Kevin's Compendium of Useless Fantasia
1 August 2003
Welcome to the twelfth issue of Kevin's Compendium of Useless Fantasia.
This is my attempt at a monthly publication of some of my creative
endeavors. One year ago today I published the first Compendium. Frankly,
I'm surprised I stuck with it as long as I have. Thanks to my three loyal
readers for making it an interesting year.
Let's take a look at what I did in July:
That's it for this twelfth issue of Kevin's Compendium of Useless
Watch for Issue 13 coming out 1 September 2003.
- I made dinner for friends. Bacon-wrapped, balsamic-glazed scallops. They
were pretty good. I forgot to put salt and pepper on them, and the skewers I
used are designed to not stick, I think, so it was difficult to turn them.
They tasted really good, though. I also made rice with turmeric and
lemon-lime Bavrian. Lime jello, lemonade, and lemon zest. My previous
attempt at Bavarian with Hip Whip were very disappointing, so I decided to
go with real cream. Yum. It was a little darker on the bottom, so the jello
could have set a bit more initially. And it could have used another 1/2 hour
or so in the fridge, but I made it late, so I wanted to get it eaten.
- I made boneless chicken thighs with canola oil, garlic, lime juice, Thai
red curry paste, tamari, and ginger powder. I put that over brown-rice
spaghetti. Yum. Just the right mix of tang and spice. Just the noodles in
the sauce were good, and the flavor was even more concentrated in the
- I made an attempt at a vegan variation on Bavarian. I mixed kosher/vegan
unflavored jello substitute with 1 cup of boiling water. Then I put a bag of
cranberries in a food processor, then added sugar. I added the cranberry
pulp to the jello and let it sit in the refrigerator for a while. Then I
added a container of Hip Whip. It's a bit weird. Quite tart. I doubt I'll
make it again. The texture wasn't what I wanted, and I'm not too fond of
- More chicken. I made boneless skinless chicken thighs in canola oil,
then a sauce of dijon mustard, Frank's Red Hot Sauce, tamari, and honey,
then put that over brown-rice angel hair pasta.
- I made cranberry-lime Bavarian. Cranberry jello, juice from 2 limes plus
enough water to make a cup, a little less than 1 cup of sugar (normal is 1/2
cup, but I needed enough to sweeten the lime juice).
- I made pizza. I used a friend's dough recipe, and I put garlic powder in
the dough. Olive oil, then veggie shred parmesan-romano-mozzarella mix, then
pepperoni, then veggie shred cheddar-jack mix. Pretty good, even though it
had that weird fake-cheese taste. Layering the cheese like that turned out
really well. The top cheese melted better, and the bottom cheese gave a
nice flavor balance.
- I finally made tofu pesto lasagna from Eat Right For Your Type,
something I've been wanting to make for a while. Tofu, pesto, cheese, and
spinach, basically. I also made shrimp avocado salad. I used a recipe I had
gotten from someone after having their shrimp avocado salad. Shrimp,
avocadoes, walnuts (original recipe called for pistachios), oil, parsley
(original recipe called for cilantro), lemon juice, salt. I didn't "gently
fold" it together, and I didn't let it refrigerate overnight, but it was
- I wrote an essay
about the various parts of my name. I interviewed both of my parents
over the phone for it, and I learned some things that I hadn't known before.
It was a neat experience. Then I read it for a small audience at a friend's
story reading. I was pleased that it got people talking about their own
- I made squash with pasta for a small dinner group. I also made salad
with romaine, basil, balsamic, and olive oil. Someone else made
chocolate-chip cookies with barley malt and brown sugar. Someone else
brought galic bread. Everyone really liked the pasta, which was from
Cook's Illustrated, the first thing I have made from that magazine.
Yellow summer squash and zucchini, pine nuts, basil, and some other things,
all over farfalle (bow-tie pasta). Definitely worth repeating and playing
- I made new thing for dinner. A smidge of olive oil in a pot, then some
minced garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Then a bunch of ground beef.
Let the beef brown. Fresh basil, lime juice, salt, chick peas, cumin,
coriander, chili powder, more garlic. Pretty good, and it got better after
sitting in the refrigerator overnight. It might have been better with a
dollop of sour cream or yogurt. I think that the lime juice is what moved it
from good to very good. Next time, though, I'll try to find some leaner beef
(this was 75% lean).
- I threw some random stuff on top of salmon and baked it. Balsamic
vinegar, garlic powder, crushed red pepper flakes, thyme, and salt. I served
it over rice cooked with paprika. I even managed to make a small salad,
which I don't usually do with dinner for myself.
- A Bavrian experiment. I did the standard lime Bavarian and added cocoa
powder to the whipping cream. It's a bit odd; I'm not sure that the cocoa
powder goes well with the lime jello. And the one other person to taste it
says it's too tart. Next time, I might try more sugar and melted chocolate
instead of cocoa powder, and possibly change the fruit to orange or
- I made a lazy dinner. I cooked up some rice, then added a can of
condensed cream of mushroom soup to the pot when the rice was done. Added
some Frank's Red Hot Sauce and a little salt. Very good warm, and decent
cold (I'm eating it for breakfast as I type this).
Issue 01 | Issue 02 |
Issue 03 | Issue 04 |
Issue 05 | Issue 06 |
Issue 07 | Issue 08 |
Issue 09 | Issue 10 |
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Last modified: 01 August 2003