Tag Archives: cooking

Homemade Horchata

Horchata as made in Mexico and Southern California (and elsewhere) is a super-refreshing rice-based drink with cinnamon and sugar. It is my favorite thing to have with street tacos or, indeed, any spicy Mexican food.


Like most good things nowadays, there is a real version and a fake version. I ran across an example of the latter at a local convenience store recently, embedded in the soft drink dispensers, which prompted the idea of learning how to make it myself.

After doing a bit of googling, I narrowed onto a 5 Ways to Make Horchata page which I decided to start with. The simplest version (#1 there) is where I began today — well, last night, which is when I put:

  • 1 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
  • 2 1/2 cups hot water
  • 1-2 cinnamon sticks*

into my blender pitcher and left it to sit overnight.

* The recipe calls for one stick of 3″ length, but since mine weren’t quite that long, I eyeballed the picture to get approximately the same amount of cinnamon.


This morning, I simply added:

  • 1/3 cup sugar

and blended the contents until they were nicely smooth and aerated.


There will be quite a bit of gritty residue in the liquid, which is why you’ll strain it through a sieve or cheesecloth — or a combo like I did:


Once that was done, I stirred in:

  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


Then poured it into a quart jar to put in the fridge for chilling and flavor-melding.


There was a cup or so left over, so I went ahead and made up a glass with ice and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon on top. As usual, the bendy straw — one of the highest pinnacles of Western Civilization — adds nothing but greatness to the lowliest of beverages.


The test drink was quite tasty for a first go. And the second drink later, after it had had a chance to meld, was noticeably better — deliciously refreshing on a hot day.

Next time with this version, I’ll likely want to up the sugar a smidgen and do a better job of straining — however, a little grit is a part of the horchata mouthfeel and charm. And since it is so very easy to make, it would be a cinch to serve alongside your homemade tacos as well.

¡Buen apetito!

Cooking with Phasers domain

As part of the economic austerity measures put in place by the Alien Hive Mind that runs the planet, the cookingwithphasers.com domain has now expired, replaced by phasers.celsius1414.com. Never read the essays? Now’s your chance!

Perhaps the only characteristic common to absolutely every geek is an indignant denial that every geek shares anything in common with every other geek. There is no such thing, the idea goes, as a Typical Geek. Witnessing one of the many geek flame wars — Mac vs. Windows, Linux vs. Windows, vi vs. emacs, distro vs. distro — might just bear this out.

It’s safe to say, however, that there are particular movies that virtually every geek has seen, if not dissected minutely a la the Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons. It is also safe to say that every geek in existence has, at one point or another in his or her life, eaten food. Without getting too far into the existential “What Is A Geek?” questions, let us reflect on this seemingly strange paring.

Take with a grain of salt

Scientific American: It’s Time to End the War on Salt

This week a meta-analysis of seven studies involving a total of 6,250 subjects in the American Journal of Hypertension found no strong evidence that cutting salt intake reduces the risk for heart attacks, strokes or death in people with normal or high blood pressure. In May European researchers publishing in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that the less sodium that study subjects excreted in their urine—an excellent measure of prior consumption—the greater their risk was of dying from heart disease. These findings call into question the common wisdom that excess salt is bad for you, but the evidence linking salt to heart disease has always been tenuous.

Via Cronaca.