Raspberries and Cake Balls

>> Tuesday, June 28, 2011

1. chicken salad
2. egg
3. cucumbers
4. raspberries
5. cake ball

Yeah, cake ball. Have you had these? They're everywhere! I think Bakerella started it, and now Starbucks is finishing it. I had one recently, a Starbucks one I mean, in a moment of weakness. See I was out of half & half ... anyway, it tasted like flavoring. And sweet. Know what I mean? Tiramiextract. But, they are cute. Also Zoot loves them and I think she's one of the coolest people I don't know so when it came time to menu plan for True Blood last night, (what? you don't menu plan for TV events?)I decided to make some. Strawberry cake, strawberry cream cheese frosting and milk chocolate coating. Sounds good, right?

I think my frosting was too ... thin? Or maybe I used too much? How much frosting is in a tub o' frosting? I don't know. They seemed a little wet so I didn't even attempt to put them on sticks. I can't decide if they are disgusting or genius! It might be psychological. The process of mushing up a perfectly good cake and all. Maybe I should try a batch using a plain cake mix and premade frosting so I can get a better idea of the consistency. Clearly this requires more investigation.


So I Made Cookies

>> Tuesday, June 21, 2011

1. cucumber salad
2. pita
3. hummus
4. olives

I love eating stuff like this when it's too hot to think. It seemed okay when I ate it but let me tell you I was starving by the time I got home. So I made cookies.


Remember the Days

>> Thursday, June 16, 2011

1. spaghetti
2. bread
3. olives

Does anyone else remember when spaghetti sauce came powdered in a paper packet and had to be mixed with a big can of tomato juice to make it into sauce? Well I do. My mom had a pretty basic meal rotation and spaghetti was one of the standards. I clearly remember how it was done. I'll share!

First you had to fill the big pan with water and when it started to boil you had to take the dried spaghetti and break it up into 2 inch pieces into the water. When it was done you had to strain off the water. This wasn't as easy as it sounds because for some reason my mom pretty much refused to use a colander and when she finally did get one it was bright yellow Tupperware and creeped me out (also she called it a strainer). This meant you had to tilt the hot boiling water filled pan just so over the side of the sink and drain out the water without loosing the spaghetti. Tricky! Anyway, after that you ripped open a packet of "spaghetti sauce" and dumped the powder on top of the noodles, then punched open a big can of tomato juice and poured it on top. Then you stirred it all together with some ground beef you had browned separately while the noodles were cooking. I can't remember if she used onions or not ... no garlic though, definitely no garlic.

Now at our house I rely heavily on jarred sauce for quick meals. I also know I'm grateful to have a Fresh&Easy nearby because I really dig their pasta sauces and appreciate that they don't involve little packets of powdered stuff. And no, I'm not getting paid to say that. Unfortunately.



>> Wednesday, June 15, 2011

1. jerk chicken
2. rice and beans
3. pineapple salad

This was yesterday's jerky lunch which was better than today's asshole lunch.



>> Friday, June 10, 2011

1. couple of bbq ribs
2. pasta salad
3. banana pudding

Pasta salad. Imagine me SPITTING the words. Try again...pasta salad. I was seduced my friends. My head was turned alright. Curly rotini pasta drenched in pesto with tomatoes and tiny mozzarella balls. You know I'm a sucker for tiny mozzarella balls. And cheap. If there's one thing I like better than tiny mozzarella balls it's cheap stuff so if you combine the two...well look out Rhonda! Oh. What a disappointment. This looker was all show and no go. Big talk, slow walk. A teaser. Not a pleaser. You might have fooled me once Fresh&Easy, but I won't get fooled again!

Banana pudding. Imagine me saying it like "hello lover". Now lick your lips and go mmmmmmm. But not in a gross way. This is a family friendly blog. Now banana pudding sure doesn't look like much to write home about the second day, but could sure teach pasta salad a thing or two about satisfaction. Beauty is more than skin deep you know. Books shouldn't be judge by the cover. People shouldn't drink coffee after midnight and go on and on about their stupid lunch. Sorry. Want to know how I make it? It's awfully good and if you've only ever had pudding from a box you owe it to yourself to at least try this once. Live a little!

I like the recipe right off the Nilla Wafer box, but with a few changes. First of all - there will be no meringue. I don't care for it. Also, there will be more pudding, twice as much, so double the sugar (just one cup, the other 1/4 cup in the original recipe is for the meringue), flour, salt, vanilla and milk. 5 eggs is plenty. I just think this makes for a much nicer custard to other stuff ratio than the original recipe. Of course you'll think the same. I'm sure of it. Since I don't do a meringue it doesn't need to go in a baking dish so I just use my biggest bowl. I also don't count cookies. Counting cookies is for LOSERS, but basically you open the box and whatever doesn't get eaten while the custard cooks goes in the pudding. 5 bananas are plenty too, don't double that! I usually end up using 4. One tip though, and this is critical, make sure the bananas are plenty ripe, not banana bread ripe but after all the green is gone and they get brown speckles and start to smell like bananas. Sometimes if I'm feeling sassy I'll dump some whipped cream on top, of course I'm not a Presbyterian so I think it's okay.


Nicoise, Very Nicoise

>> Thursday, June 9, 2011

1. tuna
2. potatoes
3. green beans
4. eggs
5. tomatoes

This was a plenty good and serviceable dinner served warmed with the leftovers reassembled into a plenty good and serviceable lunch served cold. Or room temperature really. Have I ever mentioned that I don't refrigerate my lunch? Ever? You probably should. And you too. Especially you. Do as I say, not as I do and all that. Food safety! Salmonella! PLAGUE! Certain. Death. But if you don't die, there's just something awfully special that happens when hard cooked egg meets mustard vinaigrette with the snap of a green bean, the smoosh of a potato and the pop of a tomato and it isn't cold or hot but just right.

See those tiny potatoes? I've been buying those from Fresh & Easy and I love, love, love them. They are so tiny, and cute, and little, and small, and oh, you know, but they cook SUPAH fast and they're kind of sweet and there's even a purple one in the mix. I have a vague suspicion there might be some serious genetic engineering going on there but I'm gonna choose not to dwell on it. Because they are just so damn cute.

Oh, I should tell you about the dressing! I sometimes make vinaigrette in the blender but usually in a bowl with a whisk. Mainly because I don't want to have to wash the blender. You might think a lazy person like myself would just put everything in a jar and shake it and have even less to wash. You'd be wrong. Until now anyway. I'm officially a shaken vinaigrette convert so it's kind of my duty to proselytize - you might think it's the most obvious thing in the world but clearly SOMEONE failed to let me know about it so there could be others out there. People like me. People who have no idea. This is my mission. My destiny.

Mustardy Vinaigrette Dressing

30ml apple cider vinegar
120ml olive oil
1 T coarse ground mustard
1 clove of garlic smashed hard
1 lemon, squeezed
1 quick squeeze o' honey (a teaspoon tops)
big pinch of salt
bigger pinch of pepper

Pour everything into your vinaigrette making container with a tight fitting lid cleverly marked in mls on the side for your measuring convenience. You might know this by it's other name, "water bottle". Apply lid. Shake like mad. Pour over your food. Eat. Store leftover dressing in the fridge in the, wait for it, same container you used to make it in. I know, right???


I'm Going to Miss the Free Citrus

>> Wednesday, June 8, 2011

1. costco chicken with pomegranate jus
2. pureed maple carrots aka Plan B Carrots
3. lemon bar made from the last of the lemons
4. last of the kumquats

If you knew me you'd know I recently got a pressure cooker. You'd also know that was really exciting to me because you'd have heard me talking about it all the freakin' time. I pretty much love it. It's so fast you guys! Like a microwave only less creepy. So, carrots. That should take like ... 5 minutes? Apparently not. Pressure cook carrots for 5 minutes and take a peek. Looks fine right? Now try to pick one up. Psych! Remember when it used to be cool to yell Psych! Yeah, me neither.
Plan B. Scoop up the "carrots" and smoosh 'em around with some butter, salt and a drizzle of maple syrup. Realize pureed maple carrots rock! Pretend they turned out just the way you planned.


Is There a Season for Salmon?

>> Tuesday, June 7, 2011

1. grilled salmon
2. fennel and grapefruit salad
3. chunk of bread that wasn't nearly as big as it looks

Sometimes I think my enjoyment of a particular food item is inversely proportional to it's cost. But enough about expensive fish that's probably out of season or whatever - should probably just remind myself that I live in the middle of the freakin' desert. Anyway, check out those grill marks! That pan was worth every penny of the 20 bucks I paid for it. And the salad? That I could eat again and again. Crisp and cool and just different enough to feel a teeny bit exotic. You can make it too!

Fennel and Grapefruit Salad

Chop up a small red onion and a head of fennel in the smallest dice you have the patience for. Supreme out a grapefruit and hack that up too. Mix up your favorite vinaigrette*, dump it on top and stick in the fridge for an hour. Fancy fennel frond garnish is entirely optional.

I used a citrus vinegar from Trader Joe's in this and let me tell you it was lovely.



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