Sunday, January 31, 2010

polenta alla romana

you might have heard of gnocchi alla romana..well this is my bastardized version of that. since i can't eat semolina flour bc of the gluten found within, i make my gnocchi alla romana using polenta. it is a light, fluffy easy to make dinner. and great for a dinner party bc so much- if not all of it can be done in advance. first you need 2 cups of this:

next bring 6 cups of water to a boil to which you have added 1/2 tsp of freshly grated nutmeg, 4 tbsp. of butter and 1 tsp. of salt.

slowly add the 2 cups of polenta to the boiling water and stir constantly (or at least until it starts to thicken) once it comes together turn the heat down to low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring to prevent clumping..

also is it gross or weird that i was dipping salt and pepper potato chips into a mixture of peanut butter and chocolate that i made earlier in the morning to spread on toast while i was stirring the polenta? well let me tell you it may have been weird but it certainly was NOT gross. they were just sitting there next to each other and the hungry bitch inside me known as PMS thought it would make an AWESOME snack. she is seldom wrong....EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

this soothes her...

ok, so once the polenta is thick and creamy (15 minutes) take the pot off the heat and add 2 egg yolks and 1/2 cup of freshly grated parmigiano reggiano...

whisk quickly so your eggs don't scramble..

then pour the hot polenta into a baking sheet that you have lined with foil and oiled lightly, spread until smooth...

cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 2 hours...

while that's happening make the sauce. my tomato sauce is the yummiest ever..and super easy. these are the only ingredients you need..
and that is: 1 28 oz. can whole peeled plum tomatoes plus 1 14 oz can of the same or similar, sea salt, 3-4 cloves garlic, 1-2 tsp oregano and 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes.

pour 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan, add to it the chopped garlic, oregano and pepper flakes. saute just until the aroma makes your nose happy. then add the tomatoes. don't break up the tomatoes as i feel they get bitter if you do this too early..waiting makes them sweeter.

bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to a low simmer for about an hour..

once done add 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar and salt to taste. pour sauce into a food processor or blender and blend to a smooth consistency, taste again for seasoning...

pour back into saucepan and keep warm on the stove..

once the polenta is cooled and firm start cutting out circles with whatever small round cutter (or soy sauce ramekin in my case) you have..

arrange them in a slightly overlapping fashion in a buttered baking dish..

once you have them all layered in the pan sprinkle more cheese and dots of butter. bake in a 450 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes..

once they start to go golden brown (you might need to put them under the broiler for the last 5 minutes of cooking) take them out and serve immediately..

with a simple green salad..

and plenty of sauce and extra chizzneese...

i had 2 helpings. that good.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

eat pancakes bc they are yummy

i have made a shit ton of pancakes in my life from the shameful bisquick variety in my 20's to the from scratch with all organic ingredients versions of now. trust me, the latter is the way to go. so i have done the hard time pancake testing for you and narrowed it down to these 2 recipes as the BFP's. (best fucking pancakes)

in my mind there are 2 types of pancakes...thick and cakey or thin and crisp. i tend to prefer thin and crisp...but sometimes only a fluffy, cakey stack of pancakes will do. in any case loads of butter and pure maple syrup are a requirement.
the first recipe comes from scott peacock and edna lewis's cookbook the gift of southern cooking. it's the "buttermilk pancakes" recipe on page 226. know it by heart.
this recipe uses less flour and more liquid which gives them their thin and crisp texture. please also note that while i have made these with buttermilk in the past, i am a dairy free girl (butter is the only exception) and have been making these with almond milk or coconut milk with great results. but by all means use buttermilk if you can.

3/4 c. unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
butter for greasing skillet

put the flour, salt, and baking soda in a mixing bowl, and whisk briefly to blend. in a separate mixing bowl, whisk the buttermilk into the egg and add the melted butter. dump the dry ingredients into the wet and whisk briefly, until the batter is well blended and there are no large lumps.
heat a skillet or griddle over medium heat, and grease very lightly (or heavily as i do) with butter. spoon about 2 tbsp. of batter for each pancake, and cook until bubbles appear on top. flip the pancakes, and cook 30 seconds longer.

*note..the recipe says it makes 14 pancakes to serve 3 or 4 people, but i have found over the hundreds of times i have made these that for 3 people it makes about 3 pancakes each. probably bc i don't actually use 2 tbsp. of batter for each pancake, making it necessary sometimes to double the recipe. also use a non stick skillet or a cast iron skillet that is good and seasoned.

pancake number 2 comes from ina garten's family style cookbook. they are the banana sour cream pancakes and they really put the 'cake' in pancake. sweet, delicious heroin cakes. they are more filling than the other recipe and heavier. but still veeeery good. i myself am not a fruit in my food person, so i make these without the bananas. and i use vegan sour cream in place of reg. or i use soy yogurt, all with great results.

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • Unsalted butter
  • 2 ripe bananas, diced, plus extra for serving
  • Pure maple syrup

Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk, eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones, mixing only until combined.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat until it bubbles. Ladle the pancake batter into the pan to make 3 or 4 pancakes. Distribute a rounded tablespoon of bananas on each pancake. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until bubbles appear on top and the underside is nicely browned. Flip the pancakes and then cook for another minute until browned. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel, add more butter to the pan, and continue cooking pancakes until all the batter is used. Serve with sliced bananas, butter and maple syrup.

so go make some pancakes. your welcome.

Friday, January 29, 2010

thanks martha for making the rest of us look like fuckheads

is it not enough that you have 3 houses, formerly 4? that you then have to be so awesome in them? here she is in her NYC apartment washing one of her 40 billion dishes at her duralab cabinets. nice overalls mrs. peenjeans. you should save those for one of the other houses, not new york city.

everything should be this orderly. this image makes me feel safe and happy. she ironed that shit til 5 AM after a party one time. you know she did.
just more of the awesome..

here we have her main pad cameltoe corners. (you might know it as cantitoe but now you know it as cameltoe). more order and too many fucking plates. does she really entertain that much? and why the fuck have i not been invited? i am pretty, funny, smart, design savvy and i would help with the clean up- albeit drunk on her famous homemade summer wine...she could afford to break some..

more fucking saucepans..

and here is her "craft station" you suppose she is up there late into the night making things? do you? i am going to say i really think she is.


this is her former main pad turkey hill. even the hanging baskets of babylon 80's kitchen is pretty awes.

but much better now...

her attic floors are better than most people's regular floors...or regular people's floors.


whatever big fucking're no better than my bullshit pansies...

good lord...

her chickens have it better than most..
but turkey hill is no longer hers, it belongs to some other lucky m-F'er. i hope they maintained it's awesomeness.

and last but not least and my most favorite is the guest cottage at her maine house..if you want to see the main maine house go here. its good too.

i love that it is entirely pink.

i love and loathe the fact that with so many houses you can have one place that is just pure fantasy..

i know a lot of you have seen this all before. but you haven't seen it until you've seen it thru my eyes..
now, when i am finally invited to her house this is most likely where i will stay b/c i refuse to stay in a place called cameltoe corners.

wallpaper alert!

while flipping thru the mini boden catalog the other day i noticed they were shooting in a delightful home somewhere..i nearly fell over when i saw this gorgeous wallpaper and, of course, i found no info on it. do any of youz know from whence it came?

look at the creamy white baseboards with that heavenly black and white wallpaper. i want it. i need it. help.

***update..the huntress has found it for me. it's designer's guild wharton black and white. thank you huntress you have been added to my good times blogroll. you are number one cool.
quite honestly i think this is the "house" the boden shoot took place in. the interwebz kick ass.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

because its not every day complete strangers help you and your face

a million fuck you's for yesterday. i have purchased a few things as per your advice. 1 bar of grandpa's saggy balls...i mean pine tar soap- CHECK. 1 tub of tea tree antiseptic cream- CHECK.
1 jug of aloe vera gel- CHECK. i am totes getting susannah's wonderbar bc it sounds like it will give my face super powers, even though it is a 40 dollar bar of soap. i don't caresies. i will think of it as poor man's la mer and use it all over my body a la jennifer lopez. i think we should all get some of that and then talk about how our faces are now awesome. i also got some oil of oregano for dropping under my tongue and let me just say that shit tastes like dirty ass with a side of spicy doo doo.
i passed on the benadryl simply bc i have had this rash for 2 weeks or doesn't itch too bad or keep me up at night. but rest assured that i will have some on hand for next time so i can nip it in the bud early. for now i am going to leave it alone and nurture it with moisture and love until i get to an allergist next week.

ok. the audition went fabulously. i was perfectly pleased with my lack of nerves, which so often fucks me up, and my ability to be funny without being a caricature of the character. now i wait. if the director wants to see me again i go back and audition again for THEM. this time it was all on camera, taped for their viewing pleasure.

really, many thanks for your support and good vibes and advice.
chocolate bunnies and magical unicorns for you all.

some pretty to balance out all that mole rat ugliness

for your eyes and senses:

a little box of a kitchen lightens up with shiny white tiles and good use of space:


i can smell the ocean nearby:

a strong case for soft aqua walls and raw wood:

glorious texture:

enjoy your day...will report back after my audition.