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Random thoughts and recipies.

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Dubird

recipe Chicken Adobo

Ok, so this is a modified version of one offered by Cooks Illustrated. We found that if you make it as they list it, there's not enough sauce! But we made some adjustments with the quantites, and this works out well. Very tasty and tangy, without being really tart.

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Ingredients

4 (5- to 7- ounce) bone-in chicken thighs, trimmed

1/3 cup soy sauce

1 (13 1/2-ounce) can light coconut milk

3/4 cup apple cider vinegar

8 garlic cloves, peeled

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoons pepper

1 scallion, sliced thin (optional garnish)

Instructions

1. Toss chicken with soy sauce in large bowl. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.

2. Remove chicken from soy sauce, allowing excess to drip back into bowl. Transfer chicken, skin side down, to 12-inch nonstick skillet; set aside soy sauce.

3. Place skillet over medium-high heat and cook until chicken skin is browned, 7 to 10 minutes. While chicken is browning, whisk coconut milk, vinegar, garlic, bay leaves, and pepper into soy sauce.

4. Transfer chicken to plate and discard fat in skillet. Return chicken to skillet skin side down, add coconut milk mixture, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Flip chicken skin side up and continue to cook, uncovered, until chicken registers 175 degrees, about 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to platter and tent loosely with aluminum foil.

5. Remove bay leaves and skim any fat off surface of sauce. Return skillet to medium-high heat and cook until sauce is thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Pour sauce over chicken, sprinkle with scallion, and serve over rice.

Dubird

Myst

I reinstalled Myst 4 last week and I've been off and on playing it. I'm at the most FRUSTRATING puzzle in the game (damn monkeys), but I've been practicing so I should be able to get it.

And it got me thinking about the crappy game of Myst 5, where they really screwed up the story. You start out in Myst where you learn about Atrius and his family, and get to decide which of his sons is responsible for imprisioning him. And if you get the wrong person, it sucks but you backtrack to a previous save and fix it. The second game, you help Atrius save his wife. The third game, you go and visit him and his wife, see his baby daughter, and then end up helping him resucue an important Age because he's been injured. And the fourth one, you save Yeesha, his daughter. There's a very clear connection to his family through all four of those games. And yeah, I know, they're just computer game characters, but they did a wonderful job making them full characters and you kinda get attached to them. Not in 5. You get one rather depressing letter from Atrius, written just before he dies, and have occasional contact with a grown up and bitter Yeesha. That's it. There's some plot with the D'ni, but it's not really memoriable. Hell, I didn't even finish the game, that's how disappointed I was with it. And it got me thinking what would've made a good storyline for it. Say, you go to visit but Atrius is missing and you have to help Yeesha find him (maybe she had a fight with him, overprotective father and all, but still, he is her father). You lose contact with her at some point so you have to search several Ages for various clues and puzzles, yadda yadda, and at the end, you meet with Yeesha in the Age where he is. You find him only to have the bad guy turn on you, and Atrius ends up saving your life (for a change), only he ends up dying in the process, but not before he and Yeesha make up. I would probally have been bawling at that point, but that connection would've been there and would've made the puzzle solving worth-while. And of course, it would've been a logical ending to the series because Atrius is dead. He was your connection through all 5 games, so it would've made sense to stop there.

Anyhoo, just random thoughts. I should really reinstall Uru someday and see how that goes. It was an interesting concept, and I'd like to see just what the purpose of it is. I never played it long enough to really get what exactly you're supposed to do, beyond getting into D'ni.

Dubird

Tamago

Quck and easy, and good cold as well as warmed! I use it in my bentos sometimes. Very simplified version that most recipes you'll see, but it works good.

You need:

2 eggs

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon soy sauce

Mix everything in a bowl, starting with beating the eggs first and getting them a little smooth before adding the sugar and soy sauce. Get everything nice and smooth and heat up a NON-STICK skillet. Melt a little butter/margerine in the pan to coat it, then pour in the egg mix so it covers the bottom of the pan. Let it cook on medium-high heat until the edges are kinda dry, then carefully work a large spatula under one edge and start rolling it up. If you kinda flip the edge up and fold it over about an inch, you can just repeat the flipping until it's at the end. This takes some practice, so don't worry if you don't get it the first time. It's still a tasty mistake! ^_^; Anyhoo, once it's folded up, cook the egg until both sides are done and VERY lightly browned (i'll take pictures next time i make it so you can see). Then, just slice it up (it's tender enough to do so with the spatula) and do whatever you planned with it. You can top it on sushi rice for tamago nigiri, or just eat it alone. I like to stack it in my bento for a change from hard-boiled eggs, but I occasionally make it to go with supper too. ^_^

Dubird

Quick Mini-Swiss Steak

This isn't a traditional Swiss Steak recipe. In fact, I found out recently while watching Good Eats that the Swiss Steak I grew up with isn't a traditional Swiss Steak recipe. But I love how this tastes, so we'll call it my version of Swiss Steak. ^_^; Again, the measurements aren't exact as I learned how to do this from my mom, who's instructions were 'fill the bowl with this much' and so on, but I'll do my best.

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1 package stir-fry strips of beef (this is something I find at my local mart, you may have to get a couple of steaks and cut them in thin strips yourself. this recipe works fine with cheap cuts, so you can save some money there. this would be about 2 8oz steaks, cut into strips)

1 cup flour

1 8oz can of tomato SAUCE

1 6oz can of tomato PASTE

Seasonings (i use season salt, garlic powder, pepper, and whatever italian spices i have handy)

1 serving of rice (either minute rice or other kind, whichever you have handy)

Coat the bottom of a deep-sided skillet with oil. I like olive oil for this, but it doesn't really matter. Make sure the skillet is one that has a lid for it, as you'll need it! Turn on the heat under the skillet. Season the beef strips with pepper and garlic, coat in flour (put the flour in a bowl first) and put in the skillet. You can do this while the skillet is warming up, the oil doesn't have to be hot to start. This way, you can drop the floured pieces straight into the pan. Brown both sides of the floured meat, turning them once so you get both sides. When they're brown, they should have soaked up all the oil. If not, sprikle a little flour into the pan to soak it up. Add the tomato sauce and paste, and one can of water for each. In other words, empty the tomato sauce into the pan, fill that can with water, and add it the pan as well. Same with the tomato paste (you may need a knife or something to get the paste out). Stir will with a spatula, making sure you scrape the bottom of the pan to get all the good fried bits mixed in. Sprinkle the top with the garlic, season salt and italian herbs. I can't really give a good definiation of how much here because it's all to taste. If you like it spicy, pile it on. If you like it light, just lightly coat the top. Anyways, season to your taste. Stir in the seasonings and bring to a slow boil. Once it starts bubbling, turn the heat down to a simmer and cover tightly. Cook for about 30-45 minutes, stirring from time to time to keep it from sticking. While that is cooking, check the directions for your rice. You want to try and time the rice being done to when this is done for best results. You can, of course, make the rice before hand and microwave it when the meat is done, but I like it fresh when I can do it. Anyhoo, when the sauce is thick, kinda like pasta sauce, it's done. Serve over rice, and make sure to give the sauce a good stir while scraping the bottom of the pan because that's where the good stuff is!

LARGER MEAT

You can, of course, use full size cuts of meat for this. You may need a deeper skillet so the meat is completly covered by the sauce, and it works best to tenderize the meat before you put it in. Cooking time may vary a little depending on the size of the pan, but everything else is the same.

Dubird

Lasagna

This is the quick method. I use my own sauce that I make, but you can use whatever premade variety you like.

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1 box of lasagna noodles (uncooked)

1 12 oz bag of chedder cheese

1 12 oz bag of mozzarella cheese (if you like, you can use the Italian mix that Kraft has instead, it has mozzarella, provolone and romano)

1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce

Grated parmesan cheese (just get the stuff in the shaker bottle, it works great)

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. While that's heating, you can build the lasagna in a 13x9 sheet pan. You might want to heat your pasta sauce to make it easier to spread, depends on what kind you use. It also helps to pour it into something you can get a big spoon into. Start with a thin layer of sauce at the bottom of the pan, and layer the uncooked noodles on top of it. Yes, uncooked. I started doing it that way with a box that said not to cook them, and have since found it works just as well if it doesn't say that on the box. It's much MUCH eaiser than precooking them, but you can still do that if you want to. You know, if you like making things complicated. *ahem* Anyhoo, you can probally get 3-4 noodles on the bottom, just cover at best you can without putting noodles on top of each other. Now, layer a healthy dose of pasta sauce. You don't want a huge amount, but enough to cover the noodles so you can barely see them in places is good. Next, sprinkle on a good dose of all the cheeses. I should note here that you can use whatever cheeses you like, these are ones that I like. I don't like ricotta cheese, which is what a lot of recipes call for (or cottage cheese, which some call for instead). Anyhoo, about a handful of each is good, make sure to distribute it evenly. Now, put another layer of noodles, sauce and cheese. Repeat until you've filled the pan. Make sure your last layer on top is the cheese layer! Once you're done layering, cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. After that time, remove the foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes. LET IT SIT FOR AT LEAST 10 MINUTES after baking! This way, it sets up and won't completly fall apart when you cut into it. A good lasagna should have visable structure, but the noodles will be soft enough to just slice your fork into for a good mouthfull. Serve with your favorite hot bread and salad.

SMALLER SIZE!

Sometimes, I'll just want enough for me and since I don't like leftovers, baking a huge pan doesn't really work for me. So, I'll use a small loaf pan, like you would make meatloaf in. It's just big enough to fit one noodle, and I just size down the amounts of cheese and pasta. I also only cook for 30 minutes covered, then 15 uncovered to account for the smaller size.

Dubird

Heavenly

From my mom. Awesome dessert!

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1st layer:

1/2 cup of soft oleo (which is another name for margerine)

1 cup flour

1 cup chopped pecans

Mix together until the margerine is absorbed and the mix is crumbly. Press into a 13 X 9 pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes. It won't look much different, just a little dryer, but don't go longer than 20 minutes or it'll burn! Cool down completly before adding second layer.

2nd layer:

8oz cream cheese (soft)

1 cup powdered sugar

6 oz of Cool Whip

Mix cream cheese and powdered sugar in mixer. Best to do this step by putting the cream cheese in and blending the powdered sugar a little at time until it's smooth. Blend in the Cool Whip. Spread over cool crust.

3rd layer:

1 small instant pudding (Chocolate)

1 small instant pudding (Vanilla)

3 cups of cold milk

Mix all of the above until smooth and spread over the cream cheese layer.

4th layer:

Spread the remaining Cool Whip over 3rd layer (about 6oz, enough to cover decently). Chill for one hour. For extra flair, grate a little bit of a Hershey's bar over the top for decoration.

Dubird

Chicken Roll-ups

Just in case someone else wanted to try these. ^_^ My measurings are very aproximate because I learned this by eye, so you may need to adjust a couple things, but nothing major.

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1 package of boneless chicken breast (you can do as many as you want, but depends on how many you want to eat or are feeding)

1 egg

1 cup flour (aproximate, fills one large soup bowl)

1/2 cup milk (aproximate)

Slices of lunch meat (i like ham, use what you want. one slice for each chicken breast)

Shredded cheese (whatever cheese you like)

Lawry's Season Salt (or if you have a favorite brand, use that instead)

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Take each chicken breast and pound it flat between two sheets of plastic wrap. You could use waxed paper, but I've found plastic wrap is easier to work with. I use the flat side of a meat pounder to flatten it, but use whatever's handy. You want to flatten it just a little bigger than the slice of lunch meat you're using. Once it's flat, place a slice of lunch meat close to the bottom so there's more chicken at the top, add some cheese (maybe half a handful) and season liberly with the season salt. Now, starting at the bottom, roll tightly with the chicken on the outside. You may need to tuck in the sides if they're stretched out. Secure with toothpicks.

To fry them, heat enough oil to submerge these in. Whatever oil you want to use is fine, corn oil is my favorite for frying chicken. Olive oil doesn't work as good for frying as it's smokes and burns very easily. Anyhoo, put the flour in one bowl, and in the other beat together the egg and milk with a fork. It doesnt' need to be completly smooth, just get an equal amount of milk to match the egg. Once you have them mixed, take your chicken rollup and dip it in the egg to coat, coat it with the flour, then recoat with the egg mixture. That makes it nice and crispy. Then, just fry until light golden brown. If you wait until it's a good golden brown, it'll end up burning. Remove the toothpicks and eat as soon as possible for maximum flavorness. Enjoy!

Dubird

Last Call

Well, I finally did it. I closed my Trigun fansite. Not completly, if I ever have something to update with, I will put it up. But that may not be for a long time, so I put a final layout up that won't change again.

Man, it just really kinda sucks. This isn't as big a thing as my GW site, but it was still one of my babies! Blaurgh.

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