Thursday, September 30, 2010

Here's The Thing About....

Here's The Thing About These Cupcakes: They were delish! I made Sour Cream Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting for my friend Leslie's 30th Birthday Hoe-down partyon Saturday night. This was my only outing on both Saturday and Sunday due to sickness and mental strungoutness. I got the recipe from this blog called Ming Makes Cupcakes. It was incredibly simple and it showed how awesome these beauts were. Freaking amazing for choco lovers.

Cupcake Ingredients:

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup cocoa
2 sticks butter, room temp.
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp vanilla
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350. Combine all dry ingredients, then combine all wet and mix with an electric mixer until fully combined. Makes 24 cupcakes. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until passes toothpick test.

Frosting Ingredients:
1 cup nutella
10 tablespoons heavy cream
3 cups powdered sugar

Step 1: Combine with electric mixer and frost once cupcakes have cooled. I used the fake piping bag trick. It looked great!

Here's the thing about The Town: It was a B movie with A acting. I couldnt help but compare Blake Lively's amazing performance to Amy Ryan's in Gone Baby Gone. There were some unbelievable scenarios and unexplained character motivations but its really all about Boston and crime so who cares about the rest? Also, Jeremy Renner is one ugly fuck.

Here's The Thing About The Social Network: Yeah man! Best movie of the year. Who cares that its about facebook? Its not even about that at all. Its a true story and Justin Timberlake rocks out with his *ahem* out. I see Oscar for Fincher. Little Known Fact - the twins are actually played by 1 person. Second Little Known Fact: Ive crashed a Harvard party that was alot like that Harvard Party. I absolutely say RUN dont walk to this "film" not movie.

Here's the thing about Boardwalk Empire: its ok. We as Americans love looking back at our history and we're lucky as fuck that there are people out there willing to explore and let our modern society get a peek into our recent history.This is also why Mad Men works. Boardwalk Empire's first novelty "I CANT BELIEVE WE USED TO BE LIKE THIS" is prohibition. Yeah, its hard to believe right? What the crack were we thinking? Second is Women's voting rights. The plots are thin so far and the acting - meh - but at the same time Im willing to stick through it all just to see the costumes and the music because its better than most OTHER things on television right now without trying very hard. My only other issue is - MICHAEL PITT (who you may remember from Dawson's Creek and Hedwig And The Angry Inch) you are just a the poor mans Leonardo Dicaprio and thats all youll ever be and that makes me sad for you, but its clearly why youve gotten this far.

Here's the thing about Pellegrino: It's delicious and for the last 4 days I have been drinking it like its the last liquid on earth. My coworker told me I am going to get kidney stones from drinking it. They say Ill get cancer from Diet Coke - should I put that comment on the same level as the prior? If so, I will keep at it. Advice?

Here's the thing about Glee: You're fun but youre really just copying music now. I liked last season when the arrangements were different and the scenes were integrated. Liked the Britney ep but it was really contrived.....I just fast forward through it now. On a positive note, I just realized Ryan Murphy also did the show Popular when I was in high school which Ive always felt beared a similar resemblance to Glee so there's some street cred in my book going towards Ry.

Here's the thing about The Nerdist Podcast: If youre not listening to it, youre probably not not my friend. Okay, revise - I bet none of you are listening to it but if you are my friend I know you'll like it. Here's a phrase you will NEVER believe you would have heard before - CHRIS HARDWICK IS ONE OF THE FUNNIEST PEOPLE on the Internet. Best guests if youre catching up to download: Jon Hamm, Jim Gaffigan, Donald Glover, Alison Brie, Paul Scheer and Matt Besser.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Russian River Shenanigans!

This weekend was a very special weekend. It was my first extended trip to the Russian river and it was Natalie's golden birthday. About 15 of us loaded up the cars and spent the weekend cooking amazing food, drinking alot of beer, floating in the river and petting dogs. We hadnt been able to do many things since Labor Day weekend when Shawn's car died so it was nice to be able to get out of the city. While it wasnt a camping trip, it felt outdoorsy and whats an outdoor weekend without Smores? This required a little creativity on my part so I made Smores Brownies! I tried two different versions, 1 with marshmallows and 1 with fluff. Marshmallows won out so I will only blog that version. There was also an insane Apple Cinnamon French Toast Muffin served with ricotta cheese and syrup. I must get that recipe!

It was a great house with many levels - no hot tub tho! It was 90 degrees out which made for an excellent summer excursion while the rest of the country is embarking on fall. Looks like a heatwave is upon us in the bay area so we'll all be happy and complaining at the same time til next weekend.

Smores Brownies

1 sleeve of graham crackers, smashed to a crumb.
1 cup of melted butter
1 package of brownie mix
1 bag of brownies.

Step One: Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 13x9 pan. I probably should have baked the graham cracker layer alone by itself first, but I didnt. You should.

Step Two: Combine graham cracker crumbs with butter and spread evenly for a 1st layer. Spread brownie mix (made from the box) over evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Step Three: Let cool for 2 hours. Then spread marshmallows evenly and put under a low broil, watching carefully while it melts. I had to take a fork and press down mid bake so it would create a layer and put back to broil and finish browning it.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Green & Gold Food

Its officially football season. This is my 3rd season as a fair weather Packers fan and so far its treated me nicely. While I can only think of 6 players off the top of my head, I still consider myself "into it". Its fun having never dated someone into football before Shawn, it allows me to have no other allegiance than the Green Bay boys. Granted I have been trying to be healthy but it was just way too enticing to try something I had been meaning to try for a while. This is less of a recipe and more of a semi homemade dish with a gourmet flare. Lets just say I made 2 pies and they were all eaten and nibbled through 2 games. Not too shabby!

Pictured: A Brat covered in green apple mustard (made by Alex La Motte himself!) and yellow mustard, held by Mister Micholic.

Tamale Pie w/ a Green Onion and Avocado Crema
Makes 2 pies.
2 boxes of corn muffin mix - jiffy.
1 lb of ground beef
1/2 a can of pinto beans
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon of garlic, minced
2 tomatoes, diced
1 tiny diced green peppers from El Paso
1 cup crema
1/2 an avocado
1/2 cup of diced green onion, whites + stems
lemon juice
1 packet of spicy TACO SEASONING. (yeah, thats right, I dont front!)
a little shredded cheese, I reco cheddah!

Step One: Over medium heat cook the onions and the olive oil til soft. Add in the garlic and start to brown the meat. Once simmering add in the taco mix, tomatoes, beans and the green peppers and let cook for 7 minutes. Preheat oven to 350.

Step Two: While the meat mixture is cooling - prepare the corn muffin mix as directed on the box.

Step Three: Prepare the crema! In a food processor combine the crema, lemon juice, avo and green onions. Pulse til creamed and refrigerate until ready to eat pie.

Step Four: In pie plates divide the meat mixture into 2, then cover with corn muffin mix. Sprinkle grated cheese over the top and bake for 15-20 minutes.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Night Breakfast

Just in general - who DOESNT love breakfast for dinner? Any excuse for a mimosa. We were lucky enough to borrow a waffle maker from my coworker Amy - and have our friends Jim & Abby over for a post 30th birthday bash for Jim (since we missed the real deal party!). I even instructed everyone to dress for the occasion: pajamas. On the menu was another baked egg in a ramekin and shawns lemon poppy seed waffles with blueberry topping. He wasnt happy with his, but mine sure was delish! I made Smoked Salmon, Asparagus & Peppered Goat Cheese Baked Eggs. Super simple, my friends and salty and satisfying. Jim & Abby brought beermosas.

Smoked Salmon, Asparagus & Peppered Goat Cheese Baked Eggs
Serves 4
8 eggs.
4 dollops of cheese.
a bunch of asparagus
a packet of smoked salmon.
Salt & Pepper to taste.
Olive oil.

Step One: Toss asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 350 for 15m, turning once - I like em crispy crispy.

Step Two: Adjust oven to 400. In each ramekin put in chopped asp, pieces of smoked salmon, and a dollop of goat cheese. Crack 2 eggs over them. I didnt add any cream like they advise because the asp was coated in oil. Place in a water bath (2 inches of water in a baking pan) - and bake for 20m or until done.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

3 Days Of Fun!

Hello and Happy Post Labor Day, my lovelies. What an amazing difference 1 day makes! I actually feel rested even though the weekend provided many adventures and two different hotels. I feel 1 long weekend a month would ensure all motivation at work to be genuine. It would surely take the edge off those late nights and hard to navigate personalities that make work days insufferable and unrewarding. Who should I tell this to? Obama? Or maybe Oprah.

Friday: held a half day at work and because Shawn and I didnt have to rush out of town to a wedding, camping or to meet friends we decided to go to the movies to see Going The Distance. It was sort of a full filling movie for no other reason that on the anniversary of 1 year til our wedding it was the entire story of our relationship the 1st year. Then we saw The Last Exorcism. I recommend BOTH movies unless you like good endings. Then dont see it - the first 2/3rds or each are excellent, tho. We then went to Pagaloc for the 7 Courses Of Beef (carpaccio, boiled in vinegar, bbqd on a rock, wrapped in onion, sausage and soup!).

Saturday: We got 20 Save The Dates done! Also, we had the opportunity to spend our -1 year anniversary at Cavallo Point located directly underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. Awesome time! We had dinner at the Farley Bar inside and it was delicious! We had an epic Pork reiette with a homemade pork rind. Crunchy, greasy and perfectly melty in my mouth.

Sunday: We drove to Fresno to meet up with Shawn's friends Peter & Dana and their lovely daughter Annabelle (sp!?) --- the drive was amazing. We had to turn lemons into lemon aid (shawns car broke down so we rented a car) that HAD SIRIUS radio which can only mean 1 thing: 90s STATIONS FOR 3 HOURS!!.Ah, I was in heaven with SWV and Shawn Colvin. I think we need to have all 90s at our wedding rehearsal kickball game. We also swam at night, which I love - in the Marriot hotel. Thats summer!

Monday: We came back and enjoyed the sun and front porch playing some scrabble. I won. Then we went over to the Micholics for dinner/draft/mad men and I made these killer burgers a friend once made.

Chopped Date & Camembert Burgers
w/ Sriracha Onions

1 lb Ground Beef
1/2 cup basil, chopped.
1 tablespoon of minced garlic.
1 package of Camembert cheese (or blue cheese!)
1/2 cup chopped dates
1 egg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup chopped onions
salt, pepper
For onions:
1 white onion
1 squirt of Sriracha
Olive Oil
Step One: Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Make into patties (makes 5!) -put em on the grill.

Step Two: Meanwhile, saute onions over medium heat with hot sauce until your preferred softness.

And in Jon Stewart's words - "your moment of zen" - Shawn molesting figaro!