Blog entries tagged with "cooking"

A public announcement

Monday, September 26th, 2011 at 10:19 pm

A few weeks ago I ordered some books online. While the trigger was Paranormality by Richard Wiseman, I also ordered two other books of his: Quirkology and 59 Seconds.

Quirkology was quite an interesting read, but it is 59 seconds (which I am currently halfway though) that surprised me. Most of this was because I didn’t fully realise that it was a self-help book, albeit a self-help book that is backed by peer-reviewed research. This should be the only kind of self-help book.

Take motivation for example. Research from large scale scientific studies found that techniques such as focusing on a role model, thinking about bad outcomes of missing the goal, trying to supress unhelpful thoughts, relying on willpower or fantasizing about reaching the goal are not effective.

On the other hand making a plan, telling other people, thinking about good things of achieving the goal, rewarding progress, and recording progress all signifigantly increases the likelihood of achieving the goal. Most of these involve writing, which other studies have found to be considerably more effective than simply talking or thinking about something.

So here are parts of a plan that I am sharing with the world to achieve a current goal of mine: losing weight.

  1. Reclaim the habit of cycling to work. I will allow three exceptions: it is raining enough that I would be soaked through, I need to head somewhere directly from work (ie not enought time to ride home to get the car), or mechanical issues that make the bike unsafe.

  2. Exercise every day. At bare minimum this is the above cycling to and from work, but on the weekend this means at least a 30 minute bike ride or going to the place mentioned in the next point.

  3. Going to the gym (yes, some would be very surprised to know that I know what one of those is) at minimum three times a week.

  4. Eating better. This fairly broad and covers avoiding take away and soft drinks, cooking for myself (but avoiding fats and sugary sauces) or resorting to healthy frozen/prepackaged meals.

As an aside, finding appropriate frozen/prepackaged meals has been an interesting journey. Many pasta type meals include parmesan for that delicious aroma while heating, but are actually passable. I would say that those that include rice are preferable. But then you get to those with “potato”, while not hard, I would consider these to be dwarf bread.

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Mmmm… Chocolate self-saucing pudding

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007 at 9:31 pm

Today was my turn to provide cake at our weekly meeting. I was considering making pikelets but it seemed like too much effort so I fell back on a chocolate self-saucing pudding.

Since I had to dig around for the recipe, here are the ingredients for future reference:

Pudding:

  • 1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • 2 tablesoons margarine, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk

Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups boiling water

For work I added 50% to the pudding ingredients and another 150-200% to the sauce which works out nicely for 10 people.

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Probe!

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006 at 7:13 pm

For a while I have been half-heartedly looking for a cooking probe thermometer like I have seen used on Good Eats. I finally got tired of looking at australian places with no luck so I turned to eBay. The result? Just over a week since winning the auction I have in my possession a Polder 362-90: Cooking Timer / Thermometer (shipped from the US) which is the actual model used on the show.

My next challenge is to follow through with the menu I planned now I have one less excuse…

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Planning a menu

Tuesday, September 5th, 2006 at 10:57 pm

In a few weeks my parents are going away which will mean that I will need to fend for myself (yes I still live at home) so in preparation I have been thinking about possible food options. For a while now I have been intending to try things that I have seen on Good Eats which gives me a short list of meals (in alphabetical order):

As well as these I am also planning on giving Angel Food Cake and Overnight Cinnamon Rolls a try. If I am successfull with the second I am tempted to make them fresh (ie baked on the spot) when it is my turn to provide cake for our weekly tech team meeting…

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Ham I Am

Sunday, December 25th, 2005 at 10:55 pm

Every christmas since I saw the Ham I Am episode of Good Eats a few years ago I lobbied to try out the city ham recipie. This year I was successful and it looks likely that I will be asked to do it every year…

On a side note I found the episode transcript significantly more useful than the recipe as the commentary contains crucial information.

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