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*you say tomato, i say coronary.

Before I tell you the story of how I turned a perfectly nutritious vegetable (sorry, Reagan, fruit) into a saturated-fat bomb, I have an announcement to make. BIG news. There's been an invention you all should know about. This brilliant idea is useful at retail establishments, theme parks, and gambling venues, as well as providing a tool for tithing or creating permanent plastic record of your friends' hideously ill-advised facial hair. Also, you can memorialize your beloved rodent.



Has there ever been a more useful tool? Swipe, PIN, done. OR, you could write a check. But I'll be standing behind you in line, giving you the K-stare whilst you load 11 types of red meat (plus deli turkey, but only because you have a COUPON, which is another piece of paper I could do without. Either it's on sale, or it's not. Why require proof you read the ad? It's merchandising, not a scavenger hunt.), a gallon of milk, and nerve pills onto the conveyor belt. I'm thinking maybe if your nerves are shot you should consider eating less cow. Not that I have anything against bovines, per se, I just figure general health might mean mixing a few ingredients in with all the ... flesh.

But I digress. Always. The rambling POINT is, why why WHY write a check? Because that's just going to mean the first-timer at the register is going to need managerial assistance, and you're going to ask who to make it out to even though you're STANDING INSIDE THE WINN-DIXIE, and the infuriatingly unattended children behind me will decide that's just long enough to put all the Trident in their basket, which ... well, when "mom" came back, that was kind of funny. Banshee children were very proud. But then you're going to have to painstakingly REWRITE the check because first-timer can't understand how to make the coupon work and he's going to have to call for the 17-year-old manager again and OH MY GOD NOW THE COUPON WENT THROUGH AND YOU JUST SAVED ONE GODDAMN DOLLAR AND I'VE SPENT 23 MINUTES STIFLING THE SILENT SCREAM. I just wanted to pay for my double-volume bottle of wine and get the hoo-hah out of there.

Because I'd just spent my last $12 on hooch, I had only the contents of my kitchen to sustain me. And by that I mean a couple of big tomatoes and old tofu curry. No, I don't really still have that in my fridge. That would be gross.

The tomatoes weren't exactly August fresh, so I decided to look for a baked tomato tart recipe. But every one I found called for refrigerated or frozen dough. So I decided on a Southern Living-endorsed tomato pie. I had Bisquik! AND, the expiration date was only ... oh. 2005. Now I have two questions.

1. Was that really the last time I made sausage balls?
2. When I became a homesteader on the Woodside, did I really move a mostly empty box of baking mix?

Yes. And so it would seem. But a true Renaissance woman, a culinary MacGyver such as myself, makes do. So I decided to do the unthinkable: make pastry.

Oh, pick your jaw up off the floor. I had an almost-successful cookie baking experience. I'm practically Sara Lee.

That recipe, the pastry one, came from the Joy of Cooking.

It started simply, with flour, salt, ice water, and enough butter to make my mother cringe.



I was halving the recipe, because the JoC one is for making fancy-pants pies that have tops and bottoms. I was making a topless pie, and you KNOW that means math. I added the butter to the flour, mixing it with my fingers until the bits were around the size of peas. Or until the bits were random and I was bored.



I managed to keep things straight until it was time to add the ice water, but then ... I was absentmindedly around six tablespoons when there was supposed to be three.

My bad.



I buttered and floured a pie plate



and rolled out the dough.



This was actually dough-rolling attempt #2. The first time it became the consistency of paste, at which point I had to scrape the whole thing off the cutting board with a knife, add more flour, and start over. I guess those extra tablespoons make a difference. So my apologies to my neighbors. I don't usually talk like that. At least not at that volume.

The dough went into a cake pan (I don't own a pie plate), and got poked with a fork, lined with foil, and topped with another pie plate. This, it seems, is called "blind baking." Or, in my case, the blind leading the blind.



Into the oven for ... oh, I don't know. Ten minutes? Give or take? The heat from my oven kinda warped Henrietta the timer. She's no worse for the wear, just a little coqeyed.

I SLAY ME.

When it came out, it got a sprinkling of Parmigiano.



And then it was time to assemble the insides.



Mayonnaise, dijon (homemade Dijonnaise!), sliced tomatoes, Parmigiano, salt, pepper, and chopped onions. I mixed the mayo, mustard, and cheese, then layered tomatoes, dried basil and onion. Topped with more tomatoes, basil, and onion, and then smeared with the fatty cheesiness.



Baked for an oddly specific 24 minutes at 400.



Then I held my breath, cut into the pie, and ...



yums! I just lost three years off my life. But I only had a small slice. I couldn't justify any more, it seemed too decadent. I think if I made it again I'd put the dijonnaise between the layers and then top the pie with the cheese. There was something just a pinch unappetizing about the consistency. But it tasted like heaven. Heaven with the promise of triple bypass.

They say red wine is good for the ole ticker. Serving suggestion: a nice Barolo and insalata di Lipitor.
0 comments

*cuke fluke.

Every so often an event comes along that changes the way you look at the world. Maybe it's something terrific, like Olean (FDA-mandated warnings aside, that stuff is fat-free fat. Possibly the greatest invention of all time, aside from Bovinity Divinity may it rest in peace.) Or maybe it's something utterly disillusioning that tests your faith in humanity, like



or



Tonight was neither of those. It was more of a serendipitous stumble, a scenario that very well may prove that I am a terrific cook when I'm ... not cooking.

I knew I wanted a sandwich, because really, when do I not want a sandwich? I was also, BELIEVE IT OR NOT, tired of pasta. And also, frankly, of cheese. (I KNOW. Look for the horsemen.) Tomorrow I'll probably make a grilled cheese with a side of pasta salad, but tonight was light. I couldn't decide between soup and sandwich or salad and sandwich, but I had a strange hankering for chopped salad. Specifically cucumber.

The sandwich search was harder than you might think. Without meat or cheese, a sandwich isn't much of a sandwich. Although! It occurs to me. I do love a pb&j. But it seems, particularly when you take meat out of the equation, people don't think much beyond the tomato soup/grilled cheese combo.

And then I found this. Granted, the title is muy dorky, and there's something I inherently don't trust about Ellie Krieger. She's always telling me I can have all the foods I love and be thin. She has some agenda about "portion size" or something. What a nutso. I mean, look at her. That's not an honest face. That's the face of a woman who sucks down half a bag of Oreos in the bathtub. Not that I know that face.

Then, finally, I unearthed this gem. All my favorite things, and not a hot stove in sight!

Wait. Gotta boil the eggs. Sigh. Luckily, though, I am an expert. While the eggs boiled away (I let the chill come off them first as recommended, JLB!), I assembled the salad ingredients:



I diced up a cucumber, drained and rinsed a can of cannellini beans (perhaps my favorite among the canned beans), chopped red onion, crushed a clove of garlic, and gathered salt, pepper, white vinegar, olive oil, and a pretty red tomato. I had to toss the soggy black basil because it was wet. And sort of the color of charcoal. I stirred together the cucumber, beans, and onion with some dried basil.



Then, I whisked together the olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and crushed garlic clove.



Once I tossed the cucumber and beans with the dressing, I peeled the boiled eggs. They joined the other ingredients:



Lettuce, red bell pepper, red onion slices, dijon mustard, mayonnaise, and a multigrain wrap. Those wraps are disappointing to me. I thought the problem was with the variety I tried before (spinach), but it turns out they all sort of taste like the third ingredient is recycled paper.

I diced up the eggs (4 whole, 4 whites) and woke Rip Van Puppy



for a treat: the extra yolks. They're a bonus food—he thinks they're delicious, and I think watching him try to master the texture of them is hilarious.

The boiled eggs, mayo, mustard, salt, and pepper (is it weird that Ellie doesn't define the amount of salt? It doesn't seem very health-conscious to let us crazy Americans loose with the sodium) get mixed together and spread on the wrap.



Topped with the vegetables, and swaddled up.



Yeah, that's how CL tells you to present the salad. It's prettier than it is practical, and I think I'll just chop the tomatoes into the salad next time. The flavors of both recipes were spot-on, though. Weird, right? I didn't burn anything or slice any body parts, and I only dropped two of the boiled eggs in the floor.

I am going to fall down a lot tomorrow.
2 comments

*stirrin' up some crazy.

You know, lately I'd really been worrying over the Woodside. I made that horrid curry, and then I loved and loathed with universally lackluster passion (it was Mediocre Monday, a study in my "i suppose"s and "who cares" ... s.).

Which is not to say I don't love that chicken, cuz I do. Anyone who's seen me make late-night oven fries can attest. That'd be 17 minutes on the ole coq, according to Manuel. Call J, he'll vouch.

I hope you've all been keeping up with my sporadic checking-in, because if not that sentence is going to seem really strange. And yes, that is a direct indictment, L, for whom it seems 50% DNA sharing is not enough incentive to keep up with my myopic ramblings. HM.

I've had this recipe for ages (according to Cooking Light, almost five years. Which, frankly, is far longer than I thought. Ah, 2003. I was a single woman without a dog then. Really, ponder ... ). I adore any mathematical equation that involves y = x(tomato + basil), where x =mozzarella. And y = goodness.

But first, back to my original point. Just when I was beginning to despair that anything interesting would happen to me (I was more in the market for "record deal" or "lottery winnings" than "broken clothes dryer" and "stressful work week"), I had an epiphany.

There is GOOD crazy to be found nearish the Woodside (for all you nerds who are watching—I see you, J-Bo and Mom!—according to blogger, "nearish" is a word). Here's a rough timeline of events:

6:10 pm: K departs the Woodside, almost sideswiping a biker in a chartreuse, ergo quite visible, jersey despite having a backup camera in the Prius.

6:17 pm: K arrives at Brunos.

6:17:05 pm: K exits the Prius and heads toward the potted plants.

6:17:39 pm: The skirt of K's dress flies, blown-out umbrella style, STRAIGHT over her head, exposing embarrassing panties borne of the lack of clothes dryer mentioned above, as well as thighs that haven't seen sun in a decade.

6:17:42 pm: K stands, paralyzed, in the grocery parking lot. She mistakenly believes, like a dumb chimp about to get a shot, that standing very, very still and clutching her knees will keep store personnel and sundry customers and possibly the entire dinnertime-rush patronage at Milo's from noticing.

6:18 pm: K realizes she has been spotted.


Sorry, Ollie.

6:27 pm: K determines that, with one hand around a bunch of leeks and one hand around the neck of a $6.99 bottle of Chardonnay, she has checked her shame at the door.

6:32 pm [scene: exotic-cheese case. players: K, and a floral-dress-clad grandma wearing white tennis shoes and a trench coat buttoned up to her neck. temperature: too warm for soft cheese and chilled wine.]:
Grandma in sneakers, barking: What IS that?
K, startled by inappropriate conversational distance: Oh! Leeks.
GiS, suddenly calmer: I've wondered what those were!
K, desperate for stranger contact to be over: Yeah ...
GiS, suspicious: What do you use them for?
K, curious as to why her "that's enough, lady" signals seem to be scrambled: Um, basically they're like a mild onion.
GiS, suddenly delighted and coquettish: Oh! Well I've wondered what they were for, but I never knew. A mild onion, you say?
K, growing desperate, as the confab has moved past pet supplies and into the 10-items-or-less lane: You see them a lot in soups.
GiS, giggling: Ha! I've seen that. I always thought it was a bean, to be honest. HAR!

I inadvertently picked up an elderly girlfriend at the grocery store.

BUT! Good things ensued when I was safely ensconced back at the Woodside with my man J. First, I gathered my ingredients:



Vegetable stock, balsamic vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, white wine, arborio rice, fresh mozzarella, salt, basil, and more tomatoes than the recipe called for. I would probably give my kingdom, or at least a chair (I just did a quick count, and from where I sit in the Woodside I can see no fewer than 13 chairs), for a tomato. I know they're not in season now, which is why these tiny ones work so beautifully. And look how I found my stove light! My photos are so happy for the backlight! And it only took me two years to find! To be fair, it was hiding. On ... the front of the stove hood.

SHUT UP. I'M SHORT.

There were also the girl-getting leeks, which I chopped and separated into a bowl of cold water, so that all their sundry grit could sink away.



The balsamic vinegar went on the stove to reduce from this



to this,



which, because I halved the recipe, only took a minute or so. And I did have to rotate that photo so the smiley brightened your Thursday. YOU'RE WELCOME.

Note to JB: I lurve this pot. It conducts heat perfectly, it cleans like a dream, and it's enamel, so it works equally well as a nonstick pan and an intruder deterrent. Unfortunately, it's the size of a coffee cup. But I love it anyway.

The leeks sauteed until tender, about three minutes.



Then the rice went on to toast, the wine went in—to the pot and the cook—and many dousings of broth ensued, which led to



The recipe says to set the balsamic syrup aside, but by the time the risotto was done, the syrup had hardened. So I reheated it and did the drizzle.



Dear Hillary, was it worth it. I stirred in the tomato, basil, salt, half-and-half (skim milk, if it's all you have in your refrigerator next to a doomed curry experiment wherein the fat solids and liquids seem to be separating just to taunt you). But that balsamic reduction made it a totally different flavor experience. And pretty, too!

Yes, I'm pretty. Just ask GiS.
1 comments

*monday. bloody monday.

I love:



Gack! Oh, this one was love at first sight. It's a kitchen timer shaped like a chicken who appears to be screaming. And it's inexpensive, too, thanks to the genius that is Books-A-Million.

And I would like some credit for not making the "it was cheep" joke that originally occurred to me. To be fair, I didn't get a lot of sleep last night because watching a movie that started at 11:00 pm seemed like a terrific idea. Turns out I'm 104 and I need 12 to 15 hours of sleep per day. I'm a 104-year-old cat. Needless to say, I wore my cranky pants to work.

GD it, it's 11:00 pm again. HOW does that keep HAPPENING?

So thank you, T! I adore my screechy hen. Although I suppose some credit is due to Manuel.



Gracias, darling. Your instruction is illuminating. I'm sorry J stole your thunder. He was determined to stoically make an appearance in that shot. He finds my crouching in the floor rather curious.

I loathe:



Children's menus. I know I don't have any children, so I don't have any grounds to have an opinion, but I'm a huge fan of groundless opinions. I absolutely appreciate that items on the youngsters' menu cost less and mean smaller portions, but take a gander at this one, from an upscale Mexican restaurant near the Woodside. Hamburger and chicken fingers. What the hoo hah is that ABOUT? Why don't we ask kids to eat the same things grownups eat?

I mean, I get it—palates change. Ask 12-year-old K if she wanted an olive, or sushi. And some things never do change (witness the parsnip furor). But kids will eat more than we give them credit for. You know what pops up on almost every kids' menu, from Ruby Tuesday to California Pizza Kitchen? Buttered pasta. Butter. With Pasta. GROSS.

If I were a kid, I'd be offended.

As it turns out, I am offended. By the fact that in 25 minutes that's the best I could post. That's not even loathing. It's mild irritation at best.

Sorry, lovers. There will be mucho blogging this week, scout's honor. I'm going to collapse now.
2 comments

*curry favor.

Ladies and gentlemen, today ... I cooked with tofu. And then I had a thought: What is tofu, exactly? Soy, yes, which I think there's a decent chance I'm allergic to in large quantities (seriously, vegetarian failure), but what sort of soy?

Apparently, "tofu, also known as soybean curd, is a soft, cheese-like food made by curdling fresh hot soymilk with a coagulant". Oh, tofu. It was fun while it lasted.

What'd you have for dinner?
Curried coagulated curd. You?
Oh, you know, food.
Damn.

The ingredients were unusually fresh and tasty looking considering the produce purveyors on the Woodside.



Limes, cilantro, red curry paste, lite coconut milk, green beans, extra-firm tofu, and the white potato's bastard cousin. Brown rice was a-steamin' on the stove, and there was also some vegetable stock lurking somewhere out of frame. 'Twas shy.

Coag-curd in the pan!



PAUSE.

Sis, you were such a dear to give me this pan when you upgraded post-matrimony. It's my only nonstick skillet. It has terrific surface area. But I haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate it. Abhorrence. Oil gathers in the circumference ditch, where it promptly loses heat, so food that drifts into the oil boils instead of browning and the more I shuffle the food back to the center the more the oil pops and I curse louder and louder until J is inspired to leave the Angry Fence and make sure I haven't dropped anything tasty. Long story short: For only 10 cents a day, you can buy me some beautiful cookware. It gives us something to aim for in 2010.

RESUME.

The stuff was slow to brown (see uneven-heat diatribe), although the attempt to sauté my face was just peachy. Slowly, though, things started to look sort of crunchy and golden-crusty.



The sweet taters (MISNOMER! There's nothing sweet about a tato tasting like that.)



Sugars ...



caramelized.

Then, coconut milk and broth and the curry paste go in. I'll admit I was liberal with the curry paste, both because I suspect it was old (I think it may have been born before some of my friends' children) and because I love me some spicy.



That simmers for a bit, and then the tofu, green beans, and brown sugar join the fun. If the sugar had any effect on flavor, I didn't notice it.



OK, that might be a smidge judgmental for someone who put half a jar of curry in the pot. The sugar never really had a chance, did it?



Does anybody have a lot of experience with tofu? Because I'd decided the chewiness was a failing of mine, but now that I know it's coagulated ... I'm at a loss. There's sort of a mouthfeel problem I couldn't overcome. The textures were all really great—tender potato, creamy rice, crunchy beans—but something was missing.

Oh my heavens. You know what tofu is? It's unsweetened marshmallow.

NOW I know what it needed. Chicken.

Sigh.
3 comments

*la story.

This weekend marked the Lafayette, Louisiana, celebration of the impending nuptials of Big Brother and his betrothed (and puppy makes three!). There was Cajun spirit galore, including a kicky band, Mardi Gras beads, be-peppered tablecloths, and THE BEST OUTDOOR (aherm) FACILITIES EVER. Strangers were marveling over them, truly. I may buy one and turn my house into a 2/3. Or I may have myself committed to a home for the criminally easily impressed.

Any party during which the toast is a coerced duet of "Mother in Law" is tops in my book, but note to the W family: I apologize for drinking all of your Merlot. Really, you can't take me anywhere.

To complete the bayou ambience, there were copious crawfish (I object to Wiki's "Crayfish, often called crawfish" business. Who says crayfish for chrissake?).



Intrepid eaters dug in with glee—you haven't lived until you seen a pocket-size lady down 6 pounds of mudbugs (I'm sure they were delicious, but I couldn't indulge. I mean, mud + bugs? Then again, I'm a sensitive, delicate soul, so you shouldn't go by me)—while the more-fastidious went the gloved route.



If you're playing along at home, that's crawdad having a go in the buff, while JB preferred the wrapped route (something about being averse to fishy fingers, which is a completely sensible stance, I say).

I didn't see any head sucking, but the nice lady to my left carefully peeled each of her potatoes in turn. Honestly, I've never seen grown people so happy to be eating with their fingers. Either crawfish are just a childhood-happy food, or there were some folks who were indulging a long-simmering need to tear some creatures limb from limb.

PICTURE OF DECAPITATED EXOSKELETONS TO COME. I SOMEHOW DELETED IT FROM BLOGGER BECAUSE I AM NOT TERRIBLY BRIGHT.

So what did K eat, you ask? I ate wine, which was ill-advised on the empty estomago and possibly resulted in line dancing. Also, I had a pinch of this:



which I was told is a Wal-Mart delicacy. It was delicious, so I forgave its hellacious place of origin. It wasn't really the sugar bomb's fault that place is zombifying.

There were also these, but they were too pretty to eat.



They better have been store-bought and not homemade. Because that frosting is infuriatingly perfect. My cupcakes always look like their tops were swirled on by a crack-addled kindergartner.

Lest you think I am now wasting away, the victim of a finicky-fueled eating disorder, I will have you know I commenced to inhaling a sandwich the Merlot branded The Best Grilled Cheese of All Time and most of dadders' fries before he had a chance to glance up from his chili and say, "what the?"

The next day, nursing an evil "headache" and possibly the beginning stages of heart disease, I had the great good fortune to go to Galatoire's in New Orleans. The maître d' was old-school brusque and missing a voice-volume regulator, and the interiors were glamorously shabby, like worn velvet. They do things like boom at you about whether you have a waiter you prefer (and imply that, if you don't, you are welcome to eat there but they may sigh at you) and force you to wear a jacket. If you're a man. If you're a woman, you can wear $11 TJ Maxx shoes that are probably not meant for outdoor use and a denim overcoat with a hole in the sleeve. Because you've worn it out. Or have extremely pointy elbows.

The wait staff is incredibly accommodating, which is helpful in that the menu is pointedly obtuse. We started with what I *think* was the Galatoire Grand Gouté (a plate featuring a sampling of the Shrimp Maison, Crabmeat Maison, and Shrimp Rémoulade. "Maison," I believe, is French for "smothered in creamy, mayonnaise-based deliciousness) and the Fried Eggplant & Souffle Potatoes Bearnaise.



Bearnaise has never really been my favorite thing. Because it's made with egg yolks and butter, it tastes like ... egg yolks and butter. Which I am not knocking, trust me. It's just a little too heavy and tarragonny for my taste. The waiter also brings powdered sugar for the fried eggplant—sounds bizarre but is delicious. I really don't want to know who was the first person to try it, though. Because that person might be a touch loony. The souffled potates are hard to describe. They looked like closed tulip buds and tasted like two angel wings of potato were sealed with love. Was that overrought? Ok, in truth, they tasted wonderfully potato-y, which bode well for the "headache," but they were a little chewy where they might ought to have been crispy. I think I let JB and T nab about three of them from my clutches, so clearly I found them sub-par.

I picked the tomatoes out of the Gouté plate, but I didn't eat the shellfish. I'm pretty sure I caught a smirk from the dad side of the table at one point, though. I think he detected that I was about to lick the dressing off the plate, so I refrained. But oh, the tangy! And the mayo! And the whole mustard seeds!

For a main dish, T had Poisson du Jour (redfish):



and JB had the Veal Chop (ordered as "what he's having," including a point at the man sitting directly behind me. There was some pout because the lauded crawfish étouffée was not, alas, in the kitchen).



I know, right? It looks like they killed a man in the back and brought out his chop. Probably the fool who dared to proffer nonexistent étouffée.

I had the Stuffed Tomato with Shrimp. Dainty, no? Um, no. It was basically a tomato ringed with shrimp, which were anchored in the tomato with mayonnaise. I do love mayonnaise, but my arteries were protesting at that point, and I had to try to eat around the coronary spackle.



In the foreground you see JB's side (Mushrooms Bordelaise) and T's (Sautéed Spinach. And believe you me, he paid for that attempt at "health food." There were no raves), along with a baseball bat of bread. Trying to sneak out, stage left, was my side—Cauliflower au Gratin. And oh. my. stars. I mean it. I thought I was going to stab any taste testers with my fork. T said he didn't get the cauliflower flavor over the butter and cheese. I don't know what he meant by that. I think he meant, "Heavens to Betsy this is good. I am going to steal more from K if she ever stops eagle-eyeing me."

And on to dessert! I know, so many cows were employed in the making of this meal. I'm suprised there's any more cream in the state of Louisiana. I chose the Coffee & Chocolate Pot de Crème, and JB opted for the Banana Bread Pudding. He and I are good eating partners because he only likes things I don't and vice versa. He might as well have ordered Mango Cheesecake, or Watermelon Donuts, or any other combination of two things I won't eat.



I ordered the pot de crème because I am a fan of the chocolate/coffee combo, but you couldn't really taste the coffee. The whipped cream was something spectacular, though. I can't speak to the bread pudding—T and JB, comment away!

And then ... I was full. At least until dinner, which consisted of airport potato chips served by a man whose name I believe was Pampy. Later, there was ravioli, courtesy of JLB. But who's counting?
2 comments

*chili, mac.

Please forgive me, dear reader. This post faces two main challenges:

1. I haven't posted in 12 years, so my memories of this dinner (concocted last week at some point) are murky.
2. I am not feeling even remotely funny.

And we all know I'm generally HILARIOUS. As I recall, it was cold ... and I was self-pitying ... and a throwback to childhood sounded ideal. Then again, some of my throwbacks to childhood were a little strange (love you Mommy!). Also, I'm pretty lazy, so so I like any recipe that is essentially two components.

Firstly!



Kidney beans, tomato sauce, tomato paste, "meat," shredded cheddar, diced tomatoes (they didn't have the right size can of whole tomatoes, which are annoying anyway. Most recipes tell you to chop them anyway, so why not buy them already chopped, I ask you??), whole-kernel corn, whole wheat pasta, green bell pepper, onion, chili powder, cumin, and the weeniest garlic cloves you've ever seen in your life.

Veggies go on to sauté ...



At which point you realize the recipe calls for cooked pasta, which you ... haven't done. AGAIN. Here's a note to novice cooks. You know, those who aren't as sophisticated as I am. I hear that if you try to boil your pasta as an afterthought, there's a possibility that you can leave your veggies on medium-high heat and scorch the bottom of your (admittedly crappy) pot. Little birdie told me.

NEXTLY!

Yeah, I have no excuse. Mom called, and I got to chitchatting, and mixing everything together, and not taking pictures ...



LASTLY!



It was quite tasty! Unfortunately, it also makes eight servings. So I have three of them sitting in my fridge getting mushy. Yum! Here's how the "meat" started:



Appetizing, no? It's not really like meat, but it's good for you. And it lends some satisfying texture.

So. That's it. Fake meat, distraction, and unwanted leftovers. Aren't you glad I'm back?!

Told you I'm not funny today. Maybe it's because my great aunt has COPD. I've been out of pocket because a new medication has meant we can spend more time with each other.



We have so much fun together.

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I am a work in progress. I perpetually need a hair cut. I'm totally devoted to my remarkable nieces and nephew. I am an elementary home cook and a magazine worker bee. (Please criticize my syntax and spelling in the comments.) I think my dog is hilarious. I like chicken and spicy things. I have difficulty being a grown-up. Left to my own devices, I will eat enormous amounts of cheese snacks of all kinds.

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