Atta Ikede

November 10, 2009

Rice cooker cake!

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 5:30 pm

Yes! I’ve discovered a new way to hack a box cake!

I learned about this one when I was researching rice cookers. I bought one off amazon a few weeks ago. it’s a small zojirushi that has settings for rice and porridge. Newer models actually have a cake function built in. Mine doesn’t, but a little googling indicated that others have used more ghetto rice cookers to “bake” cakes, so it should definitely be possible to me to make one using mine.

And guess what! It works! the resulting cake is supremely fluffy and light – probably because it’s actually been steamed rather than baked. In fact, I just finished enjoying a piece right now! I took a photo.. i’ll post it later too.

So here’s the deal:

I have a small 3 cup rice cooker, so I used half a box of normal store bought cake mix. I mixed up the ingredients and poured the batter into the rice cooker. I ended up having to run the rice cooker through 3 cycles in order to bake the cake.

I used the rice cycle the first two times. I’m pretty sure both of these cycles were useless. The batter stayed 100% liquid this whole time. I kind of got curious during the second one and checked in a couple times, and when I found the batter was still raw, I canceled it before it completed its final steaming cycle. Frustrated, I turned to the porridge cycle and tried it. (I had to wait for the cooker to cool a bit though — for some reason, I’m able to run rice cycles one after another but it can’t switch between rice and porridge without cooling down in between.)

Side Note: Interestingly, I don’t think the porridge cycle is meant for normal porridge. Instead, I think it’s for some kind of “congee” like rice-porridge type dish. In other words, it’s for Asian porridge, not for British porridge.

Either way, 1 very long porridge cycle later, I was surprised to find myself with a nicely steamed, very soft, fully cooked box cake! I’m very happy with the results.

The only downside of the whole affair was that the cake mix I selected was on sale at Safeway for $1 and didn’t end up to be very delicious. I’ll probably do one more test with the other half of the mix — this time only using the porridge cycle once to see if it cooks properly. If that works, I’m going to try this with cake batter made from scratch. Box cake is convenient for experimentation but this flavour was just way too weird.

Warning – some recipes I found online suggested you dump an entire can of store bought frosting into the rice cooker before pouring in the prepared cake mix. Apparently this makes for a fudgy kind of topping on the cake. I found this idea a little alarming and didn’t try it. The box cake seems plenty sweet to me…

November 2, 2009

Karzai is bald and therefore evil

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 11:28 am

Ah, the distinguished and apparently fishy Hamid Karzai. I always suspected he was fishy. Anybody who wears a coat around their shoulders like that is always fishy.

Anyway, enjoy this “evil” photo of him in the NY Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/03/world/asia/03afghan.html?ref=world

Notice how he’s bald, and the photo’s taken from behind him while he makes some kind of salute to the military. Evil!

In contrast, here’s a sample of how the NY Times has usually portrayed him to-date:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/18/world/asia/18afghan.html?scp=15&sq=karzai&st=cse

Classic messenger of peace look. He’s got the hat, hands are making a gentle peaceful gesture. What a lamb! Our friend!

November 1, 2009

More visitor stats …

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 7:10 pm

That post on the Ethiopian taxi driver is getting to be almost as popular as the one about the milk jugs. lol. People google the weirdest stuff!

Is it weird to decorate a front door that nobody sees?

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 7:06 pm

Don’t think about this question for too long … you’ll be sucked into one of those “sound of one hand clapping” mental black holes.

Anyway, seriously.  Regarding the front door, please promise me you’ll bonk me on the head if you ever come to my house and find I’ve put up seasonal decorations there that only I can see. If I have a lovely front door on a nice little street then I guess some decor is acceptable, but in any other condition involving a home occupied only by me, I’ve decided that it’s not!

I’ve also decided that IF I’m to end up old and alone, I’d rather be a person who drinks alone (moderately!) then a person who celebrates holidays alone.  I mean, after a couple of drinks, at least I’ll feel warmer, mellower and be assured of a good night’s sleep. Luckily I’ve never really “celebrated” anything alone, but …. even just imagining it sounds lonely :(.  Honestly, even Mr. Bean had his girlfriend that came over that time he tried to cook the Thanksgiving turkey and got it stuck on his head by accident. If Mr. Bean can celebrate with friends, surely I can do at least that much.

I made these decisions on my way to do my laundry this morning. The good news is that the decisions got made. The ridiculous news is that … I was so checked out, thinking about this, that I accidentally grabbed somebody else’s laundry detergent and almost used it!!

I know, your first thought here is “she’s stealing internet, and now she’s stealing laundry detergent?”

No!! I did not steal the laundry detergent!! I caught myself just before I actually added it to the machine. I put it back into the bottle and put it back on the shelf.  Shh!

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