Tuesday, July 27, 2010

How much is TOO much?

In the past few days I have had an awful lot of Snapple Diet Peach tea.

More than I care to admit to, but I will just say that I am beginning to smell suspiciously peachy.

Better than lemon iced tea I guess.

Folks, do NOT try this yourselves...

I am pretty adept at negotiating my way through this world. I suspect this is owing to a healthy curiosity coupled with a peculiar irrationality with regard to my actual abilities.

If I can think it, I think I could do it. Although most of the time my imagination far outstrips the execution.

Like last night when I figured I could speak Vietnamese. Frankly I have eaten enough Vietnamese food to be able to say that at this point I am a quarter Vietnamese.

But as I found out last night none of that quarter is linguistic.

Evil Twin and I went to Anh Hong last night. She wanted the spring rolls with crispy wonton skin and grilled ham. Do they have that on the menu? No. Did I let that stop me? No.

My friend T-Man is Vietnamese and he orders them all the time. I figured at the very least I could couple the right words together. I know the word for Vietnamese grilled ham is "nem" and the word for spring roll is "cuon".  So I figured if I ordered "nem cuon" I would get what I wanted.  The Evil Twin was totally impressed.

Unfortunately what I didn't know was that there is a word for crispy wonton skin which I don't know. And yet another word for the pickle that makes the extra delicious that I also don't know.

Which means that what we got were these flaccid spring rolls filled with vermicelli, shredded cabbage, and hunks of grilled ham. Exactly what I ordered.

Seriously, these rolls looked like fat guy pee-pees. It was really hard to eat them, but also because we were just laughing so hard.

O well, live and learn how to ask for ALL the ingredients. Besides, deep down I know that I could speak Vietnamese if I really had to.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday morning blues

I woke up this morning with the most revolting hangover you can imagine.

That's what two bottles of sh*tty white wine between you and a friend will do to a person.

I do NOT know what I was thinking. Clearly I was not and I know she wasn't either because she was the one wearing a salad bowl on her head and pretending to drive a chair around the kitchen.

You know it is bad when you wake up wondering if you are still drunk...

I was a complete wasteoid today. I will have to do better tomorrow.

Luckily I had this:

Yep, it took three before I could think straight.

And this:

Coco helping me get my work done.
I got to dogsit!!

And I am thinking that either a hamburger or a pasta dinner is in my immediate future.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The bartender at Gaslight

There is a very nice bartender who works at Gaslight. His name is Henry and he is going to be a salt seller one of these days in the near future. 

The reason I am telling you this is a) everyone should go to Gaslight, sit at the bar, have a side of fries, and enjoy one of their delicious cocktails (except for the Pimms Cup which they don't make properly, imho) and b) Henry might let you taste some of his salt. 

You REALLY want some of this salt. It is really, REALLY good stuff. It looks like giant crystalline chunks, but you can easily pulverize it with your fingertips. And the salt tastes like a splash of the ocean on a brilliant blue and sunny yellow summer afternoon. 

I am begging him to make a smoky version because I think smoked salt over french fries would be incredible. It is destined to be the next truffle salt. 

Mark my words. And buy lots of salt.

Ravioli Review

The short rib ravioli at Picco are unbelievably delicious. 

You should go RIGHT NOW and order them. 


Baby it's cold out there... in there... uh....

My newest obsession is cold-brewed coffee.

If you don't know what it is, Google it.

Basically it is 10 cups of water mixed with 1 pound of coffee, cover, and let sit for 12 hours.

Strain this sludge through a fine sieve but don't press on the grinds (makes it dusty) and then strain again through a paper filter. Store in the fridge in a glass container.

That's what I did anyway.

It makes this sort of coffee concentrate and I am totally addicted now. Something about this process makes it smoother tasting and a lot less acidic. I literally have to tape the fridge shut at night so I won't drink it absentmindedly at 10pm.

Because it is a concentrate, I don't use too much. Maybe one part concentrate, two parts water, some milk, and a little sugar.

Yumma yum yum!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summertime Eats

For some reason I get zero cross ventilation in my little house in the big city. I have tried several different ways to catch the breeze and all I succeed in doing is making myself hotter. 

And when I am hot and sweaty and covered with lint like a powdered donut, I cannot imagine cooking anything more strenuous than ramen noodles or popcorn. 

In my opinion the best way to eat ramen noodles (and by ramen noodles I mean the kind you get in the flat rectangle at the corner store for .69 cents) is to break them up, boil them for 3 minutes, drain almost completely, add a knob of butter, and then add the seasoning packet. Stir to coat and enjoy with a soda, preferably while slobbed out on the couch in a tank top watching re-runs of the A-Team.

This sort of treat is just that, a treat. Ramen noodles are ridiculously high in fat and sodium, which is why they are so delicious. Adding butter and couch-potatoing certainly doesn't help. 

Which is why popcorn fills in on the other six nights. 

I have a very large cast iron pot with a glass lid that is pretty much only useful for popping popcorn. 

I heat up a little olive oil, throw in about a cup, a cup and a quarter of popcorn and shake it every few minutes or so to prevent scorching. 

Once it's all popped, I pour my special mixture all over it. This special mixture is a blend of olive oil, butter, garlic powder, chili powder, Old Bay, lots of freshly ground pepper, salt, and a little curry powder - sounds gross, tastes F*CKING AWESOME! I heat it all up together to melt the butter and pour it over the popcorn in stages - pour, shake to distribute, pour, shake to distribute....

I have decided that super savory popcorn is a perfectly adequate supper in the summer. Especially when you finish it with chocolate ice cream slathered in marshmallow topping.

So what do YOU eat in the heat?

Ooooh another GIVEAWAY!

Because I have been perfectly dreadful about posting this summer (hey, I am hot and tired just like everyone else, ok) I am making it up to you, dear reader, with a giveaway.

As it is clearly far to hot to cook, you might as well drink your calories and so I present to you Party Drinks! by the lovely Mr. A.J. Rathbun and Cool Waters by the talented Mr. Brian Preston-Campbell.

(Yes, shameless promotion of the company I work for, but I kind of don't care. I really like the books that we publish and I want YOU to like them too!)

One winner will get a copy of Party Drinks!


The other will get a copy of Cool Waters.


You know the drill, leave me a comment and tell me which one you'd like. And remember to check back to see if you won so I can get your address.

Let's see... I will pick winners on Monday. After the crazy hot weekend we're expecting, I am SURE you will be ready for a beverage or twenty!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Oooh I got a recipe!!

I got a recipe for Greek Easter Bread. 

I promised not to blog about the person, nor am I going to post the recipe (I am still in negotiations about that part tho) but let me just say that this recipe might as well be for cooking crack since the end result is delicious and positively addictive. 

Let's see... Easter was back in April. That was one, two, one hundred and eight days ago - I still want another slice.

When the heatwave/summer breaks I will make it. Maybe sooner. We'll see.

In the meantime, where do I get mahleb and mastic....

Yes, I think I WILL have s'more...

It is no joke, I love chocolate and marshmallow. Separately, together, on foggy nights, and on hot days, I will eat one or the other or both pretty much anytime.

When I saw a recipe over on The Kitchn for Marshmallow Brownies... well let's just say the feeling was was similar to the first time I ate a Peanut Butter cup. As in "duh! delicious! me wanty!"

But then I couldn't help but think how much MORE delicious they'd be with a graham cracker crust. As in a big ooey-gooey deliscrumptious S'MORES brownie.

Yes please!

I made a GIANT pan of them for the Fourth of July holiday and they lasted about 8 minutes. Everyone was stumbling about the place, murmuring through sticky teeth that they urgently needed another one in their mouth immediately. I tried to snap a photo, but someone bit my hand.

O well.

What this means for you dear reader is that I will simply have to make another batch and take a few pictures for you.

And then you will just have to make them for yourself because you will not be able to resist the deliciousness!