Engineer & Entertain

Ideas I grapple with

Archive for the tag “Cooking”

Needs a latte work

I was curious if I could use a macchinetta to make a latte in one fell swoop. The short answer is I cannot.

Tastes like data

Typically, a shot (30 mL) of espresso is brewed and 240 mL (1 cup) of steamed milk is added to it.  In my procedure I added a combination of water and 2% milk to the bottom boiling chamber and had it pass through fine ground coffee.  The coffee beans were not ground fresh.  I heated the pot on medium (#4 on a 7 setting gas range).  The water and milk proportions were

  • 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup water, 3/4 cup milk
  • 0 water, 1 cup milk

I like my sugar with coffee and cream. Well I got to keep it going keep it going full steam.

Each iteration simply tasted like coffee with cream.  One certainly could add flavored syrup to make a vanilla latte with this, but chain coffee houses make them better. Moreover, there are clearly other methods for making cheap lattes at home.

The experiment did not fail, it just collected more data.


Crispy Apricot Pork Chops . . . kind of.

A hallmark of science is logging your experiments so others can replicate or test similar ideas.  Here is a minor experiment with cooking dinner.  It should be noted that I dread cooking dinner.  While I enjoy eating delicious food, dinner is utilitarian.  Its purpose is to give me calories and nutrition so I can get back to experimenting and finding out what happens when I apply heat to an oil, emulsifier, and carbohydrate.  I digress, logging my cooking attempts as experiments means I am more likely to cook which means my wife is more likely to like me.


Pork chops

Salt & Pepper

Orange Marmalade

Bread Crumbs


Season pork chops with salt & pepper.  Spread marmalade on side of the pork chops.  Cover with bread crumbs.  Bake at 425*F for 18 minutes.

Procedure in pictorial form

Pac Man is ready to nom nom nom


The original recipe called for apricot jam instead of orange marmalade.  I used the marmalade because that is what I had on hand, but I look forward to trying the recipe with apricot jam.  The recipe cooked just fine in spite of the change.  The taste was fine, but nothing to write home about (wait – why am I doing this again?).


The recipe comes from Everyday Food: Great Food Fast  ISBN: 978-0-307-35416-7.  The marmalade came from my refrigerator.

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