Mother. Of. Ass. This has been the most hectic 2.5 weeks of my entire life. Did you know that children, much like vampires, don’t seem to require sleep? Or that they can run around a kitchen island for 30 minutes without tiring in the slightest? Don’t get me wrong, she’s wonderful, I just had no idea how much attention children really required. I knew that, unlike my dog, it was inappropriate to crate train them (although what is a playpen, really?) but I thought that, like my dog, it would be playplayplayplay SLEEEEEEEEEP. This is not the case. So I’ve been kind of a slack ass on anything blog related (the creation of interesting food, the criticism of the food network, the photography of said food, and the writing about said food).
But here are some stories of fun and folly to hold you over. First: the creation of chocolate strawberry sugar cookies. This was a total fiasco. There are no suggested recipes for chocolate cutout cookies on foodnetwork.com, so I went elsewhere on the web. This should have been my first clue that it was an impossible feat. If, between Paula Deen and Gale Gand, nobody has attempted a chocolate cutout cookie, it’s probably not meant to be. But, fool that I am, I decided to give some recipe off of about.com a shot. Wrong-o, Kristie! After we made the dough according to the proscribed method, refrigerated the dough per usual, and then brought out the dough to roll, I sensed something was amiss. Mostly because it was a sticky, sludgy, unworkable substance. Also, Alia kept licking the rolling pin, so I felt (in my germaphobe way) compelled to “roll” the dough out with the palms of my hand to avoid direct mouth-to-raw-food contact. I won’t even share a soda with Chris, though, so this is nothing new. What?? I don’t like spit, okay?? I let her cut out the letters for her name using my alphabet cookie cutters. This is the first time those cookie cutters have been used for something other than swear words, so it was touching. I managed to wrangle the sludge onto the cookie sheets and baked them. Halfway through I opened the oven to peek and they had morphed into these ENORMOUS flat melty shapes that in no way resembled the original letters. I panicked. I sneakily made another batch of dough using my own sugar cookie recipe with a touch of cocoa powder while everyone else was busy. I cut out her name and then…BUSTED. Her mom walked in, and probably now thinks I’m crazy for re-doing the efforts of a toddler. But honestly, she’ll never know the difference and these cookies were so much prettier and sturdier for frosting! I have at least a modicum of baker’s pride to deal with here. The rub of this whole thing is that the cookies are still sitting on the cooling rack and have not been frosted. I guess the attention span of toddlers is slightly (only slightly) worse than my own. I have now gotten most of the powdered sugar off of our surfaces, floors and chairs (most of which was my fault) and am prepping for making ice cream with her tomorrow. I don’t care if she eats it–she’s that cute.
While I was attending to the cookie business, I was also trying to prepare meals for Chris’s coworker AND for all of us. The coworker had requested a recipe called Straw and Hay, made to the Cheesecake Factory’s specifications…only the Cheesecake Factory discontinued this recipe some time ago. This was the only directive I received. I found an old menu description of it and some recipes for similar-ish dishes and cobbled together a crude batch of the stuff. And may I say, EW. It’s bacon and sausage and butter cooked with onions and mushrooms (which soak up all of the grease) and then you add two cups of heavy cream and some cheese and pour it over two kinds of pasta. My arteries seized up just making the stuff, and with two doctors sitting at the kitchen table, both of are board certified in internal medicine, I just knew I was being silently judged for my cholesteric fiesta. Not so silently, actually. We were all pretty vocally repulsed by it. I can only imagine how a vegetarian viewed the dish.
We ended up eating homemade samosas, garlic naan, and tofu tikka masala over saffron rice. I prefer the chicken version, but I have to say the tofu wasn’t half bad. Samosas are a lot of work, but taste great and give me an excuse to float things around in my fryer. Saffron rice is always a solid bet, and even the 3 year old ate it when I told her it was “Friendship Bear rice” and that’s why it was yellow. Then I ate a lollipop while she was getting her bath because I am a grown up, I run with gangs, and I do what I want.