Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Recipe 40: Macaroni and Cheese (so good I prefer the name Macaroni and Jesus)

This comfort food recipe comes all the way from the armpit of America to warm your bellies and help you help the government keep the floundering cheese industry on it's feet.  Or something.  
Anydoodle, this one is courtesy of Xandy "Brown Thunder" Brown, a New Jersey native who does not own a Bumpit.  I've included her slightly modified (because I was missing some ingredients) recipe below.  She recommends adding in veggies or even some ham or other meats to dress this one up.  I've had her recipe many times, both with and without fixin's and can assure you, your mouth will shout "HOLY MACARONI AND JESUS" either way.  Or something.    
Cheesey goodness!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Recipe 41: Mark Bittman's Paella with Poblanos, Corn, and Clams

I wasn't sure when I saw this recipe in my May 2011 Cooking Light, but wanted to branch out from soup.  I figured I'd give it the old college try and invited The Asphalt Kitchen to bring their thunder hunger.  And I am so so glad I did!  I learned several things while preparing to and subsequently cooking this recipe.  They are as follows:

1.  When you pay the small fortune it requires to travel to, say, Egypt, and sneeze your way through spice markets, it behooves you to take the advice of your host when they tell you that saffron is dirt cheap there.  Because chickpeas, holy macaroni and hay-zeus, it is NOT cheap in the United States of Supermarket Spice Piracy.  Twenty bones for like... an eighth of an ounce or something!    The jar weighs more!  It adds up, people.  You're better off sucking it up, buying the ticket, filling your suitcase with spices, and hoping the drug dogs at customs don't take a shine to you.  This recipe made me wish I'd stocked up at a place like this:
2.  When your landlord tells you he's getting you a new fridge, and then gets you a new one within 24 hours, that is a good landlord.  However, if you say, have only had mediocre landlords in the past, you'll probably not expect a new one sitting in your kitchen when you get home late from work and picking up the required clams, and are entertaining, can't find anything, and are subsequently buried under a freezer avalanche when you open the door.  Thank you Asphalt Kitchen for your unflappable patience!

3.  Follow this recipe exactly.  It is delish.  See?  (Well, sort of see.  My real camera was dead. But you love my crappy photos!)

 The Recipe For Deliciousness:

Monday, June 13, 2011

Tidbits: Britney Spears, The Hunger Games...these are a few of my favorite things

Oh no they din'ttttttttt: 
Monday just got so much better.  
PS.  Peeta, you can bake me pies ANYTIME.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Tidbits: A dad after my heart, NKOTBSB shirtless in the rain, baring it almost-all at Oxford and more

  • Wave At The Bus: The name of this blog more or less stays it all. (I'm starting you at the very beginning of the project). This stay-at-home dad in Utah is straight up taking a page from/becoming an inspiration for the ways I will choose to torment my future children.  The key ingredient, of course, being embarrassment.  My personal favorite is probably Kiss, but I dare you not to laugh at the Reno 911 or Patrick Swayze costumes. Popstar, this link is for you.  This link is courtesy of Ms. Julia Hawes, who knows me too well.
  • PSA of the year alert: Beaches, if you want to text at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas, think again!  Again, I dare you not to laugh.  I am so glad we live in the Magnited States of America, where we can freely shame via YouTube.  China, get on board already!  Link and laugh courtesy of Coach Libby.  Balls!
  • And finally - library news!  Coeds banned for getting (half) neked at Oxford in the library!  Is it wrong that when I read this I immediately was all "Oooh, headline please be Buck Naked Bodies Bared in Bodleian!" I may love alliteration a little too much.  I however, don't get the Breakfast Club club name.  They do it at tea time!  Anyone?  Bueller? 
  • Lastly, because I am STILL excited about it, I went to NKOTBSB on Saturday night (yes, pets, be jealous), a concert which only got better (FACT) when the skies opened into epic rainstorm at Fenway Park.  Maybe you've heard of it?  I do believe it has never before seen so many ladies at one time.  Enjoy this choice soundbite from the Boston Globe's giddy coverage of it (as it should be!):
    Those women might be a bit older now, but their lungs showed no signs of aging...The tight choreography still rode a fine line between manly swagger and Bob Fosse musical, and the soaring vocals — particularly those of Joey McIntyre — were as well-preserved as his abdominal muscles.
    Joey McIntyre's ab situation is no joking matter, but this early NKOTB video is.  I'll have you know that I'm pretty sure the big man upstairs started the rainstorm as a safety cooling measure when Donnie Wahlberg ripped his shirt in half, off his body, and tossed it to the audience. Yowzah! To rub salt in your jealous wounds, we totally somehow scored a teenaged-dream come true when some promoter found us and offered us seat upgrades to the front row (of the Grandstands).  OH SNAP. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Recipe 42: Your Favorite Little Black Bean Soup, Basic and Sassy

For my 100th posting celebration, I gift you my family's traditional black bean soup recipe, honed to perfection with every preparation in pots in Miami via Mexican and Cuban traditions.  
Except there's one major tradition: the recipe is never exactly the same.  
Thusly, I encourage you to use the basic part of the recipe as your base and add in whatever extra ingredients you want (tomato, zucchini, carrots, squash, salsa, etc.) and adjust according to what you want (ie. use spicier peppers in addition to or as a substitute for your basic green peppers).  You can use dried beans if you want the whole experience; I always cheat at use the canned ones because I'm lazy. There's really no wrong way to do this, just taste it as you go along and make sure you are enjoying the flavors! 
  I'm also including the recipe I used to make the version in the pictures; holy macaroni and jesus was it bangin'.  I'm not a huge rice fan, but to serve this dish without rice is like ordering the meatlovers special without the meat (I might have done this...).  It works, but people are sure going to give you a befuddled look.  Everyone just expects black beans to be served with rice, and I don't blame them.  You can serve it with crusty bread or corn chips if you are a freak like me. 
Just know that I love this soup and make it every time I crave Cuban food or miss Miami.  100% of the time, it is delicious, all of the time.

Your Basic Little
Black Bean Soup
(Via the world famous Romina via the even more world famous Mamita, modified a bit)

2 14-16 oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained thoroughly
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed in a garlic press
1 large onion, chopped
2 green peppers, chopped
32 oz broth (veggie or chicken)
1/3 c dry white wine
salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a large skillet, saute all veggies except for beans on medium high until they begin to brown. Remove them from the heat. 
  2. In a Dutch Oven, begin to heat black beans and broth on medium high until it begins to bubble.  This step may take a while, but remember to stir occasionally to prevent burning.  The idea is to cook the liquid down a little bit.
  3. Add white wine and continue to cook for a few minutes on medium high to cook off a bit of the booze.
  4. Turn down the heat to medium and stir in the vegetables.  Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until well incorporated and soft.  The soup should appear almost cloudy, but still runny. Taste and season accordingly (often you may not need extra salt if you are using canned beans; they retain a lot despite a vigorous rinse.)
  5. Serve! Bon appetit!
Sassy Little Black Bean Soup after the jump:

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