Wednesday, March 21, 2012

So.  I have taken it upon myself to start DVR-ing Jeopardy!  (That was not supposed to sound excited that is simply the correct title for that show).  However, because I actually have no idea how to properly DVR things (I get rreeeaaalll excited when it works out properly) I seem to not have DVRed any of the latest or "new" episodes of Jeopardy!  You know, the ones that air at 7:30 each night on one of the main channels?  Instead I seem to have DVRed old Jeopardy! episodes that re-air on the Game Show Network at like 2am or 9am.  Now that is fine, because A)I usually haven't seen these episodes so B)I am still honing my Jeopardy! skills and learning.  (NB: I have always held a very fond place for Jeopardy! and it is a life goal to be on it.  Mostly because I know so many pointless non-money making things.  And I want these things to finally make me some money.  Although I want to bring back Trebek's mustache.)  But the issue with this is because these have aired at such odd hours they are interspersed with some seriously awesome infomercials.

Now maybe I have failed to mention this here, but I have a serious love affair with infomercials.  I LOVE them.  Especially infomercials that involve kitchen appliances or cookware of any stripe.  I'm pretty sure I NEED all of these things.  Rotisserie oven?  Want.  New knives that can cut shoes?  Desire.  Slicer thing?  Must have.  Cake pop pan? Cannot live without.  I suppose the upside of being unbelievably broke is that I cannot call and order these things.  Well that and my crippling anxiety about talking on the phone and asking people for things.  True story: I have been known to leave stores where employees offer to help me too much or when I can't find things instead of asking for help.
So that makes this post food relevant.  That and I decided I was not making dinner last night because I had defrosted turkey cutlets and I REALLY did not want that.  I wanted a big fancy salad.  Instead I had a bowl of romaine lettuce with dressing.  The downside: I really have to make that turkey tonight.  Wah-wah.  Otherwise I will have to throw it away.  And that will mean wasting my money.  And nothing makes me angrier than wasting my money.  Except people that don't do what they say they will.  Or people that feel the need to update you every 27 seconds on their wedding and/or pregnancy.  Or factory farms.  Or the fact that celebrity Jeopardy! is way easier than regular Jeopardy!  Or when my ice cream gets drippy down the cone onto my hand.  That just makes me throw my ice cream out the car window (also true).  So maybe many other things make me angrier than wasting money.  But wasting money ranks way up there.

Monday, March 19, 2012

It was better than you having a dream about me in a threesome...

I need some food inspiration.  I feel empty of cooking ideas.  Or at the very least stymied.  It is getting unseasonably warm around here and so I am craving fresh and refreshing foods.  I want more veggies and fruits. I want barbecue.  I want salad.  And I really want fish.  I guess I'm just trying to wrap my head around how to package and present these things to Boyfriend (who I decided should get a capital letter at least, though even though we haven't discussed it, I kind of figured he would appreciate the anonymity).

My usual process is to think of all the things I want to try or things we haven't had in a while and kind of plan out what I need because Monday is usually grocery day.

Ok.  So far, things that have piqued my interest.
-some sort of fish
-lemon curd (though I am not real sure what I will do with it - maybe with fresh berries? but I really want to make it)
-home made bread
-beer.  last week Boyfriend asked me to get some in honor of St. P's Day (all I wanted was corned beef, but apparently his family thinks that is the epitome of disgusting.  My family is authentically Irish and drunk and knows that nothing tastes better with a sweet buzz than salty, fatty meat).  BUT corned beef aside, it made me think we should drink more beer.  Well, no.  Maybe not like that.  We should try more beer, or beer styles, or beer brands.  Something like that.  The sweet buzz we acquire will be a happy accident from our quest for knowledge.  And therefore completely excusable.  I mean people have done way worse things in the name of "knowledge" (coughTuskegeecough).

I don't know.  My brain is too cloudy to think clearly and plan appropriately for the week.  It is probably because I've been having WAY more excessively strange dreams than most people have in their entire lifetimes.
I was shaving Boyfriend's head last night (because the back of your head is WAY easier to let someone else do, as long as you trust them with a razor near your most prized possession.)  But, I only agreed to do this if he would listen to my latest dream I had (Friday night).  He acquiesced.  So we're in the bathroom together and he is seated while I shave his head (because as you may or may not know, I am almost legally a "little person") and I set the stage for him.
Me: "So this dream I had the other night it was SO weird, but I told my mother about it and she said, no, you REALLY need to tell Boyfriend that dream because it is weird AND funny.  So..."
Boyfriend: "Just get this over with".
Me: "Ok, so I dreamed that I was bitten by a weasel.  But it was a rabid weasel.  And I got bit on the hand as I was trying to pick it up and move it.  Its teeth only just barely pricked my skin.  So then I knew I had rabies and I needed to go to the doctor"
Boyfriend: "Seriously?  Why?"
Me: "Because when you have rabies you need to seek medical attention"
Boyfriend: "No, I mean weasels and rabies?  What is happening in your subconscious?"
Me: "Neither of us probably really wants to know.  Anyway, it gets better."
Boyfriend: "Better than weasels and rabies?"
Me: "Oh yes.  This is the funny part.  I was African-American.  But you were still you, and still very pasty.  And you kept telling me that I didn't need to go to the doctor's because I had only dreamed that I had been bitten by a rabid weasel.  And also, I had a baby.  And the baby was African-American.  A little boy.  And I had given him corn rows."
Boyfriend: "People could not make these things up if they tried.  Even Dr. Seuss couldn't.  Also, are you trying to tell me something with this African-American baby business?"
Me: "What?! No!  Anyway, do you think this is better or worse than the dream where we had a dog that always ate the top four buttons off my shirt causing my boobs to fall out?"
Boyfriend: "More creative.  Although only the top four buttons is kind of highly specific.  But overall I like the dog dream better."
Me: "Why because my boobs were always on display?"
Boyfriend:  "Yeah, that and the fact that you DIDN'T HAVE A BABY"

He's just not ready to deal with a miniature version of me; although the thought of someone else with the same kind of irrational logic is kind of exciting.
Also, I think that he is incorrect about one thing- Dr. Seuss could totally make this shit up.  Except then it would rhyme.  And be packaged in a neat way for six year olds.  And be slightly moralistic.
And if  you haven't noticed I want this blog to be not just about food and cooking.  But also about my life.  Because sometimes it is really weird and funny.  And, like my rabid weasel dream, is not to be missed.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

At least there is dessert

In which I eat soup because I am far too tired to care and impatient to wait for a real dinner to be cooked and boyfriend ate the left over pizza and I just smiled and poured beer for people for nine hours.  On St. P's Day.

Oh well, at least there is cookie pie for dessert.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Does not always share well with others.

So the brownies happened.  I feel ambivalent about them.  Probably because they are low-fat.  Also possibly because I put a little too much salt on them.  But I am thinking they might be salvageable if I drop a dollop of peanut butter on top of them.  I will test this theory out and let you know and then decide if the brownies are worth telling you about.  The best thing about them, thus far anyway, is that boyfriend totally ate one yesterday while I was at work.  I told him they were low-fat, but what I apparently neglected to tell him was that they were salty.  Teehee.  Boyfriend does NOT appreciate snacks that incorporate the salty-sweet dichotomy, like chocolate covered pretzels.  To me those are perfect and encompass everything I want in a snack food; satisfying all cravings in one shot.  So when I got home this is the exchange that happened:

Me: "Oh, so did you go and have dinner without me already tonight, or do you want me to cook?"
Boyfriend: "No, I just had one of those brownies you made the other day..." (frowns slightly)
Me: "Well, I told you they were low-fat, right?"
Boyfriend: "Yeeeeah..." (continues frowning)
Me: "Oh!  Did I tell you I made them salty?"
Boyfriend: " wonder I thought they were gross"
Me: "And you ate it?  Bwhahahahahaha!"

Needless to say I have to make up for 'tricking' him into eating salted low-fat brownies with some cookie pie. This is pretty much exactly what it sounds like.  Now I, like most people, detest making pie crust, so I cheat and use store bought.  Why not?  It's perfectly good.  Unlike most people though, I can, if called up, make pie crust.  Because I conquered that beast years ago, I have given myself permission to cheat.  Plus store bought pie crust is fine and not totally disgusting, like buying frosting in a can at the store vs. making your own.

Also, I made a little mini apple crisp I wanted to share with you.  It was so mini that I pretty much ate the whole thing after my weekly long walk last week (I take several short hour long walks, and one almost three hour walk - at least that is the weekly goal these days).  It all started because I was asking boyfriend about fruit desserts (which are usually my fav) and he told me he had never had apple pie or crisp or anything.  I told him that was un-American.  More so, it is un-New England.  At least to the girl that grew up living within 15 minutes of 5 different apple orchards in the heart of Johnny Appleseed Country.  So seeing as how I avoid pie crust like the devil I was convinced I was going to get him to eat an apple crisp.  Except he won't eat anything with oats.  So then I was convinced I could make apple crisp sans oats.  It took a while and some serious thought.  But I settled on graham crackers.  And judging by the fact that I opted not to entice him to try any of it, and instead gorge myself and not share you could say it was pretty successful.

Mini Apple Crisp For Two (or one if you are me)
2 Apples (I used Granny Smith) peeled and thinly sliced
3 Tablespoons of water
4 grahams (from the Fresh Stacks packs) crushed
3 TBS sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 TBS cold butter

Place apples in greased 1/2 quart baking dish.  Place water over apples.  In a separate bowl combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon and cut in butter.  Sprinkle over apples.  Bake roughly 30 minutes @ 350.  I think I let mine go another 5 minutes.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Back to Basics vewy vewy quiet, I am being sneaky in the kitchen.  So I know I promised you something fun and exciting and sweet.  But, boyfriend, ever the traditionalist decided he had a cookie craving that only I could satisfy.  (That is probably not true, but we were out of E.L Fudge cookies and Oreos, so what could I do?)
So no cookie pie, no apple crisp (at least for the time being) because I can only deal with dirtying and then washing so many dishes per day.  The downside of not owning a dishwasher.  So I contended with good old-fashioned chocolate chip cookies.  I, like most experienced home cooks, have a go to recipe for chocolate chip cookies.  In fact, it's my go to cookie base in general.  I have tried others every so often, but I ALWAYS go back to the one I'm going to give you.  Now, when baking I don't normally mess around with the recipe because baking is like science you have to have things in the correct ratios otherwise things don't turn out; savory recipes I can't leave alone, but to me, they're like art - I always have to put my own touches on things and ultimately I can usually correct something like too much acid or salt, etc.  But I messed around with my go to cookie recipe today because it seems like boyfriend is having some inner turmoil.  Eating healthy vs. eating tasty.  So I wanted to help that out a little bit.  And I did that by subbing in whole wheat flour for half the flour - next time I'm betting I can get away with all whole wheat.

Basic Cookie Recipe
3 Cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 sticks butter melted and cooled
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Pre-heat oven to 375.  Sift (I know, I know, honestly I pretty much NEVER do this) flour, baking soda and set aside.  Beat together both sugars and butter until smooth.  Add in eggs and vanilla.  Beat.  Beat in flour mixture.  Stir in chips.  I don't measure my chips - I use a bag and a half.  This time it was 1 bag of semi-sweet and half a bag of white chocolate chips.  Also, I didn't have large eggs; I had teeny little medium eggs, so I used four of them instead of three.  I won't say it was a mistake, everything turned out ok in the end, but I ended up adding a little extra flour and setting the dough in the fridge for 20 minutes because it was looser and stickier than I usually work with.  This particular recipe makes ALOT of cookies.  Here is my downfall, I get tired of putting out sheet after sheet of cookies so the cookies gradually get larger so I have to make fewer of them.  Ultimately I ended up with roughly 40 large-ish cookies.  Had I made them "normal" size I would probably have around 60.  That rarely happens.  I know boyfriend likes it better because he has "lots" of cookies, but in my opinion, 40 is still lots of cookies, they're just freakishly huge now.

I promise.  To both you and myself that there will be something more exciting happening tomorrow.
Oh, and the steak - it was totally bad assly awesome.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

oral fixation

Oh.  No.  Kate Spade sample sale.  Trouble beckons.  Well, it would if I had more money.  If I had another couple hundred bucks I could totally almost justify it to myself.  Especially because there is a bag named after my alma mater.  And in our school color!  Sigh.  I am coveting hardcore.  And I only just got over the Coach Factory sale.  (Which, in Coach's defense, is a way better deal - sorry KS!)

So two quick things.  Something dessert-y to come tomorrow.
First - I don't know about you guys, but I go through food fixation phases (score for alliteration!).  I went through a serious pickle phase while in college, and a (shut up, yes I know the next one will make some of you - boyfriend included - go ew) A1 steak sauce phase when I was around 11 or 12.  I've had bread and dip fixations, caper fixations (after many many years of caper hatred), buffalo sauce fixations, jam fixations (I'm pretty sure having five or six jars of different jams qualifies as having a problem), cilantro fixations, lemon (both sweet and savory uses) fixations, and Biscoff spread fixations (and before you think I'm jumping on the Biscoff bandwagon, I was eating that stuff well before it blew up across the food blogging world).  I still like (love even) all of these flavors, I just don't need everything I eat to be slathered in A1 or topped with pickles (including pickle flavored chips and cashews).  For the most part I'm more about variety and the spice of life and whatnot, although occasionally I need something spicy or tangy to accompany everything I eat in a week and will plow my way through a bottle of Frank's buffalo wing sauce.  It's true.  Some weeks I DO "put that shit on everything".  And sometimes all I can think about are capers, and build entire meals around them.
I love foods that are tasty by themselves but are also blank canvases in a way.  Like mac and cheese.  I have been having a love affair with mac and cheese since I was knee high to a grasshopper.  I eat significantly less of it these days because A) it is not so forgiving to my thighs and B) boyfriend thinks it is gross.  Don't ask.  I don't get it either.  Now some days all I want is plain mac and cheese (the ULTIMATE in comfort food, it's like eating a hug, if I'm eating mac and cheese I probably just want a snuggle buddy, and hugs and kisses) - either homemade or Velveeta reduced fat if I'm feeling lazy and guilty about my calorie intake.  But other days (like today) I want to gussy it up a bit.  Sometimes I stir in some canned tomatoes, some days turkey dogs, some days capers (by far the most winning combo in the list), some days buffalo sauce and a sprinkling of blue cheese.  But I was a little limited in ingredients today - that is on the whole I'm trying to buy fewer processed foods (and yes I know, Velveeta is a ridiculously processed food, I'm not dumb, but I AM willing to give in to a craving) so all I really had on hand was some fresh herbs.  Cilantro.  CilAAANNNtro.  I would rub it all over the house if I thought boyfriend wouldn't put the kaibosh on that.  It smells completely fantastical.  The smell alone reminds me of hundreds of tasty meals I've had.  Thai.  Mexican.  Things boyfriend turns up his nose at.  Yum.  And the taste...oooh baby.  I know cilantro is kind of a controversial herb.  Let's just say I have NEVER met anyone with blinding hatred and disgust for basil or rosemary or dill; cilantro on the other hand...I have met individuals (plural) that won't touch anything they even think has touched cilantro.  It boggles my mind how someone could refuse that earthy, pungent goodness.  Oh well.  More cilantro for me.  So that's what went into the mac and cheese today, and ooohhh it was sooo complimentary.  I get shivers just thinking about it again.
So there's that.  I think I was going to tell you about something else too.  Maybe the steak teriyaki?  Hmmm... well I could, but I haven't actually eaten it yet.  It's still marinading away in my fridge with some more cilantro. And Soy Vey Teriyaki sauce (only the best there is!), a little soy sauce, worcestershire, fresh lime juice and zest, brown sugar, and a splash of rice wine vinegar.  I have high hopes for this.  Although I haven't decided if it's going on the GF (George Foreman) or just in a pan.  Probably GF, although let me tell you, that thing is a bigger pain in the behind to clean than I ever anticipated.