Ending 2018 Strong: A Tale of Lies and Deception to Myself and Others

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:

Jackfruit Lentil Enchiladas

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.

Q&A with Master Gardener: Serafina Berafina

Has anyone actually checked her credentials? How can a master gardener let squirrels destroy a sunflower? Where is her greenhouse?

Broccoli Cheese Frittata

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.

Trader Joe Goes to Italy

SEE YOU DON’T ADD THE VEGETABLES TO THE CHEESE. This is one of my many posts on my obsession with Trader Joe’s.

A Deconstructed Sweet Potato Fiesta

I’m so happy this was more popular than the original recipe. Fucking millennials love their deconstruction and living wages.

How to ACTUALLY Have Flawless Skin

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

-Mary Ellen

Stacked Cheesecake

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:

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
I can’t tell if the cake on the left is too yellow in real life or because the lighting was weird. It’s not like I didn’t try to fix it, but I kinda suck at photoshop, so when my first attempt at color correction failed I gave up.

For the cheesecake:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. I didn’t include the corn syrup and my glaze was more of a true ganache which I imagine was better.
I took this picture on the kitchen floor because the counters were entirely covered with dirty cheesecake dishes.

General notes:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.



A Deconstructed Sweet Potato Fiesta

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.

Look at this fine set up.  Look at it!  I have things.

Deconstructed Chili Fiesta (TM)


  • Can of black beans
  • Sweet potatoes or yams
  • Cumin
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Oil
  • Salsa
  • Guac if you’re a rich asshole

They actually look worse than this.  Remember, I use the Foodie app for filters (pay me!)


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.

As you can tell, this bowl didn’t even make it to the table.  I just ate standing over the counter and watched TV.

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.


-Mary Ellen