Healthy Vegan Oatmeal Cookies

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


I gave up on measuring my flour at the end and just poured the rest of the bag into the bowl. Baking is about instincts. And sometimes it’s also about having cookies that are too dry because you didn’t follow the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 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)
Note: I did not include any ground up diet pills in my cookies. But that’s only because, as I mentioned before, the cookie dough was already looking a little dry.

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. In a small bowl, combine sweetener, butter, oil, water and vanilla.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together flour, oats, baking soda and salt
  4. Combine the flour and sugar mixtures. Fold in the chocolate chips, dried cranberries, almonds, or whatever the fuck you’re using
  5. Scoop onto a cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes until the cookies look like they’re done
Pay attention to your cookies when they’re in the oven. I almost burnt some of these because vegan cookies don’t brown like cookies with real butter do. Also, I might have been distracted and not set a timer, but I’m still blaming the vegan butter.

May 2019 be the year you meet your health and fitness goals without changing your diet or activity levels in any way.

Serafina

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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.

XOXO,

Serafina

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.

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

Deconstructed Chili Fiesta (TM)

Ingredients:

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

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

Directions:

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.

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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

Mini Pumpkin Pies

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.

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This actually looks fairly gross, but that’s what you get for using sweetened condensed milk.

Filling (makes 12 mini pies or one 9 inch pie):

1 can sweetened condensed coconut milk

1 can pumpkin puree

2 eggs

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

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A good way to approximate your age: ask whether you still use a recipe clipped from the newspaper in aught seven. I thought I was in my 30s, but it turns out I’m in my 70s.

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Oil your muffin pan
  5. Using a 3 inch cookie cutter, cut out 12 rounds and mush into a muffin pan.
  6. Whisk condensed coconut milk, pumpkin, eggs, and spices.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

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This was my ugly pie. Apparently you’re supposed to let them cool before you try to shove one in your face.

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.

Serafina

Deconstructed PB&J

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.

 

Deconstructed PB&J.

 

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.

 

Ingredients:

  • 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)

 

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This is the moment it was truly deconstructed, right?  Right?  Did I use it right?!

 

Directions:

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.

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Mixed.  All winter long.

 

Get your vitamins from a tablet, not food.

 

-Mary Ellen

Energizing Elixir

We had our first frost recently. Now all the plants are dead. Tomatoes are dead. Flowers are dead. Check out this dead sunflower.

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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!!

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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

magical elixir

Ingredients:

Mango Naked Juice

Energy Drink

Instructions:

Mix energy drink first and then mango, then stir.

Consume.

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.

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Always listen to the golden-haired nymph.

Serafina

Trader Joe Goes to Italy

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?

 

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I’m sorry for the blatant snobbery from the “Quattro Formaggio” bag of cheese.  But I’m fancy, so it can’t be helped.

 

Notice that you don’t even need to do cheese prep?

 

While Serafina is off growing food and like, probably churning her own butter for the next post, you can make a shit ton of crap lasagnas.  They taste good though so it’s fine.

 

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When you think you’ve added enough cheese, think back on all of the mistakes you’ve made in your life, and add a cup more.

 

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
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder

 

Directions:

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.

 

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Weird, flat noodles that you don’t cook.  Yes, I know you have no reason to trust me, and honestly I still don’t recommend it, but don’t boil the noodles.

 

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.

 

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*Some* people might need vegetables in their lasagna, but those people clearly don’t have vitamin deficiencies.

 

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?

 

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See?  There’s like a bowl of salad or whatever in the background.  Far, far away from the delicious cheese.  Don’t worry, Cheese, that spinach can’t hurt you anymore.

 

“I hate Mondays.” – Sandra Bullock

 

-Mary Ellen

 

 

 

 

Serafina’s guide to healthy snacking

Sometimes life gets chaotic and there isn’t time for homemade cookies, cookie dough, or the many other healthful snack ideas  that we have on this site. Sometimes you realize that your masters thesis is due in like two weeks, other times something more relevant to you might happen. Either way, I’m here to guide you through the wonderful snacks that will hopefully save you so your dreams aren’t ruined and you don’t have to cry in the shower until there’s no more hot water every night for the rest of your life.

A wonderful place to start is with healthy beverages to optimize your energy. I rely on coffee most of the time, but in extreme cases, it’s fine to put whatever the fuck is in these drinks in your body. Maybe they’ll help. At least that’s what I’m counting on.

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I bought the Focus Aid one thinking it was just a re-branded over-the-counter Adderall. I was wrong.

After your heart is racing and your stomach is queasy from energy drinks, it’s a good idea to get some wholesome food in your body. Shit, maybe we should have started with food, but you know what, it’s too late now. These foods don’t go together, but they are the only things in my refrigerator right now aside from energy drinks and almond milk.

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Oh carrots, I look forward to throwing you in the compost in a month when I am trying to figure out what smells bad in the fridge.

Healthy snacks can make a monumental difference in your energy levels and mood throughout the day. For example, before I ate this cookie, I seriously considered pouring tea all over my laptop because the lecture I was watching was mildly irritating. Since finishing the cookie and remembering I have an old broken laptop I keep around for displacing my violent inclinations toward technology, I’m feeling much more regulated.

ABC cookie

Another healthful snack that will hopefully stave off your aggressive and destructive tendencies for a few blissful moments is the fruit snack. Fruit snacks are perfection. It’s like someone noticed that it was ridiculous that fruit had all that fiber and shit in it, and was like, “Don’t worry guys, I’ve got this.” I accidentally bought fruit snacks that have vitamin C in them. It’s ok, they still tasted fine.

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I ate these vegan fruit snacks on the patio while telling my chickens they weren’t allowed to have any. It’s not that fruit snacks are unhealthy for chickens, I’m just selfish.

Just remember, your achievements are only limited by the amount of sugar you can eat in a sitting.

XOXO,

Serafina

 

The Creative Process (BTS Eggplant Magic)

Before I get into my totally non-bullshit post today, I would like to dispute Serafina’s lies from her last post.  I’m an expert at being self-righteous, so listen to me.  I didn’t read whatever book she was talking about, and I never will because I don’t even read this blog, but I can say with total confidence that you don’t need to grow your own shit to feel better than everyone.

 

It’s called Farmer’s Markets + Instagram.

 

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Thank god for stock photos so I don’t have to leave my house.

 

I’ve sung Instagram’s praises before, but really, I can even make myself jealous on that platform with my own past posts.  Sometimes, I even think my life is amazing.

 

Just take some pictures at the market and brag on IG that at least YOU support local businesses.

 

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You can later then put spices in a spoon messily and pretend you’re going to bake, like I do. THE BEST PART OF BAKING IS THE MESS RIGHT?

 

Don’t have a Farmer’s Market?  Snap a pic at your local grocery store/gas station.  It’s all about angles, bitch.

 

This might be a good time to start my planned post.  It was totally planned! It’s not because I take a lot of food pictures but don’t actually write down recipes! *laughs nervously*

 

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My research into how to repurpose my gaming food into healthy family meals.

 

I’ve been thinking a lot about food blogger pictures, and how they basically all look the same.  Brightly lit, sharp focus, appetizing colors, etc.  But you know, Serafina and I are ACTUAL artists and believe art should be organic, like what your food should be (eyes judgingly).  We let our food speak to us.

 

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For instance, these muffins said, “lay us here among the mismatched placemats and make sure you get the flowers in the shot.”

 

Sometimes, at least for me, my food is being an asshole and won’t talk.

 

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I’ve taken a lot of photography classes in my life and I don’t fucking know how to make dal look even remotely appetizing in a picture.

 

I recently discovered Foodie, an app that makes my (totally not shitty looking food) talk.

 

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Also, overnight oats.  Look gross, taste only a little gross.

 

Maybe if I spent time staging the food, bringing out my lighting kit, and using my real camera to take pictures, I would have better results.  But since that’s never going to happen, I modify my pictures with filters.

 

OMG I HAVE GMO PICTURES.

 

-Mary Ellen