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January 13

Over the years...

 
 
 
 

Finally set up my tester Lutron Caseta dimmers in my living room today, and I’m impressed. I think I’m gonna put these things everywhere soon.

 

Listening to Tony Romo yell at a team for laying an egg in the playoffs is deliciously ironic. 🏈

 
 

If you can’t score a TD from the 2, you don’t deserve to win. Especially in the playoffs. Sad for the Falcons, but it’s time to take a hard look at your offense. Underachieved all season. Finally bit you. Go Jaguars, I guess? 🏈

 

Great idea. I'd love to see this happen.

https://twitter.com/benwerd/status/952300200164392960

 
 
 

Recipe: Pressure cooker risotto


Ingredients

  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 4 cups flavorful liquid (e.g. stock, broth, white wine, vermouth, etc., in any combination)
  • 1 onion or shallot, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons fat (e.g. olive oil, butter)
  • Salt and pepper

Takes . Serves 4.

Pressure cookers are a great way to make incredible risotto in a fraction of the time of the traditional method. This recipe describes a base method to make a plain risotto in your pressure cooker, and can be used as the foundation for any number of delicious risottos. The key is the 1:2 ratio of arborio rice to liquid, and a 6 minute, high pressure cook. In this recipe, I use an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker, but you can use a different pressure cooker.

  1. Turn your pressure cooker to "sauté," and add fat to the cooker.
  2. Once fat comes to temperature, add the onions, salt, and pepper, and cook until translucent.
  3. Add your rice and stir to coat the rice with the fat.
  4. Add your liquid and seal your pressure cooker, setting for 6 minutes on high pressure.
  5. Once cook is complete, quick release your pressure cooker, stir, and serve!

Interesting variations on the base include:

  • Mushroom risotto – use three cups of mushroom broth and one cup of dry white wine for your liquid. Add minced garlic to the onions during the sauté, and add dried mushrooms before you seal the pressure cooker. Finish with white truffle oil and tons of grated parmesan cheese.
  • Carbonara risotto – this is what you see in the above photo that I recently prepared. Start the sauté with diced pancetta or thick cut bacon sliced into lardons, until the meat is nicely browned and the fat has rendered. Use three cups of chicken broth and one cup of white wine for your liquid and add lots of pamesan to the pot before the seal. Finish with more parmesan and lots of black pepper. I like to stir in frozen english peas at the end and serve with an egg that has been cooked sous-vide for one hour at 145°F.
  • Add a dollop of mascarpone cheese at the end for an extra creamy risotto.
  • Try using salted, diced ham and english peas, with ham stock as the liquid.

The possibilities are endless!

 

Quick Friday dinner

Quick Friday dinner

Pressure cooker truffle, bacon, and pea risotto with a sous vide egg.

 
 
 

Back from a great dinner at a northern Italian restaurant in San Francisco with Christian Ashlock and April Ashlock. What an awesome 1-day trip to SFO! Now, off to bed, and back to ATL to be with my bride.

 
 
 

Q day is coming... Jan 19th.

 

More fun in Sydney.

2 min read

Today was a fun day, as my class took a field trip to several sites. First, we visited the Olympic Village from the 2000 Sydney Games. This was an excellent experience, because it reminded me a lot of home. Sydney built a gigantic brick park for the Olympics, with giant stadiums, and lots of room for sponsors. Now, like Atlanta, they are left with a big, hot, uncomfortable park that noone uses. Its really kind of sad! A good experience nonetheless =)

After this, we visited Blue Mountains National Park, about 2 hours outside of Sydney. The Blue Mountains are kind of like Sydney's answer to the Grand Canyon. We first went to a high-level platform to view a rock formation called The Three Sisters, which is basically three large rocks jutting out from the side of a large mountain. The formation has an aboriginal legend associated with it, and is very beautiful.

At this point, we took a hike down the Furber Steps, a trail carved into the side of the mountains that takes about 1.5 hours to hike. We stopped at various locations to view caves, grottos, and Katooga Falls. At the base of the mountain, we hopped onto the world's steepest inclined railway, and took a scenic train ride back up the mountain. This was by far the coolest part of my day.

threesisters.jpg viewfromthefalls.jpg

We wrapped up the day with a stop at Darwin's Walk, which is a hiking path that Charles Darwin visited years ago. Our class is entitled "Biology and Evolution Down Under," so our professor is extremely fond of Darwin, and thought that it was very important for us to walk in his footsteps.

Tonight, I am planning on heading to an internet cafe to update this journal, catch up on email, and do some browsing. After this, I will probably stay in and read a book, since I am feeling a little under the weather. I am having a fantastic time, and I hope that everyone is doing well back home! I miss you all so much, and I love you all! Lacey, hang in there, and give Winston a hug, I miss you and love you!

Also, a quick congratulations to Delta Chi on having a successful Spring Rush. You guys rock! Keep working hard to maintain everything we have worked for, I am proud to be associated with you.

G'Day, and no worries mate!

 

Arrival in Sydney!

2 min read

Yesterday, I arrived in Sydney after a short plane ride on Qantas. The flight was fine, but somehow they switched everyone in our group to Vegetarian meals, so I was forced to eat 3 tiny pieces of fruit for lunch... needless to say I was hungry when I arrived.

We are staying at the Santa Sophia college while we are here in Sydney, which is a strict catholic school with nuns everywhere. If putting 90 college students with a habit of binge drinking in the same place as 20 nuns (who incidentally wear habits) isn't a recipe for disaster, I don't know what is. Anyway, the rooms are fairly nice, and the food is excellent, so I am not complaining.

We didn't really do all that much last night once we got here, since we were all fairly tired, but this afternoon following class I went with a group and walked around downtown. We purchased a student bus pass for the entire week, and took the bus to the edge of the city and just started walking. About an hour and a half later, we ended up at the Sydney Opera House. The Opera House is a stunning building that I have seen pictures of many times, but experiencing it first hand was excellent. Of course, the building looks a lot better from afar than it does from up close, but its still a crazy and beautiful building.

mebridge.jpg meoperahouse.jpg cityfromoperahouse.jpg

My first impression of Sydney is that it is a bit more like an American city than Brisbane. Sydney is about three times larger in population than Brisbane, slightly larger than Atlanta, and grew very quickly with very little planning. As a result, Sydney reminds me of home. It has its beautiful parts where the tourists go, but for the most part, its a bit dirty, and not nearly as attractive of a city as I thought it would be.

On the way home, I signed up with a group of people to go snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef when we are in Cairns in a few weeks. This promises to be very interesting. Anyway, I will blog again tomorrow after my field trip.