Thursday, August 18, 2011
Stuffed EggplantCreate | View Comments | permalink
The other day Jessa and I picked up some great eggplants from the farmers market. They were just the right size to make stuffed eggplant. I didn't really follow a recipe, but I will give you the break down of what I did. Let me warn you. I don't really measure and I don't use recipes, I just kind of do it. Taste, taste, taste. Use your eyes and your mouth to determine if something is coming together right. This might explain why I am awful at baking ...
First lets cover what you will need to make these delicious eggplants.
- For the Eggplant
- Eggplants. I had 4.
- Carrots, chopped
- Celery, chopped
- Garlic and onion, diced, how ever much you prefer.
- Olive oil
- For the Sauce
- 2 tomatoes
- Garlic and onion, diced
- Olive oil
- Thyme, oregano, and parsley flakes
- Carrots, minced
Making the Eggplant
To make the eggplants start by hollowing out the eggplants. Place the eggplant in a pot, fill with enough water to cover the eggplant, salt, and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes (or until the eggplant is soft). While the eggplant is cooking take a skillet and heat some olive oil. Add garlic and onion, when the onion is translucent, add carrot and celery, cook until soft.
Now in a bowl combine the eggplant and carrots and celery. Add breadcrumbs and mix. You want enough breadcrumbs so that you can form a ball with your hands, like a meatball. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Now use that mixture to stuff your eggplant halves. It will be more volume than you removed, so it should have a mound shape to it.
Place the eggplant in a baking dish and bake them at 350 degrees for 20-35 minutes, long enough to warm the eggplant itself and crisp the top. I will usually add a second dish with some water in it to the oven, because that helps keep the stuffing nice and moist while it cooks.
Making the Sauce
Peel the tomatoes (i know right!), cut them in half. In a sauce pan pour some olive oil and put on the heat. Add carrots and cook. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent (don't burn the garlic, it will taste gross). Add your herbs and cook for 30 seconds or so. Now toss in the tomatoes and let them take to the oil a little bit. Now take this mixture to a food processor or use an emersion blender to smash all this up. You want a texture, but not large chunks. Taste. Salt and pepper as needed. Use the honey, if desired, to cut the acidity down more (if the carrots didn't do good enough).
I paired this eggplant with a simple mash with butter. Spoon the red sauce on the plate and give it the old spoon push, plate the eggplants fat end in the fat end of the sauce, now spoon over the top some more sauce. Serve hot.
Saturday, April 09, 2011
Peacock TattooCreate | View Comments | permalink
A few weeks ago my friend Kristyn, who is an art teacher and tattoo artist extraordinaire from South Florida, came up to Gainesville as part of her Spring Break trip. She came completely prepared to finish up Wayne's tattoo and to give me some fresh ink. Here are some pictures of the work she did on me, which was designed by her and drawn in the car on the drive up. It was perfect exactly the way she drew it![gallery]
Because this was done on Pi Day (March 14th) we decided to get cutesy and add a little pi symbol hidden into the peacock. Later on, when I told my roommate to find it, she pointed out one that we didn't even notice was already built in!! :) I know that it sounds kind of sketchy to say that my friend tattooed me in my living room, but when you're working with a professional - they can tattoo safely anywhere. Plus, it was way more comfortable to be in my own house on my own couch. :)
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Riotous Living TechCreate | View Comments | permalink
I've been working on the tech that drives Riotous Living a little bit. Hopefully I will be rolling this stuff out by the end of April (that is my personal goal). I know some of the people who follow this blog are geeks like myself and might be interested in the present and future direction of the blogs software and 3rd party integrations.
Right now this blog is run on a simple Wordpress installation which is hosted by one of the best shared providers I've ever had the privilege to throw my website crap on to, WebFaction. This has served us fairly well, but the Python programmer and tinkerer in me just can't let things be, so I am in the progress of migrating this blog to my favorite blogging platform Blogofile.
I've recently acquired the short domain rtslv.in for our Twitter and Facebook links for blog posts on the site. That domain is powered by bit.ly Pro and I'm very happy with it and hope that bit.ly stays around a long time.
We use Google Analytics + the tracking statistics available with bit.ly Pro to track out goals and traffic to the site. Both of these work very well, give great detail and insight in to which content our users like the best and which posts do best over time and which ones do really good at first and tail off.
The future of Riotous Living is bright. I am making HTML5 and CSS3 templates for the new site design. I am using Blogofile with some custom filters and extensions to the controllers for generating the static content that will be served via nginx. I've started a Pyramid project called Riotous Tools that will provide life tools to our visitors (like 101 in 1001 lists and Life Calendars).
With the move to Blogofile we will also be using a media.riotousliving.com subdomain which will be a CNAME to a Amazon CloudFront for all our embedded images and video. This will greatly increase the load times of the site for all the pages and posts.
You can preview the Blogofile beta of the site and the developmental version of the Tools application and send your feedback along to me and I will review it and probably ignore most of it until I decide I am out of development and the versions are "stable", then I will re-read all the feedback and see if things still apply.
Moving from Wordpress to Blogofile does have it's own challenges. There is no WYSIWYG editor. There is no picture album uploader. There is no web interface to download and install plugins. All this means I will be teaching Jessa some basic HTML/RST and that we will have to maintain our own media folder for uploads and images. Overall these things are minor for the added control I get of the HTML and CSS the site produces.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
The Happiness Project - One Word ResolutionCreate | View Comments | permalink
So many of my fellow bloggers have been able to do what, up until now, I could not.... define the upcoming year in one overarching theme.... in ONE WORD.
It's a lot of pressure. To resolve that you'll live your life for the next year with this one theme - this one WORD - in mind. And that this will somehow lead to a happier and healthier you, to personal development on a grand scale and to minor self actualization.
I avoided making any New Years Resolutions this year because it seemed like life was paused. As a Type A life planner, it was difficult for me to try to conceptualize a year that I didn't dare dream about. It seems appropriate that the inspiration for my one word resolution come right now, when it's time for the next chapter in my life to begin in earnest.
While at Clemson for their Selection Weekend and assistantship interviews I absorbed some important tidbits of advice that I hope to use throughout the next few years. One of them was this...
"There are going to be so many opportunities to get involved and to develop yourself in the next few years. I want to encourage you to BE INTENTIONAL in your actions. Take advantage of those opportunities that are going to challenge you to step outside of your comfort zone and don't overwhelm yourself with the activities that won't."
So here is my ONE WORD RESOLUTION FOR 2011!
cre·ate[kree-eyt] Show IPAverb, -at·ed, -at·ing, adjective
Monday, March 07, 2011
Potluck Monday! Onion and Parmesan SconesCreate | View Comments | permalink
We all know that Wayne is the chef in our household. I can barely set foot into the kitchen without him following me and asking me if he can make something because it's one of the many things Wayne is passionate about. And he happens to be VERY good at it. Unfortunately for me that means that my palette is getting spoiled and my cooking skills are not improving.
When some friends of ours started including us in their weekly rotating potluck dinners I was THRILLED and instantly decided to use this as an opportunity to try new things! I'll make my own dish, all by my lonesome, and if it turns out to be a disaster then Wayne will swoop in with his dish and no one will be sad. Perfect plan!
I chose this recipe out of my amazing Vegetarian Cookbook because it had few ingredients and we had most of them on hand. Turns out that scones - and baking from scratch in general - are an advanced undertaking. I think I did a good enough job though. :)
Prep Time :
25 minutes (for me 45 minutes)
Total Cooking Time :
12 minutes (unless you're dumb like me and set the oven wrong... then 25 minutes)
Makes : 24 (I doubled my batch)
- 1 oz butter
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cups self raising flour, sifted
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup water
- cayenne pepper or garlic for sprinkling
- Glass of wine for drinking while cooking.
NOTE - Instead of self rising flour I used 2 teaspoons of baking powder for every cup of regular flour.
NOTE - I wasn't too worried about finely chopping my onions or the parmesan cheese. And I ended up really enjoying the texture.
- Preheat the oven to 415 degrees F (my book is English apparently and says 210 C first. This was my silly mistake). Brush an oven tray with melted butter or oil. Melt the butter in a small pan; add the onions and cook, over low heat, for 2-3 minutes or until soft; cool slightly.
- Combine the flour, salt and parmesan cheese into a bowl. Make a well in the centre; add onions and almost all the combined milk and water. Mix lightly, with a flat-bladed knife, to a soft dough, adding more liquid if necessary.
- Knead dough briefly on a lightly floured surface until smooth and press out to 2cm (3/4 inch) thickness. Cut dough into rounds with a floured 3cm plain round cutter (or in my case, a tiny metal shot glass). Place rounds on prepared tray and sprinkle each lightly with either cayenne pepper or garlic (I don't like spicy so I used garlic powder). Cook for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.
"Golden Brown and Delicious!"
NOTE: Treat scone dough with a light touch. Cut the liquid in with a knife and then take care not to over-knead or you'll have tough scones.
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