Broccoli Cheese Frittata

You guys, I have some rough news. You see, Mary Ellen and I have been friends for a long time, and I watched her go through the horrors of not eating gluten for YEARS before she ate some bread and was like “oh fuck yeah, this shit’s the best!” Well, my dearest, darling-est boyfriend is now talking about going GF. It’s literally killing me. You read that right, it isn’t figuratively killing me, it’s very literal. Because gluten is life’s antivenom (I guess the venom part is just normal life. Too dark?)

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I tried to take a pretty picture but didn’t even bother getting all the feather particles off the eggs

Anyway, I try to be supportive every now and then, so I made a quiche without the delicious gluten-y crust. And then I put broccoli in it, which he doesn’t eat anyway. He wasn’t happy. But the good news here is that my chickens are laying eggs more frequently since it’s getting closer to spring, so I had an abundance of eggs. My chickens are such good girls. At least they still eat gluten with me.

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Chickens look weird without arms if you think about it too long. But if they had arms they’d be little t-rex arms since they’re dinosaur birds

Ingredients

8 eggs

1 large or two small heads of broccoli, chopped into small florets

About ½ cup cheese (or if you hate going to the store, 5-6 slices of cheese chopped into small pieces)

½ cup unsweetened almond milk or regular milk

Olive oil

Small amount onion powder

Salt and pepper

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I’m sure you can’t tell which cheese option I went with. Are there really any benefits to shredded cheese? It’s just more work, even if you don’t include the trip to the store

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400

Heat oil and onion powder in cast iron skillet (or another oven safe skillet) and add broccoli. Cover and let steam/simmer for a few minutes until bright green and just a little soft

Beat eggs with milk, add a little pepper and salt, then stir in cheese

Pour egg mixture over broccoli and even out where your massive chunks of sliced cheese went if that is a problem

Cook for about 10-15 minutes, checking frequently. It’s done when the middle is just set

Let it sit for a few minutes before serving.

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It’s such a pretty frittata. My boyfriend wouldn’t even try it.

May you all find something with gluten to eat very soon

Serafina

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Beet, Carrot, Apple, Ginger Juice

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…

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Ingredients:

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)

Some carrots

1” chunk of peeled ginger

Instructions:

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?)

Blend

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.

sieve and bowl

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.

juice with straw3

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:

Pros:

  • 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
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I had a picture of this that was in focus, but I felt this one captured the moment a little better

Cons:

  • 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!

Happy juicing!!

Serafina

A Tale of Two Chickens

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.

No lollygaggin’,

Mary Ellen

Goodbye, Old-Ass Year

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

Ingredients:

  • 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)

Directions:

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.

Mary Ellen

More Egg Rice 

I’m sorry that I’ve been MIA for a long while. I was sick, died, ressurected, and then I’ve been busy coming up with the perfect playlist for working out. I love making playlists for everything because they are the modern form of mix tapes, which I used to actually make for people all the time, because I was adorable/a creepy nerd. Have a crush? Let them know with a heartfelt compilation of emotional Hanson songs. I continued this tradition even with the advent of CDs, and even went so far as to make a “I’m sorry we broke up, I want to be friends, but I also still want to have sex with you/I will stalk you every day until you love me” mix. When CDs died, I ran to iTunes, and now I’m resting comfortably with Spotify. 
Since I’ve been so busy making playlists, I hardly have time to cook, clean, or have foresight in general. Actually, I don’t think I even made dinner for my husband last night. I think I had a bowl of cereal, I wonder what he had? 

I eat sweet potatoes sometimes as meals. This was painstakingly made by wrapping in foil and throwing it into the oven, where I forgot about it because I didn’t set a timer. Luckily, it turned out well for me.

I go back and forth on the egg thing. I love eggs most of the time, but then I need like, several months of a break. I make a lot of egg scrambles with whatever ingredients I have on hand. This recipe, however, was inspired by a dish at a local ramen spot near my house. A true gem of a place. We went with friends, and it took a couple of hours to get all our food, which was fine since they brought out my sake and I didn’t care about the rest. After like 90 minutes of still missing half our order, I walked up to one of the dudes walking around, and politely informed him that we were still missing our dishes, and like, wondered if they were going to get them for us. He didn’t speak English, and ran away. He was scared of me the rest of the night. 
Anyway, one of our friends and Annie both ordered vegetable fried rice, and they brought out rice with egg in it, and no vegetables. I was jealous. 
This recipe is not fried rice. I’m too lazy for that.  
Egg Scramble with Rice (adapted from a local ramen joint with communication issues)

Ingredients: 

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup frozen vegetables of your choice 
  • Cheese (optional) 
  • 1/2 TBSP butter or oil
  • 1/2 cup cooked rice of your choice
  • Soy sauce 

Directions:

Heat butter or oil in a pan at medium heat and add vegetables. Cook until heated through and add cheese (if you want) until it melts. 

Today I used peppers and corn that was genetically modified to taste like carrots. It counts as an extra vegetable.

Scramble the eggs in a bowl and pour into pan. 

Serafina would just eat it at this stage because she doesn’t even have time to cook her eggs.

Prepare a bowl of rice and drizzle soy sauce in it and mix it in. Top it with the scramble and eat it while silently wishing you were eating cookies for lunch instead. 

Not cookies, but I guess it works.

That’s all for this week. If you would like your own personalized mixtape from Mary Ellen, send an inquiry through the Contact Page and a representative will be with you within 1-12 days. 
Scrambles are just free spirited omelettes. 
Mary Ellen 

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

(Or how to cope with talking to your neighbors)

Sometimes when you’re a grown up you have to talk to your neighbors. It’s awful because they’re people, and even though you put up a privacy fence a little while ago, before the fence was up, they probably saw you running around your yard with matted hair and at least one boob hanging out.

Anyway, I had to talk to one of my neighbors today, and about 20 minutes after I was back in the safety of my own home, I realized that I smelled terrible. I make my own deodorant, but sometimes the natural diy stuff just doesn’t help with the horrible anxiety sweat that you get from having to talk to a human person.

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They say build bridges not fences, but did a bridge ever stop your neighbors from calling the cops when you’re running around drunk and topless? I didn’t think so.

Fortunately, I learned that hand sanitizer makes wonderful deodorant spray that actually works. I’ve tried to make my own version, but it always just smells like rubbing alcohol. I’m not sure what the commercial armpit spray people do differently, but I don’t care enough to bother looking.

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We were supposed to get paid for endorsing this product, but Mary Ellen was pretty tipsy when she was negotiating and we ended up having to pay them.

Why is a banana bread recipe following this daring tale of bravery and armpit spray, you ask? Well, not everything is about you, and sometimes I want to make some goddamn banana bread.

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I may not have fancy place mats like Mary Ellen, but I do have a stove top that I rarely clean.

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Adapted from Cookie and Kate

Ingredients:

1/3 cup melted coconut oil or olive oil

½ cup honey

2 eggs

2 fairly large ripe bananas

1 tbsp. molasses

½ c unsweetened almond milk or water

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla

1 ½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp salt

1 ¾ c brown spelt flower or whole wheat flower

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The mysterious jar is vanilla extract. And by that, I mean, vanilla beans and booze.

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 325° and grease a 9×5 loaf pan

Smash bananas

Whisk oil, honey, eggs, bananas, vanilla, molasses, and almond milk in a large bowl.

In a medium bowl, whisk flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda.

Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix to combine

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for about 55-65 minutes. Watch closely the last 10 minutes or so. It’s done when a toothpick or skewer comes out clean.

I’ve heard it’s best to wait until the loaf cools before you start cutting and eating slices, but I’ve literally never tried.

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I couldn’t even wait until I took a picture to cut a slice, but there were no negative consequences to my decision.

Do you best to eat at least one slice nude in your backyard.

-Serafina

 

Doughnuts

M.E. and I have an ongoing “polite discussion” about the spelling of this heavenly, breakfast-appropriate dessert. I have no plans on conceding.

January is a time for us to take an honest look at our lives, to evaluate our health and habits. I’ve therefore decided that 2017 needs more doughnuts. A lot more doughnuts. On the days that I remember my digestive weakness (AKA lactose intolerance), I go out of my way to make my own treats. It’s mostly altruistic, because when I don’t avoid dairy properly it’s pretty unpleasant for anyone in my immediate vicinity.

I’m lazy and I also don’t like putting my appendages near hot bubbling oils, so I was delighted to discover baked doughnut pans. I have them in two sizes. When you make a pan of mini doughnuts, you’re allowed to eat the whole dozen. It’s part of the deal.

I should also mention that I don’t always clean off my counter when I cook or bake. I just unceremoniously shove things out of the way. I’ll try to work on cropping my photos better so you don’t notice.

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Technically, I took this picture to show off my new chicken matryoshka measuring cups.

Mini doughnuts take much less batter than the big ones. It’s hard to say how much they take because halfway through any recipe I stop measuring and start eating batter. We’re lucky we got any baked doughnuts at all. The larger sized doughnuts were somewhat of an afterthought. My mini doughnut pan took way less batter than I thought, so I used the rest in my big doughnut pan but didn’t bother greasing it.

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I managed to get one intact larger doughnut. Grease your pans, kids.

I made just a few adaptations to this recipe from Joy the Baker.

Makes about 12 mini doughnuts and 4 or 5 regular ones (or just 6 regular doughnuts if you can’t handle more than one size of doughnut)

Ingredients

  • 1 c flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated really does make a difference)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoon browned butter
  • 1 egg (large)
  • ½ cup buttermilk (I use almond milk with about a teaspoon of vinegar, left to rest for a minute or two to curdle)
  • 2 tsp vanilla (half for the doughnuts, half for the frosting)
  • 1 ½ c powdered sugar
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3-4 tbsp milk (again, I used almond milk)
  • Pinch salt
  • Sprinkles

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F

Grease your doughnut pans (unless you don’t want to eat torn apart doughnuts dipped in frosting)

Combine flour, baking powder and soda, sugar, salt, and nutmeg.

Melt butter. To see instructions on how to brown butter, you can google it or click this handy link (which was at the top of my google search)

Transfer browned butter into a bowl. Add the egg, almond “buttermilk,” and vanilla. Mix and then add in flower and mix until well combined.

Either spoon or pipette the batter in to the prepared doughnut pan(s). I dumped my batter in a plastic bag, cut the tip, and oozed the batter into the pan. It worked well for me. Aim to fill the pans about 2/3 of the way. If you overfill them, they’ll will lose the hole in the middle when they rise.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, they are done when a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for a little bit before inverting onto a cooling rack.

Make the frosting by whisking together the remaining butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, and milk. Add milk slowly to get the consistency dip-able.

Dip each doughnut in the frosting. Allow frosting to harden briefly or risk getting chocolate all over your arms.

I recommend sprinkles for the full doughnut effect. I went with naturally colored sprinkles, which was obviously a mistake. I trust you will make a better decision than I did.

Belgian Waffles for Lunch

Do not pour syrup out of the original container. That’s disgusting.

Hello, and welcome to the first blog post. As I hope you’ll glean from this, and all future posts, this is a tongue and cheek, not so family friendly, family, food, and lifestyle blog. 
We are two ladies, who are sometimes friends, usually frienemies, most of the time arch enemies, and the occasional star-crossed lovers. I am Mary Ellen, you will meet Serafina next week. If you want more intimate, salacious details about us, go to the “Meet the Authors” page. So, let’s get to blogging, shall we?

Make sure the dough is lumpy. Lovely waffle lumps are the best.

I love waffles. I never knew how much I loved waffles until I got a waffle iron this Christmas, and knew I needed to make every waffle recipe I could find. I’m opportunistic like that. But today, I decided to keep it simple with a traditional Belgian waffle. Since I’m not one to try and reinvent the wheel, I got the recipe from Taste of Home. But even that recipe is basically the same as all the other ones I’ve found online. Just keep it simple. 

I’ve been making this particular recipe for the past several weeks on the weekends in lieu of pancakes, and it’s really perfect. Chewy, and crispy, and fluffy. I plan on making it for some friends that are coming over for brunch in a few weeks because even their children should like this recipe. 

Mother fucker. I can never pour the right amount of batter.

This recipe makes about 5-6 large waffles, so it’s really only a recipe for one person, maybe two if you make a lot of other food and both people aren’t that hungry. Use maths on the recipe to account for more than one person. I usually serve bacon with this recipe, and I strongly suggest not deviating from that. Serafina would like you to think otherwise, but she’s a liar. You need breakfast meats on the weekend, because otherwise you get anemic. Serafina is super anemic. 

You deserved so much more, bacon. Like, a better photographer.

Simple Belgian Waffles (adapted from Taste of Home)

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cups sugar 
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 eggs, separated 
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (I used almond milk, like a hippie, and it tastes fine. My other preferred is whole milk)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • Toppings of your choice

Directions:

Whisk the dry ingredients together in large bowl. Separate eggs, beat the whites to stiff peaks (I use my stand mixer) and thoroughly mix the remaining wet ingredients (please make sure you don’t cook the egg yolks with hot butter…). Combine the wet into the dry, don’t overstir. Fold in egg whites. Batter should be lumpy. Cook up on a preheated, greased waffle iron. 
I meant to take sexy pictures of eating, and pouring syrup, etc, but I just shoved the waffles into my face immediately because it was an hour past my lunch time and I was starving. Also, my 6 month old baby was timing me. He makes me eat everything in around 5 minutes or he will throw a fit. But don’t think for one second I didn’t dust that shit with powdered sugar, because I did. I also burned my perfectly fried bacon because I started taking pictures of other things with the camera. I still ate it, so I’m good on the anemia part.