Monday, February 18, 2013

Cheese "Crackers"

When switching to a low carb diet, one of the things I missed the most was crunchy snacks. Especially cheese flavored crunchy snacks!

These "crackers" are very easy to make as they are just melted cheese!

I recommend using a leaner cheese for these. The fat in the cheese will run out leaving you with just the protein part, so the less fat in the cheese, the more cracker you'll end up with. I like Monterey Jack the best. Monterey Jack has a very bland flavor that lends itself well to this application. So far my favorite flavoring is smoked paprika and garlic powder, but they taste great plain too.

Heat oven to 400 deg F.

Cut Monterey Jack cheese into squares.

I use parchment paper or a silicon mat on top of a baking sheet to control stickage. Place the squares on a baking sheet in whatever way works for you to prevent stickage.

Once the oven is fully pre-heated, place the baking sheet in the oven in the middle rack. It's really important that you wait for the oven to be fully preheated so the cheese melts and solidifies quickly, otherwise, it might run excessively.

Watch these while they are in the oven. Generally mine are done in about 5 minutes. When the edges are brown you know it's time to pull them out.

Let them cool for about 5-10 minutes and enjoy! If they are a little greasy, just soak it up with a paper towel.

Crustless Quiche

This quiche recipe is adapted from Julia Child's Leek Quiche recipe in her book "Mastering the Art of French Cooking".

Quiches are really easy and are a great way to use leftovers. I like to make them in 16 oz pyrex containers so they are easy to take for lunch and each individual quiche develops a nice brown cheese crust on top.

Basic Quiche Ingredients:
3 eggs
1 1/2c heavy cream
1/4c shredded gruyere or comte cheese
1 T butter
pinch of sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Beat together eggs and cream, then add filling. Fill 3 16oz pyrex dishes. Sprinkle cheese on top and dot with butter.

Bake for 25 minutes at 375 deg. Let cool, pop the cover on and either take it with you or put it in the fridge. I like these best at room temperature. If eating hot, I put some paper towel or a napkin in a bowl and place the pyrex container in that.

Optionally, you can blend the cheese in with the rest of the ingredients, but on top it makes a nice crust and gives a nice bite, especially if you are using a really good cheese.

For fillings, get creative and use whatever you have leftover in the fridge. Quiche is great when you have vegetables that are starting to go bad so you need to use them quick.

- sauteed mushrooms and onions
- sauteed leeks + another 1/4c of cheese
- ham + another 1/4c of cheese
- use Feta instead of the other cheese, kalamata olives, and 4 oz defrosted frozen spinach

Sunday, February 17, 2013

New Job, Xmas Travel, OPW

Sorry for the lack of updates, lots of travel and other things going on this past few months!


First off, I started a new job in January. Things weren't going the way I wanted with my previous employer on a lot of levels. A new opportunity that is a much better fit for me fell into my lap and that's where I work now! I'm pretty stoked about it and am much happier.


Went to Germany with Florian to meet his friends and family. His parents were vacationing in a small town near the Baltic Sea. Then we went to Chemnitz to watch streams of the Chaos Communication Conference that was going on in Hamburg and to celebrate New Year's. We also visited his grandparents in Aue and spent the night in Dresden.

I not only got to go back to Germany but I got to visit formerly East Germany! When I was a kid in the 1980's I lived in Nurnburg, West Germany. I remember seeing the wall when I visited West Berlin.

Getting beer at a gas station

Dinner at an Italian restaurant with Florian's parents

Now that's a beer!

A special New Year's tradition involving rum, a sugar cone, and fire!

 Orlando Perl Workshop

I gave a talk this year at OPW! My talk was on hacking conference tshirts. The premise is that it's hard for women to fit into conference tshirts, so I presented a live demo of a simple way to cut the tshirt into a complementary style. I also presented alternative tshirt transformations including a pillow case, an apron, and a tote bag. Finally I made suggestions for transferring the image including making mini buttons and introduced stenciling.

My goal this year is to a) be more active in contributing code to the Perl community and b) speak at conferences. I've submitted talks to a few conferences this year and I'm pretty hopeful about them getting picked up.