Ah, Valentime’s Day. It’s the time in which we celebrate the birth of one of the greatest lovers of all time, Saint Valen. Side note: his name is where we get the word “valor” so… More
Disclaimer: This smoothie will turn out ugly, as pictured.
Oh hey there, eggplanters. I’m sure some of you were wondering if I’d return after Mary Ellen’s blasphemous post about the health benefits of cheesecake. Well, I’m still here and it will take more than a dairy-infused feud to stop me.
I’ve been thinking about our time here together, and I feel like I have a moral obligation to use my significant clout for the greater good. I think everyone can see where I’m going here. This is going to be an all-out rant about group texts. You see, awhile back I was added (against my will) to a group text involving my darling boyfriend’s entire family. For years, he has complained about my family, we see them all the time, and there are just a lot of us Bearfinas. And while my family may outnumber his 10:1, at least my people had the decency to keep him out of any group texts. Now, it’s well documented that I am an exceedingly tolerant person, however, today was the final straw. Somehow a text chain about current events led to a series of offensive chicken memes and I could no longer contain my rage. After a brief 20 text rant/dissertation about chicken rights, as well as a few dozen thoughtful PETA re-tweets, I regained control of my life and decided to lead by example instead of shouting via group text.
So here I am, Fully enlightened. Drinking a smoothie that was originally supposed to be green but turned out kinda brown because I added strawberries.
Vegan Green Smoothie, for health and enlightenment
Makes two smoothies, so you can share your enlightenment with your future self:
- 1 apple
- ½ orange
- Small handful of mixed frozen berries
- Large handful of spinach
- Some almond milk
- Put all the fruit at the bottom, followed by the spinach, followed by the almond milk
- If you are saving one of the smoothies for later, wait until you’re actually going to make the smoothie to add the almond milk
- Take a selfie while you’re drinking your smoothie, show off that radiant glow and deep understanding of the universe
For a long time I was hiding in anonymity, concerned about what my family, boyfriend’s family, and colleagues would think of my flawless recipes and exceptional prose. But no more! I’m here! I’m going to soar through the skies like a chicken. And feast on vegan greenish smoothies.
Few things invoke a strong, authentic emotional response from me, but one of those things is cheesecake. To my absolute shock, Serafina wrote a hit piece on cheesecake to choke out the year 2018’s final breaths.
Because of her, what I’m hoping was drunken, nonsense, we got about 40,000 angry emails from readers, most of which listed recipes about how to cook Serafina into a cheesecake. I read them all until I got very, very hungry. Listen, at least 70% of those recipes sounded tasty, and our readers are clearly more skilled at making food than us, but the responses were a bit over the top (not unlike reducing Serafina with some seasonal berries to make a glaze).
Dear Eggplanters, I understand your pain, because I, too, felt it. You see, our tandem baking journey started out with cheesecake.
I’ll wait while you gather yourselves.
It’s true. We made a cheesecake together. A New York style cheesecake. It was the hardest thing I had ever done in my life at that point, which just really shows how great I was at avoiding any sort of conflict. I vividly remember calling her up on my hot pink Razr flip phone and asking her what creme fraiche was. She didn’t know either, and since I guess this was before the internet, she had to consult a baking book index.
But our story was just beginning.
As I was preparing myself to make this cheesecake, I was again confused by the instructions. What was a stiff peak? I thought innocently to myself. I called Serafina.
“Isn’t that what you call the ending to your stripping act?”
Of course it was! But how did that relate to cheesecake? Do I strip for the cheesecake? Is the cheesecake into girls?
Anyway, Serafina ended up just coming over and we sexily made the cheesecake. You can fill in the details with what you deem sexy, I don’t judge and we’re pretty easy. But now when I think of it, she did not eat any of the cheesecake. My whole world has been shattered with lies!
Ha ha just kidding. That’s actually the foundation of my world!
So yeah I made the cheesecake again.
New York Style Cheesecake (adapted from Nigella Lawson’s How to be a Domestic Goddess)
(for the crust)
1. 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons graham crackers, crushed to crumbs
2. 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3. 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
4. 9 inch springform pan
(for the cake)
1. 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
2. 1 1/2 lbs cream cheese
3. 6 large eggs, separated
4. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5. 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
6. 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream
7. 1/2 teaspoon salt
8. Zest of 1 lemon
9. Confectioners sugar for dusting
As you can see from the ingredients list, there is no creme fraiche, so I’m not sure what I was doing in the original story, besides rambling. I also forgot to take pictures of the process, so there will just be a slew of sexy cheesecake pictures.
1. Combine the graham crackers, melted butter, and 3 tablespoons of sugar and press into the base of the pan. Put in the fridge to set while you make up the rest of the cake.
2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the sugar and cornstarch together.
4. Add the cream cheese, egg yolks, and vanilla, and beat well. I recommend a stand mixer because it’s gonna get messy.
5. Slowly beat in the creams – see, it would be nice to have a stand mixer here. Wrangling a housemate also works.
6. Add salt and lemon zest.
7. You think you’re done, but remember those egg whites? Yeah, you need to whip those to stiff peaks. I did mine by hand because I wanted to know if I could. I look like this now:
8. Fold the egg whites carefully into the cheese mixture.
9. Scoop it all onto the chilled base and put it in the oven for 1-1 1/2 hours. I’d recommend putting it on a baking sheet because 100% chance the butter will leak everywhere. Don’t open the oven to look at it. Leave it be, it wants privacy.
10. Turn off the oven and let it sit in there with its thoughts for another 2 hours. Don’t open the oven! It doesn’t want you to catch it doing… whatever it’s doing.
11. Take it out, and let it sit for another hour before chilling it.
12. Dust it with sugar, and smash it into your face. Unless you’re Serafina.
We stripped for the cheesecake just to be safe, and it was, in fact, into girls.
Alternate title: Shit, I’m out of eggs and my chickens STILL aren’t fucking laying but I need a goddamn cookie
So, I have a problem. My chickens (they’re adorable and I love them so much) are STILL EATING THEIR MOTHERFUCKING EGGS.
I’ll have you know that there was so much anger in that sentence that I held down shift the whole time instead of hitting caps lock. It was intense. Glad I got that out. Anyway, I’m ordering more chickens this year. I need someone to lay some goddamn eggs and actually leave them for me. I’m keeping the other birds, of course. I’m just going to give them a stern talking-to about not training the new chickens to eat their eggs too.
So since it’s now 2019, I’m starting the new year with some sustainable health goals. More fruits. More veggies, maybe. Probably more nuts and legumes. Fiber. Whole grains. Fen-Phen. Wait… shit, sorry, I got carried away there. I promise, no banned diet pills. Unless they’re, like ground up in a cookie, then maybe. Should I backtrack a little more? Let’s start over.
Here’s some cookies! I added oatmeal, not just because I was almost out of flour, but also exclusively for that reason. I threw in some dried fruit and almonds because we already had a super healthy thing going. This was literally the first and only thing I’ve cooked this year (wait, do microwaved quesadillas count? If they count, then this was like the 30th thing I’ve made this year).
Adapted from this recipe
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup vegan butter
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 3 tbsp water
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 2/3 cup oats
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt (less if your butter is salted)
- ½-1 cup chocolate chips
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup slivered almonds
- Optional: ground up illegal diet pills (may change the flavor and cause potentially fatal cardiac problems)
- Preheat oven to 375°
- In a small bowl, combine sweetener, butter, oil, water and vanilla.
- In a large bowl, mix together flour, oats, baking soda and salt
- Combine the flour and sugar mixtures. Fold in the chocolate chips, dried cranberries, almonds, or whatever the fuck you’re using
- Scoop onto a cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes until the cookies look like they’re done
May 2019 be the year you meet your health and fitness goals without changing your diet or activity levels in any way.
Welp, the new year is barreling towards us like a freight train. NYE is my favorite holiday because it’s full of hope, it’s depressing, and I get drunk and dance in my underwear.
People keep telling me that 2018 was a LONG year, and while I normally never make it a habit to agree with any humans ever, I couldn’t agree more with this statement. This year was my year of flops and failures (shit, I should have made that the subheading for this post; too bad I don’t know how to edit). I’m not looking for fake sympathy though. There’s no need to make me feel better about my failures. People are so scared of failure. Seriously, when you fail as much as I do, and are rejected as much as I am, you have no
self worth fear. Because of the failures I accomplished this year, I tested out the waters to see where I should swim to avoid drowning for more important missions. That’s what I’m telling myself, at least, so I can continue to jump into shark infested oceans.
Don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll fail again, as this really ridiculous post is aggressively promising. But hopefully I will succeed at least three times.
I’ve already set my “goals” for 2019 and most of them are nonsensical and probably impossible, but I’m half insane so I’ll never know.
As I type this, my husband has taken over parenting duties so I can finish last minute projects and, as expected, there are dirty dishes and toys everywhere but there’s also a dirty diaper on the counter and so I’m just not going to walk around the house anymore. The mood for 2019 is already being set.
I DO have a rebuttal to Serafina’s blasphemous post about cheesecake last week, but it’ll have to wait for the new year. What I DO have is a list of our most *POPULAR 💅💅💅* posts from 2018. Here’s our top six and my shit commentary:
This surprises me because wtf is jackfruit? I don’t know what it is, therefore I fear it. The pictures in the post show a can full of “young” jackfruit. This is proof that Jackalopes exist and we eat them.
Has anyone actually checked her credentials? How can a master gardener let squirrels destroy a sunflower? Where is her greenhouse?
This is one of several recipes this year from Serafina that she used to torture her boyfriend. It’s a good read. Recipe is probably fine too.
SEE YOU DON’T ADD THE VEGETABLES TO THE CHEESE. This is one of my many posts on my obsession with Trader Joe’s.
I’m so happy this was more popular than the original recipe. Fucking millennials love their deconstruction and living wages.
And here was the number one post from this year. If your life is shit I hope you still have great skin.
There you have it. This is what we have to show for 2018. How will we ever be able to top this?
“See you next year!” – every fucking dad on the planet
Alt title: Why I’m the best girlfriend in the world
Alt alt title:How I almost failed out of grad school in the last week of the program because I was too busy making cheesecakes to care about my final papers.
First of all, don’t bother making this. It’s a pain in the ass. Sure, maybe your significant other will say something like “this is the best cake I’ve ever had,” which was really sweet. But also, fuck all that, what a goddamn pain in the ass. Second-of-ly, use lactose free cream cheese. It exists. You should use it. It’s better than risking death by flatulence.
Stacked Cheesecake, adapted from Smitten Kitchen
I was going to rewrite the recipe here, but I’m far too lazy for that, and the original will probably be more helpful for you, so instead I’ll just give you my recipe notes.
For the chocolate wafer crust:
- This is basically a giant cookie. Ignore all of the crazy instructions to make this in a food processor and just make it like a cookie. Mix the wet ingredients. Mix the dry ingredients. Put the two together. It’s not hard. Food processors are dumb and expensive and a pain in the ass to clean (technically, I only have a second-hand mini food processor which isn’t ever big enough to use, but all the other things I said were still true).
- If you don’t use a fucking food processor, the dough is soft and crumbly enough to press into the pan, which means there’s no rolling shit out. So, even if you are the kind of person to use a food processor on a regular basis, you’re better off mixing this in a bowl with your arms like humans were meant to.
For the cheesecake:
- You actually need to bring your cream cheese to room temperature. It takes like 2 hours. It’s a pain in the ass. It’s another reason not to make this.
- I made regular (vanilla) flavor and chocolate flavored cheesecakes. The original recipe was for coffee and chocolate, but my boyfriend thinks coffee flavored things are gross. He’s really picky and doesn’t recognize the true value of putting extra caffeine and coffee flavor in everything.
- I was not keen on how the vanilla flavor turned out, but it’s also possible that I just don’t like cheesecake because the only part of the cake I actually liked was the crust.
- You know what, let’s get real for a sec. I didn’t like this cake. It turns out I don’t actually like cheesecake. BUT, my boyfriend liked this cake, so the recipe is probably sound. Listen, if you like cheesecake, maybe you should be the one who’s dating my boyfriend. Send us and email and I’ll verify that your other food preferences are compatible, and if so, I’ll just drop him off at your house. He comes with two cats, so I hope you like cheesecake as well as cats.
For the ganache glaze:
- I lied about only liking the crust. I also liked the glaze. Glazed wafer cookies would have been good. Next time I’ll just omit the gross cheesecake part.
- I didn’t include the corn syrup and my glaze was more of a true ganache which I imagine was better.
- Fuuuuuck this was a bitch to cut. I guess read the instructions and try harder than I did to be more successful? I don’t know. It was awful.
- The instructions call for freezing to cool the cheesecakes quickly. I didn’t freeze my cheesecakes because my pans don’t fit in my freezer. Maybe things would have been better (at least aesthetically) if they were frozen.
- We each ate like one slice and then the rest of the cheesecake went bad in the fridge. So, I’d recommend sending this with your boyfriend to work, taking it to your work, or freezing it in a timely manner. The remains of my cheesecake are currently in my compost bin (don’t worry, it’s municipal compost, so I can put dairy in there, I know you were really worried about that).
- I’ve considered making this with non-dairy alternatives, but I don’t know if I should. If it’s bad I won’t be able to tell if it’s because the non-dairy cream cheese sucks or if it’s just bad because cheesecake is kind of gross.
I hope I haven’t offended you cheesecake lovers out there. I really do hope you have a happy life with my boyfriend.
Whoooo baby! I don’t know about you, but are you all perpetually sloshed just to get through the holidays? No? Just me? Are you all not the bane of your in-laws’ existence? Wow. This is awkward. As usual. I should learn how to start my posts better, I guess.
Well, at the very least, I look forward to hearing an update from Serafina on if she was able to pass off those pies as normal pies. I was obsessively thinking about them for weeks. They even showed up in my regular sex dreams that I have about her. Too much detail? Not enough? I never can tell.
It’s the time of year for pumpkin or sweet potatoes or whatever. Carbs. It’s time for carbs. Actually it’s always the season for carbs at my house.
And sweet potatoes.
I like to pretend I know what healthy intuitive eating means, but to be perfectly honest, I don’t have a clue and my intuitions about everything give me anxiety so I just eat sweet potatoes and beans. So I totally changed up my old recipe that Serafina thinks looks like chili but it’s so much worse. And by totally, I mean, I “deconstructed” it.
Does deconstruction mean chop up the sweet potato? Because that’s just what I did. That counts.
Deconstructed Chili Fiesta (TM)
- Can of black beans
- Sweet potatoes or yams
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Guac if you’re a rich asshole
Peel and chop up the sweet potato into bit sized pieces. Toss them in salt and oil and roast at 425 degrees for… I dunno. 15-20 mins. Heat up the beans. Combine the beans and potatoes. Season with all the seasoning stuff to your liking, and add salsa. Eat, possibly share with another person, or whatever.
Does this meal sound like it’s actually something that should go into a meal? No. It doesn’t. Stop trying to make things so complicated, Jennifer. Just eat the potatoes.
I’m only 90% dead inside.
Oh, hey there blog friends. I’m back and functional again after my three-week caffeine bender. It turned out all of those songs I recorded sounded like a better version of Bjork, but the record companies weren’t interested for some reason. Anyway, I backed off my caffeine intake to “moderate” and am here blogging for you again. And it’s just in time for one of the great November holidays, Thanksgiving. If my recollection of history is correct, Thanksgiving was founded by desperate bloggers, fleeing the UK in search of a land where they could freely take photographs of food to post on Instagram.
In the spirit of this holiday, which probably hails back to the early days of the world wide web, I’m bringing you a wonderful recipe for a very traditional dish, the pumpkin pie. I’m presenting it in a miniature version today, as this was a test recipe for a pie that I will be bringing to an IRL Thanksgiving on whatever day that’s supposed to happen. Specifically, I tested this recipe because I made this mistake of mentioning to my kinsfolk that I was thinking of doing a dairy free pumpkin pie this year. Now, my kin have tolerated and supported my vegetarianism, and even a stint as a vegan, this final assault to a beloved dessert was too much for them. So I decided I needed to actually test the recipe to avoid any potential shunning on the most holy of blog holidays. The wonderful news is that unlike some of the other recipes I have brought you, this one turned out well. I used sweetened condensed coconut milk which did not have any notable coconut flavor. I was planning on going with a full vegan pie, but then forgot to adjust the recipe when I was baking, so this has eggs in it.
Filling (makes 12 mini pies or one 9 inch pie):
1 can sweetened condensed coconut milk
1 can pumpkin puree
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
Crust (makes two 9 inch round crusts or a dozen 3 inch mini crusts):
2 cups flour
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup cold water
1 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Mix flour and salt, then add in olive oil and water. Mix together with a pastry mixer or fork and bring together into a ball.
- Roll out to about 1/8 inch thickness. Use about 10x more flour than you think you’ll need because this dough is super sticky and falls apart easily. Actually, you should probably just roll it out between sheets of parchment, but that’s not a thing I ever remember to do.
- Oil your muffin pan
- Using a 3 inch cookie cutter, cut out 12 rounds and mush into a muffin pan.
- Whisk condensed coconut milk, pumpkin, eggs, and spices.
- Pour into the muffin tins, leaving a little room at the top. I found that each muffin cup would hold a little less than a ½ cup filling.
- Bake for about 40 minutes, but pay attention to it because I don’t use timers so that’s a really rough suggestion. The pie is done when it is mostly firm. I usually check by gently touching the top of one of the pies, if the filling is still wet and loose it needs more time. When it’s done it will just jiggle a little.
- Serve with dairy or nondairy whipped cream. I can’t tell you whether or not you should tell your family you fed them non-dairy pie. I don’t plan to tell mine until they’ve already finished the pie and I have a clear exit path, just in case.
The over-stylized photo at the top of the post shows the darker side of vegetarianism. Look what I’ve done to your father, baby pumpkins.
The other day, while I was trying to figure out how to justify never having to clean the floors in my house, I started thinking about my okay friend and blog partner, Serafina. You see, I’m worried about her. What does she do in the winter? How does she get her vegetables? Worried, I quickly came up with this recipe that uses minimal ingredients, all of which you can buy cheaply in bulk without them going bad, so it’ll get everyone through the winter. It also pairs nicely with whatever that weird drink she made that I’m probably going to start making because I no longer can sleep and wow late night recording sessions are starting to sound good now omg I’m so excited.
Now, when I use the term “deconstructed” I’m using it with the assumption that I have no idea what it means, but affirms my tendency towards trendy hipster things.
This recipe uses no peanut butter or jelly. So don’t worry if you don’t have those things.
Here we go.
- Rice (I used brown, but you can use white)
- Nut butter (I used sunflower, but you can use whatever you like)
- Maple syrup (I guess… you could use jelly…)
- Butter (because butter makes everything better – I used vegan butter though)
So, you cook rice and put it in a bowl and add all the other stuff to your liking. And mix it. And then eat it. Think about Serafina, and her dead sunflower.
Get your vitamins from a tablet, not food.
We had our first frost recently. Now all the plants are dead. Tomatoes are dead. Flowers are dead. Check out this dead sunflower.
It’s sad right? It was eaten by squirrels before the frost. Extra sad. It’s also dark when I leave the house every morning. Dark when I get home. So depressing.
PSYCHE!!! Nothing can be depressing when you’re hopped up on super healthy energizing elixirs!! Oh, yeah, it’s that time again. Serafina’s handing down some caffeine-induced (and whatever the fuck else is in energy drinks) wisdom!!
A golden-haired nymph appeared and gave me the idea for this wondrous, soul-saving concoction. Was she a hallucination? Maybe. Probably not, because it was before I drank the elixir. I forgot to take a picture of her when she was here so I recreated it for all of you with my famous courtroom illustrator skills
Mango Naked Juice
Mix energy drink first and then mango, then stir.
Conquer all obstacles. Sing a song about conquering your obstacles. Stop singing, you’re getting distracted. That sounded really good though, make a note to yourself to get some audio recording software to share your gift with the world. Go to the store and buy more mango smoothie and energy drinks before it starts to wear off. Don’t worry if you can’t sleep anymore, you should just drink more energy drinks to combat the urge to sleep.
Always listen to the golden-haired nymph.
Dear Serafina, I’m upset with you. If you were going to get addicted to something (energy drinks), then you should have told me because I like to do everything my friends are doing. Are we not friends? Don’t answer that, I need to go cry in my REGULAR coffee now.
It’s really no secret that I have an unhealthy obsession with my blog partner, Serafina. So it was really only a matter of time before I tried to rip off one of her recipes. When looking for a wholesome recipe to feed my lactose-intolerant family, I looked no further than the cheese laden lasagna. I just felt that, you know, I could deteriorate it a little.
Like removing those pesky vegetables.
Now, technically I removed all vegetables, because I’m still not sure if tomatoes are one or not. There’s still tomatoes in the sauce.
Also, I made this recipe for the pro-lazys who want to make one stop to Trader Joe’s and get everything they need and do almost no prep.
Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?
Notice that you don’t even need to do cheese prep?
Ingredients (get everything from TJ’s to optimize lazy):
- Marinara sauce
- No boil lasagna noodles
- Mozzarella cheese
- Parmesan, or a cheese blend that has parmesan
- Whole milk ricotta
- 1 egg
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour some marinara sauce in a casserole dish of your choosing to lightly cover the bottom (about 1/4 to 1/2 cup). Prep your ricotta mix in a medium sized bowl. Add ricotta, parmesan (around 1/4 cup), whisked egg, and all seasonings to your preference and thoroughly mix.
It depends on your casserole dish on how many layers you’ll have, but it’ll go something like: sauce, noodles, ricotta, little bit of sauce, noodles, ricotta, little bit of sauce, noodles, ricotta, noodles, sauce, cheese.
Throw the lasagna in the oven, uncovered, for 30-35 minutes. Let it cool a bit before eating it. Not because I care you’ll burn yourself, but because it’s harder to cut. Just fucking be patient, okay?
“I hate Mondays.” – Sandra Bullock