Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bachelor Pad cooking – Meal in a pan.

This is a cheep and tasty recipe that is quick to prepare and serve.
The basic recipe:

  1. Place ¼ cup dried grain (I’ve used barley and several kids of rice) in an 8 inch cast iron pan.
  2. Add water until the grain is awash and just starting to float.
  3. Put a ¼ to ½ lb portion of frozen meat on the grain.
  4. Top with toppings of your choice:
    • Bacon (particularly if the meat is lean)
    • Frozen sliced pepper, onions, etc.
    • Salt, pepper, or other spices.
    • Frozen vegetables; corn, bean, peas. (Or as a side dish.)
  5. Cover and seal with tinfoil.
  6. Bake at 350°F for 50-90 minutes

Cooking time depends on the type and size of meat; For me, pork seems to take about 50 minutes, chicken more like 90. Until you know how long to cook it, check doneness with a meat thermometer or cut the meat open to check for any remaining pink sections.

With a little planning ahead this can be prepared in under 5 minutes. If you keep and eye out you can often get chap meat (I’ve seen it at little more than as $1/lb), cut this into serving sizes and freeze them in individual Ziploc type sandwich bags. Vegetables can similarly be prepared and frozen in advance.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Bachelor Pad cooking – Shake and Bake Pancakes:

This easy to make recipe has only cheep and common ingredients and results in very few items to clean up. (Prep time, 10-15 minutes, cook time 13-15 minutes.)

  1. Start oven warming to 450° F
  2. In a 12oz canning jar, put 1 ½ Tbs. of real butter and a few oz of milk, don’t worry about measuring the milk.
  3. Nuke this for about 30-60 seconds. The butter should be starting to melt but you don’t want the milk to hot. Stir vigorously (use a chopstick or other small stick) until the butter finishes melting.
  4. Add:
    • ¼ cup sugar
    • ½ tsp. baking powder
    • Salt to taste
    • A few drops of vanilla extract (optional)
  5. Mix thoroughly.
  6. Add 1 egg.
  7. Close lid and shake until mixed.
  8. Open and add:
    • ½ cup flower
    • Milk to fill the jar, leaving some shaking room.
  9. Close the jar and shake vigorously, making sure all the flower gets mixed in. If needed scrape the sides with a chopstick.
  10. Pour into a well greased pie plate and bake for 13-15 minutes.
  11. Cut the side of the pancake free with a knife, razor blade or pointy stick and flip the pan over on a large dinner plate. Using a chopstick and being careful not to burn your self, separate the pancake from the pan (using a clear glass pan makes this easier).
  12. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Why I think Netbooks don't suck.

Jeff Atwood did a blog article on Netbooks in response to a article by some other guy who says they are lame. For some reason, the comments are disabled so I'm commenting here:

The other guy basically says that Netbooks are a worst of both worlds cross between laptops and cell phones. Well, I have to agree with Jeff on this one that this is dead wrong.

I'll grant that Netbooks aren't that spectacular a computer but that's not what there supposed to be. As I see it, Netbooks are as close to a cell phone as you can get without giving up the reasons people even bother with real computers:

- A keyboard that you can actual type on with more than two thumbs.
- A real OS

I don't care that it's not that powerful or that the keyboard is somewhat undersized or that it doesn't actually fit in my pocket. What I care about is that it's easy enough to pack that I carry it even if I'm not sure I will need it. I care that I can run any windows program I'm likely to use. I care that I can plug it into my wired network at home. I care that it runs for hours on a single charge. I care that I have full control over the file system.

Down near the bottom, Jeff even goes so far as to question if Netbooks might take over the whole computer market. Well, I'm sure they won't. I'll grant that for most people's portable computing, Netbooks are it (small, cheap and powerful, pick two) but making things portable forces to many compromises that get in the way of other stuff. (A while back, about '03, I was shopping for a laptop and priced what I really wanted and compared it to the same things as a desk top. The difference in price could buy a low end laptop.) I see three end user markets; Netbooks for pack-it-with-you computers, desktops for no-compromises power processing and lots of screen space, and a small slot for desktop replacement type laptops for IT techs and what-not.