The Food Blog is a Lie

This week, I’m going to take a seriously investigative look at how food blogs are big liars and contribute to mass anxiety of the Mormon housewives who don’t have their own blogs.

And it’s NOT because I royally messed up my recipe for today’s post…

Okay, so I actually messed up the recipe for today’s post. It had some great potential, but I flew too close to the sun. It also left the house smelling amazing, which was just a painful reminder of my inadequacies. My husband came home and was excited to eat whatever smelled so amazing, and when I told him it didn’t exist he called me a SOB and cried openly on a dog. Things are awkward at the house now.

But just because I messed up my recipe doesn’t mean blogs don’t lie 100% of the time. This somehow absolves me.

So what went wrong?

The current temptress of my life.

I got this book a couple months ago and it’s really been life changing. The recipes are actually amazing, and yes, I did pay someone to sponsor this opinion.

I actually did make the recipe on the front cover (buffalo cauliflower sandwiches), and followed it exactly, and it was a huge hit.

But.

I thought to myself, I could do this even better by frying it! Sounds innocent enough. I had some personal issues with the batter from the original recipe in the fact that, some batter got in the cauliflower steak crevices and was a little underdone. I thought frying would solve this problem.

Also… I might have added ingredients that didn’t go well…

Anyway, frying made a mess, everything fell apart, and I made a huge mess in the kitchen that took an hour to clean.

This was the only non gross things from the batch, and I ate them and they were still amazing.

Will I try to fry these again? You bet your ass I will. I am looking to get that southern, crispy, fried chicken look. I will be back, bitches.

Gonna get a deep fryer now,

Mary Ellen

It’s Oatmeal

Hello, Eggplanters!  I’m sure you missed me, Mary Ellen.  Unless you’ve never noticed that there are multiple writers for this blog, in which case, fuck you, because one of us clearly pulls most of the weight (it’s not me).

So, I went on vacation, but then contracted scabies on the pirate ship I commissioned to get me to my honeymoon destination. It’s been a long month and I’m already always drunk so nothing can save me at this point.

In addition to being ill, I really haven’t left my house in a very long time.  I considered opening a tab and having a standing order at Pizza Hut to get me through the dark times.  This has lead to a shortage of food at my home.  I have no food.  Send food.  Can you Venmo me some food?  Is that what Venmo is?  Someone help.

Teaser photo of what your breakfast could look like this morning if you’ve given up on life.

Anyway, I was hungry at an acceptable breakfast hour, and luckily I had some steel cut oats.  Everything you see in the following pictures is all I have at my house, plus coffee, and two cans of not La Croix.

I’m pretentious af.

Let’s make some oatmeal!

Ingredients:

  • Oats
  • Butter
  • Nut Butter
  • Sweetener
  • Salt
So I am trying out this new vegan butter. It’s pretty melty.

Directions:

You might have to google how to make oats or reference a book.  Go to the library and ask a librarian over for breakfast and maybe he or she can make you a better breakfast.  Anyway, I buy oats in the bulk section with my reusable hippie bags and I think for steel cut oats it’s a 1:4 ratio of oats and water.  Don’t correct me if I’m wrong because I’m already stuck in my ways. Add salt to your bath water.  Er, I mean, oat water.

I’m even low on the sweetener and I had to scrape the nut butter. I really need to go shopping. Sorry for shitty photos I just used my phone so I didn’t have to go in the other room to get the camera.

When the oats are done, add the other ingredients to your taste.  It’s fine, it’s a passable breakfast, and you are still better than all of us that succumbed to the bagel shop down the road.  Good job.  But you don’t have to be a smug asshole about it.

The obligatory pre-mixed picture as proof that nothing in this recipe is fake. Except me.

I promise to deliver more quality content such as this next week (Serafina is taking a long bath next week and is busy).

Mary Ellen

Strawberry Komucha

Friends, if you’re anything like me, you’ve realized that modern medicine is bullshit and turned to new-age alternative that are not only more expensive but lack any evidence of effectiveness. It’s amazing. But after thinking momentarily about trying a mushroom latte or turmeric milk, I remembered my attempt to make ginger beet juice and threw up in my mouth a little bit. But fear not, I still love the other, more mainstream old school hippie shit like sourdough and kombucha.

I was reading up on fermentation recently and I got to a chapter on health benefits of fermented food, which is awesome. I’m all about cultivating good gut flora. But then there was a section just casually mentioning that sauerkraut is safer and more effective than vaccines. And that is a terrifying thing to say for several reasons, but most importantly, because sauerkraut is fucking gross. I was going to go into a bit here about how antivaxxers are actually heroes who are fighting overpopulation with their own children, but I’d hate for someone who failed 7th grade biology to misunderstand my unsubtle sarcasm. So instead I’ll move on, and strongly advise, with the full weight of my graduate degree in the medical field, that sauerkraut is fucking gross.

You know what’s not gross? Seeded Sourdough. It’s fucking amazeballs

I’ve already established that sourdough is incredible, and I’m sure you were able to make the perfect loaf already with my flawless method. Breadly Cooper (my sourdough starter) and I wish you all the best in your bread-making. Another non-gross way to get some delicious fermented food in your life is to get a scoby and start making some kombucha. As with the sourdough, I’ve been doing this for like 1-2 months, so I’m basically an expert. Some general guidelines:

  1. Name your scoby and treat it like a pet. Introduce it to your sourdough starter so they feel like they are building a strong community of microbial pets in the home.
  2. Activate your scoby if you got a dry one (not necessary if someone gave you a baby that their scoby had- which is a real thing that happens, and it seems so much less awful than human childbirth) and then brew up some kombucha tea
  3. Forget that you are making kombucha for about a month, then remember, bottle some of it and save some for your next batch.   
Scoby-Doo, the inquisitive scoby brewing in the jar with a coffee filter keeping dust at bay

I got Scoby-Doo at a local natural food store and after activating my new little pet, I’ve made one whole bottle of strawberry kombucha. Not that anyone did the math her, but between the scoby, tea, sugar, strawberries, and special glass bottles I had to buy for the project, I spent about $40 dollars on one bottle of kombucha. #worthit

I’m not going to go into the details of how to activate a scoby and brew kombucha here, because, well, that seems like a lot. But I believe in you and your google skills. And just think of how proud your microbial pets will be when you learn not to kill them!

Strawberry Kombucha

Ingredients:

  1. 3 strawberries
  2. Kombucha that is ready to be bottled
  3. Clean bottle with an airtight seal

Instructions

  1. Put your ingredients together in the chosen vessel
  2. Allow to sit at room temperature to get fizzy (about 3-7 days). Once fizzy, store in the fridge until you are ready to use.
  3. Have a private kombucha and sourdough party with Scoby-Doo and Breadly Cooper, excluding all of the other household pets who didn’t bother to make you food. Make sure to invite the chickens because they give you eggs.
Kombucha party with the microbial pets!

Get brewing!

-Serafina

Healthy, balanced meals to help you recover from a vacation

Oh, hey there friends. Did we go like 2 or 3 weeks without a post? Listen, I’d love to come to you all and blame the economy and the border wall, but Mary Ellen and I made a commitment to our readers, so you’re going to get the truth. When you run a small internet blog company, you don’t always invest in the essentials right off the bat, so 1.5 years in and Mary Ellen and I have been sending our vacation requests to HRbot@mailerdaemon.eggplantandpie.com. Somehow we both thought the other was monitoring the inbox, and, well, in addition to booking the same time off, we ended up on a 2-week vacation at the same international swingers’ resort! Imagine our surprise when my boyfriend and Mary Ellen’s new husband realized they knew each other 10 hours into the Wednesday Men’s Tantric Seminar. Anyway, Mary Ellen and I are spinning from our whirlwind vacations, but between heavy doses of antibiotics and some prescription strength ointment, we’re back and ready to continue bringing all of you the high-quality posts you’ve come to expect.

Whether you’re recovering from mild nipple burns and gimp suit related chafing or working on getting your gag reflex back, it’s important to be kind to your body. You need to eat wholesome, real food and drink either acidic or alkaline water (I can’t remember which one was better, but I read an article about how the neutral pH of water is toxic and should be avoided at all costs).

I’ll walk you through my process of meeting the specialized nutritional needs of the post-vacation body.

  1. Find an ethnic food that is either different, or the same as the area you just came from
  2. Ask Siri or Google what restaurants are near you.
  3. Log into Uber Eats or another food delivery app because you were out of your house for so long it would be impossible to leave again today.
  4. Order all the food, focusing on the food pyramid which was switched to a plate. I wanted to include the food plate pyramid thing, but I didn’t feel like googling it. So instead I recreated it with my award winning illustration skills. It’s probably more scientifically accurate and artistically nuanced than the one published by the USDA.
  5. Eat food, in your pajamas while watching Netflix

I may have swapped naan and tacos, so just to be safe, I recommend ordering tacos made with naan if those are available in your area

Just five easy steps to the perfect post-vacation meal!

Serafina

Sourdough Bread

Friends, I know you were all a little disappointed after Mary Ellen’s last post. I mean, she didn’t even tell you how to make the bread you were toasting before you had to combine different sprinkle colors. This kind of inattention to recipe details is frankly embarrassing, and I don’t mind publicly blasting her for it.

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was making sourdough and, not only was I the kind of absolute monster that didn’t share the bread with my adorable new puppy, but I also didn’t share the recipe with any of you. I’m going to rectify that today (sort of) and let you know how you absolutely need to stop what you are doing and spend like 9 hours making sourdough.

I’ve tried my hand at bread making a few times over the years and was always so disappointed with the lightning-fast process. 2 hours from start to finish. I’m making my own bread here, not taking a dump. I’d like to savor the experience, dabble with the dough for a few minutes every three or four hours, really fill up what could otherwise be a productive day. But, I’m a busy woman who spends an entire day making one or two loaves of bread, I don’t have time to wax on about this. I also don’t have time to give you any coherent information about how to get into the fast and loose sourdough lifestyle so, that’s probably disappointing for you.

This is my sourdough starter. I consider it a pet. It’s better behaved than the cats.

A “comprehensive” guide to making sourdough

Step 1: Obtain a sourdough starter or make your own.

Step 2: feed your sourdough starter regularly. I named my sourdough and make sure I interact with it regularly. I’m actually not going to tell your starter how to take care of this microbial pet. Google it or check out an actual resource.

Step 3: make sourdough bread!!!

Ingredients for two loaves, halve the recipe for just one loaf

  • 800 grams flour (I like to use 1/3 or so whole wheat flour)
  • 260 ml water
  • 320 grams sourdough starter
  • 20 grams (about 4 tsp) salt
I only have one proving basket, so my second loaf wasn’t as fancy

Instructions:

  1. Mix ingredients
  2. Knead for, like, ever. Or 10 minutes. Or until the dough is soft and just right. TBH, every time I knead dough I am 100% certain I either over or under kneaded it and I have no idea which one.
  3. Prove for 4 hours
  4. Re-knead and divide in half.
  5. Prove for another 4 hours
  6. Bake for about 30 minutes. Either in a dutch oven or on a baking sheet and throw some water in the oven with it. Seriously, I’m not typing out the details. You’re going to need to look at a much better source to do this correctly
Always serve with butter. Always.

Bread is life

Serafina

Authentic Cinnamon Toast Crunch

It’s unfortunate (for you) that I’m the one posting the week before St. Patrick’s Day, because I’m not exactly a fan of this particular holiday. Green is just not one of my colors, so I end up having a sore hand from all the slapping I have to do because people try to pinch me.

I am, however, Irish in heritage, so I feel obligated to do something.

So I made toast.

That’s authentic, right? Also, I made toast inspired by a favorite childhood cereal because Irish people like cereal, right? I dunno.

Perhaps research would have helped me out today, but eh, it’s Friday and I have to save my hand muscles.

Since toast is kind of involved I was careful to document the entire process, except the toasting process, which I forgot to document. Here’s instruction on how to do that.

Crunchy Cinnamon Toast!

Ingredients:

  • Bread
  • Butter
  • Liquid sweetener (I used agave, but honey or maple syrup would suffice)
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Spinkles (optional)

Directions:

Toast your bread. See the link above for instructions.

Butter your bread, liberally.

I used vegan butter and it’s still working!

Drizzle your sweetener. [insert Ariana Grande reference]

Hopefully you’re still with me, but if not, take your time, and revisit any steps you need to. Print off the page if it helps.

Sprinkle the cinnamon.

You can be done at this step, or continue to make it festive for St. Patrick’s Day

Sprinkle with green sugar sprinkles.

So as you can see… I don’t have green sprinkles and thought that if I combined blue and yellow it would make green. No one was arguing that I was smart, okay?

Alright, now that you’ve eaten this balanced breakfast, go out and flog your Molly or whatever the kids do.

Yar, maties!

-Mary Ellen

Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes

Friends! I was going to spend an unreasonable amount of time ranting and also show off my new hobby of making naturally leavened bread, but instead I got a puppy. You see, I’m always competing with Mary Ellen, and when she decided to replace her husband with a new model, I decided to get rid of my boyfriend and get a dog. Wait, the boyfriend might still be here…

This puppy wants to eat sourdough. But she can’t. And you can’t either because I’m not giving you the recipe today and you probably won’t be able to google it on your own.

Yep, just checked and his xbox is still in the living room. Maybe I didn’t get rid of him and he just went to work. You know, it really doesn’t matter. He can be here or not. The point is that I got a dog. And found a new recipe for vegan cake because immediately before getting my dog I was house-sitting, out of eggs, and in dire need of cake. So this is the vanilla version of my vegan chocolate cake. If you go with cupcakes, and not, like, an actual cake, don’t try to shove all the batter into 12 cupcakes. They’ll all overflow and you’ll hate yourself. Go with 14 and put some water in the empty cupcake spots. It’s a pain in the ass but it’s worth it.

I’m also a fancy person who decided to put raspberry filling in my cake. I looked up how Martha Stewart did it and used her method. You don’t have to be as fancy as Martha Stewart and me. But I will judge you if you choose to omit the filling.

I didn’t make my own jam. because unlike Mary Ellen, who has a toddler, a husband, and two dogs, I have a puppy and between 0 and 1 boyfriends so I have no time for that shit.

Vegan vanilla cupcakes

Cupcakes:

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 cup water

Buttercream:

  • Butter (vegan if you’re keeping things vegan)
  • Powdered sugar
  • Small amount of vanilla
  • A few splashes almond milk

Filling

  • Raspberry jam

Makes 14 cupcakes or one 9-inch round/8-inch square cake.

Instructions:

  1. Whisk all dry ingredients together
  2. Make 3 wells in the dry ingredients.  Pour oil into one, vinegar into one, and vanilla into one.  Pour 1 cup cold water over everything and stir until combined. 
  3. Bake at 350 for 20-30 min.
  4. Cool
  5. Cut a hole in the top of the cupcake and pull out a small chunk. Save the chunk put in about a teaspoon of raspberry jam then replace the chunk of cupcake and frost. Did I just diligently recipe test the cake for you, give you perfect detailed instructions, and then not even bother giving you rough guidelines for the buttercream frosting? Yes, yes I did.
I didn’t actually fill all of them because I got bored of cutting out small circles

Can’t stop to think of a witty sign off, my puppy is eating a couch

Serafina

Have a Great ValenTIME with These Valentime’s Day Waffles

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 this just goes to show how important this day really is. (Source: Your Mom)

Anyway, Eggplanters, you know I live a very private life. I only share the intimate details of my life with my cam subscribers, so revealing this all to you is very hard for me.

Annie is gone.

I lost Annie some time ago (not really sure when because I just realized he was gone like a month ago) in the basement. I didn’t really want to go looking for him, because I was worried I’d encounter spiders. Dead or alive, spiders scare me.

So I remarried, and his name is Greg O. Gregerson.

He’s important so he’s on his phone a lot.

I know what you’re thinking and YES I totally think he’s the spitting image of sexiest man alive, Paul Giamatti.

Anyway, for our first VDay together, I made the most romantic food you can make anyone: waffles. I know you all probably need a good waffle in your life after Serafina misappropriated meat culture last week.

This recipe used a base outline from Joy the Baker’s Blueberry Sour Cream Waffles in her brunch book (Eggs Over Easy) which you can buy here. But I made them healthier, and then I made them way less healthy than the original recipe.

Ingredients:
– 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
– 2 tsp baking powder
– 1/2 tsp baking soda
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
– 1/3 cup butter, melted, then cooled to room temp
– 2 large eggs
– 2 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
– 1/4 milk (I used almond but you can use anything
– 1 cup white chocolate morsels
– 1 cup strawberry chia seed jam (I used the recipe from Oh She Glows, but used vanilla extract powder) – make sure it’s cold or at room temp or you’ll cook the eggs
– Chocolate ganache, whipped cream, jam, whatever, for serving.

Make your own fucking jam, it’s the bomb, takes 15 mins, and it tastes way better than anything in your fridge, I promise.

Directions:

  1. Whisk all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl.
  3. Combine the forces of wet and dry, but don’t over mix or you’ll create a wormhole.
  4. Fold in the white chocolate chips, and then swirl in the cooled jam.
I made vegan ganache with dairy free chocolate chips and coconut cream and it was amazing.

5. Turn on your waffle maker and let the batter rest while you’re waiting for it to heat. Also, follow your waffle maker’s instructions on whether to spray or not to spray.

The batter should be thick and smell like a strawberry shortcake doll.

6. Drop in 1/4 cup amounts into the maker and wait for the magic to happen.

I used a plate with a flower because I thought it would be more festive.

So there you have it. Eat all the carbs this VDay. Also, check out our mukbang videos over on our Instagram page.

Only fools rush into eating waffles without whipped cream.

-Mary Ellen


Barbecue Jackfruit Bao

Friends, I’ve been a vegetarian for such a long time at this point that I’ve stopped sharing the exact amount of time because I realized it ages me. So, I’ve been a vegetarian since I was about 10, and I’d rather not say how long that is exactly and force you all to do the math. Suffice it to say, it’s been awhile. It’s been so long that I’ve started to realize there are entire groups of foods that I’ve never really encountered. Since today is the Lunar New Year, I’m going to share a vegetarian version of Chinese Bao buns. I hadn’t even heard of Bao until I saw it on another food blog a few weeks ago, and this gets me to my side-rant.

Hey, Google and Facebook, I’m not fucking pregnant. Just because one of the food bloggers I occasionally follow got knocked up doesn’t mean I’m pregernant. So, feel free to stop showing me ads for maternity clothes, ovulation kits, and baby supplies. I get it, you did the math on how old I am and have unilaterally determined that it’s time for me to get on the baby train. But you’re not a part of that decision, creepy-ass targeted-ad people. My IUD and I are perfectly happy together. Her name is Maude. I love you, Maude.

Anyway, I realize vegan barbecue steamed buns might be sending a mixed message about odd cravings after that little rant, but they sounded genuinely intriguing. And it’s the Lunar New Year, so here we are. If you’re worried that something about bao will get you pregante, I recommend oral ingestion only, and maybe go get an IUD just in case?


If you go with premade jackfruit, make sure it looks like it was made by a douchebag.

Vegan Barbecue Bao (with Jackfruit)

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp oil

For the jackfruit filling

  • Either get premade BBQ jackfruit like I did OR
  • Drain one can of jackfruit and cook with barbecue sauce. Use the jackfruit in brine, not the sweet kind.

Instructions:

  1. Mix all of the dough ingredients together and knead for about 5 minutes until it’s relatively smooth
  2. Let rise for 30 minutes, or longer if, for example, your yeast has been sitting in the fridge for like two years. The dough should double in size
  3. Once your dough has risen, knead it again briefly and then cut it into about 8 pieces. Roll into 3-4 inch rounds. Place a few teaspoons of pulled apart BBQ jackfruit in each of the dough section things. Then crimp them together in an attractive manner (maybe, like, watch a youtube or something to make yours actually attractive)
  4. Steam for 15 minutes. I used a steam basket because I’m not going out to buy a bamboo steamer. My bao stuck to the bottom a little, but it was fine.

Turns out I wasn’t a huge fan of bao. But I still ate it, I mean, it’s not like it was cheesecake.

Serafina

Mary Ellen’s Fitness Regimen for Mind and Body Wellness but Mostly for a Hot Body

I originally planned on baking a cake for today’s post, but then realized I was two cake pans short of what I needed. Since I live in the Arctic now, I didn’t want to leave the house to get more pans. Then, I decided to post a smoothie recipe. However, Serafina clearly is spying on me and posted one before I could, and I can only appear to copy her for so long before my fans turn against me. THEN I was going to just make a post about toast BUT WOULDN’T YOU KNOW I RAN OUT OF TOAST. So here we are. 

You’re in luck because I LOVE talking about myself and my body and can’t wait to force you to look at pictures of me working out. 

Listen, the only reason for exercise is to be hot, no matter what anyone tells you. Otherwise, you’d just walk around and eat healthy. But that doesn’t make you hawt. Let’s get haute together. How many more ways can I spell haht before someone stops me?! 

The Early Bird Gets the Worm, and Booty Gains

Also make sure you get beauty sleep. At least 13 hours.

Listen, I’m not going to sugar coat this. You’re going to have to wake up to work out. And the ones that succeed in their fitness goals wake up suuuuper early. As much as I hate doing so, I drag my ass out of bed before 11:45AM. IS IT EVEN LIGHT OUT AT THAT TIME?!

Hangovers, amirite?

Hydrate and Fill Your Body with Nutrients to Carry You Through the Workout

I apologize, normally I use a cream-based infuser (it is breakfast, after all!), but I ran out.

It doesn’t have to be a huge meal, in fact I generally opt for nutrient-infused coffee. Almost like on the Keto diet, but with a slight buzz.

Cardio

Running past all the haters.

Cardio is the worst, since I can’t bend my legs very well, but it’s necessary to combat the fat. I recommend running in heels for an extra boost to your calves and booty. I’m pretty sure this is how Hilaria Baldwin works out. Probably won’t fuck up your feet.

Weight Lifting

The “2” is how many hundreds I lift 😎

I know, it seems weird that I, such a delicate flower of womanhood, would even want to lift weights. I do it because I look better in a bikini. There might be other health benefits, such as stuff with your bones and shit, but meh.

Calisthenics 

One-handed, bitches!

This is what I like to call “floor work.” Push-ups, ab stuff, planks, etc. It’s boring.

Yoga

This move is called, “fabulous wench.” Can’t remember the name in Sanskrit.

I fucking hate yoga, I’m just going to put that out there right now. I have no patience or attention span, but this helps with seducing people. Also, yoga pants.

So there you have it, Eggplanters. I hope this helps you get a little bit closer to being half as hot as I am.

Now pick yourself up by your bra straps and pump it up.
Mary Ellen