Sunday, February 15, 2009

I'm making a lasagna... for one

Oooo.... so I guess I haven't updated this in a while... my apologies to my beloved readers! (which as far as I know is just one person anyway)

So, yesterday was that crazy day where marketers convince females that it is mandatory that their partners purchase hefty gifts of chocolate dipped diamonds, else a cessation of all bodily contact will occur until further notice.

Being single and with Valentine's Day during Reading Week has its perks...
  1. I don't have to spend a bajillion dollars.
  2. I have lots of time.
  3. I have lots of time to watch plenty of Flight of the Conchords...

Which is why I decided to take my time and make a Lasagna for One! No idea what I'm talking about? Watch this...

It kinda fit the theme hahaha.... so I decided to make lasagna for dinner.
I figured someone out there must have made this lasagna already, so I searched and lo and behold, I found this site.

Problem is... there's no onions! That and I have no clue what an ounce is let alone 3 ounces of lasagna, nor did I know lasagna comes in ounces since they're always sold as fresh sheets or dried in a box. Anywho, I decided that I should develop my own version!
I had onions in it, had a meat sauce that is pretty tasty by itself, and added other variations just for kicks.

First the onions before caramelization...
Then the sauce...

Until it's like this, mix in the rest and then season...
Start layering!
Voila! Lone lasagna portion on a plate w/onions:
Tasty looking? Indeed it is! and I didn't have any extra sauce whatsoever, which was kinda cool.

Anyway, here's the recipe...

  • 2 lasagna noodles (dried... open up a box of standard size lasagna from the store and you'll see)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/4 of a medium sized onion, sliced and separated to strips
  • 1 star anise
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder (eyeball it)
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 small carrot, finely diced
  • 1/2 stalk of celery, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning (parsley, basil, thyme, oregano mix)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried rosemary leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of leftover jar/can pasta sauce
  • 1/4 ground beef
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
  • 1/2 cup grated mozzarella
  • salt and pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 350C.
  2. Boil a small pot of water with the teaspoon of salt. Cook lasagna as per instructions until al dente. Drain, then chill by rinsing with cold water. Set aside.
  3. In a pan, put in olive oil, onions, baking soda, and star anise. Cook at medium-low heat (3-3.5), stiring occasionally until caramelized.
  4. Heat a separate pan to high heat, place ground beef into pan and quickly brown the outside of the beef. Work quickly and take care not to burn. Remove from pan and set aside.
  5. Drain most of the fat from beef browning leaving a teaspoon or so behind. Put in garlic, rosemary, celery and carrots and scrape pan to include the leftover meaty bits. Cook until carrots are done.
  6. Add caramelized onions and ground beef into veggies and mix.
  7. Pour in leftover pasta sauce, adding more if necessary. Add in Italian seasoning, and at medium-low heat, let sauce simmer until desired consistency is reached.
  8. Season, remove and set aside.
  9. Trim each cooked lasagna noodles into thirds, making sure all six sheets are of similar lengths.
  10. Oil a baking sheet, and layer in the following order: pasta, sauce, basil, cheese. Layer until all ingredients are used up.
  11. Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and the surface is slightly browned.
  12. Serve on large plate, alone.

  • Most lasagna recipes says to start the bottom layer with sauce. I did it with lasagna instead because it makes the bottom layer delectably crispy as long as it's not burnt.
  • My lasagna had whole leaves of fresh basil instead of a chiffonade. That proved to be troublesome during consumption because the whole leaves would just come out and you end up having a big basil punch in one bite, then nothing anywhere else.
  • For added comedic effect, watch Flight of the Conchords and drink an airplane sized red wine while eating.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Back again.

What, I've been busy, got a problem?

New post! Read this:

Summary: Palin's big accomplishment as Governor of Alaska is to award a license to TransCanada Corp to get going on a pipeline that can transfer gas, be it liquified or not, from Alaska to the Lower 48 States.

Recent media has been targetting Palin in recent days over the selection process because only one bid ultimately qualified, but what bothers me is this... Go and search for "palin pipeline" and the article I've linked above would likely be one of the few if not only article that mentions the requirement of Canadian government approval. All other articles makes no mention of that whatsoever, and furthermore, gives the reader the impression that once the US approves it, it's all good.
The concern behind the lack of mentioning of Canada is that knowing the American media and Stephen Harper's foreign policies, if the Americans demand it, they'll probably get it. Now, 90% of that pipeline is gonna go through Canada, if there's any cleanups needed, especially in the permafrost, it's our environment and ecosystem at stake. Are the Americans gonna pay for that? Maybe, probably not. What's more is that the way this pipeline process is going, the proponent is probably going to avoid public consultations as much as possible, and hence avoid the issue of having to deal with the stakeholders, especially the aboriginals and conservationists.
Assessment concerns aside, dude, its our country. Palin does not have control over my country. If you wanna pipe gas, go underwater or something. Oh wait! Exclusive Economic Zone! Take that. What irks me the most is that even the American media have seem to bought into the idea that US can get what they want in Canada. If anything, this project should have gotten approval through the Canadian government first THEN Alaska.

Truth is though, this project's probably never gonna work. Not with the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline going relatively smoothly these days.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


So I was in Banrigh Cafe today because we got free lunch for performing in the Principal's Welcoming Ceremony (Free LUNCH!), and it was exciting! First time in Banrigh in god knows how long. Anyway, turns out, the lil area where they used to cook up the rubbery penne with special sauces or the sketchy chicken-curry-rice-that's-more-like-soup has been converted to a Noodle Bar!
Introducing... the Banrigh Noodle Bar! Complete with chinese-esque signage, teppanyaki cooking surface and choices of sauces such as ginger and hoisin! (So really, should be called the Teppan-yaki bar).

What you do is you line up, grab a black plastic salad bowl, load up with the veggies available, give it to a cook and say what sauce, protein you want (choices today were marinated tofu and garlic chicken), and what carbs you want (noodles or rice), and they fry it up.
It was alright, not too great, not too bad, but because the skill level required to use that teppanyaki grill is slightly higher than the omlette pans, the cooks actually do a decent job.

Now that's got me thinking.... why be limited by what they want you to eat when you can be creative?

Following are examples of what should be plausible:

Beef Stroganoff-esque Noodles

1 burger patty crumbled (from the Grill section) or a few pieces of roast beef (from the Sandwich bar)
Some Onions (as available at Noodle bar)
Some Mushrooms (if desired, available at Noodle bar)
Gravy (as available from the Hot foods section)
Sour cream (from salad bar)
Noodles (from noodles bar)
Salt and Pepper (from tables)

1. Place onions and mushroom onto a black salad bowl.
2. Put 2 ladles of gravy into bowl.
3. Crumble/dice beef and place onto bowl.
4. Place additional mushrooms and onions if desired.
5. Hand bowl to cook, ask for noodles and no sauce.
6. Season, add additional gravy if needed. Mix thoroughly.
7. Head to salad bar and add a dollop of sour cream.
8. Serve!

Notes: Onions and mushrooms on the bottom so the materials in the bowl can slide/dump out easier. Additional mushrooms on top to hide the beef if you wanna be sneaky about it.

Chicken Carbonara

Chicken (from salad bar or noodle bar if available)
Alfredo Sauce (when available at hot foods station)
Parmesan cheese (salad bar)
Bacon bits (salad bar)
Green onions (salad bar) for garnish
Peas (salad bar)
Cold water (drinks station)
Pasta (from pasta bar)

1. In black plastic salad bowl, place green peas, bacon bits, and alfredo sauce in. Mix in some cold water to slightly decrease thickness of sauce.
2. Hand the bowl to the cook, asking to have chicken added in only.
3. Once heated, place sauce over plate of pasta, preferably spaghetti.
4. Sprinkle parmesan cheese as needed into sauce to thicken and flavour, and pour ontop of spaghetti.
5. Mix, garnish with green onions. Done!

Notes: Also totally doable if the microwave was used to heat the sauce.

Turkey Dinner
Onions (from noodles bar)
Cranberry juice (from drinks station)
Turkey (from sandwich bar)
Sliced Bread (from toast station) or Croutons (from salad bar) if lazy.
Cream of Mushroom or others (if available) OR French onion soup
Apple slices (from desserts)
Peas (salad bar)
Worchestershire Sauce (condiments station)
Gravy (when available from hot foods station)
Cinnamon (if available)
Various vegetables (from salad section)
Salt and Pepper

1. Using a soup bowl, put cranberry juice, salt and pepper, and onions and microwave until onions are soft. Add a spritz of Worchestershire sauce into mixture.
2. Cut turkey into pieces, and add into bowl of cranberry mixture, and let sit for a few minutes.
3. Using toasted bread (cubed) or croutons, add in enough cream of mushroom soup or french onion soup to soak thoroughly. If using onion soup, add in finely chopped apples and cinnamon and microwave until apples are soft. If using cream soup, mix in peas and microwave until peas are cooked. Set stuffing aside.
4. Hand the marinated turkey to the cook.
5. On a plate, place turkey, stuffing, and veggies, and smother with gravy.
6. Serve.

Note: Pointless after Thanksgiving since every meal from then on IS a turkey dinner.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Ok, this merits an immediate post despite the fact that it's 2AM, I have a ton of stuff to do tomorrow and I barely slept last night.

Green Party of Canada finally has an Member of Parliament! w00t! And it didn't even take a Harper's election to do it!

Now now, sure I may be in environmental science, and sure I might be against offshore drilling in the ecologically sensitive Arctic etc, but this excited reaction is in no way related to that.
What's irked me the most the past 2 elections is this.... Green Party, despite having candidates running in more constituencies than Bloc Quebecois, has not had any national exposure to the extent that Bloc Quebecois has. And the biggest sticking point to this is the continuous exclusion of the Green Party from the nationally televised debates.
Their reasoning? Green Party does not already have an elected representative in the House of Commons. I'm sorry, doesn't that sound just a tad odd? I mean, if a party never gets exposed to the people, but they do have candidates in all constituencies, how is that not representing the people's thoughts? It takes a lot of organization, time and money to run a national campaign, and without support from the people, this can't happen.
That and I (being in BC or Ontario) honestly don't gives a rats ass about what the National Assembly of Quebec thinks, if the whole purpose of the Bloc is to stand for Quebec independence and not even gonna bother with any other provinces. Not to mention the fact that they get way too much say. It's a fact. 51/308 MP's = 0.16558%. Popular vote of the Bloc: 10.5% in Canada. We should crack em down, Tufan style.
Bloc bashing aside, it's ridiculous that it takes something like this for the Green Party to say anything. Frankly, if the Marijuana Party had a candidate everywhere, I wouldn't mind hearing them out, as long as they had a well developed platform that envelopes a wide variety of issues rather than just point out one thing (which they should be fully capable of, especially if smoking was allowed during debates). And for that matter, the Communists would be cool too.

Canada being Canada, next time we wanna hear some different parties debate, they'll just have to poach some Independents, cuz that block of media outlets + 4 parties would never let others into their private party. Block party!

Ici, c'est la vie.

Chairman "I have nothing against French things or Carrefour" Lau.

Monday, August 11, 2008

First post

So I now have my own blog. I'm not a huge fan of blogs. I'd much rather force my opinions on people with an elaborate meal of boiled cabbage and rice husks along with some mindless propoganda music, but I lack the necessary funds, so this will have to do.

The topics covered in this blog will probably be mindboggling, maybe biased, and mostly ramblings. Expect varied topics ranging from "The Sorry State of Canadian Sports" to "Molecular Gastronomical Analysis of Congee".

Bird's nests are for eating, not for sitting in.
Chairman Lau