Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I've Got Some 'Splaining To Do

 Piney River  -  Vail, Colorado

I'm always surprised when I get a message from someone asking me why I haven't written a blog in awhile, telling me they miss it.  I guess I am shocked that anyone reads my crazy rants about cooking in the first place, and that they miss them in the second place!  I really just use it as an outlet to calm the voices in my head that tend to make me a little crazy sometimes. The last blog I wrote was in August.  And I apologize for it being so long ago.  
I have a small kitchen.  There are closets larger than my kitchen.  I guess I'm getting a taste of what living in a big city would be like.  There is no counter space.  None.  I have one counter.  It has my dish rack and my toaster oven on it.  That's it.  So when I do decide to cook, I spend a lot of time trying to figure out where I'm going to put what.  Usually I put a cutting board over 1/2 of my sink. And I pretty much do everything right over the stove into whatever pot or pan I'm using.  This doesn't make for very organized or thought out cooking.  This makes for a mess, and a lot of fuck ups.  Hell, some of my meals end up on the floor with me screaming, "Muuuutherrr Fucker, I wish I had a bigger kitchennnnnnn."

So in my spare time, I've been road doggin' with people I love. Traveling to places I've never been.  Hearing music I've heard before, and some I've always wanted to hear.  Tasting foods I've always wanted to try.  Cooking in other kitchens.  Being adaptable and resourceful.  Growing up a little, but not so much that I lose that kid inside that is willing to say yes to the unknown.  Meeting new people.  Trying to figure it all out, without figuring it out.  Getting a little bit uncomfortable and liking it.  Living.     

But don't worry, I'm still cooking.  I'm still making some kick ass foods too. I've made Boiled Peanut Hummus, tried my hand at Collard Greens, perfected Frittatas, and slaved for hours over some killer Short Ribs.  I have also had days where I go back to cooking like a college kid.  Easy stuff.  Chicken Noodle Soup, Tuna Noodle Casserole, things that consist of opening packages, and adding water.  Yes, my food snobdem has been slapped in the face a few times.  My food addiction had to take a back seat at times.  But I'm still a lover of food.  And I still prefer my Tuna Noodle Casserole to be made from scratch, not with that disgusting can of Cream of Mushroom soup I was tortured with as a child.  And I will try to get my ass back in gear and start posting some of these recipes.  I've got some goodies!  

~ Yours Truly,

Monday, August 27, 2012

Your Excuse to Ride the Greenline

Mollete - Open Faced Torta with toasted bread, pinto beans, melted cheese, smoked chicken and fresh avocado.

Delicious pork tacos!

Here's your excuse to get off your lazy ass and walk, run, and/or ride the Greenline.  Las Tortugas Deli Mexicana.  This place is the real deal.  Authentic Mexican fare.  Not cheese ridden.  Not raped by refried beans.  Not covered in creamy sauces.  No...this is the freshest Mexican food you will find in Memphis...possibly even in Mexico.  You know why?  Because the food lovers that own this little spot of heaven do not get food deliveries.  They go out and hand-pick their food.  They make their own tortillas, breads, and chips.  They get all their beef, pork, chicken and veggies locally.

This place is legit.  As legit as they come.  And the signage on the walls is entertaining.  And the aguas frescas (my favorite is the Sandia, which is whole, juiced watermelon) are so refreshing, they will give you all the energy in the world to get back to your final destination.  And the man at the register, who so helpfully guides you toward choosing their best dishes (ALL OF THEM) is easy on the eyes.  And it's conveniently located right off the Greenline in Germantown.  So get on your bike, ride your happy little butt to Las Tortugas, fill up on delicious, authentic Mexican food and then ride your totally satisfied-self back home.  OR...in perfect, fat, American fashion....drive your lazy self to Las Tortugas Deli, eat so much that you hate yourself a little bit, drive yourself home and lay on the couch for the rest of the night, complaining about how miserable you are because you ate too much.  But do go to this place.  No matter how you do it, you'll be happy you did.     

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

My Hatred For Kroger

I got all these items at Easy Way in Memphis for under 12 dollars. Had I bought the same items at Kroger, I'm sure my total would have been closer to $40. I hate you Kroger. Thank you Easy Way. And Schnucks, I wish you were still here.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Popeye Was A Smart Mo' Fo'

Here's a recipe for the tastiest, healthiest side dish that takes literally minutes to make.

Here's What You Need:
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 package of fresh spinach
Crushed Red Pepper (as much as you like, I like mine spicy so I use about a teaspoon)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

Here's What You Do:
In a large skillet over medium high heat, add in olive oil.  Add garlic and crushed red pepper just until the garlic starts to cook, about 40 seconds.  Don't burn the garlic or it'll taste bitter.  Add in your entire package of spinach and stir around.  Your spinach will start to wilt.  So much so that an entire package of fresh spinach will serve about two, if you're a healthy eater and you like spinach as much as I do.  Salt and Pepper once the spinach has wilted, but is still a pretty green and there you go! 

Popeye was a smart man.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Straw-Berry Good Ice Cream

So I've been really working on grocery store organization lately.  I've never been good at this phenomenon.  I have all intentions on having a plan, but I get to the store and I either forget my list, or I stray off the list because I have severe GSADD (Grocery Store Attention Deficit Disorder).  And they don't have drugs for this.  So last week, I went to our neighborhood food market, Easy-Way, and I had a plan, but I saw these strawberries and they looked BEAUTIFUL.  They were perfectly colored, perfectly plump and perfectly ripe.  I could smell them the minute I walked into the store.  So I bought them.  And then I took them home and I realized that I have no idea what to do with them.  I thought about making jam, but I don't really eat much jam.  I thought about making pie, but I'm not really a pie eater.  Strawberry shortcake?  Nah.  And then it hit me.  I haven't made ice cream in a while and I have all these strawberries.  So there ya go.  That's how I came up with this.

Here's What You Need:
Recipe for Vanilla Ice Cream (**Note: Instead of whole milk, I used 2% and it came out fine, I also added in a splash of lemon juice and a pinch of salt while warming the milk.)
1 Pint of strawberries, tops removed and smashed (but still chunky)

Here's What You Do:
Once Your Vanilla Ice Cream is in your ice cream machine and begins to look like soft serve, add in your smashed strawberries.  Keep it churning until it's to that ice cream consistency and then freeze it until it's actually hard ice cream. 

OR, if you're me, eat it when your 15 minutes of churning on your ice cream maker is up, because you have absolutely no self control and no patience to sit around when something that delicious awaits you. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Chop, Chop!

Wanna know one of my favorite meals to grill??  Lamb Chops.  I'm in love with anything that you can hold by the bone, dive your teeth into and then rip away at the meat, craning your neck back as if you're avoiding being punched in the face.  It's just so primal.  Sorry PETA and my vegetarian friends, but do you really think that vegetables don't feel pain when you rip them out of their warm, cozy, dirty homes that they have ever so delicately and meticulously placed their roots??

Here's What You Need:   
Lamb chops (I find it very cost effective to buy a rack of lamb from Costco and cut the chops yourself...plus it makes me feel all butchery and I like feeling butchery)
Garlic - about 3-4 cloves, minced.  I love garlic, so the more, the merrier
Rosemary - About 2 tablespoons, chopped up very small
Olive Oil - enough to coat all the sides of your chops, about 1/4 cup
Salt and Pepper

Here's What You Do:
Add your rosemary, garlic, and olive oil to a ziplock bag and mix everything together so all your ingredients are blended nicely.  Add your chops and make sure they are well-coated with all of these delicious aromatics.  Marinate for at least 2 hours.  When you're ready to grill them, fire up the grill.  Salt and pepper both sides of your chops and grill those little lambs for about 3-4 minutes per side depending on their thickness for a good medium rare temperature.  BE CAREFUL though, lamb has a lot of fat and fires LOVE fat (who doesn't? - oh yeah, my ass), so keep a close eye on them and have water handy to put out any fat fires.  

Go to town on those little lambs.  These chops are so flavorful and juicy and perfect for a party.  Serve them with a nice cool salad.  One that has vegetables that have been ripped from their warm, cozy, dirty homes that they have ever so delicately and meticulously placed their roots.  Baa!

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Warm Weather Screams Fish Tacos

Something about warm weather makes me crave light, crunchy, fruity things.  I know, it would be more fun to just drink Margaritas all day, but who doesn't love a fish taco.  Especially a homemade fish taco.

Here's What You Need: (this will make about 4-5 tacos)
2 fillets of tilapia, or any white fish
flour tortillas
olive oil
salt and pepper
Paul Prudhomme's blackened redfish magic - which is really quite magical in that it makes EVERYTHING more delicious...try it on burgers and steaks...you'll thank me later and thanks to my brother-in-law for introducing me to this magical seasoning.
Magical Seasoning

Toppings: (Be as creative as you like)
cheese (I didn't use any cheese on these, and I didn't miss it)
cole slaw (I buy a package of shredded cabbage/carrots put 1/2 of the bag in a bowl, add a heaping tablespoon of mayo, a few splashes of apple cider vinegar, some chopped cilantro and chopped green onion and a squirt of Sriracha to it and mix it all together until it tastes good, adding salt and pepper at the end).

Here's What You Do:
Preheat oven to 350.  Drizzle olive oil on both sides of your tilapia and salt and pepper both sides.  Spice those fishies up with some magical seasoning and don't be shy.  The more you add, the more flavorful your tacos will be.  I usually give my fishies a coating that makes them look sunburned.  Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork and is opaque. 

Warm your flour tortillas according to package directions.  Top each tortilla with your flaked fish.  Then add whatever toppings you like. 

I added avocado, mango, slaw, and cilantro and they were the most fresh, bright, sweet, spicy, flavorful fish tacos I ever dove my teeth into.  Restaurant quality if I do say so myself.  

Friday, March 30, 2012


More often than not, I find myself going through my fridge, frantically trying to figure out recipes for food that is about to go bad.  This happens way too often in my house because I never have a plan of attack at the grocery store.  I shop with my heart and not my head...or rather, my stomach.  And then my refrigerator and my trash can get to eat all my food because of my poor planning.

I bought a lovely bunch of kale (you know how much I love kale) and let it sit in my fridge for 2 days before I noticed it had that not-so-fresh feeling.  I had been hearing a lot of things about kale chips, and so I decided that this was my kale's purpose in life.  To become a kale chip, so delicately crisp and vegetably tasting.

Here's What You Need:
1 bunch of kale
Olive Oil
Kosher Salt

Here's What You Do:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Coat your kale with olive oil, just enough so that all the leaves are glistening.  Don't overdue it.  Salt your kale and toss so that all the leaves are coated with oil and salt.  Bake for about 10 minutes, turning half way through.  They are finished when the leaves JUST start to brown and your kale is crisp.

These taste good and give you that same crunch you're looking for in a potato chip.  Try it.  Especially if you're trying to get a bikini body, which I am.  Wish me luck.    

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Olive, Olives...

Sometimes I find myself in a store and I see something I HAVE TO HAVE.  This was one of those times.  I was walking down the condiment aisle and I spotted these neon green olives.  They were like my guiding light.  They pulled me towards their shelf, whispered in my ear and the next thing I knew I was putting them in my basket, checking them out the door, opening them in the car and eating their wonderful little bodies.  They were delicious.  Very unlike their salty, pungent buddies with the red rocket pimento in the middle. 

Look at that color!!  And they actually taste like olive oil.  You have to try them.  I got this jar at Kroger in East Memphis, because apparently the Kroger in Midtown Memphis doesn't like to carry ANYTHING good at all.  But that is a whole new blog that I'm not ready for...but I'm comin' for ya Kroger...get ready.

Anyways, I was starving one night....had only a few odd things in my fridge and so I decided to make these little neon ovals my main event in a pasta dish.  And here's how:

Here's What You Need: (note...this is for 1 HEARTY plate of pasta...so adjust accordingly)
6 or 7 Castelvetrano olives - pitted and chopped
1 handful of pine nuts, toasted
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 good shake of crushed red pepper flakes
A handful of pasta (I always make WAY too much when I just cook for myself...so if you have this measurement mastered, please let a bitch know).
salt & pepper
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Parmesan cheese, grated...enough to sprinkle the top.

Here's What You Do:
Boil your pasta in very salty water according to how much you have until it is al dente and drain it.  If you don't know how to make pasta I assume you aren't really into food, so you probably aren't reading this so I'm not going to teach you how to make pasta. 

In a large skillet add olive oil, garlic and crushed red pepper.  Cook for just about 2 minutes, paying attention to not burn the garlic.  You just want to slightly cook everything and blend the flavors.  Add in olives just to warm them.  Add pasta to this mix until all the noodles are well-coated. 

Add in your toasted pine nuts (easy to do...just put pine nuts in a dry skillet on medium high heat and watch them like a hawk, flipping them over and over until they are just brown...they burn easy so don't leave them alone...takes about 3 minutes). 
Place your pasta in a bowl and top with shredded Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper. 

Congratulations...You just made dinner in 20 minutes and your entire family thinks you are a God/Goddess because it tasted like heaven.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mac n' Quinoa

Who'da thunk after my first quinoa blog, I'd turn into such a quinoa freak?  Well I have officially hopped on the quinoa train.  And I am officially addicted to Pinterest, where I found this delicious idea to make quinoa mac n' cheese from a blog called Iowa Girl Eats.  I didn't exactly follow her instructions.  Actually, I rarely follow instructions, but here is how you make this delicious dish, Bitch in the Kitch style.  And I am aware that this dish should be called Quinoa and Cheese, seeing as how there's no mac...but don't be so critical...Jeez.

Here's What You Need:
1 cup of cooked quinoa (which actually yields a ton of quinoa) - cooked according to the package directions.
6 pieces of cooked bacon
2-3 cups of cheese - your favorite kind.  I used a combination of Hoop Cheese and Sharp Cheddar from my Amish friends at Troyer Farms...you really just have to taste it to make sure it's cheesy enough for you...if there even is such a thing as Cheesy Enough.
1 small onion - diced
2 cloves of garlic - minced (I truly don't know the difference between minced and diced...I just like to dice my onion and mince my garlic - if this offends you, I apologize)
1 cup of milk
1 egg
breadcrumbs (or anything bready, I used saltines because I was out of bread crumbs)
Olive oil to cook onion/garlic and for drizzling on the top before baking.

Here's What You Do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cook the bacon, and chop into small pieces, set aside.  Cook the quinoa.  Cook the garlic and onion in a little olive oil.  Add garlic, onion, cheese, bacon, milk and egg to the quinoa.  Stir and add in salt and pepper.

Taste it...be careful...there's raw egg...so only taste if you aren't preggers or don't have a disease that compromises your immune system (such as Lupus...if you don't know what lupus is, learn up...my best friend has it...it's a mother fucker.  We need to find a cure.  She shouldn't be 33 years old and having her hips replaced....F-U Lupus.) 

Place quinoa mixture in a square baking dish that has been sprayed generously with Pam.  Top with breadcrumbs.  Drizzle the top with olive oil.  Bake for 25 minutes or until breadcrumbs are browned.

Eat as a main course.  Top with short ribs (as I did).  Add herbs (I wish I had). Whatever you want.  Quinoa is so damn versatile, you can practically do anything in the world with it.  But make it.  Because it's a superfood.  And who doesn't like super food??

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Burn Baby Burn

Ahhhh....yet another scar to add to my millions of kitchen injuries.  Some chefs are proud of their scars.  I am not one of them.  A chef....nor a proud scar bearer.  In fact, I hate getting burns.  Not because they hurt like a bitch, but because then you have to try to hide it.  Because it's ugly.  Because it looks like you made a mistake in the meth lab.  Because it looks like you're an abused person.  Because it looks like you are one of those crazy people that holds cigarettes to their arm to see how much heat they can bear.  Because you don't want to be the girl who gets all dressed up to look pretty, yet has some hideous mark on her arm that resembles herpes.

It's wedding season my friends.  I have many weddings to attend in the next few weeks.  I will be the girl wearing the long sleeved dress in 85 degree weather because I don't want to be known as diseased girl.  Guests will think to themselves, "Oh please, oh please, let me get my plate at the buffet before herpe girl goes and infects the food." 

Kitchen injuries suck. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

For the love of Quinoa

There's a restaurant in Memphis, a newer restaurant, called Rizzo's Diner, that has the most delicious quinoa salad served over avocado with chow-chow.

So with a little bit of thought and effort, this delicious bit of tasty goodness was re-created.  Not exactly Rizzo's, so for the real thing go there, but in case you are a little low on cash and you crave this salad on a daily basis, like I do, try this.

Here's What You Need:
1 avocado
Cooked quinoa (I cooked 1 cup of quinoa, which makes about 4 servings worth...so you can refrigerate your leftovers)
Juice of 1 lemon
good drizzle of olive oil
1 jar of chow-chow (found this one at Whole Foods)
2 tablespoons of blood orange vinaigrette
salt & pepper

Here's What You Do:
Cook your quinoa according to the directions on the package.  When quinoa is cooked, add lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper, until it has some flavor.  Cut your avocado in half and remove the pit.  Take a spoon and scoop out the flesh of the avocado until you have a lovely little half scooped out for your plate.  Top your avocado with the quinoa mixture, top that with some of the blood orange vinaigrette, then top that with the chow-chow.  Add a bit more salt and pepper.

Call me and thank me after your first bite.  Or if you don't have my number, you can leave me a comment on my page telling me how much you love me.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Edible Candles

You know when you buy a car and it has that new car smell, that smells kinda like paint, but in a good way?  It's a good smell.  A proud smell.  You have just bought your first car and it's awesome.  Well unless you buy a brand new home, the "new" home smell just isn't the same.  It's musty, it's stale, it's not a proud smell, but a smell that you want nothing more than to get rid of.  But it's not easy to do.  I moved into my place March 1st.  I lit candles (the expensive kind), sprayed Febreze, misted everything with Victoria's Secret body spray, used serious cleaning supplies, everything to get MY scent into the new place. 

And you know what worked?  What got the musty old man smell out of my house?  COOKING.  I decided to cook some seriously smelly things to make my house smell like my home.  First course....BACON!  Nothing makes an entire house fill up with delicious porky goodness like bacon.  Next up, granola.  Cinnamon, nuts, honey, brown sugar...It's like lighting a candle that you can eventually eat later.  Works like a charm.  And lastly, and amazingly the thing that has actually lingered the longest...stuffed peppers.  Now when I walk into my house I smell garlic.  And there's nothing I love more than walking into a house that smells like garlic.  It reminds me of my dad's house.  It smells like cooking.  It smells like people take time each day to prepare themselves meals.  Delicious meals.  It smells like home.

Here's What You Need:
4 peppers (any color you like, tops cut off and core with seeds removed)  ** If you have trouble with your pepper standing up on its own, slice the bottom off so that it stands up by itself.
1 pound of ground beef
2 servings of white rice (I use minute rice and make enough for two servings...which is 1 cup of rice/1 cup of water - read the package)
3 cloves of garlic
1 large can of Hunt's tomato sauce (It's my favorite...you can use your favorite) leave a few tablespoons to top peppers off before baking.
1 tablespoon of onion powder
1 tablespoon of Sriracha
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese + extra for topping peppers.
Salt and Pepper

Here's What You Do:
Preheat oven to 350.  Boil a large pot of water and add in peppers.  Cook for about 3 minutes, just to slightly soften the skin.  If you don't do this step, your peppers will be very, very crunchy, and as much as I like crunchy, it just doesn't work with peppers in this dish.

Cook rice according to package, set aside.  Brown beef and strain, set aside.  Brown onion and garlic and crushed red pepper.  Add beef back into the pot.  Add in rice, tomato sauce, onion powder, Sriracha,  and salt and pepper to taste.  Add in cheese and mix together. 

In a baking dish, arrange peppers standing upright.  Stuff each pepper with the beef and rice mixture.  Top each pepper with a spoonful of tomato sauce and a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese.  Bake for 30 minutes until cheese browns and beef/rice filling is hot.

Cheers to stuffed peppers and that YOU home smell.   

The Bitch's New Kitchen

I sit here on my lovely front porch of my new duplex in Midtown Memphis.  It's a balmy 74 degrees and the neighborhood is full of skateboarders, runners, dog walkers, and people outside planting flowers.

I discovered this place on a whim.  For some reason I decided to head down a few streets I never really drove down before when I found a little duplex with a For Rent sign in the yard.  I called the number asked the man how much and was happy to discover it was in my price range.  My search for a new place began frustrating the hell out of me when I realized I was going to either have to settle for a high rise apartment building or a place in an unsafe area.  High rises scare me. Visions of fires on lower floors, trapping residents at the top flooded my brain.  Not to mention sharing a washer and dryer with hundreds of people.  Have you ever seen a bed bug infestation?  It's not pretty and it's not cheap and it's something I never want to have to deal with.  So the high rise thing freaked me the hell out.  Living in an unsafe area didn't bother me as much, seeing as how I've been there, done that.  Though, never on my own.  And being scared and alone was not something I was looking forward to.  So when I stumbled upon this little duplex and asked to take a look, I was extremely excited to discover that I had my VERY OWN washer and dryer, I wasn't in a high rise and the neighborhood is in a pretty safe place.

The only downfall, you ask??  My kitchen.  I mean look at it, with sunglasses on, so as to not burn your eyes.  It might be the brightest thing I've ever stepped foot in.  Not to mention it has the least amount of counter space I've ever dealt with.  But I'm trying to be positive here.  I got mostly everything else a girl could ask for.  A gas stove being the most important.  No dishwasher, but I actually don't mind doing dishes (ask me again about not minding doing my own dishes after a dinner party...and I'm sure I will tell you to shove dirty dishes up your ass).  I don't have a garbage disposal...something I realize that I need even more than a dishwasher.  Throwing large amounts of food down a hole, flipping a switch and viola...food be gone, is like a kitchen miracle that I haven't lived without in a long time, but, I can deal with almost anything for a year.

But you know what?  It's MY kitchen.  I can put things wherever I want them, however I want them to be.  I can make my entire kitchen smell like a fart casserole by cooking a head of cabbage in it whenever the hell I want to.  I can store my cups facing up or down.  I can drink out of my milk carton.  I don't have to fill the ice trays if I don't want to.  And that's all I care about.

So get ready for some more food to be cooked, because this bitch has a kitchen again and it's all mine!  Muahahahahahahah!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Popped my Blood Orange Cherry

I love exploring new things, trying new foods, marking things off my "list" that I've never done before, etc.  So I will hopefully be writing my "Popped my [insert new food here] Cherry" segment often.  Because I hope to be discovering and trying lots of new foods this year.  Some I've never heard of.  Some I've heard of, but have never cooked.

I'm not going to explain the term "Cherry Poppin'" to you, but I will say, that I mean it to refer to the first time I have tried something.  For example, up until last month I had never experienced Mardi Gras in New Orleans.  So, last month, I popped my mardi gras cherry.  Got it?  Good.  I know, I know...it's not very "lady-like" to use terms like "I popped my cherry".  But let's get something straight.  I'm not very lady-like.  When I was three years old, my sister and I were greeted at our new house by a slew of boys screaming curse words at us...all of which I interpreted as friendly greetings.  I was three...cut me some slack.  Needless to say, no one was too surprised when they found me later by the side of the road, greeting passerby's as, "Hey Cocksucker" & "Hi Dickhead".  I was welcoming them as I had been welcomed.  I am the girl at the table who uses the incorrect fork, plate, cup, etc.  Has anyone ever been shot for such an offense...not that I know of, although it's quite possible.  People are crazy.  Will my life be less meaningful for not being prim and proper?  I don't think so.  Will the Queen of England ever invite me to have dinner at her palace?  I highly doubt it.

Back to Blood Oranges.  They are the most beautiful orange I've ever seen.  They are the most delicious orange I've ever tasted.  I can't believe it's been this long before I've had the luxury of eating one.  So I made Blood Orange Vinaigrette with it.  And here's how.

 Look how gorgeous that is??

Here's What You Need:
The juice of 2 blood oranges (no worries about seeds...all three blood oranges I bought were seed free)
2 tablespoons of diced shallot
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup of canola oil
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste.

Here's What You Do: 
Combine all the ingredients listed above into a jar.  Shake it up...hoo hoo, shake it up...(name that song), top mixed greens with it, marinate fish with it, marinate chicken with it, I'm pretty sure you can put this on anything and not be disappointed.  But I personally just simply put it on some salad greens so that I could get the full flavor of the vinaigrette.

 If that's not the prettiest vinaigrette you've ever seen, you are insane.

I must say, I'd pop my blood orange cherry over and over again if I could, but now I can't.  But I CAN and WILL enjoy the blood orange and all its loveliness for as long as I live.         

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fired Up for Festival Season

The time has come again.  Festival season.  Whether you're camping out or dropping money on hotels, you can expect to be sweating your ass off, fighting against the heat in some of the hottest places in our country at the hottest times of the year, to see (or hear in my case...downfall of being short) our favorite musicians.  Coachella, Wanee, Jazz Fest, Memphis in May, Hangout Fest, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits Fest, etc. 

But I want to tell you about a festival food vendor I stumbled across on a NOT so hot festival weekend.  They are called Fired Up Kitchen.  I found them at Harvest Festival a few years back.  And I have been thinking about their delicious pizza ever since my teeth made their journey through the freshly crushed tomato, sweet basil pesto, creamy ricotta and mozzarella cheeses and finally the perfectly cooked wood-fired crust of a slice of Hill Country Stomp.

I didn't need drugs, I had pizza.  It was my drug.  It transported me to an Italian village where I made ravenous love to a piece of mouth watering, pizza.  That in turn, burnt the hell outta the roof of my mouth, the no good, rat bastard. 

Look for it at the next music festival you find yourself at.  You will not be disappointed.  Happy festival, drink lots of water, say no to drugs and Buon Appetito!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Getting Crabby

 Snow Crab Legs...mmm...mmm...good. (photo by me)

I think my most favorite food on the planet has to be snow crab legs.  The ones referred to as Opilio crabs on the Deadliest Catch, if you watch that show.  Now I get a bunch of crap when I say that snow crab legs are my favorite.  People always want to argue that King Crab, Blue Crab and Dungeness are the best.  So here's why they are my favorite.

A.) They taste much better, in my opinion, than Alaskan King Crabs.

Alaskan King Crab.  Good, but Painful. (photo by Google images)

Don't get me wrong, I won't pass up crab meat of ANY kind...unless you spell it with a K.  But the Alaskan crabs taste more bland to me than the snow crab.  Not to mention that trying to bust the meat out of their enormous shells usually draws blood at the very least and requires a trip to the ER at the very worst.  So for these reasons, I choose snow crab over king crab.

B.) They are MUCH less of a hassle than eating the sweet, delicious meat of the blue crab.

Blue crab.  Oh, so delicious, but time consuming and not filling. (photo by Google images)

Blue crab is GOOD.  The meat is sooooo sweet and tender and goes wonderfully with a cold beer with a lime.  Oh.My.GOD, I would kill for some blue crab right now.  But the truth is, they are a pain in the ass to deal with and for the amount of meat you get out of one, you have to deal with about 30 of them to even feel full.  They are fun to catch, too.  Get yourself a net, tie a raw chicken leg to it and drop the net in the water (who knew crabs ate chicken...I guess they get tired of the same old thing).  Wait 30 minutes or leave and come back, pick the net up and there you have it...blue crab.  Maybe 1, maybe 5, that's the fun of it.  We used to catch blue crab with our grandfather in Virginia.  I will never forget hearing their shrill screams as we threw them into boiling water!  Ahhhh...childhood memories! 

C.) They are much cheaper (at least where I live) than Dungeness crabs.

 Dungeness crab.  Delicious, but costly. (photo by Google images)

We might have ourselves a pretty close tie if Dungeness crabs were the same price as snow crabs, but in my landlocked neck of the woods, they aren't.  But Dungeness crab is SOOOO GOOOD.  If I was in San Francisco, I'd choose Dungeness over Snow.  But we're not.  And unless you straight up ram the tip of the claw into your hand, like a dumbass, it's very hard to cut yourself on a Dungeness crab.  They don't have as many pointy, sharp things on their legs.  Ok, I take that back.  All these crabs can be dangerous...especially if you eat them as quickly as I do.

My point is this.  Snow crab legs are salty, juicy, meaty, easy to work with (once you get it down to a science, which I have), readily available (let's cross our fingers it stays this way) and pretty cheap.  When you buy them, they are already cooked, so you really only need to steam them for about 10 minutes to warm their meat back up.  You can add some Old Bay to them if you want a little more flavor.  You don't need butter for this crabbies.  Just a squirt of lemon will do.  But butter makes everything better, so dunk away. 

And that.... my crabby friends... is why I like the snow crab the best.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My Friend Rachel

I'm a craving type of girl.  I get cravings and I MUST have the thing that is in my head to be in my tummy ASAP.  Sometimes these are simple cravings that I can easily satisfy, for example a bowl of chocolate ice cream with milk, or a piece of cinnamon toast.  Other times these cravings consist of pepperoni rolls from WV, or crepes from the Baker's Crust in Norfolk, VA.  Neither of which I can just run and get, seeing as how I am in Tennessee. 

Most often, when I'm craving something I can't get nearby or that just isn't up to par in my high (ha) standards (eg., a good Caesar Salad), I have to recreate my craving on my own, and hope that I am happy with the results.  This particular time I was!

Say hello to Rachel.


Rachel is Reuben's girlfriend.  Instead of corned beef, she's got pastrami.  Instead of sauerkraut, she's got coleslaw.  She's so tasty, I just want to eat her up.  

Here's How you make her:
Get some deli sliced pastrami (I know, it would be better if I had made my own, but that's a LOT of work and I have a craving to tend to)...Boar's Head brand is my favorite.  All of their meat rocks. 

Swiss Cheese slices (depending on how many sandwiches you are making...I used 2 slices/sandwich)

Coleslaw (again, I would have made my own, but I had a craving...I had no time to waste.)

Thousand Island Dressing (if you want to make a REAL Rachel.  I didn't think I needed the extra dressing with all the coleslaw creaminess).

Pumpernickel or Rye bread, toasted

Here's What To Do:
Place your pastrami in a skillet on medium heat and toss around until heated through.  Add swiss cheese to the pastrami and cover with a lid for about 40 seconds, or until the cheese melts.  Top your toasted bread with the pastrami/cheese melt, top that with coleslaw, add or don't add thousand island dressing.

I've never seen one of these in Memphis, which is why I probably crave it from time to time.  It's delicious.  You should be craving one now too.  And now you know how to make one.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Screw New Years Resolutions...You Only Live Once

Ever had a burger, deep fried in 100-year old grease, then placed on a bun that has been dipped in said 100-year old grease and topped with cheese, onion, mustard and pickle?  Have you ever sat at a counter, stuffing your face with a burger so deliciously bad for you, you worry that you might be making inappropriate sex noises because the ecstasy you are now experiencing is unworldly?

I have.  You get it at a little place called Dyer's.  It's in Memphis, TN.  You should eat one before you die.  Or better yet...die eating one.