This is just a public service announcement for anyone wondering what to do with Trader Joe’s gnocchi — TOAST THEM IN A PAN WITH OLIVE OIL. They are straight-up nasty boiled, but if you skip the boiling altogether and toast them up, they taste like they cost way more than $2. Photo comes from the wonderful Iowa Girl Eats, where I learned this trick.
Watching entire seasons of TV shows in one sitting, drag, drugs, blonde hair, yoga, gin cocktails, Trader Joe's, marlboro 27s, Julia Child, vanilla lattes, drift compatibility, folk music, 30 Rock, tacos, Laura Marling, literary non-fiction, Natalie Dormer's face, one-minute dance parties to 90s r&b, food photography, and oxford commas.
So if you’re as into fall as I am — yoga-pants-wearing, pumpkin-latte-drinking white girl reporting for duty! — here are two kickass recipes that celebrate the season.
1) Sweet & Spicy Chili from Iowa Girl Eats, minus the cornbread and subbing in some cheddar biscuits on top of my mug-o-chili. I don’t really care for chili, but this is just so dope. Also, it’s ready in like 25 minutes.
2) Dark Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies from Good Life Eats. As much as I detest the word ‘moist,’ it’s really the only way to describe these delicious little puffs of pumpkin joy.
So it’s been a few months since I posted a recipe, not because I haven’t been cooking, but because “OMG you guys need to try the shortcake recipe on the side of the Bisquick box” sounds kind of uninspired and awful. (Although you guys really should try that shortcake recipe, it literally takes 15 minutes including baking time and it’s the booooomb.)
ANYWAY. I grew up in a heavily Italian-American neighborhood (read: Jersey Shore) so even my little tiny German mother has a “Sunday gravy” recipe that was passed down to me. It involves lots of meat and, more importantly, lots of simmering time. This is not that recipe.
This recipe, which comes from Smitten Kitchen via Marcella Hazan (a.k.a. the Julia Child of Italian cooking) has three ingredients: canned whole peeled tomatoes, an onion split in half, and half a stick of butter. THAT’S IT. And you know what? It’s fucking divine. Simple and summery and perfect. I once made it twice in a week.
For all you folks out there who find even chopping an onion intimidating — and there’s no shame in that, it’s how I used to be — this one’s for you. Invite someone over, open a bottle of red wine, and fool them into thinking you’re an Italian grandma.
Photo is by Smitten Kitchen.
Our HR manager, a baking goddess among mere mortals, made this gooey butter cake recipe in cupcake form today and I almost wept, they were so phenomenal, so I’m posting it here to remind myself to bake them once my arm is out of this splint.
(Photo not mine)
Ok, let’s talk about green smoothies, aka the best damn breakfast smoothie on the planet.
I’ve been drinking these on and off over the last six months, but I have a renewed interest in them since the announcement of a surprise drug test somewhere in the next month forced me into a low-fat diet so that I can maybe hopefully not lose my job. (This drug test is also responsible for my new hot-yoga-every-day habit, but that’s a story for a different post, and maybe even for a different blog since I’m the opposite of a fitness expert.)
Here’s what you need to make a green smoothie:
- 1 c. almond milk (or any type of milk, really)
- 1/2 c. greek yogurt
- 1-2 c. spinach (I use the baby spinach from TJ’s)
- 1 heaping tbsp peanut/almond butter (optional)
- 1 sliced banana (even better if it’s frozen)
- 1/2c.-1c. frozen fruit (berries, pineapple tidbits, whatever.)
Put the ingredients in the blender in this order, then blend the hell out of it. Don’t worry if you don’t have a fancy blender, I got mine for $30 on Amazon and it still gets the job done fairly well.
You might be thinking, is this going to be like drinking a salad? Why are you doing this to me? But I promise that you can’t taste the spinach, because if you could I would wretch immediately upon trying to drink it. I love spinach, but the thought of drinking it through a straw is horrendous.
Aside from giving you flawless angel skin and a bizarre, coffee-esque burst of energy, I love these because the flavor combos are endless. In the mood for something tropical? Use mango greek yogurt, frozen pineapple and shredded coconut. Addicted to blueberries like I am? Throw in a fat handful of ‘em — frozen is fine — and watch your green smoothie turn purple. (Although you should know that gorgeous purple is going to turn into creepy gray-brown once the bananas hit oxygen.)
You can also throw in some oats and/or chia seeds if you want something with more fiber that will keep you full for longer. Protein powder also helps keep you full forever. Hardcore green smoothie drinkers tell me you can also use kale in place of spinach, but I’m just not about that.
So whether you have to pee in a cup on an undetermined date OR you just want to fit more vegetables into your diet without, you know, actually eating them, these are amazing. Also, it’s a great way to let your co-workers know that you eat like a crunchy hippie without having to come right out and say it.
(photo credit: x)
9 months ago on March 03, 2013 at 05:11pm with 10 notes
I have a fancy snickerdoodle blondie recipe saved somewhere that might have a more ~complex flavor~, but this recipe is awesome because if you keep basic baking stuff in your house, you almost definitely already have the ingredients on hand. And it’s goddamn delicious.
These Butterscotch Pudding Triple Chip Cookies are actually the best cookies on the planet. I’ve done a lot of scientific research to determine this. So if you were wondering, “Hey, I wonder what the best cookie recipe on the planet is,” you can stop wondering. ‘Cause it’s definitely this one.
Because my refrigerator is a fucking pittance of an appliance, I don’t do a ton of Costco shopping for food stuff anymore. When I do go, I have to choose a couple of things I really, really want that will fit in with all the ice cream I keep in my freezer. One of those things is always a gigantic bag of Mrs. T’s Pierogies. A ravioli filled with mashed potatoes and cheese? I am DOWN.
I always assumed that making pierogies was a pain in the ass, since I once tried to make ravioli with my stepdad, and we only ended up making six before we threw in the towel. (Same goes for homemade pasta — I see nothing wrong with the dried stuff, and it’s like a dollar per box when you get store brand.)
HOWEVER, THIS pierogi recipe over at Annie’s Eats is ridiculously easy, and it only uses ingredients that I always have in the house anyway: flour, potatoes, cheese, eggs, milk and sour cream. So I’m going to make them tomorrow with pork chops.
Some people boil their pierogies; I think that’s basically food treason. Heat up butter and olive oil in a pan, dice and saute half an onion, then pan fry the pierogies. (If you really wanna blow your mind, fry up some bacon and onions, then saute the pierogies in the bacon grease. Holy hell.)
This post is brought to you by my compulsive need to feed my boyfriend even when he isn’t hungry, and my love of summer desserts.
After eating Ciao Bella’s kickass Key Lime Graham gelato today, I was talking to Sean on Skype, and he mentioned that he loooooves key lime pie. Whenever I visit, I like to make something special; usually I stick to dinner stuff, since Sean’s taste generally runs more savory than sweet. If he does mention a dessert he likes, however, my ears naturally perk up. This dude doesn’t even like too much chocolate in his desserts, so it’s rare that I make something sweet that reallyknocks him dead.
ANYWAY, long short short: key lime pie is the perfect thing to make for him right now because he lives on the fourth floor of his building and it’s about 5000 degrees even before you turn on the oven. Unlike, say, a cake or whatever, this only bakes for 15 minutes. I also have a no-bake recipe that would allow you to avoid raising summer hellfire in your kitchen altogether, but it makes more of a key-lime puddingish thing, and the consistency kind of freaks me out.
(lazy man’s pie recipe and slightly foul-mouthed commentary under the cut)
- Sometimes I am amazed at how much of an incredible human being my little sister, Heather, has become. My mom worries about her sometimes, since she’s so much more difficult to read than I am, but I know that she is going to be just fine. When I really needed to talk to someone who wouldn’t judge me, I called her, and I don’t think anyone in this world could have done a better job of making me feel better about a certain situation.
- My sister is a clone of my mother, so really I have my mom to thank for all this.
- I am so excited to make dinner and dessert tomorrow with Heather for my mom and stepdad! I’m making the chicken stir-fry recipe I posted recently with homemade fried rice (or lo-mein? haven’t quite decided that yet), and then Heather and I are either going to make a fresh strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting or these to-die-for oatmeal butterscotch cookies. (Strawberry desserts and oatmeal cookies are my mom’s favorites.)
- I love my mother more than any living person on earth — except for Heather — and I am so excited to spend the afternoon drinking homemade sangria and shooting the shit with my two favorite ladies.
I always want to cook Asian-inspired recipes, but I never have all the necessary ingredients. (Sesame oil and other essential flavor items like fresh ginger are generally not things I end up buying when I’m at the grocery store. Especially since the only things I usually buy when Sean’s not around are yogurt and ramen.)
This recipe has a particularly overwhelming ingredient list. However, Sean’s mom happened to have everything on hand when I was housesitting this weekend, right down to the organic Hoisin sauce we found unopened in the back of the spice cabinet.
OH MY GOD, YOU GUYS. This is probably the most delicious thing I’ve ever made, and I’ve made some ridiculously tasty shit. The recipe only calls for chicken and broccoli, but we ended up throwing in carrots and green bell peppers, then putting it all over a bed of rice noodles. (I replaced the sherry with a little bit of the sauvignon blanc I was drinking, and that turned out excellent. I also had to sub flour for the cornstarch, which changed the consistency slightly for the worse, so that’s probably the only thing I’m gonna do differently when I make this again.)
Because I’m currently eating the leftovers and weeping at how orgasmic this tastes, I’m gonna have to expand my grocery list to include some of these items — particularly that toasted sesame oil, mmmmmm —on a regular basis.
I was craving banana bread something fierce this weekend, so I made some while I visited Sean. This recipe at foodnetwork.com is far and away my favorite base recipe. It’s super easy, and you can modify it really easy to fit your specific tastes.
(For example, I replaced 1/4 of the recipe’s cup of granulated sugar for brown sugar, added a splash of vanilla extract, and threw in about a cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Next time, I think I’m gonna add walnuts and cut the salt in the recipe down to a 1/2 tsp., since I wouldn’t need it to balance out the chocolate.)