Comet


Socially Distant Recipes: Flour Tortillas

Posted by: Jessica 1 month, 1 week ago
Categories: Food & Drink

It’s been a long time since we posted on the Comet Blog, 5 months to be exact. And WOW, those 5 months really proved to be the strangest roller coaster ride that nobody asked to be a part of. We have been socially distancing due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in Boston, together with our dog Violet in all 800 square feet of our apartment. There have been ups and downs but mostly I wanted to spend some time outlining some things we are learning along the way. 

First thing’s first, cooking! I’ve always liked cooking (much to my mom’s surprise!) and I’ve taken the opportunity of being home more hours of the day to explore some new recipes. And what is a girl to do when you have the fillings for tacos but no tortillas? You make your OWN flour tortillas! What an idea! But isn’t it hard? Don’t you need a tortilla press? When I told Ryan I was making flour tortillas from scratch the look on his face asked all of these questions. But that didn’t scare me. It can’t be impossible, right?

Right! After about 30 minutes we found out that making your own flour tortillas takes very few ingredients, is actually relatively easy, and they taste delicious. Huge thanks for the inspiration from Mythical Kitchen, their YouTube video with instructions is linked below, our instructions differ slightly but either works well I’m sure. Enjoy!

 

Flour Tortillas (for those days when you run out but still want tacos)

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Whisk together flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut butter into small cubes, add to flour, then rub together with your hands until the fat disappears into the flour. It will make sense when you do it.
  2. Stir in 105-110 degree water to the flour and mix with a fork until a shaggy dough forms. It will look...shaggy, and like it could never possibly be flour tortillas.
  3. Dump dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead with your hands until a solid, smooth ball forms. If the dough is too sticky, add some more flour but sparingly. Knead for about 10 minutes which will feel like a long time, but you have nowhere else to be so do it for the tortillas!
  4. Divide the dough into 6 pieces and roll them into small dough balls. Let them sit on a plate for 15-30 minutes. It feels unnecessary, I know, but resting the dough is important so don’t skip this step!
  5. Roll out each dough ball on a lightly floured surface (I never cleaned up the first one!) until they are very thin but still hold their shape. Roll out using a rolling pin or a bottle of wine, whatever. Roll back and forth once, and turn the dough a quarter turn each time - this will provide nearly round results.
  6. Cook each tortilla in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat for 40-60 seconds a side, or until they are no longer translucent. Push down any areas that aren’t touching the pan because of bubbles with a spatula to keep the cooking going. You could also use a nonstick pan too, I’m sure. In either case the pan should be dry, no oil or butter, but hot.
  7. Pull them out of the pan and be as amazed as I was. You just made flour tortillas from scratch! Store them in a kitchen towel until you fill them with all of your delicious things: taco filling, scrambled eggs, cheese, whatever you have laying around will be better when wrapped in these fresh tortillas, I promise. 

For visuals, check out the Mythical Kitchen's recent video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkQ3T3Tqjrc 

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The Third Annual Beer Challenge

Posted by: Ryan 1 year, 4 months ago
Categories: Family, Friends, & Life Food & Drink

On Christmas Eve, my family held the 3rd annual beer challenge.  This is a competition where we each bring a six pack (or similar) of beers and then hold a blind taste test and ultimately select the best overall beer.  The winner is awarded a sampler pack of all the contending beers.

On this third year, there were several first occurrences:

Competition aside, this is always a fun event.  It adds some variety to Christmas time.  And, it's a good reason to gather in Barone's (the downstairs bar) and share beers together.

I'm looking forward to next year.  We've already discussed some potential rule changes, such as banning IPAs from the competition and displaying the cans for each beer during the taste tests.

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Abco’s Buffalo Chicken Wing Recipe

Posted by: Ryan 1 year, 10 months ago
Categories: Food & Drink

Our friend Abby (aka abco) made these wings for us once and I thought they were great.  I had been struggling with making my own hot wings, so I asked her for the recipe.  She was nice enough to share, and since then I’ve done a little bit of iterating on the details (not to improve, but rather to dial it into our kitchen gear and preferences).

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

Instructions:

That’s it!  They come out crispy on the outside and moist on the inside.  The Franks sauce is a mild heat, especially after mixing it with butter.  Enjoy!

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Back from an unplanned hiatus

Posted by: Ryan 2 years ago
Categories: Family, Friends, & Life Food & Drink

It seems that I took an unintentional hiatus from my own blog. I haven’t posted in about 3 weeks, and that makes me sad.

I’ve actually written a few posts over the past few weeks, but I was ultimately not very happy with how they turned out - so I didn’t publish them.  I plan to rewrite one of those and publish it soon; it’s music related.

Since I haven’t posted in awhile, here is a catch-up post about some recent happenings:

Government Emails

I am still getting the spam, but far less than I was receiving originally.  Although you can sign someone up for a gazillion email newsletters in 30 seconds, they only let you unsubscribe from them in little batches.  The state department never responded to my help request.

Cryptocurrency

For the past 5 months, my computer has been mining cryptocurrency whenever I’m not using it.  Just last week, the amount of currency it has mined ticked over 1/2 of an Ethereum (which is presently about $300).

Jess’s 30th Birthday

On the weekend of April 13, we traveled to NYC with a group of our friends to celebrate Jess’s 30th. It was a fast paced weekend, because we wanted to pack a lot into a two-night visit. Jess and I were humbled by all of our friends who made the long trip into the city to join us.  There were many highlights, but one thing that stood out in my memory was a Korean fried chicken joint named BarKogi.

My Parents’ 40th Anniversary

On April 21, my sister and I organized a surprise party for my parents’ 40th anniversary. Honestly, Casey took the lead on orchestrating this.  It was a success, and it seemed like everyone had a good time.

Hojoko

This past weekend, we mostly had to hunker-down so Jess could focus on her final paper which is due on Thursday.  We had plans to go to a Red Sox game on Saturday evening, but that plan fell through - we still had our friend Casey lined up to watch Violet, so we used that time to get a few drinks at a place called Hojoko.  We both recommend Hojoko to anyone  craving a cocktail or Japanese food in Fenway/Boston. 

Machine Learning

With the help of the tool I developed, I was able to classify several thousand images over the course of a few nights. I recently fed those images back through the neural network to retrain it. But, I haven’t tested the newly trained neural network out yet.  It should be much smarter, but I won’t know until I give it a practical test.  

Waltham

According to the Waltham subreddit (yes, that exists), someone spotted arcade cabinets being hauled into a closed storefront on Moody St.  It turns out, a store known as Game Underground is opening on Moody St. later this month. They have (or had) an arcade in Natick where they also sold pre-owned video games and hosted video game tournaments.  I am hoping they make this place an arcade/bar hybrid, which would work well on Moody St.

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The Second Annual Beer Challenge

Posted by: Ryan 2 years, 4 months ago
Categories: Family, Friends, & Life Food & Drink

Last Saturday, my family held the 2nd annual beer challenge.  This is a competition where we each bring a six pack (or similar) of beers and then hold a blind taste test and ultimately select the best beer.

For the second year in a row, Casey won the challenge.  Congrats Casey!  You are a true master beer picker!!  The winning beer was #NO FILTER by Thomas Hooker Brewery.  It's a very tastey IPA.

My family is clearly a group of IPA drinkers.  Last year everyone brought IPAs to the challenge.  I proposed a special honor to be awarded to the first person to win with a non-IPA.  Maybe next year!

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Smoke this Ribfest

Posted by: Ryan 2 years, 7 months ago
Categories: Food & Drink
We met Sam and Natasha in Cambridge today for the 'Smoke This Ribfest.' It was a BBQ rib festival. We had a great time and ate a bunch of ribs. At the end we could vote for the best rib. I'm not sure what everyone voted for, but it sounded like the ribs made by the taco shop 'Lone Star' were the general favorite of our gang.
Now you might be wondering why I posted a picture of Holy Smokes - the BBQ joint from Turners Falls. The main reason is because I failed to take a picture of the festival in Cambridge. But it's also because Sam and I were talking about Holy Smokes, and he said that name was a triple pun. 'Holy' because it was an old church, 'Smokes' because they made BBQ, and 'Holy Smokes' because that's what someone might have said when it burned down in 2007.
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Blue Apron, first try

Posted by: Ryan 2 years, 10 months ago
Categories: Food & Drink
Jess ordered a chicken curry dish through Blue Apron...and it was great! We cooked all of this stuff. I am surprised the plantains were good. Would recommend.
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Dinner is on the Table

Posted by: Jessica 2 years, 11 months ago
Categories: Food & Drink
We have been stepping up our dinner game recently and getting a little out of our comfort zone. Here Ryan seared some salmon in the cast iron pan after making his own spicy honey soy glaze. The salad is courtesy of me. It was delicious!
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Bloody Marys

Posted by: Ryan 2 years, 11 months ago
Categories: Family, Friends, & Life Food & Drink

We went to Moody street for breakfast boozes with our special friend Abby. In case you're wondering, yes that's a Slim Jim in Jess's drink.

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Castle Rock Doughnuts

Posted by: Ryan 2 years, 11 months ago
Categories: Food & Drink Travel
While there are likely other "more important" things to post about, I choose to instead post this picture of delicious doughnuts from Castle Rock, CO. They tasted as good as they looked.
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