Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Little Pasta Sunday

If you're reading this, it probably means you're also awake at 4:30 in the morning. In my new life as semi-professional baker for Bang Bang Pie Shop I keep the hours of a farmer. That means waking up before the rooster crows and going to sleep sometimes before the sun even sets. That being said, it beats the hell out of corporate life.  I'm on a vision quest folks, I'll see ya when I run out of peyote. The plus side is that it's really brought my cat and I closer together. In the case of yesterday morning, Baby Toulouse's never-ending appetite for crushed up pretzels and water got me out of bed on time, after I slept through my alarm. I'd say sorry for the long gap between posts, but if you're really that into my blog, your life is probably sad. 

Yellow Tomato Sauce 

Life has become a parade of carbs. My food groups consist of biscuits, pie and occasionally (all the time) a stray strip of candied bacon. Back before my plus-one skipped bail and fled the country - we used to have a Pasta Sunday every week, whilst watching politically contentious documentaries on Fatflix. Translation: Married Old Couple Night. We figured it was okay to eat pasta once a week, as long as we ate well-ish during the week. Several dozens of biscuits later, I still think I've earned my pasta! 
Yellow tomato sauce is one of my favorite recipes. It's one that makes people say, "yellow tomatoes?" and that feels pretty special. I've been on a tomato bender lately as we keep a community garden at work. Unfortunately I bought these tomatoes at Marianos. They weren't that great, but what can you expect in late September. The sauce was perfection though. 

you will need the following: 

1 lb cluster of yellow tomatoes 
1 head fennel 
1/2 yellow onion
3 cloves garlic 
2 tbsp olive oil 
1 tbsp dry vermouth 
crushed red pepper 
italian herbs blend 

Step 1: Start your oil in a heavy-bottomed pot. Toss in chopped onion, fennel and spices. Cook til translucent. Start a small pot of water boiling. Prepare an ice-bath. Cut small Xs in the bottoms of your tomatoes. 

Step 2: Dunk tomatoes in boiling water for a second or two. Drop in ice-bath. Watch as the skin magically lifts off the tomatoes. Now is the time to toss in your chopped garlic in with the onions. 

Step 3: Chop your newly peeled tomatoes into large chunks and toss into the pot. Let them break down until they fall apart. Add vermouth and let simmer for a little while. 

Step 4: Yupp, I'm already annoyed about it too. Haul out that food processor you use once a year and blend this down as far as you think it can go. Unless you like your sauce chunky. Let simmer on low heat for at least an hour. Or 15 minutes if you're in a hurry. The longer it sits the better it tastes, and it thickens up. Thickness matters. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A Little Summer Send-Off

Good riddance summer! I won't cinnamon-sugar coat it folks, this has been the worst summer of my entire adult life. And that even includes the many summers I worked at Argo Tea in college. Yeah. It's been that bad. Even though there were memorable moments like seeing St. Vincent at Pitchfork and riding carnival rides with my family, getting laid off because your boss' husband is going to jail was probably the most mortifying thing that's ever happened to me professionally. Luckily, the end of summer brought several new opportunities to my life, like BAKING for a living! So I say fuck it, let's eat some fatty snacks and drink 'til we pass out while watching Sex and the City 2.  Which may or may not have been the fate of these delicious confections. These were also a celebratory indulgence because after nine months of working on it, I finished a submittable draft of my first play. I say draft, because it's not over yet. Gimme five years and maybe I'll say it's done. 

Cinnamon Rolls 

I know what you're thinking - why go to all the trouble of making something from scratch that can easily be squeezed from a tube? Because it's a million times better and makes you seem like a more impressive human being. That being said, for years I've been looking for a cinnamon roll recipe that does not require yeast because even though I love to cook, I refuse to work with yeast. It always ends with me screaming the F-word and making a huge floury mess. This is a delicate process that requires some time, so make sure to lock your cat or baby in the other room to give this your undivided attention. You will feel very accomplished after you're done with these. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Little Breakfast Boat

My plus-one is performing on a cruise boat for the rest of my life. Actual time, until December. This means I have a lot of time on my hands and at least one extra seat at my two-seat studio apartment table. While I'm jealous that he gets to eat french fries everyday, I'm not so jealous that he has to watch fat American tourists eat french fries everyday. Until his return we'll be skyping in our dinners and conjugal relations. We did do some crafting before he left but due to its graphic nature, I will not be featuring it on this particular website. You'll have to find that on our forthcoming love-Tumblr. 

Anchors Away Egg Boats! 

To be honest, I fucking hate brunch. Not the eggs, but what "brunch" represents. What a stupid thing it is to throw on your business casual after a night of rocking out to Dave Matthews at whatever tragic Wrigleyville watering hole you frequent, and spending fifty dollars drinking off your hangover. You end up annoying everyone in the city whose path you cross, and annoying everyone on your social media feed with stupid pictures of yourself drinking mimosas and "world's best bloody Mary's" which all end up looking pretty much the same. We get it, you work a boring 9-5 job and this is the one day a week you can just let your hair down. For those of us who think your douche-baggery is intolerable, this recipe is the best way to make breakfast impressive without being a turd about it. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Un Klein Spass Nacht

How dare you correct my German! I took German for a whole year in high school...ten years ago. I'm practically fluent. "Spass nacht" translates to "fun night" -and as long as there's sausage involved the fun never stops! Ignore that I'm drinking Mexican beer and that it's probably an Italian sausage. This recipe, like me, is only loosely German.  My mom used to make this when we were kids and it always seemed especially lazy on a summer night, but I'll be god damned if it's not the perfect marriage of lazy and delicious. As a child I thought cooking with a silver can of Daddy's Natural Light was the living end of culinary magic. Turns out, it's just a hot link of processed American meat boiling in a can of cheap beer. The beer is irrelevant, and since I already know you're poor - use the cheap stuff. I always cook with cheap beer sometimes I put it in the food, said my dad.