Archive for chicken

Tuesdays with Dorie – Chocolate Pudding Disaster

Posted in baking, food, meme, tuesdays with dorie with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 15, 2008 by uglydudefood

Last week’s Double Crusted Blueberry Pie was DIFFICULT.  I was so happy to hear that this week’s would be chocolate pudding, a recipe I’ve made dozens of times.

1)  Open packet of pudding mix.

2)  Add milk and/or water.

3)  Shake shake shake shake shake.

Okay, so it’s bound to be more difficult than that, but not much, right?

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

I didn’t have to buy any new equipment for this recipe, which is nice after last week’s $50 investment.  I picked up some whole milk (I am trying to follow these recipes to the letter at the moment).  Otherwise, the rest are pretty standard pantry items.  I typoed earlier and wrote “panty items,” but I swear it wasn’t Freudian.

I substituted semisweet chocolate chips for the bittersweet chocolate chips, which didn’t seem like it’d be too big of a problem.  It’s better than another emergency run to the grocery store.  Gas ain’t cheap.

What follows is a testament in my ability to ignore instructions totally; make the biggest messes; and have the worst luck in the world.

MISTAKE #1: Dorie Sez:  “Add the dry ingredients.”  I add the pre-mixed dry ingredients (cornstarch, cocoa powder, salt, sugar), and then for some reason I also add the chocolate chips and the butter (which come far later in the process).

MISTAKE #2: When adding boiling milk to the food processor through the top hole, be sure to remove the “pusher” from the hole–otherwise the milk will go all over your food processor, counter, floor, pants, etc.

MISTAKE #3: Not so much a mistake as a capper to the whole thing.  I tried to salvage my batch of pudding, and in the step where you pour it BACK into the saucepan, I missed the pan with half of the pudding.

It wasn’t all my fault though.  I was blessed with the leakiest food processor ever.  The end result?

This:

And this:

And this:

That’s right.  That was my end result.  It looked and tasted like chocolate porridge–not entirely unpleasing, but not entirely pudding either.  I was devastated.  I didn’t want to do Tuesdays with Dorie anymore.  I didn’t want to bake.  I didn’t want to blog.  I just wanted to go to sleep.

While I could easily have gone with the “ugly food for an ugly dude” excuse, I had to prevail.  After some cleanup, it was round two.   After chastising myself and rereading the recipe multiple times, I was good to go.  I followed it to the letter.

Success!  It felt so good to actually do something right.  Sure, my food processor is still leaky.  And sure, my floor has reached levels of stickiness as of yet unknown to mankind.  But I HAVE SIX CUPS OF PUDDING.  Tastes pretty good, too.  Far better than that instant pudding, no matter how fun it is to shake it all up.

The rest will go towards the dinner I’m cooking for my girlfriend Rachel tomorrow.  The menu:  baked chicken breasts, corn on the cob, salad, chocolate pudding.  I’ve never cooked anybody a real dinner before, so wish me luck.  If all else fails, I’ll have a lot of extra pudding.

Things I’ve Learned

1.  Read carefully.
2.  If at first you don’t succeed, etc!

For 1/6 of the recipe:

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 138.3g
Amount Per Serving
Calories

252
Calories from Fat

144
% Daily Value*
Total Fat

16.0g
25%
Saturated Fat

9.2g
46%
Cholesterol

120mg
40%
Sodium

174mg
7%
Total Carbohydrates

23.0g
8%
Dietary Fiber

2.3g
9%
Sugars

18.5g
Protein

6.8g
Vitamin A 7% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 12% Iron 3%
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional details are an estimate and should only be used as a guide for approximation

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Things I Love

Posted in baking, food, health, movies, personal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 12, 2008 by uglydudefood

Black marble composition books.  I own boxes full of them, and they’re pretty much all empty.  There’s something nostalgic about these things.  I was forced to write “journal entries” in these during Sunday School when I was little.  I remember quite clearly answering a prompt about Moses with a longwinded answer about Moses Malone.  I was a smartass even then.

These things also symbolize hope for me.  100 sheets; 200 pages.  Blank and ready for me to fill them with my amazing ideas (or poop jokes).  Any time I see them available in a store, I buy at least one.  I never write anything in them.  I have boxes full of the things.  I love them more than anything.

Also pictured:  Star Wars bedsheets.  These date back to the Special Edition days, so there’s not a Ben Quadrinaros or Count Dooku in sight.  This is the way it should be.

Reviews are coming in for early episodes of the Star Wars:  Clone Wars cartoon, and they’re overwhelmingly positive.  Star Wars has been a pasttime for me since birth, and a bit of an obsession for me since about 1997.  I’ve read the books that tell you the backstories of all those stupid puppet aliens in the Cantina.  I amassed thousands of dollars worth of toys (which I am now selling for far less than their current market value, plug plug).  It’s good to have something Warsy to be excited about again.

I guess it’s good to have anything to be excited about.  For the last few years, I’ve been seperating my “blog life” from my personal life (for the most part).  When I stopped personal-blogging, I think I stopped personal-living as well.  I holed up in my iPod and my personal computer, attempting to one-up my own silly jokes for a readership of three people.  I hid myself away; developed a fashionable eating disorder; lost contact with my closest friends; and generally stopped feeling anything at all.  I used to think people that said, “I don’t feel anything anymore” were full of James Dean bullshit, but then I stopped feeling things.

Last night I went out to dinner with my family.  We went to Italian Delight in Linglestown, PA.  My parents have been pretty regular customers since they discovered the place, and I’ve been there a few times.  It’s a nicer sit-down establishment than a lot of pizzerias (such as Tonino’s, my favorite Harrisburg slice joint).  The restaurant recently changed ownership apparently, and the pizza recipe appears to have changed (for the worse, but it’s still decent).  I had the grilled chicken salad.  Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, croutons, pickles, black olives, peppers, and enough chicken to make you feel like you’re getting your eight dollars’ worth.  It was nice to have an evening with just my parents.

Tonight I went for an hour’s walk and grabbed a coffee from Starbucks.  I’m not particularly fond of their new Pike’s Place blend, but it’s a hot drink and I like the store’s atmosphere.  Maybe I could fill more composition books if I became cliche and sat around Starbucks.  Or at the very least I’d start wearing scarves and ill-fitting black sweaters.

Keep your eye on Ugly Movies for the latest reviews.  I’ve been adding movies as I see them, and also crazy amounts of older movies.  I saw The Incredible Hulk tonight, which was super-fun popcorn viewing.

Coming next week:  The Dark Knight, which promises to be the movie of the summer.  Also, The X-Files:  I Want to Believe, which excites me more for some reason (possibly because I am retarded).

What else is there in life?  My girlfriend’s name is Rachel.  We recently had a rough go of things, but we’re working hard.  These things take effort, right?

I’ve been without a car since early May, but that will soon be remedied.  I’m getting a 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid in the next couple weeks.  I could wave my fanny in the air and talk about “blah blah blah emissions” and “save the earth fiddle dee dee,” but really I am buying this car for the superior gas mileage.  I do most of my selfless things for selfish reasons (and, oddly enough, vice versa).

It’s Saturday night, and I’m relaxing and blogging.  I think it’s time to start filling up some composition books.

Meat George Jetson

Posted in food, health with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2008 by uglydudefood

This is not a post discussing the merits of designing a life-sized cartoon character out of animal flesh.

This is a post about my falling-out with vegetarianism.

When I was dieting, I cut meat out of my diet entirely. It wasn’t out of any particular sociopolitical agenda, nor was it by the design of some radical “eating animals is wrong” mindset. Eating animals isn’t, I don’t think, particularly wrong. We have the enzymes. We have the teeth for it. It’s naive for humans to think that, as animals, we are “above” the idea of eating another animal’s flesh. Food chain, blahblah, etc.

We kinda sorta treat our food like crap, but that’s another story for another day.

I stopped eating meat because I was trying to cut fat out of my diet entirely. It worked for the most part. There were days that the very few grams of fat I received came from a Boca Burger here or there, and nothing else.

In my attempts to begin a healthier lifestyle of late, I did some research. Fat is an important part of a balanced diet. We should be getting anywhere between twenty and thirty-five percent of our calories from fat. This aids in insulation, healthy cell-function maintenance, and muscle-building, among other helpful bodily functions.

Oops. No wonder I’m always cold. I’ll just try to avoid saturated fats and trans-fats, thank you.

With that stumbling block out of the way, it was really only matter of time until I returned to an omnivorous lifestyle. The eventual cracking point was at Applebee’s Neighborhood Bar and Grill.

I am a seasoned calorie-counter. Caloriecount is my Bible. When I saw that Applebee’s had a “Weight Watchers” menu that included specific caloric/fat information, I was ecstatic. I wouldn’t have to nurse a Diet Coke until it was time to go home and nuke up some veggies.

With the exception of cake and onion soup (I was on a date, so onion soup was out of the question, natch), all of the Weight Watchers options were full of meat. Glorious meat!

I decided to go with the Italian Chicken and Portabello Sandwich (pictured above in all of its grainy, dark, cell-phoney glory).  Applebee’s calls it “Grilled, marinated chicken breast topped with sliced portobello mushrooms, a slice of tomato and chunky marinara sauce. Served on a wheat bun along with fresh fruit.”   I did not receive the promised chunky marinara sauce, and the mushrooms were flavorless at best.  As for the first taste of meat I’d had in over three years?  What kind of culinary pleasure did I experience on my grand reentry into the world of the societal norm?

Eh.  Tasted like chicken.

I may eat meat a few times a week at most.  Look forward to more vegetarian recipes and whatnot, simply because they tend to be more flavorful and healthful, and therefore worth more of my time.

Eating out: it’s not ONLY beneficial to your ladyfriend

Posted in food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2008 by uglydudefood

Just like every other aspect of eating, restaurant-dining and I have had a bit of a tenuous relationship over the past three or four years. Oftentimes, I would accompany my family and friends to restaurants, only to order “just a Diet Coke,” or “decaf coffee, black.” More often, though, I would just avoid the whole eating-out situation altogether.

I’ve been better lately–I’ve been eating veggie burgers and salads. Pintos and cheese is a new Taco Bell mainstay. Hell, I’ve even scarfed down a slice of pizza or two since I’ve started trying to fix myself.

A great source of inspiration–or at least a handy resource guide towards not being crazy at restaurants–can be found on Crack Fitness NYC. Melissa offers seven helpful hints for actually enjoying your dining experience, still remaining healthy, and avoiding the shame you would invariably bring your friends and accomplices over dinner. Here is an interesting excerpt, although I would strongly recommend reading this entire article:

Tip #2 *The ONE request rule. This is huge. This can transform your relationship with eating out if it makes you uncomfortable. You can only ask the waiter to make one substitution for the entire meal. So if you want your omelet with egg white only, don’t ask for it to be cooked without oil. If you want you salad dressing on the side, don’t drill the person about the way the cook your fish. If you want your fish cooked with olive oil not butter, make that your request. So let’s say your fish comes drenched a top a pool of teriyaki, just move it to a separate plate, so you have a reasonable amount of sauce.

One of these tips is to look at a menu and see if there is something you will actually eat on there beforehand. It saves you a whole lot of hassle. You don’t want to get seated at Denny’s (the epitome of fine dining, of course) and find yourself torn between the Grand Slam Breakfast, the Grand Grand Slam Breakfast, and the Fatboy Special–eight pieces of deep-fried french toast spread thick with lardo.

There are a number of items and sites that facilitate my particular brand of obsessive-compulsive, mildly-disordered crazyeating, which probably goes completely against the intentions of Melissa’s article but dag-nabbit it’s progress.

Red Robin’s website is my favorite. They have a burger customizer, which allows you to get accurate (but limited) nutritional information of all of their food, including the condiments you want and the side dishes you shouldn’t be eating. By the way. a lonely, bunless Gardenburger sitting on a cold plate is a mere 100 calories, which is a small price to pay for being the laughing-stock of your table.

Of course, everyone is familiar with those cheap paper menus they make available at the fast food joints now. Taco Bell, McDonald’s, and Subway (which is, by no means, a healthy weight-loss regime, by the bye) have had the most easily-available nutritional information in my opinion, but these days they all have some sort of guide or calculator on their website. Even Pizza Hut and Kentucky Fried Chicken have gotten in on the game, although I think that’s simply to rub their fiendish coronary-murder-plot in your face before you croak.

Anyway, I guess this post was my successful attempt to crazy up a perfectly good and valid link. If you want real advice from somebody who is not a crazy crazy that is crazy, see the post at Crack Fitness NYC.

Self-Inflicted

Posted in fiction, food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 2, 2005 by uglydudefood