Productivity is Overrated. Site devoted to procrastination, procrastinating, and wasting time in fun ways. Procrastinate with impunity. Neko



Asparagus Soup

Filed under: — Matthew @ 11:52 pm

I just found a really good recipe for asparagus soup that is both low fat and fast to prepare!

The original is linked above, and here are the instructions for mine, you can compare to see where I made adjustments.


  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 2-3 bunches of asparagus (1-2 lbs) – remove the tips (top 1/2 inch or 1 inch) and set aside for later, remove the bottom 2-3 inches of the stems, and chop the rest into 1/2 inch pieces (I find it’s better to chop the veggies up more finely than most recipes suggest).
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 2 leeks, diced
  • 3 or 4 cups of fat-free reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth (I used one 32 oz container)
  • 1 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped italian parsley (flat leaf)
  • Optional: 1 lb bag of mixed seafood (shrimp, mussles, calamari, crab, etc.)


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven.  Add the asparagus, onion, celery, and leeks.  Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add broth and simmer for 20 minutes, until vegetables are softened.
  3. Transfer soup to a blender and puree until smooth.  I did it in two batches and left the second one a little chunkier, for texture.
  4. Return the soup to the pot over low heat.  
  5. Add the defrosted seafood (chop into bite-sized bits if there are any large chunks), the asparagus tips, and the parsley.
  6. Simmer for about 5 minutes and then add the sour cream.  Stir until blended.
  7. Ladel into bowls and top with freshly ground black pepper.

Serves 4-6




Yes Virginia, there is a planet Menudo

Filed under: — Matthew @ 3:58 pm

I got this e-mail from the astronomy graduate student listserv…most amusing:


During this time of the holidays, I thought I would share with the grads a warm and heartening letter from one of our finest former grad student and a personal mentor – Eric. This letter was written by Eric near the holidays in response to a young student’s astronomy questions. She obviously had a homework assignment and was being very lazy.

It just tingles the heart strings. Enjoy!

Hi, my name is Laura and I have a few questions about the planets. Would you be able to answer them for me? If so, the following questions need answering.

1]How were the planets formed?

2]How were the stars formed? and

3]what is the mass and density of the nine planets in our solar system?

If you could answer them you’d be doing me a HUGE favour.

Thank you for your time,


This sounds like a homework assignment, due ASAP. I recommend that read some text first, but I’ll give you some short answers — but I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you read your textbook on the material:



Sausage Gravy

Filed under: — Matthew @ 7:17 pm

My recipe is based on Alton Brown’s Sawmill gravy recipe. I’ve experimented with it and my notes are at the bottom:

1 pound pork breakfast sausage
2 Tbsp fat from cooked sausage or melted butter (or margarine, if you must)
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
Salt and pepper to taste

1) Cook sausage (Prefferably in a cast iron skillet. Also: I like to keep this pretty chunky, so don’t chop it up too small as you stir and cook)
2) When done, remove the cooked sausage from pan and discard all but 2 tablespoons of the fat. (this yields the best tasting gravy, however, if you prefer to use butter or margarine, it makes a less heavy and greasy gravy, but also less flavorful)
3) Whisk flour into the liquid fat and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, this fat/flour mixture is called a roux. Cook till you smell a slightly nutty aroma.
4) Remove pan from heat and whisk in milk a little at a time. (Only add the next batch when the first is fully incorporated) It’s best to hold back a little of the milk (2-3 tbsp) at this point. It’s easier to thin the gravy later than to thicken it.
5) Put the skillet over medium-high heat and stir occasionally. Bring the gravy to a simmer. At this point it should have reached it’s maximum thickness. Add remaining milk if you want it a little thinner, or leave it alone, your choice. (Be sure to scrape up any brown bits that might be stuck to the bottom of the pan, there’s a lot of flavor in those.)
6) Add salt and pepper to taste. Add crumbled sausage and serve over biscuits.

Here are my experimentation notes:

So far, I have had the best results with 2% milk. Skim milk works ok, but you may want use a little less milk (or make a little more roux) in order to make skim milk gravy thick enough. There’s doesn’t seem to be a noticable difference in flavor.

I have also found that the sausage can take an annoyingly long time to cook, so I’ve been experimenting with different kinds, especially brown-and-serve sausage. Cooks Illustrated has recommended the pre-cooked “Farmland Original Pork Sausage Links”, however, I have been unable to find them out here in the west. I’ve tried Jimmy Dean’s brown and serve, and the sausage links completely suck. The patties are a tad better, but generally, don’t bother unless you are in a real hurry.

Cooks Illustrated did a taste test on pre-cooked vs. fresh sausage links. The Farmland pre-cooked was far-and-away the winner, but here are their other recommendations (with reservations):

Bob Evans original links (fresh)
Owen’s original premium pork sausage links (fresh)
Jimmy Dean original fresh pork sausage links (fresh)
Jones all natural pork little sausages (fresh, I think, but not sure)

Most everything else you’ll find in the pre-cooked section was not recommended.

I have used Jimmy Dean’s fresh sausage in a 1 lb package roll, and it has been good, but you have to cut it up, and it does take a while to cook. Most fresh sausages are just fine. Experiment to see which ones sold in stores near you work in the gravy, and let me know how it works!

Generally, I think the links and the patties both have good taste, but different textures, I like them both, but you should see for yourself.

Farmland also makes fresh sausage and pre-cooked patties. If anyone can find any of the pre-cooked farmland products, I’d love to hear what you think!

Finally: I’m going to be experimenting with Biscuit recipes. I’ll let you know how that works out.


Cilantro Salmon

Filed under: — Matthew @ 10:11 pm

I just made this recipe tonight. Super good!

Salmon fillet (I used an entire salmon fillet, like one side of a whole fish, however you can use individual portions, cooking time will be about 5 minutes less)
2 Tbsp olive oil
Handful of fresh cilantro (if I have to guess, it was between 1/2 cup and 1 cup, if you kind of pressed it into a measuring device)
2 cloves garlic
1 green onion
1/2 tsp cumin
Juice from 1 lime
3-4 plum tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

1) Combine finely chopped garlic cloves, finely chopped green onion, finely chopped cilantro and cumin.
2) Add olive oil and mix thoroughly.
– I prefer to dump these ingredients into a food processor or blender and do the chopping and mixing in there.

1) Line a cookie sheet with Aluminum foil and brush or spray with olive oil.
2) Lay the salmon on the foil (scales down) and lightly brush or spray the top with olive oil .
3) Sprinkle with Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.
4) Spread cilantro topping over the salmon fillet.
5) Place tomato chunks on top of cilantro coating
6) Sprinkle the whole thing with Salt and Pepper
7) Bake in 400 degree oven for 15-20 min
8) Broil for 2 minutes to crisp the top of the tomatoes and exposed salmon.

Serve while warm.


Thai Green Curry

Filed under: — Matthew @ 10:51 pm

I just made this tonight. It was good.


1-2 Tbsp green curry paste
1-2 Tbsp vegetable or peanut oil
2 can of lite coconut milk
2-3 bell peppers (variety of colors), sliced
1 small onion, sliced
Tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes and pressed to remove some of the liquid
3-4 Chicken breasts (cut into 1-inch strips bite-size pieces)
A few tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro (a small handful of unchopped cilantro)
zest from 1 small lime
juice from 1 small lime

Can also add:
4 small eggplants (I prefer the long, thin asian eggplants because you can leave the skin on, slice them in half long-ways and then into bite-sized chunks)
2-3 small Zucchini, cut into thin half-moon slices


– Saute curry paste in vegetable oil for about a minute.
– Add lime zest
– If you are using chicken, add it now. Coat chicken with lime zest and paste and saute for one minute.
– Add one can of coconut milk and bring to a boil. Cook this till it thickens and reduces a bit.
– Add tofu
– Add second can of coconut milk and bring to a boil. (You can also taste the sauce and add coconut milk till it reaches the desired spiciness.)
– Add vegetables. Cover pot and simmer for 10-15 minutes, till chicken is cooked all the way through.
– Add cilantro and lime.

Serve over steamed rice.

Serves 4.


Global Warming Tipping Point

Filed under: — Matthew @ 12:00 am

According to researchers, the effects of global warming could reach an unstoppable turning point. However, if they are wrong, a lot of rich people could lose a lot of money for no reason. Besides, the worst that could happen if they are right is that the entire ecosystem on Earth could be irreparably damaged. Oh, right, we’re still trying to convice the current administration that global warming EXISTS! So much for signing the Kyoto accord.


Misery to peak on Monday January 24th, RUN AND HIDE!

Filed under: — Matthew @ 10:10 pm

According to researchers, people will be the most miserable they can be all year on this coming Monday, January 24th. This isn’t an Onion article people, this is science. There’s a formula and everything: “/8W+(D-d) 3/8xTQ MxNA. Where W is weather, D is debt – minus the money (d) due on January’s pay day – and T is the time since Christmas.”

And we all know, if there’s math, it must be true, especially if the formula is more than one line and contains variables. It’s so “confusing” you should just nod your head, and hide under the covers.



58,000 ballots already missing in Florida

Filed under: — Matthew @ 3:42 pm

Geez. The election hasn’t even happened and Florida has already “lost” some of the ballots. Good thing we have BBC News to report these things because apparently the American news sources haven’t heard.


Who are these people??

Filed under: — Matthew @ 10:57 pm

This is one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever seen. A woman broke into a house, moved in, and redecorated while the owner was on vacation. She even changed the utilities into her name!

February 02, 2014

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