jack: (Default)
I expect these can be improved by further iteration, but the version I made this weekend was v well received so I wanted to record while I had the chance. I made these for 14, and it worked at scale pretty well so I can dig out exact quantities if anyone needs, but when I'm making it at home I usually wing it (and produce a biggish version which will produce leftovers for extra guests, for supper, or for the rest of the week).

Five cheese pasta bake

Cook pasta
Fry assorted veg and halloumi with onion, garlic and spices (I used cumin and coriander, I think, but don't know what would work best. I often use chilli too).
Melt boursin (put it in with the drained pasta and back on the heat or in with the veg)
Mix pasta, veg and boursin in a baking dish
Grate lots of grana padano and spread over the top
Optionally, tesselate smoked cheese circular slices on top (some just melt but some par-melt and look v good)
Bake until done (about 30 min?)

And I used lots of grated cheddar mixed in to the bake and with the topping.

Cheeseless pasta bake

Originally borrowed from here: https://www.chowhound.com/recipes/vegan-lasagna-29439 at S's suggestion.

Basically the same veg and pasta, but mixed with a cheese-replacement sauce. I only tried this once before and it didn't work so well, so I don't know which steps are necessary, and which could be missed our or improved, but what I did was:

Take a pack of tofu, and drain. (Squeeze repeatedly, then repeatedly squeeze with paper towels until they're only mildly damp)
We froze the tofu and defrost, which some people recommend for crispier tofu, I don't know if it helped here or not.
Mix with nutritional yeast (AKA yeast flakes. I used three heaped tablespoons per pack of tofu. Some people online think american nutritional yeast brands are better than the one commonly available here. Available at some but not all supermarkets and many health food shops.)
Mix with zest and juice of lemon (I used one lemon per two packs of tofu).
I added a dash of soy sauce, salt, black pepper, and parsley. Don't know which matter.
Mash it all up together.

This was fiddly because we needed to hurry the defrosting with the microwave and weren't practiced at draining the tofu. If you don't have that problem, it doesn't really take any prep, it's just "mix it all together".

And for this bake, I mixed the pasta, veg, and tofu together, and also added several (lightly mixed) eggs as an extra binding. For a vegan pasta bake, you can do without that.

As suggested in the original recipe, I cooked it for about 50 minutes covered with foil, and then 10 min without. When I tried it without, the top of the bake was a bit burned. But there may be a better way of cooking it. Or a variant of making the cheese or eggs more of a topping and the other more of a filling.
jack: (Default)
Beginning programming

I was telling Liv about the fizzbuzz test (original post: http://imranontech.com/2007/01/24/using-fizzbuzz-to-find-developers-who-grok-coding/ jeff atwood: http://blog.codinghorror.com/why-cant-programmers-program/ caveat from joel spolsky: http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2005/01/27.html)

The basic concept being that lots of people apply to a software engineering job who can't reliably right an extremely simple program (like, loop from 1 to 10). I've heard that a lot of places, enough that I'm sure something like that is true, although I'm not sure exactly what -- is it only for new graduates, who walked their way through a degree without grokking the basic principles? Or as Joel says, is it people who apply but never really hold a software job? Or is it that most people can hold a job by being "good enough" and muddle through and never need to understand the basics?

Opinions from friends who do interviews?

It always makes me feel introspective: am I judging myself too harshly? Or not harshly enough?

However, what came up in the conversation with Liv is something that I hadn't thought about, that many people I know got into hobby programming on 80s computers, when basically any programming exercise at all involved creating a whole program from scratch and running it -- when it was basically inconceivable to do anything else. But in this conversation, I blithely treated that as automatic, but realised that nowadays, it isn't. That many learning exercises do involve that, but that when I write software for real, it's quite rare I write a whole program from scratch, rather than plugging parts into an existing thing, or iteratively improving a program I already created. And that that's experience which is much less obvious than it used to be (hopefully within the experience of people applying for the sort of jobs being talked about, but not necessarily within the experience of someone who has gone quite far as a hobby).

Spinach Fritters

I saw a recipe and thought "ooh, that sounds nice and really easy" and tried it and it was and it was. And I'm embarrassed that's still news at this point in my life :( But I'm pleased that I did try that and it turned out well.



From an old post by Mark Dominus, "in the short run it kept the customer happy, and that is the most important thing; I say this entirely in earnest, without either sarcasm or bitterness."

Knowing his blogging style quite well, I know that he actually means that. As in, the trade off probably was the best thing to do, and it turned out well, and he's pleased and not bitter.

But boy howdy, it's nice to know that there are people who find it even harder than I do to convey "I'm not being sarcastic", even when they're literally saying "I'm not being sarcastic"! :)