Category Archives for "Food"
Because of the holiday, posting is going to be light this week. I figured something of mine ought to be light and if it can’t be my thighs courtesy of Christmas Eve scalloped potatoes, macaroni and cheese and desserts out the ying yang, then it might as well be my blog, right?
Speaking of macaroni and cheese, I thought I’d share the recipe that I like to follow, which I got from someone, somehow, someway, somewhere, sometime ago. I make it only once a year because it takes that long for my cholesterol to recover and come up for air. A word to the wise … before you make it, ask Santa for some stretchy pants.
Here we go:
Go take out a second mortgage and then run to Wegmans for the following:
Then, do the following:
Try not to gobble the 2+ pounds of cheese sitting before you. You will be in the bathroom the entire night and your guests will be sitting at the table wondering where the hell dinner is and not caring one iota that your intestines have exploded out of your body cavity and are hanging from the bathroom ceiling.
Heat the milk in a pot to just below boiling. I think this is called scalding, but don’t quote me on that. Do you really want to learn culinary vocabulary from someone who thinks Velveeta is a food group?
In the meantime, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. When it starts to bubble, stir in the flour and cook for one minute. ONE MINUTE. That’s what the recipe says and whenever a recipe calls for such a short, exact measurement of time, I feel compelled to use an egg timer and a stop watch and the hourglass timer from the Boggle game and make my kids count to sixty with a metronome.
I believe the phrase you’re probably searching for right now is “batshit crazy.”
Slowly pour the milk into the flour mixture, whisking constantly.
Whisk, whisk, whisk.
Whisk some more.
Watch your right bicep quadruple in size. This only happens if you’re right handed. I have no idea what happens if you’re left-handed. I’d ask Nate but I’m too busy whisking.
Whisk until you age into social security or the mixture bubbles and becomes thick. For me, it’s different every time. Sometimes it takes ten minutes, sometimes it’s more like twenty-five. I have no idea why there’s such a discrepancy but my current theory is that my stove is in cahoots with my washing machine and they’re taking turns screwing with me.
Remove the pot from the stove and add the spices and slowly stir in all the cheese until it melts and becomes liquid Heaven.
Try to refrain from constructing a beer bong out of rigatoni and wax paper to funnel the entire mixture into your stomach. You are not in college any more, remember? Act like an adult and use a really big straw. Or a shop vac.
In the meantime, cook your pasta until it’s “al dente.” Don’t ask me what “al dente” means because I’ll just tell you that it means still firm but not actually hard anymore, kind of like your husband after you tell him you feel like getting down and dirty with some stripping in the bedroom and then you kiss him, cop a feel and run upstairs and he immediately chases after you and as soon as he crosses the threshold of the master bedroom, you greet him with a huge smile and a ginormous bottle of DIF wallpaper gel and a scraper.
Then again, that might be an example of “al flaccid.” Now do you see why you do not want to learn culinary vocabulary from me?
Drain your pasta and then stir it into the cheese mixture.
Dump the whole thing into a greased 9 x 13 dish.
Yell at me because you soon realize that it takes up a lot more than one 9 x 13 dish so have another, smaller dish handy to catch the overflow and then you won’t have to call me bad names and I won’t have to cry.
Cover both dishes with panko breadcrumbs. But first, yell WHO’S HOGGING ALL THE STUPID PANKO BREADCRUMBS because deja vu is fun.
Preheat the broiler and when it’s ready, stick the dishes under it for approximately 4-5 minutes. Or, you can preheat your oven to 350° and then bake the dishes for about 20 minutes or until all the cheese fornicates with all the noodles and it’s just one massive, bubbling, slightly browned orgy.
Put on those stretchy pants and tell your waist to keep in touch and send you a postcard.
There were several moments in San Francisco when I thought that I had died and gone straight up to the pearly gates and they actually opened for me without bribes or coercion or a WHO ARE YOU AGAIN accompanied by a DNA swab and eyeball scan.
Like when I saw the Golden Gate Bridge.
Or when I stepped foot into the Harry Mason shop.
Or when, after walking four years up hill to get to the top of Coit Tower I spotted, through my hysterical tears, a bus parked outside the tower and realized that we weren’t going to have to finagle me a pair of prosthetic legs out of twigs and tree bark and then hire a sherpa to get us back down to civilization.
And then … there was the moment I first laid eyes on this in Ghirardelli Square:
Kara’s Cupcakes. Mmmmmmmmmmmm.
If you asked me to describe this place in three words, I’d cry and run in circles for five minutes and then hide under my bed in a fetal position because being put on the spot makes me channel my inner two year old. I’d drag Nate over here to tell you that I speak the God’s honest truth but I can’t because he asked me an hour ago what I was going to do with the rest of my life and now I’m too dizzy to crawl out from under here and go find him and besides, I DON’T WANNA AND YOU CAN’T MAKE ME SO THERE.
But if you gave me a day or so to think about it, I’d come up with “Bye Bye Waist” but only because “Multiple Simultaneous Orgasms” is way too naughty for this blog.
Just look at them. I tried to concoct a plan to distract the employee so that I could crawl into the case and shove all of them in my purse or down my throat but Helena refused to stand outside and yell HELP! ANGELINA AND BRAD JUST TRIED TO ADOPT ME because apparently she didn’t want to make a spectacle of herself. I was all “Helena, you make a spectacle of yourself all the time at home, what’s the problem?” and she was all “But Mom, that’s at home and besides, I know you’ll always love me unconditionally, no matter what I do” and I was all “That’s true, as long as you do as I say, so start screaming” and she was all “But what if I get arrested? Or Brangelina sues me?” and I was all “Who cares? It’s cupcakes.”
But she wouldn’t go for it.
So we paid $3.25 per cupcake.
They were really good. Totally worth the $3.25. And even bail and a few attorney’s fees, I think.
And then, in Monterey, we came across the Eighth Wonder of the World:
Nestle Toll House Cafe.
Excuse me while I pass out from sheer ecstasy.
When I looked up and saw this sign, angels zoomed around my head on green polka dotted Segways and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir belted out Hallelujah while wearing Speedos and riding plaid hippos down the sidewalk.
Sometimes my hunger-induced hallucinations freak me out.
Nevertheless, I told Nate to just leave me be and go on about his business and come back for me in about eight years so that I could become morbidly obese without distraction.
Have you ever seen anything so obscenely decadent in your life?
I had one of everything.
Then we walked down Cannery Row a bit and came across the Candy Factory, otherwise known as Nirvana.
We almost lost Helena in the Butterfinger barrel – she dove in and tried to eat her way to the earth’s core. Luckily, Nate hates candy so he had not slipped into a sugar-induced coma and was alert enough to yank Helena out by her ankles.
I would have totally been there if I hadn’t been distracted by the Milky Way barrel.
I’d say like mother, like daughter but that wouldn’t paint a very flattering picture of me, now would it? So I won’t.
I don’t think it will come as any surprise that our luggage wasn’t the only thing that weighed more on the trip back.
But at least the airline didn’t charge me for the extra chin.
The above photos are evidence of which of the following:
A couple of times a year, Zoe and I have a fun bonding experience while cleaning up the planet.
We haul out all of the trash bags filled with the remnants of Nate’s addiction and stuff them into the trunk of my car. Then we speed off to Wegmans where we proceed to shove each can, one by one, into the recycling machines and watch Zoe’s college fund almost double.
It’s actually quite fun to watch it grow exponentially in a matter of fifteen minutes.
Higher learning is damn expensive nowadays but if Nate continues to suck down every single can of Ginger Ale in the tri-state area, we should have her first two years of tuition pretty much covered by Christmas. And a laptop.
Unless the economy continues to tank.
In which case, Nate will have to start mainlining the stuff.
And Zoe and I will be forced to bond and clean up the planet a few more times during the year.
Zoe doesn’t mind, though. She loves to bond and clean stuff!
Except for the clean stuff part.
Unless she’s paid money.
Which she’s not.
So she rarely cleans.
Sometimes bonding and cleaning the planet is fun!
But sometimes, it isn’t.
Like when the cans are especially smelly.
Or super sticky.
Sometimes they’re especially smelly and super sticky at the same time.
When that happens, Zoe has a quirky habit of screaming loud enough to shatter glass and I think little ol’ grandma standing there behind her was a bit annoyed. Or a bit tipsy, considering the umpteen cases of Genny she had in her cart.
Not that I’m judging.
Hell, I think cleaning the planet would be much more fun if I were a little tipsy myself!
Cleaning anything would be much more fun if I were tipsy.
Or passed out, even.
Zoe and I share an extra special mother/daughter moment if a big bug happens to crawls out of a can.
That’s when we both shriek EWWWW EWWWW EWWWW in unison and flail our arms wildly about and throw cans in the air willy nilly and jump all around and totally irk the bejesus out of all the tipsy grandmas within a fifty yard radius.
Then I calm down and make Zoe pick up the can and shove it in the machine.
Hey, 5¢ is 5¢.
Besides, I don’t sport four dozen stretch marks and a wicked c-section scar for nothing.
And what matters most is, we’re bonding. And cleaning.
Although, there is something to be said about keeping the planet dirty and bonding over a grande strawberry cream frappucino at Starbucks while discussing various ways to earn full ride scholarships.
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.
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.