Tag Archives: cooking

OmNomNom – I Wonder What It Tastes Like?

Tastes Great

The Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks, and Good Food book is full of win. It isn’t just another cookbook. This tome takes you beyond the actual recipes and helps you dive deep below the surface of the ingredients.

Are you the innovative type, the cook who marches to a different drummer — used to expressing your creativity instead of just following recipes? Are you interested in the science behind what happens to food while it’s cooking? Do you want to learn what makes a recipe work so you can improvise and create your own unique dish?

More than just a cookbook, Cooking for Geeks applies your curiosity to discovery, inspiration, and invention in the kitchen. Why is medium-rare steak so popular? Why do we bake some things at 350 F/175 C and others at 375 F/190 C? And how quickly does a pizza cook if we overclock an oven to 1,000 F/540 C?

I’ve used this book many times, but I have yet to figure out what it tastes like. Anyone have a guess? Bueller?

How to Cook With the iPad

I hate cooking the same things over and over. Being a bachelor, I tend to get in that rut at times. It just seems easier to cook simple meals that you can whip up from memory in an instant. That gets old pretty fast, though. I started looking at alternatives not long ago, trying to come up with some new ideas for my dinner menus. After coming across the BigOven app earlier, I have a feeling my iPad is going to be used quite often down in my kitchen.

BigOven is far more than just a recipe finder. Once you find a recipe you’d like to try, you can bring up the list of ingredients. Let the app help you figure out which of the items you don’t have on hand, and then create a grocery list in seconds. You can then sync the list to your iPhone or Android device and head to the market. That alone is worth the cost of the app to me. I have trouble figuring out what I need to buy and how much of it I need once I hit the store.

If you have no idea what you want to cook up, tap a couple of ingredients you like and let the app find matching entries for you. With more than 170,000 to choose from (and more being added daily!), I’m pretty sure you’ll find something that works for you. You can even submit your recipes, photos and reviews.

I plan to grab this app for myself tomorrow, and will report back to let you know if my culinary skills have improved.

How Do You Create a Recipe?

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Dustin Woodard joined us for the Gnomedex conference this past August. During our Show and Tell period, he informed us that he was previously an employee of AllRecipes. Even though he’s no longer with that company, there is still one very cool feature on the site that he tends to use quite often.

Let’s say you only have a few ingredients on hand, but can’t think of anything to cook. Plug those items you do have into the website, and it will return a list of recipes that you could use them for! Never get stuck not knowing what to cook again. Let the Ingredient Search guide you!

Being a bachelor, I don’t always cook a full meal for myself. Likewise, I don’t always buy a ton of ingredients when I shop. Perhaps I should take a look at this site myself, and come up with some new ideas!

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How to Cook Rice

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I’m gonna be on this video like white on rice, because we are learning to make rice! I told me friend Imei that I don’t know how to make rice, even though I love to eat it. She decided to teach me, since she is the rice master. She’s been making it since she was nine years old, so I’m guessing it’s safe to say she knows what she’s doing.

Imei says that you have to rinse the packaged rice, since it is covered with a white film. It’s a polish of sorts, which makes it look nicer, and it’s not something you want to eat. So, I rinsed it a few times, and ran my hands through to make sure that it’s cleansed. I decided to make three cups, since it’s pretty pointless to make only a single cup. I’ll just refrigerate it, and heat it up for lunch tomorrow!

If you don’t have a proper rice cooker, then you can use any normal pot. I happen to have a Cuisinart rice cooker, and I’m told that is a good one! I was told to measure in one cup of water for each cup of rice. How easy is that? Yeesh. What took me so long to cook this stuff? Since I’m steaming the rice, I was told to give it a tiny bit of extra water, in order to replace what will be lost during steaming. An easy way to guess is if you eyeball it, and use your finger. Stick your finger straight down in the center of the rice and water. You want to make sure that the water and the rice is half and half.

Once it was ready, I put the pot into the Cuisinart, and turned it on the cook setting. When it’s ready, then it’ll let me know! How cool is that? It’s not rocket science! I placed a dish towel over the top of the cooker, to help catch the condensation from the steam.

I had to let it steam for about 25 minutes. Since I have no patience to speak of, this seemed to be an interminable mount of time!

Sadly, I embarrassed myself by pronouncing the word Shiitake wrong. I sincerely apologize to anyone I may have offended with that!!

For the record… the rice turned out perfectly!

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What are you Having for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner?

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My wife is the person who prepares most of our meals. I can’t really cook at all. What happens if you have all these different ingredients lying around, but you’re not sure what you can use them to create? There’s a new website that I found where you can easily figure this dilemma out. Head over to SuperCook. Simply enter in some ingredients, and the website will search through the databases of recipes that have been uploaded. You’ll receive results telling you what you could whip up in the kitchen.

Supercook returns recipes you can actually make right now with the ingredients you have. It even tells you exactly how many recipes you can make, broken down into ‘Starters’, ‘Entrees’ and ‘Dessert’ categories. With Supercook, finding a great recipe is no longer a hassle, simply put in all the ingredients you have at home and Supercook will instantly provide you with hundreds of recipes that are all within your reach. If a recipe requires ingredients you do not have, Supercook takes the guesswork out by clearly listing the additional ingredients you will need. This eliminates wasted time spent browsing through recipes to determine whether or not a recipe is right for you.

You can be a Super Cook, too. Check out the “my kitchen” area. You can sign up for free, and store the ingredients that you normally have on hand. This is such an easy and excellent way to come up with something new… without having to go to the store.


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What are Five Foods that Make you Gag?

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Did you know there’s someone from our live community who hates pizza?! That’s just insane!! Ponzi, Kat and I got to talking about foods that we can’t stand, and make us just want to hurl. What foods do that to you? Make sure to write our your list of five, and leave them as a follow-up to this video!

My List of Hated Foods

  • Chitlins – Yes, I tried them once.
  • Brussels’ Sprouts – I’ve tried ’em in everything, and still don’t like ’em.
  • Beets – Not even shaved thin.
  • Peas – Unless their dried, “wasabi” peas.
  • Corn – Ick, no. But I do like popcorn and Corn Nuts (different flavor and texture!)

So, what’s your list?


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Can you Eat like an Egyptian?

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Pauleece is a regular in our chat room, and hails from Egypt! He wanted to share with us the top ten foods that you MUST eat if you ever get the chance to visit his homeland.

  • AWANES This is made of chicken gizzards. When a whole chicken is boiled to make soup, people cut off the Awanes to eat with then number five food I have listed.
  • ADS This is an orange legume that is boiled in water, and then drank like a soup. It can also be poured over rice. This is something that is often eaten when someone has to fast.
  • MOMBAR There is just no good or easy way to put this. Mombar is the lining of a sheep’s intestine that is stuffed with rice. It really IS delicious, I promise.
  • MOLOKHIA I know this was on the Jordanian list but it’s ours. This is a plant with large green leaves, and the leaves are cooked with taalya. People drink this as a soup, or pour it over rice.
  • HAWAWSHEE This is named after its creator El Sheikh El Hawawshee. It’s a meat sandwich, but the bread and the meat are cooked together.
  • KEBDA This is another name for liver. It’s cow’s liver cooked in a special oily sauce that is very spicy. At least 99% of Egyptians love this dish.
  • SOGO ESKANDARANI This is Alexandrian sausage, which is a special kind of sausage that is cut into slices. It is then usually cooked with the same sauce as the Kebda.
  • KOSHARY Koshary is a mixture of rice, macaroni, fried onions, hummus, tomato sauce and chili.
  • TAAMYA This has the same origin as Falafel, but its made from fava beans. Some countries use chickpeas instead.
  • FOOL Pretty much all North African and Middle Eastern countries make fun of Egyptians for eating this. Fool is basically just ground Java beans. You can use difference spices. There are probably ten million different Fool recipies floating around Egypt!


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What do Bachelors Eat?

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UncleJohn is a long-time community member, as well as a halfop in our live chat room. He is a bachelor, and sent in some tips on how to cook for just one.

  • Cook large meals that make good leftovers. For instance, cook the spaghetti sauce separate from the noodles. The sauce can be reheated, and added to in order to make other unique meals throughout the week. One example is my famous Hoagie and spaghetti sauce sandwich topped with chedder cheese.
  • Top Ramen Ramen noodles are your friend. Ramen by itself isn’t very good. You can use the plain Ramen noodles in meals, instead of buying actual spaghetti noodles. This can save a few bucks. These are cheap and easy to fix. The noodles tend to cook a lot faster then actual spaghetti.
  • Slow cookers Get yourself a slow cooker. You can cook stews, chili, and other large meals in these. Slow cookers will keep your food warm for a long period of time. The best part is the whole “dump it in and forget it” part. Once everything is in the pot, the slow cooker will do the rest.
  • Make “TV dinner” style meals You can freeze these, and heat them up whenever you need or want to. When you’re not in the mood to cook anything, zap one of these instead of an actual unhealthy TV dinner, or grabbing fast food.
  • Get yourself a vacuum sealing system These really work, and will keep your leftovers fresh for least a week. I wouldn’t trust them for any longer then that though.


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Saudi Cuisine

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Yaqob is a community member from Saudi Arabia. He saw all of the videos we’ve put up lately about favorite foods from other countries, and decided to send us his own list!

  • Tammer & Kha’ howa This is dates (fruit). You eat these and drink Arabic coffee (kha’how) with it. These traditionally go together because the dates are very sweet, while the coffee is sour.
  • Foool This is pronounced the same as the American word ‘fool’. This is milled beans, that are cooked. These are mainly eaten for breakfast, but can be cooked at any meal, really.
  • Mandi Mandi is white rice with meat or chicken, cooked in a pot. You dig a hole and start a fire inside, and then you put your pot inside this hole. Cover your meat with Aluminum Foil, and hang it above the pot. Cover this hole, and let it cook for a couple of hours.
  • Shwoermah This is a Turkish food, but it is also common in my country since we have a lot of Turkish restaurants here. This is a grilled beef or chicken sandwich, and it is my favorite food.
  • Al-Kabssa Al-Kabssa is a rice dish that is cooked with meat, fish or chicken. Add tomato & onion and special spices. This dish is the most famous food in my country, and in the Gulf in general.


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What Do the British Eat?

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I am definitely ready to head over to the UK and eat. All of the food tips being sent in are making us want to travel! Puddings and breads and pies… oh my!

  • Jams and Marmalades This is a sweet preserve made from fruit, often Strawberries or Oranges. There are lots of unusual types, such as my favorite Strawberry and Chili. It is often served on plain white bread with thick crusts, and is thickly spread onto the bread. Making Jams and Marmalades is also a common part of the British summer, as many people grow their own fruits and make there own preserves. I have found Jams and Marmalades to be like a fine wine… the longer you leave it, the better it becomes. You will hit that magic year where it is just right, though this does not work with store bought Jams.
  • Bangers And Mash Bangers and Mash is a nice and simple English meal. It’s just a good plate of mashed potatoes with a few sausages chucked in. It is then all just covered in gravy.
  • Bubble And Squeak This is typically made from cold vegetables that have been left over from a previous meal, often the Sunday roast. The chief ingredients are potato and cabbage… but carrots, peas, Brussels sprouts, and other vegetables can be added. The cold chopped vegetables (and cold chopped meat, if used) are fried in a pan together with mashed potato until the mixture is well-cooked and brown on the sides. The name is a description of the action and sound made during the cooking process.
  • Fish And Chips Fish (cod, haddock, huss, plaice) is deep fried in flour batter with chips (fried potatoes), and then dressed in malt vinegar. This is England’s traditional take-away food (or as US would say “to go”). Fish and chips are not normally home-cooked. They are usually bought at a fish and chip shop (“chippie” ) to eat on-premises, or as a “take away”. The fish can also be changed for a saveloy (a type of red sausage heavily seasoned) and is often served with large amounts of tomato sauce.
  • The Yorkshire Pudding This dish is not usually eaten as a dessert like other puddings, but instead as part of the main course or as a starter. Yorkshire pudding, made from flour, eggs and milk, is a sort of batter baked in the oven and usually moistened with gravy. The traditional way to eat a Yorkshire pudding is to have a large, flat one filled with gravy and vegetables as a starter of the meal. Then when the meal is over, any unused puddings should be served with jam or ice-cream as a dessert.
  • The Sunday Roast This is the cornerstone of the British empire! Often eaten as a whole family (including aunts, uncles and other close relatives), it’s also know as a “Carvery”. The general foods with in it are some sort of roasted meat, roasted potatoes, peas, carrots, the Yorkshire pudding, and other vegetables.


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