Saturday, April 28, 2007

New Car!

Originally uploaded by snarkmeister.
Guess what I did yesterday?

After five years of lusting heavily after the Toyota Highlander, I finally bought one. It has LEATHER SEATS and a premium sound system and a moon roof and a roof rack and it fucking kicks ASS. Remote keyless entry with some fancy-shmancy ignition disabling security system. V6, so my baby's got some getup and go. Power every-fucking-thing. And I got a fantastic price, it's only a year old, and it has less than 20K miles on it.


Friday, April 27, 2007

Pork and Veggie Stir Fry with Rice Noodles

Dinner 4/26/07
Originally uploaded by snarkmeister.
I based this stir fry on Rachael Ray's Asian-Style Pork and Vegetable Noodles, but made a few substitutions. I'm not a big fan of bell peppers, so I threw in some chinese peapods instead of the red pepper strips. I used some rice noodles, because I had them on hand. I put a little honey in the dressing to cut the heat and the super-salty elements. And I left the green onions out until the very end, because I wanted them to keep their fresh, green color and flavor.

Overall, it was fairly tasty, although I think it needed more heat (maybe a little chili oil in the dressing?) and I way overcooked the pork. Lesson learned - have all your elements in place, and no matter how long she cooks the meat on her show, do NOT stir fry meat for more than a minute or two before you throw in the rest of the ingredients.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Orange and maroon

My heart goes out to all the students of Virginia Tech, and their families and friends. What a horrific tragedy: thirty-three lives cut short. It's just unimaginable.

Today, I will make a point of telling the people I love just how much I care about them. Because the best way I can think of to fight against the darkness in this world is to counteract it with joy. Hug your family, your friends. Smile at strangers.

"What the world needs now is love, sweet love." Thank you, Carpenters.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

New blog

I've set up a new food blog, Table For Two, since my passion for cooking just keeps growing. I figured it's time to give back to the food community, as I've been so inspired by those fabulous Internet chefs that graciously take the time to photograph their latest culinary masterpieces and pass on the secrets to us.

I've got to get better at taking digital photos though; the last one came out really blurry. :-P


Originally uploaded by snarkmeister.
Guess who got a haircut this weekend?

Open-Faced Burgers with Gorgonzola and Sauteed Mushrooms

Dinner 4/15/2007
Originally uploaded by snarkmeister.
I made this fantastically yummy dinner tonight because I had a craving for something beefy and fattening, but I wanted to use up some of the veggies and the French bread I had on hand.

Open-Faced Burgers with Gorgonzola and Sauteed Mushrooms

2 slices pepper bacon (or regular bacon, but make sure it's GOOD bacon)
1/2 lb ground beef
2 Tbsp diced red onion (or whatever, to taste)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp steak sauce
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 sliced mushrooms
2 Tbsp crumbled Gorgonzola
1 1" thick slice French bread, cut in half
1 cup loosely packed baby spinach
Salt & pepper to taste
Mustard Vinaigrette

Preheat oven to 400° and put a saute pan over medium-high heat. Pop the bacon in the pan and let it crisp up slowly. While the bacon cooks, gently mix together the ground beef, onions, garlic, steak sauce and salt & pepper to taste. Form into two 1/4 pound patties.

When oven is preheated, put the french bread in on a cookie sheet. Let it toast for about 10 minutes, turning once.

When the bacon is just this side of burning, remove it and drain off most of the bacon fat. Add the olive oil to the hot skillet and slide in the burgers. Cook about 3 minutes on each side, until just done in the middle. Put a half-slice of toasted french bread on each plate, then top with the burgers. Immediately put Gorgonzola on top of burgers. Saute the mushrooms in the pan for a few minutes, until softened and golden brown, then put the mushrooms on top of the burgers and cheese.

Add some spinach to the plates. Top the burgers and spinach with crumbled pepper bacon, then drizzle everything with the vinaigrette (see below). Sit down and enjoy with a nice tall beer!

Mustard Vinaigrette

1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Put mustard, vinegar, salt & pepper in the bowl. Add the olive oil in a slow steady stream, whisking the whole time, until oil is incorporated.

French Onion Soup

French onion soup with a glass of wine - the perfect combination for a rainy day.

I got the recipe from Williams Sonoma's Paris cookbook (this is not the same as the recipe on their website). It's super-easy, but it takes about two hours to make. Luckily I always have lots of leftovers, so it's always worth it. :)

Croque Monsieur

Lunch 4/14/2007
Originally uploaded by jperkins98.
Croque monsieur: French for super-freaking-awesome ham and cheese sandwich!

Croque Monsieur

4 slices white sandwich bread
Dijon mustard (I used whole grain)
6 deli slices ham
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
2 cup milk
1 c shredded Gruyere (or thereabouts)
Salt & pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg (or jarred, in a pinch)

Preheat broiler.

Toast the bread lightly, and cut off the crusts. Thinly spread mustard on the bread, then top two slices of bread with three slices of ham each. Place open-faced sandwiches on cookie sheet (you might want to line cookie sheet with foil or something for easier clean-up). Top the sandwiches with some of the grated cheese (about a quarter cup total), then the other slices of bread.

In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add the flour, mix well, and let the flour cook for a minute or two. Add the milk, stirring constantly, and cook until the sauce is thickened slightly (it should coat the back of the spoon). Season with salt & pepper and a sprinkling of nutmeg. Add about half a cup of the grated cheese, stirring until completely melted. Pour some sauce over the sandwiches and top with the very last quarter-cup of the grated cheese. Pop it under the broiler until bubbly and golden brown. Or, if you're impatient like me, just wait until the cheese is melted, then pull it out and scarf.

Note: You may have too much cheese sauce. I always do. Just dip another piece of bread in the sauce and snack on it while you wait for the sandwiches to finish in the oven. ;-)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Romance is NOT dead!

This is one of those totally off-the-wall things you get on craigslist sometimes.

Romantic Gift

Thanks to Dooce for bringing this to my attention and brightening my day.

Monday, April 9, 2007


This is downright frightening. I think the fact that this book was popular enough to require multiple printings says an awful lot about our society 50 years ago (and none of it good):

On Becoming a Woman

I mean, seriously. Female circumcision touted as a cure for masturbation??? Fucking fucktard. Obviously the author had no confidence in his sexual prowess, if he had to run around telling girls that they only want to make out to "please their boyfriends" and that masturbation makes you stupid and lazy.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

96 hours and counting

Four days have passed since my last cigarette, and...I don't really miss it. I guess I really was ready to quit this time. My mood swings have calmed down a bit, and I seem to be entering the "stuff your face" portion of the program. Heh.

Period started this morning. Yay, for not being pregnant. Boo, for being on my period.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Goat Cheese

Last night D came over and I made a FANTASTIC dinner: chicken breasts (bone in, skin on) with a goat cheese/herb mixture under the skin (garlic, rosemary, lemon zest, parsley, a little olive oil), olive oil and salt & pepper on top. Roasted asparagus, with olive oil, salt & pepper. Couscous with green onion and currants. We demolished it all.

Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Goat Cheese

2 chicken breasts (with skin & bones)
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1 handful parsley
2 oz. fresh goat cheese (half a small log)
Olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400°.

In food processor, chop garlic, rosemary, lemon zest and parsley. Add in the goat cheese and a little salt & pepper, then spin again. With the processor running, add just a little olive oil, enough to make it more "spreadable." Loosen the skin on the chicken breasts and put half the goat cheese mixture under the skin of each breast. Smooth the skin and then coat with olive oil, salt & pepper. Place chicken breasts in a roasting pan on a flat rack, and roast for about 35-45 minutes, or until a meat thermometer measures 160 at the thickest part (without touching bone). Let the meat rest for 5 minutes or so under foil, and then dig in.