wesley tanaka

Food/Drink

You don't want it!

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Pokez has an combo on their menu named "13. You don't want it!"  I asked the waiter what it was, and he said, "you have to order it to find out!"  I pictured it being a $8.25 plate of bones, horse hooves, and misshapen pieces of plastic.  So I didn't order it.

Extracting vanilla

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An attempt at extracting vanilla from a vanilla bean with vodka. The initial pre-split state of the vanilla bean:

Notes from Cook's Illustrated issue number ninety-seven

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Notes from Cook's Illustrated issue #97 (March and April 2009):

Banana Bread Recipe

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INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C. Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten.

Cardamom

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I just spent some time searching for a reasonable replacement or substitute for cardamom. I'm trying to find the spices needed to make masala chai, and in a quick survey of several recipes, all of them call for cardamom. By chance, I happened upon the fact that black cardamom is commonly used in Chinese cuisine. I found the name of black cardamom in Chinese (草果, cǎo guǒ) and discovered that I can buy it pretty much anywhere (including back home in Zhongdian) for local, non-import prices.

Pink

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The city of Kunming appears to have discovered Pink's "Get the Party Started." I'm completely in favor of other people being infected by catchy songs that previously in my life have been stuck in my head on infinite repeat.

Lazy Instant Pancake Mix

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This seems to work (measured by volume):

Dry

  • 80 parts flour (100 by weight)
  • 20 parts milk powder (25 by weight)
  • 4 parts sugar (8 by weight)
  • 1-2 parts baking powder (2 by weight)
  • 1 part salt (2 by weight)

Wet

  • Water

Mix dry together and store. When ready to use, mix with water to make thick batter.

English Muffin Recipe

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Averaged from several recipes I found online

Wet

  • 339ml milk (real or from powder (use more powder than recommended))
  • 10ml sugar
  • 1 packet of yeast (10ml?)
  • 36ml butter/shortening
  • 5ml salt
  • (does an egg help? seems to work okay without)

Dry

Cornbread Recipe

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Averaged cornbread recipe, given a lack of shortening and buttermilk

Preheat oven containing pan/skillet to 425°F (218°C).

Dry:

Granola Recipe

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The recipe I've been using to make granola. It's taken from the average of several recipes that I found online:

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by Wesley Tanaka