Saturday, November 17, 2012

store up.

a list by Kendra Vaculin

Alternatively titled: Get In My Shopping Cart and Get In My Body

     You are hard to open
     So are you
     So much hard pressed apple cider
    I will make you into a soup if its the last thing I do
Sweet Potatoes
Butternut Squash
     What the heck is this? I do not know but I do not discriminate
     All I ever want
Brussels Sprouts

I am coming for all of you, none of you are safe.  You have received all due and proper warning, I have nothing else to say.

Friday, November 16, 2012

say crack again.

If it is a soccer game snack -- if someone's mom handed them out with Capri Suns after your devastating loss to the Orange Fireflies (2-4-6-8, they're who you appreciate) -- my feeling is that you should not be making them from scratch.  There is a line to be drawn somewhere, a line between homemade and overkill, and I would like to draw it here, in thick permanent ink.  Graham crackers? No. Wheat Thins?  No.  Fruit Roll-Ups?  Stop.  Goldfish?  South of the line.  Put down the fish shaped cooked cutter.  This is the beginning of the end.  Just buy them at the store.  They are snacks.  Just buy them at the store.  You know I am all for kitchen ingenuity.  But just buy the snacks.

Why do I feel this way?  I do not know.  Maybe I want to keep Pepperidge Farm in business.  Maybe I am lazy.  Maybe I feel threatened by the people who rework pantry staples to be devoid of butter/sugar/all that is good.  Maybe I want to be able to open a bag of something that I did not slave over and decimate the entire thing in front of an episode of 30 Rock.  Is this wrong?

So then, right, whatever, I saw these cheese cracker things on Joy the Baker and...I caved.  I said to myself, these are ostensibly round Cheese-Its.  The recipe calls for a lot of butter and a lot of cheese.  I am not improving the nutritional value of this snack.  I am not making these in lieu of purchasing the very same product because of a control freak problem that I have.  In fact, I will also BUY some Cheese-Its.  This is an exercise in comparison.  This is an experiment.  I am doing this for science.

Ultimately these crackers were nothing like Cheese-Its: much butterier, much thinner, much flakier, and probably very much worse for you.  Not at all like crackers, really.  Wafers?  But so freaking good tasting.  I ate many off the baking sheet, and then we threw some on top of tomato basil soup and that was an inspired decision.

Conclusion: These are a garnish.  Not a snack.  Not a snack!  Thick permanent marker line stays where it is.  Look elsewhere for recipes for homemade Triscuits or Pop Tarts or Double Stuffed Oreos, because this chick's getting her snack on out of a package, yaheard?

PS: I'm doing this thing where if I don't adapt the recipe or don't feel the need to go over specifically difficult steps with you, I just link the recipe.  How do we feel.  Do we hate this?
She said to the universe.
No one answered.
She sighed.

LOL JK, gonna go pan-fry some tofu now.


This is a song called What's Been Happening Lately.

First up are some cakey pumpkin cookies, recipe here, that were gone within a matter of hours.  I subbed in all-purpose gluten-free flour because thats how some of the people in my life roll food-wise, but you do you.

Oh MAN.  These guys were like...the tops of muffins, except crispier on the outside.  Ugh.  Before dinner, during dinner, after dinner, and then again for breakfast.  And then you'd better eat some vegetables, missy, if you know what's good for you.  That last part was for me.

(If I'd been thinking, I would have toasted some pepitas and sprinkled those on top.  When you make these -- and you will -- do as I say, not as I did.  The path to enlightenment is paved with pumpkin seeds.)

Next.  My hands.  From your left, my right: one high school class ring which I still rock, one gold Threadbare baby from Catbird, one sparkly Ganesh birthday present (I am 22 now, which is the same thing as ancient), one Bezerkely street find that looks like a mood ring, and one legitimate claddagh via my personal Irish wench amiga mejor.

And last.  These are my new shoes.  They are not online, so I cannot link them to you.  They are Topshop Office and they are so fantastic.  If you have a boy in your life who loves you, he might, without any trace of irony, call them your Cowboy Tap Shoes.  This is what happened to me.  

End of song.

Monday, November 5, 2012

boom, roasted.

These are iPhone photos because at the time my SD card was being held hostage at an undisclosed location in Skokie.  I don't want to talk about it.  It won't happen again.
I have homework to do, but I can't I just can't I just ugh I cannot.
I am eating licorice and trolling Facebook instead.
I am so backed up on blog posts.  I have so many to do.
I have only very recently emerged from the West Wing black hole which wrecked me for a seriously hefty chunk of time, namely, two weeks.

But I am going to be ok because I do not have season three nor any viable means by which to obtain season three, and as long as that is true, I am SAFE and can ACCOMPLISH some things.

First order of business: an autumnal side dish that you might just eat out of the pan and that's fine.

Roasted Sweet Potato, Apples and Pearl Onions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat a large pan to medium-high heat before adding a teaspoon or two of olive oil, and then a bunch of (thawed and patted dry) frozen pearl onions.  You could spend 157 hours peeling normal pearl onions, but I have better things to do during that time like watch CJ do The Jackal.  Cook onions for about two minutes, or until brown.

Add a bunch (this is my measurement, a "bunch") of chunks of apple and of peeled and chopped sweet potato to the pan and place pan into the oven for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through.

Remove pan from oven and add a small pat of butter, salt, pepper, and a solid amount of fresh thyme, mixing to melt and coat.  At this point your house will smell really good.  Pour mixture into a bowl and devour.