Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for April 2nd, 2011

Beef Stroganoff

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This came up on another blog, so I thought I’d post here as well.

The versions of Beef Stroganoff I have liked have stated pretty strongly that tomatoes do not belong in this dish. My favorite recipe is the one from the Russian Cookbook—one of the really good cookbooks in the old Time-Life series, and definitely worth getting. It’s by George & Helen Papashvily, who wrote the wonderful book Anything Can Happen, which tells of his emigration to the US, how they met, and various adventures. Totally charming.

Their recipe:

1 Tbsp powdered mustard
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
4-5 Tbsp vegetable oil
4 cups thinly sliced onions, separated into rings
1 lb fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced lengthwise
2 lb filet of beef trimmed of all fat
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 pint sour cream

In a small bowl combine the mustard, 1.5 tsp sugar, pinch of salt, and enough hot water (~1 Tbsp) to form a thick paste. Let stand 5 minutes.

Heat 2 Tbsp of oil in a heavy 10-12-inch skillet over high heat until a light haze forms above it. Drop in the onions and mushrooms, cover the pan, and reduce the heat to low. Stirring from time to time, simmer 20-30 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Drain them in a sieve, discard the liquid, and return the mixture to the skillet.

With a large, sharp knife cut the filet across the grain into 1/4″ wide rounds. Lay each round on a board and slice it with the grain into 1/4″ wide strips.

Heat 2 Tbsp of oil in another heave 10-12-inch skillet over high heat until it is very hot but not smoking. Drop in half the meat and, tossing the strips constantly with a large spoon, fry for 2 minutes or so until the meat is lightly browned.

With a slotted spoon transfer the meat to the vegetables in the other skillet and fry the remaining meat similarly, adding oil if necessary.

When all the meat has been combined with the vegetables, stir in the remaining salt, pepper, and the mustard paste. Stir in the sour cream, a tablespoon at a time, then add the remaining 1/2 tsp sugar and reduce the heat to low.

Cover the pan and simmer 2 or 3 minutes, or until the sauce is heated through. Taste for seasoning.

To serve, transfer the contents of the pan to a heating serving platter and, if you like, scatter straw potatoes over the top.

Written by LeisureGuy

2 April 2011 at 3:49 pm

Posted in Books, Daily life, Food, Recipes

Where we’re headed

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This is a fascinating post by Marta Kagan at Hubspot:

It’s no secret that the marketing landscape has changed dramatically over the past few years as social and mobile technologies have “jumped the shark” from the early-adopter crowd to the mainstream.

Still, there are plenty of traditional marketing stalwarts out there who aren’t buying all of the social media hype or can’t convince their boss or marketing team to experiment in the brave new world of inbound marketing.

So we’ve rounded up a dozen powerful stats that are sure to be eye-openers, if not total mind-changers.

1. 78% of Internet users conduct product research online.
That means your website stands a good chance of being a prospect’s “first impression.” That also means your new business card isn’t a business card—it’s Google.

2. In the past year, Web-based email usage dropped a staggering 59% among 12-17 year olds, who prefer to communicate via text, instant messaging, and social networks.

If 12-17 year olds aren’t your primary customers, you may think, “So what? They’re just kids.” But web-based email usage has been on the decline among ALL Internet users under the age of 55. And by the way, today’s kids are tomorrow’s customers—and they’re probably not going to be reading your email.

3.   78% of business people use their mobile device to check email.
So that means pretty much everybody that can check email on a mobile device, does. Is your email newsletter optimized for mobile devices?

4. . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

2 April 2011 at 11:01 am

Cold Noodles with Peanut or Sesame Sauce

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This sounds quite tasty to me. Mark Bittman blogs:

Makes: 2 main-course or 4 side-dish or appetizer servings
Time: 30 minutes

A crowd-pleaser and an easy starter or side—or a main course on a hot day. To make it more substantial, add 1/2 cup or so of small tofu cubes or cooked soybeans. Or top each serving with a few slices of grilled, roasted, or poached chicken. The cucumber adds nice crunch and freshness to what is otherwise a pretty dense dish. Recipe from How to Cook Everything.

Salt
1 medium or 2 small cucumbers (optional)
12 ounces fresh Chinese egg noodles or long pasta, like linguine
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1/2 cup tahini, peanut butter, or a combination
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger (optional)
1 tablespoon rice or white wine or other vinegar
Hot sesame oil or Tabasco sauce to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
At least 1/2 cup chopped scallion for garnish

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Peel the cucumbers if you’re using them, cut them in half lengthwise, and, using a spoon, scoop out the seeds. Cut the cucumber into shreds (you can use a grater for this) and set aside.

2. Cook the noodles in the boiling water until tender but not mushy. Meanwhile, whisk together the sesame oil and tahini, sugar, soy, ginger, vinegar, hot oil, and pepper in a large bowl. Thin the sauce with hot water until it’s about the consistency of heavy cream; you will need 1/4 to 1/2 cup. Stir in the cucumber. When the pasta is done, drain it and run the pasta under cold water. Drain.

3. Toss the noodles with the sauce and cucumbers. Taste and adjust the seasoning (the dish may need salt), then garnish with the scallion and serve.

Written by LeisureGuy

2 April 2011 at 10:23 am

Posted in Daily life, Food, Recipes

Megs, taking uncomfortable-looking nap

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It’s not evident, but this shelf space is not very tall at all. So she’s squished from the top, plus there’s not enough room beside the DVD and BD players—plus she has to jam her face against the wall at the end of the shelf. But cats seem to like discomfort when they nap—like draping their neck over an upright piece of cardboard.

Written by LeisureGuy

2 April 2011 at 10:08 am

Posted in Cats, Megs

Shaving close and comfortably

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A very nice lather from the Omega synthetic bristle brush—another of the “artificial badger” type. I am liking Trumper’s soaps a lot—I need to use them more frequently.

A fine lather, and then three passes (lathering my wet beard before each pass) with the iKon bulldog open-comb, still a razor that defines “comfort” so far as I’m concerned. Then a splash of Pashana for our Santa Cruz trip today.

Amazon has raised its price on Leisureguy’s Guide to Gourmet Shaving, Fourth Edition to $8.74 from $8.60, but it’s still a very good buy given that the list price is $11.95. And it continues to be a perfect gift (IMHO) for any man who regularly shaves but not actually enjoy shaving. Here’s review just recently posted:

5.0 out of 5 stars
The Only Amazon Book Purchase Your Face Will Forever Appreciate, April 1, 2011

ByAnecletoSee all my reviews

As a “newbie” who decided to take on the perceived risk of traditional shaving with a double edge (DE) razor, I was desperate to gain quick but relevant knowledge on what my Grandfather never taught me on shaving. I really did not know where to look for information and found no book information readily available in local bookstores. Thank you Amazon for making this truly valuable resource available for “newbie’ double edge shavers! What millions of men do each day to shave their face always seems to be a boring and mindless event. I have been shaving for 46 years using expensive shaving equipment with lousy results. Thanks to “Leisureguy’s Guide to Gourmet Shaving”, our daily shaving event can become a moment to treasure with results that not only remove hair from our face, but will also leave us with an extremely smooth and soft-to-the-touch face. Leisureguy’s book is not just about shaving, but it is an “awesome” informational outreach that provides tremendous insights and invaluable advice for new and veteran DE shavers. This is not one of those books you will read just once, but it will become your shaving reference for as long as you shave. Leisureguy has become my hero for his passion and extensive knowledge in DE shaving, which is readily passed on to anyone who will take the opportunity to purchase and read his book. I highly recommend purchasing this book whether you are thinking about changing the way you shave or not. I guarantee your face will be ever grateful.

I have no idea how long Amazon will continue their discount—it’s relatively new, and it’s completely their decision and under their control. So if you do know some guys who would like to enjoy shaving, you might consider getting the book as a gift.

Written by LeisureGuy

2 April 2011 at 9:37 am

Posted in Books, Shaving

Worcestershire sauce

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I’ve about used up my first batch of Worcestershire sauce, so I’m making a second batch. Still sticking with the recipe from Saveur, on the whole, but with these changes:

Malt vinegar instead of white vinegar—malt vinegar is what is used in the UK version.

Barbados molasses instead of blackstrap—blackstrap molasses definitely has more nutritional value but also a stronger taste. Since a splash of Worcestershire is not used for nutrition per se, I’m willing to try the Barbados molasses this time.

Otherwise I’ll follow the recipe again, with the usual adjustments (more garlic and anchovies than the recipe specifies, for example). That’s just tailoring it to one’s taste.

It occurs to me that I could include some hot peppers and get a spicy Worcestershire sauce.

Written by LeisureGuy

2 April 2011 at 8:00 am

Posted in Daily life, Food, Recipes

Lemon icebox pie

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Oh, my, I do love this sort of pie. I cannot wait until I reach goal! Take a look:

Martha Foose’s Lemon Icebox Pie

From “Screen Doors and Sweet Tea.” Used with permission, except for the stupid commentary, which is my own.

Makes one 9-inch pie

  • 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs (Whirl the graham crackers in a food processor for crumbs.)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon (Cinnamon? In a lemon dessert? Yes. Just do it. You’ll thank Martha later.)
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (I actually like a little more than this)
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice (And I like a little more juice than this too, but taste it before baking and add to taste.)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 6 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

In a medium bowl, combine the crumbs, granulated sugar, cinnamon and melted butter. Pat into a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan and bake for 6 to 8 minutes, or until slightly browned. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the milk, yolks, lemon zest and lemon juice. Pour the lemon filling into the cooled crust. Bake for 10 minutes, or until set. Cool on a rack. Chill the pie for 30 minutes.

When the pie is completely cooled, whip the cream with the confectioners’ sugar until stiff peaks form. Mound the whipped cream on top of the pie and chill for 1 hour. (The chilling together isn’t strictly necessary, but it does make the whipped cream bond to the pie in a sort of fabulous way.)

Written by LeisureGuy

2 April 2011 at 7:36 am

Posted in Daily life, Food, Recipes

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