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Monthly Archives: May 2012

As you might have guessed, I’m kinda a big deal. Look! My very first interview. Squee!

Flavorful World: a Food, Wine, and Spirits Blog

Kim Aaron of The White Trash Gourmet recently took some time out from demonstrating fabulous kitchen skills and hilarious wit to answers nine questions from yours truly.  I defy anyone reading the interview that follows to do so without smiling (as I never fail to do when visiting her site) if not over her honest thoughts on the taste of tripe and the implications of the phrase “corn smut,” then at what may possibly be the best food lover’s memoir title I’ve encountered in the history of this interview series.  I’ve probably said too much, though.  So just read the interview and let it take its rightful place among the list of your favorite things.

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I’m taking the lazy way out today, and reblogging my guest post from The Blissful Adventurer. The URL might be different, but the trashy goodness endures. Be good subjects and give TBA a look-see.

The Blissful Adventurer

**The Blissful Adventurer is running about Italy at the moment so in his stead we happily endorse and support the work of the following blogger, Kim of The White Trash Gourmet. Please check out this post, leave comments for exchange with the author, and give their blog a read.**


For anyone that’s yet to discover me, I’m The White Trash Gourmet, and I cook better than you. I run a (wannabe) clever food blog from my quaint little town of California, but don’t expect health-oriented, vegan-friendly swill (famous vegan recipe: steam until grey). My cooking is based around three simple rules: if you can read this, you can cook; like college, don’t be afraid to experiment; and everything is made better with bacon. Follow them, and we shall bask in foodie goodness together.

Over the past few months, I’ve been asked to guest post on other blogs…

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Smoke And Mirrors

It’s gonna blow!

Two things I know to be true: One, unlike most other types of cooking, where careless grace can yield delicious surprises, baking is an exact science of measurements and ratios. If you try to flour and leaven to taste, you’ll either end up with an inflated brick of carbon goodness or a pan of spreadable milk-soup; there is no middle ground. Two, my culinary tao has always been “eh, smells close enough.” Have I ever made it a mystery about where my recipes get plucked from? My ass.

These two facts hardly jibe with each other, and it was only a matter of time before the precision of baking and the sloppiness of my everything ruined a blog post. Well, almost. Although I disguised it well, last Wednesday’s coffee cake came out… in a word… explodey. The pictures around the post speak for themselves. I used the wrong size pan, and the batter erupted over the top like a fat girl in skinny jeans. A lot of oven-scrubbing profanity ensued.

The ashes of a job crap done.

That I’ve never had to write an apologetic post (about cooking, at least) in six month of blogging must mean I’m feeding you pretty damn well. The question is, should I be posting my mistakes—that is, if I haven’t done it right, who am I to tell you how something should be made? I’m the Queen of Everything. Who the hell are you? The pictures I take look delectable, and I know the recipe’s right. I don’t ever remember anyone accusing me of being fair, so eat what I tell you, stupid. Best apology ever.

Summertime Sangria

I didn’t screw this one up. Promise.

  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1/2 cup triple sec
  • 2 cups sparkling lemonade
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 5 strawberries, sliced
  • 1 nectarine, sliced
  • 1/2 cup blackberries

In one pitcher, mix wine, brandy, triple sec and lemonade. Put all of the  fruit into a second glass pitcher, and pour the wine mixture on top. Serve over crushed ice with bits of the fruit fished out of the pitcher. Absolutely delightful. 

Earlier this year, I made a wonderful turkey noodle soup. The pictures you saw of it, however, were taken two weeks past its shelf life. I had forgotten about it somewhere in the abyss of my fridge, and what I smelled upon the rediscovery of its Tupperware was something akin to forensic pathology. It still photographed all purty, and that’s what mattered. The point is, unless you fall into the orchestra pit, no one can tell you flubbed your lines.

TWTG says, “That’s like, yeah.”

(Crazy-Ass Bird) Of The Week

No one in here but us chickens.

Every morning I’m startled by the sound of a very weak person trying to break in through my bathroom window. It’s a Western Bluebird (I think—I only minored in ornithology) determined to incrementally commit suicide by repeatedly flying into the glass. That’s one guess. Another is that it lost its eggs in the great nest fire of ’11, and is shell shockingly trying to reclaim them. How, you ask? Faithful readers will recall that I have a Western Bluebird—nest and all—tattooed just above my ass (click here to see it). This would explain why it only seems to bother me in the shower: I am a living effigy of its hollow existence.

TWTG says, “I don’t have sarcasm, I have snarkasm.”

Another Mouth To Feed

Stupid Sean.

For the last month, my eldest has endlessly pestered me about adopting a particular kitten from a friend’s recent litter. I had no issue with this, save for one prerequisite: Get a job, Sean! In fairness, he’s been out there, looking (in that teenage way of hardly looking at all). But until he could afford to take care of it himself, I made it clear the little critter had to stay put. So of course he came home with it, still unemployed. And of course I said yes.

Am I chump? Oh, I’m a chump deluxe, especially for a sweet face. I mean, look at that mug! I want to hug her and squeeze her… but, sadly, I can’t name her George. Her name is Eighty. As in, one better than seventy-nine. As in, best decade ever. As in, happy birthday, you octogenarian fuck. Yeah, it’s weird. At least it’s miles better than our other kitty, whom we named (wait for it) Kitty. Don’t let kids christen things. Kids huff paint; kids are morons.

Where was I?

Ah yes, the cute justifies the means. I’m not discovering anything new here, as the adorable have always had a leg up on the horrible. If polar bears looked like naked mole rats, that ice couldn’t melt fast enough. If pandas possessed Snooki-like properties (beyond the pudge), we’d shoot them as a punishment for humping to save their dwindling species. And even though he went against momma’s wishes, my son still has his skin because he gave me eighty darling reasons not to flay it off. With a butter knife. A wooden butter knife.

Calzones

You will burn your tongue.

  • pre-made pizza dough
  • pizza sauce
  • ricotta
  • mozzarella
  • pepperonis
  • mushrooms, sautéed 
  • spinach
  • marinated artichoke hearts

Preheat oven to 450˚. One package of dough makes 2 calzones. Stretch dough into a circle on a floured cutting board. Spread pizza sauce on dough. Place about 1/4 cup ricotta on half of dough, topped with other ingredients. (My kids take theirs with no veggies and I add them all.) Like any pizza, you can add whatever toppings you like. Fold dough over to make a half circle and pinch edges together. Place on pizza stone that has been heating in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Serve with extra pizza sauce on top.

The moral of the world is this: Be super cute and non-ugly, and people will give you free shit. Having great boobs helps, too, so book that invasive surgery soon, ladies. I’m not judging—it’s not your fault Mother Nature rolled snake eyes in your bra. I’m gonna write a children’s book.

TWTG says, “Hold on, I’m busy getting short.”

Jeanealogy

It’s. A. Finger.

Whenever my company’s stock reaches a record high, its minions are allowed to wear jeans the following business day. Yesterday was such a day, but unfortunately my pants died halfway through it. A hole had been worn through the crotch area—something that has happened to almost every pair I’ve owned. Russell likes to believe the very thought of him disintegrates my clothing (the vapor of which collects in a void above our house, ruining whatever chance we had at keeping a lawn), and yours truly enjoys a good Kegel, but neither really explains my denim dilemma. This is not a mystery that requires solving, men, put the magnifying glass down.

It just means I have to go jeans shopping, which is about as fun as a Pap smear—for grotesquely similar reasons. This is one of the few things men actually do better than women, as the relationship with your pants is not nearly as convoluted as ours. You only have one criterion, “how’s the bulge?” (I’d say the likelier question is “where’s the beef?” but I’m wicked.) Women, on the other hand, worry how jeans affect the shape, contour and roundness of our asses, thighs and calves—which is further modified by heels, flats and sandals. There is no reliable way to predetermine a winner, as the five pairs of the exact same jeans (in size, cut and brand) can fit five completely different ways.

The bond between women and their pantalones might be dysfunctional, but it is strong in ways beyond tensile strength. Retiring a good pair really can feel like putting down an old dog. Or at least a hamster that didn’t bite too much. Sob.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Is coffee cake.

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Topping

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350˚. Cream together butter and sugar. Mix in eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Add in flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix just until blended. Transfer batter to a greased bundt pan. (Do not—like I did—use a round cake pan. I will explain more about this in my next post.) In a separate bowl, mix the topping ingredients together and sprinkle over cake batter. Bake for 45 min or until a knife stuck in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Hey guys, here’s a fun experiment for you: Ask a woman whether she’d rather find the perfect man or the perfect jeans, and I’d bet the odds are good she (legitimately) chooses the latter. Know why? Because in the perfect jeans, she can easily land a dozen of the so-called perfect you, then cull the one she likes best from the herd. Fuck your feelings.

TWTG says, “Stop trying to fix me, Russell!”

Smokeless Hot Mess

Then set me ablaze already!

This is a jumble of ideas, so bear with me. Earlier this year, I made some impassioned post saying I’d rather be fat and happy than thin and miserable. That was cute when I was ten pounds overweight. Now that I’m leaving potholes almost twenty more pounds later? Yeah, no. I’ve been hitting the gym, but it hasn’t been hitting back. I’ve been eating in moderation, but the only thing that’s diminished is my clothing’s need to fit. I’m fat(ter), crankier and more scatterbrained. Each day has seemed worse than the last, with no reasonable explanation as to why… then Russell called me at work:

“You quit smoking, you asshole.”

And with that, a perfectly straight line was drawn through all my meandering bullshit. He was right (again). My e-cigarettes calm cravings and simulate the ritual of smoking, but they lack the stimulative goodness that validates the nonfictional version of the habit in the first place. They relieve neither frustration nor anxiety; they just give you something to do with your hands that doesn’t incrementally kill you. Nonsmokers like to believe the most smoking does is soothe an urge the rest of us wouldn’t have had we never lit up in the first place. You folks are adorable. I can name three wee ones whose capas weren’t detated because momma could always rely on fifteen minutes of garage solace. I also used to be able to metabolize stuff. Now my body looks at the food in it and says, “okay, you can stay.”

I suppose the silver lining is that my body will normalize over the next few months, and I should feel some form of physiologic levity soon. For all my bitching, I certainly won’t be lighting up again. I just have to play the waiting game, and pray that if I ever do smoke again, the next cigarettes won’t be the ones I’ve traded favors for in prison after murdering the next fool looking at me cockeyed.

Creamy Chili Chicken Casserole

Comfort food for a widening ass.

Feeds 1 hungry-ass family that devoured it in under 5 minutes

  • 4 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup salsa verde
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 15 corn tortillas, cut into quarters
  • 2 cups shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 350˚. Melt butter in large skillet. Add onion and garlic. Saute until onions are opaque. Add flour and stir for 2–3 minutes. Slowly whisk in chicken stock and then milk, cooking until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in salsa and sour cream. Butter bottom of  a 9×13 pan. Layer ingredients in the following order: tortillas, half of the chicken, a third of the sauce and a third of the cheese. Repeat this layer. Top with tortillas, sauce and cheese. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow casserole to rest for 5–10 minutes before serving. Top with avocado and sour cream, if desired.

Unless I can roll it up and smoke the shit out of it… yeah, I’m not writing a epilogue tonight.

TWTG says, “My underwear were in a peculiar way.”