Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A Little Sweet Treat

Occasionally I go out of town. Unfortunately this never includes my cat. After a day or so, he probably thinks I've abandoned him and that he's an orphan. Since I adopted him from a kitten mill, he has no experience being on his own. He also lacks front claws, so without me he's pretty much screwed. Save your ethical arguments about onychectomy because I don't give a shit. If it makes you feel any better, I did it myself. He's getting life long care, the least he can do is give me the tips of his fingers. I rather like my furniture without giant scratches on it. It's 2015, you CAN have it all...a cat and nice furniture! You can also have a pet and go on short vacations without fear they'll be dead when you get home. Like childcare, pet sitters can be expensive. This is why it's important to cultivate meaningful friendships - so that you can pay a friend with pie to fill the cat's food and water. Some people are really weird about cats, so only ask someone who isn't prejudiced. Watching a cat is tantamount to watching a pet rock. It doesn't need to go out and it pretty much doesn't care when or if you come, permitting the food doesn't run out. I created this special pie for my sitter. It was gone when I got home, so I'm guessing it didn't suck. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Last Supper

I get asked all the time by friends and former lovers, "why the hell haven't I been invited to one of your fancy dinner parties?" The answer is, probably because I don't like you that much and the idea of entertaining you in my house for an indefinite amount of time seems like torture. If I am fond of you, be patient - I'm probably just waiting for the right mix of people in which to include you and your spouse or mistress. Sure, it's easy to throw a dinner party together, but the nuances are what will set your soiree apart from one of those awful evenings of diminishing returns and uncomfortable racial tension. A logical guest list is imperative. You also have to consider significant others and plus-ones. There's nothing worse than a lopsided couple - you know, when you really like one member of a duo but the other one is the absolute worst....Unfortunately you have to extend the invitation to both in order to maintain healthy relationships. If you know your pal's plus-one is a total drip...balance out the guest list with one of your more out-of-control friends, so the undesirable guest(s) fade into the background. And keep everyone's cup full of booze. Except your own - drink like a pregnant woman: seltzer and lime wedges, at least until the food is served. 

My friends who have had the pleasure of dining chez Toulouse, are always saying, "is this going to be on the blog?!" Usually no. I've only got two hands and one of them is holding a martini while the other is trying not to get burned on a hot dish. I'm trying a new thing where I force my guests to take pictures and post them to their social media of choice. That way, my parties always look like lots of fun and people look forward to invites rather than dread them. This time around, I did a little documentation and luckily all these recipes have been previously featured on The Little Dinner Party.

Monday, August 17, 2015

A Little Pasta Party

I'm Italian, as I imagine you are too. Maybe it's just a sweeping cultural generalization, or we actually do have hotter blood pumping through our veins. Either way, we only deal in one of two emotions: unrelenting rage and jubilant gaiety. Rarely do the two mix. Except in the bedroom. The joy is brought about by many things such as pie, booze and the gentle purrs of my cat. The rage is triggered by mostly everything...from misplaced sunglasses to one of the good plates getting broken. Nothing is too small to get worked up about. Unfortunately for you non-Italians, there's no delicate way to deal with these unpredictable bouts of passion. It's best just to wait it out because there will probably be a pasta dish once the tantrum subsides. I keep this relic of my dad's college days in my kitchen to warn strangers that they're walking on eggshells. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A Little Summer Night

After riding my bike home from work, I'm usually melting into a puddle of filth and attitude. During a summer heatwave, the last thing anyone wants to do is live without air conditioning or slave over a hot stove. For this, there are what I call "Lazy Mom" dinners: light dinner items that require little to no effort. When I was a kid, my mom was a proud SAHM (Stay At Home Mom). It was the 90s, we didn't know better. My family spent nearly every summer day at a rundown swim club called Crestwood. Woo! Go Cobras! The microcosm of a summer swim club must be exhausting, because after a long day of sunning herself with half a dozen other SAHMS, my mom was beat. 

Never one to serve salad that didn't come pre-mixed in a plastic bag, instead my mom made magical things like Bacon Lettuce Tomato sandwiches, usually sans lettuce. As sad as microwaved bacon on a special tray made for the microwaving of bacon sounds, it really is the taste of summer to me. I swear we weren't 4H kids, but my dad used to help us plant a vegetable garden in the backyard every year. We always had tons of fresh tomatoes. Makes the $.99 per lb roma tomatoes at Jewel look abysmal. 

When your boyfriend is vegetarian it kinda takes the air out of a BLT, ya know? Vaginatarian bacon has a reputation for sucking, so I never bothered. I crowdsourced the best one to try because I refuse to let his dietary restriction come between me and my dreams. Turns out Morning Star is the good one if you must. It crisps and with the help of food paint looks just like fake bacon.