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Mac ‘n’ Cheese Cupcakes

Posted in Cooking, Hacks, Humor on August 3rd, 2011 by leodirac – Comments Off on Mac ‘n’ Cheese Cupcakes

My housemate Ellery created these mac ‘n’ cheese cupcakes for dinner the other night. The frosting is mashed potatoes, and they’re topped with a cherry tomato. Inside is a meatless meaty macaroni and cheese combination surrounded by a savory dough. They were super fun and tasty. I can take very little credit for these beyond […]

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Why Evolution Runs Backwards in the Refrigerator

Posted in Analysis, Cooking, Economics, Evolution, Humor on July 19th, 2008 by leodirac – 4 Comments

Evolution-like processes exist in many places beyond genetic adaptation of biological species. We see similar processes in a great many aspects of modern life, generally running many orders of magnitude faster. Much of economics and business is governed by processes that select for the most successful product or business model or manufacturing process or organizational structure. Successful practices thrive and out-compete ones which are less effective at meeting human needs and desires. Warfare has very obvious parallels. In computer science, user interfaces, programming languages and system architectures all evolve by analogous processes. Similar effects can be found in governments, religions,…

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Why does smoked food taste so good? Evolution.

Posted in Cooking, Evolution, Science on August 17th, 2007 by leodirac – 1 Comment

Last night I cooked a chicken the really old-fashioned way: by roasting it over an open wood fire. My buddy Mez and I made many observations about how much of an evolutionary throwback our dinner was. Open fire cooking clearly precedes the invention of the oven. It is incredibly inefficient in its use of fuel. Most of the heat goes up into the air. The food must be balanced at an appropriate distance to get the right amount of heat without burning to a crisp. There’s an evolutionary advantage to cooking food — it kills parasites, bacteria and other food-borne…

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Naturopathy: the Difficult choice

Posted in Cooking, Hacks, Health, Personal Growth, Science on June 13th, 2007 by leodirac – Comments Off on Naturopathy: the Difficult choice

My girlfriend has an auto-immune skin condition called psoriasis that gives her rashes. For some people the condition gets serious enough that patients and MD’s turn to drugs that suppress T-cells, the part of the immune system which causes the inflammation. Turning down the volume level on your immune system has all sorts of easily predictable side-effects, but for people whose immune systems are just a little too enthusiastic it can be the right choice. My girlfriend’s condition has gotten worse in recent months, to the point where immuno-suppresents seem reasonable. But instead, she’s opted to do something much more…

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Reggae Salad: A Tasty Healthy Snack with Infinite Shelf Life

Posted in Cooking on January 13th, 2007 by leodirac – 1 Comment

Since my old recipe blog seems to have crashed, I guess I’ll post a recipe here. (Really what do I expect leaving a server in a friend’s laundry room? We all know computers love warm moist environments.) I developed this salad as a way to avoid junk food when my evenings are booked solid with business school. It’s really good for you — lots of veggies, protein, complex carbs and monounsaturated fats — and it’s made almost entirely from non-perishables that you can keep in your pantries. In fact the version that has none of the fresh ingredients is a…

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New York bans Trans-fats

Posted in Chemistry, Cooking, Science, Societal Values on December 10th, 2006 by leodirac – Comments Off on New York bans Trans-fats

I’m a little slow to re-report this, but but I find it fascinating so I want to share it in case you missed it. New York City has banned the use of trans-fats in restaurants. They’ve done this almost completely (a few exceptions for things like donut shops) and very quickly (by middle of next year) and extremely decisively. I find this amazing for a couple of reasons. First, it drives home the artificial nature of trans-fats. I’ve thought of them as similar to saturated fats in a lot of ways — things that are everywhere but should be avoided….

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