Tag Archives: food

Mesh Ball Tea Infuser Repurposed

SNAP TEA DIFFUSERA number of you attempted to make a roux (fat+flour sauce base) this weekend. Some of you started to add flour to the warm milk and butter and it clumped up like gummy balls.  Others experienced grittiness.  Most of us have a snap style mesh ball tea infuser rattling around inside a drawer.  Try adding the flour using the mesh ball infuser.  For instance, if you are making mac-n-cheese with a Béchamel (milk+butter+flour)fill the infuser with flour and gently tap the infuser against the side of the pan to disperse a gentle dusting.  No clumps.  Need an even sprinkle of  powdered sugar on cookies?  Try administering the sweet sugarfrost with the infuser.  Sifters can be unwieldy, with an infuser you better control the mess.   Making a meringue or angel food cake?  This is a great technique for adding sugar without collapsing your eggy fluff.  SIFT

The Saturday Night Supper Club

LAST LADY SUPPERSuper big thanks to all the wonderful women who joined me for the first meeting of the Saturday Night Supper Club.  Gathering eight women is like herding cats, but ultimately so worth the effort.    HERD CATS

Giving Granola

Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight.

 – Albert SchweitzerHOMELESS HELP

For many years, I have struggled with how to respond to people standing on medians and corners waiving signs for money.  My knee-jerk response is at first sympathy, followed up immediately with a wallop of shame for my own abundance.  To talk myself out of doing something generous and to assauge my own guilt, I told myself that these desperate people were scammers or presumed how they might use any spare change I might give.  These excuses have never really sat quite right when deep down I knew I was just selfishly ignoring the obvious suffering of others.  BAD HEART GOD BLESSI consulted with my good friend Lisa, who has virtually single-handedly reformed syringe access legislation in Colorado (to support Lisa’s good work please visit and donate to the www.harmreductionactioncenter.org).  Lisa spends a significant amount of time involved with outreach, much of which involves contact with the homeless.  She’ll tell you stories that will crack your heart in two.  Seeing as I can’t afford to place cash to every outreached hand, I asked Lisa if she thought it would be appropriate to share food – granola bars – or something similarly individually pre-packaged – with those in need.  She concurred that from her experience with the community, this gesture would be welcomed and not ridiculed.    NEED HELPWouldn’t you know that just a day later, a rep for Kind Snacks stopped by my work and dropped off a few boxes of granola bars.  So technically, I was supposed to share the swag with my co-workers, but those bitches eat enough fucking granola, so I stashed the snacks in my car with the intention of distributing them to those lonely median-dwellers.  KIND BARSI’ve given out a few bars to different folks and the snacks are met with delight.  Yesterday, I gave a bar to a girl standing in the cold by an exit off-ramp.  The next day, at the same exit, in the same bitter cold, was the same girl.  I held another bar out the window.  She walked up to the car and took it from my hand.  HOMELESS HELP APPRECIATED

She lit up, “Thank you!  Did you give me one of these yesterday?”  

“Yes” I smiled back.

She looked at the bar in her hand, “These are good!  I was so hungry yesterday and I’m so hungry now.  Thank you so much.”

“I’m so glad you like them.” I choked back through a broken heart.

With this small exchange came total confirmation, and then the light turned green.  BIEBER GIVES

 

OPA BITCHES! Greek Fest Favorites

TIROPITASCheesy, flaky, buttery Tiropitas, so simple, so right.ORZOPerfectly Tomato-sauced OrzoLOUKOUMADESLoukoumathes – honey-nut covered fried dough balls. Paradise. SAGANAKISaganaki: flaming cheese. Opa! required. SPANAKOPITASpanakopita, spinach and cheese pie surrounded in flaky phyllo.BAKLAVABaklava, obviously.GREEK FESTLet’s Get Hellenic Bitches.

Vegas Veggie House

I confess I hate Las Vegas.  It is not the town for the pragmatic or the vegetarian, so there are two strikes against me right there.   However, after recently seeking out Veggie House, I now have a reason to look forward to refueling in the (cultural) desert.

In the ancient tradition of vegetarian Chinese cooking, Veggie House serves some of the best mock meat for miles.  Veggie House offers an extensive menu of cruelty-free seafood, beef, and chicken.  Enjoy the crispy “beef” and save the sweetfaced cow.  

Veggie House is truly a vegetarian oasis in one of the world’s most unrelentingly carnivorous cities.  Located in Chinatown, it will also get your uncultured ass off that gawd awful soul-less strip.

El Yucateco Salsa Picante de Chile Habanero

I’m not the biggest fan of bottled hot sauces because the heat tends to get overpowered by the vinegar.  Not with El Yucateco Salsa Picante de Chile Habanero, this electric green goodness delights with rich, intense, balanced flavor.  With a 9,000 Scoville sting, El Yucateco green ain’t for bland bitches, but if you like your food to punish you a little like I do, then track this alarmingly florescent condiment down in the “ethnic” (mild grocery store racism?) foods aisle.  El Yucateco comes in a few different flavors of varying intensity, but I can only personally vouch for the fiery wonder of the atomic green.

eat me: island edition

So you’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating, traveling on the Hawaiian Islands is fucking astronomically expensive.  Know what else is surprising?  The food is consistently mediocre and totally overpriced (You were so RIGHT Annabella!), even for vegetarians.After navigating three different islands over the last 9 days, I’ve picked up a few strategies for cutting culinary costs.  In preparing for this trip, I came across a lot of advice.  Most of it was useless.  My aim here is to offer up some helpful non-obvious information.For instance, one of the most common recommendations I read on the internet before coming to Hawaii is to hit up the COSTCO.  If you are rolling a week deep with a family of four, perhaps that is a smart move for you.  However, think about whether or not you can really get through COSTCO-size servings before you return home.  The tendency is to overbuy and end up wasting.  Not a good look.  Buy only the essentials in quantities you can use during your trip.  You aren’t really saving money if you throw half of it away.Remember as a general rule, in Hawaii nothing comes with anything.  Order a veggie burger for $8; don’t expect fries.  Realistically expect to pay another $5 for fries.  First, decided if you MUST have fries.  If the answer is yes, then decide if you need a whole order to yourself.  If not, share.  Sharing is caring.They also really love “wraps” here, so expect a lot of burrito-shaped foods.  Grab a wrap and then buy extras like chips and a drink at a convenience store to avoid the deli-style markup.Make this a vegetarian vacation.  You’ll pay more for vegetarian food here than on the mainland – which by the way makes no fucking sense since many of the veggies are grown locally – but vegetarian dishes are still less expensive than anything else on the menu.  (Why not try some taro?)  Plus, sticking with veggies will keep you looking good in your swimwear and ward off  pesky travel constipation.  Don’t act like you don’t get backed up bitch.Generally speaking, the exploitative resorts have pretty crappy food served in the least interesting environment.  What you are essentially paying for here is a premium on convenience.  If the timing or circumstances of your travel require a meal on the property, skirt the ridiculous up-charge on room service by walking your lazy ass down and picking up carry-out from the bar.  Skip the “fanciest” restaurant on the property and just stick to the bar and cafe – almost always the food is all coming out of the same kitchen anyway.Let me caution you on the hyperbole-laced shaved ice.  I was standing in the grocery store in Waimea looking at postcards when I heard the check-out girl exclaim “Oh No!”  A customer passed the fuck out in the check out line.  I pulled her up on my lap, got her some water, called her friends, and waited with her until the paramedics arrived.  What took her down?  Shaved Ice. Poor girl had too much sugar, too much heat, and not enough quality nutrition.  After that bad churro took me down at Coachella, I learned my lesson about the overly sweet snacking, especially in the heat.  While that $5 shaved ice looks tempting, skip it for a low-glycemic, substantive option.By the way, don’t ever be the dork at the luau.  So Fucking Lame.  I’m sorry, but I don’t think we can be friends if you attend a rude pig-sacrificing luau.

Mai e `ai

warm buns

Until very recently, I found baking with yeast really intimidating.  As the astute among you have noticed, precision isn’t my thing, so I was daunted by yeast’s narrow activation temperature window.  Lately, I’ve been on a “from scratch” kick, and so why not bake classic yeast rolls to overcome my irrational rising-dough baking anxiety?  I found a highly-rated quick yeast roll recipe off allrecipes.com, and hoped for warm fluffy buns.

2 tablespoons shortening

3 tablespoons white sugar

1 cup hot water

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon salt

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Grease 8 muffin cups.

In a large bowl, mix the shortening, sugar, and hot water. Allow to cool until lukewarm. Mix in the yeast until dissolved. Mix in the egg, salt, and flour. Allow the dough to rise until doubled in size.  Divide the dough into the prepared muffin cups, and allow to rise again until doubled in size.  Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center of a bun comes out clean.

Since this recipe doesn’t require kneading, it is surprisingly easy.  It doesn’t take forever for the dough to rise either which I appreciate since I get impatient with lengthy rising times.  These rolls arrived from the oven comforting,  soft, and fluffy.  A true crowd-pleasing delight.