Saturday, February 14, 2009

Good Morning and Happy Valentine's Day!

Hello doves! I know it's a mostly Hallmarkian holiday, but what's wrong with a calendar-based nudge to focus on love? Who says it has to be romantic love only? Maybe I can be all tra-la-la about it because I have found my Sweet Baboo (currently snoring even though he's been asleep for over 10 hours. Seriously, what the French, toast? Why aren't you awake already?) I neglected to get my act together this year so I have no cookies or truffles or cards to share, but I still love you. If you're reading this, you're one of the 8 who do, and I can guarantee you that I love you very much. So! Since I didn't make you a box of cookies this year, here is a pie:

Mmmm.... This is Martha Stewart's recipe for Chocolate Cream Pie, and it is a great recipe. It doesn't take a ton of ingredients, which was particularly handy last weekend when it was raining and I didn't want to run out to the store AGAIN. I really am a fan of custards and puddings, they are quick and easy and really just involve a lot of whisking and paying attention to not burning stuff. Cream pies rule.

Martha calls for a Chocolate Pate Sucree crust, but I have made this pie twice now, once with just a regular Pillsbury readymade crust, and this time, with a nice, thick, graham cracker crust. It also calls for a caramel whipped cream topping, which is sort of advanced, but not completely difficult to do, and it makes for a yummy topping. I skipped it this time around, but highly recommend giving it a try. As you can see from the above picture, we munched it all down before remembering to snap a pic of the finished product. Yum.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Which One's Cuter?

The devastating wildfires in Australia are pretty incomprehensible. So far there aren't many "feel good" stories coming out yet--it's just horrific. But this little story, and the accompanying picture, was just too sweet and heartbreaking to ignore.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Christian Bale Needs to be Kicked in the Nuts

I actually agree with the essence of Christian Bale's argument. (Click here if you haven't heard his crazy tirade yet. Turn the volume down if you're at work) He's trying to do his job, somehow someone keeps making that difficult to do, and his frustration boils over. I completely get that. All that being said, what an ass and what a blowhard for going so completely apeshit and not being able to calm yourself down. You're not curing cancer, you're playing John Conner, and you're totally replaceable. Wow, I feel strongly about this.

Mostly, though, I just want this t-shirt.

Ribs: Why Don't I Cook These More?

Is anyone else daunted by cuts of meat? No matter how many cooking shows I've watched, I just can't keep track of what's a butt roast or whether sirloin is better than prime rib or whatever. And forget ribs. Racks and baby backs and spare ribs, I just like to eat them.

But when Saveur told me I should consider making Chinese Spare Ribs for my Super Bowl eating pleasure...who was I to argue? I'm nothing if not good at following directions, and Saveur told me to get St. Louis style spare ribs, which I figured was far too specific for the Menifee Stater Brothers...but lo and behold, it was RIGHT ON THE TAG. WOW! Meat is fun! (Ha!) I don't know what makes them St. Louis style, by the way. Maybe they are the ribs of giant cardinals?

Mr. Butcher Man cut up the big ole rack into pieces for me, which I then marinated in sauces hoisin and soy, sugar, garlic, Chinese 5-Spice powder (which 5 spices? I don't know! A Chinese mystery!), probably some other stuff, and red food coloring. Then they sat in the oven for a really long time and turned into happiness.

We burned our fingers and ate them. The ribs, not the fingers. We ate these ribs BEFORE the red velvet cupcakes, but by the end of the night, every part of our mouths had red dye on it. Mmmmmmm....deadly red dye......

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Dang it, Sprinkles Is Tasty.

Sprinkles are tasty? Whatever, they make a mean cupcake. And by they, I mean me, using their official "mix". I expected the cupcakes to be mediocre at best. Cake is cake, so it's hard for it to NOT be somewhat delicious, but I'm skeptical of these high-falutin' and trendy cupcake places, and have wondered if there is too much emphasis on style points, or wowing everyone with massive amounts of frosting, as opposed to a quality baked good. Are they worth the $3.25 a piece ($36 A DOZEN, PEOPLE) that they charge? Well, if you can't bake...maybe?

I was pleasantly surprised, I must say, and I wish I knew their flour to sugar to cocoa ratio. The cake wasn't overly dense like a lot of "homemade" recipes, and it was moist and chewy with a great tangy, sweet red velvet flavor. I think I forgot to mention they were red velvet. Their cream cheese frosting recipe was scrumptious as well, although I recently made cream cheese frosting from another recipe (thanks, J&D!) that used a bit of lemon juice instead of vanilla. Sooooo good, but that's for another time. Until then, enjoy this picture of the finished product, with the signature Sprinkles dot.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Instant Technology!

Best commercial this year.