Nablammo Fail

So much for posting every day! I forgot that finals week = in the middle of November.


Sorry, kids. School comes first. Lots of treats coming soon. Fakesgiving is this Saturday!


And monkey’s brains, though popular in Cantonese cuisine, are not often to be found in Washington, D.C.

Rebekah and I watched Clue (one of my favorite movies of all time) and drank Monkey’s Brains shots during Wadsworth’s recap of the evening’s events. Monkey’s brains are not often to be found in St. Louis, either, so we settled for curdled Bailey’s with a bit of festive grenadine.

Here’s what’s in them, if you’re inclined to try some brains:

– just shy of a shot of cranberry vodka
– a tiny splash of lime juice (don’t overdo this, or you’ll be hit in the face with lime tartness)
– Bailey’s Irish Cream
– grenadine, for color and to lift the curdled cream from the bottom of the glass

Shake together the vodka and lime, and pour into shot glasses. Use a straw to siphon little curls of Bailey’s into each glass (put your finger over the top of the straw to suction up some Baileys, then let go to drop it in). The cream will curdle and sink to the bottom. Slowly pour grenadine in, and watch the “brains” float like specimens in the shot glasses. Toss them back! (or down the drain, if they’re too creepy)

Blueberries, Pork, and Sharing

My super fabulous old roommate (Joy) and I like to share recipes, now that we don’t live together anymore. It’s like we’re eating dinner together, except not in the same room.

I opened my email this morning to find the following recipe:

You Need:
boneless pork chops
1 shallot, finely diced
1/2 cup red wine
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 lemon (zest and juice)
2 tablespoons butter
Fresh parsley, roughly chopped

Do This:
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
2. Salt and pepper both sides of each pork chop. Heat a tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat in an oven-proof skillet big enough to hold all four pork chops.
3. Brown the pork chops, about 1-2 minutes on each side. Remove the pan from heat and pop it into the oven. Remove when the pork is just cooked through, about 10-12 minutes.
4. While the pork chops are in the oven, prepare the sauce. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a small saucepan over medium high heat.
5. Sauté the shallots until soft and golden. Add the wine and water and let boil down for 1-2 minutes.
6. Add the blueberries. When the skins begin to burst, add the lemon zest and juice. Let the sauce continue to boil and thicken until the pork chops are ready.
7. Once the pork chops are ready, remove the pan from the oven and place the pork chops on a cutting board and let them rest while finishing the sauce.
8. Turn the heat off under the saucepan and stir in the butter until it is completely melted. If using unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt.
9. Serve the pork chops either whole or sliced, topped with the blueberry sauce and fresh parsley. Since the pork chops were finished in the oven, they should still be nice and juicy.

Pork? Blueberries? Done.

My blueberry-red wine-shallot pork.

Joy’s blueberry-red wine-shallot pork. She had side dishes. And placemats. I think the words for that are Big. Time. Fancy.

Okay, so of course I had side dishes, but I was feeling super minimalist with the photos. That cherry tomato and green bean vinaigrette on her plate looks phenomenal, right?

The sauce is phenomenal. I love everything about it (except for the fact that it steams a lot while it’s reducing, so if you want a decent photo of the sauce midway through, you have to pull the pan off the stove).

Anyways, the moral of the story is that sharing is good. And that this blueberry-red wine-shallot sauce is so good that I’d eat it with a spoon.

All Your Eggs In One Basket

Usually a bad idea, unless we’re talking breakfast!

Let’s just ignore the giant fingerprint in the corner of the toast from where I got impatient and pulled it out of the pan with my hand instead of a spatula…

I like my toast very light, so my eggs in a basket aren’t quite as browned as some people like theirs. The good thing about preferring light toast is that the eggs end up cooking just perfectly.

Wanna make these? So easy:

Cut a circle out of a slice of bread. I used a cookie cutter, but I’ve heard that the top of a glass works just as well.

Lightly butter each side of the bread. It’s a little bit weird with the circle missing, but it’s better than cutting the circle out of a buttered slice and getting your cookie cutters all messy.

Turn the stove to medium heat, and melt a small pat of butter in a frying pan. Place the bread in the pan, and crack an egg into the hole you cut out of the bread. Cook until the whites of the egg are solid enough to flip the entire bread-egg combo as one piece. Flip, and cook for another minute or so (until the egg is cooked through and your bread is a bit toasted). If you like darker toast or a more well-cooked egg, cook for a bit longer.

This is now my preferred way to eat an egg.

Lookin’ Sharp

Okay, I promise that tomorrow I’ll post some actual food instead of kitchen nonsense. I’m just super excited because we have NEW KNIVES!

They’re shiny. And there’s one for tomatoes/bagels. And they’re here just in time for Fakesgiving.

Hello, Friends

I’m being shameless this weekend, and mostly posting about my fancy new kitchen things. We had some out-of-town visitors, and ended up going out to eat more than cooking, so there aren’t any fun food pictures to post.

That said, meet my new friends. They’re going to be responsible for some fun food pictures!

Interesting tidbit: Crate & Barrel likes to refer to these little guys as pancake molds. I bought them because my other cookie cutters are flimsy, and I wanted something sturdy and non-stick. I’m pretty sure I can dual-purpose these little gingerbread dudes, and have festive cookies and pancakes.

Want ’em? They’re just $5.95 apiece at your local C&B.

Plates! Bowls! Both?

I’ve been looking for a hybrid plate-bowl for quite some time. Something with the diameter of a dinner plate, but the depth of a cereal bowl — a plate for pasta dishes, or big salads, or stews.

And…found. After searching the usual suspects (Crate & Barrel, Williams-Sonoma, Target) and coming up with nothing, I wandered into a Pier 1 and found these delightful stoneware plate-bowls. Microwave and dishwasher safe, too. Great success.