Orthogonal Thought | Random musings from the creator of Cooking For Engineers and Lead Architect of Fanpop





Batter Blaster

Posted 29 July, 2008 at 12:01am by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Food) 3 comments


A while back I mentioned the existence of a product called Batter Blaster. I finally got around to trying it out. Using the product was a breeze, just invert, press on the tip until enough batter comes out, and stop. The rest is just like cooking pancakes (or waffles if you're using a waffle iron) like normal.

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Batter Blaster

Celebrity Chef's reaching new levels of… well, celebrity

Posted 25 July, 2008 at 12:18pm by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Food) 4 comments

It was just a few years ago that celebrity chefs were rare and usually only popular in the small community of food enthusiasts. These days, for better or worse, Food Network has really expanded the food lexicon and awareness of the general public. I might not always agree with the direction their shows take and what aspects of food and cooking they promote, but I have to say they've really made food and food celebrities main stream. Here's Mario Batali making a celebrity cameo in a music video (!) by the Blood Sugars. Do you guys think this is a positive trend or is the popularization of food culture negatively affecting the food community?

Liquid Cascade

Posted 23 July, 2008 at 10:47am by Michael Chu

I've always used the dry powdered dishwashing detergent. It just seemed more economical and easier (since I didn't have to keep making trips to buy more because each box of the powdered stuff holds more loads than a typical bottle of liquid). So, I've never actually tried the liquid dishwashing detergent until now. I got a bottle of Liquid Cascade and I really like it. We run the dishwasher fairly often (especially when I'm preparing something for an article on Cooking For Engineers or just testing recipes) and sometimes when I'm in a hurry and the box if full, it's easy to spill some of the powdered stuff onto the ground (got to make sure your hands are dry before you try to pick up powdered detergent!). But the liquid stuff seems so easy to pour and control quantity - just squeeze until the right amount is in the cup and you're done! The powdered stuff is a bit harder to control the flow of. This seems like a silly reason to switch, but after running a couple dozen loads with liquid, I'm seriously contemplating sticking with the Liquid Cascade for my dishwashing needs from now on. Also, I noticed that I don't seem to need a rinse aid anymore - the Cascade seems to rinse of by itself really well even though we've got hard water.


Just Ate

Posted 18 July, 2008 at 9:35pm by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Dining) No comments

So, Tina and I are in San Francisco celebrating our anniversary. I took her to Jai Yun and we had one of the best meals (if not the best - right now we think it's the best but I'll wait a few days before deciding). One thing it lacked was dessert and both of us had a craving for rice pudding. So on the walk back from Chinatown to Union Square (where our hotel is) we stopped at an E&O Trading Company.

They had a rice pudding with lemongrass, coconut milk, and a strawberry basil sauce. We decided to stay and ordered it. Unfortunately, the rice pudding was subpar - very mild, bland, and barely sweet. We couldn't even taste a hint of lemongrass. Oh well. With this experience and our previous dinner (six years ago) that was entirely unmemorable (except for the corn fritters), what resulted was a new rule - never eat at E&O Trading Company.

Help name a limited edition Italian wine… win prizes!

Posted 8 July, 2008 at 7:21pm by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Food) No comments

This sounds like fun. Carrabba's Italian Grill, a nationwide chain of Italian restaurants (that seem to be everywhere except for California… I wonder if they're any good), has a promotion where they've partnered with a Tuscan winery (Ruffino) to produce a wine (they describe it as a baby super tuscan blend) for sale at the restaurant. They're asking for submissions for a unique name for the new wine. What does the winner get? A case of the exclusive wine, a special dinner for twelve, and a years worth of dinner at Carrabba's. I'm not too good with names… the best I've come up with is Savory Oak which is kind of lame. I'd be interested in hearing some of your ideas (whether or not you actually participate in the contest). I never gave wine names much thought before.