Geek Chef

I cook, I talk, I geek

The eyes have it November 5, 2009

Filed under: Food,Geek — geekchef @ 1:05 pm
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This post is a little late, but still fun I hope.

We had a “scary food” potluck at the office for Halloween and instead of making another oddly colored food item, I made Monster Caprese Salad. I got the idea from a blog I like, Evil Mad Scientist. The idea is simple, but a little tedious.

monster caprese

Monster Caprese Salad

fresh mozzarella
tomato about the same diameter as the cheese
fresh/firm green olives, whole or pitted
firm black olives, pitted
olive oil
salt and pepper

Slice the tomato and mozzarella into rounds, about the same thickness and place in a stack on top of a few basil leaves. You can leave them whole or shred.

Now the tricky part. With a sharp paring knife, cut the bottoms off of the green olives. Cut about a half an inch down. Then, turn the olive piece upside down and punch a hole out of the middle using a drinking straw. You can get a pretty good guideline where to poke the hole from the indentation where the pit was. You now have the outside part of the eye!

For the inside part of the eye. Repeat the process with the black olive, but this time use the bit from inside the straw. You can poke several holes in the black olives and I recommend using a bamboo skewer to get the bits out of the straw.

Sprinkle some salt and pepper and you are set! Enjoy your ‘spooky’ snack.



Container Gardens September 24, 2009

Filed under: Craft,Food — geekchef @ 1:40 pm
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There is nothing like the taste of home grown food and it’s something that most apartment dwellers think they can not experience. True they will never be able to live off of what they grow; but it is very possible to maintain a small garden on balconies, patios, hell even fire escapes.

I bought some of those Topsy Turvy Tomato dealies in the spring and I have harvested quite a few cherry tomatoes recently. My apartment only gets partial sun, so many of the summer veggies only fared so-so but I think I did ok. I am now preparing for the winter and last night built a self watering container which I am very proud of, no pictures yet – it was very dark by the time I was finished.

The idea of self watering is great. Not only do you save water, but you also save yourself some of the hassle of watering. One of the problems I have faced in apartment gardening is a lack of a water source, so I would have to fill up a bucket in the tub and lug it thru the house (usually dripping) and water the plants from the bucket. And without a container that holds drainage water to use later, I was making trips every other day. Now, I can cut that down to weekly!

So here are a few tips I’ve found helpful:

  • Choose large or medium sized pots, depending on your space. Small pots restrict the root area and dry out very quickly.
  • Make sure you have good drainage! If you have found the perfect pot for your garden, but it doesn’t have holes – you better come up with another drainage solution or you are going to have dead plants.
  • Grow plants based on your sun exposure.  Fruits and tomatoes need full sun for most of the day, while leafy greens can live in a good amount of shade, root veggies are somewhere in the middle – ask a garden center expert if you have questions.
  • Start with something that grows quickly, like lettuce,  mustard cress,  beets and herbs, next to something that takes longer. The quick turnaround will give you a preview of wonderful things to come.

I hope this helps. Good luck to all that give it a try, please tell me how it turns out!

Cherry and Arugula Salad

Large handful arugula
Large handful cherry tomatoes
One clove of garlic, sliced
Juice from 1/2 lime
1 tablespoon mint, chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash of curry powder

Lightly saute the sliced garlic until soft, then add arugula and tomatoes and cook for until the leaves start to wilt. Remove from heat and let cool.
Drizzle lime juice, sprinkle curry powder and mint and toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!


I just found this window curtain planter irrigation dealie that is so cool, here is a diagram and a link, check it out!!!


Thanks Mom! September 6, 2007

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 11:01 am
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There are a few things that my mom makes that is better than just about everything else in the world. One of which is her lentil curry. It’s served over brown rice, with a little yogurt and maybe some cilantro or parsley on top. It’s simple and easy but I never make it because Mom makes it best ☺

Here is the recipe, I expect a serving if you make something using my recipes.

Lentil Curry

1 1/2 cups cooked lentils – boiled with bay leaf in water
1/2 medium onion chopped
2-3 cloves garlic chopped
oil to cover bottom of pan
1 tbs curry powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin – optional
1/2 tsp ground cardamom – optional
1 can tomato paste

Saute onions and garlic in olive oil till onions are transparent and just starting to brown, stir in curry powder and add tomato paste,’burn’ the paste lightly. Pour in lentils with some of the water they were boiled in and let simmer over medium heat at least 20 minutes – longer is better – add more
water if necessary.

You can add more curry powder, salt and pepper or other spices to taste when you have it all together