Saturday, May 31, 2008

Bubba Gump Baker

I was reading one of my favorite food blogs ever, Food on the Food, written by the hilarious Tammy D and she posted about her five minutes of tv fame.

Which of course I had to watch to see if her own self-critique was even a little true (it wasn't).

However I found myself empathizing with her because this one time, at band camp... No, no wait I am kidding! But for real there was this one time I was on Chronicle when they did a feature on the bakery where I worked and to my horror they spliced together all the mentions I made of the kinds of cookies we produced. Which made me sound like Bubba Gump. You know, the shrimp guy from Forrest Gump who had the line that went something like this:

"Dey's uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo, pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried, there's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich.


Only in my case it went more like this:

INTERVIEWER: So, what kinds of cookies do you turn out in a typical day?

ME: Uh well lessee we have... chocolatechipchocolatechocolatechipoatmealcranberrywhitechocolatechip
oatmealraisinsugarcookiepeanutbuttergingerbreadalmondmacaroons

And so on for a good minute. If one minute doesn't seem like a long time to you, try reciting all the kinds of cookies you can think of for that whole one minute. It's harder than you think.

End result was that not only did I sound completely simple minded, but then the camera added 27 pounds.

So Tammy, believe me when I say that it could have been much, much worse.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Saturday, May 24, 2008

My favorite sandwich right now


Has to be pumpernickel bread with a thin coat of butter and Marmite.

Only I am using Earth Balance instead of butter because of The Oversized Hassock.

It's a delicious sandwich. A little bitter, a little salty, a little creamy, and a little nutty.

Just the right kind of lazy girl sandwich I need.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Holy Crackalicious! I need to wire my jaw shut.

So my impulse purchase at Trader Joes the other night (with the refund I got from the mousy-eaten chocolate chips and the phantom bottles of water) was a bucket of mini cocoa meringues.

I love, LOVE, that Trader Joes sells cookies in buckets.

Even better I love their cocoa meringues. They taste like chocolate astronaut ice cream kind of. Well the astronaut ice cream like I remember it tasting, not like astronaut ice cream actually tastes like.

Let me just warn you that everything tastes better to me in retrospect. With food, I am exceptionally forgiving. I could eat a braised cow testicle smothered in sriracha sauce and no matter how much I gagged eating it, it would only take me about a year or less to reflect on the experience and say "well it had a certain chewy piquancy that cannot quite be described."

Anyway, back to the meringues. They do not at all taste like braised cow testicles in sriracha. They taste more like hot chocolate. Hot chocolate in meringue form.

Utterly delicious and NO CHOLESTEROL.

Since I have zero will power and ate, oh, about half the bucket (they are mini! they just fly into my mouth!) I am going to have to run like the dickens tomorrow on the treadmill. Gargh.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Yum Yum Blurg

So if you read my other blog Shamrag you will know these two fun facts about me: 1) I will never run a marathon because running is for masochists, and 2) I signed up to run a 5K in September. Of 2008.

As of today I have 136 days to figure out how to run 3.1 miles without dying.

Which was how I felt today. I did my Couch Potato run/walk thingy for the first 30 minutes, and then for some reason didn't want to get off the treadmill. So for the next 30 minutes I sort of trotted until I actually reached 3.1 miles. Ugh that means it took me an hour to go 3.1 miles. Twenty minute miles. Turtle speed really.

At least I did it without getting rolled off the back of dumb machine.

Then I came home hurting and hungry. I had a few dried apricots, but then since I had sort of a sh*tty day today I wanted something bad for me. I thought about ordering a garlic pizza from Nicoles Pizza, then I thought about walking over getting sweet potato maki from Jaes, and for about a minute I considered trekking over to Liberty Bell in Southie for a Big Beef with "mustahd".

Delicious ideas all, but really not what I wanted exactly. Then I remembered that I had a bag of fries in the freezer.

They are Trader Joe's Garlic Fries, but I usually don't make the sauce packet - just the fries. They are the oven baked kind and they are delicious.

And then what makes them even more delicious is if you make a dipping sauce out of fat-free feta cheese, garlic, pepper, and a splash of olive oil.

How I know exercise is good for me is that I ate about 10 french fries and was completely full. Ordinarily I would have eaten the entire bag plus a batch of brownies.

Which is why I am now lying here thinking I probably should have had something with more protein in it. Wait, isn't that what a runner would be thinking? Whoops! What I really mean is: I probably should have had that brownie for dessert.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Not quite a Smart One, but close.

Between the Weight Watchers, the gym, the high cholesterol, and a decidedly un-Nigella plumpness all over - it's a miracle to me that I eat anything other than oat bran with a splash of hot water and a packet of sweetner.

However eat I must, and frankly I cannot eat anything I don't enjoy.

For a while I was eating nothing but Smart Ones and Lean Cuisines, but you know what - it's all crap. The ingredient list is comprised of nothing but flour, sugars, and chemicals. And I don't really enjoy them all that much. Especially since the vegetarian options are limited to a couple of pasta dishes, a rice dish, and a couple of pizzas. It's not that I am a vegetarian, I just hate meat that has been either frozen or canned. The exception to this rule are Vienna wieners. Don't ask, but I will say that it involves Pillsbury rolls in a can (the kind that POP open) and a toaster oven.

So I've been making my own version of Smart Ones & Lean Cuisines, with mixed results. Tonight I made Soyboy Ravioli in a very light tomato, basil, and garlic sauce. Basically it is just a can of diced tomatos, three cubes of basil, and two chopped cloves of garlic cooked until hot and pour over the raviolis.

I was trying to imitate the Ravioli Florentine Smart One and it came pretty dang close - only without the spinach (I forgot) and the chemical preservatives (I didn't forget).

And lucky for me, it made three lunch containers full and only came to 4 points each, a point cheaper than the boxed stuff. Plus, no cholesterol!

Which is great because I still have half a sleeve of Girl Scout cookies left (Thin Mints natch!) and that's what I am blowing the last of my points on.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I love Mom

So I made lunch today.

Let me explain about two things.

One, I have been cooking since about age 10 when my Mom said I could have all the caramel custard I wanted if I made it for myself.

I think she was being sarcastic, but I was way too earnest a child to understand sarcasm, especially from a French woman. My reaction instead was "ok great!". I then stole her Athens Georgia Junior League cookbook (circa 1967) and cooked stuff out of that, mostly weirdly exotic Southern desserts that involved brandy, oranges, and coconut. And I churned out so many spongecake loafs that one day the cookbook disappeared in mysterious circumstances.

And two, we have always sat down to family lunch on Sunday since forever. I have alternatively seen this as both a major drag and as a vital necessity to my life.

In my teenage years it included the four of us (Mom, Dad, Evil Twin, Me) and also Grandpa and Sally-Nana (my beloved step-grandmother) all sitting down to a homecooked meal for about three hours.

These days it's the five of us, with an occasional cameo.

And Mom still cooks the dinner.

So that makes deciding what to give her for Mother's Day pretty obvious.

Yep, I cooked. Nothing with oranges or coconut, I swear.

I made little gougeres, and also a feta cheese dip to start. We always start with a few munchies and an aperatif.

Then we had chicken cooked with basil, garlic, artichokes, and tomatoes. And a batch of panisse. Served with a salad of arugula tossed with lemon juice and a little sea salt.

For dessert it was anything with chocolate, so I whipped up a batch of Maureen's Lifesaving Brownies and served it with French vanilla ice cream.

Of course despite the fact that I am trying to be very good about my diet and exercising, I of course stuffed my face. Oh well. Whatever it takes to show my Mom I love her!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

What is up with Trader Joe's lately?

Last week I shopped at the Trader Joes in Brookline. Among other things I grabbed two bags of chocolate chips from their place on a lower shelf.

When I got home I noticed that there were chocolate chips all over the bottom of the bag. Well, rather when I pulled the bag of chips out of the grocery bag, chocolate chips spilled all over the place.

Yep, a little mouse had chewed through the bag of chips. I know this because it is a chewed looking hole in the top of the bag. When I called them, they were really nice about it and I can bring it back whenever.

Then today I went to the Trader Joes down in Hanover. When I got home, I happened to check over the receipt and found that the cashier had charged me for 12 bottles of bubbly water, instead of just for the six I actually took home.

Kind of frustrating again because I don't live anywhere near Hanover, I just stopped there on my way home from visiting a friend in Rockland.

Ugh.

But again, when I called them, they were really very nice and said I could go to any Trader Joes and get my money back.

Which is great, but to be honest I don't really go to Trader Joes all that often because there isn't one nearby enough.

Not only that, but a few people have mentioned to me that the quality of their meat and their ready-to-eat foods have really gone downhill lately.

Hopefully this is just because mercury was in retrograde and not a sign of things to come.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

My 6 Word Memoir

My better blogger-half Shazam tagged me for a six word memoir back in April.

And I totally spaced.

So here I am now, trying to think of six words to sum me up. And even more worrisome is that I need to tag five OTHER blogs. Phew! The pressure!

Ok six words....

I am an Optimistic and Independent Bostonian trying to live in the Present, who is Appreciative of family and friends who are awesome, and lastly who is Grateful daily for the freedoms in her life.


I tag:

BFW Tammy at Boston Food & Whine
Tammy at Food On the Food
Cheap Thrills Rob at CheapThrillsBoston

uuhhhhh that's embarassing... but that's all I got.

And the rules are as follows (copied from Shazam's blog because I am lazy!)

1. Write your own 6 word memoir.
2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration.
3. Link to the person who tagged you.
4. Tag 5 more blogs with links.
5. Leave a comment on the tagged blogs letting them know they're tagged.

I hate food. No wait, no, I love food. I love it, I swear!

I do not know why it has been so hard for me to keep up with Calamity lately!

Probably it is because I spend most of the day trying not to stuff everything I see into my mouth.

I can't help it, I love to eat.

However I also want to fit into smaller jeans.

So I spend most of my awake part of the day trying not to think about lemon & sugar-filled crepes or tiny grilled lamb chops or chips doused in curry sauce or frozen vanilla yogurt with fresh chopped strawberries or icy cold oysters on the half shell with glasses of prosecco or fresh warm gougeres or bread slathered with cheese & pate or a million other tasty delights.

After work I've been going to the gym and swimming for 30 minutes a day and that pretty much tires me right out. And conveniently it sort of kills my appetite.

Today I hit the elliptical for 45 brutal minutes. Seriously I thought that I was going to die. I have a creampuff where my heart ought to be and that much exercise is just cruel.

But I refuse to become one of those people who removes the skin from the chicken. That is the best part! Fatty and salty and delicious! Or pooh-poohs anything that even went near a Fry-o-lator.

Nor will I forgo cream or butter or sugar or chocolate or anything else that improves my quality of life.

I just really need to learn to enjoy it all in moderation instead of all at once and all the time.

*sigh*

Those jeans better make my ass look like a $1,000,000!