Oven Roast Recipe

Annnd yes, I am still listening to you guys with recipe blog advice. Last night I made a roast and followed (loosely) the instructions on Jamie Oliver’s website.

The roast I ended up using was freaking HUGE.

It cost $14.00 and it was so distastefully enormous that we didn’t even really want to waste money on it, but it was the only roast available and we’d already somehow gotten into this mindset that we were doing a roast, goddamnit, if it was the last thing we ever did, so we bought it.

Veggies

Uncooked Roast

Finished

(I wish I could take fabulous recipe photos like some people do. I don’t understand! It’s nighttime and we just have our crappy kitchen lighting. How do people do it?!)

So here’s what I ended up doing:

Ingredients

  • Really enormous top round roast.
  • 2 potatoes
  • 3 carrots
  • A bunch of garlic
  • An onion
  • Pepper
  • Thyme/Rosemary
  • Olive Oil

This is not where my problems ended, by the way. I only had a thyme/rosemary/basil/oregano mixed bag of herbs, so I just sort of scrunched up my eyes and sprinkled it all on.

And we don’t own a proper baking dish because one of us (let’s pretend it was Ben, although I honestly can’t remember) dropped it at one point not too long ago and it shattered, so I used my glass dish that I usually use for baking dessert bars.

I know, off to a great start, right?

The procedure

  • Preheat the oven to 475°
  • Take the enormous roast out of the fridge about half an hour ahead of time. I chopped the veggies & did the dishes while it sat.
  • Chop onions, carrots, potatoes and throw ‘em in your pan. You can just do big manly chunks, no fine chopping required. Very fun.
  • Throw a bunch of garlic cloves in there too. I peeled mine but Jamie Oliver seems to think that you don’t have to. Peeled was good, though. Peeled was very good.
  • Drizzle liberally with olive oil, toss in some rosemary & thyme.
  • The roast goes on top of all this. Drizzle it also and grind some pepper on it too.
  • Turn the oven down to 400° and put the pan in.

I cooked my roast for 2 hours. Obviously the length of time depends on the size. I checked on it every half hour and sprinkled on more olive oil. I also poured in about .75 of a cup of water at two different intervals when the veggies started looking dry. I don’t think you’re supposed to do TOO much water, though.

Once you’re done cooking the roast, let it sit out for about fifteen minutes before you eat it.

How was it?

Unearthly. Very very good. The veggies were especially fabulous, so well cooked that they were almost sweet but not quite. The meat was less shockingly good, but it was well-done and could have maybe even been a bit rarer. It wasn’t burned or tough. It also wasn’t fall-apart tender, though. Don’t know if this is possible with roast beef or not.

I made some Yorkshire puddings to go with it from a pre-made mix (just combined with egg and water and bake for 18 minutes. Not too exciting or hard.)

Really awesome dinner. I recommend it for sure, although it does take a lot of patience and checking up on things.

An ajaxy introduction

Awhile ago I was emailed and asked to write a blog post on using jQuery and ajax and I hesitated for awhile because I suffer from a strong case of ‘the more you learn the less you know,’ which basically means that although I write javascript every. single. day, and lots and lots of it, I still feel like I don’t know enough to teach others. In fact, I feel like I almost know nothing at all. Because every single day someone teaches me something new. Technology is crazy, yo.

Anyway, I changed my mind because I read a javascript article on .net magazine that was filled with errors and I was like “Ok clearly a lack of 100% knowledge didn’t stop THAT guy from writing something.”

And I figured that at the very least, I’d do a better job than he did.

So with that caveat in mind, after the jump you will find a basic intro to writing ajax.
Continue reading An ajaxy introduction

How many cups of water do you need per day?

Pet peeve: When people try to ‘educate’ me that you need to drink at least eight cups of water per day.

Fun fact: You don’t. I don’t know why more people don’t realize that this is a total urban legend.

Here are some facts:

  • On average, your body loses ten cups of water per day.
  • This amount varies based on the climate you live in and the amount of exercising you do.
  • Of those ten cups, you regain about FOUR cups by drinking absolutely nothing – your body absorbs more water through the food you eat.
  • Getting your fluid through a diuretic drink, like coffee or tea, is NOT detrimental! You can obtain water this way, especially if your body is used to it. For every cup of coffee your drink, two thirds or more is retained as water.
  • So if you get four cups of water through food alone, and you have a cup of coffee in the morning, that’s about 5 cups. Then if you have a drink with lunch and a drink with dinner, you’re at 7 cups. And chances are that you’ve actually drank more today. I’ve had 1 cup of tea, 1 cup of coffee, 1 cup of water, and 1 cup of soy milk today. And it’s only 4pm. So I’ve technically already hit my eight cup minimum without even trying.

Here are some quotes:

Advocates of the 8 x 8 guideline sometimes claim that thirst is a poor hydration indicator. They assert that many people are so chronically dehydrated they no longer recognize their bodies’ signals for water. Barbara Rolls, professor of nutrition sciences at the Pennsylvania State University, disagrees. Her studies, she says, “found no evidence that people are chronically dehydrated.” Although some drugs can cause problems with thirst regulation and the elderly may not experience thirst as intensely as younger people, Rolls maintains that most healthy people are adequately hydrated. – Source

Various reviews of all the scientific literature on the topic performed in 2002 and 2008 could not find any solid scientific evidence that recommended drinking eight glasses of water per day. An individual’s thirst provides a better guide for how much water they require rather than a specific, fixed quantity. – Source

Here are some links:

Sugar Sugar Sugar

I have an ongoing battle with sugar.

About two years ago, I wrote a post about cutting myself off. It didn’t last long.

For the last few months, every day is my last day of having sugar. And I always break my vow. I cannot control my cravings! I am out of control!

I’ve never smoked a cigarette in my life, never gambled, never injected heroine behind my eyelids, but I can imagine what it’s like being addicted to those things because I am ABSOLUTELY addicted to sugar.

Sometimes I blame Ben. It’s not really his fault… The willpower issue is CLEARLY my own problem, but every time we go grocery shopping I resist the urge to buy anything sweet. Ben, however, insists that he needs chocolate almonds or brownies or ice cream for after-dinner snacking.

The problem is that we’ll buy something sweet ‘for Ben’ and I’ll end up eating 75% of it.

It also doesn’t help that I love to bake and generally baking = sugar.

So. Let me scare you with some sugar facts and hopefully I’ll scare myself too.

Eating too many sweets can suppress your white blood cells, meaning you’re more susceptible to infectious illnesses like colds and flu. And because high sugar intake triggers inflammation, it ends up diverting immune cells from the germ-fighting front and directing them toward the inflammation instead. – Source

A number of studies in animals have suggested that chronic consumption of refined sugars can contribute to metabolic and cardiovascular dysfunction. A high dietary intake of sugar (in this case, sucrose or disaccharide) can substantially increase the risk of heart and vascular diseases. – Source

Not to mention that refined sugars have absolutely zero nutritional value. What is the point in eating them? Nada! Nothin! Only taste bud satisfaction and I don’t really think that’s a good enough reason. Right??

Annnnd shortly after writing this I had a cup of hot chocolate. Perfect.