Thursday, December 29, 2005

After searching for pad thai recipes and finding none that looked quite right, I edited a couple of them together and came up with this:

oil (around 1/4 cup)
3 cloves minced garlic
2-4 chopped shallots

1/2-3/4 pound cooked peeled shrimp (thawed)

1 package rice stick noodles (about1/8 inch wide)
2 scrambled eggs

1 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs rice vinegar
3-5 tbs fish sauce (I use Tiparos)
1-2 tbs chili-garlic sauce (Lee Kum Kee or Truong-ot) (T-O is spicier)

chopped cilantro
chopped peanuts (unsalted)
chopped scallions
Jalapeno slices
lime wedges
bean sprouts

Chop the garnishes.

Make the sauce.

Soak the noodles for 3-5 minutes in boiling water until they're tender. Rinse cold and set aside.

Saute the garlic and shallots in the oil. Add the shrimp, and cook until it's almost hot (remember, they're already cooked, you don't want them to get tough). Throw in the noodles, the sauce, and the scrambled eggs and stir it all up. Cook until hot and serve.

Sprinkle it with all the garnishes. The lime juice is the most important though, it adds a lot of flavor.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

The saddest news I have heard all year is the top ten news searches for 2005 on google. The only things on the list that are actually news are Hurricane Katrina and the Tsunami in Asia (yes, Katrina and the Waves). The rest is celebrity trash and consumerism.

It's pretty disgusting that more people care about Janet Jackson than the Iraqi elections, or allegations of Americans torturing prisoners, or the Patriot Act renewal, or any number of other things that have tremendous potential to affect our lives directly. You're never ever going to meet Janet Jackson. Suck it up. You have better odds of being eavesdropped on by the NSA without a warrant.

My father informed me yesterday that muspilli had expired. I had called home to give my mom a cheesecake recipe (which I got from her sister about 13 years ago). I chatted with my dad for a few minutes and he said he was surprised to see that muspilli had expired. "What??" I was more surprised than he was. I was pissed that Network Solutions had never sent me any warnings. I hastily rattled off the recipe to my mother,got off the phone, and attempted to renew my cherished domain.

I discovered that the reason I hadn't gotten any warning from Network Solutions is that my contact email address was completely wrong. It was for someone I had never heard of. The phone number was somewhere in LA. I of course couldn't remember my password or login for Network Solutions, and I had conveniently reloaded my OS about a week ago, so the emails containing that info are gone. The only way to get the password is to have them email it to you. The only way to change the email address (if you don't have your password) is by fax. The fax form they provide says to send the fax to Network Solutions Customer Service. That's it. No number. I scoured their site looking for a fax number, no luck.

I finally found a phone number for their customer service. They were very helpful, I was only on hold for a minute or two. They renewed the domain on the spot, but couldn't change the contact information without the fax. The woman who helped me said she would send me an email with the right fax form (with the fax number on it). No luck on that yet.

In my haste, I lost the recipe. Here it is from memory:

Chocolate and vanilla layered cheescake with raspberry glaze

1/2 cup good chocolate chips
16 crushed chocolate wafer cookies (like oreos without the filling)
1/2 cup butter (softened)

32 ounces of cream cheese
3 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup sugar (thanks mom)(see comment)

Preheat the oven to 350. Melt the chocolate chips over low heat on the stove and set aside. Dump the crushed wafers into the bottom of an eight or nine inch springform pan. Add the softened butter and squish it all up. Press it into the bottom of the pan nice and flat.

Mix the remaining ingredients until smooth, then separate into halves. Add the melted chocolate chips into one half and mix until well blended. Pour half of the chocolate flavored mix into the springform pan. Level it out with a spatula and bounce it on the counter a few times to shake out any bubbles. Pour half of the vanilla mix on top of that and level and bounce. Add the rest of the chocoalte mix, then the rest of the plain, leveling each time. If you want to you can chill it between layers to make the layers easier to spread, but it's probably not worth the time.

Bake for one hour at 350. Let it rest in the oven for 30 minutes, then let it cool for four hours.

Take it out of the springform and if you want to, glaze it:

Put a cup and a half of frozen raspberries in a pot and cook them down. Add sugar to taste (lots). Cook it down into a sticky glaze. Let it cool a bit and then spread it over the cheesecake. The nice thing about glazing is that it covers any blemishes. I like to shave a tasty chocolate bar over the top.