My tiny guy ~


One of the most interesting aspects of being a chef with atoddler is that he flat-out refuses to eat any food that I have had a hand in preparing.  It’s a novel thing,really, given that most people are more than happy to come into my house andgobble anything that I set in front of them, including (sometimes) crayons and/or napkins.  The expectation to provide delicious, balanced food has been replaced entirely with naked scorn at my attempts.  Once I even caved and tried to feed the little man an organic version of, basically, EZMac.  He cried actual tears.  Which would have been a pleasing recognition of genetic opposition to boxed mac n’ chee, except that he provides the same reaction when I put homemade pot pie on his little plastic Ikea plate.
Seriously, kid. Why?
I try not to worry too much, since he’s tracking on the growth charts pretty steadily. Pretty steadily, that is, for a child in the 3-5th percentilefor weight.  And the 5-10thpercentile for height.  My child is TINY.  He’s almost 19 months, andtoday I had the gall to put him in some of his 18 month clothes, because I haven’t done laundry recently enough for his 12 month stuff to be anoption.  He looks really stylishand appropriately dressed, provided his preschool activity for the day will be“making a rap video.”  His pants are rolled at both the waist, like a high school cheerleader trying to shorten her skirt, and at the cuffs, like a short kid trying to wear normal kid pants.
I am 5’9.  Hisdad is 6’0.  My dad was 6’4.  Chris’s dad is 6’2.  There is no reason for him to be so little. 
Except maybe that I drank sugar-free red bull when I was pregnant. And I ran a half marathon when I was pregnant. And I restricted weight gain to 25 lbs when I was pregnant.  And I induced two weeks early just because I FELT LIKE IT.  Any of those things could be blamed for both why he is little, and why I am obviously a terrible mother and human being.
Or, I can blame genetics.  Chris was 4’11 and under 90 lbs when he graduated high school.  His dad was growth restricted until college.  Chris entered the Air Force Academy for college at 5’1, and had to report daily toeat a power bar in front of his superiors for extra nutrition.  And then in a couple of painful,growing years, he shot up to a broad-shouldered, 6 foot tall man.  By that point, he was 21 years old.
So I guess it’s not so much a matter of fighting Emmett’s weird little toddler food aversions (yesterday, Larabars were EXCELLENT.  Today, Larabars are BABY POISON), but more a matter of just accepting that he’s going to be this perfectly formed, adorable miniature until well into college. That I get to pretend he’s a baby for way longer.  That he’ll fit into my lap for cuddles well after the age that it becomes creepy and inappropriate.  That he’s going to have shitty luck getting attention from women until his twenties.  Which I’m okay with. It happened to his dad, and all it meant was that he had adequate time to finish medical school before women started distracting him from his studies with their boobs and their swingy hair and their vagina hypnotism.
Tiny little dude in his giant 18 month old pants is ready togo to preschool now.  I’m going totake him, cuddled up like a baby, because I can.  And when I pick him up, and they tell me that he refused toeat a single bite of his lunch, I’m going to probably let him pick some chocolate chips out of his trail mix, because chocolate has fat, and I’m a sucker, and he currently will only eat chocolate and yogurt.
Totally staged.  Like he would ever eat food.
Parenting is awesome.

The (even) uglier side of Vegas ~


Monday was my 30th birthday, and Sunday night I got home from my first trip to Vegas. Wow.  30.  Time to break out the full-coverage panties and elaborate facial creams, and investigating how I can get my insurance to pay for an in-home elevator.
I’d like to share a Vegas story with you:
As I mentioned in my last post, I had a GREAT group of friends who flew out to celebrate with me, and in this group of great people happened to be a selection of gorgeous women.  On the night I’mwriting about, three of these hotties came out with me for a night on the town, and it just so happened that they were all tall, thin, and had their boobies out.  I have lots of variously sized and shaped friends, but by chance it was the tall and skinny brigade who made it out that night.  We spent the trip dressed to the nines, drinking complicated drinks, and batting our eyelashes at anyone who was willing to smile at us.  Or leer.  We weren’t picky.
That’s what happens as you get older—you start grasping at any kind of superficial validation that you are still sexually desirable to the universe at large.  Or maybe that’s justme.  Either way, I try to do my part by telling women they look beautiful, that I like their dress, that I’m jealousthat their hair is so long and shiny. Anything I notice, really, because I want everyone to feel that glow of being admired.  And because I believe that everybody except for Casey Anthony has something about them that is exceptional and beautiful.
I have learned this after spending a decade of my life being a judgmental, superficial bitch about other women.  I repent for my formerly evil ways.  I will spend the next decades of my life trying to be kind to women to make up for my previous wrongdoing, because guess what?  It’s kind of hard to live up to the standards we’re given.  I try, don’tget me wrong, but it’s hard.
Which is why this story is so disgusting.  And why I’m now swimming in puddles of my own shame for doing nothing about it.  And why I’m telling you—so that maybe, if this happens in front of you—you’ll beprepared and thoughtful enough to do the right thing.  The thing I didn’t do, because I was too taken aback and unprepared to respond.
We were approached and offered a free “limo” ride to Club Vanity at the Hard Rock hotel.  Club Vanity was a frequent haunt of the most recent Real World cast, so it sounded like a good time.  Or, at the very least,a debauched time.  The limo ended up being a bus with machine guns painted on the sides, but it was still free, andI’d been drinking high-end Russian vodka and wasn’t in a position to quibble over details.  Also, it felt too late to back out because we were dressed, and I say this with love, like complete tramps.
Part of my third-life crisis involves wearing bandage dresses and hoiking my breasts up underneath my chin and getting European-style bangs.  No judging.
While we were waiting by the door of the club, waiting to be escorted in, there was a heated discussion in undertones between the promoters and the bouncers for the club.  One of my girlfriends asked, “is there a problem?” We thought perhaps they were angry that we had a man in our group (my darling husband, who offered to chaperone and hold purses and otherwise be a saint for the night). 
The bouncer stared at us, very obviously, from top to bottom and said “Oh no, you guys aren’t the problem. You’re the solution.”  He then gestured to the two women behind us in line. They were larger women, with fabulous dresses and really cute hairstyles, but they happened to be larger than a size 6.
He then leaned over to the promoter and said, “who broughtthe BIG girls?” in a very accusatory tone.
My friends and I stared at one another in horror as the club staff started to physically separate the larger women from the line and explain that they couldn’t come in because they weren’t on the “guest list.”  The guest list that did not, technically,exist.  The 5’4, plenty-large-himself bouncer was taking issue with the fact that two women had gotten dressed up and excited to go dancing, but weren’t the exact right height and weight dimensions to be allowed to have a good time.  But the men in line were allowed to be whatever dimensions they wished without judgment or having to tolerate bullshit.
The two women knew exactly what was happening, and their hurt was palpable and painted all over their faces.  It was heartbreaking.
While we gaped, open-mouthed, we were chivvied into the club, handed free shots and drink tickets, and placed near the stage of women in underpants, gyrating on poles and having unnaturally toned abs. We stayed where we were put.  We didn’t take a stand.  We didn’t leave.  We had a good time, and not once did one of us go tower over the bouncer and tell him to go fuck himself, as we should have done.
So this has to serve as my belated, inadequate middle finger to that jerk who thought it was okay to judge the bodies of women who were just trying to have fun on a Saturday night in a city that prides itself on providing fun Saturday nights to anyone who shows up willing to get rowdy.
This also has to serve as my apology to the two women who had their night ruined.  I’m sosorry.  I’m sorry I didn’t sayanything.  I’m sorry I patronized that establishment after witnessing their show of assholery, and I’m really jealous that your hair was so long and shiny. You deserve better because you are beautiful, and because you’re HUMANBEINGS.
If you visit Vegas, I encourage you to avoid the Hard Rock and especially Club Vanity.  They take their pretentious name very seriously, they only apply their standards to women, and there’s nowhere to sit down and take off the Godawful heels that you have to wear in order to be deemed acceptable by their titchy little bouncer.

Las Vegas ~


Glamming it up in Vegas…sort of.

Okay, back from Vegas, and don’t even have a mild batch of syphilis to show for it, so either I was doing it wrong, or I’ve been lied to for a number of years.  I don’t even think I saw one, single, solitary whore, let alone an entire flock of whores (caravan? herd? peck?).  But my friend did report that when she arrived at her hotel at 7 am, she did overhear some gentlemen bargaining with hookers on the elevator.  One asked in a heavily Asian accent “I can go to your ay-noos?”

Yeah dude.  Yeah you can.

So lack of prostitutes aside, here are my overall impressions of the Las Vegas strip:

My husband, Chris, glamming it up.

1: Holy shitballs of cigarette smoke, batman.  As an ex-smoker (God bless myself for quitting), I cannot imagine voluntarily putting that garbage into my lungs anymore.  The casinos, which are located…um…everywhere, including the hotel lobbies, are just thick clouds of cigarette smoke, with the occasional complete bastard puffing away on a phallic cigar.  Even at the Bellagio, which is where we stayed because we’re high-falutin’, the smoke was just overwhelming.

The Cosmopolitan

2: The amount of electricity being used stressed me out a little.  WHY SO MANY LIGHTS, VEGAS??

3: Whomever invented remote-controlled blackout curtains should receive complimentary road head from someone far more attractive than I.

4: I found the imitations of the Eiffel Tower, Venice, the pyramids etc. to be cheap, farcical, and tacky.  Every time I saw one, I just wished that I were in the actual location of the original, rather than in the American desert looking at fakes.  I thought hotels like the Cosmopolitan, which were just original but overdone, were much nicer than the international pretendo models.

5: You know how on Halloween women tend to wear clothing that is not technically flattering on their particular body type, but they act like having a mask on totally excuses it?  That.  A lot.  Every night in Las Vegas.

Hot messes after a night out, tangled in a giant chandelier at Cosmo

6:  The whole “VIP, high roller, exclusive club entry” crap was pretentious and overdone.  I’m paying you to be here, so let’s not pretend that you need to decide if I’m “good enough” to exchange money for services/goods/entry, okay? Also, the way that heavy women were treated at a club was horrendous enough that I wrote a whole separate blog entry on it.  Expect to see that soon.

7: Every time I saw a baby in a smoke-filled area I got Very. Very. Upset.  It happened frequently, and was heartbreaking.  You don’t need to have a stroller on the strip at midnight while you drink a yard of liquor.  That should be illegal.  I don’t care how many family friendly activities there are, I would never choose to bring a child to that environment.  My lungs hurt the whole time we were there, and I’m a grown-ass woman who made that choice.  A kid shouldn’t have to.

Blah blah blah blah….

THE FOOD!!!!!!

If I return to Vegas, it’ll be for the food.  There are delicious, game-changing, phenomenally well-done meals every 3 feet in Vegas.  I literally couldn’t eat enough to even get a sampling, and that was while having, literally, two dinners every night.  So I’ll tell you what I tried, but you should know that it is a molecule in the ocean of deliciousness that is Vegas.

Thai hot “10 out of 10” wasn’t so hot, but was very good.


They brought us this to fire up the spicy dish, but it still wasn’t TOO bad.
Every time I meet a friend from my blog, they end up being awesome.

Lotus of Siam– in a shitty strip mall somewhere off the strip, we found the best Thai food ever.  It was recommended by a bloggy friend (thanks to Jeremy Hall!), and was just excellent.  I had the Panang tofu, some wontons, some spring rolls, and a Thai chicken salad at Thai hot level 10 that they brought out to challenge us.  It wasn’t that spicy.  Not even after we added crushed Thai chili seeds to it.  But it WAS very good, and I almost wished I’d ordered it instead of the Panang.  It was relatively inexpensive, and had an impressive wine list.  Our server was a tiny Thai man with blue hair who smirked at us while we sampled his “10” dish.

Budino.  All most good enough to make you forget how douchy Scott Conant is.

D.O.C.G.–A Scott Conant restaurant/wine bar in the Cosmopolitan.  All I had there was wine and the salted caramel budino (pudding) which was salty and rich and custardy–all of which are my favorite things to find in a dessert.  High five, Conant.  You make nice pudding.

Breakfast of Champions
The Napoleon to end all napoleons

Jean Pierre Patisserie– the man voted “best pastry chef in France” opened this baby up in the Bellagio, and it’s home to the largest chocolate fountain in the world, as well as both the best crepe I’ve ever eaten and the best Napoleon I’ve ever had the pleasure to taste.  The first morning, Chris and I shared a napoleon, and the “royale” crepe, which was chicken, bacon, mushrooms, and mornay sauce in a buckwheat crepe with a side salad. OMG. Firstly, the buckwheat crepe was a stroke of brilliance.  It had all the deep flavor and muskiness of buckwheat, but in the light, airy texture of a well-made crepe. And the filling was just richly superlative and perfectly balanced.  The next morning, I put on my workout clothes, walked downstairs, had my very own royale crepe, plus four full-sized pastries (eclair, bear claw, raspberry pistachio tart, flan).  Then I went back to bed for two hours. Vegas is awesome in that way.


The Public House at the Venetian– Best mojito ever, plus some pretty tasty Welsh rarebit.

Pork belly ramen
teriyaki chicken and peruvian corn
Tuna and white asparagus

SushiSamba–A sushi restaurant with some Latin flair, this was where I had my favorite cocktail of life.  It was called the karachi, I think, and it was cherry vodka with jalapenos and cherry juice.  Spicy, sweet, bright, I could have had about 30 of them if they weren’t so expensive.  Foods that were consumed there (by me) include: spicy tuna roll, tuna with white asparagus and miso aioli, kobe tartare, teriyaki chicken skewer, peruvian corn, edamame, pork belly ramen, and coconut rice.  All were fab, and I’d never had peruvian corn before.  It was kind of a mushy, chewy large yellow hominy of sorts.  Not better than good, sweet corn, but an experience for sure.  The spicy tuna roll was the best I’d ever had, with only the faintest hint of seaweed flavor, and a great spicy sauce drizzled on top.  That’s usually my issue with sushi (aside from the fact that I only eat raw tuna), is that it tastes too much like seaweed, and that’s not a flavor I like.  Usually I stick with tuna nigiri.

A washed out picture of Chris, big pimpin with ALL of his dates to Le Cirque.  From the left, we’ve got Kate, me, Chris, Oksana, and Bri.  Thanks for coming guys!

Le Cirque–Really, this place could have had a review of it’s own that took up an entire post, but I’ll try to be brief.  It was excellent.  The amuse bouche was a roasted carrot soup with pepitas, which I could have made at home, but was tasty. It came with miniature bacon madeleines, which are a fab idea and I’ll be working on developing a recipe for. My salad course was truffle/avocado/lobster/cucumber, and wasn’t fabulous to be totally honest.  It lacked salt and punch, but was fresh.  A friend of ours had the diver scallop with parsnip veloute, and that was MUCH better.  Chris had beef tartare with heirloom tomatoes, and while I questioned the wisdom of tomatoes served in March, it was perfectly seasoned and flavorful, if the tomatoes were a touch mealy for my taste.

Bacon Madeleines? Yes.  Every day, yes.
Lobster, black truffle, avocado, and cucumber salad at Le Cirque

For main courses, mine was by far and away one of the best I’ve ever had.  Whenever I eat at a restaurant that is going to cost more than about $100 per person, I try to branch out a little.  Because things I typically don’t eat (scallop, for example) are always done very, very well and are often good enough to change my opinion of the item in question.  So when I saw lapin as an entree…well, I just decided to go for it.  Lapin is rabbit.  I know, I know, fuzzy bunnies.  My sister had one growing up.  It was cute.  I felt bad ordering it, but I’d never had it before and was feeling adventurous.  The entree ended up being a rabbit liver mousse ravioli, with rabbit belly bacon and shredded, braised rabbit covered in a rich, butter foam and sprinkled with a giant helping of freshly fried (weird preparation, but great) spaetzle.  WOW.  I was completely taken aback by how thoroughly in love I was with the dish.  The whole thing tasted like umami and butter and depth.  Game changer, for sure.  I still won’t be purchasing rabbit and preparing it (for now), nor will I be ordering it in a $20/entree type of establishment for fear that they’d ruin it for me, but Le Cirque gets mad props for perfect composition and execution.  I even tasted a bite of the ravioli, and then gifted it to Chris because liver is still a thing I hate, regardless of its original mammalian owner.  When they tried to sprinkle a few spaetzle out of a copper all-clad pan, I stared the server down aggressively and said “JUST LEAVE THE ENTIRE PAN.”  He did.  Fearfully.

Rabbit ravioli, rabbit braise, rabbit bacon, fried spaetzle, and butter foam.
Eating my birthday dessert at Le Cirque like a really classy lady

Dessert was a chocolate bomb with gold leaf, and then a raspberry macaroon with sugared rose petals and rose ice cream and raspberry foam and gelee.  Plus we got cute little truffles in tiny jewelry boxes.  Adorbz.

Cosmopolitan– I ordered kobe burger and fries from room service, then promptly spilled ranch dressing on Oksana’s bed, toddled unsteadily back to my hotel while balancing the plate and dropping a Hansel and Gretel-esque trail of fries between the hotels (and into my purse, too), and then ate two bites of before I fell asleep (passed out).  Chris ate the rest.  It was good enough.

Bellagio buffet–We ate there twice, once for dinner and once for Sunday brunch.  It was actually very good.  Tons of selection, very good food, kobe beef, kurobuta pork, free-range chicken, great desserts, and free unlimited mimosas.  Bag of win.  Plus, I scored line passes so we didn’t even have to wait to get our gorge on.

Myself and Bri, outside the Bellagio after a giant buffet meal

That was it for food, but it’s a pretty impressive list for a 3 day trip, eh?  I gained a full percent of body fat, though I remained weight neutral because I also didn’t exercise at all.  And I drank a lot of wine, but not enough to be miserably hung over any of the days we were there.

Miranda, Oksana, Briana, and Me before heading to Club Vanity

As a final shout out, I’d like to thank everyone who made it out to help me celebrate.  I have a dream team group of beautiful friends, and they share either my love for food, my love for slutty outfits, my love for family, or my love for liquor. And some share my love for ALL of them.  So thank you, everyone, and let’s do this again next year.  London or New York, anyone??

Have a Furry Valentine’s Day ~

Every year I get my hopes sort of up that Chris is going to have grand plans for Valentine’s Day.  And every year, he does wonderful, gallant things pretty much every day except for Valentines day, because he hates the crowds in restaurants on the evening of.  I’m learning to be totally okay with it, because, frankly, buying me shitty grocery store roses, a box of hermetically sealed chocolate in a gaudy cardboard heart, or lacy lingerie that chafes my nipples and digs into my lady junk isn’t anywhere near as valuable as being a good husband, father, and roommate the other 364 days of the year.

Not that I would turn down some decent chocolate.  I’m not totally crazy.  But it should be from a good chocolatier and not have any dark chocolate or coffee flavors.  Thanks.

So what we usually end up doing is having a quiet dinner at home, fueled by a fair amount of quiet wine from a quiet box.  It’s awesome, and it means I get to design the menu based on my own whim, and also that I get to eat said menu wearing sweatpants. That’s the one thing that dinner out will get you–something other than sweatpants.  But that’s where I draw the line on gratefulness.

And usually I buy myself a bag of conversation hearts and eat only the white ones.  Not because I’m racist, but because they taste minty and delicious.

I sometimes get tired of the same old presentation of a hunk of overpriced red meat, some token green beans, and a starch.  Instead, I try to toss things up and eat vibrant, indulgent flavors without making a big production of dishes that will have to be washed before we start playing video games.

One year, we ate cheese, honey, salumi and pears for dinner.  Seriously.  It was fantastic.

This year, I wanted to try something new, and I wanted to surprise him.  But I had no idea, so I figured I’d do a test run of some different recipes and pick the one I liked the best to prepare for him on Tuesday (the big V).  In order to put my own spin on it, I wrote down a recipe based on ingredients I like, and decided to follow what I had written down and hope for the best.

I wanted to incorporate a rich meat, silky mouthfeel, chocolate, red wine, and something different in the realm of starches.  I just threw things down on the paper, hoping to God that it wouldn’t suck, and that I’d strike culinary gold for being bold and ad-libbing a recipe.

Any concerns that I had about the success of this dish were ameliorated when I pulled this out of the bag of potatoes:

Be My Valentuber

Yeah.  A LOVE POTATO.  It’s like God was trying to tell me that this was the perfect Valentine’s Day meal before I even began making it.

And then I felt really bad when I had to do this:


But I got over it.  In the name of love and experimentation.  The same way countless women have gotten over various deviant behaviors in order to make their marriages work, even though they don’t necessarily like wearing leather masks or dressing up like life-sized squirrels.

And you know what?  WORTH IT.  This stew was so rich, hearty, healthy, decadent, delicious, and full of beefy love that I would stab a thousand potato hearts in a sort of creepy way.

So I urge you to give this one a shot.  Not just because it’s the first recipe I’ve made up in my own head before even trying to make it.  Not just because it’s a fun and different way to enjoy traditional romancy flavors (chocolate and red wine? Hooooo!).  Not just because it’s stupid easy.  But because the Love Potato has dictated that it must be.

Beef Chuck and Barley Stew
-2-3 lb beef chuck, diced (this is a typical cut for beef stew, and is flavorful and bootylicious without being $$$)
-1 T olive oil
-1/2 large onion, diced
-3 cl garlic, minced
-3 C rich beef stock
-1 C red wine
-2 bay leaves
-1 t dried thyme
-1 t cracked pepper
-3 large russet potatoes, small dice
-4 large carrots, small dice
-1 C pearl barley, rinsed
-2 T cocoa (the richer, the better)
-a bunch of kosher salt
-2 C baby spinach
-1 T butter

–In a heavy-bottomed dutch oven or large pot with a lid, heat oil over medium high heat until shimmering.
–Season beef chuck liberally with salt and pepper, then sear. Go boldly into searing, and try to get a brown crust on each piece of beef.
–Remove beef from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
–In the same pan, saute garlic, and onion until tender
–Deglaze with red wine, and simmer until red wine is reduced by half.
–Add the beef back to the pan, along with thyme, barley, bay leaves, cocoa and stock.  Simmer over medium-low heat, covered, for 1.5 hours or until beef is beginning to become tender.  Check periodically and add more liquid if necessary.
–Add potatoes and carrots, cover again, and simmer for 45 minutes or until potatoes are firm but tender.  The end amount of liquid should be silky and thick-ish.
–Add spinach and butter and stir until wilted.
–Serve with the rest of that red wine, while wearing tacky lingerie that either has holes in prominent places or is made of fruit roll ups and smarties.  Or in sweatpants, if that’s your thing.

*Cue Barry White music*

Yeah.  Tell me you wouldn’t eat that.  Even if it meant forgoing the typical restaurant rush and thorn stab wounds from those horrid roses.  Even if it meant wearing a squirrel suit to dinner.

Because that’s really what love is all about.  Potatoes and squirrels and stew and compromises.  But probably not squirrel stew.  This is your LIFE we’re talking about.  Not an episode of Swamp People.

The Sperminator ~

Congratulations on your big Colorado (And Minnesota, and another state that I can’t remember) wins last night, Rick Santorum!  I especially appreciated the dinner time robocall about how as a Christian I have to be pro-life and pro-hetero-marriage.  Because I was confused about my responsibilities as a believer in Christ.  Now I’m equally confused because I’m pro-choice and believe everyone should have the right to marry another consenting adult whom they love.  So…does that change my religion?

I have shied away from writing a post about Rick Santorum because I didn’t want to get mired down in dirty jokes about semen and butts.  Butt now (HAR!) Ricky has started his own campaign to raise money called…wait for it…”Conservatives Unite Moneybomb.”  C.U.M.  I cannot believe this is actually happening.  The only thing I can think is that he honestly is so clueless that he isn’t aware that he’s just further equated himself with salty he-smoothie, because with the number of Mr Roger’s-style sweater vests he wears, you know with CERTAINTY that he isn’t exactly down with the lingo of love.

Sweater vests aren’t even in the lexicon of love.  Seriously.  Try to say “sweater vest” while maintaining arousal.  It’s impossible.  Your erotic body parts immediately weld into a plastic smooth place like a Ken/Barbie doll.  It’s the Margaret Thatcher Naked on a Cold Day of wardrobe choices.

I am going to take the high road, though, and ignore the association with love mustard.  I’m going to talk about the tISSUES THAT MATTER.

Like, for example, the fact that Rick Santorum strongly supports keeping troops in Afghanistan and the surrounding areas, even though he couldn’t be bothered to serve as a semen seaman in his own majesty’s Navy!

Or the fact that he’s not even really a viable candidate option, despite the results of recent cockasses caucuses.

Or the fact that he has said that contraception is “a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”

Or the fact that be blames liberalism in semenaries seminaries for the Catholic sex abuse scandals.  You know…because liberals always support the molestation of altar boys?  I know I sure do!

But the real money shot for me is that he has asked, and I quote, “If hunger is a problem in America, then why do we have an obesity problem among the people who say we have a hunger problem?” in response to questions about why he wants to get rid of food stamps altogether.

Because everyone knows that only “fat people” are poor, and poor people are always fat. There are absolutely no children in America who are hungry and depend on food stamps and school lunches for any kind of nutrition whatsoever.

What a dick. Seriously.

In honor of my IMMEASURABLE wealth, I’ll be making the Rick Santorum’s No More Poor “Fat” people dinner.  It costs next to nothing to prepare, and will ensure that the obese/poor in our nation can’t ask for handouts.

It won’t contain a cream sauce, because honestly that’s more than I can bear at this point.  And cream sauces make you fat, unless you eat them with your butt (right, Rick?)

And it does contain glorious eggs, which is awesome because Ricky believes that every egg should have a right to life, and birth control should be illegal, and as such, all of the frantic teenage humping in our country should lead directly and inevitably to new episodes of Teen Mom. Which is a show I love because it makes me feel better about my own life choices.


Warm Lentil Salad (adapted from the Gourmet recipe by Ruth Reichl)
-1 C green lentils
-3 slices bacon, diced into lardons
-1 onion, small dice
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
-1/4 C white balsamic vinegar (more to taste)
-2 T dijon mustard
-salt and pepper to taste
-eggs, cooked any way you like them, but definitely cooked because any egg that doesn’t make it to your plate is an abomination to your faith.  Or something.

–In a large pot of boiling water, cook lentils until tender, but not mushy (about 25 minutes)
–Meanwhile, saute bacon until fat renders and remove from pan
–In the bacon fat, saute onion, garlic, and carrots until tender.
–Drain lentils and add lentils and bacon to the vegetable mixture
–Stir in mustard, vinegar, and seasonings.  Taste.  You want a sweet, semi-acidic “dressing” to permeate the salad.  Add more vinegar as necessary.
–Serve warm or room temperature, topped with eggs

Can you just SMELL the sanctimony?…that’s bacon vinaigrette.

This makes a cheap and fantastic weeknight dinner, Sunday brunch, protein-packed snack, and/or late night gorge.  And it’s accessible and cheap as can be to prepare.  You could add kale or spinach to punch it up even further, but you don’t necessarily need to, as this dish isn’t exactly hurting for nutritional value.

There you have it, poor people.  Stop being unhealthy and start eating delicious, cheap lentils.  America is fixed.  Now lets all put on our romance sweater vests and make some babies! And then do some postcoital gay-bashing.  WHOOOOOOOOOO.

C-love and special sauce ~

Taking a break from politics (although I still have a Santorum post and an Obama post to delight the masses) to share something serious with you.

One of my main problems–in life–is that my desire to eat junk is balanced equally and oppositely against my desire to continue fitting into my current size pants.  Or maybe a smaller kind of pants.  I don’t know. I don’t want to get greedy or anything, but if this “colorful denim jeggings” thing is going to stick around, there is no way that can happen at the same time as I’m eating entire bags of Twizzler Pull n’ Peel.

Or the Heath bar baking bits that I’m currently shoveling into my mouth while I type.

So my options are as follows:

1) Buy bigger pants
2) Spend more time at the gym
3) Deprive myself of the foods I love
4) Figure out a loophole in the system

Number one is expensive and will make me sad. Plus I don’t want my current pants to go all Velveteen Rabbit on me and end up feeling unloved and lost.

Number two is totally unrealistic, given the fact that I already like BFF with our entire gym staff, and spend half my day sending my trainer texts like “Hey! You should Google the self-defense mechanism of sea cucumbers!”

Plus, they’re only willing to parent my child 2 hours per day, and that includes the time I have to spend in the locker room avoiding eye contact with the lady who insists on blow-drying her hair totally naked with her bush on display.

Number three is so far-fetched that it’s basically like saying “Hey! We should build a MOON COLONY this week!”

So…loophole it is!

I have to find ways to enjoy the foods that I’m obsessed with, without getting too big for my pants.  Easier said than done.  How the hell am I going to craft Twizzlers out of beet greens and tofu??

I decided to tackle buffalo wings, given that the Superbowl was yesterday and buffalo wings are toward the very tip-top of my cravings list each day.  Right behind “create a meaningful emotional relationship with Jon Stewart” and “something something world peace.”

SUCCESS!!  This recipe is so stupid-easy that my 17 month old could do it without breaking suction on his sippy cup (those are SO just glorified bottles, people!!)

I’m actually ashamed to call this a recipe, but I’m going to for the sake of sharing the method with you.

-a whole chicken, roasted or rotisseried to doneness, cooled (I like organic, because I’m a hippie)
-1 C Frank’s Red Hot sauce
-3 T brown sugar
-1 T butter
-6 carrots, shredded
-a bunch of sturdy lettuce leaves (I used romaine because it was cheap)
-Mix 3 T ranch dressing with 3 T buttermilk and put in a squeezy bottle.

–Remove the skin from the chicken, and then pull the meat off of the bones.  Save the bones for stock.
–Place the meat in your food processor with a blade and pulse until the chicken is chopped evenly, but not a paste.  If you don’t have a food processor, you can chop finely with a knife.
–Place in a heavy-bottomed, medium pot over low heat with the hot sauce, butter, and brown sugar.  Stir occasionally until the butter is melted, and the mixture is hot.
–Serve with shredded carrots and lettuce leaves and make into lettuce wraps or lettuce cups.  Drizzle each cup/wrap with buttermilk ranch dressing.

If this doesn’t make your mouth water, then you hate America

OMG.  A perfectly delicious recreation of the buffalo wing experience, only with more meat and sauce, lower calories (by far), no frying smell, no waitresses in slutty orange shorts and titty shirts and more vegetable goodness.

I beg you to try this.  If it makes you feel more authentic to eat them wearing orange shorts and titty shirts, then by all means! It’s good enough to warrant a special “wings outfit” for sure.

My buffalo wing sauce is the best buffalo wing sauce on the planet.  Ever.  So these should be the best low-cal buffalo wings on the planet.  Basically.  Except for the not-wings part.  And they’re still messy in a very satisfying, dripping way.

Problem one: Buffalo Wings

Wrap it up, stuff it in your craw, feel good about yourself for eating healthy


P.S. You should definitely Google the self-defense mechanism of sea cucumbers.  It’s the exact same self-defense mechanism that human males use to protect themselves from human females.


I’m not what you would call “jiggy” with antiquing.  I like shiny new things, clean lines, modern styling, and efficiency.  But my basement?  Is a different story.  My basement transports you directly to Hogwarts, complete with an owlery, a common room, a potions classroom, and a Ravenclaw bedroom.  I? Am a GIANT nerd.  And with all things Harry Potter, you pretty much have to embrace oldness. Embrace the ancient castle feel, with musty old surroundings, antiques gathering dust, stacks of clutter that come together to make a magical whole.  And it made total sense when my mom got me, for Christmas, an item for the basement that I’d been coveting from a local odds n’ ends store.

It’s a toaster.  A “Swinger” model toaster, no less, which is pretty cool because the heating element (live coils) is just out in the open, and then you swing the little bread compartment to switch the side of the bread exposed to the heat. 

What’s really remarkable about this toaster is that it was made in the late 1920s, and IT STILL WORKS.  It can still be plugged in, and it can still toast your bread.  And the only possible complication with operating a device from the late 1920s is that it was manufactured before such frivolities such as “safety protocols” and “litigation.”  Also, it’s rusting, which may result in lockjaw.  And the fire cord is covered in nylon, and not necessarily up to fire code, so it’s possible/probably that your house will burn down around your ears and you’ll lose BOTH your precious toaster AND your bread.  And maybe the family dog.  But it won’t matter, because you’ll be so amazed that a toaster from that era still functions at all, let alone safely or well.

A short 7 years after this toaster was born, a sweet baby boy came into the world.  That baby boy was named Ronald Ernest Paul.  Because it was the Great Depression, and last names don’t come cheap, nobody was particularly bothered that the little boy had three first names and no last name.  No big deal.

My sister and I have a larger age gap than Ron Paul and that toaster.  This is a true fact.

But far be it for me to rule him out solely because he’s rusty, lacks basic safety information, and will likely set my country on fire?

Instead, let’s focus on the raw brainpower that he still possesses in his late seventies!  And how he’s not at all doddering!

Ron Paul “True” Facts:
–The world is 4000 years old.
–We should abolish the department of education, leaving bankrupt states like California to educate their children via morse code and paper bag puppets
–Drugs should be legal, but the government shouldn’t hand out flu vaccines
–Global warming is a hoax
–We shouldn’t have laws regulating legal currency
–95% of black men in D.C. are criminals
–Mexicans are animals
–Gay people should stay in the closet forever
–MLKJr Day is “Hate Whitey Day”
–The moon is made of actual cheese

Just kidding on that last one.  But that’s the ONLY one I’m kidding about.

Obviously Ron Paul makes total sense.  So does this dish!  Pasta a la Paul.

Please, don’t be confused.  This isn’t a dish about my ex-boyfriend Paul.  He made more sense than Ron Paul, even when he was trying to explain to me the rationale behind trying to smuggle marijuana into jail (something he actually did, and received a felony for, and then was BAFFLED by).  But at least he understood gay rights.

This dish was a beautiful amalgamation of lots of things that shouldn’t have been so delicious together, but it was so good that I can see EVEN MORE than 7% of the voting population of Florida enjoying it.

-4 cl garlic, sliced thinly
-1 lg onion, large dice
-2 T butter
-1/4 C white wine
-1 C green olives, chopped
-1 preserved lemon rind, chopped
-1 juicy lemon
-1 T honey
-a pinch of saffron powder, or a larger pinch of saffron threads
-2 bone in, skin on chicken breast halves
-salt and pepper to taste

-In a large, heavy skillet, saute garlic and onion in butter until golden brown.
-deglaze with white wine
-add everything except for the chicken and saute for another 2 minutes
-place chicken breasts, skin side down, onto the pan, making a space in your vegetable mixture. 
-add enough water to fill the pan 1/2″, reduce to medium low, and place lid on the pan.
-Cook for approximately 45 minutes, adding water as necessary to maintain a level of 1/2″ liquid in the pan.
-Remove chicken and set aside to rest.
-Cook fettuccine according to package directions, making sure it’s al dente
-Toss pasta with veg mixture and a bit more butter.
-Serve it up!

Yellow is okay.  Brown and black? Criminals and animals.

Who cares that it’s a nonsensical mishmash of cooking styles and flavors?  Who cares that it shouldn’t taste good?  It really, really is fabulous and a great idea and you don’t have to use an ancient toaster to make it, so that at least safes it up a bit.

The preserved lemons have a really deep, interesting flavor that I haven’t had before but loved.  And the saltiness of the olives and musky glory of the saffron kept it jumping in my mouth, bite after bite.

You see, by eliminating all rules, regulations, and common sense, I’ve been able to create an America dish that you’ll be happy to eat, and that your family will love.  The ones that have survived the influenza outbreak, at the very least.

Oh, and if you’re having trouble locating preserved lemons, you can either make your own (I preserved the lemons the wrong way–packed in only salt–and they still turned out fabulous), or visit a Middle Eastern grocery.  Ron Paul is definitely okay with the Middle East.  In fact, Israel “should be the Hong Kong” of the Middle East.  Winning, Dr. Paul.  Winning.

Do you think Ron Paul would like to come live in my basement?  I need a life-size Dobby replica, and he’d be PERFECT.

Dobby the House Elf

Dr. Ron Paul

Mittens Romulus

Continuing in our series of presidential nominees, I’d like to stop and take a moment to honor someone so wholesome, so robotic, so MONOGAMOUS, that clearly he’s going to win the republican nomination.  I’m looking at you, Mr. Willard Mitt Romney.  Mitt.  Ol’ Mittens.

What the hell are we doing right now?  We went from a series of Georges, Bill, and Ronald to presidential names like Newt, and Mitt.  Who is naming these children??  Was there a decade where people just randomly wrote nouns on their newborns’ birth certificates, like a gory and expensive game of Adlibs.  “In the neonatal ward right now, we’ve got an Alice, a Newt, a Mitt, a Lamp, and two Toasters (poor little devils, with their unoriginal parents).”

I know it’s totally allowed/encouraged to have stupid nicknames in college.  I once knew a guy whom everyone referred to as “Moosecock” because he had a seriously, universally impressive dongle.  But when he grew up and started accruing professional licensures, he had to go back to a slightly less fraternal name.  I should write him a letter and suggest that he run for president under the name “Moosecock.”  He’d get all of the votes in Florida, I’m sure of it.  He’d probably do really well with female voters, too.

Aside from having a profoundly inane name, and having crazy eyes, hiring illegal immigrants to mow his lawn, openly talking about how much he likes firing people who provide him services, having shady financial practices, and being a douchemobile with spinners on its wheels (rims? I don’t know.  I need to watch more MTV), he’s actually a pretty normal guy.

A pretty normal guy who believes, in his creaking, steel-plated heart and/or fusebox that $347,000 in speaking fees in a single year is “not very much.”

And that, my loves, is why I introduce you to an accessible, old-fashioned America meal that was inspired by a one Mitt “the toaster” Romney:

Looks like Newt Gingrich, sort of.

HA! Just kidding.  He’s not actually a robot, probably.  And if he were, he’d definitely have some kind of nuclear battery pack that self-recharged.

No, his meal looks a lot more like this:

Like Mitt would ever eat such a lowly denomination

Kidding again!  Mitt would never EAT money.  He prefers to use it as toilet paper.  And given the amount of residual cocaine on $1 bills, this dollar-booty contact is probably why he often looks like this:

Just a bit deeper! I’m starting to perk up!

Now I’ll be real.  The Romney.

A new spin on the classic, poor-man’s go-to meal, beef wellington.

Grass-fed, flax-finished local filet of beef tenderloin, seasoned liberally with truffle salt

Where else would you get beef?  Wal….mart?? Quelle Horror!

 Topped with a duxelle of mushrooms, shallots, parsley, and truffle oil, and then wrapped in puff pastry– the working man’s bread.

The “M” stands for “Mitt,” and the “$” stands for America

While it bakes, toss together a sauce of homemade beef demi-glace, butter, cracked pepper, parsley, heavy cream and some cheap whiskey

I call it my “cookin’ hooch”

No, I know that Mitt wouldn’t drink whiskey.  Especially not a 12 year single malt.  He’d definitely go for 18 year single malt.  And he’d make sure to simmer the sauce long enough to boil off the alcohol.  Or have the chefs do it.  Either or.

Drizzle the sauce over the golden brown pastry crust, truffle-scented mushrooms, and perfectly rare steak within.

Those aren’t green beans.  They’re HARICOT VERTS!

It’s bland.  It’s missing something.  Shit.

Oh yeah.  Mitt’s favorite seasoning.

Just another Tuesday night here at the Romney shanty

GOLD!!!!!!! 14k edible gold flakes really bring the flavor over the top.  It’s like Velveeta for not-poor people.

Please, don’t mock me for only using 14 karat gold.  On such a pittance of a non-interest income, how can he be expected to spring for platinum.  It’s called BUDGETING, and if we Americans could just get the hang of it, so many of us wouldn’t be standing on the street waiting for handouts like lazy weiners.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go eat some Romney (*shudder*) and then fire some people.  In honor of Romney’s favorite dessert–human tears.

Edited to add:  Do you know how hard it is to find edible gold in Parker?  Seriously, it took long enough that I reached the point where the only possible solution to my boredom was to text a picture of two frogs having sex to someone.  In the checkout line at the grocery store.  While the guy behind me was like “Are those two frogs having sex??”

–First world problems

Amphibious Sexin

I just want to take this opportunity to say how much I love politics.  It’s a thing that my family doesn’t feel as comfortable discussing, but I could discuss it all day.  Chris also likes talking politics, or listening to my political rants, so that works out well for both of us.

But this last 6 months, I have far surpassed my usual love for politics and transformed into something that I would call “giddy with joy.” So, with my love of culinary series (see the series on dictators or Asian food for white people or places the military tried to make me go), I think it’s probably a great idea to make an honorary dish for each of the candidates, along with some of the reasons I love them.

Except for Santorum.  Because nobody wants to eat frothy ass-juice, unless you’re talking about the kale shake I made yesterday.  Okay, I retroactively dedicate yesterday’s post to both Santorum AND Moss Man.  You can sharesies.

Today, I’d like to focus on my man, The Newt.  Part of the reason for this is that I purchased pork chops at the market, and I can’t think of anything that Newt looks more like than a pallid slab of pork with swaths of mashed potato hair and squinchy little caper-sized eyeballs that are busily eyeing up whatever juicy little female fly happens to accidentally land on his bachelilypad while his current Newt Wife is being diagnosed with and/or treated for a terminal illness.

And speaking of wives, The Newt also super-much likes porking things.  All things.  Especially things that look EXACTLY LIKE TREE FROGS.