Category Archives for "Food"
(Full recipe at bottom of post)
Up until last week, I had never owned a springform pan because I don’t trust bakeware that comes in a package marked “Some Assembly Required.” This isn’t Christmas and I’m not Santa or any of his elves. I once assembled a bike for Zoe and had eleven screws left over. I wouldn’t let her ride it without first blowing up all of our inflatable pool toys and duct taping them around her body, just as a safety precaution. I spent many an afternoon chasing what appeared to be a gigantic pink octopus humping a grumpy green alligator on training wheels all over the neighborhood because Zoe refused to learn how to use her breaks.
I don’t like to bake and I readily admit that I’m easily daunted by the likes of a cookie sheet so I did everyone a favor and stayed far away from the springform pan and by everyone, I mean all those good people on the eastern seaboard who don’t care to hear FOR SHIT’S SAKE, WHO INVENTED THIS STUPID GODDAMN THING followed by loud banging every minute on the minute from a small kitchen in western New York. And anytime I had a hankering for cheesecake, I’d simply throw away everything in my pantry and slash a tire or two so that when Nate came home, I could declare that we had nothing in the house for dinner and I couldn’t get to Wegmans because some batshit crazy lunatic had slashed my tires and then I wouldn’t be lying. Then we’d go to The Cheesecake Factory for a bite to eat and when I say bite, I mean we’d gorge ourselves until our arteries begged for mercy and lapsed into cholesterol-laden comas.
But then last week, a friend showed me this Taste of Home recipe for Italian Brunch Torte which calls for the use of a springform pan and it sounded so delicious that I decided right then and there to get over myself and stop being a big, whiny crybaby and buy the stupid pan already so I could make the torte for dinner because holy hell, have you priced tires lately?
If you’re not a big, whiny crybaby too, here’s what you’re going to need:.
After you buy all the ingredients and no one takes you up on your offer to pay them a million dollars to make this dish for you, here’s what you do:
Assemble the springform pan. This took me about 45 minutes because I am mechanically, mentally and height challenged, although I’m not sure the height deficiency came into play here.
Grease the pan, if necessary. Mine was non-stick so this was unnecessary for me. Yay!
Place your pan on heavy-duty aluminum foil and wrap it around the pan. Just wrap the outside of the pan. Don’t do what I did which was to wrap the inside of the pan as well. In my defense, the directions said “securely wrap the foil around the pan” and I didn’t know what direction constituted “around” so I decided to err on the side of caution and wrap the pan in every possible direction I could think of.
Who knew I was an overachiever? I mean, besides everyone?
I’m not sure what purpose the foil serves but if it’s supposed to catch any liquid that might leak through the bottom of the pan, it doesn’t work. But only for people who are named Andy, who are mechanically, mentally and height challenged and who assemble their springform pans in such a way as to allow liquid to seep out the bottom, through the foil so that it splatters onto the bottom of their ovens, burns to a crisp, sets off their smoke alarms and makes them question their very existence.
It probably works for everybody else though.
For the remainder of this post, you are under strict orders to pretend that the foil inside the pan does not exist.
IT IS A FIGMENT OF YOUR IMAGINATION.
Now, separate one tube of crescent dough into eight separate triangles, press them onto the bottom of the pan and then bake at 350° for about 10-15 minutes or until set.
You’ll probably notice that my dough is not triangular. It’s rectangular. That’s because by mistake, I bought crescent rounds instead of crescent rolls because the packages look exactly the same and sit right next to each other on the store shelf. PILLSBURY HATES ME.
Also? The rounds aren’t round at all, they’re really long rectangles, as seen above. Which is no big deal considering the rolls aren’t rolls either, they’re actually triangles. PILLSBURY HATES GEOMETRY TOO.
Way to screw with my torte, Pillsbury. And about a bazillion years of elementary math too.
Just so you know, the rounds/rectangles worked just fine and were probably easier to use than the rolls/triangles.
BITE ME, PILLSBURY.
While the dough is baking, saute the spinach and mushrooms in oil in a large skillet until the spinach is wilted.
If you’re like me, you never cook spinach and therefore have no idea what it’s supposed to look like when it’s wilted.
If you’re like me, you’re too uptight to leave the skillet for even a minute to Google images of wilted spinach for fear of burning the house down.
If you’re like me, you then do the next best thing which is to picture yourself getting hot and heavy with your husband and at the exact moment he thinks you’re going to scream OH MY GOD, YES, YES, YES out of sheer ecstasy, you instead surprise him by excitedly shrieking OH MY GOD, DID YOU TAKE THE CHICKEN OUT OF THE FREEZER LIKE I ASKED?
Voila! There you have the perfect image of wilted spinach, which I’m assuming looks something like disappointed, green penis.
You’re supposed to then place the mushroom and spinach mixture between two paper towels and blot to remove the excess liquid, but I think that’s only if you use frozen spinach? I used fresh so I skipped that step since I didn’t have any excess liquid.
And wow, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to say that more often?
In a large bowl, whisk six of the eggs, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning and pepper.
Would you believe I almost cleaned my counter and wiped the sides of the bowl before taking this shot?
I blame it on accidentally snorting pepper and sneezing half my brains out of my head.
By now, your dough should be pre-cooked so you can started layering. Start with half of the ham.
And while you’re at it, STOP LOOKING AT THE FOIL.
Don’t think I don’t see you.
Then layer half of the salami.
Be sure to take a moment to appreciate the symmetry of the dish at this time.
Then layer half of the provolone cheese.
Be sure to notice the instantaneous and absolute asymmetry that will occur with this layer. You might have to take a moment and sit down to fully appreciate the horror of it all. If so, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask your youngest child to slather Cortizone all over your face and stab you in the heart with an Epi Pen.
Continue layering with half of the roasted sweet red peppers.
You don’t want to know how long I spent trying to get all those little black specks off of those suckers before having a come-to-Jesus talk with my psyche.
Just in case you did want to know.
By the way, these are the roasted sweet red peppers I used. The recipe calls for 24 ounces but I only used about 3/4 of this entire can and it was more than enough.
My kids yelling EWWWWWW, GROSS! DO WE HAVE TO EAT THAT had nothing to do with my decision.
Continue with your layering. This is half of the mushroom and spinach mixture.
Is it just me or do the mushrooms look sort of like small penises?
What is it about this mixture that makes me think of genitalia?
Should I be worried?
Next, layer half of the egg mixture.
Then, repeat all the layers.
After layering, separate the second tube of crescent dough and cover the pan with it. Make sure to yell KISS MY RHOMBUS ASS, PILLSBURY while you do so, just on principle alone. Plus, it’s a great stress reliever.
Whisk the remaining egg and brush it over the dough.
Bake it at 350° for about 60 to 75 minutes. I had to cover it loosely with a sheet of foil after about fifteen minutes to prevent burning. You’re supposed to bake it until it reaches 160° but if you can find a thermometer in my kitchen island drawer without stabbing yourself underneath your fingernails with a cooking utensil, go for it! I, for one, am allergic to tetanus so I just baked it for about 70 minutes until it was golden brown,which was right around the time I almost asphyxiated on the smoke from the drippings.
KISS MY RHOMBUS ASS TOO, INCORRECTLY ASSEMBLED SPRINGFORM PAN.
Here it is, right out of the oven.
I let it sit for twenty minutes before cutting into it but as you can see, there was still some liquid on the bottom. This was quite surprising, considering the bottom of my oven looked like a forest fire had pooped all over it.
*slappity slap slap slap*
That was me, bitch slapping the springform pan.
TAKE THAT, INCORRECTLY ASSEMBLED YET STILL STUPID SPRINGFORM PAN.
It was delicious, albeit a little salty, maybe from the ham? Salami? Cheese? Profuse sweat and anxiety?
I loved it and would definitely make it again. Nate liked it quite a bit and would absolutely eat it again. The kids tolerated it and would most likely holler UGH, TORTE AGAIN? CAN WE BE ADOPTED?
Here’s the full recipe from tasteofhome.com. I hope you enjoy it!.
Italian Brunch Torte
Remember a few months ago when I attempted to teach my kids a life lesson about the value of good customer service by complaining to a restaurant manager? And my kids decided instead that they’d prefer to avoid the embarrassment and humiliation of being associated with *that* mom? And they remained ignorant heathens by running like bats out of hell to sit in the car so they could pretend they were orphans? Except that they were only half orphans because their heathen of a father sat right beside them, pretending to be a widow?
Last Saturday, life went déjà vu all over us in local restaurant, one that we frequent whenever I start defining marriage as 101 Different Ways to Cook Chicken which is right around the time my family starts reciting grace as Dear God, we thank You for this food. Andy hey, if You could see to it that all chickens are run over by trucks the next time they cross the road, that’d be great. Amen.
The four of us were seated and had our orders taken almost immediately and then we waited so long before we saw our server again that I think Helena might have started puberty by the time we got our breadsticks.
Another eternity passed and I was about to enter full-blown menopause when the following events occurred:
Shortly thereafter, our meals arrived and I discovered my four ounces of garnish were cold. At that point, the following events occurred:
While Nate settled the bill, which included far less than a 20% tip, and my kids walked fifty feet in front of me lest anyone think they were related to the hungry woman with the squinchy face behind them who was about to CALL ATTENTION TO HERSELF IN THE NAME OF A LIFE LESSON, OH MY GOD, WHERE’S THE NEAREST EXIT, I took my squinchy face up to the hostess stand and politely asked to speak to the manager at which time the following events occurred:
As I write this, it’s late on Saturday night. Zoe is sleeping at her dad’s, Helena is sleeping at her cousins’, Oliver is sleeping on my feet and if Nate continues to watch morbidly obese, pierced, tattooed, mumu-wearing scary people repossess cars on TV ad nauseam, he will be sleeping on the couch. There are only so many episodes of Operation Repo I can watch before I feel compelled to issue an Amber Alert for my IQ.
I leave you with a post I wrote last year about my garlic spread which is guaranteed to repel the un-dead. I’m pretty sure that includes the morbidly obese, pierced, tattooed, mumu-wearing scary people on Operation Repo.
Happy Sunday, everyone!
If you want to get it on with any of the Cullens, this is not the post for you
Several of you asked for my garlic spread recipe after reading last Sunday’s regurgitation post and I decided to share it because I think the world would be much better off if all of us inhabitants wreaked of garlic instead of only a chosen few.
I don’t know about you, but watching as people trample all over each other to remain upwind of me is getting old.
From all over the Internet I can hear some of you shouting OH MY GOD, THIS IS THE SECOND RECIPE YOU’VE POSTED. WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE, A FOODIE?
And to you, I say PISH POSH in a British accent.
Because I’ve always wanted to speak in a British accent and no one in my family will let me and the moment I even try, they all run far away from me, so that leaves you guys to pick up the slack.
Pish posh, m’gosh!
Pish posh, m’gosh Josh!
That last one had a little bit of an Irish brogue thrown in! Go me!
OK, that’s it for the slack, unless you want me to mix it up with a little bit of an Aussie accent?
I didn’t think so. Thanks for playing.
By the way, I think the fact that I could quite happily bathe in Velveeta excludes me from membership in the foodie club.
Here’s what you’ll need for my garlic spread:
And here’s what you do with all this stuff:
For those of you who have no idea who the Cullens are (hi Mom!) they’re the vampire characters in Twilight. I, myself, don’t find any of them attractive except for Rosalie and Alice and since I don’t swing that way – not that there’s anything wrong with that – I have no problem eating this stuff 24/7.
Although I do have issues of abandonment when it’s breezy out while doing so.
Recently, I posted about my general thoughts on the Weight Watchers program and I wanted to follow that up with my take on exercise and food and if you get nothing else from this post, I hope you’ll walk away knowing at least this much:
And as I’ve said before, I am not paid or compensated in any way for any product I mention. So if I say something tastes like candy-coated unicorns dipped in multiple rainbow colored orgasms? It’s because I think it does and there are no guys in business suits in the background, high fiving and fist bumping each other. Same goes if I mention that something tastes like scrotum tampanade, although I don’t expect anyone would be high-fiving or fist bumping each other in that case. Although if they were, wouldn’t that be kind of funny? And not in a good way?
THINGS I ATE ON WEIGHT WATCHERS
Water, water, water, water, water, water, water, water, water, water and water. And just when you think you can’t possibly drink any more of the stuff … WATER. Seriously, water is your best friend on Weight Watchers. It has zero points, it hydrates you, cleanses your system, fills you up and makes your skin look awesome. At this point, I suppose I could insert any number of jokes about how, with a little more effort, colonics and semen could do the exact same things for you but then you might think less of me than you already do.
As if that’s possible!
Irene’s All Natural Biscotti. Does it taste like real biscotti? Not on your life. Does it taste good? Meh. It’s OK. I buy the chocolate flavor because eating the orange cranberry ones tastes like I’m licking the bottom of my toaster. While I’m not in love with these things as a stand alone product, I can’t say enough about them when they’re used as a vessel for peanut butter. Then, they’re fantastic because at only 20 calories/zero fat per cookie, they’re a crunchy, zero point alternative to a spoon. I buy them more for their texture than anything else because my jaws feel like they’re getting a little workout when I’m eating them. I don’t count the act of eating them as exercise points, though. I tried, but my Weight Watchers leader looked at me kind of weird.
I may be 43 years old but I’m a child at heart and nothing beats a peanut butter sandwich so I had to find a reasonable alternative to regular, fat-infused peanut butter because a life without peanut butter is a lonely, desolate, soul-sucking thing that I want nothing to do with. Enter Reduced Fat Jif. I’ve tried every other kind of reduced fat peanut butter out there and this one was the only one that actually tasted good and didn’t make my tongue want to slap me. I’ve heard rumors of something called PB2 or some kind of powdered peanut butter but I just can’t go there. It’s bad enough that I’ve gone the reduced fat route with the nectar of the gods … anything more and I fear that my entire digestive system would punch me in the throat.
Arnold Sandwich Things and Thomas Bagel Thins. At one point each, I simply cannot say enough about these two products. I need bread just as much as I need oxygen but I don’t need the points that traditional bread represents. I make a sandwich with either one of these, using 2 or 3 ounces of deli turkey, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, a slice of 2% pepper jack cheese and some dijon mustard. The sandwich winds up being huge yet only 3 or 4 points, depending on how much turkey I used. When you’re allotted only eighteen points a day on the program, you need to pack as much healthy crap into as few points as possible and these two products help me do that with little effort. I’m all about little effort! Especially when it comes to crap!
Skinny Cow truffle bars taste like candy-coated unicorns dipped in multiple rainbow colored orgasms, I shit you not. If anything kept me on this program, it was Skinny Cow. I eat one every night and they are a vital, crucial, integral part of my daily 18 point allowance. They are, without doubt, one of the best tasting things I have ever put in my mouth.
No offense, Nate.
These toffee crunch bars from Weight Watchers come in a close second to Skinny Cow. However, I only buy them when Wegmans runs out of Skinny Cow and only after I pitch a hissy fit in the frozen food section, hollering WHERE THE HELL IS THE GODDAMN SKINNY COW? HAS THE WORLD GONE MAD? WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU STARING AT?
I’m not sure how to say this without sounding like a commercial so forgive me … Ronzoni pasta tastes good and it’s good for you. One cup of regular pasta is four points but one cup of Ronzoni pasta is only three and at eighteen points a day, every single point is precious. Now I admit, I will shove as much Ronzoni pasta into that one cup as I possibly can, even if it means I have to jump up and down on it for a few seconds when no one is looking. However, I don’t recommend doing this too often because it wreaks havoc on your measuring cups. And by havoc, I mean it smashes them to smithereens.
Nosh, snack, graze, munch, nibble, forage … whatever. I must have an unlimited supply of snacks immediately on hand or I am grumpy with a capital GIVE ME THAT COOKIE OR I WILL CUT YOU, BITCH. These are a few of the snacks that I typically scarf down so as not to act out my frustrations by castrating the first human being who crosses my starving path.
That’s about it! Seeing as how this post has become the blog equivalent of War and Peace, I’ll save my bit about exercise for another post and I’ll try not to reference scrotums, colonics or the naked happy with Mr. Cooper when I do because I don’t need any emails that say HEY, DO YOU KISS YOUR MOTHER WITH THAT MOUTH? NOT ANYMORE YOU DON’T. LOVE, MOM.
Last night we went out as a family to dinner. This means that before we set out, Nate and I went through a half hour chorus of What do you want to eat? I don’t know, what do YOU want to eat? I asked you first. I asked you second. Stop being a smart ass. Should I be a dumb ass instead? Too late.
During dinner, the girls started with giggles and ended with laughter and ran the entire gamut in between, which included nagging, bickering, insulting and one quite impressive verbal smackdown which included such gems as YOU RATHER LARGE, UNFORTUNATE, SMELLY, BUTT-FACED PILE OF POOP.
In other words, we could have stayed home and enjoyed the exact same dining experience at a fraction of the cost. Except no one would have waited on me and where’s the fun in that, I ask you?
I leave you with a post and recipe I wrote last year for enchiladas. And before you even ask … yes, the frequency with which the word “butt” is associated with food related matters on this blog is, to say the least, disconcerting.
Happy Sunday, everyone!
How about some buttocks for dinner?
Look what I did! Look what I did!
I cooked something out of nothing!
I can’t believe it.
The last time I cooked something out of nothing was almost nine years ago and the result is currently running around the house annoying the very first thing I cooked out of nothing.
I think I’m going to call this dish Andy’s Rocking Sensational Enchilada Shells or ARSES for short, because the word “arse” means buttocks and the word buttocks has always made me giggle and I think the world would be a much nicer place if people giggled more.
Anyway, I’m pretty proud of myself because, as I’ve mentioned before, I can rock the heck out of any holiday meal but the heinous, gut-wrenching, loathsome, I’d-rather-chew-off-my-own-eyelids task of weekly dinners? They suck my will to live.
But this time I yanked on my big girl panties and channeled my inner and somewhat less crude Die Hard Bruce Willis and screamed a wicked Yippie Kai Yay Fluffenutter and kicked in the door of my pantry and went to town.
In a figurative sense. Because if it had been in a literal sense, we would have had take-out from Pizza Hut instead and I’d have nothing to blog about today and where’s the fun in that?
Here’s my recipe, in classic Creative Junkie fashion. Oh, and lest you think I’m going to become a *gasp* cooking blog, I just have one word for you:
Here we go:
Now here’s what you do with all this stuff:
I’m going into my kitchen now to figure out how I can disguise the leftovers so that I can serve them tonight because Nate believes that leftovers are a plague upon humanity.
Much like my opinion of weekly dinners.