Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Lamb and Laminate

It's been kind of a joke in our house that when any of our friends went to the bathroom we'd say, "Don't pee on the carpet!" We decided after 3 years of people peeing on our carpet (yes, there was carpet in the downstairs bathroom- why oh why people think that's a good idea, I'll never know) that it was time to rip out the old and lay down the new.  So we bought up a bunch of laminate flooring from Costco, ripped out the existing 1990s-esque carpet and made the executive decision to put the flooring in ourselves to save a few bucks.  Of course the week we chose to do said project was the week it rained all week, forcing us to make cuts with powerful saws in our kitchen, spraying sawdust everywhere.

And you would think that I would not make meals during this time, and you would be wrong.  I made the shit out of some meals.  This delicious lamb and pine nut-stuffed eggplant was one.  And it was amazing. They just had an added flavoring of formaldehyde (did you know that formaldehyde is a naturally occurring substance in all wood products?  Me either, until now). It didn't really taste like formaldehyde, I promise.

Anyways, this recipe comes from a cookbook I've been dying to use, called Jerusalem: A Cookbook.  I can't wait to cook more out of it.  Just thumbing through the pages makes me drool.  Of course, since our house was in shambles, I had to find the recipe online.  But luckily it wasn't hard.  Here it is.  I didn't have sweet paprika, so I used regular, and I didn't have any parsley that wasn't covered in sawdust, so I left it out.  And I also didn't have the patience to look everywhere for tamarind paste, so I used lime juice instead.  And don't worry, you will see more recipes from this book.  Haven't met one I didn't like yet.

We still have to remodel the actual bathroom.  Decided to also get rid of our seashell sinked vanity and our old, falling apart cabinets. 

Here's what I learned in doing our first home DIY remodel:

1. Walking into Home Depot with a vagina is like walking into a casino with a million dollars. 

2. When your man walks into Home Depot he all of a sudden knows this weird language you've never heard him speak.  

3. Big powerful saws are scary.  To me and to cats.

4. The person who works the least hard is the one who ends up needing a tetanus shot and antibiotics.

5. Installing laminate flooring isn't easy.  And you spend a ton of time making it look perfect only to then need to buy a rug to cover up all your hard work!  

Try this lamb recipe.  It's really good and good for you.

Friday, March 04, 2016

A Few of my Favorite Food Things

Apparently, I like lists.  Here's one for ya. A few of my favorite food things:

1.  Sitting on an ocean dock somewhere with a box full of blue crab and some icy cold Corona.

2.  Getting to the choke of an artichoke.  Letting it bathe in some melted butter and then eating it up.  Not sharing a morsel. (By the way, have you ever seen an artichoke flower? Holy gorgeous. Google that shit.)

3.  Sharing a chocolate milkshake with someone you love.

4.  Having the patience to let a Lindor Truffle melt in your mouth until the hard shell diminishes and your mouth fills up with that velvety, creamy, smooth chocolate from the inside.

5.  Chargrilling oysters.

6.  That moment when you discover that tomatoes are at their ripest.

7.  Hovering over a table with close friends at a shrimp and/or crawfish boil.

8.  The decadence that is butter cream icing.

9.  A good hot n' sour soup. (You'd be surprised at how rare it is)

10.  Having the patience to fire roast a marshmallow to the perfect golden brown.

11.  The flavor of perfectly ripened fruit.

12.  Dipping a good piece of chocolate into a jar of REAL peanut butter (not that sugar laden crap) and then chugging it down with some super cold milk.

13.  A perfectly cooked pasta.

14.  Dipping pretzels into hummus.

15.  The smell of freshly ground coffee and that first sip of it in the morning.

16. The flakiness of a croissant.

17.  Turning butter into lipstick.

18.  Homemade whipped cream

19.  Rolling a hard boiled egg on a napkin that has been pre-salted and peppered.

20.  Pulling out a honking piece of crabmeat from its shell and dunking it into lemon butter.

21.  Teaching someone how to get the honking piece of crabmeat from its shell.

22. The smell of bacon in the air.

23. A really good blue cheese dressing

24. Pulling off a perfectly cooked steak.

25.  An olive oil so tasty you could do shots of it.  And want to drizzle it on everything.  Ice cream included.

26.  A sip of a really big, bold red wine.

27. Punching down freshly risen dough.

28. Biting into buttery hole-filled English Muffins.

29. When you finally perfect the meatball.

30.  Biting into cold watermelon on a hot day.

31.  Freshly baked bread. The smell, the taste and the way it feels.

32.  The way a glazed doughnut melts in your mouth.

33.  The popcorn kernels that didn't quite reach their destiny.

34. Eating whole peanuts.  Shells and all.

35.  Opening a beer with a lighter.

36.  A cheese that smells so bad you couldn't imagine eating it, but when you do, it tastes so good!

37.  All things bread.  Eating it, making it, kneading it, buttering it, toasting it, grilling it...

38.  The smell of toasted coconut.

39.  The amount of energy it takes to catch a fish.

40.  The smell of garlic on your hands.  Also, walking into a home that smells of garlic.

41.  Honey.  Cause bees make honey. (inside joke - when my niece was little we used to ask her, "What color are Aunt Jessie's eyes?" and she would always say, "Honey.  Cause bees make honey."

42.  Eating something straight off the vine.  Gardens. Planning them. Planting them. Tending them. Harvesting them. Gardens are awesome.  They remind me of saltwater fishtanks in that you can watch them all day and you will discover that they do so many amazing things throughout the day. Wow.  There are many wow's in gardening.

43. Trying new foods and wondering how you've lived life thus far without them.

44.  The way foods from your childhood make you feel all warm and cozy.

45.  Homemade lemonade

46.  The crispy, fatty pieces of a ribeye.

47.  Charcoal grills.

48.  Experiencing someone experiencing raw oysters for the first time.

49.  The first time you pull off a gourmet meal and don't burn anything.

50.  Watching someone else enjoying eating.  Like seriously enjoying it.  So much so you can see the passion.