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Code Fuel

By tmoertel in Culture
Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 04:00:05 PM EST
Tags: Round Table (all tags)
Round Table

When the coding gets tough, who has time to eat? And yet, without fuel, even the ultimate coding machine must eventually tip into foolishness. In light of these facts, what are hardcore hackers to do? Keep on hacking as starved brain cells drop off, one by one? Or risk stopping to eat, as valuable productivity cycles spin by? It's an age-old dilemma.

Fortunately, there's a way around it. It's called cooking.

Cooking? Yes, cooking.

The key is to cook cleverly designed dishes that are --

  • quick and easy (have intuitive interfaces),
  • capable of being prepared in big batches (scalable),
  • store well (have high MTBFs), and
  • can be re-heated to full tastiness in seconds (low latency).
With dishes like these and a small investment of cooking time, you can have a nearly limitless supply of "code fuel" within a moment's reach.

Sound amazing? It is amazing. But it's true!

How does it work? It's simple. You cook a big batch of code fuel. It usually takes about 15--30 minutes of your time, but you end up with 6--8 servings, enough to last a week. You eat one serving right away and put the rest in the refrigerator. Whenever you're hungry, you re-heat a serving of fuel in the microwave and eat it. Amortized across the week, your investment amounts to a few minutes per day but in return you get to eat good and keep on coding. It's brilliant!

Now, I know that I'm not the only goofball to have figured this fuel thing out. Fess up, some of you are both coding and eatin' good. I want what you've got. I want your code fuel. Don't be shy. What's your fuel and how do you make it?

And just to show that I'm not all take and no give, I'll start things off with my near legendary fire rice. (But if you make this recipe, you had darn well better cough up the goods and share a recipe or two of your own!)

Tom's Chipotle Fire Rice

olive oil
1 small Spanish onion, chopped
1 tsp. crushed red peppers
1 small can chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
2 cups Uncle Ben's brown rice
1 cup water
1 28-oz. can plum tomatoes
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
1/2 tsp fresh-ground black pepper
salt to taste

Prep time: < 10 minutes
Cook time: 30--40 minutes
Makes 6--8 servings

This dish is easy to make, tastes great, stores well, and re-heats like a dream in the microwave (use a covered bowl).

Heat a large pan (make sure it has a lid) over medium-high heat. Add enough olive oil to coat its bottom, and then add the onion and crushed red peppers. Salt the onion to draw out its moisture. Meanwhile, remove a few chipotle chilies from the can and chop. (Chipotles are smoked jalapenos that provide a great smoky burn. Two chipotles give a nice kick, but feel free to use more.) Once the onion turns translucent, add the chipotle and rice to the pan. Stir occasionally -- you're trying to toast the rice, which takes a few minutes.

While the rice toasts, get a couple of forks, which will be used to maul the tomatoes. When you see toasty marks on some of the rice, carefully add the water and tomatoes -- BEWARE OF STEAM PLUME! Once the steam dies down, take the forks and rip apart the tomatoes. It's fun.

Now it's time to season the beast. Add enough salt to season the tomatoes and the rice. How do you know when you've added enough? Taste the water. The rice will absorb the water, so if it tastes good enough to eat, the finished rice will, too. Then add the remaining ingredients, stir well, and cover.

Reduce heat to a low simmer and go back to coding for half an hour. When the time's up, carefully remove the lid (watch out for steam) and take a look. If you see any water, put the lid back on, and wait another ten minutes or so.

That's it. Time to eat!

There it is. I've shown you mine. Now, it's your turn. What's your fuel?


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When working, I ...
o forget to eat altogether. 31%
o don't eat enough. 20%
o eat normally. 31%
o eat too much. 14%
o have an expense account and eat like a king -- on your dollar! 2%

Votes: 83
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o chopped
o chipotle chilies
o Also by tmoertel

Display: Sort:
Code Fuel | 150 comments (149 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
Even better (4.12 / 8) (#1)
by Zeram on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 02:14:38 PM EST

is that my girlfriend is a good Italian girl, who happens to have a degree in culinary arts!
Like Anime? In the Philly metro area? Welcome to the machine...
Mmmmmm, rice... (3.50 / 6) (#3)
by b1t r0t on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 02:19:37 PM EST

(Wow, an article that doesn't mention you-know-what, or even civ-lib issues, nor does it even mention that it doesn't mention them! And it's interesting too! +1FP!)

One thing I like to make is Japanese-style steamed rice. First you start with a good sticky short-grain Nishiki variety, and cook it with 1.25 parts water in a proper rice cooker. Let it steam for 15-20 minutes after the bell dings (as per the cooker's instructions), then turn off the heat and let it cool for another 15-20 minutes (to keep it from sticking to the pot). If it doesn't have any damp spots and you keep the lid on, it can keep for up to two days.

Just cut out a chunk with a big spoon and eat. Yum. Other options are salt & pepper, pizza pepper, and even some bits of meat. (My favorite I call "Q-don", where you top it with chopped barbeque brisket.)

But whatever you do, don't use soy sauce. I think it has to do with the ionic properties of the salt in soy sauce, but the stuff makes sticky rice immediately non-sticky.

-- Indymedia: the fanfiction.net of journalism.

Furikake (3.00 / 1) (#42)
by zephiros on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 05:41:06 PM EST

...is various combinations of nori, dried bonito, sesame seeds, powdered soy sauce, and other tasty items. The stuff is engineered specifically for rice (for example, the inclusion of powdered soy sauce avoids the destabilizing side effects of the liquid form). Various suppliers can be found on Google.

Ever since I bought a rice cooker, I've become a great fan of omusubi/onigiri. It's low-fat, low-cal, easy to prepare and store. Plus, if you travel a lot, it's nice to have ingredients (rice, water, rice vinegar, furikake) that never spoil.
Kuro5hin is full of mostly freaks and hostile lunatics - KTB
[ Parent ]

wooo. (4.66 / 9) (#4)
by Defect on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 02:35:38 PM EST

See, i've been complimented on my recipes before, but not by reliable sources. Your mileage may vary drastically.

This is my unnamed meal. Call it whatever you will, but be warned: this will kick your ass and is not generally considered a "well balanced meal." In fact, if anything it's more of a dessert, or even more of a drink depending on proportions, but it's up to you ;)

1/2 Gallon Vanilla Ice Cream
A Bunch of Milk (eggnog preferred, if in season)
A Bunch of Coffee
A Bottle of Vodka
A Bottle of Light Rum
A Bottle of Kahlua
A little cream of coconut
Whipped Cream

Mix A bunch of ice cream with a bunch of milk/eggnog and a bunch of coffee (warm to cool) and a little bit of the cream of coconut. Then mix in a bunch of vodka with a bunch of rum and a lesser bunch of kahlua. Top with whipped cream and nutmeg when serving, with cookies on the side. Makes a bunch of servings and you shouldn't ingest it all in one sitting. You might die, but it will surely keep you up for several days. Unless you do actually die, of course, then you'll be dead, and not up. But you get the idea.

Have fun!
defect - jso - joseth || a link
Great (5.00 / 3) (#7)
by a humble lich on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 02:44:13 PM EST

That sound like the best breakfast I have ever heard. Thanks

[ Parent ]
Quick clarification . . . (4.50 / 8) (#8)
by tmoertel on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 02:57:12 PM EST

Call it whatever you will, but be warned: this will kick your ass...
A Bottle of Vodka
A Bottle of Light Rum
A Bottle of Kahlua
Ah, just a quick word of clarification: The topic is code fuel -- not cold fusion! If this stuff is what you use to get through long hacking sessions, I'd love to see your code. ;-)

But seriously, I'm impressed. I may have to try this recipe for the holidays (when the keyboard is safely put away). Do you think this stuff could be served in a large punchbowl for groups?

My blog | LectroTest

[ Disagree? Reply. ]

[ Parent ]
perhaps... (4.50 / 4) (#11)
by Defect on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 03:07:47 PM EST

If you were going for more a punch bowl theme, you'd probably want to leave out the ice cream and maybe use half and half for texture and density while focussing more on eggnog for flavour, still keeping it very cold. Ice cream tends to get a sticky, noticeable flavour when left at room temperature for a short period of time. If you did use ice cream, you'd have to make sure that it was set out in small batches or next to a drafty window or anything to keep it cold through and through.

This is very much a to-taste concoction. Try out a few variations and see what works, though you might not want to try too many variations in one night ;-)
defect - jso - joseth || a link
[ Parent ]
Heath Bars (none / 0) (#54)
by Neuromancer on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 07:50:47 PM EST

Crush some heath bars in there, mmmmmm.

[ Parent ]
Everything's got to have a name.. (none / 0) (#99)
by Ian Clelland on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 04:15:52 PM EST

Could I suggest naming it simply 'A Well Balanced Meal'?

[ Parent ]
I do believe... (3.40 / 5) (#5)
by rebelcool on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 02:36:25 PM EST

this is the first recipe ive seen posted to k5. +1 FP for it!

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Look to the diaries (4.33 / 3) (#21)
by analog on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 04:07:07 PM EST

fluffy grue in particular has posted quite a few recipes. IIRC, there was even a short discussion at one point about trying to talk Rusty into creating a recipes section.

[ Parent ]
Enani as well... (3.00 / 1) (#27)
by fluffy grue on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 04:38:35 PM EST

though I have a niggling suspicion that everything she posts from now on will involve carrots somehow.
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Call me a traditionalist (3.60 / 5) (#6)
by squigly on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 02:41:07 PM EST

You can't beat Italian food. Pizza is very good - It works hot or cold, stores for quite a long period, can have several different toppings, and can even be made sweet. It can usually be held in one hand so as not to interrupt the coding too much.

Starting from scratch, Pasta is best. It requires no effort to cook, will not burn unless the pan goes dry (And even then is usuually salvagable), and can be made very tasty with half a tin of chopped tomatoes, and half a chopped onion. If you feel like a totally different flavour, throw in some chopped olives and dried tomatoes, or mix some olive oil, herbs and butter and pour over.

Usually I go for a curry. I sometimes make enough extra to store some in the freezer.

Not my style (4.75 / 4) (#9)
by wiredog on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 03:00:09 PM EST

Lunch at the workstation is usually PB&J, a banana or other fruit, and some diet coke. For dinner I take my time. I always have time to cook and eat dinner. I find it helps my coding to take my mind off of it and let the thinking about code run as a background process. I've come up with some of my best results while cooking or walking. Damn near walked into a tree last winter when I got a Flash of Insight™ into an optimization problem I'd been working on for a month.

Tonights dinner, chicken in mustard sauce:

One can of chicken stock, reconstitute with 1.25 cups white wine, add one chopped onion, garlic, some carrots and celery, bring to simmer. Go for walk (about 45 minutes) while stock is simmering.

Make roux by melting one tb butter, stir one tb flour into it. Stir for two minutes or so. Do not let the flour brown. It's going to be a white sauce.

Brown chicken breast in skillet.

While chicken is browning, pour stock into roux through a sieve while stirring constantly. This may require three hands if you don't have the proper equipment. This is the white sauce.

Add 3 tb or so dijon mustard to the white sauce.

After chicken is browned, reduce heat and pour sauce over chicken. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

While all this is going on, I'll have some rice cooking on a back burner, I'll put together a salad while the chicken is simmering.

If there's a choice between performance and ease of use, Linux will go for performance every time. -- Jerry Pournelle

Nice recipe, but ... (4.28 / 7) (#10)
by Simon Kinahan on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 03:04:15 PM EST

... of course, if you really want to write good code, its generally better to take a normal-length break for food.



If you disagree, post, don't moderate
Damn straight... (4.75 / 8) (#13)
by Hizonner on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 03:15:02 PM EST

I've met a lot of programmers (mostly younger programmers) who think that they can do a good job without adequate sleep, or breaks, or whatever. I've never met one whose actual work product seemed to bear out that opinion.

Sure, you can work without breaks for a while. Most people who write code, including me, are naturally "fever workers". Some of the tasks involved require a lot of concentration and can be hard to "get into", so you don't want to break from them constantly. However, unless you're seriously abnormal, you can't make working without breaks your regular work style. You'll start to make mistakes, even if your mind doesn't snap.

... and your mind may snap. Remember, even if the burnout wasn't going to destroy your productivity, there'd be the little issue of the fact that there are other things to do in life. Fine food, for example, is a pleasure that should not lightly be foregone.

[ Parent ]

And also (4.33 / 6) (#20)
by squigly on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 04:05:58 PM EST

Sometimes I've been so involved in a task, that it simply didn't occur to me that breaking for food might be possible. Learning, and trying out new things can be extremely exhiliarating.

As you pointed out, this attitude is a lot more common amongst younger programmers. Probably simply because they're learning more, and do get a lot out of those all nighters. They haven't learned so much so quickly before, and the feeling is totally new. It's like a drug.

Being an old fogey (Hey! I've been coding for almost a third of my life - I'm old), I now feel that one of the most important parts of producing cool code is to take a break every so often, and create a cool dessert. Food, and pressure reduction rolled into one.

[ Parent ]

Thats true (4.66 / 3) (#25)
by Simon Kinahan on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 04:32:44 PM EST

Apparently there is a mental state called "flow", in which your brain emits more alpha waves (usually indicating relaxation), but time seems to fly by, and you respond in a very natural way. People whose jobs involve intense concentration, from tennis players to mathematicians, spend a lot of the time when they're working best in a flow state. This does seem to happen sometimes when coding: I've started working on a problem a 2pm and "woken up" on hitting a problem, or reaching a milestone to find its 8pm.

However, I think this is not the only, and might be the rarest, state in which we lose track of time. Its also possible to get "punch drunk" with a hard problem, and keep bashing away at a bad solution or uninsightful approach. In those cases, its best to go home, or to lunch, or just to chat with a colleague. I also think "hacker" culture or a tough corporate environmetn can cause people to believe they can work longer, or need to work longer, than they can really do productively.

The best book on these kinds of subjects by a mile is "Peopleware".


If you disagree, post, don't moderate
[ Parent ]
Low Maint. food prep - Adobo (3.40 / 5) (#12)
by Vladinator on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 03:10:05 PM EST

  1. : Get a rice cooker.
  2. : Buy a whole chicken, and have the store/butcher hack it up, bones and all into 1.5" - 2" cubes.
  3. : Take 1/4 cup of Rice Wine Vinegar and add it to
  4. : A 1/3 of a cup of LIGHT soy sauce in a pan.
  5. : Heat pan, dump in chicken.
  6. : Bring to a boil, (about 5 to 10 minutes) and then simmer covered, stiring occasionally for 40 - 55 minutes.
  7. : While this cooks, add apropriate water and rice to rice cooker, and turn it on. (it's really that simple)
  8. : When the whole thing is done, serve over rice.

LRSE Hosting
Ugh (2.00 / 1) (#69)
by fluffy grue on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 12:42:02 AM EST

Light "soy sauce" isn't soy sauce, it's brown-colored saltwater.
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

-1 (1.06 / 16) (#14)
by ennui on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 03:20:17 PM EST

Sorry, I bet you thought this was betterhomesandgardens.com, there, Martha Stuart. Real geeks order Chinese or pizza, everything else comes out of a bag, can or tube.

"You can get a lot more done with a kind word and a gun, than with a kind word alone." -- Al Capone
Exactly (3.80 / 5) (#18)
by squigly on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 03:40:19 PM EST

If you want real geeks, then I can suggest a certain other site. We've got interests outside of computers.

[ Parent ]
I second that (none / 0) (#139)
by akharon on Sat Nov 03, 2001 at 10:47:24 PM EST

[ Parent ]
Three more solutions (3.62 / 8) (#15)
by DesiredUsername on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 03:20:21 PM EST

1) Toasted Cheese Sandwiches.

Butter 2N (where N=number of sandwiches) slices of bread, put cheese between slices, butter facing out. Put in frying pan on stove on high until smoke appears, then flip and do the same. Garnish: cut diagonally. Sandwiches can be frozen before they are cooked but not after.

2) Chicken Taco-y Things

Obtain pre-cooked chicken breasts. Laugh about word "breasts". Throw breasts into frying pan and cube (not raise to the third power, cut into roughly cubical shape). When hot, put spread onto tortilla with choice of topping (pre-shredded cheese and salsa at the very least).

3) Order Pizza

Pick up phone. Dial pizza restaurant. Place order. Give address. Resume coding until food arrives.

Play 囲碁
With a small hardware mod... (none / 0) (#63)
by krogoth on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 10:16:54 PM EST

You can cook your food right at your computer (originally suggested in another comment). I'd imagine a liquid cooling rig would be great for this: they usually move the heat out of the case efficiently and then have the problem of getting rid of it. Two problems can make a solution :)
"If you've never removed your pants and climbed into a tree to swear drunkenly at stuck-up rich kids, I highly recommend it."
[ Parent ]
iMicrowaves (none / 0) (#101)
by fatjim on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 04:40:07 PM EST

The Bay has been selling these little tiny microwaves in clear colored plastic. They match the original iMacs colors. I can't imagine a purpose for these machines other than geeking out in a dorm room :)

[ Parent ]
Beef Chutney (4.00 / 5) (#16)
by Blarney on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 03:31:39 PM EST

This is a large dish that can feed you for a couple days, and has plentiful protein, fat, and carbohydrates. I'm pretty sure it's a balanced diet.

Take one large (2-4 lb) piece of chuck beef. It's like ground chuck, only not ground yet.
Spread Spicy Mango Chutney over beef, both sides.
Shake black pepper over beef.
Add a couple 4 oz. cans of Pennsylvania Dutchman canned mushrooms.
Bake for 2-3 hours at 300 degrees.

The end product is sugary (from the chutney) and greasy (chuck is a fatty cut of meat) and loaded with protein. Very rich, so go easy on it and don't be a pig and eat the whole thing by yourself at one sitting. It keeps fairly well in the fridge - the sugar coating helps keep the inside tasting fresh.

chicken (4.00 / 5) (#17)
by depok on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 03:39:38 PM EST

  • prepare & mix
    • chop 1 onion
    • chop garlic (as much as you want)
    • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
    • crush 1 spoon of Koreander
    • 50 ml coconut milk
  • put chickenbreast in this mixture & leave there for 1 hour
In the meanwhile you can start coding, make a draft / a dirty version
  • grill chicken
  • cook noodles & add soy beans
  • eat
Now finish your program
  • Reward yourself on completion of program with chocolat/expresso milkshake
feel bad that you still have dishes to do


death has a thousand faces, they all look familiar to me

Sounds Tasty (none / 0) (#49)
by Robert Uhl on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 06:46:56 PM EST

Sounds great--but are you sure about eating soy beans? I thought that they needed processing before consumption. I think that I'll have to try this sometime soon:-)

[ Parent ]
Edamame (Plain soy beans) (3.00 / 1) (#50)
by Ebon Praetor on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 06:58:09 PM EST

You don't have to process them, but they will taste better if you do. It's actually pretty simple, just boil the beans until they are tender to your tastes. Or you can just boil and eat them straight out of the pod as an appetizer called edamame.

[ Parent ]
More of my general guidelines... (4.00 / 5) (#19)
by SvnLyrBrto on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 03:47:42 PM EST

... than specific recipes.

It depends on wether it's a weeknight or not.

If I'm not going out partieing, and I'm just working all day, I have one general plan:

I eat a sugary breakfast to get myself going. Usually one of those "rot your teeth" breakfast cereals, a Red Bull, and a big cup of tea or coffee to sip at my desk.

I frequently skip lunch. I'm usually sugared out by noon, and since I work sitting down anyway, the last thing I need is a bunch of carbohydrates and fats pulling blood into my digestive system and making me sleepy. If I get drawn into lunch for social reasons, I go with salads... bulk and fiber without a big digestive effort.

Between lunch and dinner is Penguin Mint and Diet Coke territory.

Dinner is where I go all out and have a full meal. Italian, Thai, and Indian are the big favorites for me. Only trouble is with thai and indian... if you're white like me, you have to frequent the place for some time and build up a relationship before they will believe that you really CAN handle the dishes at full spiciness.

And trust me... as good as the food is in San Francisco, it's easy to get fat even on only one major meal per day.

If it's not a weeknight, or if I'm going out to partie, that changes.

My major meal becomes lunch, and dinner becomes the salad, or perhaps something not-bulky but calorie dense, like power bars or one of those muffins that have... like... 600 calories.

The last thing you need if you're out dancing to happy hardcore, NRG, or hard house, is a big amount of food in your GI tract, weighting yourself down. And you REALLY do not want to have to sit on the toilets in most clubs and parties! So it's best to get the bulk of the food OUT of your system BEFORE you go out at night.

On weekends, I generally sleep in and skip breakfast, but otherwise follow the party night pattern... big lunch, small dinner.


Imagine all the people...

Vegetarian options (vegan even!) (3.50 / 8) (#22)
by la princesa on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 04:21:16 PM EST

Pea soup and rice.

Start with a bag of split peas cooked until all soft.
Add packet of ramen seasoning (yay msg).
Add a pot of brown rice.
It tastes pretty good (but I r34lly like peas and brown rice, so ymmv.)

Potato soup.

Cut up six or so potatoes into chunks and boil until soft but still firm (a little harder than one would want mashed potatoes.)
Add some ramen seasoning. (this is a recurring theme. anyway, tomato is grooviest.)
Milk's optional, but a cup for every four of hot water is about right.
These are just a couple of non-meat oriented options.

MSG isn't vegan (2.00 / 1) (#24)
by fluffy grue on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 04:31:28 PM EST

Most MSG is harvested from enzymes found in pigs these days.
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Well, there is non-msg ramen-type seasoning. (3.00 / 2) (#37)
by la princesa on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 05:03:31 PM EST

It's harder to find though, and most vegans I've known have one or two things they are not stringent about. But if one wishes to be stringent, there are vegan seasonings at whole foods that taste as good or better. They're not ten cents a package though. ;D

[ Parent ]
MSG (none / 0) (#44)
by fluffy grue on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 05:48:14 PM EST

MSG is bad for you anyway.
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Gyoza! (3.00 / 4) (#23)
by enani on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 04:28:01 PM EST

Gyoza are very easy to make and when served with rice they are very filling! I like to make a batch of stuffing and then I can simply fold the gyoza as I fry them! It is very much easy to do! I think tonight I will try making crab and carrot gyoza! =^.^=
--=* Moshi-moshi! *=--
yes, but (none / 0) (#80)
by persimmon on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 04:34:34 AM EST

Yes, gzoya are delicious and filling. But for some of us less skilled in folding small doughy objects, they are a pain to make. This is why the frozen section of asian food stores was invented.

A few potstickers (forgive me, I'm chinese) and soy sauce go a long way towards flavoring a bowl of rice. Plus if you're lazy you can just boil the suckers, instead of the nice greasy pan-fry we all love.

It's funny because it's a blancmange!
[ Parent ]
Hacker food (2.33 / 3) (#26)
by epepke on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 04:35:12 PM EST

Real hackers only eat that which can be made with an immersion heater. I used to keep packets of dried Miso soup and some cous-cous handy at all times. Not to mention the Kimchi ramen that comes in its own bowl.

However, for a slightly more involved scalable, reheatable treat that is still user-friendly, try looking for a packet of Mama Sita's Calderetta mix. This is a spicy beef stew, ostensibly from the Philippines. Really good grocery stores have them in the Foreign Foods section, as sometimes do Chinese groceries. You also have to buy meat, potatoes, a bell pepper, and maybe some frozen peas if you like. It's difficult to ruin, reheats well, and even tastes good cold.

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett

soup in 15 minutes (3.33 / 3) (#28)
by jcw2112 on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 04:38:54 PM EST

this is a really REALLY easy one. i do all the cooking 'round the house, so i collect 15 minute recipes...mostly soups. cuz i love soup. anywho, here goes:

  • 1 14 oz can chicken stock
  • 1 bag frozen corn
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes (spicy ones are good)
  • 1 onion
  • garlic (well DUH!)
  • 1 box jiffy corn bread mix
start by making the corn bread according to the box. next, dice the onion and sautee it in the sauce pan with as much garlic as you like until the onion is translucent. add the chicken stock, tomatoes, and as much corn from the bag as you deem necessary. bring it to a boil. let it simmer for about 5 minutes.

now this is important!

cut a piece of corn bread and put it in your bowl. put the soup over the corn bread. this kicks ass. trust me.

all of that in 1 pot in under 15 minutes...party on...

suck. on. it.

What kind of coder are you? (4.25 / 4) (#29)
by GreenCrackBaby on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 04:40:01 PM EST

Any decent coder worth his salt would have a rig system whereby the CPU in his/her machine is run hot, and the heat is conducted to a grill on the top of the case.

Make grilled cheese sandwiches and you don't even have to move.

Quick tasty sandwich (2.66 / 3) (#30)
by rebelcool on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 04:42:41 PM EST

Toast 2 slices o' bread (I prefer wheat)
Spread ranch salad dressing on one
Take a slice and a half of aged swiss cheese (those 10 long slice Kraft packets are good)
2 slices of turkey (ham is good too)

Put it all together. Microwave on high for 20 seconds to melt the swiss.

Makes a better snack than a meal, but its fast and easy and works for me in those inbetween class times.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site

Ranch! (none / 0) (#83)
by forgotten gentleman on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 09:11:59 AM EST

People underestimate what one can do with Ranch dressing. For those looking for a vacation but not wanting to go far, Caesar dressing will serve you well.

I used to make cheddar/ranch sandwiches all the time. I am still convinced that it is quite possible to have ranch or caesar dressing with anything, as long as the dressing is of decent, tangy quality.

[ Parent ]
exactly. (none / 0) (#97)
by rebelcool on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 03:31:16 PM EST

it goes well with most anything. I find myself putting it on pizza more often now too...

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

Spicy pasta (3.33 / 3) (#31)
by seebs on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 04:48:03 PM EST

This takes a while, but it works really well for a rest break from typing.

You need:
* a big handful of spaghetti
* cayenne pepper
* garlic
* italian seasonings (misc. green herbs)
* salt
* black pepper
* good parmesan cheese
* two burners

Start water heating. While it's heating, put some olive oil in a frying pan (no heat yet). Add a bunch of garlic; I use about three heaping forks of minced garlic, but I like the stuff a lot. Add a good solid shaking of all of the spices (except the cheese); about 1/2tsp of everything but the cayenne; start light on the cayenne until you're sure how much you like. Mix this stuff together (still no heat).
When the water starts boiling, put the spaghetti in it, and start the olive oil and spices cooking; I generally use medium heat until it starts bubbling, then low heat. Stir the spices actively! You don't want them to burn. When the spaghetti is about done (I tend to "undercook" it by most peoples' standards), turn off the heat under the spices. Put the spaghetti in a bowl, pour the olive oil and spices on it, stir thoroughly, add a lot of grated parmesan. The best stuff is going to be from high-class grocery stores, but Kraft will do in a pinch.

Makes enough for one big meal, or two or three medium to small meals. Takes about 10 minutes longer than boiling water.

If you're in the twin cities area, the best cheese is the "imported parmesan" in little 8-ounce bags in the dairy section at Lunds - and it's cheaper than Kraft most of the time.

Be sure to have something with milk in it (frappucino is fine) for the fiery aftertaste. Ideally, you should sweat heavily while eating, and smell of garlic for a day or so afterwards.

Do *NOT* do this if your SO doesn't like garlic!

combine any of the following ingredients... (1.25 / 4) (#32)
by kedge on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 04:51:19 PM EST

and nuke it. You need not include all ingredients, but it doesn't hurt. Feel free to substitute or add ingredients.
  • bread (white, wheat, rye, sourdough, biscuit)
  • tomato-based sauce (salsa, spaghetti sauce, ketchup)
  • cheese
  • some form of cooked meat (chicken, sausage, lunch meat, whatever)
  • some form of cooked potato (mashed, french fries, tater tots, baked)
It's that easy, and rarely burns more than 2 minutes of your time.

Compiled Java on PalmOS? WabaJump!

Sushi (4.50 / 4) (#33)
by fluffy grue on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 04:53:42 PM EST

Sushi is easy to make plenty of in advance. I'd avoid raw fish for anything which is going to be stored, but smoked or cooked salmon or tuna, cucumber with sesame seed, imitation crab, tofu, and pickled radish are all good fillings to use (and you can mix or match them with a pretty good degree of flexibility). Finely-shredded carrot and avocado can also be used, but they don't work so well in general. You don't want to make just one or two rolls at a time, but the preparation for a dozen rolls isn't signifigantly more than the preparation for one or two.

Basically, you cook short-grain rice with a 1:1 water-rice ratio. This is the hardest part, but I find that the best way to do it is to put the rice and water into a coverable pot, add one tablespoon of mirin (or saké if mirin isn't available) per cup of uncooked rice, then bring it to a boil for a minute, cover it, then reduce the heat to the lowest that your stove will go.

The rest of it is just details. Basically, after letting the rice cool a bit, take a sheet of nori (toasted seaweed paper), spread a thin layer of rice on it, put on some fillings of your choice, then roll it up. Then wrap the roll up in saran wrap or similar and store it in the refridgerator. When you're ready to eat it, you can either just eat the roll directly or you can slice it up and do the whole Japanese restaurant thing. Very yummy. I always have a rather large stash of wasabi available.

The rolling of the rolls is a bit of an art, but I have a few tricks anyway... if you're just using a single filling, cut the sheets in half (along the seam if you're using stuff which was stored folded up) and only make half-diameter rolls. Three or more filling pretty much need big rolls. Always roll it perpendicular to the seam (otherwise it will split). Also, the nori has two sides - shiny and not-so-shiny. Put the rice on the shiny side. It'll stick better.

You can also do some pretty fancy things like making inverted rolls (though this is more of a showoff thing)... for that, spread the rice on the seaweed, then flip it over on top of a sheet of saran wrap and put the fillings on top of the seaweed. Then roll it using the saran wrap, taking care not to let the saran wrap getting inside the roll. :) Cut it while it's still in the saran wrap, first unrolling it a bit to make a 'tab' which you don't cut so that the saran wrap stays in one piece.

Cutting sushi for presentation purposes is also a bit of an art. A roll which has been refrigerated a while is a lot easier to do, and the best knife to use is a clean, smooth-bladed one. At all the sushi-preparing restaurants I've been to (all four of them), the chef keeps a bowl of water to dip the knife in before cutting each roll, and then wipes the knife off afterwards. I just use my sink to rinse it after every roll. :)
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]

Eep (none / 0) (#34)
by fluffy grue on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 04:55:58 PM EST

My grammar is getting shitty. I've been reading enani's diary too much.
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

And for you Orientals out there... (4.50 / 4) (#35)
by BehTong on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 04:57:35 PM EST

Here's my *cough*secret*cough* recipe which is amazingly delicious. At least to me ;-) Well, OK, most taste buds that like Oriental food will like this one I'm sure :-)


  • 2 bulbs of garlic (OK, one if you're not a garlic maniac :-P)
  • Ginger. Only if you like ginger, if not, don't do it. I usually use ginger half the size of a bulb of garlic, but a few slices should do for normal people.
  • 1 or 2 red onions. Or white onions, if you like.
  • 2 bunches of green onions
  • 1-2 carrots
  • 12 mushrooms (at least). The more the better :-)
  • 4-5 fat juicy chicken legs, best if cut into 2 or 3 pieces each.
  • White pepper powder.
  • Noodles. Any kind. Preferably the finer types (like Udong noodles). Spaghetti noodles may not work well, so be warned. :-)

Cooking procedure: (note: if you think this is complicated, you ain't seen nuthin' yet. "Normal" Oriental dishes are a lot more complex than this.)

  • Boil a big pot of water. Fill it up enough to roughly the volume of the pot minus the volume of the ingredients.
  • While the pot is heating up, cut everything. Yes, everything (except the noodles and the pepper powder, that is :-P). However you like. As long as it is in chunks (no need for those overly-fine slicing that takes a chef to produce).
  • When the water is boiling, put in the garlic and ginger first; then when it's brought to a boil again, put in the chicken.
  • After the water is brought to boiling again, put in everything else except the green onions and the noodles. (Noodles should be cooked separately.)
  • Turn the fire to LOW, shut the lid on the pot, and boil for about 2 to 2.5 hours. (The fire should be low enough that you only see gentle bubbling, but not too low that it stops boiling.)
  • Get outta the kitchen and write some code ;-)
  • About 15 or 20 minutes before time, put in the green onions. You can also start cooking the noodles around this time.

Now you have this super delicious soup (trust me, you will smell how good it is after 2.5 hours). Put noodles in a bowl, plus the juiciest piece of chicken you find, and then pour soup on top of it. Now you can enjoy a delicious, heart-warming soup while you code more ;-)

There will be a lot of leftovers. No fear :-) In fact, that's the whole point. This soup gets better each time you heat it up. You just make more noodles each time, and just reheat the soup.

And, after you finish all the chicken, you don't throw the rest of the soup away. You buy more chicken, add more water, add more ingredients, and continue from there. This is the real secret of the recipe -- the leftover from the previous batch serves as an increasingly delicious base for future batches. By the time you're through 4-5 batches, you'll be surprised at yourself that you can produce such a "professional" tasting soup. :-)

One final note: I don't like salty meals, so salt isn't part of the recipe. But most people I know would really want to add about half a tablespoon of salt to the above mix.

Beh Tong Kah Beh Si!

A question: (none / 0) (#45)
by Canthros on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 06:17:23 PM EST

When you say "2 bulbs of garlic", do you mean cloves, as opposed to the entire head? I'm interested in giving this one a try at some point, so I'd like to know beforehand: additionally, are you talking about a gallon-sized pot? Two gallons? Two quarts? Even lit(er|re)s would be fine, and I only need a rough estimate.

It's now obvious you are either A) Gay or B) Female, or possibly both.
[ Parent ]
Garlic (none / 0) (#86)
by BehTong on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 10:34:38 AM EST

No, I mean two entire heads. Two cloves won't even give you a hint of flavor :-) And yes, that is why I said you might not like it very much if you're not into Oriental flavour, which tends to be quite garlicky. (Hmm, maybe I should post something about how to very quickly peel garlic without having to painstakingly do each and every clove...)

As far as the pot is concerned... I'm not sure about exact measurements, but another way of measuring the amount of water you need (as opposed to volume-of-pot minus ingredients, which isn't exactly precise :-P) is by the number of servings you expect to make. For example, if you have 4-5 chicken legs you could estimate about 8-10 servings (roughly about the size of a regular soup bowl), and so you'd measure 8-10 bowls of water (using the same bowl you'll be serving with) into the pot, perhaps minus 1-2 bowls to account for the volume of the ingredients.

Of course, the exact proportion of water/ingredients will depend on your tastes. As you can (hopefully) tell by now, this recipe is quite flexible, and you can tailor it as you like.

Hope this helps :-)

Beh Tong Kah Beh Si!
[ Parent ]

Ah, garlic... (none / 0) (#90)
by Canthros on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 12:13:51 PM EST

Right-o. I think I'll live with the obscenely huge amount of garlic (mmm...) Shortcuts on peeling the garlic would be appreciated, though:) I appreciate the assistance, though.

It's now obvious you are either A) Gay or B) Female, or possibly both.
[ Parent ]
How To Peel Large Amounts of Garlic Quickly 101 (5.00 / 2) (#93)
by BehTong on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 12:34:14 PM EST

  1. You need a large, blunt object. Like the flat side of a heavy meat-cleaver, or the underside of an empty metal bowl.
  2. Fetch a head of garlic
  3. Place it on a cutting board (or equivalent) to avoid messy accidents ;-)
  4. Crush the garlic with the Large Blunt Object by pounding on it several times. Hard enough to crush, but not too hard that it gets mushed.
  5. If you do this right, the garlic cloves will now be loose, and the hard skin should be cracked. The main idea is to slightly deform the inside of each clove and crack the skin; once the inside is deformed, the skin comes off very easily -- just rub it off. The rest of the skin and other layers of peel should come off really easily at this point.
  6. Repeat as necessary with any yet-uncrushed part of the garlic. (Might want to be a bit gentler with the smaller chunks if you don't want to end up with garlic mush :-P)

Credits: this procedure is courtesy of a friend of mine, who uses a LOT more garlic in his cooking than I do. And I mean, a LOT... one time, while cooking a largish dish, he used an entire BAG of garlics, just on that one single dish. That's about 15-20 heads of garlic. He has to have a way of very quickly getting those cloves out from their shells :-)

Beh Tong Kah Beh Si!
[ Parent ]

Reporting back (none / 0) (#128)
by Canthros on Thu Nov 01, 2001 at 05:42:16 PM EST

I'm on my second bowl of this. Turned out pretty well, but it seems a bit bland (I imagine that changes after <var>x</var> number of run-throughs). I think the next time I do this I'm going to toss in some more chicken (possibly more garlic, too — I can barely taste it;)). But still, very good! Beh Tong, you have my eternal gratitude!

It's now obvious you are either A) Gay or B) Female, or possibly both.
[ Parent ]
2.5 hours?? (2.50 / 2) (#47)
by lvogel on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 06:30:11 PM EST

I guess I'd better not start cooking when I"m hungry then, eh? maybe start cooking dinner right after I eat lunch :)

[ Parent ]
The whole point is ... (none / 0) (#88)
by BehTong on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 10:38:07 AM EST

... that you spend the time to prepare several meals in advance. Then it just takes about 5-10 minutes to warm up (or 2-3 mins if you just put one serving in the bowl and microwave it).

Besides, it's not like you actually have to do anything during the 2.5 hours... I even said in the recipe, go and write some code during the 2.5 hours ;-)

Beh Tong Kah Beh Si!
[ Parent ]

Welcome to Texas. (4.80 / 5) (#36)
by codepoet on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 05:02:56 PM EST

Time for some Texas-style stomach assaults:

You need:

  • Large can of chili. Pick one. Homemade works well too.
  • Whiskey. I prefer 3 tbs. Bushmill's or Kentucky Deluxe, but whatever's your poison. ;)
  • Cheddar. Perhaps a 1 to 4 ratio on the chili (1 oz. for every 4 oz. of chili).
    If you want this to be chili dip, make this half American and half Swiss instead, with about a fifth cup of milk. Total volume of cheese should equal the amount of chili.
  • Sliced jalapenos or green peppers (not "bell" peppers, I mean "they make you cry like a toyless child" peppers). Add as many as you can stand. If there's not at least one in every other spoonful, though, stay in New York. If you're really brave, put some of the pepper juice in as well and cook off the water.
  • Chili Powder. Say 1 tsp. for each 10 oz. of chili.
  • White onion slices. Add as many as you want, but probably good to add as many as the peppers.
And then you:

Mix. Heat until the chedder is melted, at least fifteen minutes to let the jalapenos spread. Let cool.

For gastrointestinal wimps and otherwise cowardly or non-Southwestern American people:

Take a Zantac and wait thirty minutes before preparing.

"We're going to find out who did this and we're going after the bastards." --Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah

Bread makers rock (3.25 / 4) (#38)
by maynard on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 05:15:52 PM EST

I've simply fallen in love with my bread maker lately. I happen to enjoy cooking and used to make bread the old fashion way. But it's a PITA and pretty hard work to knead bread dough, never mind that one little screw up can ruin a loaf. So a couple months back I bought a bread maker for about $80 bucks. LOVE IT! Dump in the ingredients: some water, a tablespoon of olive oil, a couple tablespoons of honey, whole wheat/white flour, gluten, salt, yeast, and some nuts to the mix. A few hours later you have wonderful bread! I usually set the timer to have a loaf of bread ready Saturday morning with my coffee. Yum....

Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
Super fuel! (2.66 / 3) (#39)
by relayswitch on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 05:16:43 PM EST

OK, for my long runs at machine bashing, I return to my formal kitchen training and make chicken soup. The beauty of this recipie is that it's cooked in a Crock Pot for a day and a half. Yumm!

1 whole chicken (boneless works best)
1 lb (.45Kg) favorite bite-sized noodles
1 lb (.45Kg) chopped veggies (I use tomatoes, carrots, potatos and celery)
seasonings (normally garlic, garlic salt, lemon pepper, but I've been very fond of Curry lately)

Mangle the chicken into bite-sized pieces, then toss everything into the crock pot. Add water to the top of all the components. Turn the heat to Medium, and LEAVE IT THE HELL ALONE for at least 12 hours. I normally go at least 24 hours, so the flavors cook into each other (and, any bones I missed in the chicken soften and become a non-issue)

It's easy (~10-20 minutes prep time), freezes VERY well, nutritious, and is tasty. A loaf of potato bread (or some Shepard's loaves for bread bowls) and you are good to go.

Simple but good (4.00 / 4) (#40)
by dennis on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 05:23:17 PM EST

Sometimes, especially in the winter, I'll make big batches of soup. Pea soup, bean soup, just pick up a bag of dried, there's a basic recipe on the bag. Better than canned soup, and incredibly cheap, too. Once I threw some port into my green pea soup and that was delicious. Another time I tried some dry red wine, simultaneously burned the soup, and it was absolutely inedible.

Lately, I've been more into quick prep from scratch. Stirfry takes ten minutes, get that pack of frozen stirfry veggies, fry up with tofu, eggs, bacon, whatever. Believe it or not, dried seaweed is a nice plus, adds a lot of body to it. When I do bacon I stirfry in the grease but some people might think that's not healthy...Recently I discovered salmon steaks, and good lord, that's good. A nice farm-raised steak, cost five bucks, fries in four minutes, if you don't think you like fish try it anyway. It's like no fish I ever tasted, even when I tried salmon in restaurants, who seem to have the misguided notion that you want to get rid of as much oil as possible. Salmon oil is good for you, and a nice greasy salmon is oh so tasty.

Great topic, here's my pile of bits... (3.00 / 2) (#41)
by Mzilikazi on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 05:35:50 PM EST

I love to see a topic like this posted... Even better when it appears to be generating helpful suggestions.

My late-night computer feeding patterns tend to be based on leftovers and whatever doesn't require a trip out of the apartment. As I've stated in another post, my roommate's father is an avid hunter, and we've always got some sort of game in the freezer (duck, quail, deer, etc.). I love using shredded deer meat for impromptu Mexican dishes (tortillas are always a staple item).

When all else fails, I tend to fall back on the "Chinese Leftover Surprise", in which I cook a batch of rice and begin stir-frying various things until it begins to look good (a state denoted as one ingredient short of being inedible). I do enjoy eating with chopsticks at the computer--I've got some good bowls that are perfect for eating like they do at my Chinese friends' houses: bowl up to the chin, chopsticks shoveling food into the mouth. One of the advantages of this is that you can keep your eyes on the screen and review your text/graphics/whatever without having to break your concentration. I've also found that a good bit of Italian food works surprisingly well with chopsticks as long as it's in managable pieces.

Of course, on the weekends, or when I'm having friends over, I tend to actually sit down and create lavish multi-course meals, which is a true pleasure. Over the years I've accumulated some wonderful equipment, such as a set of handcrafted knives made by a friend who got into the hobby while in drug rehab. It *always* impresses the ladies to show off your Japanese butcher knife and French chef's knife that have your initials etched into the blade at the base near the handle. :)

While I tend to grab a good bottle of wine for those fancy meals, I've found that wine is one of the worst things to drink when you need to get work done. It makes me mellow and slightly sleepy, so I tend to stick with caffeinated beverages or rum-based beverages that are sugary enough to keep me going for a while. (Of course, the latter have occasionally made me wish that the computer had a breathalyzer attached to prevent me from sending e-mail while in that state.)


... The right to integrate a ham sandwich ... (2.00 / 2) (#43)
by nstenz on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 05:41:33 PM EST

I don't spend a lot of time preparing food usually, so I'll just grab myself a sandwich and get back over to the computer. My preferred choice of meat is ham, but roast beef, turkey, chicken, bologna, and summer sausage are all acceptable substitutes. If I find cheese slices in the fridge, I throw one or two on as well. If I'm really feeling ambitious, I might add some lettuce and a tomato. I don't put butter or mayo on, though. I'm bulky enough already.

Prep time: 2-5 minutes

When I'm actually at work, I'll generally just go to Subway and grab something. (I'm now a code hacker by day instead of by night.)

Egg drop Ramen (2.50 / 4) (#46)
by hariya on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 06:27:55 PM EST

This kept me going during my bachelor years when I had no time to cook.

Boil water for ramen noodles, when it comes to a rolling boil, add the noodles. Cook for a minute, take an egg, crack it open and drop contents into the boiling water + noodles. I use chopsticks but a fork will do, stir the mixture so the egg cooks in discrete small pieces. Add the flavor package and cook for a minute or two more. Pour everything into a large bowl and slurp away.

Total cost < 1 USD

instant noodles, made uber (none / 0) (#79)
by persimmon on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 04:23:14 AM EST

Now that I'm in a dorm room, miso is my saviour. It's instant-ish and it has B-vitamins. And if you add random things to ramen noodles, they become a semi-respectable meal.

Uber-Ramen Procedure:

  1. Boil water, crack egg into water and stir violently with chopsticks until it breaks up OR beat egg in a bowl and pour in slowly (the proper way).
  2. Add ramen or bean thread noodles. Add veggies. Boil until veggies are cooked through.
  3. Remove from heat and add (miso|sodium packet), then (sesame seeds|powdered chile|nori|wakame).
  4. Let sit for a minute so the seaweeds can plump up, then slurp noisily with noodle chopsticks.
Provided I have kettle of water, I can do this all without getting up from my desk. All ingredients other than noodles and water are theoretically optional.

It's funny because it's a blancmange!
[ Parent ]
There is only one solution (1.00 / 2) (#48)
by Vader on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 06:40:25 PM EST

Just one word COSCO Get a cosco card, when you run across money. Stock up, buy a lot! Get a huge frigging freezer! Put food in freezer. For a single man, getting about $500 bucks worth of frozen dinners, canned soups, and other junk food that takes years off your life is very usefull when you don't want to cook, go outside, or do other junk that will somehow evolve into even MORE human interaction that you can't possibly stand. These other guys aren't real coders. With their pussy as sushi, rice cookers?, bread makers, and recipies! Who the fuck has time for a recipie! I got code to complete man! All a REAL coder needs is: MP3s Porn Frozen Dinners and/or Canned Soups Time Alone High Speed Net Access Books Caffeine Anything else and you should go back to the pussy ass college you graduated from and go find some "frinds" so you can play hacky-sack and talk about liberal punk shit like. The latest "techno" album, anime, and the government, or for that matter anything else you don't know SHIT about!

Foreman Grill - it's super duper (4.00 / 1) (#60)
by CmdrPinkTaco on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 08:31:02 PM EST

I go to Sam's Club about once a month (yeah yeah - evil Walton Empire - get over it) and load up on Hot Pockets and Microwave Burritos, but I have also found the greatest invention ever - the Foreman Grill (or the grills that are like it - I personally have a Hamilton Beach model). I swear by this thing as a single guy who enjoys eating healthy and doesn't like to cook.

My recommendation is to go to Sam's / Cosco and get a big ass package of chicken breasts (I say "big ass" as though there is an alternative at these places ;). While you are there - head to the ingredients section and buy some marinades. I know at Sam's they have all sorts of flavors - Lemon Pepper, Teriyaki, BBQ etc.. Before you leave for work place a couple of the breasts in a plastic ziploc bag (make sure the breasts are thawed) - poke a couple of holes in the breasts with a fork and add marinade. Let sit while you code away (you can let them sit for as little as a half hour, but letting them sit during the day really adds more flavor). When you get home, preheat the grill, this takes about 5 min which is also enough time to get a pan of water ready for rice or vegetables. Throw the dead bird on, finish up the rice or veggies (or both), slap it on a plate and enjoy with a nice cold beer.

Other suggestion - toriallas are a great alternative to bread. Also quesadillas are quick and easy on a stove (even in a microwave, but the crunchy tortilla is well worth the extra couple minutes of effort).

[ Parent ]
Curry (3.50 / 2) (#51)
by Robert Uhl on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 07:01:14 PM EST

The very best food for coding IMHO is a good curry. This is for a variety of reasons. First, it tastes great. Secondly, the spices reinforce the immune system--and anyone who spends all day in front of a computer needs all the help he can get. Third, curries almost require that one stop coding for awhile. This is a Good Thing and leads to Great Code.

There are several essential ingredients to a good curry. First of these is coconut milk. Second is hot spice. Third is flavour spice. Fourth is filler. For hot spices I generally get a few fresh green chilis, red chili flakes and some red chili paste (Sriracha is great). For flavour spice I use cumin, fresh ginger, coriander (the plant, not the seed), lemon grass, garlic, onion and garam masala. For filler I use chicken, sometimes cubed, sometimes chopped very fine indeed.

Take the meat and spices, and rub well indeed. Let sit for awhile. Turn into a pan, and put in some water--just enough to cover. Boil until cooked, adding water as necessary. Add in as much coconut milk as water, then cook for another few minutes. Add the garam masala, cook two minutes and serve.

Done right, you should be crying after the third bite. Extremely healthy, and extremely tasty. Did I mention how spicy it is? Yummy!

Super-sauce recipe... (4.50 / 2) (#52)
by WolfWings on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 07:07:53 PM EST

This recipe costs about $15-$20 for a batch that will feed 8 or so, and takes a little over half an hour to properly prepare, but it's REALLY delicious, if you like mushrooms, that is. :-)

1 red pepper
1 orange pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 handful of string beans
3 jars spagetti sauce (the cheap stuff, get whatever's on the 2/$3 or 3/$5 sale :-)~2 Portebello Mushrooms
A roughly equal amount of 'white puffball' mushrooms, your grocery store should have pre-packaged sliced, unsliced, and a bin of just loose mushrooms. Get the loose ones.

Okay, now for how to cook this:
Pour a draught or so of olive oil or some other oil into your largest PAN (I use grapenut, but it's an expensive splurge :-)
Next, remove the stems from the portebello mushrooms, if you haven't already, and slice into chunks.
Slice the puffball mushrooms into chunks as well.
Put them in the oil, and turn on very low, just enough to start warming them up.
Now, slice up the bell peppers.
If you don't know how to do this, remove all the seeds, and the 'white' bits inside the peppers, throw them away and the tops and bottoms, and slice the 'sides' into chunks.
Add the pepper chunks and string beans to the mushrooms, with another draught of oil or so, and raise the heat.
As they cook, the vegetables should darken the oil noticably, and they'll start to look like you're just boiling the vegetables and mushrooms in water, if you used a thinner oil like grapenut.
If you want, now's a good time to add a pound of ground chicken or turkey or beef or other meat, crumbled into little pieces like the rest of things, I add turkey cooked with a little sage and balsamic vinegar myself. :-)

Now, when the mushrooms are tender (they're the best thing to judge the meal by) pour off the leftover oil, save it for another batch if you want, I do, and then pour the vegetables and such into the spagetti sauce. You'll likely need TWO pots for this step, unless you have a big-ass soup pot.
When you've heated the sauce to bubbling, you're officially done, works great on pasta or ramen, or on toast with a little cheese on top as a pizza, or by itself in a bowl in a hurry.
"How good an actor do you have to be to play God?" - Bob Dylan
Variation (4.00 / 1) (#57)
by ehintz on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 08:05:59 PM EST

My variation on this is: add 2-3 onions, about 4 cloves of garlic, maybe some chili powder if present, and start the whole mess simmering. Meanwhile, cook the noodles. When they're done, so's the sauce. Also, a can or two of tomato chunks adds a nice little bit of goodness. Enjoy!

Ed Hintz
[ Parent ]
Good food fast. (4.66 / 3) (#53)
by bored on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 07:46:42 PM EST

I find 30-40 minutes of preparation time to be to long! On the other hand it appears that it probably only take about 5 minutes of preparation time and about 30 minutes of latency till completion. This is good!

Short of digging out the USDA food tables my gut feeling is that your recipe is very nutritionally unbalanced. You may need to correct this with another dish or a topping you eat with it.

Ok, nuff about your recipe, let me say this is the right idea. I've been working (quite half-ass) on a web site for people to interact on and share highly nutritious good tasting recopies that can be cooked with less than 5 minutes interaction (maybe longer cooking times). I have a small collection (maybe 3 dozen) recipes to start it out with that are very quick and easy and the food is Good! I find that a lot of it is better tasting than what I get at most restaurants and a whole lot better for me. Its easy to avoid fats and oils as well as plan a properly nutritious meal. All it takes is little knowledge which can be easily gained from a good book on nutrition in a few hours of reading. By far the most time consuming portion of my cooking is shopping and even this can be cut down significantly with a little planning and thought.

Anyway, most of my recipes are simple and good. I find that for instance a piece of salmon, a can of stewed tomatoes and appropriate spices is incredibly good. It takes 30 seconds to prepare and 20 minutes in the oven. Combine it with a couple of other things just as easily prepared, maybe a sweet potato or salad and the nutritional content goes way up. Oat-meal with fresh blue berries, raisins and a cut banana makes a breakfast much better for you than a bagel with cream cheese and tastes just as good (make sure the fruit to oat-meal ratio is sufficient otherwise it tastes like oatmeal which I don't think tastes better than a bagel). Fajitas take a little more interaction but are good. Cook a big batch of chicken, onions, green peppers and it will last a couple days. Reheat the meat in the microwave and combine it with those precut baby salad greens (you can get in the bag at the grocery store) tomato's etc right before you eat them. I find bad four day old fajitas are always better than freezer food. Stir fry: Cut out the majority of the preparation time, find a grocery store that sells precut fresh stir fry vegetables (don't even think about the precut frozen stuff its not nearly as good) throw in precut mushrooms, water chestnuts etc. Cook the instant rice in the microwave. Stir fry isn't good reheated so this only works when your at home.

Don't be afraid to change stuff in existing recipes. If it says cooking oil, use olive oil. If it says bacon try those little round pieces of ham. Don't be afraid to leave out the meat in some recipes or only put in 1/8 the fat.

Its easy to surprise yourself! I do it all the time and I don't really have any formal training. Everything I know about cooking comes from random experimentation with what I have in the fridge or reading. Some of these experiments have seriously surprised friends I've had over who tried what resulted from random foods in my fridge. Check out the food sites on the web for cool ideas too.

OT: Web Site (none / 0) (#59)
by strepsil on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 08:26:59 PM EST

I've been working (quite half-ass) on a web site for people to interact on and share highly nutritious good tasting recopies that can be cooked with less than 5 minutes interaction (maybe longer cooking times).

Email me, would you? I've had a similar idea, but I've been too lazy. I'd like to chat and see if we're thinking along the same lines.

Maybe between the two of us, we could come up with something fully-assed. I've got as far as picking up a domain name. :)

[ Parent ]
website (none / 0) (#121)
by MonkeyMagic on Thu Nov 01, 2001 at 07:32:03 AM EST

I set up my website based on phpnuke (no flames please) with enought alterations to turn it into a decent recipe site (thought I do say so myself:). I never posted the code changes as they are not modular enougth to add to another nuke site but would always provide the code to anyone that would like it. Check out the site and if there's anything of interest to you email me (email on the site) and if I can help I will.

[ Parent ]
The only things you really need: (3.00 / 1) (#55)
by Pyrrhonian on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 07:50:59 PM EST

Noodles, instant noodles are a good base for most things, just chuck stuff into them, prawns, mushrooms, chicken, cheese etc.

The other thing thats good is toast. Simple toast with margerine will do fine for fuel, the preperation time is minimal and its probably healthy or something.

Southwestern Beans/Rice/Stuff (5.00 / 1) (#56)
by danceswithcrows on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 08:05:27 PM EST

  • 0.5 lb meat (sausage works well)
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5 cups brown rice (the stuff that's already partially cooked, natch.)
  • Shredded cheese
  • Cayenne pepper to taste
Chop the meat into relatively small pieces and brown it in a large fry pan with the chopped onion and garlic. Drain if necessary. Pour in the contents of the tomato and bean cans, add 0.5 cup water and cayenne pepper to taste, heat to boiling. Pour in the brown rice. Cook 10-15 minutes or until rice is no longer crunchy, stirring frequently to prevent burning and sticking. Serve with shredded cheese on top if desired, goes well with cheap red wine and French bread.

Total time, about 35 minutes. Recipe can be scaled up by at least 2, probably 3. Great for the winter. Leftovers keep for at least 1.5 weeks, maybe more. The "Bonehead Enchilada" recipe I have is better, but it's probably a bit too labor-intensive.

Matt G (aka Dances With Crows) There is no Darkness in Eternity/But only Light too dim for us to see

MLP (5.00 / 4) (#58)
by Otter on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 08:23:55 PM EST

Aw man! Here I am, with about an hour of work still to do, hoping I can get through it and home to my kitchen without taking a Three Musketeers break. And then I hit this!

I have a bunch of recipes like that fit the bill: chili, pasta (normally with homemade marinara sauce or olio e alia, or however you spell it, but I've found jarred Barilla sauces are excellent), pad thai, meatloaf, black beans and rice... But everyone is cranking out recipes so I thought I'd link to some favorite recipe sites.

SOAR: The Berkeley online recipe collection. A huge, well-indexed collection of recipes, mostly from Usenet. A lot of old skool Net content, so frequently the author's name will be familiar from a classic programming or systems text. The closest I'll get to Bell Labs is making Rob Pike's killer chocolate cheesecake.

Kasma Loha-Unchit: The author of two terrific Thai cooking books, and teacher and guide of Thailand culinary trips gives weekly recipes and tips. If nothing else, this site is worth looking as an example of how to do web design -- well organized, great content and the author's voice comes through with great clarity. (Reminds me of the Kara Davis site, although both women would probably be mystified by the comparison.

Food Network: If they only had Iron Chef recipes...!

so, does this mean (2.00 / 1) (#61)
by mami on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 09:02:22 PM EST

you all invite your SO to eat your delicious stuff ? I am just wondering, if it would help me to learn to code better, so that my cooking gets as good as yours, or if I should learn to cook better, so that my SO would code better ...what a nice break. :-)

Well, my recipes are my secret weapons, so no way I tell you all about them.

Pork Adobo (5.00 / 1) (#62)
by TOCie on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 10:10:45 PM EST

A variant on a classic... Pretty simple. Requirements:
  • Boneless pork loin "country style" ribs - 1/2 to one pound per serving, cut into <1 inch cubes
  • 1/2 a head of garlic per serving, each clove being cut into two or three pieces (fresh garlic is better, but if you lack cutting skills or paitence, canned is fine. Garlic powder is not a proper substitute.)
  • 1 tsp pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Appropriate rice, to serve over
  • Fruit or veggie to serve on the side. Corn works well.
Prepare pork, combine with liquid ingredients, pepper, bay leaves, in a large pot.

Cook on medium high to high until liquid is mostly boiled off, stirring occasionaly.

Turn down to medium or medium-low, add a cup or two of water, which will simmer off while rice and veggie are prepared.

When the rice is ready, serve. Serve only meat and garlic bits if possible unless you feel dangerous. The sauce is POTENT for the uninitiated.

Tip for the lazy: One packet of boil-in-bag rice is a perfect serving any only takes boiling time + 5 minutes to prepare. Apples, pears, and other fruit generally go well with this recipe and have nearly zero preperation effort. :)

The liquids mentioned assume 1-2 pounds of pork. Increase appropriately with additional pork, but do not decrease. More cooking time than normally nesecary is generally OK.

Caution: Wash large pot immediately after eating. Cleaning can be a pain if the remaining sauce sits too long (like, overnight) :)

Normal adobo recipies involve mucho onions and other cooked veggies. I have a dislike for mushy veggies and have excluded them from this variant. ;)

Next time on Cooking with TOCie: Stir frying for the common idiot.

Do you have 5 minutes or 10? (5.00 / 1) (#64)
by roystgnr on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 10:34:22 PM EST

Here's what I made for the last two nights:

Monday: I had a scheduled nighttime test that I had forgotten about, so I didn't make it home until it was 9pm and I was starving! Here's what I was eating at 9:05:

Precooked fried chicken breast - They sell them in bags at my supermarket, and one breast microwaves from frozen to fresh-tasting in 3 minutes. Not quite as good as what I can make myself in 30 minutes, but ten times better than most TV dinners.
Boiled broccoli - This is what might take 10 minutes if you don't have a fast heating stove. You use frozen broccoli, drop them into just enough already-boiling water to cover, and by the time it's boiling again, you're done. Drain the water, add butter and thyme.
Stovetop stuffing - There's a lot of latitude here, as there are tons of starches (Minute Rice, Pastaroni, egg noodles) which drop into boiling water and turn into real food 5 minutes later.

It's not real cooking, but with 5 minutes and no skill you've got something that approximates a real dinner.

Tuesday: After coming home earlier, I decided I was feeling well enough and had enough time to cook for real. "Time" was relative, though:

Grilled Steak - I can't believe I spent two decades on this planet before discovering the Secret Of Cooking: Everything tastes better grilled. Of course, my apartment complex has rules about outdoor grills, but a grill pan (you can get a good non-stick for ~$30, or Calphalon(sp?) for ~$60) does almost as well with less work. I like adding a little salt, a little cracked black pepper, a lot of onion powder and a little tarragon before cooking.
Grilled Asparagus - I'll admit, this is a newly acquired taste for me. But asparagus and whole green beans are the only green veggies I've found which grill quickly and well. Drip butter over them and turn them once - cooking time depends on whether you start from fresh or frozen, but will be about ~2 minutes per side, so you can throw them on alongside the steak after you flip it.
Baked Potato - Poke it enough with a fork to ventilate, and give it 10 minutes in the microwave on high. You might want to pause ~8 minutes in (after turning the asparagus) to cut the potato lengthwise and mash in butter, and I keep around sour cream and dried chives to add once it's out.

This does feel like real cooking, despite the fact that you're in and out of the kitchen in under 15 minutes. Good cuts of beef are a little expensive, but hopefully "the ultimate coding machine" can afford to do this more often than I can.

There are some assumptions here - if the steak isn't already thawed, it'll take 5 minutes or so to defrost it in the microwave. You'll need a minute or two to get everything seasoned and on plates, but in general you can cook a good meal in half the time it takes to eat it. If you can spare an hour or two for cooking, you can get a lot more creative... but these sorts of recipes work for people like me who rarely like leftovers and who can't take too many dinners in a row of pepperoni pizza or creative Ramen mods.

Appliance tip: Foreman Grill (none / 0) (#78)
by Erbo on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 04:13:17 AM EST

I agree that grilling is good. And one of the best ways to grill in an apartment (dorm room, what have you) is to use a George Foreman Grill. No, really, they rock.

My wife and I have had one for a couple of years now, and, for grilling steaks, hamburgers, fish, and other stuff, it works really well. (Just grilled some Kansas City Steakburgers the other night!) It cooks faster than regular grilling, because it's kind of a "clamshell" design that folds down over your food and cooks both sides at once. It also heats up faster...plug it in and you're ready to grill in 5 minutes. And, since the surface is tilted, most of the excess fat drains off into a little catchbasin, so it's healthier food. The grids are nonstick, so they clean up easily.

You can get Foreman Grills in various sizes at any number of department and discount stores. We actually ordered ours through QVC (no, really, it's the same grill you can buy in the stores, but for a lower price, and shipped straight to your door). With the Foreman Grill grilling up burgers, and our deep-fryer (another recent QVC purchase) cooking frozen french fries WAY better than you can do in the oven (faster, too!), it feels like I've opened up "McErbo's" in the kitchen. But I generally make higher-quality food than they do at the Golden Arches. :-)

Electric Minds - virtual community since 1996. http://www.electricminds.org
[ Parent ]

second this (none / 0) (#91)
by speek on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 12:23:52 PM EST

I have to agree. The foreman grill is awesome. My favorite thing is to plop a salmon fillet in it, pour whatever sauce is handy over the fish (teriyaki, steak sauce, italian dressing, whatever - don't matter), and close it up for 8-10 minutes. Done. Always juicy.

al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Peanut fried rice (5.00 / 1) (#65)
by scruffyMark on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 10:48:00 PM EST


  • 1 cup plain old long-grain rice.
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 or 2 tomatoes, depending on their size
  • 1 good sized onion
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cayenne pepper, or about a pinkie-fingernail sized heap of powdered cayenne. More if that's your thing, less if not
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • butter for frying
  • a bit of salt


  • Boil the rice. While that's doing:
  • Chop the onion and tomatoes fairly small - I like them chopped really fine in this recipe - and the garlic and cayenne pepper really small
  • Fry the onion & tomatoes. Once they start smelling good, add the garlic & cayenne. Cover, and cook till the tomato pretty much disintegrates. If the rice still has a while to go, turn the pan off
  • When the rice is just about ready, start the heat under the pan, mix the peanut butter into the tomato and onion until it is no longer lumpy and peanut-buttery.
  • Add the rice to the pan, stir things up a bit, and crack the egg into the middle of the pan. Stir a minute or two till the egg is all cooked

Stir fry with rice. Pasta with tomato sauce. (5.00 / 2) (#66)
by swr on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 11:16:36 PM EST

What follows are instructions for a couple of my favorite convenience meals, off the top of my head (beware of errors/omissions). Instructions are slightly pedantic to reach those most in need.

Veggie Stir Fry with Meat Option

Stir fry is easy, so long as you buy the pre-chopped veggies or are an Iron Chef. You can also get frozen stir fry veggies in large bags; this takes longer to cook due to being frozen and doesn't taste as good as fresh, but being frozen avoids spoilage.

What you need is:

  • Assorted veggies, chopped to roughly bite-size or smaller. Any subset of these are good: Broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, baby peas in pod, baby corn on cob, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms. Use your imagination.
  • Meat. Chicken works very well. You can also chop up a steak into strips. This ingredient is optional, and a good one to leave out if you're a vegetarian, on a diet, or on a tight budget.
  • Rice. Any kind will do. The 5-minute instant rice is nice and convenient. Rice can be refrigerated or frozen and nuked back to life with good results, for even more convenience. I'll leave rice cooking instructions to others as I tend to produce rice that is soggy or crunchy. :/
  • Some kind of stir fry sauce. Exact amount depends on the type of sauce and how much you are cooking. I like to use thick teriyaki sauce, as it sticks to the veggies nicely.
  • A small amount of cooking oil to coat the pan. As far as I know, canola is best health-wise, and works fine. The spray-on stuff (Pam) works too.


(If you're making vegetarian, skip steps 1 and 3).

  1. Start with the meat. If the stir fry sauce you are using is also a good marinade (teriyaki works) you may optionaly marinade the meat before cooking. Just stick your meat in a bowl and mix in just enough sauce to coat your meat, then let it sit for a while (20 minutes is fine for teriyaki, other marinades tend to take longer).

  2. Heat pan with cooking oil. Just enough cooking oil to coat the pan (probably 1-2 tablespoons; the oil will expand when it is heated). The pan should be a wok if you have one, else a regular frying pan. In a pinch, any metal cooking dish will work. Warm up the pan on medium-high or high heat. If the oil starts smoking, you've left it too long and should add food immediately to absorb the heat. Pan is hot when it sizzles when the food is added. If pan is not hot when you add the food, no great loss, the meat just won't be seared so well.
  3. Put meat into pan. Stir immediately, and at regular intervals thereafter (not more than 30-60 seconds apart). You may add some stir fry sauce at this point, or not (your option). Note that due to protein content meat tends to stick/burn more easily than veggies, so meat needs to be watched more carefully. Don't stir too often though, as you'll release your cooking heat and it will take longer to cook. Chicken is done when it is cooked all the way through; cut a piece to make sure there is no pink inside. Beef is done whenever you think it is done. Do not add veggies until meat is cooked, as the veggies will absorb a lot of the heat.
  4. Add veggies. Also add stir fry sauce. How much stir fry sauce depends on how much food you are cooking and your own personal taste. When in doubt, it is best to have too little sauce than too much. Too much makes for really salty food. You'll probably want a quarter cup to a half cup; start with a quarter cup then go from there. As long as you have a bit of moisture in the pan you'll be fine. Stir immediately, and regularly. You should be not so much frying the food, as boiling/steaming it in its own moisture. Veggies are done whenever you decide they are done. Eat one if unsure.
  5. Serve on a bed of rice.

Pasta with tomato sauce.

Few meals have the goodness/easiness ratio of pasta with tomato sauce.

What you need is:

  • Pasta. Dried spaghetti is cheap and has good shelf-life. You can also get fresh pasta, optionally stuffed with cheese or meat (eg. Olivieri-brand pasta and cheaper no-name stuff).
  • Sauce. I like tomato sauce, which happens to be healthier than the cream-based sauces. You can buy some really tasty tomato sauce in jars (don't worry if you don't use the entire jar, it can be reheated another time). Alternatively, use my tomato sauce recipe below.


  1. Boil a medium or large pot of water, 1/2 - 2/3 full. A lid helps to boil faster. Add a little cooking oil to prevent boil-over.
  2. Add pasta to boiling water. With the dried spaghetti, a bundle about 1 inch in diameter should be more than enough for one person. Remember, pasta expands when it cooks.
  3. While pasta is cooking, heat sauce. Stovetop: On medium or medium-high heat, stirring regularly, until it bubbles. Microwave: Nuke on high, stirring every 30 seconds or so, until hot.
  4. Sauce will probably be done first. Remove from heat else it will burn or dry out. For dry spaghetti, it usually turns from yellow-brown to yellow-white when cooked. You should be able throw a cooked spaghetti noodle against a wall and have it stick. The best way to tell if pasta is cooked is to just pull a piece out with a fork, let it drip dry, and eat it.
  5. Place a strainer in your kitchen sink. When spaghetti is done, pour the entire pot into the strainer. Shake it around a bit to ensure all the water is drained. Put spaghetti onto a plate, and spoon/scoop/pour some sauce on top. Yum.

Tomato Sauce with Meat Option

The tomato sauces that you can buy in jars are pretty good, but demonstrating an ability to cook from scratch is more impressive to the opposite(/same) sex than just heating up stuff from a jar.

What you need is:

  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1-2 cans tomato paste
  • Vegetables. A good-sized handful of mushrooms, a 1-2 bell peppers, 0.5-1 onions, 1-2 sticks of celery, whatever else you determine to be good. Chop them up.
  • Meat (optional). Chicken or lean ground beef, about a pound.
  • Spices. Oregano and basil, about a tablespoon of each, maybe more. Garlic, about 1-2 teaspoons of the powdered stuff (although freshly pressed is definately better). A few bay leaves. Some black pepper and/or hot chilli peppers, to taste.


  1. Use a large pot. If using meat, cook as described in the previous stir fry instructions, using the large pot. Unlike steak, ground beef must be cooked all the way through. Drain fat.
  2. Set heat to medium. Add the entire can of crushed tomatoes, about 2/3 that amount of water, one of the cans of tomato paste, and all the vegetables and spices. Stir well. Add tomato paste from the second can, a little at a time, until the sauce looks thick enough. If the sauce is too thick, add more water, but be careful not to overdo it. Heat to boiling. (Possibly a better option: More crushed tomatoes, less water and tomato paste.)
  3. Stir, and reduce heat to low. Simmer (sauce should be kept just hot enough to bubble slightly), covered, for at least an hour or two. Three or four hours in better. Stir every 20-40 minutes. If sauce turns out too watery, uncover and stir more frequently (water will slowly evaporate).
  4. Serve with pasta. Freeze surplus in plastic bags (squeeze out air to prevent freezer burn, but try not to make a mess :).

dishes. cheese. leftovers. (4.00 / 1) (#67)
by h2odragon on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 11:19:13 PM EST

In addition to the requirement that food be quick to cook, for me it has to generate as few dishes to wash as possible. Anything that says "baking sheet" can be done on plain aluminum foil... well, most things.

Cheese is vital to "distracted" cooking. My default "must eat/not hungy" dish is sort of lasagnae sauce based: in a saucepan, brown ground beef, drain fat, add tomoato paste, cheedar and mozerella cheese, and spices to taste (garlic, pepper, oreganno, italian seasonigs). Cook that over as high heat as possible without burning it (it sticks easily) until about 5min after the cheese is fully melted. stir vigorously several times, the fluffier it gets the better. the texture should be such that a spoon will stand in it breifly. This goes great on sandwiches, with biscuits (frozen biscuits are quick and good), rice; etc. If you need extra weight to it, you can add an egg or two by mixing them in with the tomato paste. (Healthy? This IS healthy. Vegatables are what food eats.)

Bulk cooking and reheating leftovers is good advice too. Be sure you really like whatever you cook, though; it doesn't pay if the stuff doesn't get eaten. Its worth some effort otherwise; I will spend hours building several gallons of beef stew when i have a long project ahead of me. That is not a recepie "thing"; proper beef stew is an artistic, nonlinear pursuit which is never twice the same. I will say this: at least half the potatoes should be cooked down into the gravy; and black walnuts go in about a half hour before it comes off the stove.

Just a thought (none / 0) (#141)
by coryking on Sun Nov 04, 2001 at 01:50:48 PM EST

When anything needs a baking sheet - just put the aluminum foil over the baking sheet. This way you have the best of both worlds (easy cleaning, and a solid place for the food to rest).

Just a thought.

[ Parent ]

and a good one (none / 0) (#144)
by h2odragon on Sun Nov 04, 2001 at 11:32:21 PM EST

...but eventually the baking sheet has to be washed anyhow (foil tears, etc); and then I'm back to bare foil....

[ Parent ]
My Favourite (4.00 / 1) (#68)
by wocko on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 12:41:48 AM EST

Try this one for a quick and healthy snack:

1 can albacore tuna (drained)
1 can red kidney beans (drained)
1 egg
1 tbl extra virgin olive oil
lots of tabasco
lots of pepper

Mix everything together in a microwave safe bowl. Nuke until everything is nice and hot and the egg is no longer runny.

Eat. Enjoy.

The best damn chicken I've ever had (5.00 / 1) (#70)
by tzanger on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 12:44:56 AM EST

This is the best damn chicken recipe I've ever had the pleasure of eating. I found it on the 'net one fall afternoon about 3 years ago. I was fairly skeptical because I do NOT like cranberry sauce, nor do I like onion soup, nor am I fond of french salad dressing. However when you're single and those ingredients just happen to be in your house (the cranberry dressing was over 8 years old) you'll give anything a shot.

  • 3-4 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 8oz can of cranberry sauce (I like it with the berries in it, not the pureed stuff)
  • DIET or LITE french dressing (regular is too greasy)
  • 1 package of onion soup mix
Take the cranberry sauce and dump it into a casserole dish. Take the dressing, fill the can with it and dump it in the dish. Add a little more dressing (maybe 1/8th to 1/4 can more, I suppose you want about 10oz of dressing). Take onion soup mix (it's the bigger packages, not the cup-o-soup ones; Lipton puts 4 or so in a box the size of two 3.5" hard drives) and put it in the mix.

Looks disgusting, don't it? Take a wooden spoon and mix it up really good. It will smell pretty pungent (soup mix + dressing) and will look pretty bad, especially if your cranberry sauce has crushed berries in it. Don't let this fool you; this is the best chicken I have ever, ever had. Now take the chicken and bury it in the sauce. Stick it in the fridge for an hour.

Oven at 350 degrees F. Put the dish in for 45 minutes or so, turning the chicken once. It will start smelling really really good about 20-30 minutes in. Cook some rice or flat egg noodles in the meantime. When the chicken's done, serve over the rice or noodles. Beer seems to go pretty good with this.

As I said, this is the best damn chicken I've ever had. The first time I tried this I was wondering what I was thinking. However that first taste blew away all doubt. Try it, just once.

Cranberry sauce? (none / 0) (#73)
by physicsgod on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 01:42:14 AM EST

Just to make sure we're on the same page, are you talking about that Thanksgiving side-dish that comes out looking like the can, or is this something else?

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
Yeah, try it! (none / 0) (#96)
by minusp on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 02:34:13 PM EST

I have a "recipe" (more like an approximation) for turkey soup that uses cranberry sauce. Learned it in Manchester VT, if memory serves... Basically your standard turkey soup with C.S. added.

Actually, any soup or stew is good code fuel, the make process only requires user input occasionally, and if batched in large quantity, excess can be written out to long term storage.

Remember, regime change begins at home.
[ Parent ]
Wow, sounds intrigueing. (none / 0) (#98)
by physicsgod on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 04:04:07 PM EST

I never thought of using that stuff as a marinade, the closest I've gotten was an ingredient to turkey leftover sandwiches. I might have to try this out.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
Yep... that's cranberry sauce (none / 0) (#127)
by tzanger on Thu Nov 01, 2001 at 05:15:42 PM EST

Just to make sure we're on the same page, are you talking about that Thanksgiving side-dish that comes out looking like the can, or is this something else?

Yup, that's the stuff. I can't stand it with thanksgiving, Christmas, whatever. but in this dish... /drool.../

[ Parent ]
Oh, yeah, that rul3z! (none / 0) (#110)
by Otter on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 09:58:37 PM EST

That's one of my absolute favorites, too. I make it with mayonnaise (two heaping tablespoons or so) instead of the French dressing. (It was Russian dressing in the version I was given.)

Really easy and it works well with whole chicken cut in 8ths. I'd also recommend the cranberry sauce with whole berries.

Mmmm, I can smell my dinner (chicken baked with tomato sauce, cinnamon and ginger) is almost done....

[ Parent ]

Food is for the Weak. (2.00 / 1) (#71)
by Kasreyn on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 12:58:39 AM EST

As is sleep. When I go on a computing or reading binge or any other long project, the outside world is not allowed to interfere. The outside world includes but is not limited to: phone, knocks on door, other sounds, girlfriend, stomach, and hypothalamus. My only companion when I work is my trusty 32oz cup of icewater (refilled regularly of course).

If I'm feeling groggy at 2 in the morning and make the error of picking up The Stand to hunt down a quote, then oh well, it looks like I won't get to sleep until 8 AM. Because it Must Be Finished. Breaks are for wusses. =P


P.S. When I *do* deign to eat, I must point out that Ramen Noodles (Nissin Top, of course) and cans of Pringles were heaven-sent to be the Perfect Foods for geeks and hackers.

"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
Gawlowsky Chicken (5.00 / 2) (#72)
by ipoverscsi on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 01:20:06 AM EST

This is the best, most interesting thread I've seen in some time. Lots of great ideas!

This is a personal favourite of mine. Its technically known as One-pot Chicken and Rice, but my family calls it Gawlowsky Chicken after some friends who introduced us to their recipe. Granted, the prep-time is a little high, but it can make a week's worth of grub!


  • Six (6) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Two (2) 10.5 oz cans Campbell's Condensed Chicken Broth
  • 2 Cups Rice
  • Garlic Salt (McCormick's seems to have a really great ratio of salt/garlic)
  • Paprika
  • One (1) stick of butter (not margarine!)

Coat both sides of each chicken breast with a healthy dose of garlic salt and paprika (chicken should be almost completely red when done). You can press it into the chicken for added flavor if you like, but it's not necessary.

Place a large frying pan on high heat and melt some butter in the pan. Pan fry the chicken breasts in the butter until both sides are brown (you don't want to cook the chicken all the way through, just seal in the juicy goodness). When the heat is high the butter often burns away so you have to add more. That's okay! Sometimes I can use half a stick of butter just frying! Once the chicken has browned, remove it from the pan and set it aside.

NOTE: If someone walking within a radius of 100ft from your kitchen can't smell what you're cooking and begin drooling, you didn't add enough garlic and paprika!

Open the cans of condensed chicken broth and pour them into the pan. Fill the cans with water and add that to the pan as well (that's two cans of broth and two cans of water). This makes a handy chicken stock if you don't have any (which I don't). Use a spatula to scrape the burnt stuff from the bottom of the pan and stir it into the water. Don't get squeamish --- that's the best part! Bring the broth back to a boil and add the rice. Bring the broth to a boil once again and add the chicken back to the pot. Cover and reduce the heat. Simmer for about 20 minutes until the rice is done.

For those with a health kick, you can cook up some vegetables in about 10 minutes (while simmering the chicken). Just make sure to put a healthy dose of butter on them! :)

You can store the leftovers in the fridge. Reheating only takes about 5 minutes, so hacking can continue post-haste. The best part is that Gawlowsky Chicken tastes even better then next day!

Umm, I am the only one..... (3.00 / 1) (#74)
by RandomPeon on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 02:06:19 AM EST

who just isn't fond of cookling? My preferred all-night work food is a somewhat unscientific mix of not-so-good-for-you stuff:

  • Box of Cheerios - complex carbohydrates, easy to munch on
  • Hard candy - simple carbohydrates
  • Mountain Dew/Mellow Yellow - caffeine, more simple carbs
  • Lots of water - counteracts dehydration effect associated with soft drinks
I've just never enjoyed cooking, especially when there's important work to be done. Instead, I find excercise can be a great help in finishing a complicated project. It produces the endorphins needed to feel a little more ambitous, it gives your mind a break, it relieves stress that builds up as deadlines look difficult, and it burns the calories from my horrible all-nighter diet. Nothing clears the mind like a good run around 3 AM.... If you're weird like me, a few suggestions:
  • Invest in a treadmill/excercise bike if you live in a less desirable area
  • If you live in a nice area, carry ID with you. It's amazing how suspicious a law-abiding jogger is after midnight. Cops are always looking for a way to make a few extra dollars (or pounds, yen, whatever). Ask them why they stopped you, ask for their name and badge number, and they'll learn to try and find honest ways to make money quickly.
  • Don't work too hard - studies have shown that reaching "volitional exhaustion" impairs cognitive ability in the short term
  • Take a shower when you're down, you'll feel all nice and refreshed

yummy burrito things (4.00 / 2) (#75)
by sea on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 02:10:47 AM EST

here is something that i've come up with. it can be best described as a fried burrito. it is enough food for two or three and takes about 20 minutes to prepare.

what you'll need:

-burrito sized flour tortillas
-one very ripe avocado (make sure its squishy)
-one lime
-some mild cheese like monterey jack
-hot sauce (i use el yucateco's chile habenero)
-salsa (i use valley of mexico's fire roasted)
-black beans
-rice (plain goya rice is fine)
-vegetable oil

first start the rice for that takes the longest.
(20 min on simmer with lid on. 1 part rice to 1.5 parts water. you'll need about 1/3 cup of rice)

then take the beans out of the can and warm them up. i suggest getting them in a can, for soaking beans is a pain. add a bit of salsa to the beans and half the lime while its warming.

now cut up the cheese and avocado. there is a trick to cutting avocados. cut along the length all the way to the center seed. open by twisting the avocado. take your knife and whack the seed and twist, this should take the seed out of the half of avocado cleanly. now cut into strips and scoop out with a spoon.

take out a pan and put it on the burner at about medium high temerature. add a bit of the vegetable oil to the pan (1tbsp). take a tortilla and make it soft by either putting it in the microwave for a few seconds wrapped in a wet papertowel or stick it on the rice for a few minutes to absorb the steam. (this makes it workable so it wont break when you are folding it).

line up the cheese along the center of the tortilla in a row and fold the edges of the tortilla inwards so the cheese wont melt out. when the pan is hot enough put it in until browned on each side. take out and open up and throw in the rice, beans and avocado slices. spoon some salsa over the top and drip some hot sauce. squeese fresh lime juice over the top and fold and serve.

i also make this good drink to go with this. its
fresh limeade. take 3 limes and 2 pint glasses. squeeze the limejuice out, add enough sugar so its not sour and water. its really good.


Code Fuel (4.00 / 1) (#76)
by Akaru on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 03:12:33 AM EST

When the coding gets tough, who has time to eat? And yet, without fuel, even the ultimate coding machine must eventually tip into foolishness. In light of these facts, what are hardcore hackers to do? Keep on hacking as starved brain cells drop off, one by one? Or risk stopping to eat, as valuable productivity cycles spin by? It's an age-old dilemma.

Fortunately, there's a way around it. It's called IntraVeinous.

We are talking constant stream of All the essentials in Liquid form, Never need a number 2 again, with the help of a handy dandy catheter you never need get up for Number ones either.

With variable throughput, and a versitile loading system, nothing will have to pass your mouth again.

Available from our range of products are, the atypical High energy, protein, vitamins, minerals, and ginseng, a quarter bottle of Single Malt, high concentrate caffine solution, and with our fill your own IV service the possibilitys are endless.

Get your IV here!!!


Big Mac Casserole (5.00 / 2) (#77)
by yuri on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 03:18:56 AM EST

This one is not specific to coders but always works well when when you are hosting a party. Bring it out at 3 am when everyone is drunk.

I'm sure it would re-heat in a microwave well too if you want some coding fuel:

6 big macs
1 quart sour cream
1 jar salsa
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)
1 tablespoon tabasco sauce
16 craft singles

Get the big macs, separate the top and bottom buns from the remainder and put these aside (you'll need them later). Break the patties into small pieces. Combine the patty chunks, lettuce, pickles and mac sauce into a large casserole dish. Add jar of salsa and quart of sour cream. Add salt, pepper and tabasco to taste...mix well. Cover with craft singles and bake for 1 hour at 324 degrees.

Cut the buns into triangle wedges for dipping.

When everyone looks hungry bring it out!

They will love it, I guarantee it! It works every time. You may get some funny comments like..This is unbelievable....it tastes just like a big mac.

Dismiss these comments. It tastes nothing like a big mac!

Some of my quickie meals (4.00 / 1) (#81)
by Erbo on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 04:39:15 AM EST

I tend to like relatively simple things, minimum fuss and decent taste, preferably using paper plates for easy cleanup. Here are some of my easy favorites:

Quickie Quesadilla - Lay a flour tortilla flat, sprinkle with shredded cheese (I like mild Cheddar, and a combination of that and Monterey Jack also works well). Fold tortilla over (for a half quesadilla), or lay another tortilla on top (for a whole one), making sure cheese is spread evenly. Microwave 1 1/2 minutes on High. Variations: add salsa or taco sauce to cheese before cooking, to taste. Or, for a nice touch, instead of microwaving, grill on a Foreman Grill (spray the grids with canola oil cooking spray beforehand to help make it crisp).

Baked Potato: Scrub a russet potato thoroughly. Place on paper plate, stab multiple times with sharp knife (imagine it's Bill Gates, it'll help get your frustrations out :-) ). Microwave 9 minutes on High; let stand 2-3 minutes. Slice potato open; I usually slice it into 20 or so smaller pieces, leaving the skin on the bottom. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and bacon bits; optionally, add chopped green onions, and season to taste. Microwave for 1 minute or until cheese melts.

Fried Egg Sandwich: Good in the mornings, or just any old time. Fry one egg; I usually do mine over hard, breaking the yolk. Cook two pieces of bacon, either by frying or some other means (I have a microwave gizmo called the "Bacon-Wave" that works well for this). Toast two slices of bread; spread margarine on the inside. Place fried egg on lower slice of bread; season with salt and pepper to taste. Place bacon strips atop egg. Cover with a slice of cheese (2 slices if you're slicing them from one of those 1-pound blocks), and with top slice of bread. Microwave 30-60 seconds to melt the cheese.

In addition, the boxed noodles sold under the brand name "Pasta Roni" are generally a good buy, and easy to make (usually they require milk, water, and margarine, and cook in one saucepan in 15 minutes or less). My wife frequently augments them by adding fresh ground pepper, other spices, dried onions, and/or shredded cheese to them.

Finally, a tip for when you don't have a lot of money, and you've got a bad sugar jones: butterscotch candies. They're cheap (about $1 for a 7 oz. bag, which is several dozen candies), and two or three can go a long way towards quieting the rumblings in your stomach. Of course, this presupposes that you like butterscotch. :-)

Electric Minds - virtual community since 1996. http://www.electricminds.org

Coming Saturday.. (4.00 / 1) (#82)
by Mr Tom on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 06:41:13 AM EST

People coming for dinner, so:

Roast Smoked Salmon with Melba toast and dill mustard.
Leek and potato soup
Game stew with dumplings and whatever veggies look nice in the market that day
Gin and tonic sorbet
Mousse au chocolat with pomegranite and physalis
cheese, port, coffee, cigars, brandy, etc.

Which I think would be bearable.. Although I am aware that the sorbet is placed somewhat unorthodoxly, but WTF. I reckon that that's the best order, so that's the way it's gonna be! :-)
Now, the challenge will be doing this for nine.... <erk!>
-- Mr_Tom<at>gmx.co.uk

I am a consultant. My job is to make your job redundant.

Yum! (none / 0) (#85)
by snub on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 10:18:43 AM EST

Now this is more like it! Can we have the recipe for gin and tonic sorbet?

"Shredded cabbage and mayo go good together."
Cole's Law

[ Parent ]
Recipe for GnT sorbet. (none / 0) (#120)
by Mr Tom on Thu Nov 01, 2001 at 07:26:39 AM EST

Serves some people:
Mix some gin and tonic in a tupperware thing. Make it quite weak, but still ginny enough. It should not catch in your throat.
Zest a couple of limes, and keep to one side. Squeeze the juice and some of the flesh into the GnT.
Whisk in a couple of egg whites.
Add some castor sugar to taste. *I use very little*
Whisk some more.
Bung into the freezer. After an hour, whip it out, and whisk some more.
Repeat the freezing/whisking thing until it's frozen and smooth.
Scoop into goblets, and sprinkle some lime zest and chopped fresh mint on top.

Ta-daa! :-)
-- Mr_Tom<at>gmx.co.uk

I am a consultant. My job is to make your job redundant.
[ Parent ]

Buffett parphrase says it all (3.00 / 1) (#84)
by notcarlos on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 09:30:24 AM EST

I will [code] for gumbo. *ahem* The recipie is long and involved and, much as I like to see kuro5hin turn into a ladies' sewing circle, I don't want to post it here. Instead, I'll just drop a link:
"Elizabethan" Seafood Gumbo
Dig it and dig in.

He will destroy you like an academic ninja.
-- Rating on Rate My Professors.com
scoop! (4.00 / 1) (#87)
by lonesmurf on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 10:36:07 AM EST

So here I am perusing all these fantastic recipes (some of which made my mouth water and will be used to woo women.. mwa haha) and I was thinking: this would be a fantastic use for the scoop engine! Imagine this: a site where you can go and search through user submitted and rated recipes. Users can submit a recipe and the best recipes make it to the front page. People can comment on the recipe.. suggest additions and alterations. Man that would be cool.

What do you guys and gals think?


I am not a jolly man. Remove the mirth from my email to send.

Self publicity (none / 0) (#119)
by MonkeyMagic on Thu Nov 01, 2001 at 07:22:30 AM EST

I had this thought about a year ago, but went with the slash model. (www.mycookbook.co.uk)

As it turns out I think I made the correct choice as the scoop engine might just leave the same recipes on the front page all the time. Most of my visitors are passers-by and so tend to just look for the most popular recipes, the Top 30 changes very slowly and consequently these get far more views than they perhaps deserve (there are many great recipes that don't receive due attention).

Anyway, it would be great if some of the recipes appearing in this discussion were to appear on my site (I may put some of the better one's on myself - with the authors permission of course).

[ Parent ]
quaker old-fashioned oatmeal (3.00 / 1) (#89)
by Rainy on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 11:21:09 AM EST

1. It tastes too neutral by itself. Make a toast and put some spread on it - this changes the overall taste dramatically. I couldn't eat oatmeal without toast.
2. It has to be quaker - other brand I tried tasted very differently, but give them a try to be sure.
3. If you make it on stove-top, you have more control over the end-product.

It's extremely fast, cheap, healthy and tastes great.

I wish there was a site that allowed sorting by complexity - i.e. you could get a long list of dishes that are very easy to make and require only a few ingredients. Perhaps "price" should be another thing you could sort them by.. Geez, are we living in an internet age or what? Where are all the useful db-driven sites?
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day

Tasty Ramen and Couscous (5.00 / 1) (#92)
by emc3 on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 12:26:52 PM EST

Got this from Trout.Complex on TinyTIM, best I remember. It's a nice variation to Ramen:

Just prepare Ramen as usual, except replace half the water with coconut milk, and don't add the seasoning packet. Add a dash of red pepper, or whatever your favorite food-heat additive is (Tiger Sauce, Tabasco, etc). Tasty, and of course Ramen cooks in just a couple of minutes.

Another great quick-cooker (which makes better leftovers than Ramen) is couscous. For anybody out there who still doesn't know that couscous is, think of it like rice (though it's technically closer to pasta). Cooking basic couscous is simple: boil some water, add the appropriate amount of dry couscous, remove from heat, and let it stand for 5 minutes. Voila!

You can season it any way you like. I used to eat it all the time with just a little butter, salt, and garlic. It's also great with chicken, using a little chicken broth to cook the couscous.

And for a sweet snack, plain couscous with butter, sugar, and cinnamon (sort of like a quicky rice pudding).

Spanish rice as a meal (4.00 / 1) (#94)
by Shpongle Spore on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 12:38:34 PM EST

Here's one of my favorite one-dish meals. It takes about 20-25 minutes and all you have to clean at the end is a skillet. It's fairly spicy as is, but you can easily adjust this by choosing appropriately spicy or mild tomatoes.

You need:

  • Rice-a-Roni Spanish rice mix
  • 1 can of Ro-Tel tomatoes and chiles
  • 1 pound (or slightly less) of ground beef or diced chicken breast
  • (optional) Cumin
  • (optional) Lime zest and/or lime juice
Cook the meat in a skillet. Throw the rice in to saute when the meat is mostly done. You may need to add some butter if you're using chicken, but if you're using beef leave it out. Continue cooking according to the directions on the rice package, substituting the Ro-Tel tomatoes for plain tomatoes. Once the rice is done, add cumin and/or lime to taste. I consider lots of cumin mandatory so I just take the shaker of it to the table and use it like salt. I usually don't bother with the lime zest but it's surprising how much it can perk up this dish.
I wish I was in Austin, at the Chili Parlor bar,
drinking 'Mad Dog' margaritas and not caring where you are
raman noodles, soup (2.00 / 1) (#95)
by node556 on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 01:02:23 PM EST

I've noticed that raman noodles are shipped in crystallized form. By soaking them in hot water, the noodles increase in entropy. This is non-optimal as you have to supply energy to reorder the noodles for consumption. It's tempting, instead to eat the noodles raw, however this often causes bits of noodles to fall off into the keyboard. My current solution is to pour hot water from the coffee machine over the noodles, but not to soak them. This way they stay in their low entropy state and also do not crumble.

Another thing to try is ham and bean soup straight out of the can. Careful, don't cut yourself.

Italian Sandwich and Salad (none / 0) (#100)
by josh_staiger on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 04:36:52 PM EST

I took classes at this past summer and my school (like many others) does not offer a meal plan to students attending summer school. For the first time I was forced to fend for myself as far as food goes. Instead of retreating into the world of TV dinners and romen noodles, I decided to make the most of it and actually see what some good food consists of. Given my close proximity to Cleveland's Little Italy district, I decided to "reverse engineer" some quick and easy, GOOD Italian food.

The results are as follows (neither of which require heating of any sort):

Italian Sandwich

Any idiot knows how to make a sandwich, but not everybody knows what goes into a GOOD sandwich. I like the following combination:

On white bread add:

  • a few slices of salami
  • a few slices of ham
  • a few slices of capicolla
  • a few slices a bologna
  • mozzarella cheese
  • lettuce
  • sliced tomato (optional if pressed for time)
Goes well with...

Italian Salad

To a bowl add:

  • mixed Italian lettuce/greens
  • shredded cheese - combination mozzarella and parmesan
  • sliced tomato (optional if pressed for time)
  • chick peas
  • black olives
  • top with Italian dressing or olive oil and vinegar.
One can buy the "Italian" greens in a premixed bag from the grocery store and the cheese can also be bought pre-shredded.

Kirsten's lasagna (5.00 / 1) (#102)
by Hakamadare on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 04:45:57 PM EST

one (1) box lasagna
one (1) large jar Ragu pasta sauce
one (1) box frozen chopped spinach
one (1) carton small white mushrooms
one (1) block monterey jack cheese
one (1) block whole-milk mozzarella cheese
one (1) block feta cheese
garlic salt
normal iodized salt
olive oil

preheat oven to 450.

start boiling water in large pot. add salt and oil. when water is boiling, drop in lasagna and stir. cook according to package directions, but do not drain - leave the pasta under water.

unwrap spinach and place in dish in microwave. nuke until no longer frozen.

shred mozzarella and monterey jack. mix together. crumble feta and set aside.

chop mushrooms into 1-cm square (roughly) chunks. melt butter in frying pan, saute mushroom pieces while adding liberal quantities of garlic salt. continue to saute until mushrooms become small dark (but not burnt - add more butter as necessary) objects, redolent of garlic.

lay down a layer of lasagna on the bottom of a rectangular glass baking pan (it should require 3-4 noodles). spread a layer of sauce (about half the jar) over this. spread around half the spinach and half the mushrooms. cover with half the feta and one-third the mozzarella/jack mixture.

lay down another identical layer. reserve the final third of the mozzarella/jack mixture for the top of the second layer - it keeps the top noodles from baking hard and crusty.

by now the glass pan should be just about full. place in oven and cook for about 40 minutes. remove from oven, allow to cool, and eat.

not only is this lasagna excellent when fresh, it is imho even better cold, as it retains its flavor while maintaining a solid shape for one-handed consumption. it also reheats well.

Schopenhauer is not featuring heavily on the "Review Hidden Comments" page at the moment. - Herring

Mountain dew snack bars (4.50 / 2) (#103)
by slade hawke on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 05:29:35 PM EST

I think the original idea may have come from attrition.org years ago, but I was unable to find the original recipe through google.

(1) Two-liter bottle of Mountain Dew
(1) Large pot
(1) Cookie sheet

Pour the Mountain Dew (be care not to spill the nectar of the gods) in to the pot. Place the stove on medium heat to bring it to a slight boil and stir regularly. As the volume in the pot decreases you must keep a watchful eye.

When the boiled-down nectar stops steaming, and I mean the INSTANT it stops, remove the pot from the heat and pour it into the cookie sheet. Throw it in the fridge for an hour.

A second to late and you'll have a bad smelling caramel goo that is impossible to clean out of the pot.

After it cools, remove it from the fridge and cut into finger sized bars. Enjoy with canadian mist whiskey and mountain dew served over ice.

This is the ULTIMATE chocolate dessert (5.00 / 1) (#104)
by SIGFPE on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 05:31:10 PM EST

This comes from Delia Smith. It's pretty good fun to cook because liquid glucose in its raw form is pretty weird stuff. This is chemistry as much as cooking...

Truffle Torte


  • 5 tablespoons liquid glucose (available from pharmacies or specialist baking shops)
  • 5 tablespoons rum
  • 1lb (450 g) plain dessert chocolate or luxury cooking chocolate - the best quality possible
  • 1 imperial pint (570 ml) double cream, at room temperature
  • 3 oz (75g) Amaretti biscuits, crushed finely with a rolling pin
  • Cocoa powder for dusting
  • Chilled single pouring cream
  • You will also need a 9 inch (23 cm) cake tin, lined with a circle of greaseproof or silicone paper, and the base and sides lightly brushed with groundnut oil.

Start off by sprinkling the crushed biscuits over the base of the tin. Next you make a water bath by putting a heat-proof bowl over a pan of just boiling water. Now break the chocolate into sections and put them into the bowl with the liquid glucose and the rum. Watch it melt together into a delicious gooey mass that eventually goes smooth. Stir, then take off the heat and leave the mixture to cool for 5 minutes or so until it's slightly warm.

Now, in a separate bowl, beat the cream until only very slightly thickened - it can take a little while to judge this but I usually stop when it peaks a bit but the peaks aren't very firm. Fold half into the chocolate mixture and then fold that mixture into the rest of the cream. Don't beat it or stir it or anything like that. Fold it! When it's smoothly blended into a uniform colour, spoon it into the prepared tin. Tap the tin gently to even the mixture out, cover with cling film and chill for a good few hours.

Just before serving run a palette knife round the edge to loosen the torte, then give it a good shake and turn the whole thing out on to a serving plate (don't be nervous about this - it's pretty well behaved). To serve, sprinkle cocoa powder over the top. Pour some cream over it (!!!) and if you're feeling a little hedonistic try adding some Amaretto to the cream.

Don't forget to diet for a month or so afterwards...

Don't forget this classic recipe of the Internet.. (5.00 / 2) (#105)
by SIGFPE on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 05:36:25 PM EST

Some of you probably know this one already.


1 egg
1/2 cup buttermilk (or 1/4 cup milk mixed with 1/4 cup vinegar)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
5 tsp. baking soda
1 cup lemon juice (fresh is best)
1-1/4 cups sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
8 tbs. butter or margarine, melted


1. In a small bowl or 2-cup measuring cup , beat the egg until foamy.
2. Add the buttermilk and the vanilla and blend well.
3. Add the baking soda, one teaspoon at a time, sprinkling it in and beating until the mixture is smooth and the consistency of light cream
4. Add the lemon juice all at once and blend into mixture. Stir, do NOT beat!
5. The mixture will congeal into a pasty lump. Scoop it out of the bowl using a
spatula and spread it on a floured surface.
6. Sift the flour and 3/4 cup of the sugar together and use the fingertips to work it into the egg-lemon mixture.
7. With a floured rolling pin. roll the dough out 1/32" thick, and with the tip of a sharp knife, cut the "angels" shapes and twist up the edges to form a shell-like curve
about 3/8" high. Sprinkle on the remainder of the sugar.
8. Brush each "angel" with melted butter.
9. Place angels one inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 12
minutes or until golden.

You can also find it here: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Acropolis/3796/cookies.htm
One of my favorites... (5.00 / 1) (#106)
by cr0sh on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 06:03:30 PM EST


Get some good brautwursts, boil 'em in some beer (doesn't really matter too much what kind - cheap beer works, but you can use better if you want the flavor), then throw them on the grill until sizzling.

Put on a sesame seed french roll (the softer the better), add mayo, mustard, onions (whatever you want on your brat, basically) - and chow down.

Tater tots, french fries or chips complete the meal.


OK - for an easy reheatable meal:

Cambells makes a cream of mushroom soup - this soup, some instant rice or stove top dressing, and either pork chops or chicken forms a complete meal.

Basically, you make the stovetop or rice according to directions, then place in the bottom of a 9x12 baking dish. Put the chicken or pork on top, sprinkle salt and pepper and paprika over it, then top with a can of the mushroom soup. Bake @ 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until juices run clear on the chicken (or pork).

Consult the can of soup for better directions (it has been a while since I read em) - great stuff, though.

You can use bone in or boneless chicken - same for the chops.


Finally - nothing beats quick like a fried steak - get a cheap cut of meat (round or swiss work), flour on both sides, salt pepper, then fry it in a pan (add a little oil to the pan to get it started). Make some french fries or tots to go along with it. Also, make a sandwitch with it (tomatoe, lettuce, mayo, cheese). Quick and easy.

Quick meal in a single container. (4.50 / 2) (#107)
by gren on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 06:12:23 PM EST

In addition to being quick and easy.. this recipe only calls for a single microwave safe container.

1 package ramen (any flavor)
1 small can tuna or chicken
1 fistful of smashed corn chips (i like Doritos)
1 tablespoon salsa
1 tablespoon processed cheese
1 shot of hot sauce

Throw ramen (in package) on kitchen floor until noodles are broken into tiny pieces. Toss ramen into a tuperware container and add enough water to get the all the noodles wet. Microwave on high for one minute or until noodles are cooked. Add corn chips to absorb the excess water. Add tuna/chicken, salsa, cheese and hot sauce. Cover the container and shake violently until thoroughly mixed. If you have the time and the inclination go crazy, cut up a tomato or an onion and throw it in as well.

This works just as well w/ minute rice.

mango chutney and chicken (3.00 / 1) (#108)
by alprazolam on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 06:45:35 PM EST

get 1 lb chicken breast , cook it in a little butter. add garlic if you have it. cook one bag (bags are easier) of rice. when rice is done, sprinkle with cumin (important). throw chicken on top, dump mango chutney (half of a little jar) all over.

Not exactly quick, but making pizza's fun (4.00 / 1) (#109)
by Whyaduck on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 09:07:48 PM EST

It can take some time, but when I can spare it I like to make pizza (from scratch, including the dough...I'd include the recipe, but I don't have it handy). To do it right you'll need a pizza stone (the bigger the better), and a pizza peel (a big cutting board can be substituted). All quantities are approximate...one of the great things about making pizza is, except for the dough, you can pretty much make it up as you go.

Portobello Chevre Pizza

1 med. yellow onion, sliced
1 lg. or 2 sm. portobello mushrooms, diced (gills removed if you prefer)
best quality extra virgin olive oil
1 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 small log chevre (goat cheese)
2 tbs. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 tsp. dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
cornmeal for the peel

Preheat oven and pizza stone to 550 degrees (I like to let it heat up for at least an hour...which is probably why I hardly ever make pizza during the Arizona summer). Saute the onion over medium-low heat in olive oil, stirring occasionally, until it's carmelized (it'll turn golden brown...don't overcook it) about 20 minutes. In the meantime, put the chevre in the freezer so you can grate it when you're ready to cook the pizza. Saute the mushrooms over medium heat in a mix of olive oil and cooking oil till the water they give off is evaporated, about 10 minutes. Roll out your dough very thin (use a rolling pin), about 14" round and put it on a pizza peel dusted in corn meal. Brush on some olive oil to cover the dough, and sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper over it. Spread the carmelized onion in an even layer, then the mushrooms, then the mozzarella. Take the chevre out of the freezer and grate it over the pizza. Sprinkle with Parmigiano and slide the pizza onto the stone. Lower temperature to 500 degrees. It should take about 8-10 minutes to cook, but watch it closely...that stone's hot.

Another good one that's alot simpler is smoked mozzarella olive pine nut pizza. Toast a handful of pine nuts in a nonstick pan over medium-high heat until their golden brown (toss them frequently and watch closely). Roll out dough very thin and put it on a corn meal dusted peel. Spread a thin layer of black olive paste on it with a spoon. Spread a light layer of smoked mozzarella and plain mozzarella on top. Sprinkle with pine nuts, parmigiano-reggiano, black pepper and dried oregano to taste. Bake as above. Mangia!

Oh Lydia, oh Lydia, say, have you met Lydia?
Lydia The Tattooed Lady.
She has eyes that folks adore so,
and a torso even more so.

tsk tsk (none / 0) (#111)
by Mutiny Evolution on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 10:15:01 PM EST

Geez, none of these recipies are really EASY to make. So, for your consideration, a little ramen enhancement, Ramen++ if you will. Eggdrop Ramen Soup 1 Package of Ramen 1 Egg 1 splash of milk Cook ramen as usual, with boiling water. 1 minute before the ramen is done, add the seasoning packet and stir, lower heat slightly. Break egg in bowl and add a bit of milk and beat. When the egg and milk are scrambled, pour it into the pot, but don't put too much or too little in one spot. Usually I make a little ring. Let cook for 1 more minute. For extra flavor, as schezchwan powder. Viola! Eggdrop Ramen Soup!

Easy enough for you? (none / 0) (#113)
by ajf on Thu Nov 01, 2001 at 12:23:17 AM EST

Vegemite sandwiches

  • six slices of bread
  • Vegemite
  • three cheese slices

Spread Vegemite lightly across one side of each slice of bread. Add cheese to every other slice. Join two slices (one with cheese, one without) together, vegemite side inwards.

On a cold day, use twice as much cheese and put it in a sandwich toaster. (Some people recommend butter on the outer slice so it doesn't stick; I generally don't like butter, so I don't bother, and I've never had any sticking trouble. Can also be done without vegemite, but I find that a bit too plain. If plain cheese is too boring, add tomato sauce.)

mmm, meat and tomato and garlic and cheese-y

  • hamburger mince
  • pasta sauce

Put mince in frying pan. Heat. Add your favourite pasta sauce from a jar. Continue to heat. When it's ready, add cheese.

"I have no idea if it is true or not, but given what you read on the Web, it seems to be a valid concern." -jjayson
[ Parent ]
mmmm Vegemite (none / 0) (#117)
by wocko on Thu Nov 01, 2001 at 05:03:07 AM EST

I must also stress the lightly part.

Do not spread it like peanut butter or you will most surely die of niacin or sodium poisoning <g>.

Butter and vegemite on toasted turkish bread with a double latte. Is there anything finer in the morning?

[ Parent ]

10 Minute Comfort Food (none / 0) (#112)
by graveyhead on Thu Nov 01, 2001 at 12:04:51 AM EST

This one's great... I got it on the back of a Campbell's soup can. All you need is:

  • One can of Campbell's cream of mushroom (or chicken) soup
  • Half a can (use the soup can) of milk, half a can of water
  • One can (the soup one again) of Minute rice
Cook the rice as instructed on the box, but substitute the boiling water with the soup/water/milk. In other words, cook the soup as instructed, but bring it to a boil. Add the rice and remove the heat. Let it sit for 10 minutes.

The rice will soak up the soup, making a very tasty lunch. Best served with potato or corn chips. When I was a kid, we called it "yucky stuff", or "prison food", because it looks grey and lumpy, but it tasts great!

my typical evening meal... (none / 0) (#114)
by krkrbt on Thu Nov 01, 2001 at 02:41:32 AM EST

1. Get box of eggs (preferably free-range)
2. obtain glass

Crack one egg into glass, consume. Repeat until eggs don't taste nearly as delicious as the first did. For me, this is ~3 eggs, though sometimes I'm good for four.

3. Grab raw pine nuts & raw cashews (& various other raw nuts). Eat one type of nut until it doesn't taste so good. Move on to the type of nut that smells best, repeat.

4. Eat lots of raw green vegetables. bitter = better.

5. Still hungry? Break out the raw honey.

If I could afford it (and if the local organic food store had a meat counter), I'd include various types of raw meat products in the egg stage. Mmm, raw meat...

I try to take from the discipline of anopsology - set out a wide variety of raw meats & vegetables, start with whatever smells best, eat until it doesn't so good anymore, repeat.


What, salmonella you say? Why would MY eggs have salmonella?

sushi (none / 0) (#133)
by QuantumG on Fri Nov 02, 2001 at 11:23:42 AM EST

actually one day I went to an all you can eat sushi place and kept harrassing the guy behind the counter to make me more salmon. I figured there was an upper limit but by the time I got to my 31st piece of salmon I discovered that my stomach was limited in size but my love for salmon was not. I left feeling queezy but satisfied. A couple of months ago I found a store selling smoked salmon by the side of the road (somewhere in america) and spent $45 on it. Ok, so I have issues.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
Geeks == Cooks (none / 0) (#115)
by NicholasRP on Thu Nov 01, 2001 at 04:07:58 AM EST

It's really amazing how many people don't see geeks as cooks (and with the story as is using coding terms only enhances) We are great cooks! I for one love my five alarm chili. recipe calls for one can of mexican beans (gotta be the ones that have been sitting in your pantry forever and never got into the food donation sack left on the front door) and one can of beanless chili (okay so its cheating a bit but the canned chili with beans S_U_C_K_S) simply combine and be sure you have a wide assortment of spices available (cayanne [sp?] and some different salts or mixes) add a bunch of that and cook in a pot on medium-medium high until its a yummy goodness. //NOTE: don't over cook the chili masterpiece because you will boil off all the water, but you do want to boil off some of it because it makes the spices to water ratio higher and therefore yummier. Anyhow, it can be a quick and dirty job...about 15 minutes if you push it and tinker with it a time before :)

Getting memory addresses instead of your objects at 4am is no bueno. ~Nick
Spaghetti alla Carbonara (v) (4.00 / 1) (#116)
by xueexueg on Thu Nov 01, 2001 at 05:01:32 AM EST

I got this recipe in a villa outside of Naples that is a heaven for Classicists (mostly American ones). [The Villa Vergiliana].

Many Carbonara recipes have cream. But not the good ones. Also, many carbonaras have this horrible wet, chewy ham. Again, not the good ones. The recipe as I learned it is pretty unhealthful (if, like me, you have a cholesterol level above 300) but I have gradually made modifications to make it less deadly. It can be made vegetarian if desired, with little decrease in satisfaction.

Carbonara alla Sgariglia
  • 1 lb. spaghetti.
  • 200gr pancetta, guanciale, or lean bacon
    (v)200gr Morningstar Breakfast Strips
  • If using the Morningstar Breakfast Strips, you'll also want some sage, preferably fresh (4-5 leaves), but dried (3-4 tsp) is fine, too.
  • 3 eggs
    One egg, plus the whites of two eggs
  • Oil: 3-4 Tablespoons of some combination of butter, olive oil, or Benecol(R) anal seepage spread. A fair amount of the flavor can be derived from the butter, but if you need to keep it lower, use one or all of these substitutes.
  • Olive oil: 1/3 cup (in addition to the butter above)
  • An onion or two
  • Some grated parmesan

Dice the onions. Soak them in water for ~10 minutes, drain water; put in a medium saucepan and don't quite cover with water. Cook over low heat for 15 minutes then drain off excess water.

Set the pasta water to boil

Chop pancetta (or morningstar) into little pieces, like 1/2x1/8 in. Put these into a pan with the butter/oil/Benecol. If using Morningstar, add sage. Saute over medium heat until bacon is cooked -- at least 10 minutes. Add olive oil and the drained onions, and cook another 15 minutes on low. Salt and pepper to taste. A little chopped Italian parsley "is tasty".

Put pasta in boiling water

Beat the egg part with a fork. When pasta is ready (al motherfuckin' dente), in quick succession:

  1. Drain pasta -- do not rinse or cool
  2. return pasta to now-waterless pot in which it cooked
  3. pour beat eggs over pasta
  4. Mix quickly and thoroughly

The heat of the pasta cooks the eggs, then you put the pasta on a plate and spoon your bacon/onion/oil mixture on top of the spaghetti. Put some parmesan on it, if you want. Try not to eat the whole pound of pasta all by yourself the first night; since it's bacon and eggs it makes a good breakfast, too.

YES!! (none / 0) (#122)
by macpeep on Thu Nov 01, 2001 at 08:59:23 AM EST

Wow.. I was happy to see this post. See.. I travel a lot. I've been to nearly 30 countries and everywhere I go, if I see an italian restaurant, I go there and ask for Spaghetti Carbonara to try it out. I guess it's my favorite dish, but more importantly, it has also has become something of a tradition for me. It's my understanding that the real Carbonaras *ARE* cream based tho.

And then the answer to the obvious question. Where can you get the best Carbonara? The answer is: in Helsinki, Finland in a restaurant called NEWS. :)

[ Parent ]
Carbonara should not have cream (none / 0) (#149)
by xueexueg on Thu Nov 08, 2001 at 12:25:28 PM EST

It's my understanding that the real Carbonaras *ARE* cream based tho.

No, no, I cannot agree with that assertion. I mean, I can't say that Carbonara can't be good with cream, but the best Carbonaras are cream-free.

I also, as it happened, went to Rome a couple of days after I posted this recipe. I had dinner at La Carbonara, on the Campo dei Fiori. La Carbonara is, as you might guess, the place where Carbonara originated. It really wasn't the best Carbonara I've had (for that, go to Alle Fratte di Trastevere, in the Trastevere, at the corner of Via Delle Fratte di Trastevere and Via Dei Fienaroli) but it was instructive. It had much more yolk than I am used to -- it may even have been all yolk, or more yolks than whole eggs -- and its Guanciale (instead of pancetta) was excellent. But more importantly, La Carbonara's Carbonara had NO CREAM, just like at Alle Fratte, just like everywhere I've had really excellent Carbonara.

So I guess it depends on how you define "real carbonaras". If you mean at the restaurant that invented it, you mean no cream.

[ Parent ]
Inferno toast. (none / 0) (#118)
by Cabe on Thu Nov 01, 2001 at 06:58:57 AM EST

Ummm... Don't know about you, but if I have to do something else for fifteen minutes, that something else tends to be coding, and I'll be lost to the world again. Anything that lets me wander off tends to end up burned and inedible. Stews seems to be the best/only sort of cooking for me. All you need is meat of some sort and some sort of liquid (wine, flat beer, broth-cube). The preparations are at the start, you can let it simmer for a day without a problem, and should you get a few moments while your mind disentangles some strands of code, you can easily peel, chop and add whatever catches your fancy to the stew in progress. Tends to make enough food to bung some in the fridge/freezer as well.

My Solution (none / 0) (#125)
by Nater on Thu Nov 01, 2001 at 02:33:04 PM EST

inkblot@maverick:~$ sleep 900; while [ /bin/true ]; do echo "Food" > /dev/speech; sleep 1; done

Of course, it helps if you have a speech synthesizer installed and speechd running. Just hit ^C to stop the maddness.

i heard someone suggest that we should help the US, just like they helped us in WWII. By waiting three years, then going over there, flashing our money around, shagging all the women and acting like we owned the place. --Seen in #tron

[ Parent ]
[OT] quick bash tip re: /bin/true (none / 0) (#130)
by tmoertel on Fri Nov 02, 2001 at 01:15:53 AM EST

while [ /bin/true ]; do echo "Food" > /dev/speech; sleep 1; done
In the test of your while loop, use the built-in command ":", which does nothing and always returns a zero exit code (true):

while : ; do echo "food" > /dev/speech; sleep 1; done

My blog | LectroTest

[ Disagree? Reply. ]

[ Parent ]
200 for 30 minutes (none / 0) (#123)
by peath on Thu Nov 01, 2001 at 10:27:38 AM EST

A standing joke in our family is that everything we cook is put in the oven at 200 degrees C for 30 minutes!


Chicken breast[s]
Mixed herbs
A few garlic cloves
A small onion
A handful of button mushrooms
Lemon juice

Get some tin foil (enough to make an envelope around the chicken breast) and put the chicken in the centre. Sprinkle with the herbs, finely chopped garlic, onions and mushrooms and a dash of lemon juice.

Gather the corners of the tin foil and scrunch together to make a water tight (ish!!) envelope.

Put it in the oven for 30 minutes at 200 degrees C!

Then Eat!

If your feeling fishy, substitute the chicken for a salmon steak and the mixed herbs for tarragon.

Variations Mama Ricdude's Lasagna! Impress Dates! (5.00 / 1) (#124)
by Ricdude on Thu Nov 01, 2001 at 11:26:13 AM EST

13x9x2 Lasagna/Roasting Pan

The Sauce:
1 lb. ground beef, turkey, or frozen spinach
3 jars spaghetti sauce (whatever you prefer)
2 tbsp. parsley
2 tbsp. oregano
2 tbsp. basil

The Cheese:
16 oz. ricotta cheese
16 oz. cottage cheese
2 cups grated parmesan cheese

The Rest:
2 lb. lasagna noodles
2 lb. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 lb. shredded italian cheese blend

1) Make the sauce: Brown the ground meat (or for you vegans, heat steam the spinach). Drain (for the spinach, drain extra-very well). Reduce heat. Add spaghetti sauce. Stir in spices. Simmer 30 minutes. Stir often.

2) Mix the cheeses: Mix the ricotta, cottage and parmesan cheese in a mixing bowl. Stir well.

3) Layer the ingredients in the lasagna pan. Start with some sauce on the bottom of the pan. Then noodles, r/c/p cheese mix, sauce, and shredded cheese. Repeat layering of noodles, cheese mix, sauce and shredded cheese until the pan is full. Note that the noodles are *not* cooked ahead of time.

4) Bake at 425-450 for 35-45 miniutes. Until the shredded cheese on the top starts to turn golden brown. Remove from oven, wait 10-15 minutes before serving.

Serves: The last 13x9x2 pan I made served four. For three days... =)

Notes: There's usually enough time whilst waiting for the sauce to simmer, to clean up a fair amount of the kitchen. Nothing impresses a date like a good meal and a clean kitchen. This is an excellent base on which to perfect your own lasagna recipe. Vary the spices and cheese portions to see what you like the best. Best served with my Italian Garlic Bread (will post later.) and a decent Chianti.

Recipe request!!!!! (none / 0) (#126)
by spcmanspiff on Thu Nov 01, 2001 at 03:01:20 PM EST

While it's not exactly quick to cook, I'm looking for a (from-scratch) pizza recipie.

So far, I can make pretty good sicilian-type pizzas with lots of veggies and stuff on top, but my favorite kind of pizza is a little different:

Crust: thin and crunchy, but end result should not remind you of sauce + cheese on a cracker

Sauce: A good spicy cajun marinara (yum!)

Cheese: higher-grade mozerella, maybe mixed with provolone, should work just fine.

I'm okay on the sauce front, but would love suggestions. To date, however, my crusts have almost always come out thick & bready, and I think I'm missing something. Anyone?

pizza (none / 0) (#132)
by deadplant on Fri Nov 02, 2001 at 10:21:54 AM EST

well, I'm not brave enough to make my own crusts, but I do like to experiment with the toppings.

I'm a cheese fanatic, feta, mozzarella and old chedder go well together. Majority mozzarella, with plenty of feta and a dash of strong cheddar.

Then I like to try different pepperoni-like things and sausages from the deli. oh, and lots of garlic...

[ Parent ]
crusts (none / 0) (#134)
by spcmanspiff on Fri Nov 02, 2001 at 01:35:07 PM EST

If you've ever made bread from scratch (much easier than you'd think), you can make a crust.

Just follow the most dumbed-down plain ol' yeast bread recipe you can find; and when it is done rising just stretch it out into a pizza shape instead of putting it into a bread pan. I usually cook the crust on its own for a bit before putting on sauce, cheese, toppings, so that I don't sogify it.

I always end up with thick, bready crusts that give me a really deep topping layer, which would probably be perfect for you if you're a big toppings person.

This weekend I'll be experimenting with 'thin-crust' pizza, however -- I hope it works out!

[ Parent ]
Thin crust pizza, the graduate-level course (5.00 / 1) (#135)
by tmoertel on Fri Nov 02, 2001 at 04:19:04 PM EST

Okay, this is off the top of my head, but here are the tricks to good thin-crust pizza:
  • let the dough rest
  • work the dough by hand into a thin crust
  • bake quickly with high, direct-contact heat
Here's how I make the crust, enough for three 10" pizzas:
  • 3 cups fresh all-purpose flour
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • ~1 cup very warm (but not hot) water
In a mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients and then add the wet ingredients. Stir and then knead until a smooth dough results, adding flour or water as necessary to compensate for humidity, etc. Do not under-knead; you want to develop the proteins in the flour. It will take about five minutes with a mixer, ten to fifteen by hand. When a silky dough develops, it's ready to rest.

With a paper towel, rub olive oil on the inside of a large bowl. Place the dough inside the bowl, and roll it around to coat it lightly with oil, which will prevent it from drying out. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm, draft-free location until the dough has doubled in size, about one to two hours.

Remove the plastic wrap and gently "punch down" the dough to remove built-up gases. Knead it by hand for about five minutes more and then divide the dough into three pieces and roll each into a ball. Place each ball into a zip-lock sandwich bag, suck the air out of the bag, and seal. If you do it right, you'll have three "vacuum-packed" dough balls.

If you want the best crust, you must give the dough time to rest and develop its proteins: Place the dough packages in the refrigerator for at least four hours. You can skip the resting -- and the dough will be great -- but it won't be quite as good as rested dough. (For a fun experiment, use one of the packages right away and compare the resulting crust with a crust made the next day from rested dough.) The packages will keep for a few days and can be used at any time by taking one out of the refrigerator and giving it thirty minutes to come up to room temperature. I've even had luck with freezing the dough; just move it back into the refrigerator a few days before you expect to use it.

To use a package, remove the dough and give it a few minutes of kneading to wake it up and to absorb any exterior crust that may have developed. Roll it back into a ball and let it rest for ten minutes as you get your pizza ingredients.

Put a pizza stone in the oven and pre-heat it to 500 degF at least thirty minutes in advance. You want the stone to be at 500 degF when the pizza hits it. It's generally a good idea to keep an oven thermometer in your oven because oven temperature regulators are notoriously inaccurate -- your oven may easily be off by 50 degF.

Now you're ready to make the crust. Gently flatten the ball into a fat disc with a press of the hand. Then with the tips of your fingers, repeatedly press down in the center of the disc working your way outward in an ever-increasing spiral. Gradually the disc will flatten and an outer edge will build up. Once the disc is about as wide as the length of your hand, start using the flats of your fingers with an outwardly rolling motion. After you have added another inch or so to the disc's diameter, let it rest for five minutes while you sprinkle corn meal on your pizza peel.

For the final stage of shaping the crust, continue rolling one hand outward from the center of the disc, working your way around the disc to maintain a uniform circular appearance, but additionally stretch the dough gently with your other hand as you roll. If the dough tears, pinch it back together and let if rest for a few minutes (tearing is a sign of dough fatigue). Repeat until the dough is about 10 inches across. Again, let the dough rest, this time while you prepare the toppings

When your toppings are ready, brush the top of the crust with olive oil and gently transfer it to the peel. (You may find it handy to fold the crust into quarters before transferring it and then unfold it on the peel.) Place the cheese on the crust first, then meat toppings, and finally place any watery toppings like sliced tomatoes on top. Don't over-do it; the best pizzas have a balanced ratio of topping to crust. (One amazing pizza is simply topped with thinly sliced Roma tomatoes, razor-thin garlic slices, torn basil, salt, and pepper. That's right, no cheese.) Don't forget to salt it.

Now it's time to put it in the oven. Give the peel a small jerk to loosen the crust, which may have become stuck to the peel. Open the oven, and place the peel on the back of the pizza stone such that the pizza is directly over the stone. With a few quick pulls, remove the peel, letting the pizza hit the stone. Close the oven and look at the time. Seven minutes later, take a look at the pizza. If the crust is just golden, let it cook a minute or two more. (The best crust is brown.)

Finally, use the peel to remove the pizza from the oven and place it on a cutting board. Drizzle with fresh extra-virgin olive oil, cut into four pieces, and eat.

Any questions?

My blog | LectroTest

[ Disagree? Reply. ]

[ Parent ]
Whee, thanks -- will give it a shot this week!(nt) (none / 0) (#138)
by spcmanspiff on Sat Nov 03, 2001 at 04:10:33 PM EST

[ Parent ]
Not thin crust... (none / 0) (#146)
by Phyrkrakr on Mon Nov 05, 2001 at 09:18:39 PM EST

...but still VERY good. This is my mom's made from scratch deep dish pizza recipe. First off, you need flour, yeast, oil, sugar, and salt, for the dough; tomato sauce (one 8oz can), oregano, salt, garlic powder, black pepper, and onion for the sauce; mozzarella cheese, choice of toppings, parmesan cheese (the grated kind) to put on top.

Start with the dough. Dissolve one package of yeast and 2 tablespoons of oil in 1 cup of warm water. Stir in the flour (2.5 cups), sugar (1 teaspoon), and salt (1 teaspoon). Beat for 20 strokes (the dough, perv). Cover the mixing bowl and let it sit for 5 minutes to rise.

While the dough is doing it's thing, fix the sauce. Mix up the can of tomato sauce, a 1/4 teaspoon of salt, garlic powder, oregano, and pepper to taste. We used about 2 teaspoons of oregano, and 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder and pepper. Also, if you want to, mix in 1/2 a cup of chopped onion.

Ok, now we're assuming that the dough is ready and the sauce is ready and you have all of the rest of the ingredients. Put some flour on your hands and knead the dough into pizza shaped circles. We have deep dish pizza pans, courtesy of pizza hut, so we stretch the dough into the pans directly. Once you've got the dough in a pizza pan somewhere, pour the sauce over it. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over that. Cover the crust/sauce with mozzarella cheese, and put your toppings on top of that. The most common kind we make is pepperoni and mushroom, and sometimes we'll put the mushrooms underneath the cheese. It's your deal, you can do what you want. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 425 degrees. The cheese should be golden brown in color, or if you're very hungry, just make sure the crust is a tan color and all the cheese is melted.

Oh, and this makes a whole shitload of pizza makings, just so you know. We generally have enough for 3 medium-sized (12 inch or so) pizzas. We generally make all three, cook one, and freeze the other two. If you don't have that many pizza pans, adjust the recipe to accomadate.

Happy cooking!

[ Parent ]
Vegetarian chili (5.00 / 1) (#129)
by spacejack on Thu Nov 01, 2001 at 10:06:28 PM EST

There's already a recipe for chili, but I thought I'd post my fave. The following will serve two with average appetites. You'd have to be pretty damned hungry to eat the whole thing yourself in one sitting. It's really fast; I can go from opening cans to eating within ~40min. (WARNING: this gives you the farts!)

1 large can of tomatoes
1 med can of red kidney beans
1 med can of chick peas
1 small can of tomato paste
1 or 2 cloves of garlic
some green onions
crushed chili peppers
some tobasco sauce
some oregano
some salt & pepper to taste
maybe some rosemary and whatever other spices you like.

Open up all the cans. Drain the chick peas and kidney beans (I usually open the cans halfway and let them sit upside-down in the sink.

Dump the tomatoes into the pot and chop them up with a knife or large spoon. Put it on the stove on very low heat.

By now the beans have drained. Open up the cans the rest of the way and dump them in. Use a big flat spoon to mash up some of the beans. This helps make it a bit thicker.

Add the tomato paste

Add the spices and tobasco. Keep it on low for now, we don't want it to start cooking too much until the garlic & onions have been chopped up.

Chop up the garlic & onions and add them.

Put the lid on the pot. Turn up the stove to about 1/5 heat. Just enough to get it simmering. DON'T RUSH! If you burn it it'll be ruined.

Basically, the longer you heat it, and the lower the heat, the better it will taste. If you're in a hurry, heat it up at the 1/4 or 1/3 dial setting, but be really careful to watch it and keep stirring it. Even if you cook it on a lower temp, you should stir it every few minutes.

Wait until you can't bear the hunger pains any longer, and then put a bagel or some rye bread in the toaster. When the bread is toasted, butter it. Then serve!

Goes down well with grated cheddar. Accompany with a beer or red wine. If you make it for yourself, you can usually get two meals out of it, and it actually tastes better the 2nd day. Multiply ingredients as necessary for more people. This a great outdoor party dish.

Pasta (none / 0) (#131)
by mansley on Fri Nov 02, 2001 at 06:16:12 AM EST

Well, I normally just head to Tesco and grab a few packs of fresh stuffed pasta (Raviollo, Tortellini, etc) for a few quid (cheaper if they're getting to the end of their shelf life), and they only take three minutes in a pot of boiling water, so that's, hmm, ten minutes tops, to a pretty damned good meal.

[ Parent ]
Vegetarian "Chili" (none / 0) (#136)
by majcher on Sat Nov 03, 2001 at 01:27:40 PM EST

...is a Ridiculous Liberal Myth. According to the official ICS rules:
"True chili is defined by the International Chili Society as any kind of meat, or combination of meats, cooked with chili peppers, various other spices, and other ingredients with the exception of BEANS and any type of PASTA which is strictly forbidden. "
I don't know what you want to call it - some sort of meatless hippy soup, I guess - but it sure as hell ain't chili. I've been out here in California upwards of six years now, and I haven't found a single damn place that makes real chili. Goddamn hippies.
Wrestling pigs since 1988!
[ Parent ]
not a hippy - just ignorant (none / 0) (#137)
by spacejack on Sat Nov 03, 2001 at 03:54:36 PM EST

I'm from the north-east, we don't have any hippies here! They were eradicated back in the 80's and those that survived fled to the west coast.

[ Parent ]
My burrito recipe (none / 0) (#140)
by akharon on Sat Nov 03, 2001 at 10:53:19 PM EST

I know, it's easy, most people may not care for it, but if you like spicy food, you just might like it.

1 small yellow onion
1 medium tomato
1 lb. ground beef
1 can refried beans
1 serrano pepper
1 bottle tapatio (good stuff!) hot sauce

Dice onion, put into a bowl. Remove insides (seeds and all that junk) from tomato, and dice the shell, put in same bowl. Drench in tapatio sauce, let marinade whilst you cook.

Brown ground beef (preferably thawed already), liberally sprinkle tapatio on beef while cooking. Don't drain the beef, instead pour onion and tomato in the pan to soak up the juices, and add chopped pepper (thin slices!) and beans. Turn heat to low or off, and stir every minute or so until beans are warm. Place in a tortilla and roll it up.

Spaghetti con vongale (none / 0) (#142)
by Edgy Loner on Sun Nov 04, 2001 at 05:36:42 PM EST

Also known as spaghetti with clams. Quantities are approximate, thats just the way I cook.
1 lb package long pasta (spaghetti or linguine)
2 - 4 cloves garlic minced or run through a press
1 - 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
2 - 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro (fresh coriander). Flat leaf or regular parsley might do in a pinch
1 6.5 ounce can of chopped or minced clams
2 -3 tablespoons good olive oil

First have everything ready and set out. Open the clams, chop the cilantro, prep the garlic etc. This is a fast dish and timing sensitive so you don't want to have stop to look for something in the middle.

Start water boiling in a large pot for the pasta. Start the sauce a minute or two before you put the pasta in the water. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan (preferably non stick). When it's hot add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until the garlic is golden and sticky. This will take about 5 minutes. Don't let it get brown or it will go bitter. Add the clams and juice from the can. Increase the heat and stir. When the clams are heated through and the sauce has reduced some it's ready. If you want a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice will brighten the flavor If you timed it right the pasta should be ready now. Drain the pasta, add the cilantro to the sauce and toss with the pasta. Serve on hot plates with some nice white wine and plenty of fresh ground black pepper. Tradionally you don't add cheese to this kind of pasta dish, but a little fresh grated cheese adds a nice touch.

This is not my beautiful house.
This is not my beautiful knife.

Recession Diet (1.00 / 1) (#143)
by miah on Sun Nov 04, 2001 at 06:22:44 PM EST

Being that I am recently unemployed I have found many amazing ways to eat for $20/wk. I list a few meals that I commonly make:

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
1 can of tomato soup
Cheese (Muenster is my favorite!)

Everybody knows how to make grilled cheese, so I won't go there. If you don't, call your mother, she worries. And everyone can heat soup, if you can't do this either we need to re-evaluate Maslow's Pyramid.

Ways to mix this up; adding ham or a slice of fresh tomato to you sandwich is good, and if the chicken of the sea is your thing a nice tuna salad is easy to make. As for the soup, use whole milk, it makes it thicker and easier to dip you sandwich in.

Beef Stroganoff
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 pound of lean ground beef
2 handfuls of wide egg noodles

Boil your noodles until desired texture, halfway through that brown your ground beef and drain the excess grease off. Heat your soup and stir in your ground beef. Drain and serve noodles topped with you freshly concocted sauce.

My father should get credit for teaching me this as well...

Religion is not the opiate of the masses. It is the biker grade crystal meth of the masses.
Chicken Quesadia in short order (none / 0) (#145)
by Sid 67 on Mon Nov 05, 2001 at 03:57:49 PM EST

Working for a busy restaurant, everything's about speed and efficiency. Now, if you're like me (lazy as all hell). you don't realise you need to eat until your stomach starts to tell you and by the time you get to the kitchen, you're just looking for anything to eat to fill the void in your stomach. He's a fairly easy reciepe for a simple but delicious meal. stuff needed: chicken breast onions green peppers cheese (pref. mixed) salsa (the spicier, the better) tortilla x2 butter sourcream HOWTO: 1) Heat the BBQ to High 2) Preheat oven to 375 3) Slap the Chicken on BBQ (make sure you cook all the way through =) 4) Throw a Tortilla on a non-stick pan 5) cover the tortilla with salsa 6) add green peppers and onions 7) dice chicken and lay ontop 8) add cheese ontop of chicken (to seal the tortilla) 9) lay another tortilla ontop 10) cover the top of the tortilla with butter (at work we use garlic butter) 11) throw it in the oven until crispy (~10mins) 12) serve with sourcream At work, the whole process takes around 13-15 minutes but the chicken is pre-cooked =) Enjoy.

On use of crockpot and microwave (none / 0) (#147)
by ragnarok on Tue Nov 06, 2001 at 06:23:40 AM EST

What I usually do is set up something in my crockpot overnight, turn it off in the morning and stuff it in the fridge. Then I yank it out come belly-rumble, and microwave it.

Here's something casseroley:

two big onions
three big potatoes
pinch of salt
dried chillies
coupla sweet potatoes
pre-cooked kidney beans (for taste difference, try soy)
two cups of water or thereabouts

slice onion, layer in bottom of crockpot, add
sliced garlic and cut dried chillies, cover
with sliced carrot, then honey and
pinch of salt, slice potatoes and sweet
potatoes, cover until it almost reaches the
rim, then add kidney beans to cover the
potatoes/sweet potatoes. Then add water.

Turn crockpot to high, leave overnight, turn off
in morning when it smells wonderful, then
push into storage/microwaveable containers,
push into fridge, then pop into microwave
whenever belly starts rumbling.
// For extra protein, fry sausage.

"And it came to healed until all the gift and pow, I, the Lord, to divide; wherefore behold, all yea, I was left alone....", Joseph Smith's evil twin sister's prophecies
Fast & healthful (none / 0) (#148)
by josh drvsh on Tue Nov 06, 2001 at 12:01:38 PM EST

Get a blender and one of those "It slices, it dices, this does it all" things & be sure it's one which doesn't make you wrestle with it when cleaning the darn thing; your fingers are your life so the less use of a knife, the better. I cut up fruit for blender drinks & freeze the ice cube sized chunks.

You can put anything on the stove, just use a timer feature on the computer to remind you to stir. I'm not going to come up with recipe's here.

http://www.recipesource.com or just do a search.

It's pretty amazing how many of the recipes so far really aren't good for your health. I suggest whole grain soups, salads & smoothie fruit drinks. Oh, and a keyboard cover :) Crock pots, pressure cookers, convection ovens & blenders have all been updated in recent years with a better selection of options.

Now, if someone could just show me how to rip the guts out of a few toasters & a Mac 6100 to make a real pizza (warmer) box, I'd be really excited.

Pancakes. Pecan Pancakes. (n/t) (3.00 / 1) (#150)
by leviramsey on Fri Sep 20, 2002 at 03:27:53 AM EST

Code Fuel | 150 comments (149 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
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