Sunday, August 1, 2010

Basil and Boxes

Recently I got a new comment on the ole' 'Toast Your Lover' post from many moons ago. Which reminded me of this lovely little thing I had long forgot.

The comment was to tell me I had forgotten an ingredient in the famous "Avocado Toast". He/she was right. Lemon juice was forgotten. The mistake has been remedied.

As you can see, my last post is from July of 2009. So much has happened since then my foodie friends.

Last summer was the summer of "The Bryant".

This summer is the summer of "The Basil".

I'm obsessed. Ask anybody. I've always liked Basil, but this year...This summer I am so obsessed that I bought a basil scented candle AND basil scented laundry detergent.

I've made Caprese everything for weeks now-- sandwiches, pasta, salad, pasta salad. I've also made fresh pesto and put chopped basil in plain ole' lettuce just to jazz it up.

I've even thought that Basil would make a cute name for a puppy...or...a baby...

Basil has also taken center stage in one of my new hobbies. Assemblage Art! (I just found out what I've been doing is called Assemblage Art)

This ones called BasilFaceBluesParty VII.

See that Basil in the middle. Not real. That's a picture which I shellacked on a cigar box! Fooled you. I'm an Artist!

I'm really good. Right? Soon I'll have an ETSY shop and EVERYTHING. Right now I've made...3.

And... then gave one away. But I will make at least 25 more before Brian gets home from Maine. Because seeing his face when the walls are covered with collaged boxes will be worth the hot glue burns and stiff back.

This last picture is of this eves dinner. Isn't is nice?

Balsamic Glazed Tempeh and Cauliflower topped with Basil, Olive Oil, and JalapeƱo Hummus. Served over Greens and fresh Mozzarella. Plus a side of (my part time lover)Mr. Avocado Toast.

I'll try to write more. I do like to share my food wisdom.

Oh I almost forgot to put in some food wisdom!

To keep your basil(or other heeerbs) fresh:
Put them in a cup with about one inch of water.
Then loosely cover them with a plastic bag.
Then put the cup in your frigidaire.

Tah Dah!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Bryant

Have you had one?

Well you should. It's the sexiest drink this side of the Mississippi and that side of the Rio Grand.

One Part Whiskey.

One part Ginger-ale

Lotta Liiiiiime Juice.

The Bryant

We've been having a lot of fun ordering them at bars and then scoffing and rolling our eyes when the bartenders have to aaaaaask what it is. Then we tell them and they act like "Duh, I knew that."

The Bryant. Order it and see.Spread the word. And it is actually quite delicious.

Yes, I understand that saying 'a The Bryant' might be weird so you can just say 'a Bryant'. I mean, if you haaaaaaave too.

I'll have a summer The Bryant party. And maybe you'll be invited. But only if you ask nice. And only if you drink my drink and toast me and say nice things and tell me I'm pretty and buy me presents and take me on your scooter and buy me an ice cream cone and pull a quarter out of my ear. Whoa! How'd you dooooo that!?!?!?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Dani and the pie disaster.

I. do. not. bake.

But I'm trying.


No, no. Not aaaall the time. I usually get it right on the second try.

Remind me to stop using the broiler to 'brown' things.

As you can see.I burned Dutch Apple Pie #1.

And Dutch Apple Pie #2 was graaaaand success.

Until Brian's vat of fat spilled on it. Yes, Brian has a vat of fat and it spilled on my pretty pie to be delivered to clients on one hour.

On the pie. Pork fat IN the pie. Like, INSIDE of the pie.

The 3rd pie is in the oven.

Fingers crossed.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

March on to Yummy Foodtown, USA.

Spring has sprung!!!!!(no, no it has--maybe not in Chicago, but I'm sure somewhere...)

In celebration of SPRING and in celebration of my new camera-- so thoughtfully given to me by nk--Today I took some pics documenting my day of cookin' for Barb and Sunil.

Brian and Brianna helped.

I banged this order out uber fast. I did, however, mess up the egg noodles. So you will NOT be seeing the egg noodles. Trust me they were not pretty...

We started with a cornucopia of deliciousness!

We gots every pan goin'. We gots the steam. The smells. The goodness.

Even amongst the chaos, Little Baby Bri-Bri Belly was able to make his Bourgeois Breakfast. Ain't he sweet?

Morengo has olives in it so I say ew. But others say yay!

Olives are gross.

Squash. Squashes. Squeeshes.

OH MY GOSH! LOOK!!! All the food is, like, totally the same color.

We gots Quinoa Stuffed B-Nut Squash.
Veggie Chili
Morengo Chicken
Egg Noodles (we don't talk about these.)
Rice unt Beans.

In other news CabVag is goin' online...well I mean websitey.

Check's the bare bones, but we got it goin' on.

Look at the minds at work.Brian is reeeeeally close to the screen. We worry bouts his eyes.

This week (and last week) is restaurant week in Chicago. Find a fancy place and go eat their fixed menu. Eat it. Eat it goooooooood.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Can you handle this AWESOMENESS?

Oh my sweet babies. Did we have a weekend!

A weekend of amazing meals and good talks and more good meals and even more good talks.

We started Friday morn with a Bourgeois Breakfast. Brian's favorite breakfast in Germany.

Side note:Did you know Brian lived in Germany? Berlin actually.Pronounced Bear-leeeeeeeen. He actually speaks German. Did you know that? He does. German. Speaks it.Like for real. He lived IN Berlin. Like the city...of BERLIN.Pronounced Bear-leeeeeeeen.

Anyway Brian's favorite type of breakfast in Bear-leeeeen was a plate a random things. Such as an egg. Some bread. A LARGE chunk of meat. Some cheese. Carbs. Perhaps an olive or two.

He has started to recreate this party on a plate every week for whomever is willing to load up on copious amounts of protein. This week we shared it with Becket!

Pork Chop! Fried Egg! Sauteed Turkey! Spinach! Avocado Toast! Olives!

On Friday night we did an ole' game of Supermarket Sweep.
Nate, Tony and I went to Harvest Time and each had three minutes to get two ingredients and then we had to make a meal out of what we got.
Dani: Skirt Steak and Portobellas.
Tony: Spinach and Eggplant.
Nate: Absurd things which we made him put back.

The menu: Sazon spiced steak with spicy sauteed eggplant, onions, and spinach.

Black Beans and Quinoa(we needed carbs so I raided the pantry when we got home and added this dishy)

Tomatillo Salsa(We let Nate try again with his Supermarket Sweep turn and he did great.Mmm.)

Whiskey Baked Apples

So real quick on the apples. How you doooo it.
Core Apple
Stuff center with butter
Sprinkle with Sugar and Cin.
1/4 Whiskey per apple--so 4 apps was one cup of the good stuff.
Let bake at 375 for 1-2 hours. Slow, but soooooo good.
Top with ice cream.
Just do it.

We, of course, drank copious amounts of wine with the word Blood in the title. Boars Blood and Bears Blood. We thought they twere quite amusing.

Next night was an impromptu dinner party with Le Braden. Our plan was to go to the sto'(Dani speak for store) and buy stuffs, but Brian, Braden and I got caught up in being terribly amusing and thus the sto' closed. So I raided the pantry and made something. Ugh, it was so much fun. I love to just make some new business up! Foodie business is my business.

Spaghetti,Chicken,Onions,Sundried Tomatoes, Tomato Sauce, Pine Nuts, and....Indian Spices! Like: Turmeric, Curry, Cardamom. A bit of Love and Sass.It was great. Braden said it tasted like McDonald's chicken nuggets with sweet and sour sauce, but, like, ya know...healthier?

Finally, we ended the eve with some Bread Pudding Pancakes. The mix was from Southport Grocery-- it's just dried white bread,sugar,eggs and milk, but the texture of these things are DIVINE. I made a honey butter maple syrup sauce. Oh.My.God.

(Not my picture, but you get the point.)

Brian and I made a vow to spend less money going out and more nights in cooking and entertaining. We have done it. And it was glorious. A glorious weekend full of love and happy tummies.

This coming weekend we shall repeat. And every weekend for the rest of my life. It's my favorite thing to do you know.

Please join us.

Join we and us AND our bodacious and phallic food fertility deities which only come out of their barrels at mealtime to aid in digestion.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Crowd Pleasa!

Posole is Spanish for Yummy. It is, I Googled it.

So. Whilst in Idaho over le holidays my Aunt Judy served this up one cold snowy eve. It was crowd pleaser amongst my family--My family being my mother, grandmother, aunt and myself. But lemme tell ya, we were pa-leased.

So at my recent potluck,(which by the way was AMAZING. If you missed it, no worries, there will be more. Every month in fact.) I made this Posole business for the masses.

It is the easiest GD recipe this side of the Mississippi. People raved. Some actually asked me for the recipe, as if they were gonna make it THEMSELVES! Imagine. My roommates wanted me to make it again this weekend. So I did. I shall now share it with you. My "homies."

Olive Oil

Chicken(2 cups diced)
Pork(chops or loin, again 2 cups diced)
2 cans of Hominy(which is just hulled corn with the bran and germ removed, duh)
2 small cans of Diced Green Chilies
Chicken Bouillon Cubes(4 or 5)
1-2 cups Water
Garlic Salt
Smoked Paprika(Smoked is faaaar superior to the un-smoked)

Green Onion
Sour Cream
CRUSHED chips.
(Smack em' with a hamma!)

Part of me just wants you to figure out what you do next yourself. It's THAT easy. Just guess. NO? Too hard? Too soon? No enough practice?


Chop meat. Saute meat--in Olive Oil. Add everything else--including the liquid in the Hominy and Chili cans. Stop at toppings. Don't add the toppings IN the soup silly. That's later. Let the soup simma until the bouillon cubes are dissolved and the meat is cooked all nice and prettylike.

Put in a bowl and NOW add the toppings. I know the simpleness is blowing your mind. I would eat some now, but Brian finished it all off. Thanks, Brian. No really, thanks a lot.

Below are some pictures to help you on your journey to Posole town!!!

Eat good my pretties.

The ingredients shot all artylike.

Das Ist Kunst. God, I could marry an avocado.

Stewing, if you will.

As I have said before if your bowl of Posole does not look exactly like this, then you have, in fact, failed. Make it work people.

Cute kids I have cooking class with on Wednesdays. We cook. We giggle.It's a blast.

I want a fruit roll-up.

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Fiery Orphans Thanksgiving.

We started as 3. Grew to 9 for dinner. Then 16 for the late night fun banter.

It was a long day for me. Up at 8am to start cooking. And the last guest left round 2am.

It was an almost perfect day...except the FIRE!!!!

Yesh! I caught the house on fire. The oven really. So. We bought one of those cheap pans to roast Mr. Turkey in. Apparently there was some crack in it? All the fat leaked into the bottom of the oven and caught on fire! Fat fire!!!

It was very exciting and very hilarious. Brian and I stood looking at it--the fire. Then we'd look at each other. I dashed into the pantry looking for baking soda. We only had baking powder. It does NOT work the same. Nope. So then Brian started to get water and I said "Noooooooooooooooooooo!!!" So then we looked at it some more. As the smoke filled the kitchen and all of our eyes watered I thought of what was most important--The Turkey. So I rescued the turkey. Just as Amanda dashed in with the fire extinguisher. We didn't need the extinguisher. The Fat fire burned off and calmed down. That's what fat fires do.

It was hilarious. The day thus far had gone way too smoothe. I was way ahead of schedule. After the event the house reeked of smoke! Windows open, fans out before the guests arrived.

Loved it. One of those memories. My first Thanksgiving where I ran the show and I almost burned the house down.

We made so much food.

The Menu:

I made:
Apple Brown Sugar Brined Turkey.
Cornbread and Pretzel Stuffing.
Parmesan Scalloped Potatoes.
Carrot Yogurt Salad.
Hazelnut Brown Buttered Brussel Sprouts
Sweet Potato Casserole
Croissants with Brown Sugar Butter

Merissa brought:
Broccoli Casserole

Erika and Nando brought:
Cheesy Green Beans
Marshmallowy Potatoes and Squash

Becket brought:
Greens. Salad and Greens!

Amanda brought:
Sweet Potato Pie
Pecan Pie
Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake
Cranberry Relish

Ben brought:
Clementine Salad
Banana Bread
A lot of booze

Galen brought:
Pumpkin Pie

Mika brought:
1/2 a bottle of wine

Brianna and Andrew brought:
Their sweet asses.

We ended the night with a 3 hour conversation about gender, sexuality, expectation, and power. We're, like, really smart and articulate people who can shovel massive amounts of food down our gullets.

After the fire. Not quite cooked of course, Just smokey. extra smokey. Thank goodness for the oven downstairs!!! We would have been shit outta turkey luck!

Ahhhhhh! I did not finish my plate. So ashamed.

The first wave.Good little eaters and amusers.

I love hosting things. I wish everyday was a holiday where I can cook feasts for my loved ones.

I'll invite you next time. If you tell me how pretty I am.