Dec. 9th, 2013 | 03:55 pm
posted by: ginmar
The first time, I used skim milk spiked with some cream, and curdled with cider vinegar. It was a little hard to bring it together and "knead" before pressing, but once pressed stayed together pretty well. However, when I attempted to brown it after cutting it into cubes, it melted into lumpy masses. I figured that either using the skim + cream, and/or using vinegar instead of lemon juice, and/or not kneading enough must be the culprit for it not holding together, and vowed to try again. As a note, I cooked half of it after ti had refrigerated for a day, and the other half after freezing for a while. Both times were equally melty.
Just recently, though, I made a batch using 2% and skim milk plus a little half-and-half, and curdled with straight-up citric acid solution. It seemed to be working better, because after draining and initial squeezing, I was able to get the cheese mass to knit together a bit and knead. Some recipes call to knead until the mix is smooth, but that never really happened for me because the mix was still just a bit too crumbly. I pressed it, and ended up with a pretty firm block, which I froze. I thawed it back out this past Saturday and cooked it Sunday - this time it was somehow even more melty! It was as though I'd tried to fry fresh mozzarella. And yet, it was prefectly firm when I had cut it into blocks.
I am perplexed! Could this be because I am not using whole milk, and instead concocting mixes of lesser milkfat products with higher milkfat products? Something tells me that perhaps there were gums in the high-fat products, which could have had some effects on the cheese's structure. Overall, though, I'm just confused - I don't know enough about cheese science to decipher how I am basically getting an effect that is attributed to rennet-curdled cheeses in an acid-curdled cheese.
Does anyone have any idea why this has happened? Any suggested fixes? Thanks!
Dec. 9th, 2013 | 09:30 am
posted by: jimhines
We’ve finally finished watching all three seasons of Avatar: The Last Airbender. I’m going to go ahead and say this is one of the best shows I’ve ever watched. Here’s the official show description from the website, for anyone who’s unfamiliar with it:
Water. Earth. Fire. Air. Only the Avatar was the master of all four elements. Only he could stop the ruthless Fire Nation from conquering the world. But when the world needed him most, he disappeared. Until now…
On the South Pole, a lone Water Tribe village struggles to survive. It’s here that a young Waterbender named Katara and her warrior brother Sokka rescue a strange boy named Aang from a cavernous iceberg. Not only is Aang an Airbender–a race of people no one has seen in a century–but they soon discover that Aang is also the long lost Avatar. Now it’s up to Katara and Sokka to make sure Aang faces his destiny to save the tribe–and himself. Did we mention he’s only 12?
I don’t know how best to talk about a three-season, 61-episode show, so I’m just going to randomly celebrate some of the things that made it work so well for me.
The Characters: Almost without exception, every character has his/her own personality and story arc. The Big Bad Fire Lord was pretty much the only one who struck me as one-dimensional, and that’s partly because he barely even shows up until the very end. Everyone else felt fully human. They struggle. They make mistakes. You can connect and sympathize with almost everyone, even the villains. These are interesting people, and I wanted to spend more time with them.
The Animation: This is a beautifully animated show, from the background artwork to the various spirit creatures to the different cultural styles of dress and architecture to my particular favorite, the gracefulness of the four styles of bending. It’s gorgeous to look at.
The Joy: Aang’s backstory is incredibly painful. He’s the last of his people, a hundred years out of his time, and is tasked with saving the world. At the age of twelve. Yet he never loses his joy in the world. He jokes, he laughs, he plays, he dances. He believes in people … but not to the point of foolishness. The show hits notes of both very real pain and ridiculous silliness (poor cabbage guy), and the full range in between. That’s a hard thing to do well, and incredibly powerful when done right.
I’m putting the rest behind a cut tag, because of spoilers…
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
If you don't use a stand mixer to make from-scratch mashed potatoes, what do you use, and how do you like it? Hand smasher? Ricer? Something else?
Dec. 8th, 2013 | 05:40 pm
posted by: hardboiledblond in cooking
Mini Dark Chocolate Cupcake Bites - These little gems are satisfyingly rich and full of dark chocolate flavor. The texture just melts in your mouth. I've topped these with candy canes for a festive touch for the holidays, but you don't have to, so these are great any time of year! Recipe and more at The Alchemist.
Dec. 8th, 2013 | 08:08 pm
posted by: nyquilsteve317 in boring_people
Dec. 8th, 2013 | 04:17 pm
posted by: ginmar
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Dec. 7th, 2013 | 10:59 pm
posted by: fame in fatshionista
I did shop with Torrid for the first time on Black Friday with their 40% off sale. I got this dress, this top, and this top.
I seriously LOVE all three. I am a big fan of peplum, since it helps balance out my boobs, so perfect! The dress I picked for NYE, and is VERY boob-y, so pretty much perfect?? I love the first top just as much as I expected, and since the peplum doesn't go all the way around, it helps elongate/smooth my torso while balancing my hips. The third I love as well, as it gives kind of a retro vibe (seriously, look at the back!) but I'm going to have to exchange it since there's cosmetic damage--some of the polka dots right front and center and stained? or made wrong, not sure which. I wore the dress to my college graduation last night:
Anyway, that brings me to my question about Torrid sizing--the dress was out of stock in a 16, which is what I typically wear, so I decided to try for a 14 and watch my drinking the next few weeks...but when it came in on Friday, I had to try it on, and it fit like a dream! Does Torrid typically size up, or did this just have a lot of stretch to it? Thanks for any help that might make my mail ordering easier :)
Dec. 7th, 2013 | 03:39 pm
posted by: jimhines
I just posted this over on Tumblr, but wanted to share it here as well.
I’ve criticized The Big Bang Theory for things like its ongoing obsession with fat jokes, its casual sexism (OMG, girls don’t read comics/play D&D/etc), the handling of Sheldon’s autistic/OCD issues, and an ongoing sense of laughing at geeks instead of with us.
But I want to give a shoutout to something the show did recently in “The Itchy Brain Simulation.” Leonard discovered a DVD he had forgotten to return for Sheldon, and started worrying about how Sheldon would react. Because we all know Sheldon can’t let anything go, and would be completely annoying and freak out about the unreturned DVD, right? And then we the viewers can all laugh at the neurotic genius and ask why his friends put up with him.
Only it didn’t play out that way. Sheldon countered by asking why Leonard didn’t consider how annoying and difficult these things were for him. As far as I know, this is the first time Sheldon’s ever stood up for himself in this way. He took it a step further, saying he’d remain calm about the DVD … if Leonard wore an itchy sweater he had gotten as a gift until the DVD was returned.
Animated gifs ahead. (I did say this was being copied from Tumblr…)( Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.