Monday, August 27, 2007

What's for dinner?

Do you ever make yourself such a great dinner that you wish you took a picture of it?

I did!

The Menu:

Roasted Rack of Lamb with Tzatziki Sauce
Roasted Red Potatoes
Roasted Asparagus
Fig with Honey and Beecher's Flagship Handmade Cheese

The roasted rack of lamb was an adaptation of the recipe in the incredibly useful The Gourmet Cookbook edited by Ruth Reichl. I love this tome - more modern than the Joy of Cooking, but still very good about including adequate instruction with each recipe. The tzatziki recipe I stole completely shamelessly from Alton Brown. Goodness, do I love that man. So smart, so funny, so science-y. Together, the combo was luscious.

The roasted asparagus is the easiest thing in the world, and we've been doing it for so long I don't know where I got the recipe from, or even if it was me. For all I can remember, Chris found/stole/modified it. Basically, get some asparagus, wash them and cut off the tough bottom stems. Toss with Kosher (or sea) salt, fresh ground pepper and olive oil. Preheat the oven to 400F and cook for somewhere between 3-5 minutes per side.

The fig dish is also easy. Buy some good figs, wash them and then slice them into eighths. Crumble cheese on top, then drizzle with honey. Yum!

Notice the emphasis on roasting? That's to make the most of the hot oven. The flow of the cooking process went like this:
  • Preheat oven to 400F
  • Trim excess fat off of the rack of lamb, then divide into sections of three ribs each. (Note: lots of cookbooks recommend 4 ribs per person. That's too much. Three is plenty.) Rub lamb with salt, pepper and olive oil.
  • Quarter small red potatoes, rub with salt, pepper and olive oil then place in 9x13 glass dish. Set aside.
  • Preheat skillet to brown lamb. Heat the skillet (preferably cast iron) until hot but not smoking.
  • Prepare asparagus as above. Place on cookie sheet.
  • Sear each side of the lamb - about 3-4 minutes per side.
  • Toss lamb (fat side up) into dish with potatoes, then insert meat thermometer. Toss whole dish into oven.
  • Set meat thermometer to go off at 130F.
  • Do nothing for about 20 minutes.
  • When the lamb is done, check the potatoes. If they aren't done, take the lamb out to rest and return the potatoes to the oven. Meanwhile, the cookie sheet with the asparagus gets to join the roasting party.
  • Roast the asparagus as above, while the meat rests at least 5 minutes. Slice figs, cheese and drizzle honey.
  • Slice the roast into single rib slices, plate and serve!
Since pretty much everything goes in the oven, life is easy. While I was doing everything outlined above, the hubbie was making the tzatziki. Divide and conquer, baby! The key to the tzatziki is getting proper Greek yogurt. Then you don't have to do the
Place the yogurt in a tea towel, gather up the edges, suspend over a bowl, and drain for 2 hours in the refrigerator.
bit. Totally skippable.

Anyway, I'm back from the bad place of the last post, and I shouldn't have to go back for another 3 months or so. Thanks for the kind thoughts.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


It's worse.

I'm going nuts.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Good day, bad day

Today was somewhere in between. So today, since I'm not good enough to put together a funny paragraph, but I'm not bad enough to totally ignore the blog, I declare today a Bullet Post Day! Horray!

  • Interns say stupid things. For example, today the surgery intern told the attending, "Oh, I missed that. I wasn't paying that much attention." For shame, doctor. For shame.
  • There is a baseball player named "Nook." He plays for the Nationals.
  • My cat likes to chew my hair clip. When I don't wear the thing, he'll leave the back of my head alone. Somehow, the addition of plastic to the back of my head makes it a prime target for chewing, leaning, rubbing and nudging. Yargh!
  • The Astros sorta suck. Makes me very sad, but there it is. We'll go to a few more games, but our season is over. Next year, peeps, next year.
Okay, so there were only 4 bullets. Too few to be a good post, but not bad enough to erase. Eh - I guess that's just the day I've had...

Friday, August 17, 2007

Wild Pitch

Hah! It's always fun to watch an 'ace' implode.

As long as the pitcher in question is not the ace of YOUR team. For example, I'm thoroughly enjoying watching Fernando "K Rod" Rodriquez totally lose it. So far, he's allowed a run on a wild pitch (BoSox now two runs down), a double to David "Big Papi" Ortiz allowing 2 runs (game now tied) and a double to Manny Ramirez allowing one run (the go-ahead run! Yay!)

On the flip side, watching Brad Lidge progress from "Lights Out" Lidge to "Maybe It's a Bit Dim in Here" Lidge to "Who Left the Lights On?" Lidge was really painful. Luckily, Lidge seems to be recovering.

Hopefully, K Rod will continue to suck. Yup.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Silliness, Tron and Wargames

Did you know that some of the best movies are the ones about old technology? Well not really old - not 19th century old. Just older projections of where technology would go. For example, the all-seeing war simulator in Wargames (aka the WOPR, pronounced like the Burger King sandwich), the MCP in Tron or the super silent Caterpillar Drive in the Hunt for Red October. I mean, really, who moves a huge several ton vessel through the water with sound? Really!

(Brief aside, if a submarine could actually be propelled by sound I apologize. It does somehow seem to be the most immediately plausible of the above options...)

But people, watching Wargames is still huge fun. The learning computer - what could be more prescient? Not to mention the young Matthew Broderick. Drool... Tron? The sketches of the proposed cycles are engaging, and Jeff Bridges is The Man. Hunt for Red October has the super-yummy Sean Connery. Oh yeah, and Alec Baldwin before he got chunky. Yummy yummy to the tummy tummy!

Oh yeah, and did I mention Tron? The Bit! Yes yes yes yes yes... The Users are a myth, baby.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


The Astros swept the Cubbies today. The best part of the whole game was the shit-eating grin on Roy Oswalt's face as he struck out Zambrano for the 3rd time. The dude doesn't show any emotion most of the time (except extreme intensity, of course) and he busted out with this grin that could not be stopped.

So cute.

Anyway, I've been neglecting the blog. Bad me. No excuses - I just let the thing slide. I've had plenty of ideas to write about, and maybe that was the problem. Too many ideas. Back in June I was gonna post pics of the baseball trip. Then in July I was gonna write about the beach house. Then later in July I was gonna write about my research, and then earlier this month I was gonna write about how crazy it is to look forward to visiting my in-laws but dread visiting my mother.

And so on.

It wasn't just my blog that I was ignoring, either. I wasn't reading other blogs. Not my invite-only blogs, not the lesser-known public blogs, and not the hugely popular famous blogosphere types.

You could say I dropped out. Now I've re-enrolled. I guess. Check back next week and see if I actually meant what I'm saying now... heh.