Good old fashioned food post: spanikopita, sprouts, pretzels, egg salad  

Posted by Wayne Bretski in

Poised and ready.
The olive oil is in that device in order to sprinkle it over phyllo dough more evenly. It doesn't work that well. Case in point.

This is the first spinach pie we tried.

It tastes so good, and it's so damn easy to make.

Fry up some garlic in hot oil, add some chopped pine nuts. Wilt a ton of spinach, like a pound. Or more. Once there's some room in the wok, take it off the heat and add a bunch of feta cheese. Like the whole carton. Let that warm up. Put a few pieces of phyllo on the bottom of a pan, any pan. Oil them up. Toss in the spinach and cheese. Eat several bites of the spinach because it's delicious. Top the pan with four or so more pieces of phyllo. Layer if that's your thing. You're looking at 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees, until the phyllo is brown and crispy on top.

We also love Brussels sprouts. Talk about a bad reputation; these things are great. Steamed is nice, boiled a joy. Lately we've been searing them in a pan cut in half, they really soak up the garlic, then broiled for a few minutes. Not long, repeat, not long. Twelve minutes is too long.

Here they are with some garbanzo beans that cooked in the wok after the sprouts were done and in the oven. Two birds with one stone.

Egg salad: this was a Miss B. creation, I know nothing really, other than she made the mayo and that it was vegan. The mayo, that is. Obviously egg salad is going to have an inherent veganism problem.
In other great news, we went to our friend Alex's mom's house for Easter. We went home with five bags of lemons among the three of us, freshly picked off her lemon tree. That night we went to Alex's and juiced a ton of them. This is not all of the juice we got.

Miss B. and I took home about a gallon of lemon juice and more zest than one recipe is going to be calling for. Alex's mom's lemonade is famous, and simple: equal parts lemon juice and sugar, 8 parts water. So we have approximately 16 gallon capacity right now.

One time, Alex made pretzels.

This photo is a great computer desktop.

This picture was supposed to be with the spanikopita but I hate the blogger picture interface and don't feel like messing with it.

But that's a wok-full of spinach, huh?

I went to Disneyland  

Posted by Wayne Bretski in ,

And it was fun.

We drove into L.A. on Tuesday, Miss Bee's sister in tow.

We went to the beach pretty much right away.

Manhattan Beach:

Miss Bee and sis on Main Street USA

My favorite part was New Orleans.

We rode Pirates of the Caribbean a couple times. We also ate at the Blue Bayou, which was right down this street, and is inside the Pirates ride. The food was, perhaps not surprisingly, one of the highlights of my day.

Lowlight: Splash Mountain about an hour before sundown. We waited 90 minutes (sign said 55 min. wait) to get soaked as the temperature dropped about 10 degrees. We had three sweatshirts until the one in the picture got soaked and was rendered useless. I didn't look this bad but my jeans were very wet.

The next day we biked to Venice Beach, which was a little much but still enjoyable. As you can see, a lovely day. Miss Bee had her bike but Nat and I were on cruisers for three hours, leading to a certain amount of soreness.

There were also sunburns all around, and some pretty horrific hunger upon return. But it was fun.

These pictures are all from Miss Bee's camera, while Natalie also had one. Both sets can be found on my Picasa page. To see all the pictures we took on our vacation to Manhattan Beach, Venice Beach, and Disneyland, including but not limited to interesting beach houses, a hang glider, my uncle J.D.'s boxer Jackson, and of course, Disneyland, click here. Sorry for the fireworks pictures, they suck. Haha.

A Great Start  

Posted by Wayne Bretski in

This would be today's Sunday crossword. Miss Bee and I completed it in about one hour, with exactly one wrong letter. The offending cross was "NHLer Tikkanen" or something (ESA), and "Narrative Writing" which was EPOS. We finally filled in ENA/EPON after much hand-wringing. I think of EPOS as "electronic point of sale", which I imagine a Google search would vindicate. Oh well. (I also notice that I mistyped the letter next to it; ATRA is the shaver brand. Again, oh well. I actually knew that one though.) I don't believe that I've ever gone faster than one hour on a Sunday, today may very well be the fastest at 61 minutes.

Rice with Bok Choy, Purple Broccoli, and Red Pepper  

Posted by Wayne Bretski in

In the rice cooker, I steamed the broccoli, red pepper, and bok choy. I also sauteed some spinach with garlic and oil, salt and pepper, basil and pine nuts for an addition of something tasty. Tossing the vegetables into the wok for the last couple of minutes was a good idea, so they got a little seasoning as well. Leslie's dish also included red pepper flakes, mine had a dried cheese dusting.

Look out for egg salad coming soon; parent-teacher conferences could put the kitchen on hiatus for the next few days.

A Note On Comments That Say "Click Here"  

Posted by Wayne Bretski

Don't click there.

I have no idea who they are or where they come from. They are posted by so-called "trolls", which are computer programs that troll around the internet looking for new forums, which would include blog posts. These are not real people, they are posting links to things that are most likely harmful to your computer, and in any event certainly not anything of interest.

If a comment is posted that is worth a look for my other readers I will make mention of it in this space. In the mean time, don't bother with comments that look "strange".

Feeling patriotic?  

Posted by Wayne Bretski

Try this essay from the new issue of Cato Unbound. Cato is a libertarian institute, the author George Kateb is a political science professor at Princeton. I started the cursor at the beginning of this particular paragraph, kept stopping and thinking that was good enough, but I ended up with the whole thing highlighted.

The brute fact of patriotism is made brute by the inveterate inclination in men to associate virility with the exertion involved in killing and risking death. No theory can ever defeat or discredit this inclination, which helps to engender the fantasy that the competition of political units is the highest kind of team sports. Men love teams, love to live in a world where they are called on to back or play for their team against other teams, even though the sport of war is soaked in blood. Socratic notions of gratitude or Jamesian notions of infinite indebtedness are not necessary for this love. In the sport, where aristocrats used to play their games, elites now mobilize groups or masses to slaughter each other. Men can become peace-loving for a while, but not forever. The women who love them encourage their inclination to see team sports as the essence of their masculinity, and to call patriotic this inclination when it is projected into politics. The pity is that men lend their energies to a state that sooner or later embarks on an inherently unjust imperialist career and thus gets constantly engaged in policies that are deliberated in secrecy, and sustained by secrecy and propaganda, and removed from meaningful public deliberation. Patriotism is indispensable for sustaining this career of anti-democracy.

Some Kitchen Pictures  

Posted by Wayne Bretski in

Me in the kitchen, washin' up some dishes.

Baby cauliflower. Cute, right?

Add purple broccoli.

Add a Miss B:

And that would be three pictures taken at AJ's Fine Foods produce aisle.

Here's what came of the trip:

Sauteed chickpeas with salt and pepper and a little cumin. The Brussels Sprouts were absolutely delicious; sauteed with garlic and oil and baked face down for 20 min. or so.

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