Shiny Metal Tiger

Experiences in Baltimore, MD

Posts Tagged ‘Food

Meh

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Berger cookies are a Baltimore thing, or so I’ve been told. That’s one argument for me to try them before leaving, and another argument is “Why not?”. So try them I did, and was sorely disappointed. It’s a crummy little wafer with a ton of chocolate fudge frosting all over it. OK sure, chocolate fudge frosting isn’t the worst thing in the world, but what the heck?  Though coming from the land of sild, leverpostej and akvavit I suppose I should hold my tongue.

Needs more fudge frosting

In other news, today was terrible. Problems with a paper, experiments cancelled because of a missing password and absolutely couldn’t get in the zone for making a presentation. Bleh. But somehow it wasn’t quite as bad as it should have been, because I for some reason felt that it was only a short period of crap which would naturally be followed by a terrific day or two. I do find that the pendulum often swings like that, but to straight up expect it? I’m wondering whether it’s a byproduct of my intermittent fasting, where I’m so used to hardships lasting only until the next day (which is what makes it so doable). And perhaps also the fact that I get a shot of hunger-induced euphoria every other day, coupled with a total lack of food-induced drowsiness. Or it could just be psychosomatic truth that I’ll soon get better. I guess we’ll see tomorrow.

Written by Martin

2012/10/24 at 23:01

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Burning the midnight oil

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Hopefully this won’t happen.

I found that picture on Wikipedia and couldn’t resist sticking it in here (especially in light of my previous cooking incident). Anyway, the story is that George wants to deep fry some fries and pierogis, and to minimize waste of oil we’re making a deep frying party out of it. But what else to cook? I wanted to make an easy poll where y’all could put in your favorites, but sadly it will only let me put in predefined answers. Bleh. Anyway would love comments if anyone has suggestions!

Written by Martin

2012/10/17 at 08:45

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Creams

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Last week I happened to tally my Ben & Jerry’s experiences and realized that there were only 14 (dairy) flavors I hadn’t yet sampled, so I halfway decided to make it through the entire range before heading home. My next trip to Wegman’s provided me Red Velvet Cake and Vanilla Caramel Fudge, at which point I promptly decided that life is too short to eat crappy ice cream for some arbitrary accomplishment. So when Sara decided to substitute some locally made monstrosity for the pint of B&J’s she owed me I wasn’t at all displeased (even though it tastes pretty bad).

Yeah, they’ll pretty much put it in anything over here.

Anyway, returning to the original subject: my favorite flavor is probably Phish Food, just because those fudge fish are so intensely delicious and the ingredients generally complement each other well. Runners up include Oatmeal Cookie Chunk and perhaps S’Mores. So yeah, all three have fudge, but I promise that they’re really very different! It’s not quite as simple to name the worst flavor(s), but I’m going to go with the two that made me drop the whole endeavor on account of their unpleasant artificiality. Banana Split was pretty unconvincing as well, and in general the flavors that tried to imitate some other dessert were less rewarding than those that merely incorporated elements from such. The award for most surprising has to go to Chubby Hubby, which despite being bought as a joke ranks quite highly in my (nonexistent) list. Snide individuals might comment on fudge being one of the ingredients, but in truth the salty pretzels just work well to emphasize the sweeter flavors (just like slightly salty caramel or toffee).

Of course I’m not saying that I won’t be digging into any more B&J’s, but the completist ice cream quest is now officially declared over.

Written by Martin

2012/09/21 at 08:11

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Foodventures

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Spaghetti squash marinara: It looks and tastes very similar to pasta, though you can still tell that it’s a vegetable. Yay healthy?

Welsh laverbread: Fried patties of seaweed and oats = crispy taste of seaweed that’s greasy enough to fit into British cuisine. Not a repeat.

Sesame-banana fritters: served with (pseudo) kaya jam for dipping. Not bad, though the only benefit of the batter was to make them crispy and soft at the same time.

Written by Martin

2012/09/05 at 11:18

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Pleasantry

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I like paintball. Perhaps because I still harbor a childlike fascination with warfare in its many guises, and at least in my imagination paintball is the closest thing to modern ground warfare that I’m likely to experience. So even though it meant getting up early and putting up with a particularly lethargic referee, spending five hours with high-velocity paint projectiles buzzing around my ears was a pleasant start to yesterday.

Left: teriyaki chicken, apples, walnuts and basil
Right: spinach, asiago, capicola and basil

And after running around the woods for hours, a pizza party was assuredly a pleasant continuation to the day. Between the roommates, myself and my friend Davide, we generated (and masticated) six pizzas, along with negronis and other libations. Two experimental choices snuck their way into the lineup, and while leaving room for improvement were reasonably successful: the first was an Asian-inspired pizza (of sorts) that was limited to ingredients that were common in such cuisines. So the tomato sauce and cheese were out, replaced by teriyaki chicken (and sauce), baby bok choy, squash and peanuts. Though not quite comme il faut, I used yoghurt as some sort of neutral base for those flavors; beancurd would have been more appropriate. It ended up a tad salty, and certainly not something to revolutionize pizza-making, but quite tasty nonetheless.

Dessert? Now that’s what I call pizza!

The other experiment was a dessert pizza, with chunks of papaya and melon on a base of sweetened condensed milk. Different from the chocolate-and-marshmallows dessert pizza I’d previously tried, but not at all bad. None of the flavors were overpowering, though it was missing some sort of contrasting flavor. In my personal opinion it was also a little low on sauce, so I created the (kind of) improved version shown above.

I suppose consistency demands that I scour the P section of the dictionary for some apt descriptor of the flow cytometry I did in between these two pleasantries, but there’s no reason to be pedantic.

Written by Martin

2012/08/12 at 17:52

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Compression

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This Sunday I was making éclairs to bring for “tea time” at work, an in appropriately named affair that typically features chips, fruit and several types of cakes/cookies (and a pot of tea or two). Being me I opted to bake rather than buy, going for quality over quantity in terms of cake selection. I cooked up and glazed the ~40 puff pastries without any trouble, as since George had recently purchased one of these I figured that filling them would be a breeze. The intelligent reader will of course have predicted that this hypothesis turned out to be false, and all because I decided to add some puréed blueberries to the cream for extra tastiness.

Alas, in my trial run particulate matter ended up clogging the pressurized dispenser and rendering it impotent at best. There was the occasional undersized squirt of blueberry whipped cream, but both consistency and production rate were entirely unsatisfactory. I needed the canister the next day so I had to get the pressurized pint of blueberry whipped cream out somehow. The only feasible option was to carefully unscrew the top of the canister, hopefully letting out the pressure gradually before opening it completely. That’s sort of what happened: Decompression

…but the exact opening rate still needs some fine-tuning. In short, blueberry goo went  everwhere: on cupboards, walls, couches, floor, ceiling, me… except that, I kid you not, not a single drop went on the éclairs standing right next to the canister. Although it came off most surfaces without problems I will have to paint the ceiling in the near future.

The éclairs were delicious, however.

Bleuet/canelle éclair, voila!

Written by Martin

2012/07/31 at 20:02

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Stocking up, part 2

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My Asian pantry is doing well; another dish has been added to the repertoire, one that successfully makes use of red basil (not as simple as it sounds, I’d say). And yet there was a restlessness in me, I was missing something. So I went shopping with my roomie:

Ginger beer, nice gin, dry vermouth, spiced rum, pear vodka, light rum, tequila, vermouth rosso, curacao, whiskey, vodka, everyday gin, coffee liquor, macadamia nut liquor, red wine and some beer.
Mostly in 1.75L bottles.

A nice selection to be sure. We had a bit of absinthe, creme de cassis, Campari and other assorteds already, so aside from high-end stuff I think we’re pretty much there. Of course with all this alcohol there’s a distinct risk of late-night munchies, but fortunately I happen to be a man of some forethought:

Peach Cobbler, Chubby Hubby, Key Lime Pie, Crème Brûlée and Strawberry Cheesecake.

Written by Martin

2012/07/22 at 17:25

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