Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Cooking from scratch: Gnocchi Vesuvio

Well, this is a recipe a friend of mine once published in the h2g2 Post. It has been a favourite ever since I first tried it.

I never use any chorizo (or other sausage for that matter). And if you do without the mozzarella, you not only have a vegetarian meal, but a vegan meal. It's very tasty and easily made.

There is a lovely video clip to watch, too, made by another friend from bygone times (It starts at about 1:55, but the whole clip is well worth watching).


Tuesday, 9 September 2014

The weird ways of search results

I've mentioned it before: I'm quite fond of stats, so evidently, I check mine occasionally.

Today, I had a weird result: somebody from the USA entered:

where to find pr*st*t*t*s in gheorgheni (you'll have to add the vowels yourself, I omitted them for obvious reasons) into some search machine and apparently got my 'Gigolo' blog post as a result.

Well, one of the tags was 'male pr*st*t*t*n', so it's probably not that far of the mark after all, but still--there must be thousands of significant results out there. That's a guess, naturally, because I don't want to enter this search term and I really don't want to see the results. :D

But somebody somewhere must have scrolled through hundreds of pages to find my blog post.

Hey, there is hope for other blogposts with similarly obscure tags. ;)

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Cooking from scratch: experimental

It worked out nicely

Today, I went experimental. I had once fried Romana salad, which was very tasty, so I thought it might work with radicchio Treviso, too.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Cooking from scratch: spinach soufflé

Today, I meant to make spinach omelette (an idea from my new recipe book), but then I discovered two vegetarian schnitzel in the fridge which were just past their best before date (they had been covered by some other items in the drawer in the fridge, so my husband didn't find them while I was away).

I hate waste, so I decided to cook a spinach soufflé to go with them.

Since this recipe is my own, I can write it down here. It is vegetarian, but not vegan.

 (Serves two)

500 g spinach (fresh or frozen)
4 eggs
200g feta cheese
2 tbspoon flour
nutmeg, pepper
some grated cheese for the topping


Wash and drain the spinach (or thaw and drain).

 Chop roughly. Butter an oven-safe form; fill with spinach.

 With a blender, mix the eggs, the flour, the feta cheese and the spices. 

Pour over the spinach, stir.

Top with grated cheese.

Put in preheated oven at 180°C for 30 minutes. You can serve potatoes with it, or spaghetti (or vegetarian schnitzel, as may be the case), if you like. Enjoy.

Cooking from scratch: Baked Beans

I've decided to cook less meat. Not that we use to eat a lot of meat in the first place, but there is room for even less. ;)

I bought a recipe book called: 20 minutes is enough--vegetarian

I bought it mainly to get some more ideas. I think, if I cook new style, my husband might not even get aware that meat is missing from the menu. :D

Yesterday, I thought I'd try to cook baked beans. I chose the recipe from the BBC Food website (no baked beans in the new book, alas, but then it takes longer than 20 minutes to cook).
As usual, I didn't religiously follow the recipe. For a start, I had 500g of beans, and used them all (what would I do with 100g anyway?).

I omitted the ham -- I've never liked ham, so it was not a big deal. This way, not only was the dish vegetarian, but it was even vegan.

I took white sugar, in lack of soft brown one. (I wonder what it is? Maybe made from sugar cane, the taste of which I don't like anyway. )

In lack of red wine vinegar  I used white  aceto balsamico.

I did not bake the soda bread, I used ordinary toast.

I hadn't soaked the beans, this was a spontaneous idea, but if you have a pressure cooker, it's not a problem: just boil for half an hour, then add to the tomato sauce and simmer for about an hour.

As for the rest: I followed the recipe. My sister told me, that the instruction to bring the beans to the boil, drain them, then cook in water, is to reduce flatulence. I hadn't know this, but had followed this instruction--and it worked!

The result was very tasty, although I forgot to season with pepper and salt. It was a bit sweet for my taste, so next time I'll take less sugar.

I had a large saucepan full of delicious baked beans, so I froze the leftovers which should suffice for two further meals.

It certainly beats the tinned variety. 

Friday, 22 August 2014

Print vs ebook

There's an interesting (though not at all surprising) discussion going on on the website of the Huffington Post.

It's the old 'ebooks aren't real' mantra again.

They dug up six authors who are all dead against ebooks. Their arguments are as old as they are ridiculous.

I won't rehash it all here, please join the discussion at the aforementioned website (or post below).

What surprises me, though, is that apparently none of the interviewed authors (as well as some of the commenters) have heard of ebook readers. Admittedly, if you read on your mobile phone or a computer/tablet screen, the experience leaves a lot to be desired.

However, today's ebook readers are brilliant. The screens aren't any harder to read on than an actual paper book, they don't reflect light and you can read your books in brilliant sunshine if you want to. Some even offer a background illumination which allows for reading in bed while your partner snores peacefully and undisturbed next to you.Heck, the kindle even has a 'text to speech' function, which I guess should facilitate those hard of sight.

I wonder whether articles or stories, published in magazines, are accepted as 'real' by the 'anti-ebook faction'. Journals and magazines don't have the 'feel' of a book, either. Yet lots of authors (Dickens, Nesbit, Conan Doyle to name but a few) published weekly in magazines like The Strand or Harper's Bazaar.

What gets forgotten in the discussion is, that the content is the same, no matter what medium.

And then I wonder just what those who claim that only a print book is a 'real' book do on the internet in the first place? After all, by their definition, pixels make a book unreal -- so any discussion online must be unreal, too. After all, you can't really compare some pixels on your computer screen with a real discussion where the spittle flies and people yell at you, now can you? You cannot smell your vis-à-vis, you can not touch them, feel them, hear them, or punch them. So they're not the real thing -- so why do those 'ewiggestrigen' bother discussing with anonymous internet weirdos?

It baffles me. I know that technology advances fast, and when I first heard about ebook readers, I was intrigued but not sure this could be a medium for me. I recall that Amazon removed books from Kindles (something to do with copyright, iirc), so I bided my time and waited for new developments.

Then I bought my first ebook reader, and I never looked back. Yes, I still buy print books, too, but I prefer ebooks because they have no weight. I have any book I want (well, nearly) at my fingertips.
I help to prepare ebooks for Project Gutenberg at Distributed Proofreaders, and I help record them at LibriVox. Neither of this would be possible if it weren't for ebooks. I'd like the opponents of ebooks to think about that.
These ebooks open up whole new worlds for everybody with a PC and internet access. They broaden the horizon, and they are free of charge, because they are in the public domain.

So, I like the good old print book, but I think ebooks are the future.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Gmail and Google+ -- again

Today, I found the following email in my inbox:

Gmail update: Reach more people you know
Ever wanted to email someone that you know, but haven't yet exchanged email addresses?(1) Starting this week, when you're composing a new email, Gmail will suggest your Google+ connections as recipients), even if you haven't exchanged email addresses yet.(2)
How it works with email addresses
Emailing Google+ connections works a bit differently to protect the privacy of email addresses. Your email address isn't visible to your Google+ connections until you send them an email, and their email addresses are not visible to you until they respond.(3)
Receiving emails from people outside your circles
If you receive an email from someone outside your circles, it will be filtered into the Social category of the inbox (if enabled) and they will only be able to start another conversation with you once you've responded or added them to your circles.(4)

How to control who can contact you
You're in control of whether people can reach you with a new setting in Gmail on the desktop. To learn more, visit the Help Centre.(5)