As you all know, I am completely and utterly obsessed with my chickens. They turned two last week and we had quite the celebration. I wrote about my chickens last year as well on their birthday. This year my boyfriend called me out on playing favorites with the youngest chicken, so we celebrated everyone’s birthday mid-week instead of just celebrating on my favorite chicken’s birthday. It’s important to try to grow as a chicken-parent over time. Sometimes your co-chicken-parent provides meaningful feedback and you have to at least pretend to listen. Other times you just make the chicken cake on the day it works out with your schedule and it happens to look like you are compromising. Who’s to say?
Anyway, I do love all of my chickens so very much. This year’s chicken birthday cake wasn’t quite as big of a hit with them as last year’s (there was more fruit in last year’s), but they enjoyed it nonetheless.
Carrot Cake Oatmeal Birthday Cake for Chickens
Water or almond milk
Pecans or other nuts
Raisins or something
Banana for serving
Make oatmeal by placing oats, etc on the stove with water/milk and applying heat. It’s not very complicated. I believe in you (I mean, I don’t really, but I also don’t feel like writing out the rest of how to make oatmeal, look it up on youtube it if you are still confused).
Put the oatmeal in a ramekin to set and leave in the fridge for a few hours. Once you’re ready to serve the chickens cake, cut a banana lengthwise and gently wrap around the oatmeal cake.
Put in the appropriate number of candles and then blow them out before you take it outside. Cut into several pieces so the chickens don’t fight over the food and everyone gets some.
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…
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)
1” chunk of peeled ginger
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?)
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.
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.
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:
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
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!
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
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)
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.
I’m not gonna lie, I wasn’t prepared for this week. Chalk it up to me coming down with the man flu or something. Also, it’s cold as hell where I live, but no snow (figure out where I live, you weather snoopers!). Also, I hate the expression “cold as hell” because I thought hell was hot, so am I being ironic and it’s not actually cold here? Even I don’t know, so I guess I can go ahead and wear shorts today.
I have been beyond unmotivated these last 20 years, and I doubt that will change in the next 20, loveliest readers. However, I’m dusting off my nice camera and picking up some more projects after the holidays, which means I’ll be putting those off and writing on here instead. Count yourselves lucky because you’ll be getting some quality content from me.
That day isn’t today though.
However, to keep things festive, I used sweet potatoes. I eat these a lot because I tell myself they are healthier than regular potatoes, which I also eat, but I’ll never tell you about it.
This recipe is easy, kind of healthy, vaguely filling, and vegan, so you can have all the bragging rights of every other asshole health nut out there that is bothering you to eat healthy.
Mary Ellen’s Sweet Potato Fiesta!
(This feeds two people)
2 baked sweet potatoes
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup preferred salsa
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
Cut sweet potatoes in half long ways and slice up the insides to break it open. Heat the rinsed beans until hot in the microwave and add the other ingredients. Spoon on potatoes. Enjoy the rest of your night or go to bed early.
I was talking to my brother recently about how his wife always loads the dishwasher wrong (let’s be honest, it’s a pretty specific skill that not many have mastered). He was wondering if he could blame the whole episode on feminism. As a supportive sister, I told him he could blame whatever he wanted and he proceeded to write Gloria Steinem a strongly worded letter.
I felt guilty about our conversation, though, because while obviously the problem is feminism, I feel like Gloria probably loads her dishwasher effectively. She just strikes me as a strong, independent woman who doesn’t want to eat off a plate covered with hardened cheese particles.
By the way, this is one of those dishes you’re going to want to soak for a sec before you try to scrub the cheese off. Just in case there is anyone out there who needed a little remedial dishwashing LPT.
¾ cup lentils, rinsed
¾ cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup diced butternut squash
2 cans diced tomatoes (or use many fresh tomatoes)
2 cups veggie broth
About 1 tsp Garlic powder
Small amount onion powder
About 2 tbsp Chili powder
About 1 tbsp Cumin
A little bit of oregano
Salt and pepper
Optional: Tortilla chips, cheese, avocado
Heat oil and add spices. Allow to simmer for a minute. Add butternut squash, lentils, quinoa, tomatoes, and veggie broth. Add lemon, quartered with seeds removed. Keep the skin on, you’ll remove all the lemon chunks before serving. Simmer for a while, until butternut squash and lentils are soft. I think mine simmered for about 45 minutes, but it could have been done sooner.
If it is too thick by the time everything is done, I will sometimes throw in a full can of tomato sauce. I also do that if I accidentally made it too spicy.
Serve with tortilla chips, avocado, and/or cheese.
Think about how we’re now getting 79 cents on the dollar now, ladies, it’s really starting to come together for us!
I think I’m only going to make soup until Mary Ellen gets un-kidnapped. It’ll be like a hunger strike, but I’ll still get to eat soup, which sounds nice. I thought about starting a fundraiser for her ransom money, but I was too hungry from my hunger strike idea, so this will have to do.
I cleared out the rest of my garden this week and found several butternut squash as well as a few carrots I had missed earlier in the season. I started shooting photos while making this soup, but my camera died, and I couldn’t find the charger. You’re all in luck, though, because in addition to going to school to be Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, I have also completed extensive coursework in courtroom illustration. So, I was able to quickly and accurately draw the important steps of this recipe. I imagine you won’t even notice the difference between my exceptional photography and illustrations.
Cut butternut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Brush with olive oil and then lightly salt and pepper it. Roast face down on a baking sheet at 400° until soft (about 45 minutes)
Once done, let cool for a few minutes until you can handle it. Scoop out all of the squash into a bowl.
Cut apple and carrots into bite sized pieces
In a large pot, saute garlic and leeks (or shallot) until soft and fragrent. Add carrot, apple, cooked squash, thyme, sage, and vegetable broth. Simmer until apples and carrots are soft )about 15 minutes or so. Add coconut milk. Blend with an immersion blender.
Man, oh, man, I’ve been having a lot of GI issues lately (I wish I could just insert a poo emoji here, but I don’t know how to do that on my computer… I’m only technically a millennial). Anyway, I’ve had a number of conversations with my significant other about how if I die from this illness, he will need to make sure my headstone reads “Here lies Serafina Bearafina, who died out of her butt”
I’m obviously hoping that doesn’t happen, but you have to have a plan in place.
Anyway, prior to my…problems, I was spending a shitload of time gardening. A few weeks ago, I made this lovely dish (I only mention that it was a few weeks ago so no one thinks that this curry will make you die out of your butthole)
This curry was born out of the most wonderful of circumstances. My boyfriend, who refuses to eat curry after an incident with his freshman year cafeteria, was away for the weekend. My garden produced about 10 zucchinis and some other unidentified stuff. And (most importantly), I discovered a jar of green curry paste that was about to expire. I know you all wish you can be as inspired in the kitchen as I am, but I’m hoping by sharing these little genuine moments, you can learn how to make edible food.
Brown rice, cooked
1-2 tsp coconut oil
Green curry paste
Splash of water
Several cups of garden vegetables (or grocery store vegetables if you don’t understand how to water your garden)
1 can coconut milk
1-2 tsp coconut aminos
1 tsp lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Cilantro to garnish
Cook your rice if you didn’t already (it doesn’t taste very good raw)
Heat coconut oil with ginger and garlic powder for a few moments, then add green curry and a splash of water. Add veggies and saute for a few minutes. Add coconut milk and cook until veggies are soft (maybe 15 minutes?) Once cooked, add lime juice, salt, pepper, and coconut aminos.
Try not to text your boyfriend a picture of all of the things he hates, unless you want to make sure he doesn’t actually come home.
Guess what, everyone? I tried to find a recipe for a vegan chocolate sheet cake last week (I was low on eggs and had to bring cake to a barbecue). I could not find any vegan sheet cake recipes. What the fuck? Is this because vegans don’t have enough friends to bother with sheet cake? No offense, vegans. But maybe if you used some butter you’d have more friends. #realtalk #sorrynotsorry
Anyhoo, I ended up making a few slight adaptations to a vegan chocolate layer cake recipe that I have used for years. It turned out marvelously, and thanks to a butter-filled frosting, everyone wanted to be my friend.
This works as a layer cake with two 9in cake pans, or it could also make 24 cupcakes. I found this handy baking time chart for all you type A vegans looking to make friends with cake.
Wow. Just, wow. The response to my last post about how Serafina and I became friends was overwhelming. I’m touched. We got emails upon emails requesting pictures of the vajazzle job, and while I would love to send out 40,000 pictures of Serafina’s nether region, I can’t, because Disney owns the rights to all that. I know what you’re thinking, and yes, we are total sellouts.
This week’s recipe came about through a combination of boredom and weird cravings of something sweet and salty. Normally, I make this as a combination of two different leftovers. Leftover pulled BBQ chicken (which, here’s the recipe: like 4 chicken breasts, a bottle of BBQ sauce, a crockpot, and 6-8 hours) and leftover stir fry. At the time, I decided I didn’t want stir fry for a second night in a row, so I plopped some BBQ chicken on top of it, and I ended up loving it.
However, I did not do this recipe with chicken today, because I didn’t have chicken. I used tempeh.
BBQ Tempeh Stir Fry
Toasted sesame oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
1/2 TBSP Ginger paste
3 TBSP soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 cups frozen veggies (can be a mix or I recommend peas, corn, and edamame)
~4 cups cooked brown rice
1 TBSP rice vinegar
1 package tempeh (or pulled chicken, or, if you’re Serafina and have a soy aversion, use steamed or roasted cauliflower)
~1 cup BBQ sauce
Cut the tempeh into bit sized cubes and marinate with the BBQ for at least 15 mins or you can forget about it and do it overnight. Heat oil in a pan (or wok, preferably) to medium low heat and add the garlic. Don’t burn it or toast it. The garlic should not brown, or you’ll lose flavor. Add the ginger paste.
Add the rice and soy sauce and increase heat to medium high. Add the veggies and cook until heated through. Finally, add the vinegar.
While you’re doing all this, also have another pan heated to medium high and try and brown the tempeh, but not to the point the sauce is totally gone. Just make sure it’s heated through. I’ll feel slight guilt if everyone’s food is all cold.
Dish yourself some stir fry and add the tempeh on top. It’s good, I promise.
It was 1969 and a hot summer somewhere in west Texas. Serafina and I worked at a topless bar off the highway. I know what you’re thinking and no, they would not allow us to be one of the topless performers. We had to be fully dressed waitresses.
It was our dream to perform, but seeing as how we were the only employees forced to keep all our clothes on, it seemed like our dreams would never be realized.
Also, we hated each other. Serafina was always stealing my tables and tips and flirting with my customers. One particular night, as I was bringing table 4 our house special, Kicked up Kowboy Kale (I should also mention that our bar was the number one rated vegetarian topless bar for over five decades), she was sitting in my best customer’s, Seth’s, lap! And I was sweet on him!
Anyway, this kind of went on for the entirety of our employment there, which was only around four months. We didn’t become friends until our last night there. Oh, what a faithful night that was! The bar’s most famous dancer, Seitani, had a severe allergic reaction to some radish pasties, and was rushed to the hospital, right before she was to go on!
Serafina and I locked eyes, and rushed to the stage. There was no music, but we rhythmically (we each had a different rhythm) removed our clothes, trying to outdo one another. The audience booed, but we pushed on. The bouncer tried to catch us, but we darted out of his grip! Finally, in what could be considered the bravest, most spectacular move I’ve ever seen in my life (I still get emotional and teary thinking of it), Serafina ripped her pants off, revealing a rainbow vajazzle. It caught the light from the stage spotlight, and blinded everyone in the bar. The light was so miraculous that it acted as sort of a North Star to weary travelers, and before we knew it, her current lover walked in bearing gifts of cats (she accepted his romantic proposal DESPITE the cats).
We were fired immediately, but I was so in awe of Serafina, and realized she wasn’t just any part time, fully dressed, topless vegetarian bar waitress. She was my guru.
So now our readers know the short form history of how we met, here is a recipe that is dedicated from me to Serafina.
1.5 lbs carrots, fresh from the garden you should have
4 cups vegetable broth
Pinch of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Ground pepper to taste
Prep your vegetables and set them aside. If you hate chopping veggies as much as I do, rejoice! You don’t need to be perfect because you’re going to purée this shit in the end.
Using a large pot, heat your oil over medium low heat, and add your onions. Cook until translucent. Add your garlic and ginger, and cook for a few minutes. Finally, add your apples and carrots and cook for a few minutes longer (I usually wait until I can kind of smell the apple cooking).
Add the vegetable broth, and your seasonings and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer for 20 minutes.
When all your vegetables are tender, use an immersion blender and blend until smooth (or the texture you like), or, you can do what I did, and transfer it to a blender in batches, spilling carrot water all over the dogs along the way. Either works.
Serve with crackers, a baguette, or my favorite, warm quinoa (yeah I’m that asshole).
Remember to drink your calories,
*fuck grating fresh ginger. This was such a pain in the ass and now I have like a pound of ginger left because they only sell them in 20 lbs increments. Just get the jarred ginger.