Life Lesson: Artichokes are not the best take-your-lunch-to-work food

They make your fingers all sticky and they’re really hard to eat at your desk when you’re busy working your way through your lunch break.*

Also, if you’re going to cut them in half before cooking, clear out all those little hairs. Otherwise they get all over all the leaves and in your mouth and it’s a lot like licking a cat.**

Lastly, I’ve had artichokes with melted butter, I’ve had them with mayo. But my favorite dipping sauce remains mayo mixed with a bit of curry. What’s yours? Continue Reading

the time I baked bugs into my cookies

It seemed like just another day. Got a new bookshelf, had some friends over for dinner. But then, the worst thing ever happened: there wasn’t enough leftover lasagna for everyone.

We all had a decent-sized piece, but not an American-sized piece, if you know what I mean. I made extra salad, but I could tell they were still hungry. Or maybe I was just paranoid.

The decision was made: cookies were in order. I got out everything we needed and made the magic happen. Just when the magic was being perfected, my friend Kat noticed there were little specks dotting the top layer 0f the flour….specks that were–on closer inspection–little winged insects.

Oh but what were we to do??  We baked them.  We ate them.  I let our friend Adam eat two without even telling him.  Does that make me terrible?

And who is to blame for this debacle?  I want to blame my Modular Mates Tupperware containers, pictured above in their bug-harboring glory. How could you do this to me Modular Mates? How could you ruin my cookies??*

And after everything I’ve done for you. Touted you on my online Tupperware store.  Organized my pantry around you.  And now this betrayal.

I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to forgive you.

*To be fair, they were also mediocre for a number of other reasons. 1. We didn’t really follow a recipe. 2. I followed the advice of my friends and added an entire package of pudding. That was just crazy.

A case might also be made that it was my fault that the cookies were ruined for not noticing the bugs when I first scooped the flour.  But again, there is someone else to blame.  And in this case, that someone is booze, who distracted me and inspired me to make the cookies in the first place. Again, not my fault.

Thoughts on Easter Sunday

I found myself exploring the middle region of California on the way up from Bakersfield.  Along the way I got two (!!!!) really nice compliments about my hair, which did look awfully nice considering I had just slept for only five or so hours on my friend’s floor between the hours of 3am and 8:30am.  My friend Laura throws the best parties.

Along the way home we stopped at a Starbucks that was next to a Panda Express.  I was saddened to see families headed to a Panda Express for a high-fat high-sugar high-sodium hella processed Easter meal.

On the other hand, who could resit these two adorable pandas telling us of the magical treasures inside the Panda Express??

Mmm golden treasure shrimp.  Sounds expensive and delicious.  We can rest assured that the money they aren’t spending on quality ingredients is being spent on a decent advertising firm.

Later we ate at a Green Burrito.  The food could have been worse, but the sight of kids drinking sodas bigger than their heads was the real attraction (detraction?). Continue Reading

Chili Weekend

Will and I like to make huge batches of different soups.  We freeze half (in Tupperware) and eat it weeks or even months  later.  We eat like kings for a week or two on the other half, normally feeding at least a few friends along the way.

Yesterday I put the beans into soak.  My mom swears that if you rinse the beans, boil them for three minutes, and rinse again before soaking over night, your beans are less gassy.  It’s worth a try, right?

As I filled the giant bowl with water* I noticed some of the beans were all shriveled up and wondered if I normally remove the bad ones, as I’ve read one ought to do.  I started pawing through the beans and as I searched for bad ones, more and more started popping out as bad.  Indeed, I could find an imperfection in about one of every ten**! Continue Reading

Public Service Announcement: Del Oro Tostada Crowns are terrible

We’re big fans of Mexican food around here.  We have some awesome taquerias nearby (Cactus and La Calaca Loca are our favorites).

We also like to make it at home.  It reminds me of childhood; especially if we’re lazy and use the Lawry’s spice packet.  Will picked up Tostada Crowns for a change.  They were terrible.  Beyond stale.

They did make a pretty good bowl, though.  Especially since no one wanted to eat them.

We’ve gotten stale taco shells and crowns as often as we’ve gotten good ones.  From now on, I’m going to figure out how to make my own.

Continue Reading

Homemade Thin Mints

It’s Girl Scout cookie time.  I am reminded of all the hours I  spent as a girl wandering the streets selling cookies.  Sometimes it was fun, but it was always a fairly arduous task.

Amazingly, the last year I sold Girl Scout cookies was 1998 (yes I was a Girl Scout til the bitter end) and the price has hardly gone up since then.  I always notice, however, when I buy them now, how small they are.  I have to wonder if they’re making them smaller instead of raising the prices…people don’t want to pay more than $4 or $5 per box, after all. Continue Reading

No Me Gusta McDonalds

I spotted this billboard for McD’s breakfast deal. Just $2.99!! But what is it?

It looks to me like it’s a big pile of mush. If I liked McDonalds food, I might have been interested in it. As it is, I can hardly tell the sausage (is that even sausage?) from the hashbrowns from the biscuits from the eggs.

I don't think it's my mediocre photo that makes this look like a heap of mush instead of an appetizing breakfast.

My great friend Molly taught me a lot about food in college. A rule of thumb, she says, is that you have a balanced meal when you have a colorful plate. Look for all the colors of the rainbow; find red in kidney beans, beets or red chard, green in, well, greens, throw in some orange carrots or squash…it makes me hungry just thinking about it! Continue Reading

Alice Horton's Famous Donuts

On Saturday evening, my great friends Nick, Kat, Zach and I tried our hand at making Alice Horton’s Famous Donuts. Will was there too.

The batter whipped together in no time, and I was super careful to follow the instructions to a t. Not privy to the secrets of donut-making, I was careful to avoid any obvious mistakes (such as not sifting the flour).

My best friend g. bakes by throwing all the ingredients in a bowl and mixing well. I was glad she wasn’t there to watch as I obsessively measured and sifted and remeasured and, well, I didn’t sift again. Continue Reading

Donuts, Days and a Dream

The other day I asked you all for some feedback to help me entertain you. That is my goal, after all, so please provide feedback if you haven’t already!

One of my readers asked for donuts (doughnuts???). I’m not one to disappoint, but the nature of the web does keep me from really, and truly, handing you all a donut.

I had a dream sometime ago that I started a vegan-donut-selling business. This is strange because I am staunchly not vegan and I don’t eat too many donuts. Talking about donuts sure makes me want a donut, though. Even a vegan one. They’re actually really good–you don’t miss the animal fat at all. Subrosa, the coffee shop a block away, has vegan donuts. Maybe I should have a donut for lunch. Continue Reading