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Preview: The Spiteful Chef

The Spiteful Chef

Updated: 2017-02-05T22:57:18.179-07:00


And we're MOVING!


As of this weekend, I will no longer be on blogger.  My brilliant husband assures me that he's able to redirect people, but in case that doesn't work, please be sure to update your bookmark/RSS feed/blog link/what-have-you to...

We're going self-hosted and making it bigger and better than ever.  Bear with me during the transition period, and soon we'll be up to no good on a whole different level.

In the meantime, you can read my writing on Curvy Girl Guide, or you can come here to look at archives.  Or you can head on over to The Spiteful Chef.  It's not fully designed yet, but the content is available on there if you need a recipe.

Thanks for following me all these years, and please follow me to my new home as well!

Love you guys!

You can't eat this.


I know this strays FAR from my normal subject matter.  You'll have to indulge me, because as it turns out, I am a chick.  I have two shiny ovaries and all of the accompanying equipment, and there's something that's pissed me off enough lately that it needs to be said.  By me.  If you are a woman, and you have a vagina, you are aware that there is some INCREDIBLY WACK SHIT going on right now in the legal and congressional  conversations.  These things should seriously worry you. Bills have been introduced that would require some profound degradation of your rights as a woman to make your own decisions about your body.  In this case, I’m not even talking about the omnipresent abortion debate.  Did you know an Arizona bill has been introduced that would require a “valid medical reason” for insurance to cover birth control?Spoiler alert: Not wanting to have a baby right now does not count as a “valid medical reason” under this bill.That scares me, because I’ve seen Teen Mom, and I know what happens if a bunch of people who aren’t ready for babies start having unprotected sex.  I also know what a ginormous pain in the ass condoms are for monogamous couples that don’t enjoy hiding spent bits of rubber in the trashcan for their dog to remove and present to company at a later date.So I want YOU to be able to use hormonal contraception if YOU decide it is right for YOU and your uterus.Which is why I have compiled this helpful list of possible medical reasons that birth control pills are prescribed.  I have this list as a result of the submissions of both Real Medical Doctors as well as Real Vagina-Owning Women (and in some cases, Real Doctors with Real Vaginas, which should totally be a TLC show and I can’t believe it’s not). In some cases, I have also included a couple of ideas on how to fake the “illness” so that your doctor can prescribe away without committing insurance fraud.  As my friend pointed out, this may make people accuse us of being lying whores who lie to have free sex.  But, as she also wisely pointed out, they're accusing us of this anyway!  So whore on!The Non-Comprehensive Guide to Getting Free Birth Control Under the Guise of Medical Intervention (NCGGFBCUGMI)Reason #1—You have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)-Symptoms of this include facial hair, lack of periods, obesity, acne, and a whole host of other unpleasant symptoms.  It also causes difficulty becoming pregnant, so it’s like nature’s birth control pill, only really, really sucky.  -It comes with blood tests, so you probably can’t fake it without taking male hormones, which I cannot recommend.Reason #2—Amenorrhea (you don’t have enough periods) (OMG, is this a real complaint?)-Symptoms of this are that you never get a period-Fake this by not seeing your OB/GYN while you’re menstruating, which is a no-brainer anyway.  I get so nervous having my vagina appraised that I practically put temporary tattoos of kittens on it to make sure that it’s deemed cute and affectionate with minimal hairballs.Reason #3—Menorrhagia (You have your period all the time)-Symptoms of this are that you’re bleeding and shouldn’t be.  Can you imagine how shitty this would be??  Like, ALL the time?  The root word of this is “rhage” which is just the latin spelling of “rage.” Probably.-Fake this by going to your doctor on your period and saying that you’ve been on this same period for months, and that all of your white clothes are ruined to the point that Salvation Army won’t even take them. -Alternately, fake this with really cool special effects, True Blood-styleReason #4—Dysmenorrhea (Your period hurts)-Symptoms of this are yelling, crying, cramping, inability to participate in normal activities like polo or paragliding, or really any other painful interference in your life.-Fake this by going to your doctor and whining.  Possible outcomes are that your doctor will either a) g[...]

My tiny guy


One of the most interesting aspects of being a chef with a toddler is that he flat-out refuses to eat any food that I have had a hand in preparing.  It’s a novel thing, really, given that most people are more than happy to come into my house and gobble anything that I set in front of them, including (sometimes) crayons and/or napkins.  The expectation to provide delicious, balanced food has been replaced entirely with naked scorn at my attempts.  Once I even caved and tried to feed the little man an organic version of, basically, EZMac.  He cried actual tears.  Which would have been a pleasing recognition of genetic opposition to boxed mac n chee, except that he provides the same reaction when I put homemade pot pie on his little plastic Ikea plate.Seriously, kid.  Why?I try not to worry too much, since he’s tracking on the growth charts pretty steadily.  Pretty steadily, that is, for a child in the 3-5th percentile for weight.  And the 5-10thpercentile for height.  My child is TINY.  He’s almost 19 months, and today I had the gall to put him in some of his 18 month clothes, because I haven’t done laundry recently enough for his 12 month stuff to be an option.  He looks really stylish and appropriately dressed, provided his preschool activity for the day will be “making a rap video.”  His pants are rolled at both the waist, like a high school cheerleader trying to shorten her skirt, and at the cuffs, like a short kid trying to wear normal kid pants.I am 5’9.  His dad is 6’0.  My dad was 6’4.  Chris’s dad is 6’2.  There is no reason for him to be so little. Except maybe that I drank sugar-free red bull when I was pregnant. And I ran a half marathon when I was pregnant.  And I restricted weight gain to 25 lbs when I was pregnant.  And I induced two weeks early just because I FELT LIKE IT.  Any of those things could be blamed for both why he is little, and why I am obviously a terrible mother and human being.Or, I can blame genetics.  Chris was 4’11 and under 90 lbs when he graduated high school.  His dad was growth restricted until college.  Chris entered the Air Force Academy for college at 5’1, and had to report daily to eat a power bar in front of his superiors for extra nutrition.  And then in a couple of painful, growing years, he shot up to a broad-shouldered, 6 foot tall man.  By that point, he was 21 years old.So I guess it’s not so much a matter of fighting Emmett’s weird little toddler food aversions (yesterday, Larabars were EXCELLENT.  Today, Larabars are BABY POISON), but more a matter of just accepting that he’s going to be this perfectly formed, adorable miniature until well into college.  That I get to pretend he’s a baby for way longer.  That he’ll fit into my lap for cuddles well after the age that it becomes creepy and inappropriate.  That he’s going to have shitty luck getting attention from women until his twenties.  Which I’m okay with.  It happened to his dad, and all it meant was that he had adequate time to finish medical school before women started distracting him from his studies with their boobs and their swingy hair and their vagina hypnotism.Tiny little dude in his giant 18 month old pants is ready to go to preschool now.  I’m going to take him, cuddled up like a baby, because I can.  And when I pick him up, and they tell me that he refused to eat a single bite of his lunch, I’m going to probably let him pick some chocolate chips out of his trail mix, because chocolate has fat, and I’m a sucker, and he currently will only eat chocolate and yogurt.Totally staged.  Like he would ever eat food.Parenting is awesome.[...]

The (even) uglier side of Vegas


Monday was my 30th birthday, and Sunday night I got home from my first trip to Vegas.  Wow.  30.  Time to break out the full-coverage panties and elaborate facial creams, and investigating how I can get my insurance to pay for an in-home elevator.I’d like to share a Vegas story with you:As I mentioned in my last post, I had a GREAT group of friends who flew out to celebrate with me, and in this group of great people happened to be a selection of gorgeous women.  On the night I’m writing about, three of these hotties came out with me for a night on the town, and it just so happened that they were all tall, thin, and had their boobies out.  I have lots of variously sized and shaped friends, but by chance it was the tall and skinny brigade who made it out that night.  We spent the trip dressed to the nines, drinking complicated drinks, and batting our eyelashes at anyone who was willing to smile at us.  Or leer.  We weren’t picky.That’s what happens as you get older—you start grasping at any kind of superficial validation that you are still sexually desirable to the universe at large.  Or maybe that’s just me.  Either way, I try to do my part by telling women they look beautiful, that I like their dress, that I’m jealous that their hair is so long and shiny.  Anything I notice, really, because I want everyone to feel that glow of being admired.  And because I believe that everybody except for Casey Anthony has something about them that is exceptional and beautiful.I have learned this after spending a decade of my life being a judgmental, superficial bitch about other women.  I repent for my formerly evil ways.  I will spend the next decades of my life trying to be kind to women to make up for my previous wrongdoing, because guess what?  It’s kind of hard to live up to the standards we’re given.  I try, don’t get me wrong, but it’s hard.Which is why this story is so disgusting.  And why I’m now swimming in puddles of my own shame for doing nothing about it.  And why I’m telling you—so that maybe, if this happens in front of you—you’ll be prepared and thoughtful enough to do the right thing.  The thing I didn’t do, because I was too taken aback and unprepared to respond.We were approached and offered a free “limo” ride to Club Vanity at the Hard Rock hotel.  Club Vanity was a frequent haunt of the most recent Real World cast, so it sounded like a good time.  Or, at the very least, a debauched time.  The limo ended up being a bus with machine guns painted on the sides, but it was still free, and I’d been drinking high end Russian vodka and wasn’t in a position to quibble over details.  Also, it felt too late to back out because we were dressed, and I say this with love, like complete tramps.Part of my third-life crisis involves wearing bandage dresses and hoiking my breasts up underneath my chin and getting European-style bangs.  No judging.While we were waiting by the door of the club, waiting to be escorted in, there was a heated discussion in undertones between the promoters and the bouncers for the club.  One of my girlfriends asked, “is there a problem?”  We thought perhaps they were angry that we had a man in our group (my darling husband, who offered to chaperone and hold purses and otherwise be a saint for the night).  The bouncer stared at us, very obviously, from top to bottom and said “Oh no, you guys aren’t the problem.  You’re the solution.”  He then gestured to the two women behind us in line.  They were larger women, with fabulous dresses and really cute hairstyles, but they happened to be larger than a size 6.He then leaned over to the promoter and said, “who brought the BIG girls?” in a very accusatory tone.My friends and I stared at one another in horror as the club staff started to physically separate the larger women from[...]

Las Vegas


Glamming it up in Vegas...sort of.Okay, back from Vegas, and don't even have a mild batch of syphilis to show for it, so either I was doing it wrong, or I've been lied to for a number of years.  I don't even think I saw one, single, solitary whore, let alone an entire flock of whores (caravan? herd? peck?).  But my friend did report that when she arrived at her hotel at 7 am, she did overhear some gentlemen bargaining with hookers on the elevator.  One asked in a heavily Asian accent "I can go to your ay-noos?"Yeah dude.  Yeah you can.So lack of prostitutes aside, here are my overall impressions of the Las Vegas strip:My husband, Chris, glamming it up.1: Holy shitballs of cigarette smoke, batman.  As an ex-smoker (God bless myself for quitting), I cannot imagine voluntarily putting that garbage into my lungs anymore.  The casinos, which are, including the hotel lobbies, are just thick clouds of cigarette smoke, with the occasional complete bastard puffing away on a phallic cigar.  Even at the Bellagio, which is where we stayed because we're high-falutin', the smoke was just overwhelming.The Cosmopolitan2: The amount of electricity being used stressed me out a little.  WHY SO MANY LIGHTS, VEGAS?? 3: Whomever invented remote-controlled blackout curtains should receive complimentary road head from someone far more attractive than I.4: I found the imitations of the Eiffel Tower, Venice, the pyramids etc. to be cheap, farcical, and tacky.  Every time I saw one, I just wished that I were in the actual location of the original, rather than in the American desert looking at fakes.  I thought hotels like the Cosmopolitan, which were just original but overdone, were much nicer than the international pretendo models.5: You know how on Halloween women tend to wear clothing that is not technically flattering on their particular body type, but they act like having a mask on totally excuses it?  That.  A lot.  Every night in Las Vegas.Hot messes after a night out, tangled in a giant chandelier at Cosmo6:  The whole "VIP, high roller, exclusive club entry" crap was pretentious and overdone.  I'm paying you to be here, so let's not pretend that you need to decide if I'm "good enough" to exchange money for services/goods/entry, okay? Also, the way that heavy women were treated at a club was horrendous enough that I wrote a whole separate blog entry on it.  Expect to see that soon.7: Every time I saw a baby in a smoke-filled area I got Very. Very. Upset.  It happened frequently, and was heartbreaking.  You don't need to have a stroller on the strip at midnight while you drink a yard of liquor.  That should be illegal.  I don't care how many family friendly activities there are, I would never choose to bring a child to that environment.  My lungs hurt the whole time we were there, and I'm a grown-ass woman who made that choice.  A kid shouldn't have to.Blah blah blah blah....THE FOOD!!!!!!If I return to Vegas, it'll be for the food.  There are delicious, game-changing, phenomenally well-done meals every 3 feet in Vegas.  I literally couldn't eat enough to even get a sampling, and that was while having, literally, two dinners every night.  So I'll tell you what I tried, but you should know that it is a molecule in the ocean of deliciousness that is Vegas.Thai hot "10 out of 10" wasn't so hot, but was very good.They brought us this to fire up the spicy dish, but it still wasn't TOO bad.Every time I meet a friend from my blog, they end up being awesome.Lotus of Siam-- in a shitty strip mall somewhere off the strip, we found the best Thai food ever.  It was recommended by a bloggy friend (thanks to Jeremy Hall!), and was just excellent.  I had the Panang tofu, some wontons, some spring rolls, and a Thai chicken salad at Thai hot level 10 that they brought out to challenge u[...]

Have a Furry Valentine's Day


Every year I get my hopes sort of up that Chris is going to have grand plans for Valentine's Day.  And every year, he does wonderful, gallant things pretty much every day except for Valentines day, because he hates the crowds in restaurants on the evening of.  I'm learning to be totally okay with it, because, frankly, buying me shitty grocery store roses, a box of hermetically sealed chocolate in a gaudy cardboard heart, or lacy lingerie that chafes my nipples and digs into my lady junk isn't anywhere near as valuable as being a good husband, father, and roommate the other 364 days of the year.Not that I would turn down some decent chocolate.  I'm not totally crazy.  But it should be from a good chocolatier and not have any dark chocolate or coffee flavors.  Thanks.So what we usually end up doing is having a quiet dinner at home, fueled by a fair amount of quiet wine from a quiet box.  It's awesome, and it means I get to design the menu based on my own whim, and also that I get to eat said menu wearing sweatpants. That's the one thing that dinner out will get you--something other than sweatpants.  But that's where I draw the line on gratefulness. And usually I buy myself a bag of conversation hearts and eat only the white ones.  Not because I'm racist, but because they taste minty and delicious.I sometimes get tired of the same old presentation of a hunk of overpriced red meat, some token green beans, and a starch.  Instead, I try to toss things up and eat vibrant, indulgent flavors without making a big production of dishes that will have to be washed before we start playing video games.One year, we ate cheese, honey, salumi and pears for dinner.  Seriously.  It was fantastic.This year, I wanted to try something new, and I wanted to surprise him.  But I had no idea, so I figured I'd do a test run of some different recipes and pick the one I liked the best to prepare for him on Tuesday (the big V).  In order to put my own spin on it, I wrote down a recipe based on ingredients I like, and decided to follow what I had written down and hope for the best.I wanted to incorporate a rich meat, silky mouthfeel, chocolate, red wine, and something different in the realm of starches.  I just threw things down on the paper, hoping to God that it wouldn't suck, and that I'd strike culinary gold for being bold and ad-libbing a recipe.Any concerns that I had about the success of this dish were ameliorated when I pulled this out of the bag of potatoes:Be My ValentuberYeah.  A LOVE POTATO.  It's like God was trying to tell me that this was the perfect Valentine's Day meal before I even began making it. And then I felt really bad when I had to do this:Arrrrggghhhhhhh!! But I got over it.  In the name of love and experimentation.  The same way countless women have gotten over various deviant behaviors in order to make their marriages work, even though they don't necessarily like wearing leather masks or dressing up like life-sized squirrels.And you know what?  WORTH IT.  This stew was so rich, hearty, healthy, decadent, delicious, and full of beefy love that I would stab a thousand potato hearts in a sort of creepy way.So I urge you to give this one a shot.  Not just because it's the first recipe I've made up in my own head before even trying to make it.  Not just because it's a fun and different way to enjoy traditional romancy flavors (chocolate and red wine? Hooooo!).  Not just because it's stupid easy.  But because the Love Potato has dictated that it must be.Beef Chuck and Barley Stew-2-3 lb beef chuck, diced (this is a typical cut for beef stew, and is flavorful and bootylicious without being $$$)-1 T olive oil -1/2 large onion, diced-3 cl garlic, minced-3 C rich beef stock -1 C red wine -2 bay leaves-1 t dried thyme-1 t cracked pepper-3 large russet potatoes, small dice[...]

The Sperminator


Congratulations on your big Colorado (And Minnesota, and another state that I can't remember) wins last night, Rick Santorum!  I especially appreciated the dinner time robocall about how as a Christian I have to be pro-life and pro-hetero-marriage.  Because I was confused about my responsibilities as a believer in Christ.  Now I'm equally confused because I'm pro-choice and believe everyone should have the right to marry another consenting adult whom they love.  So...does that change my religion? I have shied away from writing a post about Rick Santorum because I didn't want to get mired down in dirty jokes about semen and butts.  Butt now (HAR!) Ricky has started his own campaign to raise money called...wait for it..."Conservatives Unite Moneybomb."  C.U.M.  I cannot believe this is actually happening.  The only thing I can think is that he honestly is so clueless that he isn't aware that he's just further equated himself with salty he-smoothie, because with the number of Mr Roger's-style sweater vests he wears, you know with CERTAINTY that he isn't exactly down with the lingo of love.Sweater vests aren't even in the lexicon of love.  Seriously.  Try to say "sweater vest" while maintaining arousal.  It's impossible.  Your erotic body parts immediately weld into a plastic smooth place like a Ken/Barbie doll.  It's the Margaret Thatcher Naked on a Cold Day of wardrobe choices.I am going to take the high road, though, and ignore the association with love mustard.  I'm going to talk about the tISSUES THAT MATTER.Like, for example, the fact that Rick Santorum strongly supports keeping troops in Afghanistan and the surrounding areas, even though he couldn't be bothered to serve as a semen seaman in his own majesty's Navy!Or the fact that he's not even really a viable candidate option, despite the results of recent cockasses caucuses.Or the fact that he has said that contraception is "a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be."  Or the fact that be blames liberalism in semenaries seminaries for the Catholic sex abuse scandals.  You know...because liberals always support the molestation of altar boys?  I know I sure do!But the real money shot for me is that he has asked, and I quote, "If hunger is a problem in America, then why do we have an obesity problem among the people who say we have a hunger problem?" in response to questions about why he wants to get rid of food stamps altogether.Because everyone knows that only fatties are poor, and poor people are always fatties. There are absolutely no children in America who are hungry and depend on food stamps and school lunches for any kind of nutrition whatsoever.What a dick. Seriously.In honor of my IMMEASURABLE wealth, I'll be making the Rick Santorum's No More Poor Fatties dinner.  It costs next to nothing to prepare, and will ensure that the obese/poor in our nation can't ask for handouts.It won't contain a cream sauce, because honestly that's more than I can bear at this point.  And cream sauces make you fat, unless you eat them with your butt (right, Rick?)And it does contain glorious eggs, which is awesome because Ricky believes that every egg should have a right to life, and birth control should be illegal, and as such, all of the frantic teenage humping in our country should lead directly and inevitably to new episodes of Teen Mom. Which is a show I love because it makes me feel better about my own life choices.Mmmmmm...VALUESWarm Lentil Salad (adapted from the Gourmet recipe by Ruth Reichl)-1 C green lentils-3 slices bacon, diced into lardons-1 onion, small dice-2 cloves garlic, minced-2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced-1/4 C white balsamic vinegar (more to taste)-2 T dijon mustard-salt and pepper to taste-eggs, cooked any way you like them, but definitely cooked beca[...]

C-love and special sauce


Taking a break from politics (although I still have a Santorum post and an Obama post to delight the masses) to share something serious with you.One of my main problems--in life--is that my desire to eat junk is balanced equally and oppositely against my desire to continue fitting into my current size pants.  Or maybe a smaller kind of pants.  I don't know. I don't want to get greedy or anything, but if this "colorful denim jeggings" thing is going to stick around, there is no way that can happen at the same time as I'm eating entire bags of Twizzler Pull n' Peel.Or the Heath bar baking bits that I'm currently shoveling into my mouth while I type.So my options are as follows:1) Buy bigger pants2) Spend more time at the gym3) Deprive myself of the foods I love4) Figure out a loophole in the systemNumber one is expensive and will make me sad. Plus I don't want my current pants to go all Velveteen Rabbit on me and end up feeling unloved and lost.Number two is totally unrealistic, given the fact that I already like BFF with our entire gym staff, and spend half my day sending my trainer texts like "Hey! You should Google the self-defense mechanism of sea cucumbers!"  Plus, they're only willing to parent my child 2 hours per day, and that includes the time I have to spend in the locker room avoiding eye contact with the lady who insists on blow-drying her hair totally naked with her bush on display.Number three is so far-fetched that it's basically like saying "Hey! We should build a MOON COLONY this week!"So...loophole it is!I have to find ways to enjoy the foods that I'm obsessed with, without getting too big for my pants.  Easier said than done.  How the hell am I going to craft Twizzlers out of beet greens and tofu??I decided to tackle buffalo wings, given that the Superbowl was yesterday and buffalo wings are toward the very tip-top of my cravings list each day.  Right behind "create a meaningful emotional relationship with Jon Stewart" and "something something world peace."SUCCESS!!  This recipe is so stupid-easy that my 17 month old could do it without breaking suction on his sippy cup (those are SO just glorified bottles, people!!)I'm actually ashamed to call this a recipe, but I'm going to for the sake of sharing the method with you.Ingredients:-a whole chicken, roasted or rotisseried to doneness, cooled (I like organic, because I'm a hippie)-1 C Frank's Red Hot sauce-3 T brown sugar-1 T butter-6 carrots, shredded-a bunch of sturdy lettuce leaves (I used romaine because it was cheap)-Mix 3 T ranch dressing with 3 T buttermilk and put in a squeezy bottle. --Remove the skin from the chicken, and then pull the meat off of the bones.  Save the bones for stock.--Place the meat in your food processor with a blade and pulse until the chicken is chopped evenly, but not a paste.  If you don't have a food processor, you can chop finely with a knife.--Place in a heavy-bottomed, medium pot over low heat with the hot sauce, butter, and brown sugar.  Stir occasionally until the butter is melted, and the mixture is hot.--Serve with shredded carrots and lettuce leaves and make into lettuce wraps or lettuce cups.  Drizzle each cup/wrap with buttermilk ranch dressing.If this doesn't make your mouth water, then you hate AmericaOMG.  A perfectly delicious recreation of the buffalo wing experience, only with more meat and sauce, lower calories (by far), no frying smell, no waitresses in slutty orange shorts and titty shirts and more vegetable goodness.I beg you to try this.  If it makes you feel more authentic to eat them wearing orange shorts and titty shirts, then by all means! It's good enough to warrant a special "wings outfit" for sure.My buffalo wing sauce is the best buffalo wing sauce on the planet.  Ever.  So these should be the best low-cal buffalo wings on the plane[...]

Mittens Romulus


Continuing in our series of presidential nominees, I'd like to stop and take a moment to honor someone so wholesome, so robotic, so MONOGAMOUS, that clearly he's going to win the republican nomination.  I'm looking at you, Mr. Willard Mitt Romney.  Mitt.  Ol' Mittens.What the hell are we doing right now?  We went from a series of Georges, Bill, and Ronald to presidential names like Newt, and Mitt.  Who is naming these children??  Was there a decade where people just randomly wrote nouns on their newborns' birth certificates, like a gory and expensive game of Adlibs.  "In the neonatal ward right now, we've got an Alice, a Newt, a Mitt, a Lamp, and two Toasters (poor little devils, with their unoriginal parents)."I know it's totally allowed/encouraged to have stupid nicknames in college.  I once knew a guy whom everyone referred to as "Moosecock" because he had a seriously, universally impressive dongle.  But when he grew up and started accruing professional licensures, he had to go back to a slightly less fraternal name.  I should write him a letter and suggest that he run for president under the name "Moosecock."  He'd get all of the votes in Florida, I'm sure of it.  He'd probably do really well with female voters, too.Aside from having a profoundly inane name, and having crazy eyes, hiring illegal immigrants to mow his lawn, openly talking about how much he likes firing people who provide him services, having shady financial practices, and being a douchemobile with spinners on its wheels (rims? I don't know.  I need to watch more MTV), he's actually a pretty normal guy.A pretty normal guy who believes, in his creaking, steel-plated heart and/or fusebox that $347,000 in speaking fees in a single year is "not very much."And that, my loves, is why I introduce you to an accessible, old-fashioned America meal that was inspired by a one Mitt "the toaster" Romney:Looks like Newt Gingrich, sort of.HA! Just kidding.  He's not actually a robot, probably.  And if he were, he'd definitely have some kind of nuclear battery pack that self-recharged.No, his meal looks a lot more like this:Like Mitt would ever eat such a lowly denominationKidding again!  Mitt would never EAT money.  He prefers to use it as toilet paper.  And given the amount of residual cocaine on $1 bills, this dollar-booty contact is probably why he often looks like this:Just a bit deeper! I'm starting to perk up!Now I'll be real.  The Romney.A new spin on the classic, poor-man's go-to meal, beef wellington.Grass-fed, flax-finished local filet of beef tenderloin, seasoned liberally with truffle saltWhere else would you get beef?  Wal....mart?? Quelle Horror! Topped with a duxelle of mushrooms, shallots, parsley, and truffle oil, and then wrapped in puff pastry-- the working man's bread.The "M" stands for "Mitt," and the "$" stands for AmericaWhile it bakes, toss together a sauce of homemade beef demi-glace, butter, cracked pepper, parsley, heavy cream and some cheap whiskeyI call it my "cookin' hooch"No, I know that Mitt wouldn't drink whiskey.  Especially not a 12 year single malt.  He'd definitely go for 18 year single malt.  And he'd make sure to simmer the sauce long enough to boil off the alcohol.  Or have the chefs do it.  Either or.Drizzle the sauce over the golden brown pastry crust, truffle-scented mushrooms, and perfectly rare steak within.Those aren't green beans.  They're HARICOT VERTS!It's bland.  It's missing something.  Shit.Oh yeah.  Mitt's favorite seasoning.Just another Tuesday night here at the Romney shantyGOLD!!!!!!! 14k edible gold flakes really bring the flavor over the top.  It's like Velveeta for not-poor people.Please, don't mock me for only using 14 karat gold.  On su[...]

Amphibious Sexin


I just want to take this opportunity to say how much I love politics.  It's a thing that my family doesn't feel as comfortable discussing, but I could discuss it all day.  Chris also likes talking politics, or listening to my political rants, so that works out well for both of us.But this last 6 months, I have far surpassed my usual love for politics and transformed into something that I would call "giddy with joy." So, with my love of culinary series (see the series on dictators or Asian food for white people or places the military tried to make me go), I think it's probably a great idea to make an honorary dish for each of the candidates, along with some of the reasons I love them.Except for Santorum.  Because nobody wants to eat frothy ass-juice, unless you're talking about the kale shake I made yesterday.  Okay, I retroactively dedicate yesterday's post to both Santorum AND Moss Man.  You can sharesies.Today, I'd like to focus on my man, The Newt.  Part of the reason for this is that I purchased pork chops at the market, and I can't think of anything that Newt looks more like than a pallid slab of pork with swaths of mashed potato hair and squinchy little caper-sized eyeballs that are busily eyeing up whatever juicy little female fly happens to accidentally land on his bachelilypad while his current Newt Wife is being diagnosed with and/or treated for a terminal illness.And speaking of wives, The Newt also super-much likes porking things.  All things.  Especially things that look EXACTLY LIKE TREE FROGS.A tree frogCallista GingrichIf a tree frog and a newt mate, can they potentially make babies because they're both amphibians?  Or is that not as close as a wolf and a dog?  This is why biology is confusing.  King Philip Came Over From Germany Saturday...right?  So is amphibian a Germany? Or a Philip?  NO!  It's a CAME.  WHICH MAKES THIS EVEN MORE AWESOME!But it also means they can't make babies, only that they can attempt to mate frantically and confusedly with each others ear holes.  I think that's probably best for everyone anyway.I went to WhoFo earlier and made the grave mistake of purchasing thin, center-cut pork chops.  I hate center cut pork chops.  They're bland, useless, and think they can colonize the moon.Wait, no.  That's my pal Newt again.  One of his major campaign promises was that we would colonize the moon by 2020 or something.  Because there's already a man on the moon, and it's so close that we can see it from Sarah Palin's house, so why not, right?  We'll just refurbish the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria and sail on up there.  I, for one, am not going until there's potable water and delivery from Amazon Prime. But then I'm totally in, because the lack of gravity would make me look 25 again.So I'm left with these horrible little pork chops.I give you: THE NEWTAn open-face sandwich that is such an epic conglomeration of nonsense that it can't help but be appealing to the voters of South Carolina.  To assemble The Newt, pound your pork (YEAH BABY) until it's about 1/2" thick.  Then soak in a marinade of buttermilk and dijon mustard for 3-4 hours.In a bowl, combine 1.5 C flour with 4 T seasoned salt (I used Vulcan's fire salt).  Dredge each piece of pork thoroughly in the dry flour (not unlike the hostile, menopausal environment of Callista's hoo-ha)Fry the pork at 375 F until the outside is crispy and golden brown.Then take three pieces of hot dog bun (because you've got six total hot dog buns and two people to feed, but also because it would seem that Newt has, indeed, three hot dogs to be satisfying that many ladies in such a short period of time) and cover them in[...]

Vitamins and Minerals


There is currently a War on Gluten, and I keep losing friends to the dark side.  I have one friend who is celiac, so I get that.  But everyone else is just doing it to make me unhappy and ruin my ability to craft baked goods out of love and King Arthur products.  Just eat the coffee cake, for the love of frosting and all things donut holey!So this one's for all you fools who don't want to get all up in some gluten.  And it's sooooo delicious. *horking noises* Enjoy your newfound dietary freedom.  A freedom wherein you can put all of Red Mill Bob's kids through braces and an ivy league tertiary education.I still love gluten.  And the only reason I'm going to try this is because of my imminent 30th birthday, and my very real need to dress like a complete floozy while we're in Las Vegas.  I need to drop a few percents of body fat if I want to be able to show my belly to the judges, and I'm cranking up the exercise, so I just need to crank down the calories at home and then go spend a bazillion dollars buying age-inappropriate clothing at Bebe and BCBG.I don't do Spanx.  Actually, most days I just wander around in my running shorts and don't do underpants either, so it should come as no surprise that the idea of restrictive, full-body sausage casing made of a reinforced poly-steel blend isn't exactly a stop on my road to happiness.Every five years I like to have a quinquennial life crisis where I behave poorly for a few weeks so as to remind myself that I'm still young and socially valid.  My quarter life crisis was a rough one, and so far this one is shaping up to be more fun than turmoil-filled.  But I still need skanky outfits.So for the next 28 days, I'm going to try to make one of these kale smoothies each day as a meal replacement.  Hopefully I'll be able to start varying the flavors a little bit.  Today's flavor was "grass clippings" with an emphasis on the "ass."  Also, I feel like smoothies shouldn't be so chewy, especially after a whir in the Vitamix.Kale is a superfood.  If you ask the internet about the health benefits of kale, it will automatically start playing Queen's "We Are the Champions" and telling you that kale can do everything from preventing cancer to sitting next to you and cuddling while you watch Keeping Up with the Kardashians.  It's good for all your parts, and you should be eating it always all the time.  I'm thinking of just setting up a kale juice IV or seeing if I can get it compressed into suppositories by that company that turns placentas into capsules that you can swallow whole without having to think about the fact that YOU'RE EATING A PLACENTA.See?  That's gross enough to even think about that all of a sudden, kale is starting to sound as tasty as those Blazin' Buffalo Wings Ruffles, right?  Because at least it isn't the "P-word."Today I put in 2 cups of raw kale, a chopped fuji apple (skin on), 2 peeled carrots, some water, a teaspoon of raw honey, and hope.See all that hope?  No? It's obscured by kale.What I received was a thick green substance that didn't pour so much as it meandered sluggishly into my pint glass, like a hungover high school student oozing unenthusiastically into his SAT exam seat.  It was obviously not going to go down the hatch without some serious negotiation, so back into the blender...I added a quarter cup of orange juice and a couple of ice cubes to make it less warm.  I ended up with this:I think I might need a dental damAnd it tastes so...nutritious...that I don't even mind the fact that I feel like I'm hitting 5th base with Moss Man after a long, sweaty run.Is that a club in your hand, or are you just happy to see me?I'll keep you posted on both how awesome all of the nutrition is making [...]

Living in filth


Why do I even bother cleaning my house?  Seriously?  I can meticulously scrub/dust/vacuum/mop/organize, and within seconds, the house is a nasty, sticky, furry, cluttered den of clusterfuckery.  Sometimes, this happens WHILE I'm physically cleaning.  Like I'll clean the entertainment center, and as I am putting the last Xbox controller in its place, I'll notice fresh smears of banana on the television screen.  With dog hair stuck to it.  And all of the toys are scattered hither and thither throughout the downstairs, even though Emmett has an ENTIRE PLAYROOM to himself.  With brightly colored foam flooring, paintings of robots, wall transfers of fun shapes and clouds, and brightly colored plexiglass toy boxes filled to the brim with all of the puzzle pieces that the dog hasn't eaten and/or regurgitated.And why is all of his stuff so friggin sticky??  I have searched that playroom, with its sweet, wooden Melissa and Doug playthings, and nowhere have I located his Little Tykes My First Maple Syrup Refinery. And yet, everything he owns is sticky.  And most of it smells like maple syrup.  It's like he's starring in his own version of the hit Broadway play "Emmett and the Canadian Whorehouse Mystery."FML.  I just want cleanliness and order.  A little bit of it.  For more then 11 minutes at a time.  Failing that, I want to turn our house into a duplex.  The pets and kid can have one half of it, and they can shed fur and crumbs and viscous liquids wherever they please and clean it up only when one of them gets old enough to be embarrassed by it.  Meanwhile, I'll live in the sparsely furnished, but perfectly clean half.  And there will be a one-way intercom so I can occasionally still bark "Eat your vegetables, there are starving children in parts of Iowa!" and "Pull up your pants, this isn't a prison!" whenever I need to feel parenty.When it all just gets to be too much, and I cannot wash one more dish, fold one more tiny pair of overalls, pluck one more cat whisker off of Emmett's half-eaten, petrified-then-found-again-mmm-delicious granola bar...well, I turn to clean eating and aesthetically pleasing foods.Last night's dinner shows how near I am to making them all live in the backyard.Duck and Wild Rice Salad-1 full duck breast (it's worth it to get good duck from Hudson Valley Foie Gras)-2 C wild rice mix (I use the mix from Costco that is organic and contains wild rice, brown basmati, etc)-1 bunch Swiss chard, diced (I used red because it was $.99 at WhoFo, and I include the stems)-.5 C shelled pistachios-Orange vinaigrette (recipe to follow)--In a rice cooker, or stovetop, prepare your wild rice mix according to package directions--Allow it to cool to a warm-ish temperature while you cook your duck--Score the fat on the duck breast in a crosshatch pattern and season both sides with kosher salt--In a large pan over medium-high heat, place the duck breasts fat-side down--Cook (gently) until the fat has rendered.  There will be about 1.5 C of it.--Turn the duck over and sear the meaty side until medium rare (the center temp will be around 130F)--Remove the duck from the pan and set on a cutting board to rest.--Drain the fat into a metal bowl and save it for making duck fat fries or confit or ANYTHING--In the same pan from which you just drained the fat, saute the chard for a minute or two to wilt it.--Season the chard and rice with salt and pepper--Toss the rice, chard, and pistachios with orange vinaigrette and top with sliced duck breastOrange Vinaigrette-.5 C orange juice (fresh is best, but I didn't have it so I used the stuff we keep on hand for mixers)-.25 C decent balsamic vinager-2 T honey-1 T dijon mustard-1 T olive oil--Whisk it all [...]

On aging


I'm turning 30 in March.  Ahem.  What I meant to say is I'M TURNING THIRTY IN MARCH!!!  This current, upcoming March, to be exact.  And I'm freaking out a small amount.  I know that there are plenty of you who are older than thirty and will tell me that I'm being ridiculous.  I accept that.  But I know there are also plenty of you who are younger than 30 or can remember being younger than 30 and thinking that this was the basic guide for aging milestones in adulthood:Twenties-- fun, vibrant, carefree, filled with six packs in both aluminum can and male flesh form, free of responsibilities, yet magically rich enough to drive a hot car, have a nice apartment and wear the kind of clothes that only look good on people in their twenties, yet are fiscally only available to wealthy old men, and backpacking to see the world.*The final day of your twenties is spent getting married, buying a big house, having three children, and catching up to the point where you spend...Thirties-- Sad, clinging to youth, starting to wear really big panties, cutting hair short in anticipation of school-aged children (they grow SO FAST) getting peanut butter and jelly in it, sensible shoes, early nights, minivans, and that piece of extra skin that grows under your chin on your neck and wiggles animatedly when you're yelling at other members of the PTA.Forties--Your children go to college and then you have all of your grandchildren, you travel the world in Chico's casual wear and vibrantly-printed capri pants that stretch over your magnificently large arse, and you take a lot of multivitamins that don't stop your face from getting wrinkled like a bloodhound.Fifty--You get put into a home for the elderly and have to wear support hose.100--You die.I am now realizing that PERHAPS there was some error in my timeline.  For example, I don't have any immediate plans for purchasing giant underpants.  I've driven a station wagon (No, Subaru, the Outback is NOT a "small SUV") since I was 21.  I will never be cutting my hair shorter than my shoulders because I'm afraid I will immediately start craving takeout from Amazon (if you know what I'm saying, and not that there's anything WRONG with it, it's just that I love men so much and hate to think of losing that lovin' feeling). I also plan to Botox, lift, fill, enhance, chemically peel, and laser myself into my early thirties for the next 20 years.  After that, I plan on just photoshopping my head onto the body of whatever Nickelodeon teen actress looks like she's most likely to get pregnant out of wedlock in the next three years.When I start to look too old and baggy for lululemon and Guess, I'll start shopping at The Limited or Ann Taylor LOFT, but I'm definitely never, ever, ever going to set foot in Chico's or J. Jill because I feel like the desire for flowing blazers and orange lipstick might be contagious and I'd end up walking out of there looking like a cast member of Real Grandmas of New Mexico without any knowledge that I looked like a boob.And if you like shopping at J.Jill or Chico's, then I want you to know that it actually totally suits you, and you look adorable, and I'm just talking about the look on me, personally.  High five.I'm also realizing that certain parts of my timeline are freaking me out.  Like, I was supposed to be done having kids by now, and I only have one and he's still really tiny.  Who the hell did my math on those calculations?  And I haven't traveled the world at all, unless you count all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica and Mexico.  Which I don't, because I don't remember all or parts of both experiences.  I'm about to outlive the age that looks good in Prada, and I do[...]



Sometimes the greatest things in life are simple.  Taking a nap when it's snowing.  Getting a hug from a baby.  Watching a kitten attack an unused tampon.And this soup.It had to be simple, because I offered to make dinner for 5 adults and two children two hours before dinnertime, while I was still trying desperately to escape the evil labyrinth of Ikea.I need you to tell me-- what redeemable qualities does Ikea possess?  Why do people like it so much?  I'm not going to eat their meatballs.  They're all shriveled and gray, like they get harvested from male cadavers at the local med school lab.  And their cinnamon rolls are cold comfort after you finally fight your way out of the many layers of store.You know how some of the more fringe religious groups do that "rebirthing" process for adopted kids, only periodically one of them dies by being smothered in a giant blanket, ostensibly for their own good so they can fit into their family better?That's how I feel in an Ikea.  I'm all, "yeah, okay, I get that this is supposed to be a positive experience that I emerge from feeling all European and at one with modular society.  But instead I'm that kid that's getting smothered and can't get out and I seriously hope you assholes all go to jail."  I end up crushing Xanax with their miniature pencils and snorting it off of the laughable "map" they give you to navigate their maze of horrors.I also sort of feel like somewhere in the middle, I'd locate Voldemort and a ring of Death Eaters.  Probably near a palette of cheap Euro-vases.Also, the one time I actually managed to retrieve an item of furniture from the center before mentally retreating into my own K-hole of terror, I got it home to realize that it looked TINY in the center of my living room.  I thought it was a coffee table.  And it was, in that it could hold probably 4 coffee beans.  TINY.  And then I had to go back to Ikea and return it, which took so long that Emmett peed through his diaper and all over my shirt and pants. So I don't know why I went back looking for a desk.  I guess I thought it'd be different this time, but by the time I got to the desk portion of the maze I was so furious and claustrophobic that I was all "fuck this, fuck the desk, fuck computers, let's leave RIGHT NOW and go live off the grid completely, and you can hand-carve furniture and we'll write with graphite pencils on stones and eat whatever we can find like Bear Grylls."And on the way back to the car I was so relieved to be leaving that anything seemed possible.  Dinner for 5 in 2 hours with no groceries? No problem! Whee! Let's DO THIS SHIT.And when I got home, the only produce I had was a sweet potato and a giant butternut squash from our garden.  Thus this soup, which ended up being the most delicious application for butternut I've ever come across.  Plus, totally cheap and vegetarian.Curried butternut soup-1 large butternut squash, peeled, halved, and seeded-2 T butter-1 can coconut milk (full fat)-.5 t good quality curry powder, or you can make your own mix-1 T honey -water, salt, and pepper to taste--Preheat the oven to 425 F.--Place the squash cut-side down on a baking sheet with a knob of butter underneath each in the cavity where the seeds were.--Sprinkle with sea salt and roast until completely tender.--Cut into cubes and put in a blender with the coconut milk, 1/4 C water, honey, and curry powder and blend until completely smooth.  If you're feeling indulgent, add the liquified butter from the pan.  --Add water as necessary to keep the blender moving, but don't add too much or it will be too liquid.  You're looking for a thick[...]

Titty Soup


I am going to share some personal things with you right now.  Not about anything horrible or that will make you feel extremely emotional (God willing), but personal nonetheless.  So if you're NOT interested in reading about BOOBIES then this would be a great point to turn off your computer and go engage in some wholesome activity.  Like thinking about the Pioneer Woman and why she's so obnoxiously obsequious.Yesterday on Facebook, I posted a status that I was making titty soup for a friend.  People were curious.  What in the hell is titty soup? To tell you that story, we have to go back in time a little bit to when I was 14 and Nick Johnson, who was both unattractive and a total bastard pranced up to my desk, lifted his Hypercolor shirt to his chin, and said "I have bigger boobs than you!"  He ran back to his group of sniggering friends, and I silently cried on the inside, both because he was sort of right, and also because why were his nipples such a freakish shade of purple?  Were they not getting enough oxygen?  Was this a medical emergency?Fast forward to when I turned 17, and for the first time in my life had some sort of vague rack-like situation going on underneath my shirt.  I was a VERY late bloomer, and weirdly tall, and captain of the debate team.  In general, things were not stacked in my immediate favor.  I had a boyfriend at the time who was Mr. Bodybuilder himself, and kind of an ass, because that was how I liked them.  We were watching that sitcom where the middle aged guy talks to a puppet in his basement while he drinks.  "Unhappily Ever After" was the title, according to Google.  And one of the characters was played by actress Nikki Cox.  Her boobs are the size of that new planet they just discovered that could sustain life.  My boyfriend took one look at her obscene endowments and said, and I quote, "Whoa."  I cried.February 11, 2000, when I was just 18 years old and living in the dorms at CSU, I got my own set of Whoa.  A few years later, I got rid of the boyfriend too, which was fortuitous because he got really fat (for a firefighter) shortly after we broke up.  And obviously what's the point of dating a firefighter if they don't look like Ryan Reynolds naked?  Oh...that they're saving people and are nice to kids and care about helping their fellow man? Pshh.  I was 21 and wanted to see ABS.For many years, I was the only person I knew who had gone after-market on the boobs.  They weren't huge, they were very well done, and I could just stop thinking about them all together.  That was a HUGE blessing after spending so much time thinking about them and hating them for the last, oh, four years (thanks, 9th grade boys).Also, when I turned 21, I'm pretty sure they paid for a lot of my drinks just by existing inside my shirts. And they *painfully* fed a beautiful baby boy without complications except for the fact that he couldn't stop trying to rip my knicknacks off with his crazy baby gums. In the past few years, though, it seems like more and more people are hopping on the breastwagon. I'm always supportive, provided it's to satisfy yourself and not because you are needy/crazy/feel unlovable. Then, last year, someone very close to me went through an ordeal where she lost both of her ta-tas to cancer.  She got to keep her life.  Fair trade.  As a consolation prize, the doctors gave her new boobies.  It's only fair, right?After I brought her home from the hospital and dosed her (and maybe myself) with good drugs, I made her titty soup.Titty soup is just chicken soup, but made with e[...]

Rickshaw Flava


 Is it still racism if it's a really positive stereotype?  Or is that just stereotyping? And, while I'm at it, why is stereotyping in a positive way wrong, provided you allow room for individuals in your thought process?  Isn't that just a natural way to group people so that your brain doesn't have to tediously sort each and every human into its own category?  Food for thought.Because whenever I think about Indians, I always feel like they're a very peaceful people.  Probably something to do with the fact that they treat cows as sacred animals, and that about 40% of Indians are vegetarians, and that George W. Bush never declared war on them, despite the fact that they're obviously brown.  Clearly an oversight on his part.In Fort Collins, I was friends with the son of one of the Indian restauranteurs.  He was a nice kid who was sort of non-traditional in that he a) only dated white Hooters girls, b) sold cocaine, and c) was actually Pakistani, even though the restaurant was Indian.Maybe that's a bad example.  The Indian restaurant up the street from our old apartment in Lone Tree is co-owned by this beautiful, chubby Indian woman who once told Chris that I was "very bootiful," and I'm pretty sure that she's actually Indian.  See?  Peaceful.  And with excellent taste.And Indian food? SO tasty.  In a huge variety of its many incarnations.  So let's celebrate Indian takeout and the culture of the peaceful, spice-loving Indian people with a vegetarian version of the national dish! Of Britain!What?  Oh, an explanation.  Chicken Tikka Masala is one of the most popular Indian takeout meals, despite the fact that it has absolutely no real Indian roots.  So much so that it was voted by British citizens to be the national dish.  Its only competition was bangers and mash or fish and chips, so it's not hard to see how it managed to eke out a victory.I decided to take the basic idea for a spin, but to vegefy it by taking out the chicken and adding in roasted butternut squash and marinated, baked tofu in its stead.  Fantastic, it turns out.This is going to look, again, like a lot of steps.  But if you have a food processor or a decent blender it really takes very little time and effort, and not too many dishes to wash.  I'll break it down into two big "steps" so that the ingredients don't all muddle together.Step 1:Ingredients-1 package extra firm tofu-1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed into .5" pieces-2 T olive oil-3 chiles (I had Thai chiles leftover, so I used those, but you can use whatever you prefer)-2 limes, juiced-1 t paprika-1 t ground cumin-.5 t ground coriander-.25 t ground cinnamon -2 shallots, chopped-4 cloves garlic, chopped-1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and chopped-.5 C greek yogurt or vegan coconut yogurtMethod-Drain your tofu and place on a paper toweled plate, under a light weight for an hour to drain out much of the liquid.  Dice into 1" cubesBefore baking-Preheat oven to 400 F-In a blender, combine all of the rest of the ingredients until they form a smooth pasteRoasted squash-Toss with cubed tofu, spread on lined baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes, or until just starting to turn golden in color.-Meanwhile, in the same oven, roast the cubed squash with a little bit of olive oil until tender Step 2:After bakingIngredients-1 14 oz can diced tomatoes-1 T tomato paste (use the stuff in the tube to avoid waste)-.25 C cilantro, stemmed-1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and chopped-.5 lime, juiced-1 t cumin-.5 t coriander-1 t garam masala-1 t sugar-2 T olive oil-1 medium onion, diced-10 curry leaves (omit if you c[...]

Easy Egg Rolls for Hungover White People


I'm about to make a bold statement.  Are you ready?There is no reason on earth why you shouldn't be able to eat egg rolls whenever you please, even if it's 2 o'clock in the morning, and you're sitting in your underwear playing Skyrim and can't find your wallet or your cell phone because they fell between the cracks in the couch and have fused into one-ness with half-chewed Cheetos, pennies, and life-sized balls of dog fur.And, furthermore, there is no reason why those egg rolls have to be those Godawful LingLing ones that you get at Costco and that smell like a cross between stale cabbage and nutsack.This entry in the series of "Asian Takeout for White People" is the basic vegetable egg roll. With just a little bit of advanced preparation, you can be knocking out restaurant quality egg rolls, freezing them, and frying them to order for yourself whenever the whim hits you.  The cost to make them is about 35 cents per egg roll, which is also significantly cheaper than either takeout or LingLing, and they taste so much better.  Plus, you know what's in them, so there aren't any nasty surprises ("Oh BARF!  What the fuck are these little pink nuggets?  Shrimps?? WHAT???")These are HELLA cheater egg rolls, too, so there isn't even much work involved, an, in a pinch, these can be made solely from ingredients that you can find at your local supermarket.  No, I'm not lying to you.  The variations are pretty endless, but this is a good "basic" model that will stand up to the taste buds of even the most discriminating takeout connoisseur. Ingredients:1 small package bean threads*Scant 1/4 C dried black fungus, shredded preferably**1 bag "coleslaw mix" from the grocery store, or 3 C freshly, finely shredded cabbage and carrots2 T dark soy sauce1/2 t black pepper, freshly ground1/2 T rice vinegar1 t sugar1 T vegetable oil1/4 t fresh ginger, finely minced or microplaned1 clove fresh garlic, minced1 package of egg roll skins1 egg, beaten (egg wash) Oil for frying/frying rig*Bean threads are just very fine, clear noodles made from mung beans.  They're cheap, don't require cooking (just soaking), and are sometimes called "vermicelli" in the store.**Black fungus sounds disgusting, but they're really these lovely, chewy, omnipresent ribbons found in most Chinese food.  The texture is more assertive than the flavor, but I'd miss them quite a bit if they weren't there.  They aren't mushroomy at all.Method:-In a large bowl, soak bean threads in lukewarm water until al dente (about 15 minutes), drain, and chop into 2 inch pieces.-In a separate bowl, soak black fungus in hot water until reconstituted. Rinse, drain and chop into 1 inch pieces.-In a small bowl, combine vinegar, black pepper, soy sauce, and sugar -In a large saute pan, heat vegetable oil until almost smoking, then add garlic and ginger.  Quickly toss until aromatic.-Add coleslaw mix and saute until tender but not soggy.  -Pour in soy sauce mixture and black fungus pieces and saute for another minute.-Remove from heat, and scrape into a bowl to cool (you can reuse the black fungus bowl)-When cool, set out your egg roll skins, covered with a damp towel to keep from drying out, a pastry brush, and your egg wash.-Drain any excess liquid off of your cabbage filling, then toss with your bean threads.-Place an egg roll skin with a point toward you, like a diamond.-Add about 3T filling to the bottom corner of the egg roll skin, leaving about an inch below.-Roll tightly, as shown, until you have the egg roll with a triangle of egg roll skin left at the top, like an envelope.  Make sure that your e[...]

Thai me kangaroo down, sport


I took a trip to our local Asian market this week, which means one thing---we're getting spicy up in the Webber house.I grew up eating plenty of ethnic foods, so it's no surprise that I love them.  Always have.  But when I got pregnant, and for the year following Emmett's birth, I couldn't really stomach much Asian food whatsoever.  I gave away all of our ingredients, because even seeing them in the pantry made me feel kind of nauseated and mournful for the loss of my palate.  Recently, though, I've been craving them like, well, a pregnant woman.  Which I'm NOT.Unfortunately, most of the time I'm craving greasy takeout from various Asian restaurants.  I can't eat it, because none of the meat is humanely sourced, so I sit in my house crying tears of hot and sour soup and wishing as hard as I can for a really tasty, inexpensive, organic Chinese restaurant that delivers to open up near my house.  Guess what hasn't happened?  Guess what won't ever happen?  Until we move to Boulder...^^When I wrote that, I thought I was joking.  Then I googled "humane meat Chinese food Boulder" and found out that there is more than one offering.  Seriously? I'm boggled by the unfairness of it all.^^The nub and gist is that I've actually gotten pretty good at throwing together "takeout" at home, provided I have the right ingredients.  None of it is even knocking at the door of authentic, but takeout isn't either, so I'm not going to quibble.  I can promise you that it tastes really, really good.I'd like to teach you how to do this too, since I know how much you kids like your greasy takeout food.  So over the next couple of weeks, I'm going to run a series called "Asian takeout for white people."  I'll teach you how to make a dish (or two) from each of the major takeout cultures, as well as maybe a wee bit about flavor profiles and ingredient sourcing.  My hope is that you'll take away from this the ability to feed yourself, even when you're kind of hungover or sick, for little money and with little effort.*I know some of the members of the blogosphere cook much more authentic Thai/Japanese/Vietnamese/Chinese/Whatever food.  I think that's awesome.  But for our purposes, I'm simply looking to recreate the flavors and textures that you expect when you make that phone call, hoping for cardboard boxes and styrofoam containers of comfort from your local strip mall restaurant.  Can we agree on that?*The first step in all of this is going to be locating an Asian grocery store near you.  I live in a small town full of pretty much only white people, and there's one within 15 minutes of my house.  When I lived in Texas, there was one within 7 minutes of my house.  I assure you, there is one near enough to you that you can go stock up every few months without having to drive cross-country.  And they're CHEAP.  Absurdly so.  Cans of coconut milk for 99 cents.  Bulbs of garlic for 10 cents.  Lemongrass for pennies.  Just go, and plan to spend some time because almost everything is written in characters that are not part of our 26 letter alphabet.  Also, it smells bad.  But you should still totally go.  Are you with me?Last night I made the world's simplest Thai soup, since Chris is still sick and also I really like Thai soups. It looks like a LOT of ingredients, but it's the simplest thing ever, the ingredients are cheap and readily available at Asian market, and they pretty much all last in the fridge for months, so a single grocery trip every on[...]

Franks and Dawgs


Day 2: Chicago TripAt this point, we'd been in Chicago for less than 24 hours, and had already managed to eat and drink our way through Xoco, iNG, The Aviary, and The Publican.I woke up full.  Still.  So breakfast was Argo Tea.  I LOVE Argo Tea, and my only beef with them so far is that those motherlovers still refuse to bring their heavenly libations to Colorado, even though we're all overpaid, filthy hippies, and would be the perfect market, and OMG WHY DO YOU HATE ME ARGO TEA???  I started my morning with a coconut chai tea.  Then I had a vanilla bubble tea.  I love their bubbles.  They're made of nata de coco and winning, and apparently can only be purchased directly from the Philippines, and my only Filipino friend has been thus far too selfish to go get me some.  It's your homeland, Doug. Just go.After filling up (yeah, filling up) on about 600 calories of sweetened tea drinks, we walked to the Trader Joe's area and purchased some goodies.  Trader Joe's also refuses to open a store in Colorado.  I'm noticing a trend here.  I got two mustards, because my cousin Nate hasn't brought me any Penn State Herlocher's dipping mustard yet. Um, hi? Unless Herlocher is ALSO currently under investigation for sexual assault, then I don't understand the hold up.  Also, I got two squeezy tubes of organic sweetened condensed milk.  I've never seen organic SCM before, and I almost cried tears of joy.  Usually I just eat a whole can of the traditional stuff, and then feel round and guilty for a while.When I was a kid, I used to steal cans of it from my mom's pantry.  I'd poke two triangular holes in the top with the bar punch, then take it to my room and sip from it for a up to a week.  Unrefrigerated.  I never died of listeria or mold ingestion or anything, which either means that it's got more preservatives than are strictly considered "safe" for human ingestion, or I was just exercising my superhuman Viking immune system, and that's why I never get food poisoning.Back to the trip.  We crossed the street to Franks and Dawgs, which is a hot dog stand in Lincoln Park that features two things that I find imminently fanciable: humanely raised hot dogs and triple truffle fries.  Last time we went to Chicago, we spent hours traveling and waiting for Hot Dougs dogs and duck fat fries.  They were good, and a great experience, but took up a lot of a day.  Franks and Dawgs had almost no line to speak of, got the food out quickly, and is right in the middle of a fun part of the city, so the walk to and from is both fast and interesting.Also, you get to pick a shame celebrity to stick to your table with velcro so they know where to deliver your order.  We chose shaved-head Britney.  The people across from us had Charlie Sheen. Must. Learn. To Make. Buns.Giddyup cheese curdsWe both ordered the "Chicagoesque," which was a natural beef hot dog on a New England-style bun, surrounded with spicy house mustard, pickles, cherry tomato relish, and caramelized onions.  The dog was great, the fixings were flavorful and well-matched, but the bun was the real star.  The New England-style bun is thick, soft, buttered, and griddled.  I'd never had one before, and was just thrilled with it.  We also ordered fried cheese curds (when in the Midwest...) and the triple truffle fries, which were criss-cut fries drenched in truffle oil, truffle butter, and truffle salt.  The whole bill was like $20, and I would have paid twice that for the quali[...]

The longest post ever-- a review of iNG, The Aviary, and The Publican


When I last left you, I was napping off a food coma from Xoco in the heart of Chicago.  My next set of stories comes from a few hours later, after we'd located a Red Bull and managed to gird and shower our loins for further adventuring. I was actually very nervous about our next meal, at iNG Restaurant, because we were planning to meet our blogging friends Choosy Beggars Tina and Mike for the very first time.  I've "known" them via the blogs for a couple of years, and at one point we'd even exchanged packages of regional foods (theirs from Canada, and ours from the depths of Texas) via international mail.  But we'd never met in person, and after that length of time of knowing someone without meeting them, you do get worried that it'll be totally weird in person, or that they'll think you're hideous and boring, or that they'll actually end up being axe murderers.  It's the classic struggle that faces people who date after meeting on one of the myriad creepy dating sites on the internet.Only in this case, I'm pleased to report, they were LOVELY.  Tina is both beautiful and gracious in a way I'll never be, and Mike was so adorable and Canadian that I almost wrapped him up and stole him to take home to Colorado.  Which I guess IS creepy in the manner of internet meetings, so I'm glad I didn't go that route.  Kind of.FantasticWe initially met for dinner at iNG, after a harrowing cab ride through an area that can be best described as "industrial chic" only without the "chic" part.  The restaurant was well lit and friendly looking, if in a questionable part of town.  The servers wore little ear-pieces for communication with the kitchen (?), which seemed to teeter on the very edge of being douche-y, but never crossed over into douche territory with both feet.  Our server was an obvious hipster with a pretty awesome ironic moustache, but was open and engaging and made us feel welcome.  Also, he had a sense of humor, which I always appreciate, regardless of venue.Chris and I immediately ordered beers, because Mike and Tina hadn't arrived yet, and I tend to be much friendlier after a beer or two.  They came out quickly and were delicious.  After our dinner dates had arrived, and Chris had had time to become adequately smitten with them, we made some decisions about what we'd be eating. iNG offers a tasting menu and a regular a la carte menu.  The tasting menu is centered around a concept known as "flavor tripping."  Flavor tripping involves eating a special African berry (known as 'miracle berry'), which changes the bitter/sour receptors on your tongue to perceive those bitter/sour flavors as sweet.  So licking a lemon after eating a miracle berry tastes like delicious lemonade, rather than sour, mouth-puckering lemon.  It's really a neat experience, and Chris and I have experimented at home with it before.The tasting menu for the evening was Thanksgiving themed, and after discussing it between the four of us, we decided to just go for it.  There were several a la carte items that I really had been looking forward to trying, but a tasting menu is almost always the way to go in the nicer restaurants, and would allow us to make innumerable "tripping balls" jokes while eating.  Win.Our first course actually came in the menu, which was folded into an origami box.  It was a little pipette of carrot soup, which was okay, but kind of difficult to eat and a little underwhelming in flavor for an amuse bouche.  I did li[...]

Friendship and Fried Foods


Every once and a while you come across a friend who will do terribly inconvenient, difficult things, solely because they are your friend and they would never begrudge you anything ever.  Those friends are few and far between, and despite my somewhat abhorrent personality, I have that kind of friends.  I would currently like to give a major interweb shout out to my beautiful and talented friend Miranda, without whom I would not be typing this blog from Argo Tea in beautiful Chicago, IL.She is currently watching BOTH my baby AND my dog.  My baby doesn't sleep through the night.  Basically ever.  He's 14 months old.My dog is an effusively loving, enormous whomping moron who sheds enough fur in a given 10 minute span to crochet a normal-sized, average-fluff dog.  He lumbers, knocks over small children, chews up pacifiers, and barks at neighbor dogs.On top of all of this, she personally owns her own 14 month baby AND her own giant gallumping furball of a dog.  So she's doubled up on both for a long weekend, while Chris and I jet off to Chicago to eat our own weight in ridiculously expensive, pretentious, delicious food.  That's two self-lethal toddlers, and two dogs who make up for any shortcomings in intelligence by being ENTHUSIASTIC. ABOUT EVERYTHING. ALWAYSALLTHETIME!Bless her heart.  We've only been away one night, and I'm sure she and her husband are exhausted to tears and questioning the net value of a friendship with the Webbers.I, however, am living it up.  We arrived in Chicago yesterday around lunchtime, and immediately dragged our luggage through the freezing, humid, piercing cold to visit Xoco.Xoco is Rick Bayless' most recent venture in downtown Chicago.  I heart Rick Bayless something fierce, ever since seeing how talented and humble he was on Top Chef Masters.  Which he won, and which he totally deserved to win.  It's basically a Mexican street food restaurant, with lots of tortas (sandwiches), Mexican hot chocolate, churros, chips and salsa, guacamole, and soups.But okay, the food?  OMFG.  All the ingredients are local/organic and handmade into creations that will blow the top of your skull off of your noggin.  When I say "handmade," I mean that they hand grind the cacao beans into chocolate.  I mean that they lovingly create every single one of their many salsas by hand, from scratch, every day.  I mean that they hand knead the dough to freshly fry each of the churros to order.  I mean that they make the soft serve ice cream mix from hand scraped Mexican vanilla beans and organic, pasture raised Amish dairy products.  We were blown away.  It was a jam-packed restaurant that had a similar seating layout to a Panera or something like that.  Nothing fancy, stand in line to order your food at the counter, pay the cashier, and then you get assigned a table number and you sit at that stool/counter/table until your food is brought to you.  We waited about 30 minutes to order, which was expected, and then delivered our gluttonous list of wants to the darling, tiny Mexican girl taking our orders.Here is the order in which our food was delivered (which is what we asked for, so no judging our priority system):Chips, salsa and guacamoleChurros with ice cream and chocolateSandwichesThe chips were in a generous basket, and were still hot from being fried, and topped with a coarse salt and some hint of bright, fresh lime flavor.  The guacamole was just fresh and excell[...]

Protect your nuts


I've said it before, and I'll say it again.  Babies are filthy disease spreaders.  Adorably, snuggly, delicious, filthy disease spreaders.  Like squirrels, only unable to gather their own nuts.  Well, he definitely gets his nuts during his diaper changes, if you know what I'm saying, so I guess "unable to get his own acorns" would be a more accurate description.In Fort Collins, the squirrels have become dependent on college students, and as a result they eat more Panda Express orange chicken than nuts.  The orange chicken may or may not be made of squirrel flesh.It probably is.Anyway, I'm now battling my first of many colds of the season that has incubated into a super-virus in the body of my very small son.  There's no amount of washing my hands that can prevent me from getting sick when he does.  Mucus comes flying out of his body at a volume and velocity that blows my mind.  And he wipes his nose with his fat little fists, and then grabs his toys and tries to put them in my mouth, then caresses my eyes, then hugs me and wipes his snot on my face.  It's seriously disgusting.  But what am I supposed to say to him?  "Hey, 14 month old baby. Could you be less affectionate with your mother? K THX BAI!"And when he's sick, he can't breathe with a pacifier in his mouth, which means that every time he has to spit it out to gasp for air, he ends up waking himself up and wailing like an orphan left alone to die in the desert, rather than a spoiled WASP baby in a beautifully furnished nursery with plush Steiff golden retrievers and hand-woven Beatrix Potter bumper pads.So then, after about 15 trips to his nursery to comfort him and patiently explain that we're seriously only 50 feet away, and can see him on his video monitor, I end up saying, "f*ck it" and bringing him to my own bed.  He sprawls out on my pillow, snot dribbling everywhere, and then falls asleep soundly.  His breath smells like boogers and Cheerios.And then I can't sleep at all, because I'm certain I'm going to crush him like that Indian lady who smothered her baby when she fell asleep breastfeeding on a flight to America.So we're tired folk around here.  And tired folk means lazy dinners.  But lazy dinners don't have to suck, honestly. They don't have to be made out of frozen pizza and canned cream of whatnot soup.  I present to you an excellent, delicious option for a quick dinner that can be made out of whatever you have defrosted (or mostly defrosted).Mexican Stir Fry.  Not traditionally Mexican, sure.  But rife with Mexican flavors, and certainly more Mexican than anything Paula Deen calls "Mexican," usually anything that involves corn and ground beef.Just slice up an onion, a zucchini, and some leftover shards of beef (I think this was 1/2 of a strip steak that I had leftover from making Philly cheesesteaks).  We never eat a whole steak at a time, even between the two of us, so we use up a lot of meat in recipes like this.  It keeps our budget reasonable, even while eating grass-fed meats.The "rub"-2 T Chili powder-1 T Ancho chili powder-2 t ground cumin-1t ground coriander-1 T kosher salt-1 T granulated garlic (or minced fresh garlic)-1 jalapeno, minced (more or less to taste--deseed if you can't handle heat)Rub your pieces with your spice mixture and then leave them in the fridge for a few hours to marinateThen heat up a large skillet on high heat with a bit of olive oil.  Toss in everythin[...]



After wandering outside in shorts and a tank top to knock the snow off of our DirecTV receiver, I came back in to hear the following commercial advertisement: "Restasis is not for patients who have had herpes of the eye." 

Even at my absolute rowdiest, I was never rowdy enough to be at a real risk for eye herpes.  Never.  What kind of shenanigans do you have to get up to to get eye herpes?  Butterfly kissing an inner-city prostitute?  Looking REALLY CLOSELY at Lindsay Lohan?  Lending your mascara to the makeup artist responsible for making sure Pit Bull's pubic hair stays well-groomed?

I don't know.  I'm kind of miffed with the entire medical community right now.  Because I had my DP session this Monday, and I didn't enjoy it near as much as you would think.  Why?  Because I woke up while they were balls deep in my arse, so to speak.  After explaining patiently to them that I had an unreal tolerance for most medications, and them promising they'd knock me out good and proper, I still woke up with a camera alllllll the way up my dark star.  The combination of Versed and Propofol was not enough to keep this girl down.  It killed Michael Jackson, but it couldn't even keep me quiet for 30 minutes so they could assail my neverland ranch.

I did fine during the endoscopy portion of the event.  At least, I think I did because I don't remember it.  But I woke up HOWLING when they were tromping around in my confederate lands (the south).  I remember that quite clearly.

( * ) <----A picture of the entrance to my confederate lands.

They increased my dosage, and I went back to sleep for another 15 minutes, then woke up feeling like I had spent the last 30 days as Bubba's bitch in a federal penitentiary.

As it turns out, my ass is completely normal (as one might expect in someone who went to the doctor FOR HEARTBURN), and my esophagus is a hot mess of abused tissue that may or may not be Barrett's esophagus.  I'm waiting for my biopsies to tell me what's really going on in the area of my eatin' tube.

I took the nugget trick or treating that night, and haven't really eaten much since then.  I'll get back in the cooking saddle this weekend.  Although I will have some food to post tomorrow that I've been saving for a moment when Emmett isn't trying to grab my attention by bashing his tiny head on things and yelling like it's my fault.

Yes, this is really happening


Hi, my name is Kristie, and I am a heartburn sufferer.  Not the kind of heartburn where you eat spicy food and then have to take some Tums and all is right in the world.  More the kind where I am not eating or doing anything out of the ordinary and then WHAM, my esophagus catches fire and my nose starts to run and I would swallow the blood of a virgin if I thought it would cool the pain.It started in college, when I drank a lot of rum and cola.  The rum was as palatable as industrial waste, only less expensive, so it never surprised me when it stripped the lining from my digestive tract.  I would just sweat excessively for a few minutes, drink a bottle of Pepto and resume drinking.  I called it “The Pink Rally.”When I started dating my husband (whose was, at the time, working in internal medicine),he suggested that perhaps chasing every drink or meal with pink drank wasn’t ideal.  He prescribed me Nexium.  Oh holy night, that stuff was fantastic.  No more heartburn, regardless of my overconsumption of buffalo wings and boxed wine (after college, I eschewed rum for a classier drink).  I even made it through pregnancy without heartburn, which I would have never thought possible.But recently?  Recently my heartburn has been kicking my ass.  I have been taking my Nexium, plus a slew of other antacids, and still feeling like the fire within is more literal and less figurative.  I got my first bout of serious gastritis on Easter, and have had it five or six times since then.  It’s painful and leaves me doubled over on the floor for hours at a time, while the baby tries to insert various small toys into my nose and ears.Finally, I scheduled a GI consult.  It takes MONTHS to get in to see a GI specialist.  I’m assuming there just aren’t enough doctors willing to deal with digestive material, and I get that. But what if it were something serious, and my stomach exploded during the wait time?  What then?  My appointment, after a looooong wait, was today.Basically, she just took my history and scheduled me for tests.  What tests?  ALL OF THE TESTS.  She wants me to deep throat a camera, while a different camera gets jammed up my ass.  Double penetration, no hot dudes, and I will not be paid for my performance.  What the hell?!What’s more, she sent home some Informative Pamphlets for me to understand the sheer number of violations that will be occurring to my person during a 24 hour period.  This is my understanding of how it works:Step 1: Go to pharmacy and pick up a whole bunch of medications, all of which are related to your butt, and the 22 year old male pharmacy tech knows damned well that they’re all related to your butt.Step 2: Go home and prepare a foul-smelling liquid.  Refrigerate the liquid, then clean up after yourself without the assistance of certified nursing assistants.Step 3: Don’t eat anything for 24 hours.  Nothing.  No food, despite the fact that you will still be required to maintain the stamina needed to chase a 13 month old terrorist around the house.  Drink clear liquids, though.  Lots of them.  Why?  In preparation for Step 5.Step 4: Drink the repulsive brew you previously prepared, and take some pills to also assist in Step 5.Step 5: Your butt falls off.  If you vomit the foul-smelling fluid, you’ll have to drink more,[...]

Todays excuse


One super-fun thing about babies is that they like to play hide-and-go-seek with your stuff.  Another fun thing about babies is that they assign high values to certain items for seemingly no reason, and those are the items they like to hide the most.  My own personal baby is an extremely big fan of small electronic and/or mechanical components.  This means that if he finds, say, a small Xbox memory card, it'll likely be relocated to a place that only he knows about.  And he's only 1 year old, so if you ask him, "Hey, small baby.  Where do you suppose you may have put Daddy's memory card?"  He'll respond by flashing you all six of his small baby teeth in a grin, then wiping something sticky on your pants and the couch.  It's all he knows.

He's also a little bit of a tiny ringer for TLC's Hoarders: Buried Alive.  He keeps things in little collections, like a raccoon.  Woe betide the person who should try to remove one of his precious trinkets.  Currently, in a washbasket in our living room, there is a DVD, the original Simpsons game for the Xbox, an Xbox controller battery, a small shred of what was once a cable bill, and the "T" bar part of the deadbolt for our back door.  It fell off while I was locking it, so now we can only lock and unlock it using the little nubbin that used to hold the "T" bar, because our baby has taken control of the critical piece.

Also currently missing from this plane of existence is the 3x.5" plastic USB converter for our SD card.  This means that I can't upload photos of food from our camera.  I asked Chris where I might locate the device (which usually is plugged into our upstairs computer).  He texted, and I quote, "Emmett had it upstairs. I took it away, and I think under papers."

Chris is very nearly reaching the age where I can start submitting his misfirings to

I have searched this office far and wide for the tiny bit of plastic (held together at the seams with hot pink duct tape).  Still nothing.  I have lain on the floor to approximate being very short and baby-like.  I don't see it in my immediate field of vision, and I am now covered in golden retriever fur.  The ass of my pants looks like Goldie Hawn.
So until Chris returns home, and he and Emmett can go on a scavenger hunt to locate which one of Emmett's treasure troves contains the magic USB piece, I cannot post the blog I have for today.

The eyes of a madman, plotting behind his Hippogriff
I can only hope that we find it more successfully than we found the Xbox memory card.  My guess is that it went to swim with the fishes, given Emmett's other hobby: Putting Things In The Toilet.