Crabtacular Bacon Dip

March 30th, 2009

For the past six years, the Bumgarners have hosted an amazing and increasingly insane party involving tremendous quantities of tequila, mountains of crab and teeming hordes of awesome people.  This year I created a baked crab-and-bacon dip, and need to post the recipe lest I forget (and, trust me, this is a dip to remember!)

Crabtacular Bacon Dip

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 C mayonnaise
  • 6 oz shredded cheese (sharp cheddar and pepperjack have both worked well)
  • 1/2 C (or so) grated asiago or parmesan cheese
  • 8 oz bacon, cooked and finely chopped
  • meat of a large dungeoness crab, cooked and cleaned
  • 1/2 of a 14 oz can of diced tomatoes, very well drained (downright wrung out) and finely chopped
  • 4 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 onion, cooked over medium heat with a spoonful of bacon drippings until soft and translucent
  • Seasonings to taste – I think I used Worcestershire sauce, fresh ground pepper, kosher and / or truffle salt, onion powder, Beau Monde,  Old Bay, cayanne… make it up, taste frequently, try to have a theme and don’t overpower the crab (but there should be a lot of crab meat and bacon has flavor aplenty)
  • Ritz crackers to crumble on top (and dispose of any excess dip)
Combine thoroughly in a large mixing bowl, fill a 10″ pie pan (lots of dipping area and you can use a foil one you don’t have to remember at the end of the party), top with a bit of extra grated asiago cheese and crushed Ritz crackers, bake at 350 – 400°F for about 20 minutes or until the crackers brown and the dip bubbles around the edge.

Wanna Start Somethin’?

September 27th, 2008

Bread P0rnI recently obtained some of Carl Griffith’s starter and started learning to make bread.  It actually turns out to be pretty easy, fun and quite tasty (though this starter really doesn’t taste like “San Francisco Sourdough™”, mostly it just tastes like damn good bread with a bit of a nutty-pretzel-y twist).  It is also really easy to start, store, share and re-start; here’s how I’ve started and maintained it. Read the rest of this entry »

Dynamo Hum: Off With The Bloomers

August 10th, 2008

Apologies to Zappa this time.  The other day I bought a small LED dynamo flashlight; I was curious about the implementation details and how much power it actually generates.  Turns out the dynamo appears to be a very common sort of DC motor and, while it doesn’t appear to produce a lot of power, it does seem to be a usable amount for a variety of low-power applications.

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I am uniq

June 15th, 2008

[Republished from October 2005 from my previous site]

Two of the things I love most about unix are learning new tools and tricks and teaching tools and tricks to others. One of unix’s real gems is uniq(1): “report or filter out repeated lines in a file”. Extremely simple and powerful, probably a page or two of easy code, but completely indispensable. Read the rest of this entry »

Cool Dad

June 15th, 2008

Got home friday afternoon and Nate, just as proud as can possibly be, gave me a card and a present he’d made (with some help) at school that morning; it made me just as proud as can possibly be, too.  Went to the park this morning and now I’m relaxing in the shade, putting my present to good use and playing on the computer – I *rule*!

Junk Mail

May 25th, 2008

The geniuses at EMSL have managed to invent a really good kind of junk mail: The Great Internet Migratory Box Of Electronic Junk.  I received one (codename: Atlanta) early this week (my week starts on Monday, so there :-P) and I honestly haven’t been this excited about electronic junk in a very long time — and believe me, that’s saying something!  Briefly: one gets an email explaining the project and asking if you want to participate, if you do you receive a box of junk; you take whatever you want out, add whatever you want in, publish something about what you took out, and pass it along to someone else who will do something cool and keep the box moving.  After talking myself down from replacing the contents wholesale, I picked out:

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Terra Cotta Smoker

May 24th, 2008

[Republished from January 2007 from my previous site]

Chicken thighs smoked over rosemary sprigs

I built myself a small ceramic smoker out of unglazed terra cotta flowerpots and have been using it frequently for several months now, it’s high time I wrote it up so others can enjoy the smokey goodness and continue to improve the design.

It is based on the smoker Alton Brown built in the Good Eats episode Q which has also been written up herethere and yonder, but I reworked it to use charcoal instead of an electric hot-plate. Read the rest of this entry »

Food Rant #1: Do you like green eggs and ham?

May 15th, 2008

I really can’t stand uninformed strong opinions about what is and is not good to eat.  If you really don’t like something, that’s fine, as long as you have seriously tried it and can articulate why you don’t like it (and don’t assume I won’t like it.)  Recently someone sent a series of pictures of a chinese market with (as it turns out, often incorrect) labels sensationalizing the food shown to a jokes mailing list, and clearly implied that it was amazingly funny that anyone would eat these things.  I find this attitude arrogant, closed-minded and, above all, sad: I believe it is a derivative of this that has led us (in the U.S.) to the three-flavors-of-cardboard — corn-fed chicken, beef and pork — that is the barren state of our butchers’ counters.  Moreover, conditioning rooted in these attitudes kept me away from one of the most amazingly wonderful cuisines I have ever had for far far too long: I still weep for every benighted moment that passed before I tried sushi!  

Maker Faire ’08

May 5th, 2008

Best. Maker Faire. YET.  Long lines for mediocre food?  Not this year: lots of widely varied food, short lines and at least a few food Makers (which have seemed sorely lacking in past years.) A lot of cool new projects / vendors and better organized by topic / theme.  The faire has grown quite a bit and the tone has changed slightly.  This year was smoother and more polished than it has been; more people are selling things, but mostly in a good way.  I got to make a couple necklaces with PMC, which turns out to be easy to sculpt (as expected) and easy to fire with a Little Torch (pleasant surprise!)  Helped kids build Bristlebots at the EMSL booth and, as always, plugged their kits every chance I got.  Found a nifty new band and played with fire (not this implementation, but same basic idea; I must build one of these!)  Bought some truffle salt and, of course, hauled pinball machines, just to name a few highlights.

There And Back Again, A Servo Project

April 28th, 2008

Apologies to Tolkien, of course! (There really is nothing too geeky for my blog, though.)  This project lets you set two positions for a standard hobby servo and switch between them.  It brings together most of the things I’ve learned about the AVR thus far: digital I/O, switch debouncing, analog-to-digital conversion, servo control and persistent storage in the onboard eeprom.  It doesn’t currently use interrupts, but they are pretty similar to the timer that drives the servo.  I built it on one of my EMSL mini dev boards so I’ve only tried the code on the ATmega168, but it should be pretty portable to other AVRs.

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