In the Kitchen with Stephanie

28 01 2010

Last night, upon hearing that we’re going to get socked with about a foot of snow in 24 hours, I decided it was the best time to bake something. Plus, all this talk about kitchen gadgets has got me to hard-crack phase.

And of course, as all chefs know, you need to be dressed appropriately for the job.


(cowelneckedwaffledknitted sweater, yoga pants and the apron I got for Christmas)

I decided that the victim would be CRUMB CAKE


4 cups all purpose flour, divided into 1.5cups and 2.5 cups
1 cup white sugar
2.5 tsp baking powder
.5 tsp salt
1 large egg
.5 cup milk
.5 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup butter- melted
2 tbls veggie oil (though, in the directions, it said canola, while the ingredient list said vegetable)
Oven to 375

Mix 1.5 cups flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in one bowl.
In another bowl, wisk the egg, milk, oil and vanilla.

At this point, I felt it was necessary to show my functional butter-melting microwave.
Also at this point, I was trying to line up the focus grid and realized that the butter had not only melted, it was boiling- as shown here:


Anyway, mix the flour etc. with the egg etc. and spread into the bottom of a greased pan.
Unless you bake in silicone, in which case, it’s probably already greased.

After that’s made a mess, mix the remaining 2.5 cups of flour with the brown sugar and cinnamon. Pour the butter over the mix and stir with a spatula (or flatula, depending what you prefer) until large crumbs are formed; a couple minutes.

Bake for however long it takes your oven to ruin things (mine took about 30 minutes because the sides were cooked at 23 minutes, but the center was still all jiggley… must be the silicone)

Stick a cake tester (a.k.a. “toothpick”) into the cake and remove. Your cake is done when nothing sticks to the extracted pick.


(slightly more like a) Wordless Wednesday

27 01 2010



(yea, that is drool on the floor)

Wordless Wednesday

27 01 2010

(free kittens puppies beer inside! * Beer is subject to change)

(open/untape me! Please! I can’t breathe in here! Be Careful! Don’t cut me man! I don’t have insurance!)


25 01 2010

The Missing Taco Spoon and The Unnecessary Excess

22 01 2010

Raising the chaos level of Casa Mak to unprecedented heights, we have been without our beloved “taco spoon” since fall.
Steve thinks he took it camping (“There are certain things you’re not supposed to take camping for fear of losing them. The Taco Spoon was one of those thing!”, I tell him) and/or it fell behind/into something. Regardless, it’s lost.
“What’s the big deal?”, you ask… Well, a certain engineer seems to think that all other spoons are inferior for taco beef production (and heaven forbid we make chicken) because The Taco Spoon allowed for proper size beef nuggets and seasoning distribution.
So, giving up the ghost that The Taco Spoon will magically reappear in our service utensil drawer (though he’ll check every Taco Tuesday) I have decided to see about procuring a new taco spoon. The thing is, I don’t know where The Original Taco Spoon came from, less to say it came with me when I moved.
Was it something from when mom worked at Lechter’s? Was it part of a set? Was it something that someone left at my old house and we claimed?
The Taco Spoon is hard to define… slots like a slotted spoon, mix between spatula and spoon (not flat, not totally curved) angled at one end…

In my efforts to find at least what The Taco Spoon is properly named, I searched (in addition to my local outlets)…
Besides not finding a replacement taco spoon thingie, I found the following items which I do not understand:

Breading Trays

(I use bowls/plates.)

Salad Dressing Mixer


A Chestnut Knife

(How much do you have to love chestnuts and/or eat chestnuts to warrant a$16 knife? While I understand you don’t want to bend your good knives…)

Personalized Branding Tool

(Is it still mooing/bawking? No? Down the pallet it go- Oh, wait, this is YOUR steak.)

Salad Sissors

(*looks at hands*)

Trash Bowl

(a trash bowl. Come here so I can hit you with it. Do you not have other bowls? What makes  trash bowl different then say, a bowl?)

I guess my main question is: At what point do you decide that you love something enough to have a dedicated tool? I mean, maybe it’s because I got kicked out of culinary school*, but a knife’s a knife. Well, except the serrated ones. And the butcher… and I guess if you’re worried about cross contamination…

What tool(s) do you use the most?
The least?

I use my fancy-ass-knife set ALL THE TIME, while my zester is gathering dust.


Turning Anger into Kindness

21 01 2010

Parking farther away then I care to, in the rain (uphill, both ways), wind and cold, I made my way to the front of the store.
There’s a car parked directly in front of the doors.
“Who the hell does that person think they are?!”, Angry Stephanie wonders.
As I get closer, I see there’s no one in the drivers seat.
“They must be pretty damn important to just leave their car here!”, comments Angry Stephanie. “AND, no [handicapped] parking permit…”

As I round the back of the car, I see a woman, about my age, fighting to get an ottoman-style storage bench from the backseat onto a cart.
“Do you need a hand?”, I asked her, double-taking as my anger turned to apathy.
“No no… I’ve got it.”, She said as the cart was being blown away.
A woman so much like myself.
“Well, I’m going to at least hold the cart her for you… it’d be annoying to get it on the cart only to have it push the cart further away.” And I put a foot on the bottom and held the handle bar.
Grunting, she got the bench from the back seat and situated on the cart.
“And I’ll even get the door for you…”, I said, holding the door from behind.
Another woman joined in, getting the other swinging door and we got the bench into the store.

Afterward, I felt so much more rejuvenated than exhausted.
It’s hard work being angry and I think I want to be done with that.

These Are The Daves I Know…

19 01 2010

Thanks to Sammy who by calling out his co-workers faults, reminded me of what I intended to post today.


Would I be correct in guessing they’re one of those people who if you try to talk to them, they repeat what they had started to say?
Annoying Coworker: Hee hee hoo hoo, overhead that your cars in the shop.
Non-Annoying Coworker: Yup.
AC: What’s going on? Brakes? Heater? Fuel Pump?
NAC: They think it’s the fuel-
AC: Yeah, my fuel pump went once too…
NAC: But you know, they’re not done with it yet.
AC: Yeah, my fuel pump went once too and it was like TWO HUNDRED dollars to replace it! TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS!
NAC: Well, they’re just running tests on it now.
AC: When my fuel pump went, it was TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS!

Or are they the let’s-talk-about-you-so-we-can-talk-about me?
AC: Does your dog chase birds?
Normal Person: Of course! Scrappy chas-
AC: My dog will not stop chasing them! All over the yard!
NP: I see.
AC: And does your dog throw up after eating rawhides.
NP: Well, no, but he/she doesn’t process it well so it’s a mess in the yard.
AC: Our dog ate an ENTIRE bag of rawhide once and threw up EVERYWHERE! Or maybe it was pig ears… you feed your dog pig ears?
NP: Ew. No.
AC: Pig ears!!!

AC: You watch that game last night?
Random Office Personnel who Happens to be Within Vicinity: Yup.
AC: I can’t believe he made that catch/goal/pass!
AC: Did you see that game last night.
ROPHWV, walking away: Yup.
AC: Did you see that catch/goal/pass?!?!
ROPHWV, turning towards piles and pile of work: Yup.

Could be the same person as I-Can’t-Find/Change-The
Scenario 1)
Coworker: Hey! What’s wrong with the copier?
Helper*: Well, that’s at one end office and I am over here. So, I do not know.
C: What’s it mean by “Jam in feeder”.
Helper: Pretty sure it means there’s a jam in the feeder.

Scenario 2)
Coworker: What’s it mean by “Replace black toner drum”?

Scenario 3)
AC: Do we have any more letterhead/pencils/highlighters/pens/post-its?
Helper: It’s where it’s always been.
AC: Yeah, I looked, I can’t find it.
H: It’s right here (pointing to shrink wrapped package of letterhead under an open pack of color stock).
AC: Oh, I didn’t look there.
H, struggling to get package open: I know.
AC: I didn’t know it would be so much work!

* Okay, it was me…