Thursday, December 17, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Some places stay comfortingly the same but other favorites are sadly replaced. Just keeping up with school and work always kept me so busy that its surprising how many little details of stores/places that I still subconsciously remember. For example, the bagel place with the awful poppy-seed bagel-- still open, the middle-eastern place where the one-eyed owner flirted with me for an hour instead of making my shawarma-- closed, the place my roommate and I drowned heartaches over chocolate fudge sundaes-- open but with a name change, the bubble tea place which sold spicy popcorn chicken then (at $4.00) considered an expensive treat --open, the Turkish grocery store that sold sweets that I took back to my parents-- open... you get the picture, so many happy memories that in spite my stone feet I want to drag myself out to be surrounded by them. Oh the beauties of old age!
Here are some pictures I took around here today. Brioche at Tatte's for breakfast, a duck crepe at the Harvard St. creperie for lunch and the most amazing lobster ever at Brown Sugar-- which towards the end of my stay became my favorite campus Thai place after Dan's cafe closed. I was hoping to get some pictures of the cutest dog in the world but her owner was being a bit of a pain in the behind, so I couldn't. But theres still plenty to keep you happy.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Anyways coming back to dinner, I ended up going to Finale for dinner and dessert. Dinner of pasta called something or the other with tomatoes and broccoli and a side of chicken was blah. But the molten chocolate cake with coffee gelato totally hit the spot. I recommend having dinner elsewhere but you have to come here for dessert.
There were butterflies in my tummy as I got off the plane. Which were quickly replaced by the excitement of getting on public transport again... something I havent done in almost 3 years. I'd picked a hotel that was close to where I went to school, the Brookline Marriott Courtyard. I must have lost my touch and got off the T one stop too early and had to drag my bag about 2 blocks. It was such a gorgeous winter day and the roads were still bare at 11am making the walk pleasantly brisk. I didnt think I'd remember anything but walking outside felt like being back home again, fast forwarding a wee bit of time. The hotel itself was great-- warm, cozy, inviting and they were kind enough to let me check in early.
After checking in, I took a looong walk on Beacon St and discovered that my favorite hole-in-the-wall bakery Savoy (which always ran out of its buttery delicious pastry well before noon) was replaced by a much more hip and organized place called Tatte's. But a cup of white chocolate and a nutbox-- a tart shell filled with nuts (in my case pecans) with just a drizzle of caramel more than made up for the loss of the old place. Still walking, I made my way to my art supply source in Boston, a store I finally realized to be called Blick (have always been hopeless with names). Still on a mission to get familiar I made my way to Harvard St. and had lunch (a spinach, pesto and tomato slice) at Upper Crust, one of the best pizza places in town. Next I walked on to Commonwealth Ave and made my way to BU's Registrar's office, the main reason for my visit. Once done there, I was too tired to walk back so actually had to ask the kid who worked there which bus I had to take. Sad, I know, once upon a time I knew bus routes and schedules by heart.
Now I'm back in the hotel enjoying free internet and left with the difficult decision of where to have dinner, I've already picked Finale for dessert :). Maybe I can even squeeze a stopover at Brookline Booksmith, the cutest, quaintest bookstore in Brookline. I'll take some pictures and put them up here so you can see [post updated and pictures shown below].
Friday, November 27, 2009
The Daring bakers are an online group of people who love to bake and put their skills to the test every month with something new and exciting. The November 2009 Daring Bakers Challenge was chosen and hosted by Lisa Michele of Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives. She chose the Italian Pastry, Cannolo (Cannoli is plural), using the cookbooks Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and The Sopranos Family Cookbook by Allen Rucker; recipes y Michelle Scicolone, as ingredient/direction guides. She added her own modifications/changes, so the recipe is not 100% verbatim from either book. What a nostalgic way to start my Daring Baker's Challenge experience.
Its impossible to be in Boston and not try one of the many delicious desserts from Mike's Pastry, an unpretentious Italian bakery with very little sitting or moving space. I'd look forward to making the trek there every winter and being rewarded with a steaming cup of capuccino and either a cannoli or a gigantic cream filled pastry called the lobster tail. It soon became my favorite place to take anybody who was either new or visiting Beantown, always sure to impress. I'd never imagined making a cannoli at home, it was just one of those things I thought was better left to the professionals, you know, like twinkies, milano cookies or bagels. I was a bit worried when it was chosen. How do I juggle it with the hectic holiday cooking I thought, but didnt want to chicken out of my very first month. So I gave it a shot today and boy am I glad I did.
The shells came out beautiful, blistered (a sign of goodness), light and crispy enough to eat sans filling. But a cannoli isnt a cannoli without some creaminess so I came up with two-- a rose scented cashew pastry cream and an almond scented pear cream. The rose one was my favorite, smooth with the gentle crunch from the cashews. I enjoyed the more pronounced crunch of the pear one which I dipped in dark chocolate but it didnt really measure up to the delicate rose.
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp unsweetened baking cocoa powder sifted
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp white balsamic vinegar (what I had on hand, substituted it for white wine vinegar)
1/2 cup red wine (Marsala preferred but I used Cabernet Sauvignon)
2 large egg whites
2 quarts vegetable oil (for deep frying)
1. Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl.
2. Mix in oil, vinegar, 1 egg white and enough wine to make a soft dough.
3. Place dough on a floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes till a smooth, uniformly colored dough forms.
4. Shape the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and let rest in fridge from 2 hours till overnight.
5. Divide the dough into eight equal parts.
6. I used my pasta maker to roll out the dough, but you can roll it out by hand till very thin.
7. Use a round cookie cutter to cut out shapes in the dough.
8. Heat oil in a medium saucepan to 375F.
9. Roll cut out around cannoli form (metal cylindrical tubes), seal ends with egg white and drop into hot oil. Remove when light golden brown (they turn darker as they sit around).
10. Remove cooked and cooled cannoli from the form. Reserve till ready to fill.
11. Dont fill the shells until ready to serve or they get soggy.
1/2 tsp rose essence
2. Divide cream into equal parts.
3. To one part, add rose essence and fill cannolis with a piping bag (or plastic sandwich bags with one corner cut off). Dip cannolis into chopped cashews.
4. To the remaining pastry cream add almond extract and chopped pear chunks. Pipe into cannoli and dip into melted dark chocolate.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
3. In a large mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Whisk oil, water, pumpkin purée, and sugar with a fork to combine thoroughly.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
1. If you're using a frozen turkey, buy it at least 10 days before. Anything more than 20lbs should thaw in the refrigerator for about 1 week to 10 days. I like to get the bigger ones because that means more leftovers but usually we dont end up with much.
2. Do yourself a favor and buy a turkey with the pop up thermometer. There's usually a picture of the push-pin like thermometer on the wrapper. And while you're in the section buy a large turkey brining bag.
3. Make sure you thaw the turkey completely 24 hours before you plan to cook. I prefer the slow refrigerator method of thawing but there are many other faster ways described online-- ways I havent tried and cant vouch for.
4. Brine and roast method: I'm not a pro by any standards but this method got me the most approval with the least effort.
5. Brine recipe : For a 20 lb bird:
2 cups of kosher salt
1 cup of sugar (2:1, salt:sugar ratio)
3.5 gallons of water
1 head of garlic, cut into half crosswise (lay garlic head on its side and saw into the entire thing with a sharp knife)
4 bay leaves
4 stalks of thyme
4 rosemary stalks
1 handful of peppercorns
1 handful of allspice
1 handful of juniper berries (optional)
Throw all ingredients into a gigantic stockpot and bring to a boil till sugar and salt dissolve. Cool brine completely. Place turkey (with giblets removed) into the brining bag (look at point 2.). Get someones help to hold the bag while you pour in the brine slowwwwwly. Close the bag, nice and tight and throw it into the fridge for at least 12 hours.
6. Roasting something bigger than your head:
Now you are free to rub anything you want on the bird-- its yours to eat and do with it as you please. But butter, salt and pepper was all I needed to get the right balance of crispy skin and juicy meat. The problem with getting too fancy and using fresh ginger, garlic or herbs is that they get burnt (especially if the bird is huge and its going to be in for 5-6 hours) and you end up fighting with the smoke detector more than cooking. So my suggestion is use logic-- if the ingredient by itself turns into charcoal in 5 hours in the oven it probably will do the same thing on a turkey. Keeping it simple seems to be the best way to go for the turkey. Save your creativity for the gravy!
Also, its absolutely crucial to get a proper roasting pan with a rack. I didnt see the use of a rack at first but its really important so the back of the turkey doesnt get soggy and nasty. My pan is really cool, once the rack with turkey is off, I can just transfer the pan with turkey drippings onto the stove to make gravy. Not possible with disposable alumnium roasting pans!
2 sticks of butter softened
Handful of Salt and ground pepper
Cooking time guide (Approx 15 mins/lb)
Get out your roasting pan and rack. Preheat oven to temperature suggested in the cooking guide above. Remove turkey from the brine bag and rinse the bird thoroughly (dont forget the cavity). Spread butter, salt and pepper generously all over the turkey, under skin and cavity too. Place turkey on the rack in the pan. Use aluminium foil to tent the entire pan, making sure there are no openings. Cook the bird covered for 75% of the suggested time, for eg, if the cooking guide suggests to cook your bird for 4 hours-- cook it covered for 3 hrs and uncovered for the last hour or till the thermometer in the bird pops. Once the turkey is done remove the rack, place it on a tray, cover it up with foil and let it rest for at least 30 minutes to let the juices redistribute. In the meantime make gravy.
So thats it, my tips to a perfect roasted turkey! Do let me know how it turns out!
In grad school around finals I'd locked myself up for days studying with a dozen donuts but that was almost 7 years ago!! I love veggies, meat and all things good for normal adults and its definitely no surprise that I love to cook but the problem is... I hate doing dishes! Thats my (quite literally) dirty secret. I know its not very adult-ish to complain about mundane chores that simply must be done like brushing, bathing and cleaning and yet this is my sentiment... inspite of owning a dishwasher. Theres no point of that stupid machine, except maybe an autoclave functionality. If we want to avoid dried up pieces of food (raw meat especially, yuck!) I have to wash everything manually anyway! It really is a tough situation, something I'd hoped would be fixed by getting married. No help there either, I usually have to rewash everything after the husband-dish-washing cycle is over.
Dishwashing is a process, first I go around collecting baby bottles and coffee mugs that always remain where ever the husband last was, which is to say-- everywhere around (and under) the house, then I unload the dishwasher with clean washed hands, squeeze antibacterial dishwashing liquid (because I'm not sure if dishwasher liquid is antibacterial) over the dishes in the sink, scrub off any dried up bits and then load the dishwasher. And since most nights I'm usually running around the house making sure my son doesnt kill himself flying off the couch, coffee table or staircase, that by the time its his bedtime I usually conk out too. So the dishes pile up till I'm ready, which typically isnt until a couple of days after the sink is filled beyond capacity or we're completely out of feeding bottles.
In an ideal world I would snap my fingers and everything would be done-- work and assignments won't cross the 5pm mark, the house always immaculately ready for the spot mother-in-law inspection, the sink empty, the clean bottle shelf always stocked, the toys so well organized that tripping and breaking bones is nary a concern and I'd spend hours playing with a son who keeps his feet planted on the ground. Sigh, reality sure bites.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Classic Brownie Recipe
(Adated from Cooks Illustrated)
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate chopped fine
1 1/2 stick butter cut into pieces (12 tbsp)
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract (can be replaced by mint extract for mint brownies)
1 tbsp instant coffee powder (my little twist on anything chocolatey)
1 cup roasted and chopped pecans, walnuts or chocolate chips (optional)
Thursday, November 05, 2009
resourcefulness bordering genius, we reasoned that since the sides of the beds were low we could line 4 beds next to each other against the longest stretch of wall and that (curbing any tendency to sprawl) would allow all 10 of us to sleep and still acommodate all the other necessary furniture.
2. In a large flat bottomed frying pan add enough oil to completely coat the bottom. Arrange chicken pieces in one layer as much as possible. Cook pieces on high heat till golden brown on side, then flip over to brown the other side. The corn starch and egg give the chicken a crispy coating. Reduce flame to medium and add 2 medium onions chopped and 1 green pepper cut into strips (I used 2 cups of frozen mixed color pepper strips). Stir till onions and peppers soften up.
3. Add 2 tbsp chilli sauce (Sri racha).
4. Dissolve 1 tbsp corn starch into 1 cup of water or chicken broth (for more gravy increase broth quantity) and pour into the pan. Mix vigorously till the liquid thickens (about 3 minutes). Check seasoning. If you want it saltier, add more soy sauce.
5. Take pan off the heat and garnish with chopped spring onions and cilantro (optional).
This is Chechi's final dish which, she says she would have liked a bit more dry:
Friday, October 30, 2009
1 medium onion chopped
1 lb (or 3 large) boneless skinless chicken breast cubed into 1 inch pieces
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp chilli powder (or to taste)
1 medium tomato
1 tbsp dessicated coconut (unsweetened)
1 tbsp white peppercorns
1 tbsp cumin seeds (jeera)
2 tsp fennel seeds
2 cardamom pods
½ inch stick of cinnamon
Handful of dried coconut very thinly sliced (optional)
Juice of half a lemon
Coriander leaves chopped (garnish)
Salt to taste
Place a large saute pan on medium heat. Add 2 tbsp of vegetable oil, onions and chicken. Fry for a few seconds and then add salt, turmeric and chilli powder. Stir occasionally to avoid burning. In the meantime grind tomato and coconut to form a watery paste. Add tomato-coconut paste to chicken. Fry till all the liquid evaporates, stir once in a while. Powder peppercorns, cumin, fennel seeds, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves in a dry/spice grinder. Add spice mixture to the chicken when almost dry. Add coconut slices and lemon juice to the chicken, toss to mix well. Garnish with coriander leaves.
Adapted from David Lebovitz
3½ cups all purpose flour
1½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground nutmeg (increased from 1tsp)
2 to 2½ cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) melted unsalted butter and cooled to room temperature
4 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
2/3 cup whiskey
2 cups persimmon puree (Dave says to use 4 squishy-soft Hachiya persimmons, but I pureed 4 Fuyu persimmons with ¾ cup of water)
2 cups pecans, toasted and chopped
2 cups raisins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 2X9-inch loaf tins by buttering the insides and lining parchment paper (or dust flour instead of parchment). Mix all the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda, nutmeg and sugar) in a large bowl. Make a depression in the center and mix in the wet ingredients. Then add nuts and raisins. Bake for about 1 hour (but mine took a little longer than that), or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
Monday, October 26, 2009
2 tbsp yogurt
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Somehow though, eating homemade pizza feels less guilty. I know exactly what goes on my pizza and can, on the extremely rare occasion, even cut back on the cheese-- hardly ever happens but options are always nice. I've been, until recently, bit of a pizza snob. I'd never been adventurous enough to try anything other than the usual veggies, chicken, and rarely, shrimp or beef. But this year has been a real eye opener. I'd never understood how people could eat tiny, salty, (in my mind) stinky filets of fish on their pizza till I tried it. There was no smell whatsoever and the saltiness was a beautiful compliment to the sweet caramelized onions, fluffy crust and black olives. And then theres the rosemary potato pizza with gruyere cheese, that vanished before I could take pictures of it. Here's a recipe for an easy-breezy pizza crust and a couple of my new found combination favorites.
For the pizza crust
3/4 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F)
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
2 cups (or more) all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
Pour 3/4 cup warm water into small bowl. Add yeast, sugar and stir. Let stand until a froth of yeast forms (about 5 mins).
Into the bowl of a stand mixer add flour and salt. Add yeast mixture and 3tbsp of oil. Mix on medium high (with dough hook) for about 7 minutes till a smooth dough forms. If still sticky, add a little flour to the bowl and knead dough by hand (in the bowl itself). Add a little more oil, flip the ball of dough over and add a little more oil. Cover and let rise in a warm place for about an hour or till it doubles. Punch down dough and shape it onto the tray/ stone you plan to bake pizza on. Add toppings of choice and bake in a 350 degree preheated oven. If you want the crust on the crispier side, prebake the crust for about 7 minutes, add the toppings and return back to the oven to finish cooking. Pizza is done when the crust there are tiny golden brown specks and cheese is melted and bubbly.
Combination 1. Caramelized red onions, anchovies, black olives and fresh mozzarella
For caramelized onions:
1 tbsp olive oil
2 large red onions sliced thin
Add olive oil to a saucepan on medium heat and then drop in the onions. Once the onions just start to soften, reduce heat to low and cover. Stir occasionally to avoid onions sticking to the bottom of the pan. About 30 mins later you should have beautifully caramelized onions. I layer the onions on the crust first and then add the other toppings in the order listed below.
Remaining toppings for this combination in order:
Half of a 2 oz tin of flat anchovies, crumble as spreading around pizza (I like the Cento brand)
Handful of Nicoise black olives sliced (or any black olive if you're not a purist)
5 small potatoes or 10 fingerling potatoes
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 sprig of rosemary chopped
2 spring onions chopped fine
Salt to taste
Wrap potatoes in wet paper towel and heat on high in microwave for about 4 minutes or till you begin to smell the potatoes. Peel and let cool. Once cool, slice potatoes into thin rings (if using fingerling potatoes just half them). Mix lemon juice, spring onions, rosemary and salt in a bowl. Toss the potatoes into the lemon dressing to coat well. Let sit for about 5 minutes.
Layer potato mixture over pizza dough. Do NOT pour dressing remaining in the bottom of the bowl over the pizza. Break little chunks off the gruyere cheese and sprinkle over the top.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Then there was the lab journal club presentation. While working on the powerpoint which in my mind was etched to be for tomorrow, I get an email from a friend wondering why the pizza for the presentation was there but not the presenter, yes, I'd missed my presentation by an hour. Why would we need a journal club for just the lab anyway?? I must admit usually those sessions are fun and free food is always a great incentive...presenting in one of these meetings though is a whole 'nother issue. I mean talking isnt hard, usually stopping my babble is the tough part. But representing somebody else's thoughts, trying to figure out what their thinking, trying to decipher their ever so shakespearean writing and what the heck they were thinking when they came up with 50 billion graphs when just one would be enough to show they didnt have the faintest clue. One of my professors loves to share the story of James Watson's response to the question how they managed to describe the groundbreaking interpretation of the structure of DNA in a one page article, he said "It helps to have something [useful] to say". Its rare to find writing like that anymore-- writing without the fluff. You know, writing just like someone was thinking out loud.
But my week will start looking up. Tomorrow will be nice, I just know it. Theres a little cobblestone pathway in school thats pat in between a dorm, the outpatient center and the gym. Every Thursday since the beginning of summer, that leaf strewn pathway gets transformed into a farmers market. Little green tents propped atop white poles shelter stalls of fresh baked bread, pastry, local dairy cheese, ice-cream, preserves, nuts, fresh roasted coffee, and of course, vegetables and fruit to match the season. Every week as I make my trek (just a short walk really) and am struck by the beautiful colors, I have to kick myself for not getting my camera always thinking that the following week it'll be the first thing I pack in the morning. Sadly that never happens.
Going to that little farmers market is the highlight of my week. Theres the chutney guy who never remembers who I am but needs to make me try his samples always asking if they remind me of home (not really, I've never had cranberries in India). The coffee guy always has some neat information on roasting techniques or stories of his triplets (2 identical boys and one fraternal girl). Theres the produce guy, who insists on shucking corn with his grimey, chubby fingers, breaking them in half and challenging people to try it raw. He's so proud of his truckload of corn that you would have to be stonecold-hearted not to and he's rightfully so-- its the sweetest, most tender corn ever. Then theres my weakness, the French bakery stall, for whatever reason my usual order of 3 almond croissants, 1 baguette and the pear tart cost about a third less when theres the friendly moustached guy instead of the lady. I do feel guilty walking in with bags of groceries when I really should be working on experiments but it seems like everybody in school makes the most of that 4 hours of hustle and bustle--people actually work their meetings around the farmers market! Tomorrow will be the last week they're out this year and they will surely be missed. That poor little pathway will go back to its foliage and occasional hypodermic needle strewn self. Another sign of the changing of seasons in Baltimore, I guess. Definitely something that I'll be looking forward to next year.
Heres a recipe I made with the cutest, most beautiful fall colored peppers from the farmers market. I took before and after pictures because I was worried that the purple one would lose its color when baked, rightly so because it did turn green whereas the reddish yellow ones were fine. Wonder what the deal is with purple peppers.
You will need:
6 small colorful peppers (red, yellow, green)
2 medium potatoes
1 tsp jeera/cumin seeds
1 medium red onion chopped
2 tsp chilli powder
1 lb fresh hot italian chicken sausage (removed from casing)
1 handful of shredded mozzarella cheese (optional but yumm)
Salt to taste
Preheat oven to 350F. Half the peppers, remove seeds and lay them cut side up in an oven proof dish. Wrap potatoes in a wet paper towel and cook in the microwave on high for 3 minutes or till you begin to smell them. Keep aside to cool for a bit. In a medium sauce pan, heat about 2 tbsp of vegetable oil, add cumin seeds. When they splutter add the onions, chilli powder and salt. Add the sausage and cook till brown. Add the potatoes and mash while mixing so as to incorporate everything into a mad mush. Check salt. Spoon the stuffing into peppers, sprinkle cheese over peppers and place dish in the oven for about 15 minutes or till cheese just melts. I like a bit of a bite in my peppers but if you don't you can cook for few minutes longer till the cheese gets brown flecks on it and peppers are soft when poked with a fork.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Theres something primal about eating with your hands- you grab onto your food and with great dexterity and skill, shove it into your mouth. Not too different than the average caveman back in the day-- have to say average 'cos those guys on the Geico commercials seem way too refined to fall into this category. Anyways, back to the food...ahh yes the humble sandwich- in all its simple, versatile and portable glory theres nothing quite as satisfying as a warm toasty, oh-so-slightly-spiced, cheesy sandwich dunked in a pool of herby oniony soupy goodness. The latter of course being the "au-jus" or dip part of the creation. Its just the perfect companion to a weekday blockbuster treat, in this case, it was Will Smith's "Seven Pounds". Its a good thing that sandwich was wiped out waaay before the serious part began, the only thing I wanted near me at that point was a box of tissues. Seriously, as if finding that perfect someone that you got along with and loved wasnt hard enough, you have to complicate things by seeing and feeling the presence of that person knowing full well that the mistakes you made would keep you apart forever because it was the right thing to do! SAD, so depressingly sad, I was bawling like no one's business during and after the movie. It was a great movie though, not the kind I would ever want to see again but nice.
Sorry, sorry didnt mean to depress you after that movie review, but maybe I can cheer you up with the recipe for an amazing sandwich and a beautiful, hilarious (look at the 60 yr old guy fake a muscle pull while dancing with a much younger woman) Telugu remixed song.
Here's the recipe:
1 red onion sliced
1/2 can of beef broth
A stem of fresh thyme
Fry onions and thyme in a little bit of vegetable oil for about 10 minutes on medium heat till soft and light brown. Take out half of the cooked onions and reserve for sandwich. Add beef broth and bring to a boil. Adjust salt and serve hot with sandwich.
For 1 Sandwich
2 slices pumpernickle bread
4 deli slices of pastrami (beef/turkey, your choice)
a handful of arugula
A slice of swiss cheese (I used grated Gruyere, my current fave)
A handful of caramelized onions
1/2 tbsp of horseradish sauce
1/2 tbsp of butter for toasting on pan.
Spread horseradish sauce on both slices of bread, layer on meat, arugula, onion and cheese. Spread butter on the slice of sandwich that faces up, invert that side onto a pan thats on medium high heat. Let it sizzle for about 20 seconds, in the meanwhile butter the other side of the sandwich that should be facing upwards on the pan. Flip sandwich, toast for another 20 seconds and serve with dip.
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
The learning curve wouldnt be that steep if there was some decent documentation with simple instructions. After about 3 weeks, I've finally figured out how to generate a simple scatterplot. Even perl with its primitive GD and chart options wouldnt have taken longer than 4 hours to figure out. What a waste of time! But I guess in the "long run" figuring out how to actually do it maybe useful.
I thought I'd just post what I'd done for the benefit anyone else in a similar predicament.
1. Start R client by typing : R
2. read in tab delimited file, substitute
3. Check if all rows read in using (remember d is your variable):
4. If your file doesnt have headers as is the case with mine, your columns will be called V1, V2, V3, etc. To generate a scatterplot (this is the default graph type in R):
remember d is the variable for the matrix of values, you prefix with $ to access any of the columns. I wanted V3 on the x axis , so I specified that first.
5. Quit from R:
6. You should be asked if you wanted to save images from your session say yes.
7. File is stored by default under R.pdf
I haven't figured out how you specify an output file name or if theres an easy way to generate and concatenate multiple plots. But hey, there should always be a start! Even if its with P-I-T-A "R" (just my personal sentiment, for now at least).
Monday, August 31, 2009
To a miserable lifeless existance
Awaiting that cold wind
Which spiralling will bring them down.
Trapped inside a happy exterior
Humiliated, sometimes beaten into a mould
The model wife, an efficient homemaker.
Life of the content, shirtless beggar
She dreams-- subconcious escapism,
Longing those times
When being herself was enough.
Time will heal, never.
Like the fall leaf, she waits a-quiver,
The end of a meaningless life
A steep drop that will shatter an empty mould,
Shards of weird misery, a life noone will miss.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Nonetheless, hope never dies and early this month said man, implied baby and yours truly made our way to London, Paris and Switzerland. We even had a backpack, slightly different kind though-- one that you would lug a baby in!
Foie gras on the *ferry* to Paris, yes this is the kind of food the French eat on ferries!
Apple Tarte Tatin for dessert, on the same ferry, of course!
Pistachio ice-cream for the little guy on ze ferry! No kid portions here!
Hot chocolate, coffee and brioche -- first morning in Paris
At the metro shortly after
Trust an Indian to leave a baby unattended at a fancy fountain! Oops, that's mine, never mind!
Creme brulee at Champs Elysees, hard to improve perfection!
Vinodh's reaction to Bistro diners
Duck breast with the most amazing fries!
Farmer's market in Switzerland, Vinodh walks by, not too impressed.
Indian clones in Switzerland
Friday, August 14, 2009
The one I made this week was particularly good, the glaze had a sweet and sharp tang that went really well with the mellow cake. The only modification I made to the original recipe was to add the zest of 1 lime to the batter. And for the glaze, I mixed the juice of said lime with 1/3 cup of powdered sugar and brushed it over the cooked and cooled cake.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
3 tbsp of all-purpose flour