Dinner is Served! September 30, 2013

Turkey and Pork Sliders with Mozzarella and Habanero Jack Cheese, “1950s Cafeteria”-Inspired Filter Courtesy of Instagram

The government may be shut down, but food bloggers endure!

Please enjoy some of my favorites:

Zucchini Galette from Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen

Chocolate Stout Waffles with Chocolate-Peanut Butter Syrup from Eats Well With Others

Smoked Salmon with Cucumbers from My Carolina Kitchen

Coconut Buttermilk Pound Cake from Bake or Break

Sweet Corn Casserole from Gonna Want Seconds

Classic Pumpkin Pie from Living the Gourmet

Orange and Bourbon Brined Turkey on the Grill from Nibble Me This

Spaghetti and Meatballs with Mushroom and Chard from Thyme for Cooking

Raspberry Curd Tart from Exploits of a Food Nut

Honey Broiled Pears from A Cake Bakes in Brooklyn

Trisha Yearwood’s Hawaiian Fruit Salad with Honey Lime and Ginger Dressing OR “Why an Orange Sucks and a Goldfish Doesn’t”

You can be certain I’m not going to eat all those oranges I just bought.

A giant sack of fresh oranges is like a goldfish. Initially, you’re excited about buying it; your future together seems full of promise and contentment. But the minute you walk it through your door, all the appeal just drains right away, and you realize from here on out, it’s just gonna be work. You regret putting more thought into the purchase beforehand, and you kick yourself for not spending your dough on those salt and pepper shakers shaped like little wiener dogs instead.

At least a goldfish will attempt to demonstrate some gratitude for the new home you’ve provided it, performing a kicky little “cha cha” with its tail for you at the glass, or relentlessly dotting the top of its little castle with grateful fish kisses. “Oh the floor space! And what curb appeal!  You’ve made me the happiest son-of-a-bitch in my whole spawn!”

Yeah, a goldfish knows a good thing when it’s got one going. But an orange is never grateful. It just sits there.  It gives you nothing. And unlike a goldfish, you can’t flush an orange when it starts boring you.

Oranges really should try harder.  If an open-hearted shopper like myself doesn’t come by and sweep them off the top of that citrus heap, the alternatives are not promising: the day-old salad bar perused by hungry paralegals, subbing as a hacky sack for the box boys at break time, or maybe just straight to the dumpster… then the trash truck…. and on to the landfill, only to mysteriously end up where all unwanted produce ends up: the side of a dirt road in San Onofre next to a decomposing copy of Penthouse and a Glad Bag crammed with the souvenirs of a serial killer’s best weekend ever.

An orange really should learn to play the game smarter, maybe partner up with a more satisfying food item. I know I’d be more tempted to go for an orange if I knew when I peeled back the rind there was a giant globe of mozzarella cheese waiting for me. Or maybe the orange and Lottery industries could come together. I’d be super stoked if I could scrape off the side of an orange with a penny and underneath it said “FREE SPIN!” Even if it didn’t entitle me to actually spin anything, I’d just enjoy being a winner, and the orange would get all the credit.

But those things won’t happen. So those oranges are just gonna sit there, counting down their days in a plastic bowl crammed between my land line telephone and a crowd of unsharpened pencils in a mug that proclaims “Sober Hunks Rule!” while a goldfish looks on, just shaking its head. “Man, you oughtta learn some soft shoe.  Don’t you know… in this life, ya’ gotta sing for your supper.”

Recipe for Trisha Yearwood’s Hawaiian Fruit Salad with Honey, Lime and Ginger Dressing

Time to Play: REAL Cookbook or CROCK Cookbook? – Cooking with a Serial Killer

Cooking with a Serial Killer, written by Dorothea Puente, convicted in 1993 of poisoning three residents at her Sacramento boarding house, burying them in her backyard, and cashing their social security checks. Her cookbook includes recipes for chipotle ketchup, Mexican chicken-gizzard soup, veggie burgers, and tamales prison-style. And guess what, the recipes aren’t hers either.

What do you think? Real Cookbook or Crock Cookbook?

Click here for the answer!

Cherry Butter Bars and the Milli Vanilli Connection

As I write this entry, I’m listening to the song Blame it on the Rain by Milli Vanilli.

You remember those guys… Rob and Fab.

I’m at a loss for a fun story to go along with this recipe. Here’s the dull reality: cherries were on sale at my Rock and Roll Ralphs and I bought way more than I’ll ever be able to nibble away before they go bad. I went looking for a recipe, found the only one that interested me at Smitten Kitchen, made it while burning What’s My Line? episodes off my DVR, talked stupid to my cat for half an hour, and went to bed.

Not much to really sink your teeth into, is there?

Would it help if I mentioned the mystery celebrity guests on WML? were Robert Wagner and Anna Maria Alberghetti? Anyone else remember Anna’s delightful Good Seasons salad dressing tv commercials from the 1970s? Anyone?

Didn’t think so.

Perhaps the most exciting part of this entry is that I’m actually listening to Milli Vanilli. Probably shouldn’t have led with my best. But I can still manage to tie it all together becasue I have found a mystery link that connects the disgraced foot-stomping braid-heads to the sweet, lovely, industrious cherry itself.

But you’ll have to read the rest of the entry to learn it.

Continue reading “Cherry Butter Bars and the Milli Vanilli Connection” »

Lemon Bars

My friend Laura recently informed me that I’m going through my “gadget phase,” — a mandatory period that apparently all new kitchen bugs like me go through. At first, I privately scoffed at the idea, but since taking inventory of my kitchen, I’ve had to give up the grunt and admit she’s right. After all, in just the last three months, my culinary family has grown by a NuWave oven, a garlic press, a crock pot, a Magic Bullet, a potato press, an olive oil sprayer, an oven liner, plastic cutting mats, a food processor, two aprons, an assortment of cookie sheets, cake and brownie pans, a potato scooper, a bounty of serving dishes, bowls, and trays, and barbecue tongs that, thankfully, fold up to save room in my utensil drawer. On top of that, an entire shelf of DVD’s has been dispalced in favor of cook books and cocktail manuals, and I’m curently sitting on a $150 gift card to Sur La Table.

Oh, and as of yesterday… I am the proud papa of a shiny lemon zester.

I hope I stay in the gadget phase for a long, long time. Nothing’s making me happier these days than the cacophony of steel, plastic and wire that plays anytime I give my utensil drawer a nice firm pull.

Continue reading “Lemon Bars” »

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

As of last night, I am no longer the Last American Crock Pot Virgin!

After months enduring slings and barbs from my co-workers for spending as much time as I do in the kitchen without a crock, I finally lucked out and scored myself one for Christmas, courtesy of my mom and dad.

It’s little.  It’s like a “Bachelor Crock Pot,” or perhaps a “Baby’s First Crock Pot,” or a “Vern Troyer Crock Pot.”  I didn’t actually think there were crock pots this little, but now that I have mine, I see them in this little Hobbit-size nearly everywhere I go!

As for the first meal to make in it… that wasn’t a tough call.  I’d just recently enjoyed a fantastic pulled pork sandwich at The Tipsy Pig, a great gastropub up in San Francisco, and it had been flickering around in the back of my mind like a fugitive kite ever since.  Plus, I’m always looking for a reason to use barbecue sauce, and finally and most importantly, my boyfriend wanted it.

I let the pork cook through most of my Saturday afternoon.  The smell that slowly snaked its way through my apartment… well, you can imagine.  Even my twenty pound cat who doesn’t do much of anything other than lie on his back all day was dancing back and forth through the kitchen with his nose twitching and pointing up to the counter.  When MG finally showed up and walked through my door, the first thing he said was, “Hey, it smells like North Carolina in here!”  What kitchen-dabbler could ask for a better compliment than that?

So, thank you to my co-workers in the booth for the bullying, and to my parents for listening to them, and to MG for loving food, and to pork everywhere, and to the pulling of pork, and most importantly to the Naxon Utilities Corporation of Chicago for giving birth to the original slow cooker that would eventually go on to a life of fame and praise.

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

  • 1-2 pound pork loin, trimmed of fat
  • 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce, divided
  • a medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
  • hamburger buns or the rolls of your choice

Place pork loin in crock pot and top with onion, pepper and barbecue sauce

Cover and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or on HIGH for 4-5 hours

Shred with a fork, stir and continue to cook for another hour at least

Pile it up on your hamburger bun or roll and have at it!

Click on the below pics for hi-res versions.

My Kitchen is Broken

PC users may be noticing some formatting issues when viewing Tv Food and Drink. It seems that some gremlins slipped into my coding over the weekend while I was doing some upgrades and made a mess of everything. Please rest assured that I’m fixing things as fast as I can, and should up to snuff by January 8th if not sooner. The kitchen can’t always be neat and tidy, you know.