Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day Dinner

Can you spot the theme?

Primo
Bacon-wrapped figs
(Bubbles)



Secondi
Frisée salad
Melting onion spaghetti (with bacon)
(Vino)


(no picture of the salad—sorry!)

Dolce
Candied bacon ice cream
(Scotch)

(the whisky was deferred due to excessive excess!)

When you have two kids, the secret to a romantic dinner without childcare is The Clone Wars and TV dinners.

Friday, February 13, 2015

sweet

Soren is totally down with this Valentine's Day thing.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

More awesome

I backed up another five-ish years worth of photos to Google Photos, again resulting in more automagically created "auto awesome" photos. Fewer for this chunk of photos, because there were fewer bursts of photos for animations. But still quite fun.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Have you seen the muffin man?

It turns out he looks a lot like me.



If you want to make these at home, you need to collect some rings. I had two rings, and that was so not enough. If you're cooking on a decent sized griddle, six rings would be good. I used 3-inch rings, but next time I'll try 4-inch rings. Alton Brown says you can use tuna cans with tops and bottoms removed, but make sure they are at least 3 inches wide (and ideally wider). Also, keep in mind that a lot of canned food uses BPA-lined cans; heating up some bread inside a BPA-lined tin is probably not a great idea. Ideally, I'd aim for rings that are about 1-inch tall. Taller ones will work, but if you're like me, you'll have a tendency to overfill them.

Adapted from Alton Brown's English Muffin Recipe

  • dry milk mixture
    • 1 Tbsp. shortening (15 g.)—apparently you can substitute a neutral vegetable oil
    • 1/2 c. non-fat powdered milk (35 g.)
    • 1 Tbsp. sugar (15 g.)
    • 1/2 tsp. salt (2 g.)
    • 1 c. hot water (235 g.)—hot from the tap is fine, but make it hot
  • yeast mixture
    • 1 envelope active dry yeast (2-1/4 tsp. or 7 g.)
    • 1/8 tsp. sugar
    • 1/3 cup warm water (110° F)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted (250 g.)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt (2 g.)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda (2 g.)
  1. Melt the shortening in a medium mixing bowl. (I did not melt the shortening, but it seems like a good idea.)
  2. Add the remaining dry milk mixture ingredients and stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. Set aside.
  3. In a separate small bowl, mix the yeast mixture ingredients until the yeast dissolves. 
  4. Add yeast mixture and sifted flour to dry milk mixture and beat thoroughly with a wood spoon.
  5. Cover bowl in plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes.
  6. Pre-heat griddle to 300° F. (On our gas griddle, this is about 1 notch above "low." If you have a heavy griddle, like a cast iron one, you'll want to let it pre-heat for a while.)
  7. Add remaining salt and the baking soda and mix thoroughly. (Alton Brown's recipe does not call for baking soda, but apparently adding it will improve the nooks and crannies. I did not use soda, but will try it next time.)
  8. Place several 4" metal rings on the griddle. Spray with vegetable oil. 
  9. Add a scant 1/4 c. of batter to each ring. Cover the rings with a cookie sheet, and let cook for 5 minutes.
  10. Flip the rings using a spatula and tongs, and cook covered for 5 more minutes.
  11. Cool muffins on a rack. Split open with a fork. (You can also just slice them open with a bread knife, but you'll get a more interesting surface if you split with a fork.)
Makes about a dozen muffins.

Friday, February 06, 2015

awesome

I recently backed up about five years worth of photos to Google Photos. As a side effect of this process, Google+ created a bazillion "auto awesome" photos. Mostly, these are short animations made from series of pictures. Reviewing them is like a stroll down memory lane.

rain

San Francisco is getting some much needed rain right now.

Here's the scene in our backyard.*

*After some computational adjustments to the picture file, that is.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Spring training is coming...

...in a few weeks. But until then, Hunter Pence (and the rest of the Giants) can do promos—so I realized yesterday while stuck in traffic.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

spoiler alert!





It turns out Darth Vader likes humming that march, too.


From the archives (Thanksgiving 2005):

the little guy is four!

He was once so small...

...but now he's big!


On Saturday, we had friends (and some older siblings) over for a party.





And noisemakers.


And bagels.


Oh, and cake.



Let's not forget the cake.





After the party, we opened some gifts.


And then we did it all again the next day at a family Super Bowl party!


Soren only managed to blow out two candles in his first try, so Halmoni worked with him on improving his technique.


(Oh, and the Compare and Contrast page has been updated!)