Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Freebase Pancakes

Thanks to notcot.com for passing along this seedy (and adorable!) cooking technique from Random Stuff:

Monday, April 16, 2007

Stop Making Me Feel Bad, Real Simple

I was talking to my mom last night, who is pretty much my hero when it comes to housekeeping. This woman's skills in the realms of dusting, organizing, canning and gardening are tops! So with that in mind, I thought it was cute, and a little sad, that Mom informed me she plans to discontinue her subscription to Real Simple.

"There are all these great suggestions, and I think to myself, 'I have to remember this! I should cut this out! But where will I file it? I need to start a new file. I need to clean the hood of the stove. When was the last time I vacuumed under the fridge?' and pretty soon I'm just feeling bad for myself. I can't keep reading this."

This is also the reason Mom didn't renew her subscription to Martha Stewart Living (the gardens were just way too nice and she couldn't afford the home furnishings she saw and liked) and Better Homes and Gardens. Aw man, Mom. Quit beating yourself up!

Maybe I'm just still young and hopeful enough, but I'm happily devouring my Real Simples and Livings every month, cover to cover, and yeah I have never dared to clean the hood of the stove (though I wrote myself a sticky note suggesting it!) but I am going to try making this soup tonight. We'll see what happens.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Bed Bug Cake

We have a friend who is a self-taught cake baker/decorator. For another friend's recent birthday, she created this adorable (and delicious-- red velvet covered in fondant!!) bed-bug-themed cake, poking fun at the birthday girl's recent apartment infestation. Something so gross never tasted so good.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Interfaith Treat Exchange

With Easter and Passover last week came the arrival of seasonal treats of the egg, ham, chocolate and matzoh varieties. Last year my mom passed along a simple recipe for Chocolate Matzoh Clusters that she clipped from a magazine. It was a big hit at the Seder I attended, winning big points for the Midwesty gentile over here. So delicious were these clusters, I decided to whip up a batch again this year to share with my Jewish and chocolate loving friends alike. Try for yourself:

Combine 3 sheets crumbled matzoh with 3 cups melted semisweet chocolate, and 1 cup each dried cherries, slivered almonds, and coconut. Drop by teaspoonsful onto baking sheets lined with waxed paper; refrigerate until firm.

Of course, one of the best parts of sharing seasonal treats with my friends is when you get a little somethin' in exchange. And this year, in a very adorable trade between Jew and gentile, my meat loving, Jewish friend Scott traded me some country ham for a baggie of matzoh clusters.

He had a lot of leftover ham after doing some magic with a whole pig our friends got from their brother as a gift. Who sends someone a whole pig as a gift? And furthermore, who cooks a pig in Dr. Pepper? I have a lot to learn.

Friday, April 6, 2007

So I've Got This Great New Diet

In just one week, I've shed five pounds! That's right, five pounds and without even going to the gym. How did I do it you ask? Follow these simple steps:

Day One: Eat shellfish, preferably at some place with a TGIFridays level of culinary expertise and freshness. In my case it was buffalo oysters at the Noisy Oyster. Follow this up with several hours of heavy drinking (including shots with names like "Birthday Cake") and pizza at 2am.

Day Two: Eat a real stick-to-your-ribs kind of breakfast to soak up that booze. How about biscuits and sausage gravy with a side of grits.

Day Three: Today you will start to feel the effects of this wonder diet. Clear your calendar of all important meetings, because you will be visiting the ladies room about every 30 min or so at work.

Day Four: Now's when the diet really gets rolling. Take the day off from work-- this is when you will feel the burn, but it's all worth it! Sure you will be running to the bathroom to expel all remaining food and liquids from your body, but you will have lost all interest in food (and ability to eat). Which means no added calories!

Day Five: Snack cautiously on matzoh crackers and English muffins. You won't want to push it. But check out that profile-- the pounds are just melting away!

Day Six: Sip on some seltzer and start bragging to your friends. Boy do you look great!

Day Seven: Time to celebrate! The horrible stomach pains have subsided and you are five pounds slimmer. Go out and have a drink with the girls. It won't take much to get hammered since you haven't been eating anything. Think of all the money you are going to save--BONUS!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

C'mon You Wanna Lei Me, Pass the Cake, Mahalo

My cousin got married over the weekend in a very low-key, very lovely wedding in Charleston, SC. Between the flowers, the music, the open bar, I think my favorite part was their choice of cake(s). That's right, two cakes that appeared completely uncoordinated. Not so! What they had in common was they were both pretty much the most delicious cake ever in their respective categories-- chocolate and vanilla.

You got the impression that someone asked them "What is your favorite kind of cake?" and one of them said "Chocolate!" and one said "Vanilla covered in strawberries!" In some marriages-to-be, this would be a deal breaker. How could two people so in love want such very different cakes? Undeterred, my cousin and his fiancé apparently just decided that there was no cutting corners in the realm of cake (unless we're talking about cutting the corner piece for yourself, because everyone knows that's the best piece). They got two very delicious, very mismatched cakes. And then in a further eff you to tradition, they topped them with a very unconventional "bride and groom".

And ok, I lied, the cake was awesome but the open bar was pretty much my favorite part.