A looong time ago I decided to organize my spices somehow so that they are easier to get to and use. I looked around in the Net and I found this. I got the same containers, but I got different magnets. I got a little bit of EPOXY and one of these. You can see the result on the picture. I’m very happy with it.

Spices

sauerkrautThis winter, because we are not going back to Bulgaria, I decided to make my own sauerkraut. There isn’t much to it. All it needs is just a little care every day for the first 20ish days. Needed ingredients are: A big container ( like a garbage pale, but clean ), a hose, salt, water and cabbage. Put everything in the big container, but setting up one end of the hose at the bottom (where the salt sets). Every day, using the hose, just take some water out and pour it on top. The goal is to stir the salt from the bottom. Depending on the weather, it takes about 3 weeks for it to go bad. But good bad, and ready for cooking. My favorite recipe is pork with sauerkraut, but more about that in two weeks, when mine should be ready.
Oh, the proportions are 20/1 cabbage/salt, or on 40kg cabbage use about 2kg sea salt. Also, the cabbage should be tight in the container and should be kept underwater, but water should just enough to cover it.
Also, do not wash the cabbage. Just remove the dirty layers because we want the bacteria that’s in it. And one last thing, if the heads are too big, just cut them in half or make an incision right in the middle.
Enjoy.

This weekend was also nice. I just thought it was short :). The Saturday dinner was Musaka, which Dary liked a lot. I used some ideas from Ivan Zvezdev’s recipe and I added some thing myself. The Sunday movie was Transformers. Even though it was pretty hot, we didn’t make it to the pool. I spent quite some time researching skin cancer, tanning and protections and this is my conclusion: The most safe way ever to get a nice Summer tan is to use self-tanning lotions. Not ones that just paint you but ones that contain dihydroxyacetone. This “ingredient” forms a type of sugar when it reacts with the dead cells on your skin and makes them darker. This method is know for more than 70 year ( I think ) and there are no side effects. With the latest refinements, the tan cannot be distinguished from a sun tan. To keep you tan, though, you have to reapply every 1 to 3 days per week because of your skin change. The most important thing to remember is that after you are tan it does not protect you from the sun radiation and you still need to use UVA and UVB sunblock of at least 15 factor ( even if you are very dark ).
I also researched trunk bike racks and the good ones are about 100 bucks and can support 2 or 3 bikes without any problems.

And so that you know, Macy’s in Manhattan has a LOT more things than Macy’s in Stamford, even though the one in Stamford has better discounts.

Today in the afternoon we went to the UBS version of Iron Chef, which is a cooking competition. The original Iron Chef has one secret ingredient that is unknown to the chefs until about 15 minutes before the start of the competition and that has to be used in every dish they prepare. They have 1 hour and almost any other ingredient and tool they might need. Ours was a little easier, because we are IT and not chefs. We had a list of ingredients with the corresponding points they give us if we use them in our meals. We were also able to ask for other ingredients that were not on the list. We had to make 2 meals for 7 people ( 6 for our team and 1 for the judge ). We made beef curry and rice and chorizo quesadilla. I cooked the quesadilla and made fresh guacamole. In the end the judge said there are 2 winning teams and we were one of them. And that is because of our underseasoned rice, which our two indian teamates cooked. We had fun.

I can cook!

Here is a lettuce salad that we do every once in a while. Thanks to Angel for showing us the right lettuce.

Ingredients:
1 head lettuce
5-6 pcs radish
1 dry pint (box) of cherry tomatoes
3 scallions
about half pound bulgarian sheep cheese
1 tsp salt
4-5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2-3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Preparation:
Chop the lettuce in not too big peaces, the radish as well, tomatoes in half, scallions in rings and put all of then in a big bowl. Put the salt, vinegar and oil ( in that order 🙂 ) and the crushed cheese on top. Mix well, grab a fork and attack 🙂