Complaint by Numbers

Happy Halloween!

October 31, 2008
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I’m sitting on my couch, pretty far inot a bottle of wine, enjoying a Ghost Hunters special while talking with my friend Lisa (who, in Montreal, is watching the same special). I’m not really a paranormal buff, but this show (and Paranormal State) seems to suck me in.

I’m also mostly done with both the socks and slippers for Matt and my mother, and have begun knitting a sweater (Carolyn from Knitty).

I also made pumpking cupcakes with chocolate frosting. The cupcakes came from this recipe, and the chococlate was a simple buttercream. The cupcakes came out wonderfully! I have to admit, pumpkin might be one of my new favorite foods.

We had around 8 trick-or-treaters this year in three groups (two individuals, and then a group that piled into a minivan and drove around). This was a pretty high number for us. Fortunately, there are plenty of Reeses left for me, ūüôā


DIY Wedding Advice

July 7, 2008

Wedding? Why yes, I am engaged! This is a fairly new (within the last few weeks) occurrence, and I can’t pretend I’ve been one of those brides who’s obsessed about plans. All I’ve thought about so far is how much I can do myself in order to save money. I’ve never really had the “dream wedding” planned out, so it’s pretty much coming down to budget.

Now, my mother is insisting on giving a chunk of cash (this thing is going to cost under $10,000, but still she insists on helping), but with the caveat that she gets to veto every decision I try to make. Apparently, one of those decisions is whether or not I’m taking her money, so she basically has taken control of my wedding. I’m used to this behavior.¬†

My point here is that I’d love to be able to do as much of the food myself. My fianc√© and I don’t want an actual, formal sit-down meal, but instead would prefer an¬†hors d’oeuvre¬†buffet. We’re not really fans of large groups of people, and feel that a sit-down meal is awkward and forced. My mother says that we, “have to feed people if they come to a wedding,” and has decided that this is an unacceptable way of feeding people. Basically, my task is to prove to her that this is a viable, and socially acceptable method of putting food into people’s bodies, so as to convince her that no one will judge the event for being tacky or cheap. I’m sure that’s all she’s worried about. I should tell her I imported white truffles and will be sprinkling that over the fois gras, as well as gold leafing the cake.¬†

So, my question is more or less, would this sort of¬†hors d’oeuvre buffet be plausible? Has anyone been to a similar wedding? How did it turn out?


June 13, 2008
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I found placek recipe online, and adapted it to better suit my memory of what was made back home. I won’t lie, it tastes fantastic. While this recipe isn’t completely traditional (usually, you’d make a dough “sponge” first), it gets the job done fast (besides, I didn’t have enough yeast for the other recipe). I’m hoping my¬†cook book arrives soon. I’d love to find some variations on placek, and perhaps try out some babka (which is a bit dense– more cakey than bready, to use the technical terms).

The hubby isn’t Polish (his family is Scottish), and so placek was a new concept for him, but was he ever thrilled to try some. It’s been declared a new staple in our house (or rather, tiny apartment). Pictures and the recipe after the jump. (more…)

Weekend Project

June 12, 2008
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Since my weekend technically starts late Thursday afternoon and I generally don’t have enough work to fill the whole 3.5 days. As soon as I’m done with this degree, though, it’s back to working full time or getting myself knocked up and on maternity leave. Not surprisingly, the hubby is leaning towards the former. And now I’ve become sidetracked, one sentence in to the post.

Granted, I could delete that and start again, but that would make this too polished, and I’m looking for a more organic feel (read: I don’t want to bother), so I’ll continue on down here, with the hope of somehow re-railing this train o’ thoughts. So we covered Thursday weekends, university, my inability to stay on track and now we’re here, or rather, we’re back at weekends.¬†

My weekends usually start with the thought, “Wow, I’ve got days¬†to do this work,”¬†and end with me frantically writing a composition in somewhat broken German while reading the last 3/4 of a 20th century British novel. In between, I stress about the work I haven’t done, and consume a bottle of wine. This weekend, things will be different. Instead of thinking about the work I’ll inevitably put off until Sunday night until I actually get to Sunday night, I will occupy myself with a project (or two!). This weekend, despite the heat, I’m thinking cooking.

More to the point, I’m going to attempt to recreate the Polish recipes I enjoyed as a kid, so this weekend will be filled with cabbage, onions and breads (and probably pierogi). I’ll keep everyone updated with recipes, frustration and the like!

Posted in Food, Life

No more sugary cereal…

May 28, 2008
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For some reason lately, I’ve been craving sugary foods. I’ve also been exhausted a lot this week. I’m pretty sure the two are closely related. Usually when I eat crap foods, I feel crappy. I don’t think I’m overtired so much as¬†under-rested. I’m going t make a concerted effort to get to sleep early tonight and eat well throughout tomorrow. We’ll see how that works.

Posted in Food, Life

Like a moth to a flame…

May 13, 2008
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…or a cokehead to, well, coke (or perhaps other cokeheads; you know, birds of a feather…), I’m back to blogging. As that sentence turned out to be far more awkward sounding than I had anticipated, I’ll make this short to spare myself any further embarrassment.¬†

For some reason, I feel like blogging again. Perhaps its the fact that my boyfriend (with whom I live) has a new job that keeps him out of the (tiny) apartment from 6:30 a.m. until sometime between 8:00 and 8:30 at night; perhaps its the fact that my cats have stopped listening to my bitching, or perhaps it’s the fact that I’ve eaten way too much today, but I feel like voicing my complaints on the intarwebs. And yes, I say that¬†facetiously. Regardless (not to be confused with irregardless, which is both a made up word and a pet peeve of mine), here I am, and since I am shirking a large number of duties — dishes, some German work, vacuuming, other menial tasks — I’ll probably continue blogging for a while.

Also, I have trapped a spider under a glass and a can of tuna (don’t ask me why I felt it needed to be weighted, but if that fucker gets out, I might cry). When Matt gets home, he has some spider relocating to do.¬†

Posted in Food, Life, Uncategorized

Historical accuracy be damned!

May 13, 2008
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I can’t get enough of The Tudors.

Also, I made lime cupcakes (with a sponge cake base). Delicious. 

And in keeping with the theme of having absolutely no theme whatsoever for this blog, I would just like to admit to something potentially damaging to my (spectacular) character: I look at the pets section of CraigsList like it were a blog. I check to see if there is a cat, kitten or particularly cute puppy up for adoption pretty much every thirty seconds while I’m checking email/browsing blogs/doing nothing. In fact, if I could hook that bitch up to a nice RSS feed, it would greatly reduce the amount of times I click on my hot bar (yes, it’s got its very own button), only to be disappointed by the fact that no one new wants to give up their cat. Now I suppose this wouldn’t be too bad if I were looking for a cat, but I’m not. I already have two (and this does not include the two I will inherit when I move back to the States this December). I’m just a sad bastard who likes looking at pictures of kittens, and who harbors tiny hopes of adopting another one. Maybe a long-haired one, or you know, whatever.

Posted in Food, Pets

Pumpkin Cupcakes: Success!

September 22, 2007
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I managed to track down some canned pumpkin (’tis the season), and altered a pumpkin log cake recipe to make a light, airy, cupcake. I ended up using a chocolate-cinnamon buttercream to frost, which turned out fantastic (M licked the spoon, and cleaned the bowl for me…).

The cakes stuck to paper cupcake wrappers after baking, but when baked in silicon cupcake pans, there were no problems. The cupcakes are greated as a dessert when frosted, but could also be used as muffins for breakfast, and spruced up with some walnuts or raisins (I have a love for raisins that borders on inappropriate). These cupcakes have renewed my lust for pumpkin, so expect more pumpkin recipes in the near future.

Recipe to follow later today.

Posted in Baking, Food

Sucralose: A Cautionary Tale

September 14, 2007
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I can’t lie, I love artificial sweeteners. Something about the ability tohave consequence-free (science be damned!) sugar makes me giggle like a school girl. As wonderful as the concept is, using artificial sweeteners outside of a lab can be a project in itself. While it’s easy to sprinkle some on fruit, add it to coffee or applesauce (pretty much anything that only relied on sugar for sweetness, and not for texture), incorporating Splenda into an existing recipe for baked goods is a full-on scientific endeavor.

Up for a challenge, and craving cookies, this weekend past seemed the perfect time to try out replacing sugar in a recipe with Splenda. In short, this turned out to be a disaster. I had forgotten that the chemical properties that allow sugar to melt and become liquid under heat, do not apply in the same manner to its artificial cousin. Additionally, it seems that Splenda loses some sweetness in the baking process (it couldn’t overcome the other ingredients to be sweet). All in all, the product had a taste and texture akin to hardtack. I definitely should have substituted only half of the product, though I’m concerned that this will yield only slightly better results.

Also, my Canadian quest to find canned pumpkin/squash is still underway. So far, Metro, Provigo and IGA have failed. I’m starting to look in the little specialty stores, though it’s beginning to look like I’ll have to do this the old fashioned way.

Posted in Baking, Food

Crisis Mode: High

September 9, 2007
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Apparently the markets near me have never heard of canned pumpkin, which put quite a damper on my plans for the day. I think I’ll have to stock up next time I’m in the states. Also, I appear to have left my cookie cutters in the move, so it’s round cookies for me today. Alas!

Posted in Baking, Food
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