Sunday, December 4, 2016

Some dessert food porn for you

Nice, simple dessert for you here. Doesn't take much. You'll need 1-1/4 cups of flour, 1 tsp of baking powder, 1-1/2 cups of brown sugar, 1/2 cup of butter, 1 egg, 1 tsp of vanilla, 1 cup of white chocolate chips and 1 cup of dried cranberries:

Mix together the flour and baking powder:

In a separate bowl, add the brown sugar, butter and egg:

Mix it up right:

Add the flour-baking powder mixture;

Mix it up right, and add the white chocolate chips and cranberries:

Put them in an 8 x 8 pan, lined with aluminum foil:

Preheat the oven to 350, and bake for 35-40 minutes:

Cool on a wire rack of 15 minutes, then enjoy the fuck out of these:

Really fucking good.

Actual email from management No. 4

Fortunately, it hasn't been consistently cold yet -- late at night, sure, but in the daytime, 40s and 50s, so not too bad. Since closets apparently aren't holding many coats, some folks are, I guess, using them to store other things:
Good Afternoon Team,
The coat closets on this floor are provided to hang up your coats and other clothing items, especially during the winter season when many people have heavy clothing items they can’t keep at their desk. The coat closet across from room 19 has a number of food items on the top shelf which should not be there. Storage of food items in the coat closets takes up space designated for coats and in addition may attract mice and other rodents. Please be mindful of your co-workers and keep the coat closets free of anything except clothing items. If you have any food items stored in any of the coat closets please take them home with you tonight.
I have no fucking idea what this person or these people were putting in the closet. I only hope they stopped.

Actual email from management No. 3

No, really,  the hits keep on coming. There is no limit, apparently, to the depths of depravity to which temps will sink:
Hello everyone,
Just a friendly reminder to everyone that you should take care to be mindful of others when using the refrigerator and the restrooms. With respect to the refrigerator, our space is limited, so please try not to load up too much stuff in there at once. The more space one individual takes up, the less space there will be for everyone else. With respect to the restrooms, please do your best to clean up after yourself. We have cleaning crews going through the space multiple times throughout the day, but the job of keeping everything neat and clean will be made a lot easier with a little bit of effort on everyone’s part.
Thank you,
Yes, people try to load an entire week's worth of meals into the fridge on Monday. And yeah, people pee on the floor all the time. You can dress them up, but you can't take them out.

Lotsa good stuff at Amazon for Christmas presents

Check it out.

Actual management email No. 2

Seriously, you thought I was kidding about food theft? The email in the last post was sent more than two weeks ago. Late last week, we got another:
Hi everyone,
Please do not take any food items or drinks that you did not bring in yourself out of the refrigerators. The only food items or drinks that are in the refrigerators are the ones that other reviewers brought in themselves, regardless of whether they are labelled or not. So basically, if you did not bring it in, don’t take it.
Seriously, you've been told you can be fired for taking other peoples' stuff and folks are still doing it? Well, yeah, they are. Welcome to Temp Town.

Actual management email No. 1

People who don't work in Temp Town don't realize how awful it is. Temps -- temporary attorneys working on a contract basis, for those of you new to the blog -- often are in Temp Town because they simply can't get a job in polite society. Which is why we get emails like this:
Good morning Project [redacted],
It has come to our attention that there have been a few incidents related to people’s food and the refrigerator. Namely, some people’s food is being eaten by others, and people are using creamer that they did not purchase. As to the latter issue, everyone should know that [the agency employing me] is not providing liquid coffee creamer that you may find in the fridge. If you see liquid coffee creamer in the fridge, and you did not purchase it yourself, do not use it. It belongs to someone else, and it is not for community use. As for taking other people’s food, it’s really unfortunate that the entire group has to get a message reminding them to have common decency. The vast majority of this team have been wonderful, and frankly I’m embarrassed to have to remind a group of licensed professionals about this. [The agency employing me] has zero tolerance for theft. If any of you have any questions about this, I encourage you to come to the third flood and ask to speak with me.
Seriously, I know this occurs elsewhere as well, but I've spent a lot more time in the workforce than I've spent in Temp Town, and temps are the worst. They will cheerfully take a bite of someone's sandwich, decide they don't like it, and put it back. You can't make this shit up.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

A little home country food porn for you

Most of my ancestors are from Ireland. Naturally, then, I have an affinity for things Irish. Guiness, an Irish alcoholic beverage, actually is one of the few things Irish I am not that fond of. Too heavy for me. However, a couple friends of mine who have visited the main Guiness brewery in Ireland clued me in to something: they serve up a great beef stew there. As it turns out, the recipe is online, so, naturally, I had to make it.

I didn't take a picture of the ingredients, because shit got complicated. Nonetheless, you will need:

   4 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
   2 1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 2-inch pieces
   1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
   freshly ground black pepper to taste
   2 onions, coarsely chopped
   1/2 teaspoon salt
   4 cloves garlic, minced
   1 (14.9 ounce) can dark beer (such as Guinness®)
   1/4 cup tomato paste
   4 sprigs fresh thyme
   3 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
   2 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
   1 teaspoon white sugar
   1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
   2 1/2 cups chicken stock, or as needed to cover
   4 cups mashed potatoes (optional)

So, cut your beef up into 1-inch cubes. No need to be precise:

Toss that bacon into a heavy skillet over medium-high heat until bacon is browned and crisp. Turn off heat and transfer bacon into a large stew pot, reserving bacon fat in the skillet;

Next, season the beef chuck cubes generously with 1 teaspoon salt and black pepper to taste. Turn heat to high under skillet and sear beef pieces in the hot fat on both sides until browned, about 5 minutes:

Chop up those onions:

Chop up that garlic, too:

Place the beef in the stew pot with the bacon, leaving the fat in skillet. Turn the heat down to medium; cook and stir the onions in the retained fat in the skillet until lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes; season with a large pinch of salt. Cook the garlic with the onions until soft, about 1 minute:

Next up, get yourself a good dark beer. Naturally, Guinness recommends that you use a Guinness. I didn't have one, so I used a Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock. It worked. Use what you like:

Pour the beer into the skillet and stir with a wooden spoon, scraping up and dissolving any browned bits of food into the liquid: 

Add everything in the skillet -- the onion, garlic and beer mixture -- into the stew pot: 

Add the sugar, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and maybe some salt:

Toss in the tomato paste:

Throw in those carrots and celery you chopped up earlier. You did chop those earlier, right? Geez, I thought you read the ingredient list:

Add enough chicken broth to cover the whole shooting match:

Once everything is in there, bring the stew to a gentle simmer, stirring to combine; reduce heat to low and cover the pot. Simmer the stew until the beef is fork-tender, about 2 hours. Stir stew occasionally and skim fat or foam if desired.

After about 2 hours, remove the pot cover and raise the heat to medium-high. Bring the stew to a low boil and cook until the stew has slightly thickened, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and discard thyme sprigs and adjust salt and pepper to taste.

You can serve this in a bowl by itself or over mashed potatoes. Excellent either way. Bon appetit.