Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Dumb

I think I am slowly becoming stupid. I am not sure if I have finally killed all my brain cells or what is happening. I just know that the ole brain isn't what it used to be.

There is a family history of this. My grandmother is very much the way I am becoming. She is a brilliant artist and a very intelligent woman. But she is 112% right brained. She is always lost in her own head, never finishes her sentences, and has a tendency to create the world around her rather than just living in it as is. 

I am also very much like this. I noticed the sentence thing a few years ago. I will say things like "I really like balloons because" and then just never say why. I am onto another subject, in another world, something shiny has been spotted and my attention span is gone. Kaput. No more. Also, I hate balloons, so that was a terrible example.

People often say that reading my blog is like having a conversation with me. Except I get to proof read it and make sure it makes sense. So, those of you who don't know me in real life, imagine talking to me without editing capabilities. It can be odd. I am odd. 

I had a boyfriend when I was 17/18 that liked playing dungeon and dragons. I didn't really care for the game, but the story telling. Oh, the story telling. I would always be the story teller (I am sure there is an official name, I just don't know it) when we played and create these worlds, villages, adventures. It was my heaven. That relationship was filled with stupidity and immaturity, but I always look back fondly on staying up all night creating stories. My favorite character was a blacksmith named Sparky and he was hiding information for the King. Our characters desperately needed this information in order to set my sister free. Sparky would accidentally light his beard on fire whenever he got nervous and we were always helping him put it out. 

Weird, I know.

So, my head is always filled with this. Stories and fantasies and food and books. And it used to be filled with practical things too. Slowly but surely, those things are fading away. For example, I could not, for the life of me, remember if front wheel drive or rear wheel drive was better in snow. I live in Ohio. We get snow. I knew this once. Have bought cars based on these facts. I could not remember. I had to google it when I got home.

I have to write everything down. Often, I lose what I wrote those things down on.

I can never find my keys. Or my sunglasses. Or my hair tie. Or a list of 100 other things.

But, ask me what I put in the soup I made last week and I can tell you every ingredient town to the teaspoon. Ask me what the beef tenderloin at Barcelona tastes like and I can describe it in detail.

My grandmother's quirks drove me crazy as a kid. They still drive me crazy now. But, I see myself becoming more and more like her. I wish I could maintain that left brain thinking. I wish I had a good memory. But, once again, I find myself wishing that I have characteristics I simply do not. Setting myself up for failure.

So, you heard it here first...I think I have the dumb.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pork Stir-Fry

This is a less complicated dish than last time with quite a delicious sauce, if I do say so myself. I like doing stir fry when I have tons of fresh veggies in the house that are going to go bad soon, in this case there were only three, though. 

If you have never had greens mixed into stir-fry you are missing out. The spicy/sweet sauce with bitter greens is sort of magnificent.

Pork Stir Fry

1 c. unsalted stock
1/4 c. cornstarch
1 T thai chili paste (double for extra spicy)
1 T hoison
1 c soy sauce

Stir Fry:
1 lb cubed pork loin (or whatever meat you have on hand)
1 c sliced red pepper
1 c sliced onion
1 c kale
1 t minced garlic

3 T corn starch
TT salt and pepper

1/4 c vegetable oil

Serve with rice.

To make the sauce, combine the cornstarch and stock. Whisk together until cornstarch is completely dissolved. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Taste sauce. Add salt if necessary. Most Asian ingredients are pretty salty, so I rarely add any additional.

Heat pan on stove on high. Add vegetable oil when hot. This is important...the pan needs to be screaming hot, to the point where the oil is popping a little.

Dust pork with corn starch, salt, and pepper. Place in pan and sear on all sides, about 3 min. Add vegetables, cook for 1 minute. Add sauce. Let meat and vegetables cook in sauce until sauce is reduced, about 1 minute.

Serve over rice.

Monday, October 24, 2011


If you are friends with me on Facebook, I posted this there too. But, holy shit this looks amazing. Molecular gastronomy is not my thing...elevated comfort food is more my thing. But, I would love to spend a day in the mind of this man. I would love to learn how to do this shit. I would love to be brilliant enough to even THINK of doing this shit.

Digging deep for blog-worthy material, here.

  1. I hung out with the new addition to the Krackle family, baby boy Krackle. I wanted to steal him. The cuteness was overwhelming.
  2. They fired the chef at work. Apparently (and I will believe it when I see it) his money is being divided among the rest of the staff for all our hard work. Fingers crossed.
  3. My cat is still trying to kill me.
  4. For some reason, all I want to do is sleep. Like, right now, I want to be in bed. Sleeping. Weird, right? I am blaming the weather.
  5. I need to start working out again. Or get a second job so I don't sit around on my ass so much. Or both. Can someone please motivate me? Pretty please? I am so bad at self motivation.
  6. I am addicted to Family Feud on my iPhone. I only get 5 coins a day. It may be the end of me.
  7. I have to cater a dinner for 15 - 20 people on a $50 budget. It is for a charity, which is why I am willing to do such a small budget. Anyone have any genius ideas? I have NO idea what to do that would be both good (I am not throwing hot dogs in a crock pot) and come close to the $50. I don't mind paying a little extra.
  8. I have come to the conclusion that I am not getting feeling back in part of my finger. Also, nerve endings growing back is sort of terrible because it makes your finger feel not attached, but yet you can still feel it...sort of like it is just going to fall off. That is the best way I can explain it. Once again, I highly recommend NOT trying to cut off your finger.
  9. Have you ever seen the Subaru commercial where they are at a high school reunion and the couple flashes back to a road trip in their Subaru? Because I LOVE that commercial. And it makes me feel like a giant dork. And I want to know if other people also love that commercial. It just makes me happy.
  10. I don't really have a number 10. Let's be honest, number 9 was a stretch. I just miss you guys and wanted to say hey. I could have done with 5 random things today, me thinks.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The sound of frustration

I am watching a 30 year friendship unravel. I can't tell the story here, it is not my story to tell. My heart is breaking for both of them. I am angry with both of them. I only understand one side because only one of them is speaking to me. To us. To all of us. 

I want to scream at her, to tell her to just talk to us. I want to tell her to stop alienating everyone. I want to tell her to stop playing games on fucking Facebook and talk to a human being.

But, I can't.

30 years of memories. 

And it is all unraveling. I want to spill all the words of this story so you can all tell me what to do. I want to say everything I was sworn to secrecy about. I want to fix this.

It is not mine to fix. 

I am helpless and frustrated. 

And my mother fucking finger hurts.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Things I don't miss about working in an office

  1. Theme Days....Hawaiin shirt day, funny hat day, wear your pajamas to work day, accidentally stab your boss in the face day.
  2. Pooling money to get so and so a gift, even though you do not like them or think they deserve getting a gift in the first place.
  3. Potlucks. I prefer to see the kitchen my food is cooked in. Or at least know that the health department is regulating it. Also, no, your buffalo chicken dip is not OUT OF THIS WORLD. It tastes like Frank's Red Hot and canned chicken.
  4. Sitting at a desk all day. Ugh. Never again.
  5. Huddles, Pow Wow's, or any other inane short team meeting thrown together by your boss to motivate you to really get shit done that week. 
  6. Conference calls. Holy. Shit. Conference Calls. Really, just being on the phone in general.
  7. The constant restructuring and moving and restructuring and know, fancy for we want to pay our CEO a ton of money and figure out a way for you to work for virtually free.
  8. Working for the man. Ooh. I hate the man.
  9. Email Forwards. I get virtually no email forwards. Nobody is asking me to fill out surveys. Nobody is forwarding me that stupid woman, Maxine, and her snarky comments. I AM FORWARD FREEEEEEEE.
  10. Office Politics. Enough Said.
This was all inspired by a former coworker posting a picture of "crazy shirt day" at my old work. I almost stabbed myself repeatedly in the throat at the thought of ever having to do something like that again. Some days (mostly the ones when I pay bills) I question my decision...most days...not even a little.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Stitches are out!

Despite the grossness of this picture, it really looks much better. MUCH BETTER. The stitches were through the nail and as it was starting to grow, well, I will leave the rest up to your imagination. So, I took them out myself two days early. Meh. Who needs medical care?

Also, sorry if you get this twice in your feed. I tried to do it from my phone and failed. Another reason I miss my Android Phone...Google was much more supportive.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pork Scallopini

Yesterday at the grocery store I bought a pork loin RIDICULOUSLY CHEAP. $1.99/ lb cheap. And cut it into a gazillion and four pork chops. OK, more like 20. So, I want to try my hand at this food blogging thing. If you guys hate it, tell me. If you love it, tell me. I don't really know how I feel about it, but, you know, I'll tell you. I have always wanted a separate section of my blog that you could click on for food blogging stuff. But, you know, motivation. So, I am going to blog every recipe I make with this pork loin. 

Pork Scallopini with braised collard greens and roasted fingerling potatoes
serves 2

2 Boneless Pork Chops
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp salt

1 head collard greens
5 strips thick cut bacon
2 cup stock
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 tsp red pepper flakes (omit if you don't like spicy)
1 tsp salt
1 T brown sugar

15 fingerling potatoes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3 T olive oil
**I use pre-made finishing salts when I do this. Way more flavor. But, salt and pepper will do. I recommend Williams Sonoma if you are looking for good ones.

Put the potatoes in first. Toss them with salt and pepper and cook them about 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven. 

Next start braising the collard greens. Cut the bacon into thin strips about 1/4 inch by 1 inch. Cook the bacon until it is crispy and remove from the pan. Add the collard greens to the bacon grease. 
The collard greens will overflow the pan. I recommend using cast iron if you have it. But, I always recommend using cast iron.
Add 1 cup of the stock, apple cider vinegar, pepper flakes, and salt. Cook covered on medium heat until greens are wilted.

This is what they will look like when they are done. 
While greens are cooking, pound out the pork and get the flour ready. 

Once greens are wilted, heat up on medium high olive oil, butter, canola oil...whatever fat you prefer to cook in. Dust pork with flour and add to hot pan. Add bacon and sugar to greens and take the potatoes out of the oven. They should be brown on the bottom.

Sear pork on each side until just brown. It will overcook fast...this should only take about 3 minutes total.

Remove pork from pan and add other cup of stock and a pinch of salt. Crank the stove. Scrape bottom of the pan with tongs or a spatula.

To plate, put the potatoes in a pile in the middle, leaning the pork up against the potatoes. Place greens on top of that.

Plating and stuff.
Grab the pan sauce and spoon it over the top of everything until a pool forms on the bottom of the plate.

Total time: about 45 minutes. I also wrote this entire blog post (minus the addition of the pictures) in that 45 minutes, so there is a lot of down time. 

Because I had most of this stuff on hand...this cost under $5 for both of us. But, most people may not ALWAYS have bacon in the house!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Who's the boss? Vagina.

Ever since my Toast to Rockstar, I have noticed some new faces around here. Well, more hits on my blog anyway. While I somewhat track that shit, I rarely take the time to see if it is just a few of you getting bored and going through archives or actual new followers. But, I checked. New people! Hi new people. Welcome. I am obnoxious. You have been warned. 

Josey, your awesomeness is just oozing it's way over here.

Just a few random updates. I pre-scheduled the wordless week, so that is just sort of mixing in with my regular old blog posts because, well, I can't feel my finger. Makes typing really easy. Kill the nerve endings and it doesn't hurt to type anymore. Yay? Probably not. I also can't bend it anymore, making me think I may have damaged a tendon. Yay? None of this is good news. I have a giant life lesson for all of you - don't do anything I do ever. EVER. It will only end poorly and with mutilated body parts. You should see the burn scars on my arms. Dear. Lord.

I met another accident prone chef the other day and we were exchanging horror stories. In his 10 year career he has done way more damage than me. Which, you know, hope for the future! Less appendages! More scars! I can't wait. Art is worth it, right? I think so.

There was some marathon today. I didn't run in it. Or walk in it. Or even pretend that I would ever do either of these things. Instead I made stock, homemade granola, hung out with Tini, and drank some wine. This is how I exercise. I should write a diet book.

Tini wore a shirt I made him, which is an all around hilarious story. We were on the phone one day and he was telling me about this woman at the deli he frequents and how she tells him grossly inappropriate things about her. One time the conversation led to her vagina. I don't remember the exact statement she made, but I said, "I mean, what does she think, hey, this guy is gay, I should tell him about my vagina." 

To which Tini responded, "THAT HAS TO BE A T-SHIRT."

Naturally, I made it into one. The shirt is powder blue with a rainbow that covers his chest. Underneath the rainbow, it says "I'm gay. Tell me about your vagina." Tini has worn this shirt around me several times and I have never noticed until today. That shirt is awesome. So, I drug him with me to the grocery store wearing this shirt and most people paid no notice. Except one woman who started laughing hysterically and said "I love your shirt." Tini then declared the woman his new best friend. Of course he did. Oh, to bring joy to random strangers with our inappropriate sense of humor. It's kind of our thing.

I am feeling restless without a second job, only working about 40 hours a week. It feels weird. I don't like the free time. I want to be working. So, tomorrow I am going to amp up the job hunt. There is a local smokehouse/brewery that is hiring. I would kill to work there. Seriously. I absolutely love their food, love their beer. I don't see how this could not work out perfectly for me. Let's hope I can pick up about 20 hours a week there. And not damage any more appendages in the process.

The boy got the new iPhone on Friday because, you know, fanboy. There is a program on the new OS called Siri that is sort of like a voice activated google. You can ask it anything, like where to dispose of a dead body, and it gives you an answer. He was trying to get Siri used to certain commands...telling it I was his girlfriend, who his mom was, etc. He asked the phone who his boss was, expecting to have to input data into the phone to tell it. Nope. It came right up with all my contact information. 

It's official...the machines are taking over.

Wordless Week Day 5

I still want to live here. Every single day. I don't care how crazy that makes me.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Wordless Week Day 4


Friday, October 14, 2011

This one has words, yo.

This isn't wordless. It is typed with a very band aided finger. Yay for padding!

Today was a weird ass day. Part of my new schedule is to work a double on Friday. Or part of my new schedule new schedule is less of a schedule and more of a general bitch. With our chef out until next week, he asked one of his friends to step in. This guy has been executive chef at some very nice restaurants here in town. And we are all sitting around and talking, when it hits me. I am by far the least experienced person here. BY. FAR. Yes, I started later in life, but still. These people are so comfortable in a kitchen it almost makes me uncomfortable. I have two thoughts.


Slink into the corner and feel ashamed of your lack of experience. 

I do neither of these. Rather, I do the only thing I know how in this situation. I make several inappropriate comments, laced with expletives, get them laughing and realize that they are people just like me. Everyone has to start somewhere. I am pretty fucking lucky to be working with some of the people I do. With absolutely no experience and a culinary degree. 

Sometimes you get to be the best. Sometimes you get to be the worst. I feel like being the worst right now is the best thing I could ever do for my culinary career.

And, just for good measure, after I got cut early because we were dead, I texted them all a photo of the beer I was drinking. You know, to rub it in. Suckers.

Wordless Week Day 3


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Wordless Week Day 2

I did this once. I miss culinary school.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wordless Week Day 1

I miss him. So much.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Get your very short news updates here!

I am full of news! Except I can't type! So it is going to be a very short blog post. We will begin with why I can't type. I got my finger caught in a meat slicer at work. Let's just say it is a good thing it was too dull to cut through bone. Or I would be missing the entire top joint of my right pointer finger. I will not be posting pictures of this one because, guys, gross. It is really really gross. There will be a very deformed, scarred finger in my future. 7 stitches. On my finger! 

In happier news, Krackle gave birth to Krackle Jr II today. He looks exactly like his big sister did at his age. Also, he is huge! 8 lbs 6 oz! I got to go and hold him today, and despite the incessant pooping, I am head over heels in love. LOVE. I am so happy for the Krackle family!  A friend of mine from high school gave birth to twins about 15 minutes after Krackle, so I woke to Facebook plastered with newborn pics. It was kind of awesome.

That just took like 20 minutes to type. Ugh. Maybe it will be wordless, let my finger heal, week.

UPDATE: I totally forgot the biggest news of all! A restaurant critic came in today and had the soup and said it was the best he has ever had at our restaurant. AND I MADE IT. Sorry to be a giant dork, but it was huge. I almost jumped up and down.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


  1. I worked a 14 hour day with no breaks. I took 5 minutes to "smoke" so I could sit down outside and get some fresh air. Oh, and I peed twice. Holy long day, batman.
  2. People from old, old job are contacting me on Facebook and texting me trying to make me feel guilty. Not going to work. Not going to happen. Nuh uh.
  3. I drank a beer in the shower tonight. It was perfection.
  4. New, now Old, Job just offered me a full time position. What, what? That means I don't need to find a full time job, but rather a part time job just a few days a week.
  5. I have 105 unread blogs. AFTER I deleted all the shit that I just sort of peruse. This is the good stuff, the stuff I read several times and can't wait to read. That is probably the most I have ever had. We won't talk about my 3960 unread emails. Time to clean that shit out.
  6. The Big Bang Theory is back on. Life feels complete again.
  7. Bradshaw blew my shit up tonight. Blew. It. Up. I send her twitter account to my phone...38 text messages when I got out of work. I wish I had the dedication to tweet that much. I don't.
  8. I may or may not have cut off part of my finger again. Mostly, I did. No hospital visit required, though.
  9. The guys at work STILL don't get that I am not a typical girl. They asked me today if it was cool to tap me on the hip to signal they needed to get into the cooler in front of me. I was like, um, really? You are not tapping me on my vag. You are not grabbing my boob. I think we're good. Sometimes there just isn't time to say it. I get it. 
  10. The chef at work rolled his car last night driving home from work. The police said "at least twice" although he doesn't remember anything. He is in the hospital, but doing well. Today was a little crazy trying to run around and make up for being a person short AND trying to make sure he was OK. Thankfully he was cleared by Neuro and they think everything is superficial. Whew!
It was a weird day. One that I am happy to say is over. The weekend is here.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

New, New New, and Old no more.

Today I quit old job. Or got fired. I can't be sure which one. Let me explain. I work a position called linebacker which is the bane of all existence everywhere. It is stressful and demanding and nobody wants to do it. It is almost all I have done since I started there. All I wanted was to be on the line. There have been conversations about this with managers that got nowhere. This has led me to have a less than stellar attitude towards things, which has led to me being pulled aside multiple times about said attitude. An attitude, mind you, that would be acceptable in ANY OTHER KITCHEN ON EARTH. I get yelled at for swearing. Anywho, I attempted to talk to them last night about scheduling me to close 5 nights a week doing nothing but linebacking AGAIN and got into yet another little tiff about it. I called in today and one thing led to another, there may have been some raised voices, but I was hung up on after telling them I was not coming back. It was not the mature way to handle things. I lost my temper. I was fed up. I hated it there. BUT GOD IT FELT GOOD.

I guess this is both the positive and the negative of this industry; you don't stay in one job long and it is easy to walk away. You won't find many linecooks that stay in a place more than a year and I lasted 15 months. Barely. I was unhappy and the responsible thing would have been to replace the income first. I realize this. But, that is another great thing about this industry...the jobs are a dime a dozen because most people just walk out one day and never come back.

So, off to find a new, new job. Hopefully one I like as much as new job. This is getting confusing.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Air Boat Ride

One of the days we spent at the pool, we also went on an airboat ride, which was a pretty cool experience. We forgot the camera, hence the delay in the pictures because they were on our phones. This was about an hour from our hotel, so it was in the middle of nowhere and beautiful!

 View of the Wetlands. Ignore that crazy bitches hair (note: she is me)
 Bird. I don't have much else here. Just bird.
 Another bird, but this dude was really, really rare. You can be fined if you scare him while he is eating. He only eats snails.
Air boats!
 Baby gators. 
 Dude holding a baby gator. I also held him later, but you know, anonymous and all. I did not include that picture. Apparently, I don't care if this guy remains anonymous.
Weird tree. I liked it.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Random Food Pictures

Every time we sat down to eat a meal, we were halfway done before we remembered to take pictures of it! I was pissed because, well, I want to remember the food too! We mostly ate at the condo, grilling out. Here are some cilantro-lime chicken things with herb marinated grilled potatoes. An awesome way to cook potatoes, by the way. They get crispy like potato chips with that charred, grilled flavor.

We also stumbled upon this amazing little restaurant called Tijuana Flats that was cafe style food, but delicious. They had a hot sauce bar with like 30 different hot sauces you could try, most of which they made in house. Awesome place. It is a chain that I hope makes it's way to Ohio.

Yes, I had already started eating when I remembered to take the picture. The next three are from my birthday dinner at Emeril's. We actually had our camera with us for this one, but the lighting was shitty and it was hard to get photos that weren't washed out. So, I apologize for the quality, but the food had to be remembered. It was some good stuff.

Roasted asparagus salad with seared tuna. The white spot is frisee. It was absolutely amazing. The perfect combination of warm and cold and bitter and sweet. I would have married this salad and tiny little tuna-asparagus babies with it.

Andouille crusted red fish with shoe string potatoes and roasted patty pan squash. You guys. This, just, no. It was so freaking good. The sauce was smoky and the fish was delicate. 

This was the boy's dish, a BOA flatbread. Bacon, onion, and arugula. The bacon was smoked boar bacon and it was phenomenal. Out of this world, best bacon I have ever had, would also have little tiny boar shaped bacon with it. I need to stop procreating with food...