Sexy Summertime Smoothie

Ey babyz. It’s summertime and I know all you fine ladies and dashing gents are prepping for bikini season. I just ran like 8 miles at 2.22 miles/hour so I understand your feels, but the best part about this time of year is rewarding your bbw ass with smoothies all day.

Smoothies are really easy to make and are really good for you because they’re only who-gives-a-fuck calories, which, let’s face it, is exactly what you need. Step one: go to the grocery store and buy a bunch of your favorite fruit. This should definitely include as many bananas as you can carry and any of the following:

  • berries (bitches like berries)
  • fruit
  • yogurt
  • almond milk (bbw recommends vanilla)
  • agave nectar or honey
  • anything else that tastes good with smoothies (nuts and nut butters?)

Today we’re making a strawberry-blueberry-banana smoothie. Grab a handful of blueberries and throw them into the food decimation device of your choice. Be sure to wash them and pull the stems off. Repeat with strawberries. Although, if you have baby hands, please use two handfuls.

Pull the delicious milky substance of choice out of your fridge and pour delicately into where your fruit currently resides. If all your fruit is frozen, as it should be, this will help defrost it a bit so you don’t end up with sorbet.

You can use cow’s or soy milk, but I’ve read enough articles about the estrogen/growth hormones in those products to sway me against it. Decide for yourself. I’m allergic-ish to yogurt so vanilla almond milk is a great compromise between healthy and delicious.

With a little planning, the next part can make a good smoothie great. I highly recommend freezing your fruit beforehand (bananas, berries, the lot of it) because it makes your smoothie nice and creamy. Which if you’re a bbw like me, is the best thing ever. I didn’t do that, so… ice.

Press ‘Go’ on your smoothie machine and watch in awe as your smoothie is made, right before your eyes. It’s probably way cheaper than Jamba Juice or Whole Foods and you can make as much as you want, y’all.

PS: Please be safe when cleaning your kitchen utensils. If you’re in a major hurry to down your smoothie and rushing through the cleaning process, please remember to stop and pull the blade out of the food processor before cleaning commences. Otherwise, the blade is likely to jump out of the bowl and shank you, causing even more delay to consuming said smoothie.

I know you can barely see it in the pic below, but watch out, gangstaz don’t f around. Strong boo boo action.

You’re also potentially saving your baddest Ariel themed spring dress from getting attacked by projectile smoothie juice:

Happy smoothie making, you foxy goddess.

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A Mere Trifle

I’ve always had a horrendous nightmare of being engulfed by mutated cake batter. It’s not the only reason why I loathe baking. I also don’t like the fact that after shoving the batter into the oven, I’m leaving things up to the gods.

So after spending 3 days going back and forth trying to decide between looking into owning a Llama farm and assembling a dessert, I ended up making a trifle. A simple four-layered trifle consisting of Flour-less BrownieCaramel Pudding, crushed wafer biscuits, and Hazelnut Mousse.

I was sorely mistaken on the difficulty level of this dessert. And apparently there are a dozen different brands of baking chocolate to use, and I’m terrible when it comes to deciding things involving chocolate.

The brownie turned out fine despite my fears of it coming out to engulf me mid-baking. I ended up substituting the hazelnuts with macadamias, but there didn’t seem to be any problems stemming from that decision. The smell of toasted macadamias did remind me of certain non-penicillin antibiotics I used to give Eli every time he had an ear infection. Thankfully it did not give him PTSD.

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The caramel pudding on the other hand, is an evil concoction. Not only did the hot liquid almost blind my left eye, it insisted on being the consistency of a toddler’s phlegm… until I realized that I had to stop stirring it so much. This may be the hardest thing I’ve ever done next to bearing a child.

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There was folding involved in the directions for the mousse, and I was ready with my superb laundry skills. I was thoroughly disappointed. After much “folding”, the mousse came to a desirable consistency. To be honest, the mascarpone cheese made the mousse taste like chocolate clouds.

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I secretly wanted the unicorn cookie cutters, but Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so the heart-shaped ones seem more appropriate. They work well with the brownies, and by well I mean the brownies did not disintegrate immediately.

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After much deliberation, I ended up buying the Pirouline wafers. I almost bought the dog-shaped shortbread cookies, but shudder at the thought of crushing each and every one of them to make the biscuit layer for the trifle.

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The assembly part was the easiest. And while nothing managed to invoke any bodily harm, the mousse clung to the spatula pretty severely, so my fingers had to be involved in the dislodging process.

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I’m pretty sure this can cause diabetes.

Roast Chicken and Butternut Squash Soup

The importance of a delicious roast chicken is trumped only by its simplicity.  Despite my severe mental disabilities and remedial grasp of poultry cookery, I managed to pull together not one- but two!- roast chickens with relative ease and a moderate amount of gloating.

I’ve filled this pan with a bevy of ingredients to impress you, but only a few are necessary and I didn’t even use the purple potatoes.  The crucial point is using a quality chicken.  You want a farm-raised bird that was pampered and read Shel Silverstein poems every night.  You do not want to use a freezer-burned monstrosity from Wal-Mart that has all the flavor of a brick soaked in chicken stock.  For my chicken, I made a trip to Hirsch’s Meats in Plano.  10/10 meat market, would salivate longingly within again.

I used two chickens for three people, because I have lost the will to live a lean and healthy existence.  Other necessities: butter, garlic (shallots too if you’re awesome), an onion, and a lemon.

Liberally salt and pepper your chicken. If you deliberately disobeyed me and purchased a nondescript supermarket chicken, you will need particularly generous seasoning to make it taste like anything other than failure. Season inside the cavity as well- don’t do what I did and accidentally spill a mountain of salt inside one, resulting in a lot of frantic scooping. I rubbed one chicken with a blend of chives, dried shallots, and green peppercorns; the other received paprika, thyme, and chipotle.

Butter, butter everywhere. Throw a lump inside the bird, rub it in generous dollops all over the outside. If you’re extra fancy, you can run your fingers under the skin to loosen it, and slip pats of butter in the space between the skin and flesh. You want crispy, beautifully browned skin. On chicken, and also on yourself.

Finally, stuff that ass. In addition to butter, you should also plug your chicken with a few pieces of celery, a chunk of onion, garlic, and a lemon slice. Keepin’ it aromatic up in here. This was my favorite part of the process because it felt like a weird combination of Tetris and rape and I was kind of into it.

Your roasting pan goes into the oven at 350 degrees. There’s no hard and fast rule for time here- cook until internal temperature reaches 180 degrees. For my chickens (a total weight of 6 pounds), that length was roughly two hours, or else 100 battles in Ni No Kuni.

Baste often with the buttery chicken drippings that accumulate in the pan, and don’t forget to take a terrible picture of the process with the worst lighting and white balance ever.

When the internal temperature is correct, and you get that lovely browned skin, you will know that your body is ready for chicken. It will literally fall off the bone in delicious, juicy pieces of hnnnnnnggghhhh.

I made a quick reduction of garlic and onions cooked down in balsamic and chicken stock to sauce the chicken with, but it’s not a necessary step. I am just fancy sometimes.

Bonus round: butternut squash soup. I picked up my Urban Acres produce share today, and unearthed a beautiful butternut squash. Obviously, there was only one option here. I love soup with an obscene amount of devotion- please immediately remove yourself from my life if you do not like soup.

Ain’t nobody got time to peel and dice a hard-ass squash. Cut that sucker in two, scoop out seeds, brush both sides with butter, and season with salt and pepper. Lay it out on a cookie sheet and throw it in the oven to roast with your chicken. Cook time: a little under an hour, or until squash is wonderfully soft and squishy. Resist the urge to scoop that shit like ice cream and stuff your whole face.

Soften some finely diced onion and garlic in butter, then add scoops of the roasted squash. Add about 3 cups of chicken stock, a little water, and salt + pepper to taste. Bring to boil, then simmer until flavors are melded. You’ll want to smash any big chunks of squash as you stir the soup. It feels very satisfying. When it feels right, take it off the heat and stir in a little heavy cream to taste.

Remember how you’re supposed to own a badass food processor because it is literally everything right with the world? Puree your soup in short pulses to get a smooth consistency. Do not overfill or play it fast and loose with the lid and end up splattering hot soup everywhere because you are going to have a bad time.

It’s happened to me before. Strong disabled.

Serve with the chicken, or after, or whenever the fuck you want because you’re a grown ass woman who don’t take no direction from lousy food bloggers.

Jesus Joseph & Mary (Banana Nut Muffins w/ Streusel Nut Topping)

Last week, I told all my eternal soul mates to get food processors and I’d like to show another reason, besides mean green smoothies, as to why they are a gift from the heavenly blessed angels above. Food processors are rather phenomenal at mixing doughs and things like Banana Nut Muffins with Streusel Nut topping. Here’s an entertaining website I occasionally reference when making muffins: http://www.muffinfilms.com/

I’m not going to lie, I basically followed Smitten Kitchen’s modified recipe for Blueberry Muffins, except when I went to the store, there were no blueberries to be found. After a momentary panic attack in the middle of the citrus aisle at the grocery store, I was able to pull myself together and grab some bananas and a bag full of walnuts.

I recommend first chopping up a bunch of bananas so you can eat them while you’re prepping the dough.

Next, you’ll want to mix all the ‘wet’ ingredients together. I use brown sugar rather than white because it retains moisture better, tastes better and I like brown things. This does extend to my choice in men if you’re wondering. I also used the most amazing butter. I don’t eat butter often so I got the smallest pack of President butter. HOLY SHIT it smells so good y’all. I grew up with a family that eats Country Crock like birthday cake, so please understand when I say this is the best butter I’ve ever had in my fridge.

Seriously you guys, my dad would take cold pizza and cover it with mounds of Country Crock and JIF peanut butter. I will not deny that I may have tried it once.

You’ll then want to mix in an egg and almost all the sour cream you have. Add some lemon zest too. If you don’t have a zester – don’t be a puss, use a knife like a real man. Don’t cut yourself, this isn’t high-school.

It will start to look kind of gross, but just wait a few minutes until you start adding the flour.

Next you’ll mix together your dry ingredients. The flour, baking soda, baking powder and a bit of salt. Slowly but surely add this to the wet mix. The exciting chemical reaction that separates baking from cooking occurs when the wet stuff meets the dry stuff. If this interests you, do some googling. It’s quite fascinating, especially if you like math or chemistry and food.

So here’s the best part. It just took me about a minute to properly mix this beautiful dough. Be careful not to over mix it, I press pulse a few times until I’m happy with the results. This looks about right:

You’ll next want to HAND MIX in the bananas and walnuts. I used a spatula to mix in two sliced bananas and two handfuls of chopped walnuts. I like larger chunks of bananas and did not regret this decision. Seriously, those feels when biting into giant chunks of banana, can not describe.

This is the part where you add the streusel nut topping. To make the topping, use a fork (or pastry cutter if you’re fancy) to mix together brown sugar, flour, finely chopped walnuts and bit of butter.

Line your muffin tin with muffin cups or parchment paper squares if you’re into that homemade Pinterest look and feel bullshit. Fill the cups with your dough and top with that delicious streusel nut topping you just made.

Pop those sons of bitches in the oven and pull them out when they smell ready. Feel free to add even more butter to them while they’re still hot. Congratulations, you’re done making muffins. Hopefully you have a gym membership because in about five minutes, you’ll be the proud owner of a brand new muffin belly.

OH DAMN, I just realized. Can someone please try and put oats in these? I feel like that would be the best thing on the planet.

Chikky Chikky Noodle Soup

I’m not sure what my mom did when I was little, but my immune system generally kicks major ass. All I really remember of my pediatric health regimen is downing copious amounts of rynatan, a creamy, delicious, purple, magic medicine from heaven. Which, upon reflection, might play a role in my seemingly innate fascination with ‘purple drank’. Either way, I visited my bestie in Chicago last weekend and between the 60 degree weather change and the airport, picked up something nasty y’all.

Which means… It’s time for another installment of Cooking for Major Sissy Asses: Episode 1: Chikky Chikky Noodle Soup.

Please begin by driving to Central Market dressed as a zombie and proceed to flirt with the bad-boy butcher by asking for brains as he weighs and wraps your lone chicken breast. He will make jokes about how hungry you must be, getting just one chicken breast, and ask you how your day is going, and you’ll trail off while saying “goooodd” and he’ll politely commiserate. For extra tasty soup, make this the highlight of your day.

Step 1: Prep yo shit. Pull out the sharp knife you bought because I recommended it and begin chopping dat mire poix (your onions, celery, carrots, garlic etc). I recommend sweet onions because they’re really nice, don’t dump you right before Christmas and generally don’t make you cry.

Start browning your onions with a bit of olive oil in a dutch oven. If I could explain all the heavens you’ll smell at this point, I’d be god. I decided to make my own cream of chicken. It’s basically a roux. I also decided to use heavy cream because, well, it’s delicious.

To make this, I melted about 2-3 tbsp of butter and then whisked in a wonton spoon full of flour until it was nice and thick. You’ll then want to add some chicken stock and heavy whipping cream because you’re a fatty. It’s easy to make and better than using the stuff from the can. Cans are bad, ummmk.

Step 3: Put it in the pot. Add most everything else into the dutch oven. This includes:

  1. Bay leaves, thyme, pepper, salt (+any other spice you have a hard-on for, I added hot red pepper flakes)
  2. Carrots & celery
  3. Chicken cut in large chunks
  4. Garlic. Don’t forget the garlic.

You’ll want to cook the chicken just a bit then pull it out. This is mostly because I’m impatient. There are most likely other ways to do this. You can use rotisserie chicken if you’re really lazy. Next, pull the bits of chicken out and shred it up.

**It’s best if it’s not cooked fully through. It will continue to cook a bit after you put it back in the soup.

Step 5: Bring it all to a boil. I like big chunks of veggies so I cook mine a bit then add whatever combination of chicken stock and cream of chicken I have on hand. If your forgetful ass is in derp mode, feel free to add water and chicken bouillon as needed. Bring it all to a boil then reduce to a simmer on medium heat and let it make magic for 15ish minutes.

PS: If you realize you forgot to put the garlic in at this point because for some reason you put the garlic on the OTHER counter, you can use the pan you used to make the cream of chicken to cook it up real quick. Put a bit of olive oil in the pan and add the chopped garlic. Cook it until it smells good and maybe has become a bit brown then add it into the soup. Unless you like the bite of raw garlic, this is a really good way to smell delicious smells.

Step 8: Final Coundown. When your fifteen minutes of fame is up, you’ll add all the sissy stuff that cooks quickly. This includes:

  1. Those shredded chickeny bits
  2. Frozen peas (and any other veggies you have sitting in your freezer)
  3. Egg noodles (probably shouldn’t add the whole pack, just sayin’)
  4. Flat leaf parsley

It should look a little something like this:

and PARSLEY!

You may then proceed to eat said soup. It will taste good and hopefully make you feel a little better about not asking for that bad-boy butcher’s number. JUST THINK OF ALL THE MEAT.

PS: My mom says there’s something magic about cooking the entire chicken in the broth, that it restores your mana. She’s probably right, right?

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

My fellow hungry bitches are making beautiful bowls of soba and curry, and I’m just sitting here learning how to cook a single vegetable like I’m in remedial culinary school.

Truth is, I have been cooking a lot recently, and my kitchen can never stay clean for longer than a minute while I’m pickling, marinating, reducing sauces, deep frying, and arranging bentō.  Of all the things I’ve attempted, I’m choosing to blog about brussels sprouts.  There’s no deep meaning here; it’s the only cooking process I bothered to photograph (lazy blogger here).

I lived with a model my senior year of undergrad, who subsisted on nothing but brussels sprouts and flax seeds.  Every time I smelled that unholy, sulphurous stench wafting upstairs like the malodorous bat signal for cruciferous vegetables’ bad reputation, I gagged.  I pondered why anyone would willingly eat something that smelled like gas station bathroom farts solidified and tasted like bitterest poison.

Recently, the ladies and I had a fantastic dinner at Oak, which featured some truly excellent dishes.  However, at the end of the night, it wasn’t the bone marrow with veal tongue and escargot, nor the trio of arctic char preparations that stood out in my mind.  It was the brussels sprouts with panko bread crumbs and garlic.  I didn’t even order that side dish, and I am fairly confident I ate 75% of it (sorry, whoever actually ordered).    And as luck would have it, brussels sprouts made an appearance in our Urban Acres co-op share a couple of days later.  So I learned a back-to-basics approach for cooking them beautifully.

Trim the ends of the sprouts, and quarter them if they’re particularly large (the ones in our share were fairly small, so I just halved them).  Seasoning is simple: a couple tablespoons of melted butter, a few minced garlic cloves, a teaspoon of salt and a sprinkling of pepper.  THEN PUT THAT SHIT TOGETHER IN A BAG.

Shake it up, dump it out into a foil-lined baking sheet.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until nicely caramelized.  It’ll be a mix of salty, garlicky crispy leaves and creamy cores.  None of it will taste like farts.  If it does, you did cooking wrong and you should be deeply ashamed of yourself.

Was it really necessary to have posted a doctoral thesis and three photos for something as simple as roasting brussels sprouts?  Absolutely not.  I’m sorry.  Pretty sure this is the second worst food blog entry ever.

Longing for Soba

Soba is a thing of beauty. I can’t quite stress how fond I am of buckwheat soba. You can serve it chilled paired with a slightly sweet Tsuyu or warm in a delicious meaty broth. Either way, I’ll eat my weight in soba if I could. But the lack of fresh or homemade soba in the DFW metroplex is quite infuriating.

Since I’m deprived of fresh soba, I will have to settle for the store-bought instant kind. I always have a package hidden away in the very back of the pantry, behind all of the left-over Halloween candies accumulated over the years that I feel the need to ration (just in case the sugar apocalypse happens).

It’s incredibly easy and fairly quick to boil. So while it’s boiling and spewing an amphibian mucus-like foam, prepare the seasoning. Combine a dollop of lard or bacon grease with a pinch of salt, and grate a couple of cloves of garlic along with the mixture. Lard can be easily obtained from your friendly neighborhood Mexican grocery store. And I always store left over bacon grease for all cooking and lubricating purposes.

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Don’t forget to check on the soba every once in a while to make sure it doesn’t stick together. Strain after it’s done (about 4 – 5 minutes). Stir it into the seasoning and mix well. If the lard or bacon grease is not in a liquid form, the temperature of the soba will liquefy it. So it’s important to mix them together right after you strain the soba (while it’s still hot).

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But, to stop here would be ludicrous. And the left over soy chili wings are beckoning (left over rotisserie chicken will do as well). Reheating them in the microwave would be a terrible and absurd option. So instead, flash-fry the wings in a little bit of oil. Shred the meat and skin while the wings are still warm. Why the skin, too, you say? Because flash frying the wings has crisped the skin quite nicely and frankly it would be a crime to discard it.

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I also poached an egg to accompany the soba. And some sweet buttered corn that was cooked in butter, cream and a sugar to go along with that. Adding something green wouldn’t be a bad idea either. I had broccolini in mind, but sadly lacking them. So green onions were diagonally sliced and laid next to the chicken. Not pictured below, saliva dripping into the bowl at a rate of 125 ml/hour.

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And as you notice, every bite will be filled with the yolk drenched soba and pieces of crisp chicken skin. Congratulations, you’re eating two generations of poultry at once.