As you all know, I am completely and utterly obsessed with my chickens. They turned two last week and we had quite the celebration. I wrote about my chickens last year as well on their birthday.… More
As the title of this blog clearly shows, today’s post has been thoughtfully planned out with as much care as I generally give to writing on this blog.
I have spent the better part of the week eating a healthy diet of fast food, balanced with nutritious donuts and cookies. My skin has a definitive glow, that isn’t powdered sugar glistening in the sun. I ate a bag of donuts for dinner.
Since I clearly have adulting down to a science, I decided to end my day reflecting on my life with a pot of tea. It’s been a long week, full of excitement and drama but mostly just poop. I just wanted to take pictures of my new tea set, but I guess I’ll come up with a bullshit list of life-changing bullet points so you know how to frame your own life. I’m feeling generous, and drunk with an oversized ego right now.
Q-Tips can’t be used in your ears.
I read an article about it, and it was incredibly bitchy and pushy about the whole thing. Why did I buy Q-Tips in bulk at Costco then? WTF do you need them for? The article said they’re good for makeup but if you’re using cotton swabs for makeup application then I need to talk to you because something has gone wrong. They’re wasteful, unless you need to dispose of earwax.
Look the gift horse in the mouth.
And you fucking take a long ass look at it’s mouth. I’ve been given a lot of dead horses and honestly I’m tired of writing thank you cards for long expired horses.
Drake’s real name is Aubrey.
And he’s the greatest musical genius of the last seven generations.
What’s Weird Al up to?
I’m just curious. How’s he doing?
Sometimes, we all need a moment to unwind and really meditate on the important things in life. It’s how we keep stress at bay, and our pores clear. It’s called “self care” or “treat yo’self” or whatever. It’s also important to coin a bunch of terms and phrases for things to justify doing things like drinking tea and showering. If you are showering regularly, that’s called self care, not basic hygiene. It means you’ve decided to put down all your stressors and self care yourself. Other things that you can do for self care, in case you need another list: drink water, eat food, sleep, get dressed, walk, talk to friends, and pet a dog, just to name a few. I hope you were able to get all the self care you needed through my tea pictures today, though. You can save that shower for tomorrow now. Answer those emails with ease, baby.
Remember it doesn’t count if you don’t post about it on social media. Bonus points for videos and selfies. Pics or it didn’t happen, bitches.
I’m going to try something different with you guys today. Instead of my usual fool-proof recipe that I provide you so that you can finally learn to cook and stop disappointing your family, I’m going to walk you through a cautionary tale about juice.
In a misguided “it’s still early in 2018 so I should try to eat healthy or something” attempt, I decided to make juice without a juicer. You see, juicers are probably expensive, and I don’t really like juice that much. So I never got around to buying one. I also never got married, so I only have kitchen appliances that I decided to purchase with legal currency or received as a hand-me-down. Anyway, no juicer. And I thought I didn’t care about juicing until I found several recipes for a beet-carrot-apple-ginger juice that’s made in a blender. Let’s start with the recipe and then we’ll get to the cautionary tale part…
Beet (peel it and cut it into some pieces so your blender doesn’t explode or something)
Apple (same instructions as above, but less important because apples aren’t as hard as beets)
1” chunk of peeled ginger
Throw it all in the blender with about ½ cup water or other juice (I used water, why would I be making juice if I already had juice?)
Dump into a sieve over a bowl and wait for it to drip out
Ok, now that the nitty gritty is out of the way, let’s talk about why you should never make juice with a blender, especially this juice.
First of all, the blender handled the task pretty well and didn’t explode, so that went fine. I was really busy trying not to stain my clothes as I dumped the “juice” pulp into a sieve/bowl so I didn’t get any pictures of that step. Luckily for you, as I have mentioned previously, I am a certified courtroom illustrator, so I can recreate the scene for you with ease and accuracy.
Now, as the juice is dripping into the bowl at mind-bogglingly slow pace, you might think that it smells really fresh and that you’re excited to drink it. Don’t get your hopes up. After the first round of straining, mine was still SUPER chunky, so I had to strain it a second time with a finer sieve. All told, I spent like 15 minutes mushing around pulp before I got about 200ml juice.
At this point, I figured this juice had to be fucking mind blowingly amazing or no one would have ever wasted their time with it in the first place. So, I took my first sip, and it was kinda ok. Then I took my second sip, and I thought it was kind of interesting, and warming with the ginger juice. And then when I took my third sip, I audibly gagged and had to try really hard not to vomit in the kitchen.
After that shock wore off, I thought it through and realized that I was just having an uncontrollable gag reflex and horribly unpleasant warm feeling in my stomach because of the ginger juice. No biggie. So I did what any good girlfriend would do, I brought the juice to my boyfriend and made him try it. He didn’t describe wanting to vomit, but he reported feeling repulsed before passing on a second sip.
So I was now faced with a dilemma, I had about half the awful juice left but I had put so much work into it I couldn’t bear to waste it. After deliberating for about 20 minutes, I decided that I had no choice. I gulped the rest of it down, which was a deeply regrettable decision.
You know, after all of that I’m actually having trouble deciding if this was a cautionary tale or a strong endorsement. Let’s do a Pro/Con list, those always help:
- Your kitchen sink will make you feel like Dexter when you are cleaning up
- You will feel very healthful prior to drinking this juice
- Your blender probably won’t explode
- You can give your chickens some beet greens, which they LOVE!
- If the Dexter part really resonated, you can cover your hands in the leftover pulp and pretend that you murdered your boyfriend for a few seconds until it gets just a little bit too dark or he walks in on you and looks like he might call the cops
- You will most likely vomit upon drinking the juice, or at the very least experience severe nausea
- Your kitchen will be very messy and beet juice stains everything
- You will most definitely get a beet juice stain on your favorite sweatshirt, no matter how careful you are
- You might develop a taste aversion to all of the ingredients in the juice as a result of drinking it
- If you end up keeping the juice down, all of the bodily excretions you have over the next several hours to days will “bleed” red because of the beet juice (wait, should this be on the pro list?)
You know what? We’re tied! 5 pros, 5 cons! I guess I’ll just leave it up to you to decide if you want to make this fancy blender juice!
There are two things that I love doing more than anything else. One is stalking random people that I don’t know on social media for hours on end, reading comments on all their posts, and printing out pictures of their pets. The other is trying to recreate food I see in cartoons if the cartoon characters get really excited about the food.
I was going to post a lentil recipe this week, but if you haven’t noticed, Serafina literally has taken all the lentils. There are no more lentils left. And now she thinks jackalopes are fruit, instead of the very real death guardian rabbits. I think her mind is going. Sad!
So, instead, I’m making rice balls. They made them in an anime I was watching called Maid Sama and even though the main character apparently made them incorrectly, and with tissue paper as an additive, I decided I was capable of trying it, albeit with the Kleenex granules.
I’ve done approximately no research into what these are, and I’ve never had them before, but I trust cartoons more than the Food Network so I’m an expert now. Also, I’ve been eating these non-stop for days. I love them and they are my baes now.
- Sushi rice
- Roasted seaweed (I personally prefer Korean seasoned roasted seaweed)
- Canned tuna
Cook up the rice, and cut the seaweed into strips. Drain the tuna, and mix in a glop (distinct measurement) of mayo.
I wish I could give more more direction after all this, but… you know, I just made it up along the way. First I set out my rice ball amounts and then I salted each side.
While the rice was still hot, I molded it into balls and burned myself. Still working the hot rice, I also tried to make a triangle shape. Then I forgot these should be stuffed so I dug into the rice balls and shoved some tuna and mayo mixture in it. Pretend this is on purpose, and mold the ball back and put a strip of seaweed around the bottom.
And there you go. Rice balls. I’m going to make some more right now. I bet you’re sad I didn’t make chicken this week.
A rolling rice ball doesn’t gather moss,
My dear blog friends,
I endured many hardships in writing this post. (I know what you’re thinking: there’s no way that’s true. She’s sitting comfortably in her house having just eaten leftovers of the dish she is posting about. What could she possibly have to complain about? Well don’t you fucking even start!)
First of all my free photo editing software crashed and I was worried I’d have to update it, but then it started and it was fine (again, I know what you’re thinking: she edits her photos? Yeah, I do. I spend like 20 seconds toiling over the free editing software that I almost kind of know how to use.)
Then, I had to find my hobo gloves because my hands were just slightly too cold and I thought I might die if I couldn’t experience 100% physical comfort in that moment.
Then, I found out that I’m in school again. Wasn’t I in school long enough? I thought so. I told them I was over 30 so they should just give me a fucking master’s degree and the first person I talked to was like “yeah, obvi” but then the second person was like “no, you have to complete the requirements and blah blah blah.” That second one was an exact quote.
And then I had to go comfort my chickens who are still super traumatized from Mary Ellen’s last post.
Anyway, I’ve come across a bunch of vegetarian recipes that use jackfruit. They all start off by talking about how jackfruit is fucking disgusting smelling just like durian which begs the question of how anyone ever started eating foods that make you gag when you try to cut into them. So I went the obvious route of buying canned jackfruit which doesn’t make you vomit when you open it. And then I made enchiladas which are probably more like smothered burritos, but I’m not changing the title.
1½ to 2 cups cooked rice
1 cup cooked lentils
14 oz can jackfruit, rinsed
8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups enchilada sauce (I used homemade sauce from this recipe)
6-8 tortillas, depending on how thick you like your enchiladas
Taco seasoning (I used a homemade blend from this recipe)
1 or 2 cups of veggies to throw in (optional- I used frozen zuchinni, with disappointing results, but other veggies generally work well)
Preheat oven to 350
Cook your rice and lentils if you didn’t already do so because you were being lazy.
Chop up the jackfruit. I followed the instructions from this site to shred them, but it was way too much work and I’m just going to chop it all up and let it cook down next time. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with eating the seeds or the tough parts and the random seeds that I missed picking out tasted fine.
Cook the jackfruit with a little olive oil and taco seasoning for a few minutes, then mix it with the rice and lentils in a large bowl. Add in cheese, a little enchilada sauce (maybe ¼-½ cup) and any veggies you are using.
Put the enchilada mix in tortillas and place in a 13×9 pan with some enchilada sauce at the bottom. Once all your enchilada mix is tortillaed (it’s a word, trust me), cover in enchilada sauce and finish with cheese.
I usually cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes until the enchilada sauce and cheese are all bubbly.
Enjoy a jackfruit recipe that won’t make you gag while you’re preparing it
I forgot to post last week. I have no excuse, because I did the recipes and had all the pictures and most of it written and I just forgot. I’m not sorry. I’ve mostly been busy playing Skyrim so I have a very good excuse.
I went insane at Costco recently and bought a ton of chicken. All sorts of chicken. And then I also decided to get some whole chickens and be like, super amazing with my cooking. But then I just made porridge.
If you’re unaware, you can buy a PACK of two whole organic chickens at Costco. For the people who are on a budget, and love eating chicken all the time, buying it Whole is way more cost effective. Worried it’ll take more time to prepare? Worried that it’s scary? Worried you’ll fuck it all up and you should have just gone with your usual dry-ass chicken breast recipe that you’ve convinced yourself is good enough? Well, unfortunately, your first two worries are probably correct but the last one is not.
Follow me while I take you on a chicken journey.
It all started when I decided I wanted to make dakjuk. I was about to just do a recipe that used all my regular techniques of cutting corners and using store bought, pre-prepped stuff, but then I found this lady. She mentions, subtly, two ways she makes her porridge and I was so intrigued by the prospect of boiling a whole chicken because it sounded so gross I needed to try it.
Oh Costco. I love you so much.
So, a different lady’s blog that I browsed while trying to figure out what boiling chickens was like was a bit of a mental case about it. She acted like it was the most disgusting thing in the world and that she really only does it to save money, etc etc and prayed to Jesus the whole time because it was so hard for her. And I really wanted to hold her close and whisper, “honey, Jesus doesn’t want you to suffer so in His name. Just use gloves, bitch.”
It looks really horrendous because I’m very bad at carefully removing things from pots.
See it’s not so bad.
Anyway, it wasn’t that bad. I mean, I was expecting a lot of bad after reading her post, but it was pleasantly easy and not bad at all. Also, you don’t need a recipe. Throw the chicken in a big pot and boil it with some veggies for an hour. Remove the chicken, debone it, add bones and more water to the pot, and boil for another hour. Strain and you have your stock. It’s easy as shit.
It makes a lot of stock.
So, boiled chicken (when you do it with veggies on the bone with skin) is actually really good. I used this recipe for dakjuk and holy crap it was amazing. Seriously, it will forever replace chicken noodle soup as my sickly comfort food, and it is a nice dish to have to rest my body after a weekend of donut binging. Make like three times more than what the recipe calls for because it won’t be enough.
So what did I do with the other chicken? I roasted it. I’ve never roasted a whole chicken before either, and everyone has a really fancy recipe that makes it intimidating. Through the Korean Bapsang blog I found this recipe.
However, I like to be thorough, so I trussed the chicken like this. It actually did produce a better roast, though I don’t have much to compare it to, except turkey at Thanksgiving, which always cooks unevenly I feel like. Anyway, we ate some of this for dinner one night and then the rest got chopped up and mixed with the leftover boiled chicken and I made the most amazing chicken salad sandwich that I’ve ever had in my entire life. Mmmm chicken chicken chicken.
So there you go. That’s what I’ve been doing lately. Sacrificing chickens left and right while also leveling up as a khajiit in Skyrim is how I’m fulfilling my New Years’ resolutions. I’m sure Serafina is crying and totally traumatized at this point, trying to comfort her chickens because she reads this blog out loud to them and I must admit it was a bit of a hostile post. Don’t worry I’ll post about something less chickeny next time.
I was reflecting on my life as I welcomed 2018, and I realized that there’s something missing. Despite all of my grad-schooling, working in a meaningful career, and raising a family of chickens, I have some serious life goals that I am not pursing. I’m of course talking about my dream of being a babushka. You see, I have some Russian ancestry, and now that I’m pushing 67 (or 32, or however old I am*), I need to really focus on becoming my true self.
After this epiphany, I decided to take a hard look at my life and start making some serious changes. I mean, #newyearnewyou, right? With that, I am embarking on my babushka adventure. My amazon cart is full of various styles of head scarves, but this is going to take more than a wardrobe change. It’s time to make some fucking perogies.
I scoured the internets for perogy recipes and ultimately created this masterful hodgepodge recipe.
Spinach Potato Perogies
For the Dough
3 cups flour
1 cup water
1 tsp salt
For the Filling
1 pound of potatoes, cubed (I used red potatoes and didn’t bother peeling them)
Several large handfuls fresh spinach, roughly chopped
About ½ tsp garlic powder (or one clove of garlic, minced)
About ½ tsp onion powder (or part of an onion finely chopped)
¼ c shredded parmesan
¾ cup or so grated cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper
Combine flour, water, salt, and egg and knead until smooth. Most recipes recommend refrigerating the dough, wrapped in plastic wrap, while you mix the other ingredients together which seems sensible enough.
Boil your potatoes until they are tender. Save some potato water, you might need it if your filling is too dry. Then mash with a little butter and salt (we’ll salt some more at the end too). Set aside.
If you can handle using real garlic and onion, you’d want to sauté them in some oil to start out. If you’re using good ol’ powdered shit like I do, you can just dump it in when you’re sautéing the spinach. Add in the cheeses and mashed potatoes and stir that shit up.
Now take out your dough and roll it out pretty thin (about 1/8th inch thick was the general internet consensus, but it’s not like anyone uses a fucking ruler in the kitchen, especially not babushkas). Cut the dough into circles with about 3” diameter (my biscuit cutter was about 3.5 inches, which created very large perogies). Plop a scant tablespoon of dough in the center. Wet the edges with some water, then fold over and smush the dough edges together. Place the finished perogies on parchment paper until you are ready to cook or freeze them.
Continue assembling perogies for what will feel like a fucking year, and then when they’re all ready, you can boil them in water. Once they start to float, let them coast for a minute to make sure the filling is done and then they are ready. You can also bake or fry them. There’s a lot of variability in perogy preparation. I haven’t been a babushka long enough to have a really strong opinion here. But serve your perogies with butter and sour cream.
If you want to freeze some of your perogies because you don’t feel like eating several dozen perogies in one sitting, you can freeze them raw and then just boil them frozen when you’re ready. It will take longer to cook if you’re cooking them from a frozen state, obvi.
May 2018 be the year we all become babushkas
*Time for a mini true story: My beloved boyfriend, whom I have mentioned on this blog at least once or twice, recently learned that he didn’t know when his birthday was. I made an appointment for him at the eye doctor and came home to tell him that they had the wrong birthday on file for him. He brushed it off, saying that they always had his birthday wrong, it was a clerical error. Then, they ran his insurance and his insurance also had his birthday one year off his supposed real birthday. His insurance, which is through his employer, should most definitely know when his birthday is. And that, my friends, is when a grown-ass man in his 30’s looked at his driver’s license and said “Whaaaaat?” And then he pulled out his birth certificate. And his passport. And then he called his father to double check all of the legal documents. And then, he took a bath. Because finding out you’re a year younger than you thought you were for your entire life is probably overwhelming.
I figured I would make my final recipe post for 2016 – wait – 2017, my most complex one yet.
Okay, I hope you’re all done laughing now. I would never ever ruin a good year of coming up with half-assed recipes with a decent one. I would never ruin things, like Serafina always does. Like when she puts wine into recipes instead of drinking it. I will never understand such monsters.
So if you’re done with the old year and have given up in hopes that somehow changing a ‘7’ to an ‘8’ will somehow make your life better, well, my recipe this week won’t get in the way of that. It’s very self-loathing positive. Also, if you are snowed in or something, it uses very few ingredients, and you may have some lying around, or you can just make something else.
Whatever, I’m already drunk for NYE so I don’t care.
Mary Ellen’s fancy rice recipe
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 cup veggie of choice (I used shelled edamame)
- Salt to taste
- Hummus as needed (optional)
Cook up rice in a rice cooker because who the hell actually makes it on a stove. Steam vegetables, then mix all together with oil and sprinkling of salt. I enjoy mine with hummus, but I bet ranch dressing would also work.
Now go make some drunken mistakes with camera phones this NYE.
I’ve talked to you all about how my boyfriend and I basically don’t eat any of the same foods. Because it wasn’t already hard enough to live and share a kitchen with a man-person, he also had to go and be a fucking meat eater.
Anyway, it was his birthday recently, and like any good girlfriend, I made his favorite meal. Now technically speaking, his favorite food is grilled dead cow or some shit, so I actually made his favorite vegetarian meal. The good news: it’s been so long since he’s had shepherd’s pie with meat that he thinks the vegetarian version is just as good. There isn’t any bad news. There wasn’t a reason for me to frame it like that.
This dish is a mash up of a bunch of lentil shepherds pie recipes, and unlike most of the shit I share on this blog, I actually cook this a lot so it doesn’t suck.
Oh, wait, I just thought of the bad news. I don’t measure things when I cook. I’ve tried to change my ways but it messes up the flow. So, everything in this recipe is an estimate. The second bad news: I didn’t actually make the gravy because my mushrooms smelled bad and I threw threw them in the compost. But I’m linking a gravy recipe that looks like it might taste good for vegetarian gravy….
1½ c veggie broth (1 ½ c water for 1 bouillon cube)
1 tbsp dry red wine (optional)
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp flour
Veggies (2-4 cups cut into small pieces)
2 c lentils (1/2 c dry green lentils)
Salt and pepper
Herbs de province
Cook potatoes and mash
Cook lentils with 2 cups water (add water as needed)
Mix the sauce by combining vegetable broth, tomato paste, wine and flour.
Sauté the veggies with oil, herbs de province and garlic powder for about 6 minutes until a little bit soft
Add the sauce and lentils to the vegetable mix and simmer for a few minutes
Pour the lentil and veggie mix into the bottom of the pan
Scoop potatoes onto the veggies and lentils in small portions and even out with a fork
Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes
Broil for 5 minutes if potatoes are not yet brown on top (I also don’t set timers which may or may not be related to the shepherd’s pie getting a teensy bit more burned than it was supposed to)
For the gravy, you can try a package of mushroom gravy which comes out rather gross. Or you can try this recipe which is what I tried to do. Or you can do what I actually did which was to make a rue out of butter and flour and veggie broth, then just add dash of garlic powder, some more veggie broth if needed, and salt and pepper.
May you find many other common meals with your significant other so you don’t have to order Indian food every fucking night.
I’m not gonna lie, I wasn’t prepared for this week. Chalk it up to me coming down with the man flu or something. Also, it’s cold as hell where I live, but no snow (figure out where I live, you weather snoopers!). Also, I hate the expression “cold as hell” because I thought hell was hot, so am I being ironic and it’s not actually cold here? Even I don’t know, so I guess I can go ahead and wear shorts today.
I have been beyond unmotivated these last 20 years, and I doubt that will change in the next 20, loveliest readers. However, I’m dusting off my nice camera and picking up some more projects after the holidays, which means I’ll be putting those off and writing on here instead. Count yourselves lucky because you’ll be getting some quality content from me.
That day isn’t today though.
However, to keep things festive, I used sweet potatoes. I eat these a lot because I tell myself they are healthier than regular potatoes, which I also eat, but I’ll never tell you about it.
This recipe is easy, kind of healthy, vaguely filling, and vegan, so you can have all the bragging rights of every other asshole health nut out there that is bothering you to eat healthy.
Mary Ellen’s Sweet Potato Fiesta!
(This feeds two people)
- 2 baked sweet potatoes
- 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup preferred salsa
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
Cut sweet potatoes in half long ways and slice up the insides to break it open. Heat the rinsed beans until hot in the microwave and add the other ingredients. Spoon on potatoes. Enjoy the rest of your night or go to bed early.
It looks gross.
The internets is my bae,
I’m gonna get real with you guys for just a sec here. My life’s been a little chaotic balancing school, work, relationships, and chicken motherhood. Fortunately, I’ve been very thoughtful about how to best cope in times of stress and I have some really wonderful insights that I think will help all of you. I know I’m not the only one who gets stressed around the holidays!
1.Take some time every day to give your loved ones some much needed attention.
Our romantic relationships are easily strained during times of stress. I find it helpful to have little environmental reminders to shower my boyfriend with affection. For example, when I find a coffee cup left half full on the table from yesterday, I don’t just ignore it. I go right up to my boyfriend and throw the old coffee on his shoes. Don’t be deterred by his confusion and demands that the coffee cup was left out by you, not him. He noticed that you noticed, and he appreciated the loving gesture.
2. Nourish your body with healthful foods.
3. Experience nature as often as possible.
Is it 20 degrees where you are? Maybe 70 because of global warming? It doesn’t matter. Go outside and get some sunshine on your skin. Your body needs vitamin D. If you have to choose between getting vitamin D naturally and getting frostbite, go with the latter. Vitamin D is too important to just get from a supplement, you need the real thing.
4. Take some “me” time.
So you haven’t slept in two days and you’re boyfriend’s pissed at you for dumping old coffee on his shoes? Life happens. It’s time to put aside your obligations, lock your boyfriend out of the house, ignore that deadline that passed four hours ago and take a nice soothing bath with a bottle of wine.
Be good to yourselves,