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Floria Tosca
29 March 2019 @ 09:15 pm
A is for Allspice
B is for Bay Laurel
C is for Cinnamon
D is for Dill
E is for Epazote
F is for Fennel
G is for Ginger
H is for Horseradish
I is for Illicium verum, otherwise known as star anise
J is for Jalapenos
K is for Kewda (made from the flowers of the pandanus plant - the leaves are also used as flavoring in southeast Asian cooking)
L is for Lemongrass
M is for Mint
N is for Nutmeg
O is for Oregano
P is for Parsley
Q is for Quandong Chutney
R is for Rosemary
S is for Summer Savory
T is for Thyme
U is for urfa biber (a dried Turkish chili pepper with a smoky-fruity taste)
V is for Vanilla
W is for Wasabi
X is for XO sauce (a spicy-umami fish sauce popular in Hong Kong)
Y is for Yellow Mustard
Z is for Zedoary
Floria Tosca
24 February 2019 @ 10:55 pm
I aten't dead.
I am, however, deep into a resurgence of years-ago's Lawrence of Arabia hyperfixation.  Not sure how that happened, but there it is.  I suppose one could be obsessed with worse people.
I have also, after resisting PC gaming for years on the basis of inadequate hardware, finally gotten into Diablo III of all things.  My current character is a female barbarian named Beeferella, and she is a MIGHTY slayer of demons.
Floria Tosca
20 October 2018 @ 11:00 pm
Chocolate mint creams: boil the syrup a little harder, flavor with peppermint, vanilla, and butter extract, roll into small balls.  Chill the balls in the fridge, when firm, dip into melted dark chocolate.  Chill until chocolate shell has set.  Eat.
Verdict: Tasty and very rich.  
Floria Tosca
17 October 2018 @ 10:41 pm
In honor of the season, I'm experimenting with mellocreme.  (I'm not a big candy corn person, but I love those little pumpkins.)  I'm starting with Alton Brown's candy corn recipe with different coloring and flavoring - for the first batch, mapleine and cinnamon.  So far, it's very tasty, and the texture is delightfully smooth, but it doesn't really hold its shape.  I don't know if it just needs time to cure or if I should boil the syrup a little longer next time.

I'm thinking of trying chocolate-covered mint patties next.
Floria Tosca
11 August 2018 @ 12:40 pm
We got rain today!  Proper rain, too, not just misty sprinkles.
Floria Tosca
26 July 2018 @ 11:03 pm
It's one of those weeks that I'm grateful I live in the Pacific Northwest.  Even our heat waves aren't that bad by the standards of most of the rest of the country.
Floria Tosca
04 March 2018 @ 08:30 pm
I wonder if the reason so many specfic stories have kind of generic "fight the hoarde of unsympathetic aliens" or "have the chosen one find the McGuffin to destroy the Dark Lord" plots is that the writers in question really just wanted to play around in the world they'd created and the plot was kind of an afterthought?

(I think Tolkien might have had this issue, to some extent - he was certainly a world-builder at heart - but he had two advantages: one, a strong enough humanities background that he understood why the classic stories worked, and two, coming in at an early enough point in the genre that he was making the cliches.)
Floria Tosca
26 December 2017 @ 12:00 pm
I privately think of Wilfred Owen as "the moe war poet."
Floria Tosca
22 November 2017 @ 09:14 pm
Here are my hundred menus!  Next step: testing!

Putting these behind a cut because it's a long list.
Read more...Collapse )
I used cabbage in the salads because it's usually cheaper than lettuce (although not always), it keeps better, and it's higher in vitamin C.
I put toasted sesame oil in the southern-style vegetable recipes as a vegetarian substitute for bacon fat.
A lot of these menus have international or historical inspiration (which I have noted) but I make no claims of scrupulous authenticity.  I was working with the constraints of a limited budget and sometimes limited information.  I hope you enjoy them anyway.
Floria Tosca
Doing another budget cooking project.  My mom got interested in the Live Below The Line challenge and was costing it out, which made me think of my old projects of that nature.  $2/day is a bit austere for me, so I tried to design some $2 dinners.  It was great fun.  If you live in an area with good grocery infrastructure so you can comparison shop, you don't mind cooking from scratch, and your metabolism can tolerate a high-carb diet, there's a surprising variety of meals you can cook for $2/person or under. 

Lentil-oat "meatballs" and gravy with boiled potatoes and sweet-and-sour cabbage: 91 cents.
Egg drop soup, stir-fried noodles and vegetables, rice, and fruit salad: $1.50
Chicken-fried oatmeal cutlets and gravy, devilled eggs, and homemade coleslaw: 84 cents
Vegetarian split pea soup, savory cabbage, and garlic bread: $1.02
Mushy peas, oven fries, carrot sticks, bananas and mock custard: 92 cents
Pasta with white bean alfredo sauce, broccoli with herbs and cheese, garlic bread: $1.16
Bean loaf with mashed potatoes, gravy, and peas and carrots: 86 cents
Chickpea stew with dumplings and vegetables, baked winter squash: $1.63
Curried lentils and vegetables (carrots, spinach, potatoes) over rice with homemade chapatis: 98 cents
Homemade baked beans, toasted tortillas, cabbage-apple salad with sunflower seeds and evaporated-milk dressing: 97 cents
Black bean taco soup, quesadillas with salsa, carrot sticks, pan-fried banana with cinnamon: $1.81
All-in vegetable frittata with garlic bread and cabbage-carrot salad: $1.41

And so on.  I haven't had a chance to cook any of these yet so I estimated the costs and nutritional info using abstract standardized servings.  It'll be interesting to actually make these and see how they come out and what the real proportions of ingredients are.