Author Archives: akaljian
You wonder why the Americans have such a strong sense of rights waving their flag at every opportunity?
You wonder why they fight and scrape to the point of insanity about freedom to do what they want?
You wonder why they are nutso about guns, money and religion?? Hell they even pullout 200′ flags at sporting events just to remind everybody that football and baseball are American.
Well, in Canada we can’t even show our flag on a pin because of bullshit revolving around colours of the liberal party. How stupidly insane is that?
Now the conspiracy nuts will say its a conservative initiative (which may not be too far from the truth) but the reality is that if we as the citizens of this country cannot even muster around our own flag, then why are we even a country.
Whomever made the call on this particular issue should be charged with treason.
Follow the link: http://cnews.canoe.com/CNEWS/Election2015/2015/10/17/22563433.html
So, now we have protestors at the Ontario venues where Cosby is going to show up to perform. In a hamilton news interview, some lady was collecting tickets for those people no longer interested in going with the intent of putting protestors in their place.
For the record, Cosby has been accused of sexual misconduct/rape/assault by a slew of women. All of them a decades old allegations and none as of the date of this post have resulted in charges or any kind of investigation. Of course, Cosby’s camp denies everything and his lawyer even went so far as to say if any of it was true, how come no charges have been laid?
I’m not defending him, or saying I believe either side at this point because plainly i don’t trust the media and when celebrities are involved in a scandel, all kinds of corruption to the truth can happen on both sides of the fence.
What galled me the most was the lady collecting the tickets didn’t say “Alleged” or “Accused” in regards to Cosby, but rather talked with language that already had him convicted and labelled as a sex offender. They already have organized protests and interest groups who are going to hound Cosby wherever he goes.
I thought in north america at least, innocent until proven guilty was the right of the accused.
Again, not trying to defend him but it seems kind of ridiculous that all the tens of millions of dollars he has donated to a variety of charities and educational organizations, all his business works that involved helping his communities goes up in flames when accusations fly without him being able to defend against it. It is almost like he has to go to court because the accusations are more devastating than the actual court process.
Let me give you an example in my world. If for some reason, I was publicaly accused of a crime. Any crime. During the time it took to clear my name, whether it was the accusers back pedaling or going to court and proving otherwise, do you think my business clients would continue to do business with me? Do you think they would want to be associated with me and stick it out until the truth came out which could take years? Some might….but i would bet that there would be some who would have to err on the side of their own feelings and reputation to dissapear and disassociate with me as fast as possible. It is only natural and the accusation alone has done the damage.
What I’m saying is that allowing protestors who have already judged him to be guilty and potentially spreading incorrect information or even descriminatory information should be curbed somehow. The right to protest is protected but as we have seen with the Westboro Baptist church, not all protests or protestors have the truth on their side.
So there was a cute comic-con posting about what people wanted Ep 7 to be and rather what they don’t want it to be.
Though everybody wants good movies, Lucas’ track record has been crappy since he announced Ep1.
Now to be honest, for me, Ep 1 was not so bad. I didn’t even mind Jar Jar so much in the grand scheme though he could have been completely eliminated. The one item that bugged me to no end which basically wrote off the whole star wars universe can be summed up in 1 word: midichlorians.
But the truth is, from our childhood of the original 3 movies, the only expectations I had of Ep1 was the following items:
Epic light sabre battle by jedi who were properly trained – Hence the uncut sequence between obi-wan and maul 100%
Epic starfighter sequence – Anakin/r2 flight sequence with bonus podrace which was 100%
More Jedi powers – speed, jump etc.
So for those elements, i got what i wanted.
Ep 2 for me is barely a memory as it was only there for “plot development” and i think i’ve only watched it once. Total write off.
Ep 3 was better and worse in the same breath. Anakin’s collapse into Vader was done well. Even though the acting was wooden, in its context, I liked it. It was sort of what I had in my mind’s eye for 20 years. BUT then the cut scenes of all the combat which would have been great killed it. The sheer amount of CG that they used took away from the feel of the original trilogy and then there were little things like Leia “giving up” which made less sense once they got to that plot point.
Over all my biggest beefs for 1,2,3 were:
midichlorians (which changes canon)
origin story of Bobafett (WAYYYY different from canon, and which is now changed canon to match)
Leia “giving up” her will to live
the setup to have clone wars tell the story of Anakin in between 2 and 3 whereby we KNOW he will slaughter every character in the cartoon that is introduced… I liked Clone wars as a series, but i hated that they chose Anakin’s aspect and made it kid friendly when the reality of the character was very dark and let’s face it… EVIL.
The rest I can forgive.
for the new movies, I want them to just use ep 4,5,6 as the model and guideline in filmmaking. Not a CG romp… don’t change the characters and story just to indulge cameos and merchandising opportunities outside of the movies… don’t add Cool effects like lens flares just because you can. Don’t “clean” up the star wars universe… if anything, the lack of CG in the originals made it more real. Made it something we could relate too even though it was a different galaxy.
It does NOT have to compete with Marvel right now. Or be the “same” as the Star Trek reboots. Just make it good. People will see it and it will make billions of dollars even if you don’t add the laugh track….
Now for Comic-cons advice (via The Chive):
I took a moment to google “darthobvious” just to see what would come up. Lately, I’ve been googling my name and company for busines reasons so I figured I’d try the obvious and see what was up….
This is what I got:
Yup… after basically 15 years, we finally got knocked of the optimization list and some gamer is going around with the actual name and avatar @darthobvious
I’m not surprised mind you. Pretty much this blog has been abandoned for the Facebooks but since I’m the “voldemort” of facebook, I find it amusing to bitch out my thoughts here where nobody will read them.
I think, now that I have figured out how to post directly from my phone (which is a whole bitch fest unto itself), I may drop little notes here over time just to have it floating around out there in the interwebs.
After all, we still own the name and domain so what the hell.
Yup, continuing the lobster theme, we were watching another episode of tripe D (that is drive ins, diners and dives for you non-food tv network people).
So this turned out surprising good and the end result was not as “fishy” as i thought it would be. Even though I did use a lot of lobster in it, the other herbs and the volume of potatoes absorbed a lot of it so it was mild and yet had a bite of lobster in each mouthful.
Ingrediants for 6 servings:
1/2 lb of cooked lobster. (i used 6 big claws and knuckles)
12 medium sized potatoes of your choice.
2 cloves garlic
1 shallot (medium size)
1 tablespoons seasalt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon garlic salt
125ml of butter (or 4 tablespoons. I play this one by ear)
125ml of milk
I fresh cooked the lobster which was simply boiling it with 1 tablespoon of seasalt added to the water. for my claws i Cooked for 5 minutes (but you may need more if your going with tails), then shock in ice water to cool down and remove meat from shell. Make sure to cut up or shred the lobster unless you want huge chunks in the potatoes. If you are using pre-cooked canned lobster, just rinse it first. The advantage of cooking your lobster, is that you can cook the potatoes in the same water to give it more flavour.
Once you have your chilled lobster, in a pan melt the butter and then mix in the minced garlic, shallot, seasalt (i like it course), pepper and garlic salt. Add lobster as soon as the garlic and shallot are softened up. This should only be about 1-2 minutes.
Further cook the lobster for 2-3 minutes in the pan making sure to coat all the lobster with the garlic mixture. Once done, turn off heat and let stand until potatoes are done.
Peel the potatoes. For faster cooking time, put in microwave for 5 minutes on high before you boil them. If you have time, a roiling boil is perfect. Once the potatoes are fork tender, you are good to go.
Drain the potatoes and add the milk. Start mashing. Then add lobster mixture. Blend and mash until desired thickness.
I like my mashed potatoes on the chunkier side so i did not cream them to death.
They came out GREAT!
So the other day, I was watching Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on TV with the boys. Guy visited an italian place that was making lobster ravioli and my youngest David watch intently as the chef cooked lobsters, then made it into a stuffing with cheese and then hand made them into ravioli’s served with a rose sauce.
This was at about 11pm. So immediately after seeing that, David turns to me and says “Daddy, i’m hungry. Can you make those….”
And I thought to myself… yes.. yes I can.
So after discussing it with my wife, we decided to try it on the weekend. She makes noodles for pasta and lasagna from scratch all the time, so she was good with it. I’ve made all kinds of seafood stuffing before, so why not!?
She picked up the ingrediants and we were off to the races. We also decided to make some sausage ravioli’s for those non-seafood eaters in our household.. you know who you are. However, I’m only putting up the recipe for the lobster.
So, first the ingrediant list. This was based on making about 20 large ravioli’s total. A serving would be 4 per person if you actually followed “portion” sizing. Please note that my cooking style is not exact measurements, so when I say a particular measurement, i’m being approximate.
1 lobster. (we bought 1 canned lobster meat from costco which was claws, legs and knuckle meat. No tail but was good for the size. approx 3/4 lb of meat)
Ricotta Cheese – 1 cup
Mozzarella Cheese – 1 cup
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried parsley (the show used fresh basil but we didn’t have any.)
2 tablespoons EV olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed or minced fine.
1 small onion or shallot (we used shallot) chopped fine.
Cook the lobster if it isn’t already done. You can look up how to do that, its easy. The canned lobster we bought was already cooked so no problem there. If you are using the canned stuff, DO NOT DRAIN THE LOBSTER completely. The water has a lot of flavour.(keep some of the water it was cooked in or came with for later). You can chop up the lobster but let it be somewhat “juicy”.
Take a pan, put olive oil into it. Put the garlic and shallot mixture and let is cook on medium-high for 1 minute or so, or until the onion starts to go translucent. DO NOT LET IT BURN as the garlic will burn easily if not watched and this will ruin the lobster.
Once the onions are clear, throw in lobster meat. Make sure the lobster is chopped fairly fine. I like it a little chunkier but remember it is stuffing, so giant chunk are not going to work.
Add the salt, pepper and parsley.
Mix it gently until the lobster is coated with all the ingrediants. Do not overcook the lobster since it is already cooked you just want it to bind with the ingrediants. Give it a taste and adjust seasoning if needed. You don’t want it too salty since the ricotta cheese will have salt in already.
Remove from heat and let cool. You can put it in the fridge for 15m or just let it come down to room temp.
Get a bowl, then mix in the ricotta and mozza. You want to fold it in, and not beat the mixture to death as the lobster by this time will turn into paste if you are too heavy handed.
The mixture should be soft and sticky so you can make small tablespoon size balls. If it is too dry, add a little of the lobster water that it was cooked in, or came with.
Set mixture back into fridge to set.
Now for the pasta. You can buy fresh made pasta from one of the pasta gourmet stores, and you can even buy preformed ravioli and canneloni style shells if you want. We made our own, and this is what it is: (keep in mind, this is for 20 ravioli’s so the portion is greater)
6 cups of unbleached flour
Make a pile of the flower, then with your 2 fingers make a “well” in the middle like a volcano. crack the eggs into that well. Start whisking the eggs grabbing flower with each pass until it is mixed enough to start folding in the flour completely. You’ll have to use your hands at this point. Once you start kneedign the dough you’ll have to adjust with some water (you can use the lobster water again if you want) to make the dough the right consistency. It should be moist and tacky so that it streches when you pull. If it is too dry and cracks, you need to add water.
Then you can either roll it out by hand or get a pasta machine to make the noodles. This is a long drawn out process so i’m not going to detail it here.
Once the pasta sheet is ready, just place a dollop (tablespoon size) on the the pasta and fold it over to close. Once you do that you can cut each portion and seal the ends with a fork.
Here is a great site to show you how to do it. How to Make Ravioli – Allrecipes.com
Then basically you have to boil water and cook the ravioli’s for a couple of minutes until they float.
Fresh pasta cooks really quickly and since the stuffing is already cooked, it doesn’t take long.
Then you can choose your type of sauce to serve with it. We make our own red sauce so for us, it was a no brainer but you can use alfredo or rose or any sauce you like to serve on top. i would not recommend a heavily spiced sauce as the lobster flavour is subtle and can be easily overwhelmed with other dominating flavours. So even though i thought of Bacon.. i decided against it.
1)the ratio of lobster to cheese in the stuffing worked well for making the right texture and flavour but the cheese does hide the lobster somewhat. I found the lobster taste to be milder than expected but enough to taste it in every bite. In the future instead of 33% lobster, 33% mozza, 33% ricotta, I’d probably do 50% lobster and 25-25 for the cheese. Just to get a little more lobster flavour into it.
2)We chose to do it ravioli style which when making by hand takes a long time. The stuffing and making the noodles was easy, the actual stuffing, cutting, sealing of the ravioli took a while. You could do this with canneloni which would be a little faster. I’m sure with practice, I’ll get better. We also had a timing issue between making our noodles and actually using them, so i would recommend making the stuffing and having it ready long before you actually make the pasta. you want to be able to make the ravioli’s and ideally cook them within a few minutes of each other. If you let the pasta sit, it starts to dry out and then you are in trouble.
3)because everything was fresh made, the volume of pasta is misleading. I ate 6 of them before I realized I was stuffed to the gills! SO BEWARE!
Oh so true.. so true!