The Tortoise and The Bear!

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Vegan lemon cupcakes with lemon “buttercream” October 2, 2011

Filed under: Food,Jeremy Post,New Projects! — Jeremy! @ 8:01 pm
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Per my promise late last night, and because I’m very good at getting amped up about projects only to abandon them soon after, here’s a recipe! Penelope and I decided to start writing about food on here more, because that’s basically all that happens in our lives.

Also, as an additional bonus, I was going to add some Amazon Affiliate links to this page, but apparently, Arkansas residents aren’t eligible for the program. You’ll have to click the links that I put down there, buy things for your own personal gratification, and know that I’m not getting a dime for it.

Anyway, I finally managed to make a vegan cupcake which has a satisfying texture. The recipe is adapted from a website that adapted it from the book  Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. The recipe makes 2 dozen cupcakes.

  • 2 cups soymilk
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch (~1/2 tsp) salt
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon extract
  • zest of 4 lemons

Preheat oven to 350 and put cute cupcake liners in the pan (prettier the better). Mix the soymilk and vinegar together and set aside while you get the rest of the ingredients ready; this is going to curdle like faux buttermilk. Assemble everything but the lemon zest via the muffin method: mix the wet ingredients (remember, sugar is a wet ingredient!) together, sift all of the dry ingredients together, then pour wet over dry and mix just until all the big lumps are gone. The less mixing, the better, less gluten, etc. Then stir in the lemon zest, fill the cups 2/3rd-3/4th full and bake for 18-20 minutes, using the toothpick test as necessary. The original recipe said 20-22 minutes, but my uneven oven had one pan done in 18 and the other needed a full 5 minutes extra. Just keep an eye on them.

Remove the pans to cool – when they are completely cool, here’s the frosting:

  • 1 lb box confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter-flavored shortening (check the ingredients; the Crisco I found didn’t have any animal products, just terrible chemicals)
  • Juice and zest from 2 lemons (about 4 tablespoons worth of juice)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • Soymilk, if necessary

Beat the shortening until fluffy or hopelessly smeared all about the bowl. Add powdered sugar, extracts, zest and about half of the juice and try to mix into a vaguely homogenous paste. Add the rest of the lemon juice little by little and beat until it’s the texture that you want. The frosting assumes that you have a stand or hand mixer, if not, you’re on your own. Frost, and delicately sprinkle some lemon zest over the top if you’re feeling fancy.

Notes: using cake flour and sifting actually make a big difference in this recipe – having made it with all-purpose and cake flour, this way comes out much lighter and airier. And second, I don’t know how y’all are zesting lemons, but here in the 21st century, we use any one of a plethora of Microplane graters… I’d provide Amazon links, but the work computers don’t like Amazon today. The coolest one is the box grater, it’s kind of a pain in the ass to clean; there’s a large handheld model, and a seemingly uselessly small handheld model. Any of them will be infinitely easier than dealing with a regular box grater for this kind of thing, though.

Hooray! I wrote a food-related post! In the future, I’ll have to remember to not upload iPhone pictures at an angle that’s vomit-inducing.

 

Fuck y’all, I’m gonna become famous

Filed under: Boring Topic,Jeremy Post — Jeremy! @ 12:48 am
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I’ve finally figured it out, I just don’t know why it hasn’t worked. All I need to do is turn this into a cooking blog, either adopt or create some bullshit, completely disingenuous theory about nutrition or cooking methods, then post about it daily until you either die of boredom or want to burn my house down with me in it.

 

If you can’t tell, I’m trying to wade through a backlog of a cooking blog that has the occasional interesting recipe/article about every tenth one, and the rest are just terrible. Fetid, even. The guy is such a tool, he’s even written two books about his toolery! One of them is $36.95, or  you can get the e-book for TWENTY-SIX FUCKING DOLLARS AND 95 CENTS! I am certain that if I wrote a cookbook, I could sell at least a dozen copies at $15-20 each. Who wants to pre-order?

 

Finally, some spaghetti carbonara. June 29, 2011

Filed under: Jeremy Post,New Projects! — Jeremy! @ 8:13 pm
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Penelope and I went to D’Carlo, out on the county line near Alexander the other night and I would have rather had canned macaroni and cheese. Penelope ate her food, but I took a bite of mine and just sent it back. My “carbonara” was a big pile of noodles with some sauce poured on top of limp bacon and some sort of dairy. When challenged about it, he said “well that’s how we do it in my hometown of Sicily.” Thankfully, the “only way [he] could feel good about his customer service was to not charge me for it.” I have literally never sent a dish back at a restaurant before, at least not without giving them the opportunity to fix it.

 

The next night, we go to Olive Garden, having given up on the indie Italian scene. I am smart enough to ask at this point, and no, they do the same thing: pre-cooked sauce plopped on noodles. And the waitress had been programmed to say “pancetta bacon” every time she mentioned it, which I thought was kind of cute.

 

So tonight!! I feasted! Browned some pancetta in a pan, tossed in garlic and shallot, cooked pasta, stirred it all together with some grated Pecorino cheese and a couple of eggs. Looks like hell, tasted like heaven.

 

 

Country music, and possibly music in general June 27, 2011

As anyone who has had even brief contact with me knows, I tend to go through music phases, and the most recent one has been country music. I think I just have a weakness for vocal harmony and bridges. And just to clarify, country music from before the mid/late 80’s or so is useless to me. I can’t appreciate the classics. I’m sorry, Loretta and Dolly, but most of your music is boring.

Anyway, it seems strange that I enjoy it so much. There’s almost nothing I identify with in them – I don’t have a wife or significant other to cheat on (and given my stance on monogamy…), have never owned a truck, don’t hunt or fish, I live in as close to an urban setting as one can manage in Arkansas, the concept of getting together and drinking in a field, possibly with a bonfire is foreign to me, and I find the religious views and conservatism espoused by country music absolutely ridiculous.

I think has to do with the universal appeal of optimism; it seems that regardless how depressing the lyrics, it usually ends on either a positive note, or at the very least, hopefulness. And the ones that are completely unrelateable for me, like having a tailgate party around a bonfire outside of town somewhere are at least fun. I can get into fun music.

Oh. speaking of fun music, [obligatory (clap!) Kidz Pop reference here].

 

Hay everyone! June 26, 2011

Filed under: Jeremy Post,New Projects! — Jeremy! @ 11:13 pm
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This is a quick test for a cool new thing that may or may not ever function correctly. Cross your fingers!

 

Hmm, I have a blog! June 23, 2011

Filed under: Jeremy Post,Old Projects — Jeremy! @ 10:40 pm
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I have decided to make a commitment to post on here regularly. Sometimes I have ideas that are just too big for Facebook, but I put them there anyway. I’m going to make it easier for myself to make posts, but I’m worried all the good stuff has been written about already.

Oh well. If you’re subscribed via RSS still, then here’s a worthless post for you to read! 😀

 

You know, fuck Comcast. February 15, 2011

Also, fuck the cadaver they rode in on. I’ll apologize in advance, I am normally prone to less-than-flowery language, but the combination of not having Internet and composing a post from my auto-incorrect happy phone is grating on me. That’s why we have low-traffic blogs to vent!

Anyway, last week, I signed up for cable Internet through Comcast, to replace our total failure of something approaching “Internet” we previously had through AT&T. It was installed on Monday, and by Saturday had broken. Scheduled a service call for Monday.

Guy calls Monday to let us know he’s on his way; Penny and I are not home, but Cash is! No go, the accountholder (me) has to be there. Funny, I say, because I wasn’t there when if was installed. I later find out that he is just blowing placenta out his ass, or whatever the idiom is. I called today, to have it rescheduled for after 3:30, when I’ll be home.

They came hours early, when I wasn’t home, and without calling me. Luckily, Penny was home and they fixed it. For about 6 hours. Called, again, tonight and the lady said someone would be at my house Thursday between 2 and 5. I very firmly reminded her that I have now had as much downtime as I’ve had uptime, and that someone was just here, and they would be at my house tomorrow. And not between 2 and 3:30. She agreed.

We’ll see what happens tomorrow when they show up. And who knows, all two of y’all who read this might even get a REAL blog post out of me tomorrow when I have an actual physical keyboard under my beautiful nails. I still have to tell both of you about my Valentine’s adventure.

Sent from my frustrating iPhone

 

Edit/Update: So, the person who was supposed to come to my house today didn’t. More accurately, he was sitting in my parking lot when I got home from work, but didn’t know anything about my service call. Then he went to my neighbor’s house and left.

So, missed the 2-5 slot without a whisper, and I call Comcast back; the man tells me that the call is marked “completed”, and that he would have someone out within an hour. About 30 minutes, a woman calls (from a blocked number(?!)) saying that I requested a followup call. After relaying my story to her, she told me the case had been marked completed, and that was that. She told me that there was no chance of getting a technician out tonight; they had all gone home, and that there was nothing she could do. I asked her why she bothered calling me, she said because I requested it, and we parted ways.

SO, I of course call Comcast back. The man I spoke with this time was very good, and I didn’t have to resort to my cynical voice. You see, I always start out customer service interactions with a very pleasant, calm tone, and only change it if necessary. This man dug up the details, that there WAS someone at my house at some point (who didn’t call me, or interact with me in any way), and that the second service call had been canceled because the first technician determined there was a problem with the line and there wasn’t anything to be done until tomorrow (again, without a phone call). This meant that I spent several unproductive hours at home waiting for either a phone call from a technician or one to show up at my house. And ended the day without Internet.

 

But a bittersweet ending, I suppose. After a more full half-hour on the phone, he said there’d be someone out to check the line tomorrow, and  since they managed to fuck up not one, but two service calls today, he’d credit my account $20. And since I haven’t had working Internet in close to a week at this point, that he’d credit my first month’s service as well. I mean, it’s totally worth it for having spent (literally) hours on the phone with customer service at this point, right?

 

If you look down, you’ll see that my good buddy Mark is offering his services to me, rudimentary Internet research indicates that this is somehow for real, and Comcast has a team of social-media-scouring customer retention agents at their disposal. I wish Mark the best, and I do plan on sending him an email, but I don’t know what Comcast can do to fix this, other than laugh at me because I took off work early today to meet the technician, and then wasted an entire evening.