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Monthly Archives: January 2012

Core Audience

Holding up two sets of puppies.

Since last Monday’s post (Maybe Don’t Read This, Mom), I seem to be getting famous for the wrong reason. Okay, maybe famous is a stretch, but I’ve definitely been attracting a horse of a different, glandular color. WordPress shows me how people find my site and guess which three search engine terms have led the majority of them here? “Boobs,” “tits” and “oiled-up boobs.” I’m not making up that last one. My recipes have called for oil and I was born a woman; I guess that’s enough for Google to group me in with NSFW material. So… why fight it? Instead of preserving my dignity and soldiering ahead with foodie goodness, maybe I should recant last week’s statement (about what I won’t do for fame) and show my adoring public what it really wants to see. Hence, it gives me no pleasure to pander to the lowest common denominator with my newest feature: Mammary Mondays.

Click here, perverts.

Waka waka. There, after Friday’s tirade, I think I was able to reach back into my white trash DNA and find the strands of immaturity. Let’s test them out. What’s green and has wheels? Grass, I was just bullshitting you about the wheels. Relieved sigh. Now, let me feed you sweets with a slightly clever, but totally boobalicious name:

Triple Nipple Cookies

Ooey gooey goodness.

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs (see my Facebook for a story about these)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips (the chips are the nipples, get it?)

Bristling with nipples. Bristling.

Preheat oven to 350˚. Cream butter and sugar in the mixer. Add eggs and vanilla. Blend. Mix flour, oats, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Slowly add to butter mixture with mixer on low until incorporated. Fold in coconut and chips. Drop by spoonfuls onto parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes until edges are browned. Move to cooling rack. Enjoy!

I know what you’re asking. Was she serious about Mammary Mondays? No. No, she was not. Does that make you die a little inside? If so, I’m mostly sorry, because these sweater cows aren’t coming out to pasture anytime soon.

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Why So Serious?

Ironic that while I proudly boast of my figurative white trashiness, the literal reality of it is one of my greatest fears. Poor, obese, saddled with a half-dozen kids, a car buried in the lawn… you know the drill. Now I love burning money about as much as I hate burning calories, so I’m in no way claiming to be rich or thin. As for the kids and the car, I tied my tubes at half of a half-dozen kids (so suck it, biology) and the HOA won’t let me grow my grass that high. The point is that none of us wants to struggle through life. After all, no one on their deathbed ever rebuked “if only I hadn’t done so well.” Yes, some of us are handed better deals than others, but if you are reading this in its original English, chances are good that doors are still open to you, irrespective of your socioeconomic status.

Does that sound indelicate? It’s not. I understand shit happens and have nothing but respect for anyone having to work that much harder to make ends meet. (Hell, as a single mom of three, plowing through an eternal divorce, still renting at forty, I better have nothing but respect for such people.) However, I also believe that we try very hard to twist laziness into a mission statement. Whether it’s a lack of money, society’s lack of moral fiber or any lack of whatever else we say is holding us back, there’s always an excellent reason to not try. For example, if you’re waiting for the right time to have children, you always will be. Stability matters, sure, but at some point you just have to roll up your sleeves, go heels to Jesus and procreate. You probably won’t regret it. Probably.

I really do.

Those were some of the musings I had while we were at the restaurant for tonight’s ReKimmendation: I Love Pho, in Oceanside. Perhaps it was the wonderful food that’s gotten me all sanctimonious, or maybe this is just a reaction to the conversation in the adjacent booth I couldn’t help but overhear (naughty eavesdropper that I am). It was between two men likely going through the crisis that comes free in every box of midlife cereal. They were endlessly bitching about the minutia of everything, from politics, to the environment and all the morons in the middle that don’t get it the way they do. Plenty of good thought wasted on way too much hollow anger. I’ll spare you the details, but all I could think throughout their whole diatribe was “life is not that complicated, fellas. Relax and get out of your own way.”

I realize how jarring this reads compared to my previous posts. It’ll always be my intention to keep this blog a fun, easygoing place, but, wow, it annoys me when age is no indicator of wisdom or decorum. I’ll start the review now, I swear. Actually, hold on. Let me climb down from my high horse first (I’m not very tall, this could take a second). There. All better. Boobies.

Alright. I Love Pho (I couldn’t find an official website or online menu). Perfectly named and priced even better. It isn’t a newly unearthed treasure, however, as my weird little family unit and I are frequent flyers there. All of us, save for my nine-year-old, are mutually in love with the titular pho. I like to go with the well-done and rare beef. The beefier the better, I always say (I really do say that). Yet, sitting in the midst of the kvetch-a-thon last night, I ventured outside of my comfort zone and got the pho with rare beef and tendon. I only tried tendon on the recommendation (their name isn’t Kim, so no fancy pun for them) of a friend, as it falls into my Three Ts of Not in My Mouth You Don’t. Before your dirty wheels start spinning stupid guesses, I’m talking about tendon, tapioca and tripe. And wouldn’t you know it? I Love Pho copiously serves all three.

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: I HATE TRIPE. It’s not a mental blockade about where it comes from. I’ll eat any part of a cow, except for the parts that taste like tripe. But, feeling particularly adventurous, I tried the tendon and Hey Mikey! I liked it (loved it in fact, just like their name says)! We’ve never had any issues with taste or quality at this joint, so maybe I shouldn’t have been that surprised. As for tapioca… well, let me first tell you about Vietnamese iced coffee. Their traditional drip method of making it, while slow, results in the most amazingly sweet and rich blend you’ve ever had. Knowing that, how bad could adding tapioca be? Not bad at all, it seems, as I now covet those little black balls (hey, hey, hey… remember what I said about your dirty wheels). I Love Pho got two of the three Ts in my mouth in a single night. That’s pretty special.

I’ve tried Vietnamese food before, but I Love Pho is as good as I’ve ever had it. That’s probably why we go there weekly, passing by about a dozen other similar establishments and buffets. Oh, and the best part? Dirt cheap. The bill to feed Russell and myself, fancy coffees, tax and tip included? Just under twenty-five bucks. My type of place.

No Brow Too High

To the Private Secretary of Sir Kensington,

Click the bottle. Now.

I hope this letter finds you in good heath, Sir, as I wish to express my sincerest adoration towards that most scoopable of gourmet ketchups: yours. Hats off to you! Hats off, indeed! In this year of our Lord twenty hundred and twelve, mankind’s greatest endeavor—to create a food sauce that is as suitable for the Freemasons as it is for NASCAR-centric assholes—has finally come to fruition. A condiment, so hoity in its toititude, that it may be applied sparingly to furters of a frank nature with nary a peep of censure from aficionados who would otherwise decry “ketchup on hot dogs is for babies, stupid.” Your appearance may be Monopolistic (of the Parker Brothers variety), but your cornered market is delicious flavour. Rest assured, should the shadows of doubt ever darken the endgame of your genius, I present unto you the attached recipe as inarguable proof of your wide-reaching yaw. Thank you, kind Sir, for your fairly-priced bounty of tomatoey, vinegary goodness.

Keep on keepin’ on,
HRH The White Trash Gourmet

This is why, vegans. THIS IS WHY!

Your Sliders, Sir

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp dried minced onion
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 sweet onion, sliced
  • 8 sliced bacon, cooked
  • 8 slices sharp white cheddar cheese
  • Arugula
  • Avocado
  • Sir Kensington’s Gourmet Scooping Ketchup
  • 8 slider buns (I used mini Kaiser rolls)

Melt butter in large glass bowl in microwave. Add soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, minced onions, salt, pepper and ground beef. Mix together using your hands (you can always wash them after). Shape beef mixture into eight patties. I got the right size by rolling a largish meatball and smashing it flat. Set patties aside and caramelize the onion. I use a cast iron skillet on med-high heat. Place the onion slices in a bit of cooking oil and let them brown. Stir them around every now and again until you get a nice caramel color.

Can you believe I went into real estate?

Heat skillet to med-high heat and fry burgers. I used my brand spanking new crepe pan and it worked beautifully (the little booklet said it was great for cooking meat). Flip burgers and top with cheese. As soon as I turn off the flame I place a pot lid over the patties so the cheese will melt. It also gives them a little steam, making everything that much more juicy.

Put burgers together as follows: slice buns, spread with avocado (instead of mayo or mustard), place patty on bottom bun, top with one slice of bacon broken in half, caramelized onions and a heaping, properly-scooped spoonful of Sir Kensington’s. Add a bit of arugula and top with the other bun. I served these delicious little buggers with sweet potato chips. A perfect pairing.

Since this post started as a splendidly-written letter, let me finish it with a little postscript: Kensington & Sons, LLC has no idea I exist. I haven’t received a cent (shilling, ruble, peso, etc.) for all my praise of their splendiferous condiment. I only say that for clarity’s sake, because I am certainly not above selling out. In other words… hey companies, pay me money for pimping out your products! I’ve got three kids to feed and they can’t survive on ketchup alone. Wink.

Maybe Don’t Read This, Mom

This dress makes me look smart, right?

Okay. So. Last Wednesday’s post (Four Decades Later) had a disproportionately high number of views. Granted, I’ve been trying to self-promote and social network up the yin-yang, but something was definitely off. The story of my 40th birthday was cute, but not as punchy as I usually try to write. The chili, while spectacular, didn’t really stand out in any significant way. Russell said (jokingly) that it was probably my boobs. The picture of me that headlined the post definitely didn’t mince words about what my chest was trying to say. It was taken just before we went to Nine-Ten and, yes, I might’ve been trying to look like classy-trouble, but I didn’t actually believe it was the freaking reason for my blog’s unusually heavy traffic.

Then a phone call confirmed what Russell already knew: men are dogs. An old friend of mine, who I’ve mostly spoken to on a professional level for the last five years, went out of his merry way to call me and wonder, “Hey, I was checking out your blog and I have a question I have to ask you. Did you get implants? Because your tits are like spilling out of that dress.” I am only slightly paraphrasing. This means that, for all my trashy goodness and foodie wonderment, for all my culinary ingenuity and sparkling personality, my milkshake is what brings all the boys to the yard. I guess I gave the internet too much credit, because it seems I’ve taken the long way to figure out its most basic tenets. Tits = hits. It’s mathematics, bro. And before anybody else asks… no, these aren’t implants. Al naturale, baby!

Now, having said that, I am not easy. Even though these puppies might suggest otherwise, I’m really not. But these crepes are. So easy, in fact, that anyone can have them and they’ll never say no. Dirty girls!

Stuffed (Unlike My Bra) Crepes

Serves 4 internet creepers

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Whisk flour and eggs in a large bowl (I know this sounds odd but it works). Slowly whisk in milk and water until smooth. Add melted butter and salt. Whisk until incorporated. Heat oiled crepe pan (my mom got me this sweet pan for my birthday and it works magic) over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup batter to center of pan and move pan in a circular motion to thin out crepe. Cook until edges look done and flip with a heat resistant spatula. Cook for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove to plate. I cook several at a time and just pile them up on top of each other. Amazingly, they don’t stick together.

Here’s what I stuffed them with:

  • 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, packed in oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 4 sliced cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 1 tbsp minced chives
  • 2 tbsp goat cheese

Ketchup can make for fancy plating.

Saute garlic with sundried tomatoes (the oil they come packed in works great as cooking oil). Whisk eggs and milk together. Scramble eggs with sundried tomatoes and garlic, adding in crumbled bacon and chives as the eggs cook. After eggs are cooked, dot with goat cheese. Stuff crepes with egg mixture and serve. I added Sir Kensington’s Gourmet Scooping Ketchup as a garnish.

They say a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Big boobs don’t hurt either (although my chiropractor would disagree), but they aren’t going to be a regular feature here. I won’t do anything for fame. I’ll always try to keep The White Trash Gourmet suitable for children under 17 without parent. It’s just nice to know if my ratings do slip I have a secret weapon. Weapons. Heh.

Does A Body Good

I don't date anyone unless they drive a John Deere!

I’m probably the last person in the world to discover this (according to YouTube, I was about the 33rd millionth to discover the honey badger), but holy crap! Starbucks now has a skinny mocha on its menu! A. Skinny. Mocha. I run a foodie site but even I have no idea how they did that one. Wizards, maybe. Actually, I like Russell’s guess better: anorexic cows. Stuck-up, skinny-ass bovine bitches that say “mee” over “moo” and are forever pissed because too much leather is tacky. Oh sure, they’ll land a nice, premium Wagyu bull someday, but that doesn’t stop them from slumming it up with that Black Angus on the Wilson farm just to make their parents’ skin crawl.

How does this segue into today’s recipe? How do any of my anecdotes? Just a little jokey-joke to kick-start your weekend. Have a sandwich.

Sandwiches as art.

Italian Ham & Cheese

Serves 4

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil (3 to 4 leaves), chopped
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 loaf pain rustique
  • 2-3 tbsp pesto
  • 6 ounces sliced prosciutto
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella
  • 1-2 cups arugula

Green granules of gourmet goodness!

Preheat oven to 350˚. Slice the pain rustique loaf in half, lengthwise. Slather with pesto. Toast in oven for 8-10 minutes. Mix chopped tomatoes, garlic, basil, balsamic and salt and pepper. Set aside. Pan fry prosciutto until browned. Slice mozzarella. Build sandwich by spooning chopped tomatoes on one half of bread. Top with arugula. Place prosciutto and mozzarella slices on other half of bread. Put both slices together and press down, hard. Slice into quarters. Dinner, done.

Two halves of a delicious whole.

I make this for picnics and it can stand a long car ride and being smushed at the bottom of the picnic basket. I took two of them to our family reunion a few years back and they were gobbled up quickly. Of course, my entire extended family is full of foodies. It’s generational. Like a fine line of cattle. Hopefully, cattle with some meat on their bones. See what I did there? That is what comedians call a callback (redundant as that sounds).

Also, a little disclaimer about Monday’s post. It might be a twinge risque (read: dirty). It’s not my fault; it’s really not this time! So, for those that regard me in any chaste or wholesome context (all four of you), maybe skip it and preserve your misplaced adoration of moi.

Four Decades Later

Hey, sailor...

Okay, okay, I suppose I should talk about turning 40. A week late, but that’s about right for a self-serving honey badger Capricorn. So, without further ado, delay or interruption… turning 40 ain’t no thang. It mostly just came and went.  Yeah, I hate my emerging wrinkles and, as Russell so diplomatically puts it, matronly upper arms. But, ultimately, I still feel (and think and act and save money) like a teenager. Part of it could be that the party isn’t over. I’m having a huge Vegas celebration in February, so perhaps I’m just doing mental gymnastics to prolong my 30s.

Or maybe I’m still satiated (in both mind and belly) from my AWESOME birthday dinner. Russell took me to Nine-Ten in La Jolla and OM to the G! Described as “Evolving California Cuisine” and led by Iron Chef America challenger, Jason Knibb, I don’t think we could’ve picked a better place to celebrate such a monumental occasion (without transatlantic travel, that is). I was gonna feature it as a ReKimmendation for today’s post, but sadly, it just doesn’t fit into what I want my blog to achieve, thematically. While people of all signifiers are welcome here, my target audience is comprised of women with too much bullshit in their life and not enough time to shovel it. I want to help preserve their budget, so I would be doing no favors by directing them towards such extravagance.

Start with this.

So, while I want to tell you about the Smoking Mirrors cocktail that kicked off the evening, I shouldn’t. While I want to tell you how I opted for their Three Course Menu (which included one starter, entree and choice of cheese or dessert), I shouldn’t. While I want to tell you about the Cevice, Lamb Osso Bucco and Honey Goat Cheese Parfait, complete with wine pairings, I shouldn’t. And while I want to tell you the evening was magical, enchanting and that you should go immediately… sigh.

Instead, I’m going to bring this post back to practicality and give you a little taste of home. It was chilly today (for So-Cal) and I thought we could all use a little warming up. With chili. Har har.

Make it look like this.

Oh, It’s Chili Out

Serves 8

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 can or bottle beer (I used Red Hook IPA – someone left a few bottles here.)
  • 2 lbs stew beef
  • 2 cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes (I used the kind with chipotle peppers)
  • 1 can red beans, semi-drained
  • 1 can Great Northern Beans, semi-drained
  • 1 can black beans, semi-drained
  • Salt & pepper to taste

And arrive at a happy tummy.

Heat olive oil in large pot. Add garlic and saute for about 1 minute over medium high heat. Add chopped onion and bell pepper, followed by chili powder, oregano and cumin. This is a very important step as it toasts the herbs and spices. Saute veggies until onions are cooked. Deglaze the pot with about half of the beer. Add stew beef that has been seasoned with salt and pepper. Cook until beef is browned. Add tomatoes and beans. (I drain at least half of the liquids out of the beans.) Stir all ingredients together and bring to a boil. Set on a very low heat and simmer for about 1 hour. Taste the broth and add salt and pepper as needed. Top chili with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream or Crema Mexicana. Add chopped onions and cilantro if you wish.

I served this with my favorite corn bread. All of my kids gobbled it up and asked for more. It’s great comfort food and really doesn’t cause all that much gas. Well… I guess that really depends on who you are. In my family, our mileage varies.

Seeing Stars

Like a centaur, but is a goat-fish.

When it comes to the Zodiac, I believe in it and I don’t. Do I think the stars are clusters of celestial co-conspirators that smile on the benevolent and punish the meanie-bo-beanies of the world? Not in the slightest, but that doesn’t stop me from having my horoscope texted to me on a daily basis (and taking it with more than a grain of salt). As has been documented (in tears of blood) in my previous posts, my 40th was last week, and that makes yours truly a Capricorn.

And what is a Capricorn? You’re looking at her.

Our motto is “I attain.” We are the mountain-movers, our lives punctuated by a travelogue of success-related goodness. We are driven, absolutely, it’s just a damn shame we can’t actually plan. Scatterbrained would be a nice 14-letter descriptor. Couple that we a need to conquer (look at me, world, everything I do is worth mentioning!) and a Capricorn’s grand schemes are the ghost stories you tell your kids to keep them on the straight and on the narrow.

So, while I might not believe in cosmic fortune cookies, I also have been unable to break the mold. I am driven, absolutely, but that’s just the beginning. You must also know of my drive, celebrate it and submit your praise in writing. It’s not enough that I win, you must also lose (look at this Bejeweled score, bitches). What does any of this have to do with foodie/trashy goodness? I dunno, I didn’t plan that far ahead. I’m a Capricorn. How about a dish emblematic of that fact? I sutured it together from whatever was left in my kitchen after weeks of too many holidays. Cohesive deliciousness from random-ass chaos? Me, in a nutshell.

Eggscellent. Yup, I just did that to you.

Cleans The Fridge Frittata 

Serves 4

  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 yellow summer squash, chopped
  • 1 tsp chili oil
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (of your choosing)
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350˚. Fry bacon in cast iron skillet. Remove to paper towel-lined plate to drain. Drain all but about 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease from the pan. Add garlic, chili oil and chopped veggies to pan. Saute until zucchini and squash are soft. Crumble bacon into pan and toss with veggies. Remove pan from heat. Whisk eggs together with 1/4 cup milk. Salt and pepper to taste. Pour egg mixture over veggies and bacon. Sprinkle cheese on top. Place cast iron skillet in oven at 350˚ for 10-15 minutes until center is set. Cut into quarters and serve.

This started out as “hey, honey, I’m gonna fry up some bacon and scrambled eggs for dinner,” then I saw some pretty sorry-looking vegetables in the crisper. I hate waste, and on a Capricorn-faithful whim, turned what would have been a plain old breakfast into an actual dinner (with vegetables and everything). Every meal should be as special as you can make it and sometimes all it takes is a little poking around the fridge. And look at that! I’m winning again. Now you just have to lose.