Belieb in These Cookies

Drag racing? Really Biebs? That is sooo last year.

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Yes, I agree with the majority. Justin Bieber is, in fact, an asshole with a vagina the size of Texas. However, I belieb that this life size tampon was once a child who enjoyed chocolate chip cookies like everyone else. You can belieb what you want,  but this is what I belieb.

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In honor of the Bieb’s lost childhood and new Orange jumpsuit I made chocolate chip cookies from a recipe I got off a Reynolds wrap advertisement. If it’s good enough for Reynold then it’s good enough for Bieber.

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I omitted the nuts from this recipe because lezbehonest the Bieb ain’t got no nuts. In hindsight, I should of added raisins to reflect his dried up career but I didn’t have any. Plus I fucking hate raisins.
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In closing, I am going to leave you with some Justin Bieber words of wisdom.

“I ain’t got no fucking weapons…”

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Juice Head

I’m a self proclaimed juice head. Not the Jersey Shore type of juice head, but the actual juicing type of juice head. While I thoroughly enjoy the sport of juicing, it can be a real pain in the buns. Clean, peel, cut, core, juice, drink, clean- Way too much work for one friggin glass of juice. In the real world (not my world) where people have jobs (not me),  juicing is much too time consuming to do regularly. 

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At one point in my short lived juicing career, I was juicing once a week. Then I started storing my juicer, AKA the Situation, in a not-so-convenient location. It was all down hill from there. Today, I took the Sitch out of hiding and blew the dust off his parts. He looked so happy to see me, and I could not wait to light his ass up like a Saturday night at the Shore!

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I choose my flavors by scanning the fridge and determining what fruit or veggie is closest to rotting. It’s a pretty quick selection process. If you look funky and smell funky then you’re gettin’ thrown in the Situation. The rotting treasures of choice are always the shining stars of my juices. Today, I happened to have expiring strawberries and oranges. Lucky for me, they are a nice flavor combination.

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One lesson I learned during today’s juicing session is that it may be more economical to blend strawberries into a smoothie with other soft foods, like bananas, because the Situation extracts lots of good pulp. Of course,  this pulp, like all pulp, could be used in a number of different recipes or it could just be eaten right out of the pulp catcher thingy, but why go through the hassle of scraping out pulp when it can just be blended into a delicious smoothie.

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One pint of strawberries and two naval oranges make about 16 oz of juice. It’s amazing how much fruit it takes to make one friggin glass! This is something to keep in mind when you first start to juice. Here’s a basic list of approximate fruit to juice ratios:
2 naval oranges= 8 oz juice
2 grapefruit= 8 oz juice
3 medium carrots + 1 Apple= 8 oz juice
3 Golden Delicious Apples= 8 oz juice
1/3 pineapple= 8 oz juice

If you don’t have your own Situation and you are looking for one that won’t break the bank then check out the Jack LaLanne Power Juicer. We bought this for my mother in law and she loves it. Go ahead and treat yourself to a sitch! You deserve it!

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Everything Is Coming Up Meaty

If you haven’t noticed,  I have been making an unusual amount of meaty meals lately.

Crackpot Robs
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Meat Pie
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McCarthy Meatballs
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I do love meat, but this trend has more to do with my new obsession with K&T Quality Meats. This butcher is located on Ditmars Blvd in Astoria, NY -dangerously close to my house- and it is feeding my meat addiction one purchase at a time.

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If you already like meat then the skilled butchers at K&T will make you love meat. The other day I purchased 3 lbs of spare ribs,  3 lbs of lean chuck meat, and 1 lb of chicken breasts for 25 dollars! What a steal! When i saw the final price I wanted to buy more but my husband gave me that “don’t you dare buy another piece of meat” look. He’s such a drag sometimes!

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The butcher who helped with this purchase asked me what I was planning to make and then skillfully cubed the chuck meat, sliced the ribs and split the chicken breasts. He customized the meat to accomodate my planned meals. I was doing the happy dance all the way home.

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This experience was much different than purchasing the “whatchya see is watchya get” meat from the supermarket. It was different in a good way but I can understand why some may find it intimidating. It’s not easy to make decisions when the hanging lambs and skinned rabbits are judging your every move with their glazed eyes. Also, you have to actually speak to a human being. I understand. I hate talking to humans. It’s much easier to just sift through the shrink wrapped meat section until you find what you need, sort-of. They never have what you actually fucking need. Frankly, it’s annoying. This lack of customization and selection of supermarket meats will cause you to spend more time in the kitchen and less time enjoying the fruits of your labor. And all of us deserve quality time with our fruits. I, for one, love my fruits. They’re delicious. So, do yourself a favor and shop at K&T or your own neighborhood butcher. You. Won’t. Regret. It.

The McCarthy Meat Grind

Much like Jenny McCarthy’s movement against vaccines, grinding your own meat is pointless.

Unlike Jenny McCarthy’s movement against vaccines, meat grinding does not impact the health of children. Zing!

Okay, okay, so it may be a stretch to discuss Jenny McCarthy and meat grinding in the same post BUT the two are related…sort-of.

Jenny McCarthy: Dumb/ Meat Chunks: Dumb

Jenny McCarthy: Not funny/Meat Chunks:Not Funny

Jenny McCarthy: Imposes unfounded information on a vulnerable population/Meat Chunks: Does not do this

As you can see by the above facts, McCarthy is very similar to a pile of meat chunks; except she sucks and meat chunks are nice and tasty. In recognition of these similarities, I took it upon myself to name a pile of meat chunks after her. Then, I ground those chunks down into a mushy mess and rolled them into balls, Jenny’s favorite shape.

To do the McCarthy Meat Grind I used the meat grinder attachment for the Kitchen Aid stand-up mixer. The meat grind will be alot easier for you if your McCarthy is partially frozen. You could defrost McCarthy half-way or throw her in the freezer for a little bit before starting. This technique prevents the grinder from jamming with fat and such. I have made this mistake before, and it wasn’t pretty. Once the McCarthy is ready, throw her in the top of the tray and turn the mixer up to at least speed 7. I will turn the speed down at the end of the load (that was a trick I learned from Jenny AYOOOO!) because I find that this pushes some of the excess McCarthy out. Some people will throw the McCarthy back in the grinder for another run, but I have never done this.

There are so many dishes that can be made with ground McCarthy! I made meatballs, McCarthy meatballs. They are round and flavorful, just like she likes ’em.

McCarthy Balls

1 lb ground meat

1/2 handful fresh basil

1/2 handful fresh parsley

2 minced garlic cloves

1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

salt and pepper- a generous amount

1) Mince parsley, basil and garlic. I was feeling lazy adventurous, so I took a chance and ran these ingredients through the meat grinder. It made a mushy pesto type substance, but it did the job. It was much quicker than chopping everything by hand.

2) Switch that mixer attachment to the flat beater and mix all of thses ingredients together until well combined.

3) Roll them into any size ball that you would like [Some like ’em big and some like ’em small, ya know?] and line them up on a baking sheet. Stoneware is the way to go. If you don’t have a stoneware baking sheet then I highly suggest that you get one. Mine is from Pampered Chef and I love it!

4) Heat the oven to 400 degrees and throw the balls in with the heat. Check them frequently and turn them once. This will ensure an even cook. I usually par-bake mine so that they can finish cooking in the sauce, but this is up to you. You are the master of your balls.

5) Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!

January 2nd- you sucked, so I ate meat pie

January 2nd is the Miley Cyrus of calendar dates. Nobody likes it, but er’ybody has to deal with it.

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There is nothing good that happens on January 2nd. Unless, of course, it is your birthday. Nevermind, I take that back. January 2nd would be the worst birthday. I’m really trying to find a positive here but there doesn’t seem to be any scenarios where January 2nd would come out on top. Let’s face it, January 2nd is a lazy bitch who likes it on the bottom and there are four key elements of shit that make this shitty day shitty:

1) It is the day that most people realize their new year’s resolutions are unrealistic- Oh come on,  like you REALLY thought you could resist eating candy bars for a whole year? Not his year, fatty.

2) If you are not eating a box of candy bars then it is most likely because you had to return to work, which is an instant reminder of why life won’t be better in the New Year.

3) You will write the wrong year on every important document. An error that will undoubtedly haunt you for the month of January.

4) It marks the end of the holiday season- Goodbye, Cheer and happiness. See you next year!

"January 2nd" Greeting Card

Yesterday was January 2nd and it really held up to it’s reputation. I interviewed at a hospital with rave reviews, my favorite being, ” If I had to choose between dying or being brought to this shithole, I would die…”, there was a blizzard that iced the sidewalks for my morning commute to work at a coin show (long story), AND I destroyed my new year’s resolution of not eating a whole bowl of Doritos by eating a whole bowl of Doritos. So, needless to say, I needed to make a meat pie. Meat pie is the only thing that could make me feel better on such a shitty day, and I made the best damn meat pie I could muster.

Of course, I had no idea how to make a meat pie. My mother didn’t make meat pies. She made meat balls and meat loaves, but not meat pies. Luckily, My Mother-in-law had given me The Complete Irish Pub Cookbook for Christmas, and it taught me everything I needed to know.

Beef and Stout Pie
Summarized recipe from the Complete Irish Pub Cookbook

Ingredients

  • 2 lb. Chuck Steak, cut into 1″ pieces- Mine was another purchase from K & T Quality Meats!
  • 3 TBSP All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 5 TBSP Oil, Divided
  • 1 1/4 Cups Beef Stock
  • 1 Medium Onion, Chopped
  • 8 oz. Sliced Cremini Mushrooms (AKA Button)
  • 1 TBSP Tomato Paste
  • 3-4 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • 1 Cup Stout
  • Puff Pastry (I used cresent rolls)
  • 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and pepper. Toss the steak cubes with the flour mixture until each piece is evenly coated.
  2. In a skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Cook the beef until browned on all sides. Work in batches and transfer the beef to a 3 qt. pot/dutch oven/large skillet (Anything that will get the job done!). When all the beef has been browned add 1/4 cup of the beef broth or stock to deglaze the pan. Pour this liquid into the pot with the browned beef.
  3. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the same skillet that you used to brown the beef. Add the onion and mushrooms and cook  until light brown. Add to the pot with beef.
  4. Add the tomato paste, thyme, stout, and remaining beef broth to pot. Heat over high heat until the mixture comes to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently with the lid slightly askew for 1 1/2 hours (I only gave it 45 minutes and it was fine). Check seasoning, and adjust as needed.
  5. Strain mixture, reserving the liquid. Let cool.
  6. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  7. You can bake your pie in any round dish you’d like (I used a 9″ deep pie dish), just make sure your pastry will cover the top of the pie.
  8. Dampen the rim of the baking dish and top with pastry dough. Press down gently so that the pastry sticks to the dish.
  9. Place the prepared pie on a baking sheet. Brush the top with beaten egg yolk and slash the top of the pastry to allow steam to escape while baking.
  10. Place the baking sheet with the prepared pie in the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 400 degrees and bake for an additional 5 minutes (<I never reduced the heat).

if you have been following my blogs, and shame on you if you have not, then you know that I never do anything correctly the first time and I have no patience. For me, error is inevitable and I embrace every glitch with self depricating humor.

Everything was going really well at first. I had my beefy chunks covered in the seasoned flour.

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…and fried in the oil

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Then, I realized that my beefy chunks were way to big.

Big beefy chunks? No Problem! I cut the partially cooked chunks like a champ and forged on with the rest of the mission.

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Now, here’s where my impatience plays a part. The recipe calls for the mixture to simmer partially covered for an hour and a half. Who has time for that? Its like watching the freakin’ grass grow. I let it simmer for 45 minutes and thought it still turned out delicious. Maybe the exra 45 minutes would have made a difference but I, for one, will never know.

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The last thing I did is not in the recipe. There will be left over liquid that will not fit in the pie. I whisked together cornstarch and cold water to make a thickener and slowly added it to the left over liquid while it was simmering on the stove top. This made a nice gravy that we used to smother some mashed potatoes. Yum. Yum. Hope you enjoy!

Crackpot Robs

I have a friend named Parch. Actually, her “real” name is Sarah…

I know what you’re thinking. Sarah? How average. Yeah, that’s what we (“we” being a hilarious group of drunken like minded individuals) thought too. So imagine our excitement when T9 mistook the spelling of her name for PARCH. We were elated! Finally, a solution for the name Sarah! At that moment, Parch was born. There was no going back. This is how it had to be. T9’s reign of texting bloops lasted only for a moment, but Parch is forever.

Personally, I was saddened by the loss of T9. This, of course, was before I learned of the joys of auto correct. If you have not fallen victim to this ingenious function of the smartphone it is important that you visit the website damnyouautocorrect.com.

:Sigh: Oh, auto correct, how I love thee ❤

Actually, since we are on the topic, auto correct chose the name of this post! The original title was “Crock Pot Ribs” (Borrrrrrringg). Auto correct decided that a better name would be “Crackpot Robs” and I couldn’t agree more! Crack is the perfect way to describe these robs. Sometimes you just have to let the computers do the work, ya know?

Let’s get down to business, crackpot business. The last meal we ate in 2013 was Crackpot Robs, more commonly known as spareribs made in the crockpot. The first step in this recipe is ditching your crackpot and purchasing the Ninja Multi-cooker.

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This black beauty has a stove top, oven, and slow cook function. This will allow you to sear the ribs (both sides) in the cooker before you turn switch to the slow cook mode. Of course, you can always sear the ribs in a separate frying pan before placing it in the slow cooker, but then you will have to clean that extra pan…and that sucks.

Before seasoning and searing make sure that the membrane is removed and that the individual ribs are sliced halfway through. My butcher at K & T Quality Meats in Astoria, NY did all of this for me [Thanks, Butch!], and it turned out more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. So beautiful, in fact, that I was tempted to pull a Lady Gaga and wear the meaty rack as an evening gown. Lucky for all, I have no idea how to assemble a meat dress and no shoes to match.

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Before searing, season the meat generously with salt and pepper or any preferred meat seasoning. We used Grill Mates Montreal Steak seasoning.

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After searing, throw those meaty bones into the crackpot and cover them in crack sauce, also known as Sweet Baby Rays. I love Sweet Baby Ray’s almost as much as I love auto correct, except more. If I could bathe in Sweet Baby Ray’s, I would. Set your crackpot to 8 hours (on low) and let it work it’s magic.

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These crackpot robs slathered in crackpot sauce are nothing short of crack itself. You will want more and more, and when you realize there are none left you WILL have a child-like tantrum. Unfortunately, they were made on New Years Eve and I was too drunk to remember to take a photo of the finished product. In fact, there is a chance that my child-like tantrum had more to do with the alcohol then the robs…Happy 2014 Everyone!

Chicken Soup for the Passive Aggressive Person’s Soul

Every day for the past eight years I have had the same conversation with my husband. It goes a little like this:

“Want _______ for dinner?”

“No, not really.”

No matter what meal is inserted into this daily conversation, “No” is always his response. He has not yet figured out that this question is completely rhetorical and what I’m really saying is, “This is what your having for dinner…and YA GONNA LIKE IT!”

Nevertheless, we have this discussion every day and today was no different. Around two o’clock I asked him, “Do you want chicken soup for dinner?”, and he responded with his usual reply of a prompt and definitive “No”. So I countered this with my usual response of ignoring his response and went to work on the soup.

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I used a recipe that was featured in Better Homes and Gardens in December 2012. Did I mention that I hoard magazines? Well, suprise! I hoard magazines! Add that to my list of desirable personality traits. Anyway The actual name of this recipe is Chicken Pot Pie Soup but in our house we call it a Bowl O’Passive Aggression.

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I followed this recipe almost exactly. The key word being almost. I had used the last of my chili powder on the damn , so I had to improvise a little. I did a quick google search for “chili powder substitutes” and found that cumin mixed with oregano makes a similar flavor. This was a great solution! I have cumin and oreg…? Shit, I didn’t have oregano either (womp, womp). So I improvised some more and decided that italian seasoning would work just fine. Oregano-Italian Seasoning. Tom8o-Tomotto. Same-Same.

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This soup really bit me in the ass because I didn’t enjoy the curry flavor too much BUT my husband La-oved it! He was oooohing and aaaaahing. It was great. This sweet victory was enough to satisfy my hunger… No, not really, I’m starving.