Avodcado-Poppy Seed Dressing…

“Sagebrush is a very fair fuel, but as a vegetable it is a distinguished failure. Nothing can abide the taste of it but the jackass and his illegitimate child the mule.”

-Mark Twain, Roughing It

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_ _ In the 20th century the avocado has been hailed as one of many “superfoods.” They get less super as they’ve been sitting in your fridge for over a week and you have to pick around the brown spots… When in need of a recipe to use up that borderline disgusting produce you’ve allowed to go bad, this is a perfect solution! You can use it as a salad dressing, or a sandwich spread– but either way, get some vegetables in you, you disgusting Americans. Even if you do pair it with excessive bacon… like this disgusting American.

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Easy Slider

“Food is our common ground, a universal experience.”

-James Beard

Eggplant Slider with Fresh Basil, Tomato, Mozzarella and Balsamic Dressing

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_ _ I recently moved to a new place and I never realized how much I would miss cooking until all my pots and pans were packed away for over a week. I told my friend I was craving these little sandwiches and she made me feel like an idiot when she asked if you could “crave something you’ve never made before.” Yes. Yes, you can, and I was.

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Steak ‘N Potaters…

“There are people who strictly deprive themselves of each and every eatable, drinkable, and smokable which has in any way acquired a shady reputation. They pay this price for health. And health is all they get for it. How strange it is. It is like paying out your whole fortune for a cow that has gone dry.”

-Mark Twain

Soy Sauce Glazed Red Potato “Croutons”

_ _Meat and potatoes remind me unequivocally of England (where I’ve been twice, no big deal). “But Anna,” you say, “shouldn’t something more like fish and chips remind you unequivocally of England?” Well yes, but that doesn’t help me in regards to this post, so stop being such a smart-arse. When I was in high school we took two class trips to that jolly island and although I absolutely loved my time there, I got the distinct feeling that the country as a whole wasn’t sad to see me go… I thought my constant impressions of Tiny Tim and/or Oliver Twist and/or anyone speaking with a Cockney accent were far more hilarious than they were. I still do.

_ _ In any case, these are the perfect side for a nice steak… ideally some Kobe beef, not the Walmart filets which are all I can afford. Don’t judge me for shopping at Walmart, please. But even with a kind-of-terrible, definitely-not-organic steak, I still find myself saying: “please sir, I want some more!” …*tap tap* is this thing on?

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Spicy Home Fries

“After violent emotion most people and all boys demand food.”
Rudyard Kipling, Captains Courageous

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_ _You can make these puppies with breakfast, or as a side dish for dinner. This particular batch I paired with meatloaf and because they are baked and not fried, I could pretend I was serving up a healthy meal… Disregard the fact that it was meat wrapped in meat with a side of starch. Everything’s fiiiiine in moderation!

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Another Orange Soup…

“. . . the rich ate and drank freely, accepting gout and apoplexy as things that ran mysteriously in respectable families . . .”
George Eliot, Silas Marner

Butternut Squash Bisque

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_ _I’m not a brilliant person by any stretch of the imagination, but I’ve never had my intelligence insulted more than when I was working through a temp agency my sophomore year of college. I was essentially hired to answer phones and file paperwork at a Section-8 apartment rental office, which I figured would be a breeze… until I met the woman I was going to be working with. She held loud, personal conversations on the phone while clients sat in the waiting room; she felt the need to explain to me how to alphabetize the applications; she insisted I rip up stacks and stacks of documents by hand (the office had a paper shredder)… but the highlight of my time there was the day she requested that I organize some papers in a binder and asked me if I was “OK”  to use a three-hole punch. I nearly had an aneurysm.

_ _When I hear the phrase “idiot proof” using a hole punch and making this soup now come to mind. Even if you CAN’T figure out a hole punch (no judgment… ok, a little judgment) you can still make this dish. It’s just about the easiest thing you can whip up and make your guests swoon.

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Bacon Makes Everything Better

“I would recommend examination of the bacon in the saucepan on the fire, and also of the potatoes by the application of a fork. Preparation of the greens will further become necessary if you persist in this unseemly demeanour.”
-Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend

Spinach Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette

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_ _ I think everyone feels just a little smug when they order a salad for dinner– maybe you’re like me and even raise your voice slightly as you hand the menu back to the server so you know the rest of the table hears you… That’s right, WATCH me be healthier than all of you. This sense of superiority only lasts however, if you can suppress your inner monologue reminding you “…yeah, except that you actually got the iceberg, smothered in bleu cheese and fried chicken… idiot.” Shut up brain.

_ _ Well, this salad is the perfect combination of healthy ingredients and indulgence so that you can feel good about eating it and not be stuck craving more flavor. If you eat it and still binge on a dozen peanut butter cookies, it won’t be because you’re still hungry… it’ll be because you have a problem. Like me.

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