Friday, June 21, 2013

Deelish chicken dinner

I stumbled on a great recipe recently: Pan-roasted chicken with carrots and almonds

It was pretty easy, too: toss carrots & almonds in oil and honey, then roast:

Also pan-roast some chicken, then stick it in the oven.

Voila: delish. The crunchy almonds were a very nice touch. Just needs a salad!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Catastrophe averted?

Little did I know it, but apparently I'm a power user of Google Reader - the soon-to-be-defunct tool I use every day.

In addition to using Reader to follow blogs belonging to people I know and/or have found online, I subscribe to blogs about cooking, personal finance, knitting, biking, and local stuff. This is no different from many Reader-users. However, my power-user-ness comes from my extreme use of tagging.

I have a list of over 100 tags that I've assigned to items in my feed that I want to be able to find later. Want a peek into my brain? Here you go:
account balancing, alcohol, appetizers, baking, book rec, bread, breakfast, brunch, bundt cake,
cake, candy, cleaning, compilation, cookies, crock pot, cupcakes, day trip, decorating, dessert,
dinner, DIY, drinks, easy, fall, food processor, fruit, garden, Gardening, gift, gluten-free, happy  hour, healthy food, holiday, household, interesting ingredients, investing, loaf cake,
local info, lunch group, meat, menu, muffins, need gear, party, pasta, pdx, pie, potluck, preserving, restaurants, salads, side dish, snack, soup, spa B, spring, summer, technique,
travel, travel tips, tried and liked, useful, vegan, vegetable, vegetarian, weekend project,
winter, wine group, wow, yum

Whenever I read an article I want to find later, I tag it - almost always with multiple tags. So, for example, the Food Librarian's post about nectarine buttermilk upside down cake is tagged baking, cake, summer, tried and liked. Shove it in the oven chicken stew is tagged fall, meat, soup, tried and liked, winter. And, final example, a post titled What is a Weekend? is tagged meat so I can find the recipe it contains for world's best chicken.

You see how this is powerful? When I'm looking for ideas, I don't have to surf the web aimlessly - I can go to my reader account, click on my dinner or meat or seasonally-appropriate tag, and browse for ideas in posts I already know appeal to me.

And of course, Reader is going away and I'm devastated. So far the best option I've found is to subscribe to Feedly. I recreated my tags and it LOOKS like my content has made it over. When I look at a previously-tagged article I don't see all the tags I know I assigned to it, but when I check its various tags from Reader, it does appear in each place.

Tragically, Feedly only allows me to supply one tag per item in its interface. I'm going to suggest they support multiple tags, and they seem to have been very responsive to this Reader debacle, but I'm more than a little concerned that my six years of metadata is going to be lost at the end of this month.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Salted Caramel GENIUS

I've had this recipe for salted caramel brownies bookmarked for ages - well, for four months, I guess. I initially thought I'd make it for my housewarming party, but I ran out of time. Fortunately, a friend had her birthday yesterday and I was in the mood to bake!

I got up early to make the caramel before work.
Oh MAN it was so easy, and came out looking great. I did make a slight mistake, as I poured it a bit too thin. I didn't notice that in her example, she poured it into a plate and let it get a little deep. I think the thicker caramel bits would have resulted in more-noticeable in-brownie caramel pools, but I assure you, it didn't suck as it was.

Anyway, during my lunch break I made the brownie batter and stirred the caramel shards in; I sprinkled some on top as directed in the recipe:
The results were gorgeous:
I followed the directions to freeze them before cutting (and then had to thaw a bit), and it was a good idea. The room-temp results are dense and amazing, but quite sticky.
They were very popular at the birthday outing! They're so rich, and the guests were so restrained, the birthday girl even got to take half of them home.

Of course I didn't give them ALL to her... I've found they go very well with coffee.