Thursday, April 28, 2011

Change of Plans

So as some of you, (one of you, Matt Austin), may have noticed, I didn't post last week. But, I didn't forget. I did it on purpose.

No really. I did. 

I have been swamped in my life and, when i was in California, my mom asked me why I was running myself ragged and stressing about things that were supposed to be fun. This was just one of the things I was stressing about but I realized, I didn't have to.

I can post less. And then I am still doing it but also still enjoying it.

And I will have time to write again. Because that, which is the point of it all, had fallen to the side of my life when it should be close to the center.

I hope you all understand that I want things to work out and that's why I am doing this. So, I posted two weeks ago! That's the new routine. New header and everything. Expect my next comic by tomorrow at midnight! Things will be happier. Things are happier. Things have been happier. 

I hope you're happy too :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mini Garlic & Mushroom Burgers

This recipe came about by an extremely happy accident. I was hungry and my roommate was hungry and we both were about to make dinner. "What do you feel like?" I asked, and my very complacent roommate told me whatever. Something fast. Something yummy.

Let me tell ya, these were yummy!

I had dinner rolls and mushrooms, my roommate had some mini burger patties she had bought because they were extremely cute.

What? We're girls. We sometimes buy things just because of their "cute" merit.

Anyway! So, we decided to join forces and cook food. My roommate cooked up the patties on a skillet while I went to work on the toppings. 

So so so good. Happy accident, I'm telling you.

I sautéed the mushrooms with butter (approx 2 tbsp) and a sprinkle of garlic salt. I had some minced garlic in my fridge, so I put a spoonful of that in and let everything meld together.

While my mushrooms were browning and simmering, I took 3 tbsp of mayo and 2 tbsp of cream cheese and blended until smooth. I then mixed it with 1/2 tsp dried basil, oregano, and 1/4 garlic salt. I added salt and pepper and some of the oil from my minced garlic jar in the fridge.

With a couple stirs, I had a delicious garlic-cheese spread.

To assemble the burgers, put the patty on bottom of the bun, (which, by the way, we used white dinner rolls). Put a hefty dollop of the mushroom on patty, then smear the top of the burger bun with a big blob of garlic spread, and place on top of the entire thing. These are very precise terms, dollop and blob. But, when you're done, you'll have a delicious miniature sandwich.

Yum. Divine. Try not to eat more then 8. I feel like that could be horrible for your health.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spreadable Cookies

Once again, my borderline obsession with the cooking blog "The Pioneer Woman Cooks" makes itself known with this recipe being my contribution to the web this week.

How can you beat her recipes though? Lots of simple, delicious, butter friendly food, always made with fresh ingredients and a lot of applause from your friends and family when you share with them.

IF you share with them, that is. This recipe is one that could easily lead to hoarding.

This is a simple cookie recipe that Ree Drummond refers to as "spreads". Due to their "spread and smear on" nature, the name is self explanatory. Making them yourself, you'll see how shockingly easy they are to throw together too.

They are klutz proof! Even for me, queen of klutz.

My brother, Danny, had an affection for these cookies when I made them for him this past summer. The rest of the family loved them too but, Danny was their biggest fan :)

The other nice thing about these little guys is that the ingredients are things that I always seem to have around the house! Simple food that simply rocks.

Make and enjoy, my friends :)



-1 cup Brown Sugar

-1 cup Margarine

-1 whole Egg

-2 cups Flour

-½ teaspoons Salt

-1 teaspoon Vanilla

-6 ounces, weight ( To 8 Ounces) Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together brown sugar and margarine. Add egg and mix together. Add flour, salt, and vanilla, and mix together well.
Spread dough onto cookie sheet to a thickness of 1/4 to 1/2-inch.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until slightly brown. At this point, pull out of the oven and sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over the top. Return to oven for 1 minute. Remove and spread melted chips over the top. Cut into squares.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Metro Warrior

I cannot ride the metro. It goes against nature. Or at least, against my nature. I am incapable of doing it without injury, panic, or confusion. Public transportation is, in general, something I try and avoid. If I can walk or drive, that is what I’ll do. Having to commute for work, however, the metro is all I have left.

I always try and start the day super positive about the experience that will soon unfold. I pull on my beast of a backpack for work and try and tell myself I will get to the office unscathed.

Also, that’s professional cartoon me. I look all pristine and nice like that when I get ON the metro. Not when I get off usually. I like how savvy professional cartoon me appears. She is much more sensible than my usual cartoon self and brings home the bacon that keeps this blog working. Usual cartoon me just wants to buy shoes.

Same as usual real-life me.

Anyway, the first problem usually becomes clear with my huge bulk of a back pack. As I turn and move in the station, I am nearly taking out my fellow commuters with a vengeance. I appear to be like some wobbly baby elephant, stumbling around and unsure what to do with the sheer weight of me. My paperwork and laptop threaten to crush my spine and then I in turn threaten to crush pedestrians. Whenever I walk around with that stupid backpack, I feel like an evil Ninja Turtle, intent on using this fridgin' giant shell on my back to dominate all.

If by some miracle there is a morning where I DON’T knock a stranger out with my backpack, I still usually struggle to stay upright. Not because of the weight of my bag, although that clearly helps matters, but because I am extremely clumsy and trying to stay steady on a train that jerks you around is almost impossible. This constant starts and stops of the car play with your G’s and make your body move forward with the train that WAS moving but HAS stopped if you aren’t careful. To try and not fall on anyone or anything, I try one of three techniques.

The third technique is by far the most embarrassing and least successful. I usually end up losing my balance and running into train windows or other passengers, next trying to stumble back into place like I didn’t just topple over. I also always have the song “Wipeout” stuck in my head for the rest of the work day because, inevitably, I am singing the song in my head as I strike my failing surfer moves.

Even if I am not falling on them, people on the metro always seem to hate me because I’m from the Midwest and it hasn’t been beaten out of me with the city yet. I will say “excuse me” and “sorry” when bumping into people… and sometimes I will accidentally say it when bumping into things. I’ll offer my chair to others if they get on the train and there aren’t any, I’ll apologize for blocking the door, and sometimes I will get off a train and wait for the next one if there is no standing room and the person next to me seems desperate. Doing such things genuinely confuses the normal DC commuter but, they take it in stride. What they do not understand and actively seem to detest is morning conversation.

Which is a shame since, when someone is as in my face as the metro forces some poor soul to be every day, I usually cannot help but talk to them. For the morning commute, people are packed like sardines and it is hard not to make eye contact with anyone. I usually try to read but, sometimes your arms are pinned to your sides by other bodies.

Seriously. It can get so packed that you could lick two people without turning your body.

If you are claustrophobic, just avoid. Also, I would never lick a stranger. I wouldn’t even lick a good friend. As a rule, I don’t lick other people and you really shouldn’t either. You don’t know where they’ve been and, if they are on the metro, you probably don’t want to know.

As I said though, I make a ton of enemies every morning by speaking. And no matter how I try to avoid it, I seem to have conversation vomit when someone is 6 inches from my face and openly staring at me. I feel like other people would normally react that way too but, apparently not since the usual reaction is astonishment that I am speaking.

Me: A bit tight in here, huh?
Metro Companion: ...*blink blink*....

15 awkward seconds of judgment later 

Me: Yeah… you wouldn’t happen to be getting off at the next stop, huh?”>
Metro Companion: ....*blink blink*.....
Me: Awesome.

I was heckled once for bumping into a woman and saying “I’m sorry”. She freaked out and demanded I not be sorry for her but instead just say “excuse me” which is the proper phrase and also doesn’t take away any of her self respect and worth.

I was mortified. I think I almost passed out from the stress of making another person so upset with me. I try and be a really nice person and, despite my personality to call ‘em like I see ‘em and my humor poking fun at anything and anyone, whenever I have really upset someone in the past, the remorse and guilt are overwhelming.

I still apologize without thinking when I bump into people but since “the incident”, I have an aftershock of immobilizing terror that I may have just offended them.

Yay, being polite AND compulsive.

The worst metro moment for me though is the escalator. While I don’t USUALLY have problems on the escalator, the one time I did, it was so much worse than all my daily trials at the metro. Combined. I missed my footing and fell down about 5 steps, jamming my elbow down first, ricocheting my forearm on the step above that, cracking my back on the stairs and then my back pack, and ramming the back of my skull on the up- most step. The entire thing happened in 5 seconds and then suddenly a flurry of people were around trying to help me and making things worse.

My back is STILL covered in these blossoms of bruises from that and it happened 4 weeks ago. The stepping on my hair caused tearing too which is a GREAT look, lemmie tell ya. And for some reason, everyone asks which way the escalator was going (down) and then seems relieved with my answer. It makes me wonder if they are concerned that if it was going up I would have just been perpetually falling. 

No, guys. That wouldn't happen. 

All in all, public transport is not made for people who are as clumsy as I am. I don’t know how normal people survive it and it’s convenience. Everyday, there is a new battle against the train and surviving.

Thank goodness for the walk-ability of the weekends…

Monday, April 4, 2011

Thanksgiving Treats- Figgy/Peary/Cheesy Goodness

What the hedge has happened to my blog as of late? All these complicated recipes keep cropping up on me, I have no idea how this has happened! 

Here we revert back to simple things. I suppose this blog has increased my cooking learning curve and now simple is different than it was a year ago... however, for the sake of my sanity with  all these daunting recipes looming, we are taking a step back to get our feet on the ground before I lose touch and accidentally kill myself in the kitchen.

Trust me when I say I am still a catastrophe when I cook, even if the results are beautiful :)

This appetizer was served at Thanksgiving last year and, since then, I haven't been able to get it out of my head. 

It is so delicious. And so easy. And again, so delicious.

I am a big fan of the combination of fruit and cheese. Some people find the combination less then tempting but, whenever I find the two together, I cannot resist whatever delicacy is being offered. 

This dish is from another Giada's Italian Kitchen book and my mom was kind enough to share the recipe with me when asked. Although, it's so straightforward, I probably could have pieced it together myself.

Figs, apples, and cheese. Sweet, savory, tart and on crunchy bread.

You need to try this.

Trust me.

Pecorino Romano with Apples and Fig Jam
-24 baguette slices
-1/4 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
-24 thin slices pecorino romano cheese
-1 large apple
-1 jar fig jam
-Olive oil for drizzling

Preheat oven to 375.
Place the slices on a heavy baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with the cheese, bake until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted and golden. About 7 mins.
Slice the apple into 24, manageable pieces.
Smear each slice of toasted bread with fig jam, top with apple slice, and then cheese slice.

Serve on a pretty plate and freak out with how easy and delicious :)