Saturday, July 6, 2013

Beating the Heat

I don't know about the rest of you but where I live in New England it is FUCKING hot out (sorry if the word offends you but it's appropriate and it fits). That being said I have had little to no interest in running my oven. It's about 90ยบ in my apartment and all of us have been sweating buckets.

I don't know about you but when I'm that hot I really don't feel like standing over a hot stove, or in front of a hot oven adding even more heat to our little place. So here is a simple list of meal ideas to avoid oven use and keep you cool. Sure it's been done before but it's my blog and I can post whatever I damn well please.

Sandwiches- You can pretty much turn anything into a sandwich when you've got a couple slices of bread, hell if your sick of bread stuff it in a wrap. I'm pregnant right now so I'm trying to avoid lunch meat but tomato sandwiches are delicious! Not to mention, chicken salad, tuna salad, grilled chicken, fish sandwiches, and as you can see the list is really endless. Add some veggie sticks to the side of that sandwich and it'll be more than enough to satisfy you.

Salads- You can top salad greens with pretty much anything you want. Protein, chopped veggies, fruit, nuts, cheeses, really you can go crazy. Opt for veggies high in water content like cucumber and tomatoes and not only are you getting a healthy salad but you're helping your body stay hydrated. Try to stay away from really heavy dressings. Heavy meals will only make you feel hotter.

Appetizers- Fill your plate with some of your favorite munchies with no cooking required. Shrimp cocktail, cheeses, whole grain crackers, pita bread and hummus, raw veggies, and raw fruits. Filling and fun. Perfect for a date night during a heat wave. Besides who doesn't like food you can eat with your fingers.

Alright that's all my heat addled brain can come up with for now and if you've got any no cook meal ideas of your own, by all means add them in the comments. As for now, try and stay cool :-)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Pinterest My Hero

If you read my other blog you may have gotten the notice yesterday that we're having a baby. Exciting stuff!

Today's going to be busy with grocery shopping, recycling, and a Dr's. appointment for me. I'm just now in the past week or so getting over my morning sickness and full body pregnancy exhaustion and let me tell you that shit is no joke. So for the past two months we've been living off a lot of convenience meals, i.e. anything that can be made in a crock pot, or heated through with little effort. That being said it's left me in a little bit of a cooking rut. I'm ready and willing to get back in the kitchen and do my magic but after the past weeks of everything from peanut butter to poultry turning my stomach I'm a little short on inspiration.

Then like a White Knight sweeping in from my computer (and the handy little app on my phone) Pinterest has come to save the day. With offerings like Italian Drunken Noodles and Raspberry Swirl Sweet Rolls how could someone not be inspired to get into the kitchen and whip up a little food magic? You can make boards for just about anything (the psychotic perfectionist that I am I find myself organizing and editing mine constantly) and it definitely makes menu planning a little easier. So if you've been avoiding the Internet and have yet to find Pinterest.. you poor poor souls.. get into it. You can give my boards a follow to get you started and I promise you won't be disappointed.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Maryland Crabcakes

Maybe it comes from being from New England but for some reason every Summer I get the hankering for fish. Catfish and shellfish are my favorites, followed in close second by any firm white fish that can be battered and fried.

I have yet to make these beauties first hand but I have eaten them and they are divine. I found the recipe while digging around in my recipe box and couldn't resist sharing. Enjoy!

  • 1 pound Maryland crab meat
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp old bay seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 1/2 cups cracker or bread crumbs
  1. In a bowl, mix together eggs, mayonnaise, seasonings, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard.
  2. Add crab meat; mix evenly and gently. Add crumbs evenly.
  3. Shape into 6 cakes and saute in oil for 5 minutes on each side.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Couscous with Garden Vegetables

What better way to celebrate the first harvest of the year than with a big delicious bowl of couscous loaded with veggies fresh from the garden.

  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1/2 small orange bell pepper chopped
  • 4 scallions sliced (avoid the dark green bits)
  • 12 small cherry tomatoes halved
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Lemon zest
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  1. Place couscous in a heat proof bowl. Pour 1 cup boiling water over couscous. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Fluff with fork.
  2. Whisk oil and juice together with salt and pepper and dress couscous
  3. Mix in cut veggies and sprinkle with lemon zest.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Paul Deen and the N-word

Source :
Unless you've been living under a rock at some point in the last few weeks you've probably heard about the Paula Deen scandal.

While I do watch a lot of shows on Food Network (Mainly Barefoot Contessa, Giada, and The Pioneer Woman) I've never really been a fan of Paula's show. That being said I also don't have any personal problem with the woman, she's never done anything to me and I have nothing to hold against her.

From everything I've seen there seems to be two sides to this debacle. Those who are relishing in her downfall convinced of her racist ways and those rallying to her defense. This post is not about me giving my personal opinion of the Butter Queen. I've never met her and she's never done anything to me but I do find use of that word completely and utterly abhorrent. People are not allowed to use it around me in ANY context. This is more my commentary on the arguments and the use of the word itself.

I've seen comments such as I'm sure she didn't say anything worse than the higher-ups at food network have said themselves only they didn't get caught, this is just a witch hunt. Okay first let me say that this is pure speculation. Paula admitted to using the word. Yes she also tried to down play it's significance and has insisted it is not proof that she's racist but she did admit to using the word. Not once has she denied it. All she's ever said in her defense is that she was misunderstood. She's personally admitted to everything her and her brother were accused of.

There was also the classic It should be just as bad for black people to be racist but no one goes after them.  Okay sure but have you seen any court depositions that accuse Sunny (the host of Cooking for Real) and her family of making derogatory statements about white people, or suggesting that all white people host a family function reminiscent of  the days when said white people were slaves to black people? No? Oh that's right because the Civil War freed BLACK people.. silly me I forgot that little caveat. I agree racism is a disgusting, backwards, and hurtful thing, no matter who it's from but I can tell you right now that no one is going to ever attempt to suppress my husband's right to vote. No one cracks jokes about our family being strung up due to the color of our skin. The argument is irrelevant and is nothing more than an attempt to down play real racism. It's just as ridiculous as saying we shouldn't prosecute wife beaters until we hunt down every woman who's ever hit a man. The old "but everybody's doing it" excuse is tired and invalid and doesn't solve a damned thing.

Last but not least there was it was said in private, it was never meant to hurt anyone, whatever happened to free speech. I'll tell you what happened to free speech. What started as something that was meant to empower people and give them the right to share their views without fear of persecution has been turned into a weapon and a joke. Yes you have the right to say whatever you damned well please, as does the KKK, the WBC, and Fox News. However when what you say incites more anger than inspiration and tears people and the society at large down rather that build up don't be surprised when you meet some reprisal. I have every right to walk into a public forum on Easter Sunday and scream that they stole the whole holiday from pre-Christian religions but they also have every right to boo me away. Not only that but not everything she said was in private. It was said in the work place. That is not in private, and she said herself that she can not personally determine what someone else may find offensive. That's why if you have any doubt you should keep your mouth shut. She chose not to. Food Network and Smithfield are making the choice not to associate with her brand anymore as they clearly can not trust her to personally determine what makes for appropriate speech. She can say whatever she wants but that doesn't mean anyone has to provide a platform for her.

I am not black. Have never been, nor will I ever be black and admittedly I have no close black friends to trot out as proof of my non-racism as seems to be the favorite tactic of white people. However I am a woman, I'm of a minority religion, and financially I'm considered lower-class so I do know something about being stigmatized. Really it's nothing more than the perpetuation of the belief that  bullying is okay.. and it's not. I don't care who you are, how you were raised, where you grew up or how old you are. Bullying begets more bullying and to say that it's okay for some people to say some things about some people based on this or that factor does nothing more than gray and blur a very clear and black and white issue. You are accountable for what you say and no amount of tears can take back ignorant or hurtful words.

If you like Paula Deen, good for you that doesn't make you a bad person. She still has a personal website, products, books and recipes. Go to those sites, buy her books, cook her food, get a couple pounds of butter in her honor, just remember that your personal feelings about the woman do not make what she said okay and does not obligate any corporation to condone her actions because really just letting it go because she's "sorry" or because someone else somewhere might have said something similar would be to condone her words, the feelings associated with those words and the actions of the time in which those words were considered appropriate.