Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Monday, October 29, 2007

Who Will Make It?

My sisters and I are going on a road trip - Omaha to Los Angeles. Three Days, 26 hours of drive time, 1 puppy. The question is simple: Who Will Make It?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Homework Assignment #2

My first assignment was a bit of a bust. As happy as I was with my description of tuna casserole, my instructor was not impressed with my use of the work "slicing" - nor did he like my timing. Fair criticism, and obviously that what I signed up for. Homework assignment number two was to write the header for a favorite recipe. I'm hoping this one goes over better, but...well...who knows at this point.

Fall is the superior season. Not too hot and not too cold, fall is a welcomed respite from the scorching heat of summer. Children are in school, television shows debut and pro sports ticket boxes re-open. It is also the only season to host two food-focused holidays: Halloween and Thanksgiving. It is no coincidence - with so much going on, sustenance is essential.

Stews make for a hearty one-pot meal when busy days do not allow much time for doing dishes. It’s versatile enough to satisfy any picky eater since most root vegetables can easily be traded in and out. This modern take on the classic French Bœuf bourguignon provides the warmth and comfort of a slow-simmered beef stew with an abbreviated preparation and largely-unattended cooking time. It is best made a day ahead, allowing for the flavors to develop between football practice and season premieres. Serve it with a wedge of crusty bread, over rice or heaped on top of a pile of mashed potatoes. Leftovers, if there are any, can easily be repurposed. Poured into a baking dish, covered in potato mash and baked at 350 until bubbly, this stew makes an elegant shepherd’s pie. It can also be sealed between two pastry layers for a tasty pot pie, leaving you plenty of time to get out of the kitchen and enjoy the season.

Recipe posted here

Monday, October 22, 2007

Homework & Tuna Casserole

I'm currently taking a class at UCLA Extension on Food Writing. It's been interesting, disheartening and frustrating all at the same time. We've had visits from some accomplished and well-known food writers and editors and the question always arises, "So, does your (insert publication name here) accept freelance?" and the invariable answer is a solid NO. Or, in some cases, NO - unless you're really well-known.

See what I mean about disheartening? Frustrating? But its not every day that you get to listen to Russ Parsons of the LA Times talk about how he develops recipes and conducts interviews, so it is interesting. And if it forces me to post more often, then it can't be all bad. Here it is - my first homework assignment: Describe a food memory in 250 words.

I’ve always loved to eat, though not necessarily to cook. There were times during my childhood in which I considered changing my last name to Stouffer’s, if only to make me closer to my then-favorite frozen lasagna. As a child, I didn’t realize there was cooking involved because I was more concerned with the end product. There wasn’t a meatloaf I didn’t like or a dinner I wouldn’t eat except for one: Tuna Casserole.

I curse the individual who first ruined a perfectly good noodle with the addition of canned fish, cheese and condensed cream of mushroom soup. How my mother found the inspiration to combine this foul concoction from the contents of our well-stocked, walk-in pantry eludes me, and how any of us survived the fishy stench emanating from the oven boggles the mind. It looked like a baking dish of gray baby spittle, the texture and color of freshly-mixed wet cement. Spooned out onto my plate, it lost its shape and oozed into my iceberg wedge and dared to mix with the Ranch dressing. The first bite -my only bite- revealed a dozen slimy mushroom pellets that slipped between my teeth when I tried to bite down. The potato chip topping sliced the roof of my delicate 7 year old mouth and as I swallowed, I remembered where I had tasted this once before. Tuna casserole tastes like Kindergarten paste. There would be no second bite. Not today, not ever - because I would learn to cook.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Almost trendsetting...

Because I am a complete Philistine who gets her news and cultural findings from watching CNN while on the treadmill, listening to KROQ on my commute and reading ApartmentTherapy at work, I'm normally a bit behind the times. Not to mention the fact that I work at the mall - which isn't exactly a hotbed of intellectual discourse. But not this time. Oh, no...I am on the cutting edge.

Check out last week's article on jellied cocktails as featured in the LA Times here.

And hopefully, you'll remember that the better bitter blonde posted a recipe for gin & tonic jellies on July 18th!

We're practically trendsetters!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

blonde news of the day

I remember hearing about this when the report first came out, and recently came across the article again:

Blondes 'to die out in 200 years'! A study by experts in Germany suggests people with blonde hair are an endangered species and will become extinct by 2202.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Seriously? Seriously.

Once upon a time, a girl and her boyfriend were driving down Sepulveda Blvd. They stopped at a red light, behind a big tow truck. Another girl, not paying too much attention, neglected to see the red light and rear-ended the first girl and her boyfriend, sending them forward into the tow truck’s hitch – punching a long, narrow dent into her front bumper and practically removing the back bumper.

But the girl and her boyfriend were OK, and – these things happen. There was a little hiccup with the insurance company, and the first girl decided to use her own company instead. It took her some time to get it straightened out, but eventually she got her car into the shop and 7 days later it came back – good as new! Shiny and clean with brand new bumpers!

One week later, as the girl was fighting traffic so she could meet her friend’s house so they could attend a Pat Benatar concert, she heard a crunch and felt the car move forward – even though her foot was on the brake. The girl’s car had been rear-ended again! A week! One, single week with her shiny and clean car with brand new bumpers!

I’m calling this little recipe the “I-Can’t-@#$%ing-Believe-She-Hit-Me-Right-After-I-Got-My-Car-Outta-The-Shop” – tini.

1. Locate bottle of vodka.
2. Pull glass from cabinet. (Option A: pour directly in mouth)
3. Insert ice in glass, cover with vodka.
4. Add tonic and lime to taste. (Option B: soda and lemon)