Category Archives: Food

Pesto!


I will eat pesto on basically anything, so it’s a good thing I know how to make it.

Ingredients

4 bunches fresh basil
1.5 cups olive oil
5 oz. shaved Parmesan cheese
1 whole bulb of garlic, cloven and peeled
1/2 cup pine nuts, roasted
Sea salt

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
Scatter pine nuts on greased baking sheet, spreading evenly
Roast for seven minutes, or until slightly golden
Remove from oven and let cool.
Note: BE CAREFUL with this — pine nuts burn really, really quickly.

In a food processor, blend together basil, 1 cup of olive oil, and a pinch of sea salt.
Add pine nuts and half of the Parmesan. Blend.
Add garlic and remaining olive oil and Parmesan. Blend.
Add additional sea salt to taste.

Easy and amazing!
***

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Crockpot Chicken & Sweet Potato Awesomeness


I love days where I get to spend an entire day basking in the glory that is my crockpot. Below is what I’d call a true, true crockpot recipe, since it not only took all day, but was made of random things I already had in my kitchen. Plus it’s f#%$ing delicious.

You really will need a genuine ceramic crockpot for this to turn out right; I’m lucky enough to have my mama’s old one from the ’70s (the wave of fear every time I plug it in is part of the recipe. Or some shit.).

Enjoy the heartiness below on a cold, rainy day over steamed rice or with toasted bread.

Ingredients

3 chicken breasts
2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed and skinned
1/2 a white onion, finely chopped
2 cups chicken boullion
2 tablespoons garlic powder
3 teaspoons cumin powder
1 cup dry potato flakes
Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

Turn your crockpot onto “High.”
Pour the chicken bouillon into the basin and place the lid back on the pot. Set a timer for 30 minutes.
When the timer goes off, add in all of the ingredients EXCEPT for the potato flakes, spices last. Stir as you go.
Place the lid back on the pot and set a timer for one hour.
When the timer goes off, add 1 cup of water to the mix.
Every hour, check on the progress of the sweet potato consistency. Once they become soft enough, use a potato masher to break them down. Add water as necessary to keep everything at a low boil.
After 5 hours, the mash should be fully cooked; stir in the potato flakes to absorb any remaining liquid.

Ladle over rice or add some toasted bread. So, so good.
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Homemade marinara.


I was going to make a page on this site just for recipes that I accidentally create and don’t want to forget, but that’s not possible, IS IT, WORDPRESS? So instead, there will just be random food-related posts in between my crass ramblings about cats and traffic and books. First up…

Homemade Marinara/ Pasta Sauce/ Pizza Sauce

Ingredients
1 cup tomato sauce
4 ripe tomatoes on-the-vine
1/2 a white onion
1 large, ripe heirloom tomato
1 bunch of fresh basil
8-10 cloves of garlic
Olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Directions
Wash the veggies and cut off the stems.
Quarter the tomatoes.
Peel the garlic.
Pour 1.5 cups of olive oil plus the tomato sauce into a blender; toss in the veggies & garlic and blend on the lowest setting (mine is “crushed ice”) for about 30 seconds.
Add salt and pepper while gradually blending on the puree setting until you reach the desired consistency and flavor.

If the garlic or salt is too strong, add a teaspoon of sugar and re-blend. This recipe makes about six cups of sauce.

Tip: Because of the fresh garlic, it’s best to use this sauce in something that’s going to be cooked (pizza, lasagna, baked pasta). To cook out the garlic before using the sauce, pour it into a sauce pan and cook over medium heat for ten minutes, stirring consistently so it doesn’t burn or stick. Seal the sauce in mason jars and refrigerate.

I gave a jar of this to a friend, who used it for pizza–even her 3-year-old liked it, which is a major success if you ask me. Toddlers can be picky as shit, you know?
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Don’t eat the Aardvark


I never have what a normal person would call “dreams.” I dream every night, in bright colors and great detail, but the nature of the dream is rarely beautiful. Hell, it’s rarely nice in any way. I’m not sure I’d call them nightmares, either–although many of my…dream-mares? (awesome. Now I’m picturing gorgeous lady horses prancing through fields of poppies and rainbows. I have never been blessed with a dream of lovely equines skipping merrily through anything. WHAT THE HELL.)

Anyway. Many of my dreams are of destruction and catastrophic events. Mostly natural disasters that kill my loved ones and leave me desperately trying to escape up hills in the utter darkness and shit. Or of my own death and the afterlife. I usually chalk it up to my obsession with true crime shows, books, and news stories, serial killer biographies, mystery novels, and a small but well-loved collection of Mary Roach books and science-fiction. I’m not an outwardly morbid person–after all, I’m blonde and like colors and laughing–but this kind of information, the science and the trivia and the suspense of it, intrigues the hell out of me. And if the trade-off is strange, unsettling dreams, fine.

But not two nights ago.

I know exactly what caused this effing nightmare, and as usual, will blame an article I’d read that morning. It was about famously strange diets and the people throughout history who’d subscribed to them. I don’t mean strange as in Jenny Craig/ Weight Watchers strange. This was not an article about people who get suckered into thinking that eating a bunch of miniature, over-processed versions of foods that are really bad for you will help you lose weight. These people ate rocks, and gold, or nothing but whiskey and meat and cheese (actually, THAT dude is still alive and super healthy, for no explicable reason). One of them ate the weeds from his yard because he didn’t believe in the necessity of groceries. Another consumed bird brains at every meal, and yet another, live kittens (and any other live creature, but dude. Kittens? FOR REAL?). But what stuck with me were the two scientists mentioned in the article–Charles Darwin and William Buckland.

Quickly: if you don’t know who Darwin is, you go away. If you don’t know who Buckland is, that’s cool–he was the first person to ever discover dinosaur remains. Both were revered and ridiculed several times over, and continue to be. But the strange thing they had in common? A singular desire to eat at least one of every animal on the planet. Darwin did it by eating at least one of each animal he discovered (beware, fancy pigeon); Buckland just wanted all the fauna ever to pass through his presumably steel-lined intestinal tract (dude also ate a human heart, but I don’t know what to do with that, so…moving on).

Back to my dream: I’m somehow tasked by an unseen force to hunt, kill, skin, dismember, and grill an armadillo. I realize that some people won’t find this gross, but you kids probably live somewhere in the desert and think that armadillos are a normal food source. They are not, but do what you want. I’m *totally not* judging you.

So I do it. I hunt down this giant beast of leather armor (that’s what that is, right?), shoot it, drag its big ass back to a bedroom that has an outdoor grill in it (makes perfect sense), skin the creature in a bathtub (gross), cut off its appendages (GROSS), and throw it on the rack (SO. GROSS.). Before I even realize what the hell is happening, the thing is charred and, as dead things are wont to do, has its legs and whatnot all curled up like a Lysol-ed spider. Sort of like this:

You are welcome.

Only, imagine claws attached to that.

In the dream, I know I have to eat this thing. I am horrified by it, but this dude in a suit, who I only now realize has been standing silently next to the grill the whole time in this lovely, French-style bedroom, tells me it must be done. He emphasizes that it is absolutely necessary that I eat this thing and that I eat every last bit of it. But then his eyes grow wide and he goes very, very pale and says, “You MUST eat the armadillo. But don’t eat the aardvark.”

That was it. And now I’m actually hoping that I reenter this particular dream some night so I can ask that scary asshole why I can’t eat aardvarks.

I hate being told what to do.
***

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The Yellow Corn Road: Midwest Road Trip, 2011 – Part Deux


So. I better get to this ish before I happily destroy all of the horror forget my trip to the Midwest. I arrived early on Friday the 29th, so after our little religious burger experience and my subsequent discovery that I’d be sleeping out in the open-ass dining room, I immediately sought three things: phone service, a vegetable that wasn’t fried, and the internet.

OH, INTERNET, my dear love. Fresh veggies and phone service, my darlings! You have no idea what you mean to me. I had no idea what you really meant to me. Until this trip.

Hey you guys: you know what the Midwest has? Miles and miles of open sky. Unsurpassed space for network towers. Fields upon fields of fertile soil in which to plant many vegetables.

Do you know what it doesn’t have? THE F*%$ING INTERNET, working mobile service, or a variety of produce. Instead: my brain dying because I paid $20 for a 3G Mobile Hotspot on my Android to correct the internet issue, which proved completely effing useless because you have to have a functioning mobile network for it to act as an internet hub. And corn, only corn, just corn. All. Of. The corn.

Look, I know corn is in like, everything. Literally. Hair products, every food ever that is packaged, makeup, medication, fuel. But you guys. The land taken up by corn production in the middle of this country is god damn mind-boggling. There was a point on our drive (oh yes, DRIVE. Don’t worry, I’ll get there) back to California that I thought, shit, we died somewhere back there because of that procession of windblown, triple-car FedEx trucks and this endless strip of dead road and corn is actually not middle-America but hell in its truest form! MAN I hope my underwear was clean when they found my body.

Aherm.

Really, I was only in Indiana for seven days. A lot of that time was spent working (the internet being a loser was REALLY fun for the web conferences and email exchanges necessary to being an editor, but I could still read book chapters!), going to the “store” (a bar down the street) or going to the store (by myself, to purchase booze that I hid under the bed). You see, my extended fam frowns a bit on the whole drinking extravaganza, but there was no way I was going through that shit sober and they don’t sell booze on Sundays, so I had to stock up.

Anyone who went under my bed that week would’ve thought I was f*ckin’ Johnny Cash risen from the grave.

The first six of those days, in addition to drinking and working, included a lot of quality grandma time (awesome), quality mom-and-niece time (also awesome, I taught her to say ‘horsies’ and how to squat like a frog and say ribbit! ….my niece, not my mom), church (mmph) and random appearances by my many ridiculous cousins. I could easily talk about how effed their general attitudes are (racism? Come now, that’s just being NICE) but I won’t. For most of them, it’s a matter of sheer ignorance, and I can’t blame them entirely for that.

What I will share, with much shame, is that my IDIOT PIG COUSIN (mentioned in my previous post) who lives like a sad with his wife in my grandma’s house, has a KKK hood in the garage. There ya go, Junior. I’ve outed you, you stupid bigot. YOU AREN’T FOOLING ANYONE BY DRAPING IT OVER THE COMPUTER AND CALLING IT A SHEET. GOD.

It’s cool though. I took a Sharpie and wrote “d–khead” on the bottom, so hopefully he won’t notice until he’s wearing it and chanting with his brainless cohorts around a giant burning cross, or whatever the eff they do. Dumbshits.

In other news: the insects of the middle country are giant. I’ve said it before and will continue to flip out about it because ants traipsing around and being the size of my pinky nail are bullshit. As are spiders who fight back when you Raid them. Seriously, it happened three times and I’m pretty sure the third one was carrying a tiny dagger in one of its… hand-feet. NOT COOL, NATURE.

On our last day with the fam, we went to the grand ol’ Indiana State Fair. That’s next up, with pictures, so stay tuned.

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St. Drunkard’s Day


Last night, after several of these:

Nectar of the wee people.

And these:

Nectar of MY people.

AND THESE:

Categorized under "stuff I would throw up later"

We all decided to play Cranium until 3 a.m. Cuz we party hard like that. Lenny and I got the “act this crazy shit out” card, wherein I had to act like a celebrity and he had to guess who I was.

Me: ::reads card:: “OH I GOT THIS.”

Friends: “Okay, on your mark, get set, g–”

Me: ::squats wide and gestures wildly at lady bits:: “I AM SHOVING A TURKEY UP MY ASS”

Lenny: “MARTHA STEWART!”

::friends stare incredulously::

Annnnd we won. Thanks to an episode of South Park where Cartman learns that you can, in fact, shove food up your butt and poop it out of your mouth, and M. Diddy does a cooking show about it. And because we’re classy. And frankly, I wouldn’t put it past Martha to capitalize on that sort of thing if it turned out to be true.
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