Excerpt: "People at the top of every profession share one quality — they get things done.
This ability supercedes intelligence, talent, and connections in determining the size of your salary and the speed of your advancement.
"Despite the simplicity of this concept there is a perpetual shortage of people who excel at getting results. The action habit — the habit of putting ideas into action now — is essential to getting things done. Here are 7 ways you can grow the action habit..."
I like this idea, originally from comedian Jerry Seinfeld, for how to encourage yourself to do something every day. The basic idea is to prominently post a big calendar and mark off every day you do the task with a big marker. Soon, you will have an unbroken chain and will want to keep the chain going. See the full description in this article from Lifehacker.
Well, now someone has built a web-based application to help. Personally, I like the idea of a big calendar on the wall but here's an interesting idea for the high-tech version: Make your chain public. Send the web address for your Seinfeldian chain to friends who can support you and let them see your continued success. If you're really brave,, post it to your blog and let the world see.
Michael Coogan says there are three kinds of people: Rule followers, rule breakers, and rule benders. Nowhere is that more evident than when someone is in the kitchen with a recipe. My general advice is that beginning cooks should follow the recipe, and all of us, no matter how expert, should follow recipes that are new to us. But really: It’s just a recipe.
Today’s lesson is a recipe that is ripe for alteration. Your assignment is to not make it according to the instructions. Read the recipe and picture how it works, what it will taste like. Then look in your pantry and refrigerator and imagine what will work. If you’re not sure, you could make it as written first, then try alterations. It’s simple enough that you could make this recipe in four different variations in an hour. Go crazy!
This recipe is itself a radical alteration of another recipe. My changes were inspired by a dish I had a (very nice) restaurant. The recipe I modeled was from Amy Finley, winner of the Next Food Network Star competition in 2007. How to Modify a Recipe
As you read this recipe, think about its essence, a base of eggs and a little cream, lightly cooked in a water bath. What does that remind you of? Custard? Soft boiled eggs? Pie? Souffle?
It has savory elements — salt and pepper, cheese. Maybe now it makes you think of an omelet or a quiche. Perhaps it would work well with the kinds of vegetables you would find in an omelet.
You could add a sauce or a topping or some salsa. The original recipe was topped with a “piperade” — a sauteed mix of finely chopped prosciutto (an Italian ham), onions, peppers, garlic, tomatoes, and basil.
With eggs and cream as a base, you could omit the salty elements and switch directions entirely. Think about a the flavors of a sweet custard or cream pie.
Eggs are a blank canvas and will take herbal additions, including very subtle ones — nutmeg? Pesto? Vanilla? Lavender?
The recipe calls for two eggs per serving but you could use one for a smaller serving, or add other ingredients such as bread or a crust, to replace the other egg.
You get the idea. Have fun.
Eggs en Cocotte
Recipe is designed for a single serving to facilitate experimentation. You could make four egg-bases at once and use different ingredients on each.
Cocotte is an ovenproof dish, especially as used for egg dishes.
2 eggs 1 T half-n-half or cream Salt and pepper 1 T grated Parmesan cheese 1/2 slice of ham Butter
Special equipment: Ramekins, one-cup capacity. A ramekin is just a heat-proof cup such as the white ceramic cups used for creme brulee or a custard cup made from heat-proof glass. You could even use a coffee cup.
Prepare a pan to steam the ramekin. Place a small towel or washcloth in the bottom of a wide sauce pan that has a lid, so you have a couple of layers of cloth. This will prevent the ramekins from being jostled as the water simmers. Add an inch of water and bring water to barely a boil, then lower heat to a gentle simmer.
Wipe the inside of the ramekin with butter.
Break the eggs into the ramekin, sliding the eggs in carefully to avoid breaking the yolk. Drizzle in the half-n-half. Add salt and pepper. Top with ham, then Parmesan.
Place the ramekin in the pan with the simmering water and cover. Simmer for 12 minutes or until the egg white is set and the yolk is still runny.
Have we become a nation of observers? Non-participants? We don't make/build anything anymore. ...
It's something I have been thinking about for a while. I used to think, as my friend said, that we watch, we buy, but we don't build and do. I heard some parents talking about his kid who made a computer -- all the kid did was buy a chassis, supply, motherboard, and processor and plug them together. I was worried about our creativity. But then I started looking harder.
I started tuning into the Makers. There are huge communities of kids building things, doing extreme sports, making videos and tunes with their computers, making fun with fire. Look up catapults, siege engines, potato guns on the web. Here is one I saw just two days ago -- a guy wanted to build a solar reflector and got carried away. Bought a satellite dish (the huge ones) and outfitted it with mirrors.
Check out MAKE magazine, published by O'Reilly, and their annual Maker Faire. I went this year and it was awesome. Must have been 1000 exhibits of stuff people are making and doing.
Do you know about Lego Mindstorms? The son of the Lego founder did a Lego-based robot kit and people started hacking it. After some soul-searching, they decided to open the architecture and the result is a fantastic network of clubs doing Lego robotics.
And likewise for the Roomba -- the company, iRobot, has developer kits and people are making robots out of them.
And you don't have to go to geekland to see it. It's all over -- Home Depot, Food Network, Martha Stewart, and the mall stores where you paint pottery. The lady who runs a coffee shop I visit is making a quilt and told me quilting is big! And the web itself is swarming with words and images and music produced by ordinary people.
Serious Eats Serious Eats is another blog which plants its stake, and its steak, in the fertile land where food meets science. There is lots of great material here, much of it by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, or Kenji. If you like FeedMe, you will like Serious Eats.
Cooking for Engineers What do you get when you apply the engineer's mind to the kitchen? Straightforward, practical recipes and tips and a passion for simplifying without sacrificing quality.