Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I Double-Dip.

I have mentioned my love of sauces a few times before. This love also extends to dips, which is really just a less wet version of sauce. I love dips so much, I'm giving you two...yes, two! recipes for the post of one!

Here is my approach to dips. Pay attention, it is epic! I do not believe in wussy dipping! No, my friend! If you're going to dip something (bread, chip, cracker, finger), then you really need to dip that motherfucker.

Case in point. Notice the amount of spread on that cracker.

Impressive, I know!
Make sure you are tasting that dip! Don't be shy! And there's no shame in double-dipping. You can be courteous and dip the other side, but double dipping is totally allowed!

Here's one of my new favorite dips that is super simple. I have heard it referred to as "Poor Man's Caviar." I'm not really sure how this anything like caviar since I don't have the need to wipe my tongue clean after eating it, but okay.

It may look like a bowl of poo, but it's really good!
Roasted Eggplant Dip

1 large eggplant, chopped into 1/2 inch chunks
1 - 2 garlic cloves
1/4 to 1/3 c olive oil
1 handful parsley, chopped
salt and pepper

1. Roast eggplant in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes, flipping half-way through. Make sure to oil the pan well so that the eggplant crisps up and doesn't stick.
2. Let eggplant cool.
3. Add eggplant to food processor. Add the garlic clove into food processor as well.
4. Process while slowly adding oil until dip reaches desired consistency.
5. Add parsley and pulse a few more seconds to incorporate. Enjoy!

Want a Baba Ganoush recipe? Okay, here it is.

Baba Ganoush

1 large eggplant, chopped into 1/2 inch chunks, skin on
1 - 2 garlic cloves (or a few sprinkles of garlic powder if you don't want too strong a garlic taste)
2 tbsp mayonnaise (Mayonnaise?! Yes, mayonnaise. Read the ingredients on Tribe label. It's there!)
2 tbsp tahini sauce
1/4 c olive oil
salt and pepper

1. Roast eggplant in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes, flipping half-way through. Make sure to oil the pan well so that the eggplant crisps up and doesn't stick.
2. Let eggplant cool.
3. Add all the ingredients to the food processor with the exception of the oil. 
4. Process while slowly adding oil until dip reaches desired consistency. Enjoy!

Friday, June 24, 2011

What if the Float Exploded?!?!

Lisa is my older sister. We're actually in Puerto Rico right now, celebrating her birthday! To say we are close is an understatement.

Growing up, she was always bigger then me. So my only defense against her when we were fighting was to throw myself on the ground and start kicking. I would frantically flail my legs about until she eventually caught both of them or she gave up trying. Thankfully, I haven’t had to use that tactic in quite some time.

Being 5 years apart, there was a time during childhood where the age difference was quite clear. Lisa has these delusions that I was a pain in the ass as a kid. I know! Like I could have ever been a pain in the ass?! As the years have passed, the age difference has faded more and more. And while it is still clear from time to time who the mom figure is out of the two of us, our relationship certainly has changed.

She is my constant. The person I can call like a stalker and not feel bad, who I can make stupid jokes to, look ridiculous in front of, cry whenever I need to, my go-to person. She is the one of the only people in my life who I talk to every day ON THE PHONE (which I almost never do!). She is stronger then she thinks she is, a little crazy, and has one of the best sense of humors of anyone I have ever met. My sister keeps me strong, keeps me laughing, and, at times, keeps me from slapping obnoxious drunk chicks at bars.

She is my best friend and I could not picture my life without her. Even when I want to push her out of a kayak. :) (Too soon, Lee?)

Happy Birthday Lisa. Love you.

She'll be reading this post while laying a sandy, sunny beach in PR. Jealous? :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

"Bonnie! It's Daddy!"

“Bonnie! It’s Daddy!” is usually the way my father starts our phone conversations, as if I wouldn’t recognize his voice after 29 years of hearing it. Usually, this is followed by a story, a joke, or a list of questions he has already asked but forgotten he asked so he is asking again.

My father is a character. He is a story-teller. And when I really think about it, he is the heart of the humor in my family. While we are a pretty funny family, my father is definitely the source from which our humor comes.  Trust me. This isn’t a small thing in our family.

Humor is what keeps us afloat in a lot of ways. It’s our way of having a good time, of initiating others into the clan, showing love to each other, and coping when things seem unbearable. While there is no doubt that our family is strong and resilient, it is the humor that gets through the hard times. It is one of the things that make each of us who we are. And my father helps to give us that.

People often say that women are attracted to men who are like their fathers. While I find that idea absolutely repulsive, the fact that I find a good sense of humor a man’s most attractive quality is not a surprise given who my model is. And while I think I have a combination of both my parents’ personalities, I definitely get my outgoing nature, story-telling ability, and inability to be on time from my dad.

But my father is much more then the joke teller. As we have aged, he has become a support and a comfort. A hug from my father and his kind words are enough to push me through to the next day, even when I didn’t think anything could.

My dad is awesome. I am lucky to have him as a father.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I Hate Sandra Lee.

Sandra Lee of Semi-Homemade, that is. That ridiculous television shows that basically encourages Americans to eat even more processed food by buying a ton of pre-packaged items to make "semi-homemade" meals. It's either homemade or it's not, people!

But as much as it pains me to say it, the cupcakes for my birthday were semi-homemade. Bllleeehhhh! They're from a boxed cake mix, but made to be reduced fat and dressed up a bit with raspberry jam.

Whatever, Sandra Lee, whatever.

Argh! Mini cupcake monster!

Mini Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes

1 box lemon cake mix
3/4 c Egg Beaters
1/3 c. apple sauce
1 c. water
1 jar reduced sugar raspberry jam (used Trader Joe's organic)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Add first four ingredients and beat mixture until smooth, about 2 minutes.
3. Spoon into each cupcake cup a half teaspoon or so of cake mix.
4. Spoon into each cupcake cup a quarter teaspoon or so of raspberry jam.
5. Fill the rest of the cupcake cup with batter.
6. Bake for about 20 - 22 minutes or until the tops of the cakes are golden and the tops spring back when touched.

I know today is  Dad's Day, but I didn't want to be a liar and not give you an uplifting cupcake post as I had promised! A post about my dad is on the horizon!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Happy New Year!

Today is the start of my new year.

Sure, I wrote a post for the start of the first real year, but whatever. There are no rules on this blog. It's anarchy!

If I had a $1 for every time I have said or had said to me "This has been a rough year," I would have my car paid off and probably part of my student loans.

Yes, this year has been hard. I had an unexpected end to a relationship that left me devastated. Only to have an unexpected beginning of a new relationship that gave me a sense of happiness, confusion, and fear. I was diagnosed with a chronic illness that no one would have saw coming. I have questioned myself. I have lost faith in who I am. I have lost trust in my decisions. And I am fucking tired of it.

It is time for change. While these things have been hard and will ultimately affect who I am as a person, I have been existing in this narrow unhappy, anxiety-ridden world, afraid of what comes next, scared of moving forward, too bogged down in the shit that has already passed for far too long.

No more. I say enough.

I know the struggle does not end with this simple affirmation. I realize that changes are necessary, sacrifices may happen, and stumbling blocks are on the road ahead, but it is the first step on the journey to reclaim who I am and maybe make some improvements along the way.

You only get one lap around the pool, you know?

Ok, enough of this new age crap. Just so you know, the next post is about cupcakes! Because cupcakes are just as uplifting as a unicorn crappin' skittles! Am I right or am I right?!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Jerry and his Booze: A Pictorial Essay

Meet Jerry. 

Jerry loves his booze. 

So happy!

Sometimes, his booze makes him feel happy. 

Don't cry, Jerry. 

Sometimes, his booze makes him feel sad. 

That girl is gorgeous!
Sometimes, his booze makes him feel downright FRISKY!

But, usually, his booze just makes him take lots of pictures with his mouth open. 

Dirty Pickle Martini

1 - 2 parts vodka (depending on how strong you like your drinks)
1 part pickle brine (bought from a homemade pickle stand, the jar just won't do).
sliced pickles for garnish

1. Pour into martini shaker with ice. Shake and serve!

The Dirty Bloody Martini - variation courtesy of Jerry*
A mix of a dirty pickle martini and a bloody mary

1 - 2 parts vodka
1 part pickle brine
All the following ingredients are to taste:
tomato juice
olive juice
green olives
black pepper
whole grain mustard

1. Pour into martini shaker with ice. Shake and serve!

*Jerry is the king of kitchen sink cooking!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Killin' Me!

The List!

The night before my party, I had a whole plan. Which I actually typed up and printed out! It was the plan to keep me organized! To make sure every thing I wanted to get done actually did while not having a massive panic attack while doing it. 

The night before, I had given make self the tasks of going food shopping, cleaning the apartment, making two of the dishes, and putting wine in the fridge. Yes, wine in the fridge was on the list. It is just one of those things you forget until every one is drinking warm white wine and the party is JUST RUINED! RUINED, I tell you! 

One of the dishes I was planning on making was Yum Sauce. I saw this recipe on Peas and Thank You, a vegan blog that has assorted stories and recipes by a mother of two (who is quite funny). I believe she refers to this sauce as Mmm Sauce. It is a pretty straightforward recipe. Throw a bunch of shit in a food processor and viola! Yum sauce. 

But oh no, it couldn't be that easy! The first time I turned on the food processor on, I forgotten to put in the top attachment thingy for the lid (that is its technical name) and splattered my kitchen with a mixture of oil, water, and half processed chickpeas. Stupid! 

Okay, let's try this again. Nope, the top did not line up right with the bowl and continued to splatter my kitchen. What's more frustrating then a broken food processor? Three broken food processors! Why do I have three food processors? It doesn't matter! I don't judge your weird collections!

By the time I actually finished making this recipe, I had thoroughly wiped down my kitchen four times and then proceeded to wash an entire jar filled with cooking utensils that were causalities in the Great Yum Sauce War.  Oh, and three stupid food processors!

Everybody had better loved that friggin' Yum Sauce and God helps anyone who wants to say they didn't! Grrr, Jerry!

Yum Sauce
Taken from Peas and Thank You

1/4 c. canola oil (or oil of your choice)
1/4 c. almonds
1/3 c. water
1/4 c. chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 c. nutritional yeast
2 1/2 T. lemon juice
1 t. minced garlic
1/4 t. salt
3/4 t. curry powder
1/2 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. dried cilantro

1. In a food processor ::grumble, grumble::, combine the oil, almonds, water, and chickpeas. Process until smooth.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

It's My Party....

And I'll shoot insulin if I have to.

I threw myself a little birthday celebration this weekend to commemorate me entering the final year of my 20's. ::sniffle, sniffle:: I thought I'd share the birthday menu!

The Birthday Menu

Dips and Spreads
Roasted Eggplant Dip
Watermelon-Feta Bruschetta
Tomato-Mozzarella Bruschetta
Yum Sauce with fresh veggies
Romesco Sauce with Roasted Baby Potatoes

Cheese plate with fresh fruit (Brie, Gouda, Cheddar)
Turkey meatballs with Tomato Sauce and Pesto
Mini pizzettes with onion, goat cheese, and prosciutto

Mini Lemon-Raspberry Cupcakes
Mini Brownies

Dirty Pickle Martinis - my new drink for the summer! - which eventually turned into Dirty Bloody martinis (a combination of bloody mary and dirty pickle martini), courtesy of Jerry's twisted mind.
Plenty of wine and beer

Everything was very yummy! I'll be posting recipes and pictures of each homemade menu item in the coming weeks! But here's one to hold you over....

Watermelon-Feta Bruschetta

1/4 fresh watermelon
1/4 - 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
handful of mint, chopped thin
salt and pepper
~3 tbsps olive oil
1/4 cup prosciutto (optional)

1. Cut watermelon in 1/4 inch cubes.
2. Add crumbled feta, chopped mint, salt, and pepper. Toss together. Add proscuitto if using.
3. Add oil to bruschetta as a drizzle, tossing often. Serve with crackers or crostini.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

I Just Farted.

It was a year ago today that I was getting Jerry drunk and forcing him to come home with me. Or this is what Jerry has deluded himself into believing.

To say this past year has been a challenging one is an understatement. I like to think that all we have gone through is only making us stronger, helping us build a sturdier foundation for the future.

I am incredibly lucky to have a person in my life who has (almost) the right combination of douchebag and sweetheart. At times, the former may outweigh the latter.

My dear, thank you for...
your patience as I test it often,
making the inappropriate joke no matter what situation we are in,
for always being there when I need you, 
finding my hand in savasana pose at the end of yoga class,
singing your answers long after the rule ends,
working through the hard times to make it to good ones,
and for making me smile on a regular basis, even if you aren't always able to see it.

In this past year, our lives have unfolded in ways we never could have predicted.

I couldn't have come through it without you.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Rrrrrrred Sonja!

There is a cute little Turkish place near my apartment called Mundo. It doesn't have a huge menu, but it is known for it is Red Sonja, usually offered to you by the head waiter with an exaggerated roll of the r's (Rrrrrrrrred sonja! He also happens to wear eyeliner. Just to give you a picture.)

Red sonjas are red lentil-bulgur patties that are wrapped in romaine lettuce wraps with a squeeze of lemon juice. It is really good. If you have never had red lentils, you should definitely try them. They're different from other lentils, both in flavor and in preparation (only 20 minutes!). They actually have a peppery flavor to me.

Red Lentil Patties


1 cup red lentils
3/4 cup bulgur
1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
small handful of parsley, chopped
salt and pepper

lemon wedges
romaine lettuce leaves

1. Bring lentils and 2 cups of water to a boil. Once it boils, turn heat down to simmer and cover. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes.
2. Add bulgur to red lentil pot and let sit for 30 minutes.
3. Saute onions until translucent. Add to red lentils and bulgur mixture.
4. Add paprika, cumin, parsley, and salt and pepper. Mix all ingredients together. Let cool for a few minutes until you are able to handle the mixture.
5. Shape into patties (or whatever shapes you would like). :) Serve on a lettuce leaf and a squeeze of lemon!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Happy Birthday to Meeeeeeee!!

What does a diabetic eat on her birthday?

Cake, motherfuckaaaa!

But she starts the day with a 200 blood sugar (fuck you, diabetes!) and a pretty bowl of oat bran covered in berries! Mmmmm.....