Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Return to the land of internet connections

Many apologies for the long absence. Two weeks ago Jon and I had to fly back to Arkansas for a family emergency, and we ended up staying through the Christmas holiday. It was a busy, heartbreaking, stressful couple of weeks. Needless to say, I didn’t have much time for writing. And even if I had, finding a free internet connection back home is like chasing a rainbow. So close, yet. so. far.

The internet hasn’t worked at my parent’s house for a year, even though they still pay for it. My sister lives an inconvenient hour-and-a-half away. Starbucks makes you pay for Wi-Fi. The library has the slowest connection I have seen in quite some time (Hello, dial-up! Ok, that’s an exaggeration, but still.). And for some reason my wonderful little laptop just won’t pick up signals at the one café in town that offers free wireless. (She’s a stubborn, snooty little thing, methinks.) I’m not above sitting in the parking lots of hotels and restaurants to steal a signal, either. Believe me, I will stoop quite low to get my online fix.

So, while I love being home with family and friends, Sonic Cokes and dirt roads and all, I am glad to be back to my wonderful wireless internet.

P.S. I have tons of new recipes to share courtesy of several family Christmas dinners, so be on the lookout. I’ll be back in a couple of days!

Friday, December 12, 2008

The sources of my inferiority complex. Or, Mouthwatering Blogs.

You will never visit my blog again after you check out the food blogs compiled in Bon Appétit’s “Blog Envy” list.

No, really. I don’t blame you. Go, now. Shoo!

Seriously, though, go ahead and look through the slideshow. It’s incredible. I trolled through it and if Bon Appétit, a force to be reckoned with in the food magazine world, has envy issues over these blogs, then what I have is…something else entirely. Lust, perhaps?

But, since I’m not a jealous blogger, I have created a little list my personal favorites from the “Blog Envy” round-up for your reading pleasure.

-Not Eating Out in New York is among the blogs on the magazine’s list. I was already a fan before, but this just gives me a good excuse to rep for the blog! Blogger Cathy gives you everything you could ask for in a foodie blog. For instance, it has a great concept—she started Not Eating Out in New York as a project to see if she could actually refrain from restaurant dining in one of the finest culinary capitals of…ahem, the WORLD. Yeah, not easy. But, she pulled it off for 2 years! Like I said, great concept. Plus, she comes up with interesting, fresh new recipes with an eco-conscience.

-Next blog-hop over to Food Junta. Bon Appétit explains “the word ‘junta’—from the Spanish word juntar (‘to join’)—refers to a community of revolutionaries.” Honestly, I’m down for joining a community of food revolutionaries, especially when their tagline is “Empowering the young, broke and hungry.” Plus, Junta leaders, Claire and Kevin, have cool features for clueless cooks like me, such as the “Boot Camp” series. Viva la revolución!

-Delicious: Days, a site run by Nicky in Munich, is definitely worth a look, if for nothing more than the beautiful design and incredible photographs. I honestly couldn’t stick around there too long because there were sweets and cakes and cookies and my mouth was watering. I will be returning, however.

-And my last recommendation is to check out The Pink of Perfection, written by Sarah McColl. In addition to amazing looking recipes and treats (not to mention the Spicy, Sweet and Salty Rosemary Nuts included in Bon Appétit’s compilation), Sarah blogs about thrifty living and crafts. AND as an added bonus, her sister is Katy McColl, one of my favorite magazine writers back from my Jane-reading days (before it folded. *sniffle*).

Surf away, dudes and dudettes! But don’t forget about me!

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Actually, no. It's not.

BUT! I did get a brithday present a few weeks ago. Do keep in mind that my birthday is in June. June 6th, to be exact, so it wasn't even my half-birthday on the day I came home to find a package from Amazon. I did a quick scan of the online-shopping files of my brain, but there were no recent purchases in memory.

I should have known that it was a super late birthday present from Courtney B. (BFF since 2nd grade, wut!), because A. she had texted me the week before asking what my apartment number was, and B. we ALWAYS exchange birthday presents late (although not usually quite this late).

Here’s the exciting part: she got me the Casserole Crazy cookbook (by Emily Farris) that I posted about in early November! (See, even though I don’t get paid for this blog, I guess it does have unexpected benefits.) I was so excited that I sat down and actually read the cookbook. Here’s an excerpt from the introduction that I love:

“This is a book for people who love to eat. It is not a book for people who like to make elaborate culinary presentations or impress dinner guests with knowledge of exotic vegetables or cuts of meat. This book is about taking ingredients that you know, that you love, that you can find, and baking those ingredients into one dish you can share with friends over an expensive bottle of wine or live off for a week when you’re waiting for your next paycheck.”

I couldn’t explain my intentions for food and for this blog any better if I tried.

P.S. I’ve already tried two recipes from the book and they did not disappoint. AND THANKS COURTNEY! YOU ROCK!

Last Turkey Post, I SWEAR!!!

Like I said, this will be the last post about Herbert, our Thanksgiving Turkey. But, I really like making fun of myself, so I had to post this video that my sister, Kirby (The Kirbs), filmed as I unleashed the beast from his Butterball bag. Needless to say there are lots of unattractive faces on my part and a few disgusted squeals. In the end, however, Herbert grew on me, especially when I discovered the little bag of organs shoved into his body cavity. Oh, and this is probably not too safe for those with vegetarian or PETA-esque tendencies, obviously. So, watch with caution.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Fortune Time-Can't Touch This!

At our local Chinese food takeout establishment, fortune cookies cost extra. And yet, I order them anyway. I’m willing to pay 35 cents for my fortune. However, I am not willing to pay 35 cents to order a fortune cookie which is always mysteriously absent from my order. So, even though I ate Chinese food merely 2 weeks ago, this is a recycled fortune from back in October. But it works in connection with the recent holidays, and you’ll see why.

“To be mature is to accept imperfections.”

Yes, such as this monstrosity (which I was very proud of regardless of its cosmetic...issues):

It literally fell apart when we picked it up. Moist!

Instead of this:

PA-LEEEZZE. It is pretty though, right? *Sigh*
Oh well, it looked disgusting, but still tasted like a turkey! Yep, I am so totally mature.

Oh Herbs, you will be missed.
One last thing: here's Herbert before he was roasted up. Happy guy, I'd say.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Turkey Coma

Yep, I’ve been in a turkey coma. I just woke up yesterday. It was pretty severe, really.


Ok, I’m a bad liar. Honestly, I just abandoned the blog for the past week (or two) so that I could actually eat food instead of just write about it. Plus, I was having major turkey anxiety over the 18-pound monstrosity residing in my freezer that I was supposed to COOK. I’m an amateur at normal cooking, so the thought of cooking an entire bird was daunting. More on this later (possibly with video?).

For now, let’s deal with the turkey leftovers. And yes, when you have an 18-pound bird and only four people to eat it, there are going to be leftovers. The lady mags always whip out creative ways to use up these leftovers in their November issues, so here are a few ideas from this walking, breathing lady mag.

1. Feed it to the dog. Duh. (Or cat. My adorable fluffball, Prancy, is loving the turkey scraps.)
2. Toss pieces at the side of your neighbor’s house. This works best if your neighbor has some sort of siding, and if your turkey is moist-ish. Slather some leftover cranberry sauce on that foul if need be. Whoever’s turkey slab sticks the longest wins!
3. Leftover turkey is the prize. (Sneeeaaaky!)
4. Pack it in your kids’ lunches (or whoever you happen to be making lunch for). Obviously, don’t put it in your own though.
5. Try the recipe below.

Turkey Poofs

Adapted from "Chicken Poofs" recipe on Prevention.com.

1 cup reduced-sodium stuffing mix (if you have some leftover stuffing you can use it, or just buy a box of Stove Top. When I made this, I’m pretty sure I used the whole box, which is more like 2 cups of mix.)
1½ cups cooked turkey breast, shredded (or use chicken.)
1 cup fat-free sour cream
2 containers (8 rolls in each) reduced-fat crescent rolls

Preheat the oven according to the directions on the crescent roll container. In a medium saucepan, prepare the stuffing mix according to the package instructions. (If you’re using leftovers, skip to the next step.) Remove it from heat and mix in turkey and sour cream. On a large nonstick cookie sheet, unroll the crescent rolls. Separate them in pairs and arrange them to form squares, pinching together the seams as you flatten the dough. Place desired amount of stuffing mixture in the center of each square. Pull up the corners and make a pyramid of sorts with the crescent pastry. Pinch together all the seams, so you can’t see any turkey mixture. Bake for about 14 minutes, or until golden brown.

Nutritional info per serving: 336 calories, 13.5 g fat, 3.2 g sat fat, 21.9 mg cholesterol, 737.4 mg sodium, 35.7 g carbs, 9.3 g total sugars, 0.4 g dietary fiber, 15.8 g protein.