We've all got one; a group of friends who get together and talk about food, share recipes and techniques and generally shoot the shit. Ours just happens to be foul-mouthed and unabashed. This blog is a collaboration of authors (even occasionally male!) who share a love of booze, profanity, food and bitching.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


So yeah, trying to revive some blogs up in here. I've still been cooking, more now than usual even because I just got called back to work after my layoff and cash be tight, yo. One way to counteract the poor is brownbagging ye lunch, and I do it fairly often (until I start making enough cash to waste on takeout pizza). And a lot of the recipes I've been making have been via Pinterest. Yes, I drank the Kool-Aid, and a-Pinteresting I go. Needless to say, I've gotten mixed results.

I use Pinterest in two ways, 1 - straight up ganking recipes. And 2 - stealing ideas, forgetting to pin them, and then making up how I think they probably go. The latest one of these was the idea of a meatless entreé using black beans and corn over a baked potato. I liked this idea because meat's expensive (no, I have no moral objections to meat. Deal.), and I figured I could take it to work. The problem I have with a lot of recipes (especially "healthy" ones) is that they don't travel well, or assemble quickly. I've got half an hour to eat at work, and I don't drive. At work we have a microwave and a toaster that doesn't really work (it warms rather than toasts a bagel), so I need something that can survive that and still be edible.

So this recipe came on a site that had like a dozen more that all involved lentils or some nonsense that I don't have, and so I forgot to pin it for the single recipe I thought I'd do. Oops. So here's my reconstruction!

First off, I baked a bunch of potatoes. There's really no point in baking 1 potato ever. Don't waste electricity/gas by running your oven for one damn potato, do a bunch and have homefries the next day or whatever. Or soup.

Next I chopped up 1/4 of a big onion and sauteéd it. Then I took a can of reduced-sodium black beans and drained and rinsed them, and tossed them in with the onions. I took half a bag of frozen corn that I had mouldering in the freezer and tossed it in the skillet as is, then covered the whole lot for a bit to let it thaw and cook. My corn had some kind of "butter sauce" which normally gives me the heebie jeebies (what the hell is butter sauce? Is it actually butter, or is it yellow liquid? Best not to know), but since this was all going over a potato anyway, it wasn't going to hurt.

Anyway, once the corn had ceased to be a huge chunk of nonsense, I threw in some minced garlic, salt (seasoned salt in my case), black pepper, chili pepper (Penzey's natch), and smoked paprika. If you haven't tried smoked paprika, do yourself a favor and do so. It's magic, and makes food taste foodier. These are all, of course, highly astute and accurate observations I'm laying down here for you. Then I reduced the heat to a simmer and let it all blend for a bit. You don't have to cook this at high heat; the stuff in it is already cooked (excepting the onion at the beginning), you're just warming and combining things. Fork open your potato and toss that in with a bit of grated pepperjack and you're good to go. And hey, it wasn't bad! It kept well, traveled well, and with three minutes in the microwave for the potato and about 60 seconds for the bean mix, I still had time to read on my lunch break.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A change of pace.

Since neither Dez nor I have been posting enough about cooking related topics, but we are both vociferous, opinionated and witty on many other topics - and also because I've been told lately that I am freaking hilarious when I rant on Facebook about the state of fashion these days - I've decided to extend the subject matter of this blog from strictly culinary to also including fashion. Specifically, "plus-sized" women's fashion. Needless to say, since we both enjoy cooking so much, both Dez and I fall into that category.

As a preface, I have always been a big girl. I was born nearly two feet long and doctors were telling my mother that I'd be over six feet tall when I was just a little kid. We laughed and thought I'd probably be tall, oh, let's say around 5'10-5'11", but who ever heard of a woman over six feet tall? Well by the time I was thirteen and in middle school I was already 5'11" and shot up to 6'2" by the time I graduated high school. As a result, to keep my internal organs safe from the threat of a violent collapse-y smushed death, my frame had to be a bit large.

Everyone expects fat people to be lazy or eat unhealthy or something that would cause them to be solely responsible for their body while people who are good and do things the right way get to stay skinny. In high school, I was actually very athletic. I was on the swim team and spent three hours every day in the gym, running and swimming laps. Even during school breaks, even over the summers, even on holidays. As a result, I weighed 155 lbs my first two years of high school, which is 20 lbs under the ideal recommended weight for my height and frame size. I had no boobs to speak of, and very little in the way of a feminine figure. But my thighs still had cellulite and I still wore a size 13.

After I graduated and my activity level went down, my hips filled out and my boobs... As one of my favorite lines from opera ever, Cunégonde from Candide says: "My memorable mammaries like alpine peaks!" HOLY BOOBAGE, BATMAN! Suddenly I had a womanly figure. My breasts and hips made sense in relation to the thunder thighs and bubble butt I'd always had. I felt sexy and desirable and comfortable in my body for the first time in my life. I was also a size 16. Society says I'm not allowed to feel sexy and also be wearing clothes from the shameful section of the store marked "plus", but fuck society. I'd never gotten below double digit pant sizes even when I had a body fat percentage lower than my damn pant size! I am never going to be delicate and waifish, and I made peace with that a long time ago.

Anyway, all of that is to say that now you all get the joy of Dez and I gleefully ripping the plus-sized women's fashion industry to shreds. We're going to tear into all of the standards for hiding those unsightly rolls and lumps. Ruffles are a fat girl's best friend! And if in doubt, add more ruffles! Aymmetrical pleats to distract the eye so that it's almost as though you look like a size 4! Cut that neckline low, big ladies, because we all know epic cleavage is the only thing you're good for! Add as many tacky, unnecessary sequins, gemstones and beads as you can in the hopes that it will distract and confuse male suitors so that they won't notice you're fat. And of course, the shining gold star of the plus-sized girl's wardrobe; the empire waist. *insert angelic harp music here*

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Basics: Pasta

I may be composing this because the servers for Diablo 3 are busy, and my audiobook for Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (bless you, Audible, for letting me buy it for a single credit) isn't finished downloading yet.  Maybe.  Don't judge me.

Anyway, one of my bachelor friends asks me for cooking advice occasionally (actually, this is a lie; I get asked for advice from a lot of people), so I figured I'd lay this out in plain terms. 

1.  Buy whole grain pasta.  Stop buying the enriched stuff; the whole grain tastes just as good (better, in fact) and most stores (even here in the hinterlands of the Midwest) have their own brand of whole grain pasta, so cost isn't an issue anymore.  Besides, storebought pasta is like a dollar.  Splurge and buy the kind that's $1.08.

2.  If you're doing a cream sauce/cheese sauce/anything heavier than olive oil or marinara (or various Asian sauces like lo mein sauce, teriyaki, etc.), get a pasta that's ridged (rigate is usually the word on the box).  The ridges are there for a reason, and that reason is to hold the sauce to the pasta.

3.  SALT THE WATER.  If you're asking yourself, "Should I salt the water?" you should first ask yourself, "Am I cooking pasta?"  That's like asking if you should use soap in the shower.  YES.

4.  Use the biggest pot you have.  The pasta needs room to move.  Using a pot just big enough to hold your pasta and some water barely covering the top is insufficient.

5.  DO NOT PUT THE PASTA IN THE POT UNTIL THE WATER IS BOILING.  Don't do it!  If you're not sure if the water is boiling yet, WAIT.  It'll get there.

6.  Cook your pasta by the package directions, and only cook it until the lowest time given.  For example, if your pasta says cook 6-8 minutes, cook it 6 minutes.  Period.  Any less and it's crunchy, any more and it's mushy.  These people make the stuff, they should know the minimum cooking time.

7.  Don't wander off.  Don't start reading a book in the other room, don't go sell your goods to the merchants in your game, just stay put.  Stir your pasta occasionally, and settle down.  It's usually less than 10 minutes.  If you can't chill out in one room for 10 minutes, you shouldn't be cooking on the stove.  Use the microwave, and resign yourself to eating a lot of sodium-packed processed food.

8.  Drain your pasta, but don't rinse it unless you're serving it cold.  If you're making macaroni salad, rinse it.  If you're gonna eat it immediately, don't.

9.  SEASON YOUR FOOD.  This is NOT optional.  Grab some herbs and spices and toss it onto the pasta before you sauce it.  At the very least, sprinkle it with black pepper.  If you don't know how much to use (I eyeball it.  Couple shakes, voila), start out with 1/2 teaspoon herbs.  You can add more later.  1/4 teaspoon pepper or garlic powder.  Stir it around to make sure you don't end up with one reallllllly peppery noodle.

10.  Sauce and taste.  Once you have stuff sauced, your spices are on there, TASTE IT BEFORE SERVING IT.  That's when you can say, "Hmm, this herb mix is tasty.  Need more!"

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Everyone has a dish that they love making, that takes them to their happy place. Mine is jambalaya. A large part of it is due to my OCD nature. I like things just so. This dish requires a lot of knife skills and a stepwise process that builds flavor. Making it calms and soothes my nit-picky soul, and the flavor is amazing.

First, you need to gather your ingredients.

Not pictured: two chicken breasts and a package of smoked sausage.
Next, dice your onion, thinly slice your peppers and mince your garlic.

Then slice your sausage into 1/2 inch pieces and cube your chicken. You can season your chicken however you like. I like using cajun seasoning.

Next, put a large, heavy skillet over high heat. Fry your sausage for about 1-2 minutes just until they get a good char on them and you've got some grease coating the pan. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon but LEAVE THE GREASE! This is what makes this dish so amazingly flavorful. You build on the flavors each step creates.

Lower the heat to medium-high and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Then add your chicken and cook until no longer pink.

See all that crusted goodness on the bottom of the pan? Once you remove the chicken with a slotted spoon, again LEAVING THE GREASE, hit that with a splash of white wine to deglaze the pan. Scrape up all the flavor bits and swirl them around in the wine and fat drippings. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and reduce the heat to medium, then add your peppers, onions and garlic and cook until tender.

See all that awesome flavor? And that's just from the grease and chicken seasoning. We haven't even added any spices yet!
Once your veggies are tender, add the rice and salt + spices. Turn the heat back up to high and cook for 1 minute before adding the chicken broth, canned tomatoes (with their juice!), 1 cup of water and tabasco.

Bring that to a boil then add the meat back in and cover with foil and bake at 400 degrees F for about 15-20 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed.

The most crucial ingredient in this recipe is the tabasco sauce. I have accidentally left it out before and even though it's only a half teaspoon, it is very noticeable. Although the original recipe calls for 1/2 tsp, I actually don't measure the tabasco anymore. I generally just do anywhere from 4-6 "dashes" from the bottle. Your level of heat preference may vary.

Also, the cup of water is easy to forget so I always set it out along with my other ingredients before I start cooking. You can totally play around with andouille sausage or shrimp. I've done both as well as adding okra before. This is a very versatile recipe.


1 package smoked sausage
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
6 cloves garlic
1 large onion
2 small bell peppers, your choice of color
3 c instant white rice
1 tsp paprika
3/4 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp thyme
1 tsp salt
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can chicken broth
1 cup water
1/2 tsp tabasco sauce

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Best. Wings. Ever!

One of the things that I love about living in the Caribbean is the local tendency to waste nothing when it comes to a carcass. Go to the grocery store and you'll see the necks, wing tips, backs, offal... Every part of a chicken, laid out fresh. This grosses a lot of American students out when they first get here. Me, I had visions of roasted bones and savory chicken stock dancing in my head!

You can also buy huge bags of fresh wings. I found this recipe the other day and decided to give it a go. I can't get Frank's buffalo sauce down here, and the local stuff is too buttery/not spicy enough for me, so I decided to try a teriyaki glaze instead.

I marinated the wings in the 50/50 mixture of Italian dressing and soy sauce overnight. This morning I pulled them out, drained them, patted them dry and then roasted them for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. I mixed up some teriyaki sauce and sriracha sauce and tossed the wings in it before popping them back in the oven for another 10 minutes.

Oh. Em. Gee. Sooo good! I only wish I'd used a little more sriracha, because a little more heat would make these perfect.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Bow before me, puny humans!

Or, as my sister would put it, “Gawd Cwaffee Cheesecake” (picture Mike Myer’s Jewish mother voice from SNL in the nineties). No, I dunno why she started saying it like that.

Anyway, God Coffee is an invention of our friend Jes who would mix various liqueurs into her coffee during parties, traditionally Irish cream, Kahlua, and Amaretto, but it could include any combination of these things (plus some more exotic concoctions; we picked up a bottle of Dooley’s toffee flavored liqueur, and it was a welcome addition). Lovely stuff, and for my friend Thomas’ birthday (since he didn’t give me a definite item to make) I decided to delve into making a cheesecake version.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Greatest hits.

I'm missing my good baking pans, Penzeys spices and weather cool enough to make baking tolerable. I've been nostalgically browsing my Photobucket account, drooling over things I made in yesteryear.

Spooky Halloween "rainbow" cupcake. Rainbow cupcakes are super easy to do. Just make a box white cake mix, separate the batter evenly into different bowls, add food coloring to desired intensity and then layer the batter into the pan. Buttercream recipe.
Sugar and spice! Sugar cookie recipe. Icing recipe. Spice crackles recipe.
Chocolate angel food cake. Recipe via "The Cake Bible."
Mandarin orange cupcakes with vanilla pineapple whipped cream topping and toasted coconut. Sorry, ya'll aren't getting this recipe. Family secret passed down from my grandma. ;)
Chocolate Guinness stout cupcakes with Irish cream and peppermint frosting. Recipe via smittenkitchen. Only change I made was to add Rumple Minze to the frosting as well as the Bailey's.
Persimmon cheesecake. Changes: Omitted the sour cream topping and ginger. Added 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp nutmeg to the filling and did a crushed gingersnap crust. This was so incredibly delicious. This was all that remained after a weekend in Chicago with friends.
Lemon cake with lemon curd filling (Trader Joe's) and raspberry buttercream icing (same buttercream recipe as the Halloween cupcake, plus raspberry fruit spread) for my mother's 49th birthday. Yeah, the top is domed and the piping on the bottom is amateurish. I finished this at like 11:30pm when I had to be at work at 6am the next day, so I couldn't be arsed to level it or get fancy with my decorating. It tasted amazing and my mom loved it, and that's all that matters.