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Michael Helps

Almost eclipses the fun bags. Almost.

In terms of luring new donkeys to my farm, speculating about the junk in an Olympic swimmer’s trunks has been the most effective carrot yet. Within a single weekend, “Michael Phelps bulge” has become my second most popular search term—right behind “white trash tits” (of which we’re in no short supply ’round these parts). What this tells me is that everyone is as damaged as yours truly; that no matter how hoity our toity may seem, everyone giggles like a schoolgirl in a tickle fight whenever a part of our anatomy protrudes unflatteringly.

Well, almost everyone. My shenanigans seem to offend a lot of folks at LinkedIn, and they’ve told me as much. I’ve made some wonderful contacts there, but a disproportionate number of its members still take umbrage with my meandering bullshit. It’s unthinkable to some that occasionally (read: mostly) juvenile humor would ever perforate a food blog. Are they upset because, being sophisticated professionals, they expect a finer grade of entertainment from one of their own? As someone who has pounded pavement in the business sector for over a decade—and dated just about every link in the corporate food chain—let me just say pshaw! Sophistication and professionalism have so little to do with each other, we might as well be talking vegans and real people.

So why the pretentious friction? Consider this analogy: Social networks are essentially digital proxies for actual events. MySpace was the party site—scantily clad morons, zero privacy and lots of conjecturable shit spun by bullies that already hated your stinking guts (so of course it must’ve been true). Facebook is more akin to a family function, with a tighter-knit circle of better-mannered people that actually matter in your life. And LinkedIn is the mixer where we put our best perma-smile forward. This means perpetuating an annoyingly PC environment, lest one career opportunity deem you insensitive. I know everyone didn’t agree with my opposition to the foie gras ban, but I didn’t take shit for it anywhere else. I mean, if overly-sensitive white people don’t speak for the poor little geese, who will!?

And then there was Jack the Raper. Fucking LinkedIn.

Big F’ing Sandwich

True to its name, times two.

  • 2 loaves Italian bread
  • 1 lb cooked chicken breast
  • 1 bag Caesar salad kit
  • mayonnaise
  • garlic powder
  • parmesan cheese

This is as simple as it gets in my house. After a long Monday at work, complete with banking drama and a trip to the grocery story, I was in no mood to do much cooking. This is the result:

Slice the 2 loaves in half, lengthwise. Spread bread with mayonnaise, sprinkle with garlic powder and parmesan cheese. Place the bread on a baking sheet and broil until parmesan starts to brown. While the bread broils toss the salad , omitting the croutons. Make a sandwich using the chicken and salad. Slice and serve.

My boyfriend demands you watch the following musical tribute to Michael Phelps. When his daughter was just a little, screaming thing, he would sing this splendiferous song to shut her up. Nothing else worked. How he thought to do this is beyond me—how he thinks to do most things is beyond me. Dude’s a weirdo.

TWTG says, “That’s why I’m so awesome: because I’m awesome.”


Swim Meat


Sorry, meatheads, muscles don’t do much for me. I much prefer the swimmer look—svelte and willowy. In fact, one of the reasons I drank from my marital carton so long after its expiration date was my surfer ex being so easy on the eyes. In high school, I volunteered as a timer for the swim team. This required me to be perched within coughing distance of a near-naked boy, with only two layers of of Speedo goodness (as a single layer was deemed too transparent) between my stopwatch and a misdemeanor.

It should come as no surprise, then, that I primarily watch the Olympics for its swimming events. And being… well, moi, let me ask a very immature question: Is endowment proportional to hydrodynamics? That is, does the size of the anchor dictate the speed of the boat? Get what I’m asking? Yes or no, is it harder to swim with a big wiener? Don’t point and laugh just yet. Consider the evidence. Swimmers shave their body for less drag, right? So, if something as insignificant as a hair follicle can hinder performance, what happens when they’re putting up Liam Neeson numbers? (In case that went over your head, Liam is said to have a Neeson so massive, they were originally going to call the movie Schindler’s Lift.)

The Force is strong with this one

Does this mean that, in addition to having a brow pronounced enough to make the cover of Cro-Magnon Weekly, Michael Phelps got cheated downstairs, as well? Maybe I’m looking at it backwards—maybe an exceptional husband bulge functions as a sort of rudder. But that wouldn’t explain why only three African American men have ever made our Olympic swim team. Of course, this entire line of questioning is moot now that the Olympics mandates full-body swimsuits. How am I supposed to ocularly rape my aquatic Chippendale dancers with all that polyurethane in the way?

My mind wanders.

Tomato Cobbler

Tastes like pizza

  • 2 cups tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, minced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk

This is a twist on an old family cobbler recipe. I took out the sugar and made it savory. Preheat oven to 350˚. Combine tomatoes, balsamic, basil, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste (I used quite a bit of pepper). Set aside. In a square (9×9) baking dish, melt butter. Mix flour, parmesan, baking powder and milk. Spoon batter over melted butter. Add tomato mixture on top of batter and bake for 30 minutes or until crust has browned. The crust will rise to the top during baking. I’m quite impressed with this one, as it’s true to the mission statement behind my little blog. I had very little food in the house tonight, and am broke until payday, but still managed to save the culinary day. I’m awesome.

In keeping with my rule of a man’s name euphemizing his penis: Liam’s Neeson is so big, it’s like a baby arm holding another baby arm. Liam’s Neeson is so big, it’s pen pals with Liam Neeson. Liam’s Neeson is so big, it gets more than 140 characters on Twitter. Liam’s Neeson is so big, it slaps God mid-cartwheel. Liam’s Neeson is so big, it gets claimed as a dependent. Liam’s Neeson is so big, the Kraken releases it. I could do this forever. And want to.

TWTG says, “I can’t work with my hands all gooey. You know how it is.”

Interesting Bedfellows

Trust me, she’s cute.

From my experience, too many adults are just teenagers with intent. Given how I feel about teenagers, it goes without question, then, that too many adults aren’t worth knowing beyond a superficial/networking level. Which is why I’ve grown to treasure the blogosphere: grownups live here. The maturity mileage varies, sure, but at least the thinking mind is respected. I don’t pretend to be an intellectual, but I am a junkie for the written word (I imagine write, write, read is the literary equivalent of puff, puff, give), and my fellow bloggers appreciate this fix better than most in reality.

Which brings me to yesterday, when I met a fellow blogger (and her delightful pooch, Dave) in said reality. (Dry your eyes, Le Clown.) She writes under the name Lynn on 56 Men and Other Mistakes, and we had a lunch date at Eat Chow in Orange County. The food was good, but I enjoyed the company much more. Lynn is a lovely lady, as straightforward in person as she is in her writing, and it was very refreshing to meet an adult-flavored adult. Whether or not she ends up in my proverbial lifeboat has yet to be determined (although it would be good sailing, as we could tie all of her conquests together into a man-yacht), but it warms my heart knowing I’m making genuine friendships here.

Who knew ranting about bacon and boobs could make a gal so popular?

Cashew Butter Cookies

Reason number 119 to meet me in person.

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup cashew butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350˚. In a stand mixer, mix butter, cashew butter and sugars until well blended. Mix in egg and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and mix, just until blended. Drop batter by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet and press a crisscross into tops using a fork dipped in sugar (like you would for peanut butter cookies). Bake for 8 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before moving to a cooling rack. These are a bit sweeter and less salty than peanut butter cookies. You could substitute any type of nut butter (I so want to make a reference to Lynn here) for the cashew butter and still get a great tasting end result. 

One day I’m going to travel the world and cash in on all of my digital connections. Everyone owes me a dinner and a night’s lodging. What do you get in return? Both the value of my company and the adorability of my face. What’s that? No, I would hate to see your bungee cord collection.

TWTG says, “There’s a whole little cluster of some fucked-up shit going on there.”

Stranger Danger

The “charming and gorgeous” picture

The following is a very real e-mail from someone in Los Angeles wanting a peepee touch from yours truly. I’ve left all the grammatical blemishes in, and while it might not seem offensive or creepy at first… realize this was sent to me through LinkedIn:

Charming & Gorgeous picture. what manner of beauty bestowed on one person like you. You must have been created on God’s resting day.

I don’t know what to say after going through your profile, what a beauty you are, but in a short note, I will say that am thrilled, I would like to know more about you if you don’t mind. Anyway, my name is [name omitted], i am a normal man and would like to be friends with you. Can i have your email? or write me on [e-mail omitted]. Hope to hear from you soon if you are interested.

[I so desperately want to sign this Jack the Raper]

Oh, men, men, men. Sorry, but I really do have to put you all on trial for this—like a class action lawsuit in reverse. Does (attempted) suaveness still work in 2012? Are there still women susceptible to this kind of long-winded puffery? And what the fuck does “God’s resting day” mean? God made me on the day He wasn’t doing shit? Also, I submit that if you have to consciously describe yourself as “normal”, you must also be willing to allow an inspection of the contents of your basement. You will? Ha! Egg on your face, sex deviant! California homes don’t have basements (my sister’s notwithstanding).

Being the way I am, obviously it isn’t my first rodeo with this sort of thing. But… really? Is this what we’re down to? Trolling for résumé ass on LinkedIn? Call me old fashioned, but I actually prefer the shitty one-liners: “Wanna go halfsies on a baby?”, “all those curves and me with no brakes”, “do you like athletic gear, because I’m sporting goods”, etc.. I actually thought of that third one, but you can borrow it if you’d like. Just put it in your pocket for safe keeping—right next to the chloroform.

Charming And Gorgeous Popcorn

Smuggling it into “The Dark Knight Rises”

  • 8 cups popcorn, plain
  • 8 slices crispy bacon, crumbled
  • 1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ancho chili powder

In large bowl, combine popcorn, crumbled bacon and pecans. (I popped my corn in bacon fat to add another layer of flavor and sin.) Line a large cookie sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray. Melt butter in a medium sauce pan. Add maple syrup, salt and chili powder. Do not stir. Bring to a boil and continue boiling until a candy thermometer reads 300˚. (I went out and purchased a candy thermometer just so I could make this recipe.) Pour hot maple candy over popcorn and stir quickly with an oiled silicon spatula. Spread into prepared cookie sheet and allow to cool. Break up any large pieces.

I seem to have a nice theme of popcorn and perverts this week. Rereading the above, I do come off as a bit of a bully… but I can live with that. Maybe it helps to know the e-mail was sent at 12:44 a.m. on a Wednesday—which means, even from a LinkedIn point of view, it screams unprofessionalism. Jack also must not read the blog, else he’d know I’m already in a medium-crappy relationship.

TWTG says, “If I do yoga right now, I’m gonna barf.”

Say Bacon

Future vegan left. Still cool kid right.

Since nobody will have sex with vegans, we can’t hope to clear our plate of society’s leaf lovers through prima nocta. There is hope, however, as I like to believe that one of them dies each time I write “bacon” on the blog. I don’t mean this metaphorically—as though my delightful wit will somehow reprogram their dietary glitches. I mean it’s a culling song, like telling a fairy in Neverland you don’t believe in it. Well, I don’t believe in fairies, either, mine just live in the blue states.

I’ve mentioned my BVFA (Best Vegan Friend, Ami) before, and, despite anything I’ve said about her ilk, I absolutely adore her. We’ve been besties since high school, and I would never let a thing like Doing Food Wrong impede our progress as heterosexual lovers. But here’s a story anyway: Ami, like yours truly, turned the big four-oh this year, and invited the boyfriend and I to her birthday party. Of course we went, but knowing this was going to be a healthy affair (to put it diplomatically), we decided to fill up on porky goodness beforehand. This was for a sense of symmetry, and to see if meat mouth could melt vegan skin.

Or is it bark?

I digress. We chose The Salted Pig in my hometown of Riverside—the name alone was reason enough. We went there with the intent of ReKimmending it, but it just wasn’t special enough for such charity. Nothing on its menu stood out from a million other gastropubs, save for one item: Bacon Fat Popcorn. (Oh yes they did. Their menu even says so.) This isn’t bacon-flavored popcorn, nor popcorn with bacon salt. It’s corn. That has been popped. In fucking. Bacon fat. Of course I had to steal it, then make it better and feed it to my subjects. You owe me.

Better Bacon Fat Popcorn

Oh yes I did.

  • 2 tbsp bacon fat
  • 1 tsp truffle oil
  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • Bacon Salt
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Heat bacon fat and truffle oil in large pan. Add popcorn—the oil should be hot enough that it immediately sizzles. Cover with lid and shake. I use a pan that has a glass lid so I can watch the corn pop, but you always can do it by ear. Shake pan over burner as corn pops. Turn off heat as soon as popping slows down. Sprinkle hot popcorn with Bacon Salt (to taste), parmesan cheese and garlic powder. Toss and serve. Amaze the neighbors, show up a trendy restaurant, sneak it into the movies, etc..

This post had everything! Love for bacon, hate for vegans (although I think they got off lightly), vulgarity, shaming, an easy white trash recipe and it all segued nicely. All we’re missing is some sweater cows… click here? Nope. You can’t. And, oh, just in case my blogging curse does work: bacon, bacon, bacon, bacon, bacon, bacon, bacon, bacon, bacon, bacon.

TWTG says, “I put it in my purse, because I stole it outright.”

Labia Is A Funny Word

See? Titillating sans tits.

I really do mean this as a gentle reminder, even though I sound like an asshole no matter how I reword it: The White Trash Gourmet is rated PG-13 (or 12A for my UK following). This means I only drop one F-Bomb per post, film my nudity from the back and keep most of my killings offscreen. Make no mistake, I’m not trying to run a classy joint here, nor preserve whatever dignity I think I secrete (not with these farts), I just think vulgarity is too easy. When I did my knockers for the troops bit, I made sure to keep it boobalicious without letting it delve into nippletastic.

In other words, I firmly believe in “less is more” and “everything but.” Spielberg’s got my back on this, so don’t fuck with me. When he was offered Jaws so many years ago, he agreed to direct on the condition that the shark not be shown during the first hour of film. By letting our imaginations fill in the blanks, the creature became many more times impressive than whatever grey, rubbery turd his effects team could build. Similarly, whereas porn uses a sledgehammer to entice, burlesque uses a scalpel—as the latter knows an implied labia is much sexier than a labia-labia.

And this type of teasing is exactly what I want from the community my blog generates. I adore my loyal subjects (all three hundred of you), so please don’t make me moderate your comments, or outright block you from enjoying my wares. Whatever you do with my pictures is between you and Jesus—I don’t need it narrated to me. I’m not speaking about any one incident, I just want to make sure we’re all on the same page. Yes, I bring this crap on myself. I mean, look at that chick up there. She must be asking for it, huh? No, stupid men. Sit politely at the dinner table, keep your hands where I can see them and stop playing footsie with your penis.

Even Quinoa’s Better Dressed

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup oil packed sundried tomatoes
  • handful fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350˚. Rinse quinoa and add to a sauce pan with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Set aside to cool. Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until opaque. Add olives, tomatoes and basil to a food processor and chop until a paste is formed. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients. Press into glass baking dish and bake for 20 minutes or until the top is browned. This is a great side dish for just about anything done on the grill, plus it’s gluten free and vegetarian.  

Labia. Heh.

TWTG says, “Why is that sun so fucking bright!?”

Comic Relief

Everyone I follow on Twitter is at Comic-Con today, and their tweets—about the outs I won’t be able to geek—are like tiny lightsabers piercing my fat nerd-heart. Officially, money and time are the reasons behind my absence there, but perhaps something more sinister is at work. The following is an actual (slightly paraphrased) transcript from my relationship:

The only fictitious part is the idea of Russell wearing shorts. I can’t thank my cohort enough, however, for putting this comic together. He really went above and beyond, and finally reveled himself to be good for something.

BBQ Pork Chops

  • pork chops
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup lemon vincotto vinegar

Liberally season pork chops with salt, pepper and italian seasoning. Set aside for 15–20 minutes. Pour vinegar over chops and let them marinate for about 10 minutes. Grill on barbeque, basting with vinegar until done. For thin bone-in chops, I grill for about 7 minutes per side.

Not that anyone asked, but monsieur Bourdain is among my Five—that is, the five celebrities I’m allowed to fool around with, irrespective of my relationship status. Witty, handsome, tall (for a Frenchman), anti-vegan and has multiple, spongeable foodie careers? Russell’s right to keep my anatomy in check, especially since Comic-Con is the perfect venue to accidentally violate him. I mean, I was just some Cthulhu he bumped into in the bathroom, right? The room was tiny, I couldn’t see through the eyeholes and when we tripped, I had no control over what/where on him my tentacles perforated. Based on the strength of their porn, the Japanese must think this is the best idea in the history of ever.

TWTG says, “My hands smell like cleaning supplies and onion.”