Wednesday, May 30, 2007

If I Had A Perfect Boyfriend

Every once in awhile I come across the kind of apartment in which I could afford to live IF I could share the rent with a kind, sensitive, tidy boyfriend who knows how to cook and clean and fix stuff. This boyfriend would also not be allowed to have an extensive collection of movie posters or sports memorabilia that would interfere with my decor. This is assuming that in this fantasy world I have money for "decor", as opposed to my current decor of Ikea, stuff I found on the curb and piles of crap.

Here's the first installment of Dream Boyfriend Apartment:

Friday, May 25, 2007

House Music, HSHW Style

Apartment Therapy, a favorite homemaking blog of ours, occasionally posts about bands and musicians they enjoy listening to, reportedly, around the house. Hence, House Music.

I gotta say, their choices of Jason Mraz (who, granted, is adorable) and Rachael Yamagata amongst other ho-hum, safe "rockers" really bores me. So whom would I clean house and cook up a storm to, you ask?

Calexico - Fairly easy listening, but the south of the border vibes are spicy enough for the kitchen.

The B-52's - A personal favorite, I'd include this on a music list of any sort, but the upbeat tunes and the fact that singer Kate Pierson also happens to be a domestic goddess who owns this roadside motel make them a perfect fit for rockin' out with a broom or a wooden spoon.

The Thermals - The high energy and bounce of this noisy 3-piece makes any activity go by quickly and with considerable jumping around the room.

The Police - I don't know what it is exactly, but the ingrained familiarity of The Police make them the ideal compliment to any task. Like an old friend talking you through it. Plus you can break out into a chorus of "Turn on the red liiiiight" into your spatula if the vibe strikes you.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Brooklyn Cooking Demo

I've been far too busy painting my toenails and making watermelon-basil ice tea drinks to update you on this, but this is exciting!!

Recently, in celebration of Kara Zuaro's new indie rock cookbook I Like Food, Food Tastes Good, I was invited along with my bandmate (and aforementioned meat enthusiast) Scott to do a food demo. It was at The Brooklyn Kitchen, a fantastic kitchen supply store owned by the very lovable couple Taylor and Harry.

Now let's stop and consider for a moment the hilarity of ME doing a cooking demonstration. Crazy, right? Hey watch me microwave a burrito and burn some rice! But the truth is, I have one original (and very tasty) recipe that I created a few years back for the Pillsbury Bake-Off on the urging of my very handy-in-the-kitchen grandma. It was my honor to include this recipe for "Big Apple Quiche Puffs" in Kara's cookbook, and to show it off to a small, hungry crowd at The Brooklyn Kitchen. Of course I couldn't find the requisite Crescent Grands for the "puffs" part of the recipe and had to make do with canned biscuits. Then Scott totally showed me up by making yak dumplings, which is okay because he's making a living off knowing a thing or two about meat and I'm just a casual cook, and certainly not used to having an audience (note to self: don't lick fingers in front of said audience).

I'm gonna be a pain in the ass and suggest you pick up a copy of I Like Food, Food Tastes Good if you want to check out my recipe. Commerce, yay!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The Disgusting Things I Cooked In College

Last night I was throwing together one of my stand-by, cooking-for-one dinners: basil and mint Vietnamese rice noodles with sesame pork. This is a particularly enjoyable dish, not only because it's way easy (basil, mint, rice noodles, fish sauce, sugar, lime, and pork fried in peanut oil and sesame oil), but because you can use the leftover mint as an excuse to drink mojitos for the rest of the evening!
While I'm tossing this dish together, I was thinking back to the stand-by meals of my college years. Back when I was living in my first apartment and using my first kitchen. Here's some of the disgusting things I used to cook:

Frozen Ravioli Bolognese
-Boil a package of bargain brand frozen ravioli, drain
-Spray a pan with Pam and fry up some chopped onions
-Brown a fist full of ground beef in the pan
-Add jarred spaghetti sauce
-Toss in some miscellaneous "Italian" spice, probably oregano
-Pour contents of pan over raviolis and serve
Rating: satisfying but with accompanying stomach ache

What's In The Fridge Stir-Fry
-Boil some rice (because you don't have a rice steamer)
-See what's in the fridge
-Spray a pan with Pam
-Assuming you find any of the following in the fridge, fry up some broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, chunks of chicken and whatever else might make sense (pickles?)
-Once the items in the pan are heated to a leathery consistency, add to rice, which has mostly burnt to the bottom of the pot
-Add soy sauce in the hope of salvaging this sad meal
-Eat a few bites, give up and order Papa John's
Rating: inedible

Sausage Mac
-Make store-brand mac & cheese according to package directions
-Fry up a sausage (this could be a hot dog or an Italian sausage, depending on how extravagant you are feeling)
-Chop sausage into bites and mix into mac & cheese
-God willing, you will also eat a salad to balance it out. Probably not.
Rating: 3rd grade levels of deliciousness and class

The Standard
-Prepare a bowl of Ramen Noodles according to package directions
-Serve with 40oz of Schlitz malt liquor
Rating: usually the beginning of a really good night that ends badly