sunday morning and offer sour cream as a mix-in. Hooooopefully my coworkers will enjoy? (I ended up adding too much sugar and balancing it with the juice of three whole very juicy lemons. Verdict: Nummy!)

I'm bringing the tuna-lentil salad I posted the other day, which has the added bonus of I like it lots and won't mind leftovers if my coworkers like it less than I do.

I'm also giving a rewatch of the complete series of The X-Files another go, because I want to have something that's fairly brainless and long to fall back on, mostly on worknights when I don't have a lot of brain. (The problem is that this show does not take place in the real world, but rather in a different one very similar to our own, that does have alien abductions and shadow-agency coverups. And you have to accept that as its central conceit to enjoy, at the very least, the mytharc. That's ... gotten harder for me as I've gotten older and grown to love science more than I did.)

This weekend has been highly relaxing -- Wednesday I didn't leave my house or interact with any humans; Thursday I went to Ikea with [livejournal.com profile] taraljc and came away with a a Kallax 2x2 unit and curtains; yesterday I went to World Market for two chairs that match the table I got last year, and visited Tara at her house.

And today was catsitting, some light grocery shopping, soup and (most importantly!) The Two Towers with [livejournal.com profile] q_sama. (First time I've seen it all the way through!
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Would anyone be interested in more recipes which serve one person, maybe two? Because I'm slowly adapting my repertoire of dishes that feed "1-4 ravenously hungry construction workers, a teenager, and a couple of southerners who just love their food ... with leftovers!" to, er, feed me. When I don't want to eat spaghetti for 12 days in a row.

In the mean time, have meatloaf:

Mini (and regular) meatloaves/Not My Mother's Meatloaf )
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Fan in need in Massachusetts - if anyone has/connections to a company that's hiring, or a advice on navigating MA social programs.
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Dinner tonight -

Grocery store roasted chicken with this delicious sauce.

Herby steamed potatoes

Potatoes - serves 1

2 medium red potatoes
2 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp parmesan cheese
salt + pepper to taste

Steam/microwave the potatoes, then cut into 8ths while hot, and toss with the parsley, butter, cheese, salt and pepper.


The sauce I made with one six-ounce cup of plain greek yogurt, and two heaped tsp each of dijon mustard & siraracha. So delicious, I ate some with a spoon.


I also crossed fresh jackfruit off my foodie bucket list -- it tastes like a cantaloupe, a banana, and a box of rubber bands had a baby, and the baby caught a bad case of the mildews. Maybe it wasn't ripe? And it also oozed raw latex that is the stickiest thing I've ever encountered, including that time I superglued my hands together. Not something I intend to repeat unless I happen to be in the jackfruit's native range.
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Today I made broccoli one of my favorite ways, that I haven't had in a long time:

Sesame broccoli with whole cumin

1 tall-sided stainless steel or cast iron, heavy bottomed cooking vessel. (THIS IS IMPORTANT.)

Broccoli (~1 lb?)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp olive oil
1/4tsp toasted sesame oil
Pinch salt
1/4 c water


Fry the cumin in the olive oil until fragrant. Sprinkle in a pinch of salt. Add the broccoli and stir until the oil is absorbed into the florets. Then stir until it becomes a rich, verdant green. Drizzle in the toasted sesame oil, and keep stirring until the florets begin to brown/scorch around the edges.

Finally, pour your water into the center of the pan, to steam-finish the broccoli. Stir (carefully!) until the water has all evaporated.

I now have lunches for the week, and have been doing the thing where I'm actually eating around ~5 times a day? I mean, granted, last Monday's cilantro lime rice dishes didn't get done until this afternoon but ... stuff happens, right? (Also the potato express is the best thing EVER. Seriously. Buttery thyme potatoes for my lunch in 5 minutes total.)

Ankle is still swollen, but marginally less sore. I'm calling it a win? Still going into the Dr's on Tuesday.
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I'm having a lot of trouble with energy levels and work-life balance right now. (I'm also sending more time on reddit than journaldom/tumblr, because you can actually find active, threaded, moderated, namespace discussion there.)


/u/lemonysharks if you too are around.

Creative efforts are hovering around "what is that" and I don't like it.
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Today was the kind of day that felt lazy but wasn't.

I slept in til 8:00, lazed around the house til 10:00, and then went for a run. After recovering from that, I went outside a second time around noon, to pick up quarters (walked to the bank) and then went thrifting -- I came away with two picture frames, a dish-drying pad, and a fancy sweater that I can't wear until this fall. Then home (stopped at the nursery to check out the plants; I need to get a container garden going on the back deck railing.

I'm thinking basil, parsley, cilantro, mint, and maybe thyme if I'm brave? Not the sage that smells like gum, though. No really, it's sage. that smells like gum..)

Today I got the living room straightened, and all my laundry washed and put away. And I talked to my mom for about an hour (she texted me first, which, nooo mom don't do that I wanted to look good because I actually remembered mother's day this year), and then ... lazed around on the sofa watching Psych for a while. The dishes aren't done but there isn't many of them, and today is definitely a two-shower day, but overall ... not bad, not bad.

Salmon season hit NorCal, so the parents have volunteered to help finance my trip home this November. Which I'm no turning down, oh hell no.


Last night I made crockpot dal (does NOT require turning on a stove or oven):

Makes more than you think it will. (Two days in and I still have ~6 cups? )

chuck into the crock pot:
1 onion, chopped
1-2 tsp chopped garlic (I bought a jar of it because I don't go through cloves fast enough)
1/2" grated fresh ginger
15 oz stock
15 oz whole fat coconut milk
2 cups red lentils
1 tbsp curry powder (or to taste)
1 tsp garam masala (or to taste)

reserve
1-2 c frozen peas

Cook on low until the lentils have mostly dissolved and the onion is soft and translucent. Put in a container and mix in 1-2 c peas, which will cook in the residual heat from the lentils. Super tasty, almost no effort, and doesn't heat up the kitchen

Salt individual servings to taste.

This recipe is: Vegan, gluten free, summer-friendly, dorm-friendly, cheap (I THINK it comes out to about ~70 cents a serving/~$5 total?)
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the short version is:

the car needed $4,000 worth of work to be not-a-rolling-deathtrap, so I am now doing okay with (1) public transit and (2) a zipcar membership. I miss having a car.

I had a delicious chopped kale salad for lunch today with enough extra for about 3 years. (http://www.budgetbytes.com/2014/03/chopped-kale-salad/)

I miss writing things.
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Academic librarians on my flist (I know there are at least 2, maybe more?) I have a kind request!

Would any of you be able to get me a copy of this article? I'd like to read it and find the topic (~*~soul~~~mates~*~) interesting:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022103114000493
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1.5 c dry jasmine rice
1 16 oz can coconut milk
2/3 c sugar
pinch salt

rice-cooking apparatus
crock pot

Dump sugar and coconut milk into the crock pot, stir to combine, and set it on high for 2 hours.

After 2 hours, cook the rice. When the rice is done, taste the sauce and add salt to taste. (note, using a rice cooker and crock pot you can cook this dish during warm weather without overheating your kitchen! WOO.)

Evacuate the rice to a holding container and fluff; ladle all but 1/3-1/2 cup of the sauce on top, or until saturated.

Serve warm with chilled fruit (sliced pears and mango are both VERY good) and sesame seeds.


Makes ... a lot of sticky rice. Like ... bring it to a pot luck and feel good about your contribution good. I'm going to be bringing this to the next work potluck, because we have at least one vegan and one lactose intolerant who are sad when there's nothing for them to eat.

I think I have found a method that ACTUALLY WORKS?! My last couple of attempts (cooking the rice IN the coconut-sugar mixture) have ended, ah, let us say BADLY.

Media!

Apr. 22nd, 2014 07:48 am
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Shows and movies I've watched:

* Futurama: Love

* Bob's Burgers: don't hate, but the voice acting is like nails on a chalkboard. People talk like this? And they BREED? (I have so many issues with Bob and Linda's parenting, also, mostly related to roping their children into the family business at the expense of said children's actual interests.)

* American Dad (bits and pieces) - started watching when it was just on back in Richmond, and occasionally I'll watch an episode or two. No strong feelings.

* Murder Shows! As always per me, I go through a lot of true crime documentaries.

* Zodiac (2007), and watching it I managed to freak myself out.

* Cropsey (2009), likewise with freaking myself out.

Books:

* Reread of the Abhorsen series = <3 <3 <3, as mentioned.

* Currently reading Newt's Emerald, also by Nix, and it's very much a regency romance BUT the romance is very much secondary to the adventure plot. Kinda brainless fluff? But I like that in a book sometimes.

Podcasts:

As mentioned, I finished Welcome to Night Vale yesterday (including the live recording of "Condos"), and I am like ... mmm, fandom.


I'm also thinking, if I'm going to be writing on my own or for an audience of 1-3 anyway, I may as well just write original fiction again, huh? Because fanfiction was always about the social jolt I got from connecting with other readers and writers about a shared source we were both/all passionate about. And I have no idea where that's gone these days -- journalspace is a ghost town; tumblr values visual media over textual media; where do people even go to talk anymore?

So I bought a license for windows scrivener, & I'm maybe going to brush off The Novel (that is my white whale) and see if I can actually complete a draft. Or something.

help

Apr. 21st, 2014 04:04 pm
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Rec me podcasts please. I've just run out of Welcome to Night Vale and I am EXTRA SAD.


Production value *must* be on a level with WTNV or better, because I can't deal with the podcast if it's poorly-made. Side-effect of doing quality assurance on decent multimedia/voiceover things.
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4 extra-thin steaks (came in 1 package)
garlic salt to taste
fresh ground black pepper to taste
cilantro to taste

season the steak on one side, cook for 1 minute on each side on high. (or ~90 seconds on a george foreman grill?)
Let cool a bit, roll so they're long, and slice into strips. Good for quesasillas and sandwiches, for which:

chop some of the strips together with cilantro ± onion if you like that and om nom nom.


makes 4 servings, ~70¢ per.

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