Monday, June 11, 2012

Act of Valor, the DVD

So my friend Jaci is having a giveaway over on her blog. You should all go check it out. There seems to be money involved as well as some DVDs/BluRay's of the movie Act of Valor. Personally haven't seen it, but looks good.

Monday, February 20, 2012

MST3K Twitterfest goes Post-Apocolytic

Next MST3KTwitterfest February 26th.
Join in the Facebook Event, if you do that sorta stuff.

You'll be able to come to this very place to watch it. It will be, as usual, epic. On the agenda is Warrior of Lost World. If you grew up in the 80s you might have caught this one in the movie theaters, I know I did. It should be interesting to see how badly it has aged.
Meanwhile, the standard times and places are in effect.
11AM Pacific
Noon Mountain
1 PM Central
2 PM Eastern
9PM Israel
If you're new to the game, we all join in and watch in sync and then we meet up and tweet about it. All tweets get tagged with #MST3KLostWorld so follow that tag while you're watching.

Hope to see you here.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

It's a cheesecake! And it's spiiiicy!

The other day I was thinking of what sort of treat I wanted to make for Shabbos morning Kiddush. It had been a while since we'd had cheesecake so that came to mind. Never one to leave well enough alone I tweeted that I would be making a chili cheesecake, as sort of a conceptual riff on a chili cheese dog. Well, not really, those aren't kosher and the cheese there is melted cheese and the chili is beef and beans. But hey, it's Twitter and people say all sorts of bombastic things. The comment was sort of off the cuff, but some people (I'm looking at you Kruiser) seemed to be intrigued by the idea, so I thought I'd give it a go.

You'll need:
6-8 Graham Crackers
Stick of butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon red chili flakes

7 eggs (seperated)
3/4 cup sugar
16 oz cream cheese
8 oz sour cream
2/5 cup cornflour
2/5 cup vanilla pudding mix
2 tbsp red chili flakes (or more...)

You're also going to need something to put it in. I used Pannettone paper cups, which have a straight, flat edge unlike regular muffin cups. This recipe ended up making 14 mini-cheesecakes. I would also recommend doing this in the evening, since they get left in the oven for 4-6 hours after baking.

In a food processer blitz up the graham crackers into a coarse powder and mix in the sugar and chili flakes. Melt the butter and stir into the crumb mixture. You can use vanilla wafers if you're short on graham crackers. Pat 1-2 tbsps into each cup, patting it down. Put it in the oven at 350F (180C) for 5 minutes then take out to cool down.

Meanwhile, it's time to make the cheesecake mixture. Leaving the egg whites aside, mix all the other ingredients together in a bowl. So, egg yolks, then sugar, sour cream, cream cheese, then cornflour and pudding mix. We also add in the chili flakes at this point, if you want to spice it up.

When that is well mixed take the egg whites and beat the living heck out of them. Well, not that much, you want to get them to the "soft peak" stage.

Now for the delicate bit, with a spatula gently mix the egg whites into the rest of the mixture. Taking about a third at a time, slide the beaten whites into the bowl and fold them in slowly so it stays aerated.

Preheat the oven 325F (150C).
When it's all combined start filling the cups. This is the easy part. Fill them about 2/3 of the way up.
Sprinkle a little bit of chili on top of the mix and put it in the oven. Also, put a bowl of water (make sure it's oven proof) on a lower rack. Let them cook for 70-80 minutes, then turn off the oven and leave them there until the following morning.
In theory, they're done! Woohoo! Or, you can kick them up a notch. I removed the paper mold from the cheesecakes, which should be more cake like than a regular heavy cheesecake. I then melted white chocolate with a bit of butter and dipped the tops of each cake in it. When it had set I took melted caramel and splattered it on top of the chocolate.

Needless to say they were a big hit. I made some with chili and some without. As I said, the texture is much more cake like, very fluffy, but it tasted like a classic cheese cake, sweet and a bit sour, just when you think the flavor profile finishes the chili kicks in. It starts subtly and then builds up, but is never over powering, muted by the cheese. Highly recommended, but a not a beginner recipe.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Snap MST3KTwitterfest coming up. Escape 2000

Right, it was requested, sort of. So, we're going to try and run one this coming Sunday. Do the math, you know what day that is. While originally suggested to #TeamJoo this one is, as are all, open to the public.
We'll be watching a nice film about silver lame and jack boot wearing thugs set in, of all places, the Bronx.
So, get ready for #MST3KEscape2000
I'll post links to the movie on Saturday night/Sunday morning. If you have a slow connection, try downloading the parts earlier in the day.

If you don't know how this works, just watch along follow the #MST3KEscape2000 hashtag over on the Twitters.

Okay, here it is. Buffer it up or download it if you have bandwidth issues!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

It's the Holiday Edition of MST3K Twitterfest

And it's about time! So, mark your calendars, Sunday, December 4th at 2:00 PM Eastern we will once more get together for some good clean Mystery Science Theater fun. This time around, due to the time of year we'll be watching Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.

We're on! That's 2:00 PM EST and 11:00 AM PST and 9:00PM Israel
If this will be your first MST3K Twitterfest, we get together at the appointed time to watch the movie. I'll have it embedded here for easy viewing. If your YouTube streaming isn't always so smooth then drop me a note, I'll set you up with a pre-cached copy. The hashtag we'll be using is #MST3KSantaClaus, so you should set up a column for that in your Twitter client. I'll also have a feed embedded here, but it's not quite as good. Looking forward to seeing you there!
You can also join up at the Facebook event and get updates and reminders.

Unfortunately the High Definition videos I found can't be embedded, but you can watch it all here. I've defaulted to 360p, but you can move to 720p depending on your bandwidth.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hey! Those burgers are stuffed!

Well, it's been a heck of a long time since I last blogged and even longer since I last blogged food. I hope to change that. Meanwhile I'm on a new diet based on Tim Ferris's book the 4-Hour Body. If you don't know Ferris and his books, you're missing out. He is all about hacking everything, from lifestyles to bodies to sleeping patterns. In any event, the short summary of the diet is that there are no carbohydrates, milk or fruit allowed during the week, but all the protein and fat your can stomach. I've been on it for close to 3 weeks and I'm losing an average of more than 3 lbs. a week. The only issue is coming up with what to eat. So, I hope to bring a few easy, and tasty, recipes for you to add to your repertoire. Unlike most of my other recipes these are generally for one or two people and not scaled up to my usual family sized, so keep that in mind if you're going to be cooking for a crowd. I'll also be doing whole meals, not just single dishes. As a side note all of the recipes will be sugar, dairy and gluten free, so if you're into that stuff you'll rock these recipes.

The first meal is Burgers stuffed with onion jam, grilled tomatoes and cabbage and almond slaw.
You'll need:
8 oz. ground beef
1 medium onion
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup stock (or water if stock isn't available)
1/4 cup red wine
Kosher Salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp red chili flakes (optional)
1 medium tomato
1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
1/8 cup almond slivers
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

Toss the shredded cabbage and vinegar in a bowl and set aside.
Dice the onion and drop it in a frying pan with a bit of oil and start sauteing them, chop the garlic and toss that in too. When they become translucent add half the stock and keep cooking them until all the liquid is gone, then add the rest of it. Cook until it's gone then add the wine, letting that reduce down. This should all take about half an hour. The truth is, it would probably be good to quadruple the amount of onions and double the liquid measures, setting 3/4 of it aside for later use. What you'll have left is a dark onion-y sludge with the consistency close to marmalade or jam. 

Next, add a teaspoon of salt, pepper and garlic powder to your ground beef, mixing it through. Then you'll want to separate it into two equal sized portion and pat them down to form two, well, patties. Make them about 1/4 of an inch thick because we're going to fold them up on themselves.

Place a heaping spoon of the onion jam in the middle of each patty and bring up the sides to engulf the filing, mush closed. Don't worry if it doesn't close all the way, close is good enough.

Now comes cooking time. I have a grill pan, but you can do all this in a regular frying pan without a problem. If you're using a flat bottomed pan add a touch of oil or non-stick spray when the pan is hot and then add the burgers. Make sure you put the top side down, that is the side you attempted to close. This will seal it so the onions don't all leak out. I'd say cook 5 minutes on each side, twice. For a total of 20 minutes in the pan.
Right after the first flip, cut your tomato into three even rounds, so two slices, one on either side of the stem. Add them to the pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. When you flip your burgers, flip the tomatoes.

Almost done! Put the burgers on your plate, then the sprinkle the extra onions over both. Get your cabbage slaw that was set aside and mix in the almond slivers. Add that to the plate. Pour yourself tall glass of ice water and maybe add a lemon twist. Eat!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Great MST3K Tweetup of 2011 Part I've Lost Track so make it up

Yeah, it's actually the sixth time we'll be doing this. It'll be the same as last time, I'll set up a Youtube play list so everyone can watch uninterrupted.

We'll be watching Sean Connery's brother Neal star in Operation Double 007 also known as Operation Kid Brother.

So make sure you keep the date free!

Sunday, September 18th
9PM Israel
2PM Eastern
1PM Central
Noon Mountain
11AM Pacific
10AM Alaska

Join the FB event for other updates and email reminders.