Friday, January 29, 2010

Nom Nom Nom - Lamb Stew.

We recently purchased a leg of lamb from Costco - it weighed about 4.5 pounds, but after I trimmed it, it really provided about 4 pounds of good meat, the trimmings were either small pieces of meat, tough sinew, or undesirable hunks of fat. I used our food processor and turned the small pieces of meat into ground lamb.

Anyway - so I wanted to cook something with lamb, and so here we go!

You'll need the following basic ingredients (not including the spices):
• 3~4 lbs of lamb (bite sized)
• 1 large onion
• 6 cloves of garlic
• 3 inch of ginger
• 28 oz of crushed tomatoes
• 6 oz can of tomato paste
• 1 cup of water

Take out your food processor, puree the onion, garlic, and ginger; we shall refer to this as puree mixture (please ignore the presence of the ground lamb, I added it to the stew to get rid of the trimmings).

Grab three bowls. In each bowl, put the following spices.

Bowl 1:
• 2 Bay leaves
• 1 cinnamon stick

Bowl 2:
• 2 tsp cumin seeds
• 2 tsp fennel seeds

Bowl 3:
• 1 tsp tumeric
• 2 tsp curry powder
• 1 tsp cayenne pepper
• 1 tsp black pepper
• 1 tsp salt

1. Apply medium heat to a large pot, add oil, and everything in Bowl 1 to the oil until the cinnamon stick uncurls.

2. Then add the puree mixture, and cook until the onions are translucent and the garlic no longer smells raw

3. Meanwhile, apply medium heat to a frying pan, add some oil, and then lightly fry the contents of Bowl 2, keep stirring until the cumin turns brown, then turn the heat off. Pour the oil into the puree mixture, and scrape the seeds into the pot.

4. Add the protein to the pot, pour the contents of Bowl 3 into the pot, and cook the meat until it turns darker.

5. Add the tomato puree and tomato paste. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Let the pot cook for another 35 minutes or so. After I tasted the sauce, I decided to add frozen corn and peas.

6. Serve on rice, or eat it with roti.

Nom Nom Nom!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

iPhone 3GS review.

As previously mentioned, I got myself an iPhone 3GS, so here's a quick product review of the Apple iPhone 3GS.

I'm please to say it has been a pleasant replacement to my previous Nokia 6555, which had a bad habit of turning itself off randomly and also had a tendency to BEEP really loud right into my ear when people hung up or when the connection died.

The phone itself is relatively large, it isn't the smallest or the thinnest, but it is small enough to fit within my pant pockets. My phone is covered with the SwitchEasy Colors silicone case, and I think it improves the look of the phone, which in my opinion looks pretty snobby and tacky in the nude (maybe because I have a distaste for the Apple logo and the company's marketing).

The phone has been a godsend at work, as I can occupy and distract the 80% of the un-utilized brain capacity by listening to podcasts, music, and radio. The phone also allows me to be more spontaneous, because I can look up information, maps, and check the email account whenever I want to. In addition, being able to surf and read the news while on the bus is pretty nice. The face proximity sensor is also pretty darn good, as you can hold a phone to your face without concern on whether you'll push any buttons.

However, the phone is not perfect. My biggest criticism?

The phone's battery life makes it basically a one day phone, sort of like a PDA of old. If left unused, the iPhone will retain more or less than 70% of its battery capacity after one day. However, with moderate/heavy usage, the phone will be down to 30% by the time I go to bed and plug it in. This limitation really hasn't a problem, but I can see it being an inconvenience for people with a less regular lifestyle.

As a parting note, I think anyone considering a smartphone should consider the iPhone, however, don't let the availability of applications be a dispositive factor, as most apps available are total crap.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Alas 2009 has come and gone!

This year has been a year of much transition and change. Both personally and for the country. The economic recession has been tough on everybody, and the political change hasn't really met the expectations of critics and politicos.

But that is generally depressing, so I'll focus on personal transition/change instead.

Fill out the application for taking the bar exam? Check.

Study for the last finals? Check.

Write a seminar paper to satisfy the graduation requirement? Check.

Graduating? Check.

Study and take the bar exam? Check.

Pass the bar exam? Check.

Get sworn into practice in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania? Check.

On as an aside, I started a temporary job reviewing documents. It is fairly similar to the previous one based in West Virginia, but pays a little better and is in Pittsburgh! Unfortunately its temporary nature means I'll need to continue the job search. C'est la vie.
Oh! And I also got an iPhone 3GS.

Who knows what sort of change/transition we'll see in the next year!? Come what may! WHOOO!