National Novel Generation Month, 2017 Edition

November is traditionally “National Novel Writing Month.” The goal is to write a short novel that is 50,000 words in length. I always have grand plans to attempt it and have started a number of times over the years but have never actually finished. (One day, I swear!)

Recently, I stumbled across a geekier take on it, called National Novel Generation Month. The goal of this particular project is to write code that can generate a 50,000 word novel instead. Hey, why not?

I published my code at the beginning of November for my project: The Complete Encyclopedia on 1,449.5 Random Ways to Make a Sandwich.

This book of 1,449.5 random sandwich recipes was created for NaNoGenMo (National Novel Generation Month) 2017. You can view the source code for this project on GitHub.

It uses data parsed from a 1909 book, entitled “The Up-To-Date Sandwich Book: 400 Ways to Make a Sandwich”, written by Eva Greene Fuller and now available for free in the public domain.

For this particular book, new sandwich recipes were generated using Markov chains created from the above text.

Please don’t try to actually make any of the sandwich recipes created with this process. However, if you do, please contact me and show me pictures.

Disclaimer: I cannot be held responsible for any health issues that may arise from eating any of these sandwiches.

There are definitely some interesting ones…


Use three slices of Swiss cheese, spread fresh butter and two tablespoonfuls of olive oil, the juice of two oranges and knead the mixture.

Vegetable Kebabs

I made some vegetable kebabs tonight, based on this recipe (with slight modifications below). I found this via “What The Fuck Should I Make For Dinner?


  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 box of cherry tomatoes
  • 8 red potatoes
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • Pinch of crushed hot red pepper

Special Equipment:

  • Wooden or metal skewers


  1. Boil the red potatoes for about 10 – 15 minutes so they slightly soften. Trim the zucchini and cut into 8 chunks. Cut the peppers into 1 inch (2.5cm) pieces. Peel the onion, and cut into wedges leaving the root end intact so that the wedges do not fall apart.
  2. Thread the zucchini, peppers, onion, tomatoes, and mushrooms in equal amounts onto 4 large or 8 small skewers. Whisk the oil, garlic, oregano, and hot pepper together in a small bowl with a fork.
  3. Position a broiler rack 6in (15cm) from the source of heat and preheat the broiler. Place the kebabs on the broiler pan and brush generously with the garlic oil. Broil, turning often and brushing with the remaining oil, 10 to 15 minutes, until the vegetables are just tender. Serve hot or at room temperature, with any remaining oil drizzled over the kebabs.

We also cooked a side of quinoa as well. Serve with a red wine and it’s good to go! 😉

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It’s never too late to celebrate Pi Day!

Apple Pies for Pi Day!

Today is Pi Day! March 14th, 3/14 and all that. Kerry and and I decided to celebrate by baking this recipe for an awesome Apple Pie.


  • 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 6 Golden Delicious apples – peeled, cored and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons whiskey (!)


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (225 degrees C). Fit bottom crust into a 9 inch pie plate.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Place sliced apples in a large bowl and sprinkle with sugar mixture. Toss until apples are thoroughly coated. Spoon apples into pan.
  3. Dot apples with butter or margarine, then sprinkle with whiskey. Cover with top crust. Seal edges and cut steam vents in top.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Lower temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and bake an additional 40 minutes. Serve warm.

The verdict? Holy awesome! Pi Day is great. 🙂

Pi Day Apple Pie verdict: Awesome! :)

Cooking dinner: Tofu and veggies in peanut sauce


I’ve been trying to cook a bit more lately and tried out this recipe for tofu and veggies in peanut sauce tonight. It was pretty awesome! The peanut sauce was especially tasty.

And of course, it went perfect with copious amounts of Sriracha.

We slightly modified the ingredients though and added garlic and and replaced the molasses with honey. The new recipe?


1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 small head broccoli, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
5 fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 pound firm tofu, cubed
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup hot water
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon of garlic


1. Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Saute broccoli, red bell pepper, mushrooms, garlic, and tofu for 5 minutes.

2. In a small bowl combine peanut butter, hot water, vinegar, soy sauce, and honey. Pour over vegetables and tofu. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, or until vegetables are tender crisp.

An amusing MMS exchange

My parents have really enjoyed their iPhones since they picked them up last year. In fact, they’ve even taken to sending both SMS and MMS messages to both my sister and I. It often results in some amusing exchanges.

Recently, my sister made a blueberry pie and sent an image of the results to both our Mom and myself.

After receiving this picture, my Mom quickly sent back the following as a reply.

Zucchini Bread

Baking Zucchini Bread

I decided to dust off the bread pans and try to bake some zucchini bread this evening! I used this recipe, called “Mom’s Zucchini Bread.”

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups white sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chopped walnuts

1.) Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

2.) Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.

3.) Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.

4.) Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

Pretty successful!

Unfortunately, I shorted the amount of sugar I should have put in, so the bread isn’t as sweet as it could be. Still tasty though!

I have some bananas that are in the process of ripening as well, which means banana bread is on the menu for later this week!

Some photos:

Shredded zucchini
Baking Zucchini Bread

Baking Zucchini Bread

In the oven!
Baking Zucchini Bread

Out of the oven!
Baking Zucchini Bread

Baking Zucchini Bread

Final product
Baking Zucchini Bread

Perfect way to start (and end) any trip

This weekend, a number of our friends ventured to Lake Tahoe for some R&R. We stayed in a friend’s family’s cabin, went snowboarding, and watched the Super Bowl.

Of course, the perfect way to start (and end) the trip is by visiting In N’ Out.

My first cast iron skillet

Lately, I’ve been considering picking up a new cast iron skillet for cooking. There’s a few reasons that have made me interested in owning one. Their durability, versatility, and even potential health benefits (source of iron!). I stumbled across an article on Lifehacker recently, talking about properly seasoning your skillet. This made me even more interested!

Earlier today, we stopped by a local hardware store and picked up a 12″ skillet.

Just purchased my first iron skillet!

Of course, we had to immediately break it in! So we cooked a 5-spice apple stir fry. It was a complete success.

Breaking in the skillet

Here’s to even more cooking adventures with our new cooking tool. I’m excited to try and make a deep dish pizza with it!

New York City bound!

From the top of Rockefellar Center

Off to New York City this week to help out with gdgt’s east coast launch party on Thursday. It’s been awhile since I’ve been to NYC (last visit was in 2007) and I’m looking forward to it. Unfortunately, there will be little time to play this time.

Weather is supposed to be good though!


And apparently, I do need to make time to check out Shake Shack. Their burgers are supposed to be pretty good.