Archive for the 'Food' Category

Archive: Party Cat Cake

February 07 2010 | Awesomeness, Cakes, Comics, Daily Life, Food | 1 Comment »

Lasagna and Screwdrivers

I just found these on my camera from a couple weeks back. I was apparently so impressed with this Chicken-Zucchini lasagna I made that I had to take a picture of it.

It was really good, but I’m going nuts trying to figure out what the heck that white thing is under the top layer. It looks like I cooked a sheet of printer paper into my meal. I don’t remember eating printer paper!

Let’s see, chicken, zucchini, peppers, mushrooms, onions, garlic, buffalo sauce, some tabasco, assorted herbs and spices, and shredded cheese… nope. None of that resembles a flat white sheet. And yet it somehow managed to evade detection up until now, long after I’ve digested it.

I wonder what other camera ghosts I’ve eaten?

I also found this sweet picture of one of the coolest Christmas presents ever.

My sonic screwdriver.

It’s basically just a screwdriver and flashlight in one, so I can’t go around frying door locks and overriding Dalek computers, but it doesn’t mean I can’t point the flashlight at stuff and make the sound effects whenever I need to assemble Ikea furniture.

January 26 2009 | Daily Life, Food, Pop Culture | 1 Comment »

Every weekend should be a long weekend.

Only make it an extra day longer.

Looking back, I can’t believe three days have passed already. Everyone was out and about doing personal stuff for most of weekend, so I once again crashed on the couch, turned on the TV and proceeded to continue animating the hell out of my game. And between Friday and Sunday night, I ended up getting three entire cinematics done. They’re not Final Fantasy quality, but I’m finding out I can triple my output by half-assing everything and using a lot of sleight-of-hand (i.e. I don’t have to animate the legs if I keep the camera above the waist.)

I also found some time to finish up my game on Max Payne, start a new one on “Woodruff and the Schnibble,” watch a couple bad movies, bake a couple pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving and clean my house. I think I’m in the middle of one of those times when my productivity is maxing out.

Thanskgiving itself was mostly awesome. I went to the folks’ place yesterday and we had about ten family and friends over for this massive feast of turkey, potatoes, yams, beets, veggies, dressing, and this stuff filled with fruit. Also, lots of candy (I put my diet on hold for one night and completely pigged out.) Then we spent the rest of the night playing Mario Party 8 and watching Heroes. When I got home, I found out that my body had become too used to me not eating excess sugar, and my pigging out backfired on me as I came down with a sudden splitting headache and spent half the night waiting for the Tylenol to kick in so I could sleep. All I can remember during that period is watching an episode of “Space Ghost: Coast to Coast” where Space Ghost annoys Jerry Springer and “does sex” with Sarah Jessica Parker while the mantis guy rocks out to Boston. Or maybe that was a dream.

Oh, yeah – and I freaked out my brothers with my Chumbawumba dancing. That was awesome.

EDIT: Before I forget: potential UFO Sighting. Driving home last night, around 11:30, I witnessed what appeared to be a helicopter with a spotlight flying around the sky. Soon, there were three others just like it flying in circles over the Anthony Henday freeway. The strange thing is that when I rolled down the window at a red light just to hear the chopper engines, the night was completely silent. I also can’t figure out if helicopters move as fast as these things did, because it seemed like they could cross ten miles in one minute. In terms of description, all I could make out was a glowing cockpit, and behind them were two blinking white lights and one red blinking light. If this sounds like typical helicopter behavior to anyone, let me know. All I really want to know is why four helicopters were circling the same part of the highway during that time of night.

October 14 2008 | Daily Life, Food | 1 Comment »

We had Spaghetti! And Legos!

This weekend, Brittany came over and we cooked up spaghetti for the sheer heck of it. It was delicious. Then we spent the rest of the night going nuts on “Lego Star Wars.” It was a fantastic Friday. The rest of the weekend (and week) was spent staying in and working on the cinematics for my game.

On Wednesday past, I brought in some pumpkin pie for the group outing and was delighted to find out people actually liked it and weren’t passing out from nickel-poisoning or anything. So now I have a dessert I can make for special occasions.

I’m tired. Need more sleep. Shouldn’t be blogging. Should be working.


September 29 2008 | Daily Life, Food | No Comments »

Not a Good Day to Cook

It’s been a draining weekend for me. I’ve been trying to get this video presentation compiled of all my past animation work put together, and for Wednesday, we’re holding a dessert potluck. I figured out the video thing just now and have nice clean DVD all set up, but the dessert is another question.

I went on-line and found this nice recipe for Chocolate-Covered Peanut Butters Balls. It sounded easy enough to make so I grabbed the ingredients while I was out and and got to work on it earlier this afternoon. What I ended up with was crap. The first problem came when I thought I could multi-task and melt the chocolate in the microwave while I used my only sauce pan to melt the peanut butter on the stove. After three minutes, something smelled funny. I opened the microwave, and the chocolate had burnt a hole straight through the Tupperware and was burnt all over inside. Throwing it away, I used up the rest of the chocolate to get everything back on track. The next problem arose when I found out the chocolate wasn’t deep enough to dip the balls on. Instead, I had to roll them around in it, and the end result was this nasty looking turd that tastes like Reese’s Pieces retarded cousin. The final problem came when I put them in the freezer, and when I opened it later, the pan fell on the floor and the balls rolled around the still unswept floor. I salvaged some, but decided I wasn’t bringing these on Wednesday.

So I looked at my remaining ingredients and opted for Peanut Butter Cookies. After 30 minutes of preparation, they burnt to death after 5 minutes in the stove. Straight into the garbage they went.

Think I’ll just bring freezies for everyone on Wednesday.

If making dessert wasn’t enough, I made some stir fry for supper and had to throw out a whole pot of overcooked rice. It’s not a good day for me and food. Next weekend, I’m eating out.

July 28 2008 | Daily Life, Food | 3 Comments »

What to do when you spill the pickle jar.

I’m passing on some good advice I just got from my parents that even Google couldn’t provide.

Step 1. Don’t Panic. If your pickles are still in the jar, they’re still good for another month.
Step 2. Towel up all the pickle juice.
Step 3. Sprinkle baking soda everywhere you wiped.
Step 4. After some time, mop up the floor with hot water and bleach.
Step 5. Wash your socks.

Fairly simple and obvious, but at least there’s a net entry for it now.

They also told me I could get rid of that buffalo chicken smell in my microwave by cooking lemon juice in a bowl in there for 3 minutes. Is this passed-on knowledge, or just stuff they experimented with back in the day?

On an unrelated subject, I’m watching Jurassic Park right now, and I can’t think of any reason why Mr. Hammond thought he needed to bring a mathematician to an island full of dinosaurs. Was it to calculate how much fun everyone would have?

June 15 2008 | Daily Life, Food, Movies | 1 Comment »

KFC: The C is not for Sucks!

I was at a party last night and I finally got a hold of one of those KFC chicken wraps my co-workers keeps going on about. Contrary to the evil Wendy’s corporation, KFC got it right. A tightly-packed wrap filled with huge chunks of grilled chicken, some veggies, and some kind of secret sauce (the less you know what it is, the happier you are.) Not some crappy chicken nugget in a bun and covered in lettuce.

And there’s a very simple reason why it didn’t suck. “Kentucky Fried Chicken” has the name “chicken” in the title. It means they have to make quality chicken-type products. Much like how any place with the word “Pizza” in the title is required to make good pizza, and A&W is the best when it comes to ‘amburgers and woot beer. But what the heck is a Wendy’s? Or a McDonald’s or an Arby’s for that matter? Man, get out of the fast food business, you posers.

Oh, yeah, and the party went well. We played hockey, watched some Guitar Hero, sang “Peanut Butter Jelly Time” and then the cops showed up. It was cool.

May 18 2008 | Daily Life, Food | 1 Comment »

Wendy’s: The S is for Sucks

Yes, it took me this long enough to figure out – mostly because I never ate there. But eventually everyone gets suckered in by misleading advertising. We’ve all seen the McDonald’s commercials where they’ve got a big juicy burger neatly stacked and ready to be eaten by God himself, and then finally order one just to get something half the size and looks sat on. But Wendy’s pushed it too far.

Here’s the new Wendy’s chicken wrap:

In the commercials, it looks two feet long and shows somebody eating it just as they would a Subway sandwich. There seemed like no way they could be exaggerating the size of this thing. However, the actors they used must have been midgets because when I got mine at drive-thru, it was 90% wrap, 5% lettuce, 2% cheese, and in the middle of it all… was a chicken nugget.

Google Image Search result for “Pictures that express my anger toward stupid Wendy’s and their stupid chicken nuggets… gangsta baby”

You win this round, Wendy’s. But once this entry gets 50 million page views from loyal Wendy’s customers, you’re going down.

May 10 2008 | Daily Life, Food | No Comments »

Bachelor Chow: Homemade Pizza

It should go without saying that I’ve caught the cooking bug ever since the move. Having access to my own pantry finally allows me to experiment with ingredients and fine-tune those cooking skills I’ve been lacking. If you’re one of those people who relies on canned ravioli and ramen noodles to get you through bachelorhood, I highly recommend trying out “this cooking thing.” Between setting off the fire alarm and catapulting chicken all over the kitchen, you’ll eventually find that sweet spot where cooking is made all the more worthwhile.

My most recent experiment dealt with making pizza, where I took something like this:


And turned it into this:


And it was pretty damn good. Here’s the recipe I used for the dough, and everything else I played by ear. I tried for a standard Hawaiian pizza (minus the peppers) and ended up tossing in some BBQ Pork and shrimp into the mix. The dough itself took about 2 hours (which was mostly waiting for the yeast to rise,) but the baking process itself is a measly 15 minutes.

This blog post is to commemorate one of my more successful experiments. I’m finally caught up to the cooking level of any kid who was lucky enough to take Home Ec in 6th Grade (damn shop.) As part of my New Year’s resolution, I intend to make a least two meals like this every month until I can officially declare myself ready to feed other people.

January 13 2008 | Food | 2 Comments »

Baked Lemonade Chicken Breasts – Take 1

In my search to figure out how the Chinese make their delicious patented lemon chicken, I came across this intriguing recipe which – unlike any recipe I’d ever read before – actually uses ingredients I have.

The Recipe:
1 (6 ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate
1 cup water
2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix lemonade concentrate and water together. Pour over chicken in large bowl, being sure the chicken is well coated with lemonade mixture. Refrigerate 2-4 hours, turning chicken occasionally.

Drain chicken and reserve liquid. Mix together the flour, salt and pepper in a small paper bag. Add well-drained chicken, one piece at a time, and shake to coat evenly. Heat oil in large skillet over moderate heat. Add floured chicken; cook only until evenly browned, turning pieces over carefully with tongs. Remove chicken and arrange in a single layer in a shallow baking pan. Brush chicken with melted butter. Add reserved lemonade mixture. Bake uncovered about 1 hour, basting chicken with lemonade from pan every 15 or 20 minutes.

About 15 minutes before chicken is done, drain off excess liquid from pan and continue baking. When ready to serve, remove chicken from pan and serve hot.

Makes 4 servings.

The Result:

Actual chicken breasts are close to $20 a pack, so I opted to use the chicken strips already stored in my freezer and cut the entire recipe in half. Whether or not this attributed to the smoke alarm going off later is uncertain.

Something unusual I noticed about the recipe at first was that it asked for as much pepper as it did flour. I followed the recipe anyway, and wound up with some slimy blackened meat – like something that had just crawled out of the swamp.

I cooked it up anyway.

The skillet part went all right, but when it came to the oven, that’s when things got a little out of hand. It said to leave it in for an hour at 350 heat and check it every 15-20 minutes. The smoke alarm went off at the 15-minute mark. The chicken was cooking surprisingly well – it was the sauce causing all the problems. So I flipped on the stove fan and had to maintain a careful vigil over it for the duration of the cooking.

(UPDATE: I just found out my stove actually cooks fifty degrees higher than what I set it on, explaining all these recurring incidents with the smoke alarm. As for the fan… it’s just a crappy stove.)

At the 30 minute mark, I put the chicken into a different pan because the current one was REALLY starting to smoke. No matter how much sauce I drained, something still found a way to burn. As I made the switch, the stove fan started making this grinding noise. Next thing I know, the grill on the stove fan falls off and the fan goes spinning across the room. The grill lands in my pan, catapulting chicken and grease all over the kitchen. It was not a good day to be without a shirt. Somewhere in the middle of me wiping hot chicken grease off my bare flesh, the smoke alarm went off again.

I’ll spare you the details of me cleaning up the kitchen, but eventually, I did recover some of the chicken. Not enough for a picture’s worth, but enough to decide that maybe I’d put in a little too much pepper. Imagine something like this:

Only covered in burnt pepper and stuff from the kitchen floor.

And that’s why I had perogies for supper last night.

-Chris Ushko

December 09 2007 | Food | No Comments »

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