Tag Archives: food

photo friday: i scream, you scream, we all scream because i forgot the food coloring!

20 Jan
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Don’t worry, you guys. Aunt DeeDee brought a red velvet bundt, so we did get our food coloring fix. Dog nose not included. 

One of my New Year’s Goals for this year—besides creating world peace, finding sustainable alternative fuel solutions, and saving the spotted horned-tooth owl—is to make one new ice cream flavor per month.* January’s flavor was red velvet with a cream cheese swirl, which I served up last week when Baby McSwedolish’s Aunts Mimi and DeeDee came over for dinner.

Dinner was a smashing success, of course (when is it not? Let’s just call a spade a spade), as was my contribution to dessert, le red velvet ice cream. (Aunt DeeDee rightly saw fit to inundate us with a half dozen mini bundt cakes, which were amazing, and which I may or may not have polished off for breakfast over the course of the following three mornings.) (No judging.) (I said stop judging! It’s really no different than eating a donut!)

Because I am amazing with ice cream time management, I made the base for the ice cream the night before, and as I was pulling together the ingredients came to the stunning realization that I didn’t actually have the red to make said velvet ice cream…red.

I could have batted my eyes and asked Swede to run to Mariano’s to pick up a bottle of red food coloring. I could have made blue or yellow or green velvet ice cream, because those were food colorings that I do have on hand. But blue velvet ice cream sounds like something I should make when there is some sort of Elvis-associated holiday looming, yellow velvet ice cream doesn’t sound appetizing at all, and green velvet, well, huh. That actually could be interesting. Will have to give it a go another time.

Anyway, my point is that red velvet ice cream with a cream cheese swirl tastes just the same and just as good without the red food coloring. It tastes like lightly chocolate-d ice cream with a cream cheese swirl, which is exactly what it is. If ever you were wondering about where red velvet got it’s flavor, it’s not from the coloring. Why the coloring was ever added in, I don’t know, I’m not a food historian.

I’m just a food eat-orian.

*I welcome suggestions on what to make in the coming months.

 

things i’ve been meaning to tell you: june 2016

8 Jun

1. One of the Le Creuset dishes we have broke. It was a big, beautiful oval dish with a bubble-like lid that was ideal for making casseroles. And let me tell you something, I love a good casserole. Anyway, it broke, and Lo! How the McPolish was bummed. But these things happen, such is life, and now I have a bigger quandary on my hands: while the oval baker part is in many several pieces, the bubble-like lid is still completely in tact.

What does one do with a completely in tact lid? I feel bad throwing it out. Is there a website that will place orphan lids where I can list it? Do any of you need an oval lid for your Le Creuset oval baker? Comments and suggestions are welcomed. Free to a good home.

2. It’s June. And that means fresh fruit. Which means making ice cream with said fresh fruit. You’ve been warned. Who is you? I don’t really know, to tell you the truth. Let’s just say it’s a blanket statement for the Chicagoland area. Why am I warning you? Again, not really sure. It’s entirely possible I’m drunk on homemade ice cream and letting my mouth get ahead of my brain. I may also be making wild gesticulations, but it’s not like you can see me because this is the internet and I’m totally a figment of your imagination. Me and my homemade ice cream made with fresh fruit. Oooooo….sppoooooookkyyyyy….

3. Speaking of summer…kind of…well, it’s June, anyway, which means that I can finally stop wearing a coat on the regular and hey! That might as well be considered summer in these here parts. ANYWAY. It’s nice enough out that Swede and I and The Beasts Who Live In Our Home spend a lot of time hanging out on the balcony thinking and talking about very philosophical themes and ideas, like What Is That Strange Man on the Sidewalk Shouting About Now? Or, Should We Get More Plants? And, What’s For Dinner?

What’s perplexing to me, however, is how little time our neighbors spend on their own balconies, enjoying the warmer temps. Every unit in this building has a balcony (one unit even has two, the lucky ducks) (though not so lucky when they have to be fixed and repainted), and we’ve all just been though the same seemingly unending months of gray, blah weather, and yet…nothing. Sure, there’s the occasional neighbor who will grill on their balcony, but most are apparently not fans of al fresco dining. Or al fresco drinking. Or al fresco anything. Which is a shame, if you ask me, but no one, as of yet has asked me, but if they do, mark my words I’ve got a statement prepared.

4. Unlike last summer when I didn’t actually make it to a White Sox game until August, I’ve managed to get to two, count ‘em TWO, games so far this year. And while attending said games, I’ve spent much of my time eating my way through Comiskey.* And let me tell you something: Tater Totchos are not what I thought they would be. They’re delicious, don’t get me wrong, but basically all you’re getting is a Styrofoam bowl of tater tots that are then covered in nacho cheese.

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Playing the Cleveland Indians, inspiring a constant stream of quoting Major League. 

I say “all you’re getting” like that’s a bad thing. It’s not. I think I was just expecting a little more pizazz. And it’s really just as straightforward as the name implies—what are nachos? Corn chips with melted cheese. What are tater totchos? Tater tots with melted cheese. Duh—and my own brain created a more dramatic rendition of the dish.

But let me tell you something else: Helmet nachos? Now those are something else, a beautiful sight to behold, and much guacamole to eat.

*The Cell. Whatever.

 

 

photo friday: patience

12 Feb

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The only thing these two agree on is that Ham is Delicious and Yes, We Will Sit Nicely Until The Big Man Hands It Over.

from the file pit: beer bread

3 Feb

It’s February, which means, yup, still winter. Still going to be for awhile now. Which is awesome, because February is full of days that end in Y, and days that end in Y are perfect for eating bread.

Unless you’re gluten intolerant. And then every day that ends in Y is a horrible day for eating bread, but because I am a nice person I will eat your bread for you. You’re welcome.

I’ve long been interested in making bread, but on my few attempts it has turned out less-than-stellar. Usually super dense and not well-risen. Edible, yes, but not boulangerie-worthy.

Then again, sometimes life is not about perfection, but rather about getting shit done. And if that shit is getting bread into my mouth, then I have achieved success.

ANYWAY, I have some very exciting news for you: I have found a bread recipe that even I can’t screw up. It has three ingredients.*

 

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As per usual, my incredibly thorough directions, if they can even be determined through the chicken scratch. God only knows where I copied this recipe from. For all I know it’s off the side of a metro car. 

THREE.

3.

Trois.

That’s it.

Granted, one of the ingredients is quite specific,** but if you can manage that, you’ll find success. I promise you. Perhaps you’ve heard of Tastefully Simple, and their beer bread that I think you just mix together the dry mix and some beer? Sure, that’s only two ingredients, but this three-ingredient beer bread is just as easy. I like to call it Stupidly Simple.

I made two of these loaves in one day, in the span of about two hours, actually. THAT is how simple this recipe is to throw together. One for Swede and me, and one to give to his sister who had just had surgery. Because nothing says recovery like warm beer bread and narcotic-strength pain meds.

I should be a doctor.

This may be one of the greatest File Pit findings yet, you guys. Seriously. Easy peasy and delicious. Would I make this again? Do I even need to answer that? No. No I do not. Instead I will answer you by saying you should drop whatever you’re doing and go home and make this.

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More butter, please. 

(And if you also choose to pick up Kerrygold salted butter to slather on it fresh from the oven, no one will judge you. Nay, they will applaud you.)

*Four, if you count the egg for the egg wash. Five, really, if you count the melted butter you’re supposed to brush on top when it’s done. But now you’re just being nit-picky.

**Self-rising flour is the key here. I think you could pretty much use any light-colored or amber ale you so choose, but I can’t guarantee success if you try and use a different kind of flour. I could go into the science behind the self-rising flour in this recipe, but I won’t. Because I don’t really know it. I just know it’s different and clutch in this bread.

photo friday: things i love, maybe i’ll share. or not.

15 Jan

Part of holiday fun is getting unexpected gift from friends, like this one I received from my friend Jen. (She also sent wine, proving that A) she knows me well, and 2) I may have given myself a reputation  when it comes to wine, and I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing, but for now we’re just going to go with good. Because I said so.)

ANYWAY, this box of treats has become one of my favorite things to play with in the kitchen, and I highly recommend you getting yourself one. Or get yourself a Jen and have her send you one. (With or without the wine, up to you.) I will forewarn you about the Chip & Dip seasoning though, that you should probably get yourself more than one bag of chips or pretzels or whatever it is you want to dip. And you probably won’t want to share. And that, my friends, is just fine. We are grown-ass people and if we want to huddle in our bedrooms with one arm stretched protectively around a bowl of dip and the other deep in the recesses of a bag of ruffled potato chips while our beloved is completely unawares in the living room, well, we’ve earned that right, my friends. We’ve earned it.

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Nosy Parker, this dog. 

from the file pit: avocado ranch dressing

6 Jan

We are six days into the new year and it has been WEEKS since I have had a vegetable. Well, no, actually last week I had some artichokes, but they were covered in dill and lemon and some mayo and spread on top of a piece of sourdough French bread, so I’m not exactly sure that counts. I mean, it kind of counts, because at least I was vaguely in the vicinity of something from the earth’s bounty, but it’s not really a slam-dunk in the whole food pyramid thing.

That said, I figured this was a perfect time to pull out a file pit recipe that’s been in the making since June 13, 2007. Yes, that’s right, almost nine years.

Nine.

I printed this recipe out nine (9) years ago, from the Washington Post website. And then never made it. Until now.

I’m going to blame my lack of making this recipe on the fact that until recently I didn’t have a blender. I’m going to blatantly disregard the fact that I did, however, have both an immersion blender and a food processor. So, right: No blender = unable to make this dressing.

But lo! Swede’s parents gifted us a big, beautiful Vitamix for our wedding, and people, let me tell you something about a Vitamix you don’t know: It really is as f-ing amazing as people say. The motor on this thing could puree a sledgehammer. Both the wood handle and the metal mallet. All of it, ground down into a thick, smooth, former piece of destructive construction equipment.

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Hello, beautiful. 

And hence, I could now make the dressing with aplomb, and rectify the lack of vegetables in my diet. Not that there are any vegetables in this dressing (avocado is a fruit, after all), but I could pour it on a salad. And salads are often made of vegetables.  

Stay with me here, people.

So with the food-stars aligned, I finally made this file pit recipe.

And it was okay.

Which was strange, because looking at the few ingredients, they are all things that I love very much: buttermilk, avocado, a ranch dressing packet, and lime zest. What’s not to love? I love all of these things! Mix them up and shove it in my mouth, it should be amazong.  

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Buttermilk is amazong, you guys. 

Except it was only sort of amazong. You know what I think it was? The lime zest. It didn’t really belong, in my opinion, and gave the dressing a funny taste, like when you eat something and then make that annoying noise with your lips and your tongue, smacking them together uncontrollably because you’re trying to figure out what it is you’re tasting, but you can’t quite put your finger on it.

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Damn you, lime zest. 

That taste? It’s lime zest. And this dressing would be better without it.

I think I would make this again, if for no other reason than it’s a reason to bust out the Vitamix. But I’d leave the lime zest out.

And then I’d dump a crap ton over some vegetables and call it a day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

yes/no/maybe

25 Nov

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and we have quite a bit we can be thankful for as we wrap ourselves in a mashed potato and pork sausage stuffing haze. There’s a lot the McPolish-Swede household has going for it, and we are grateful, don’t get me wrong.

But still.

There’s a lot of shit out there that I’m just not thankful for. I’m just not. It’s kind of fitting, really, when you think about the disastrous and tumultuous state the world is in these days. So much happy! With an intense amount of grief and strife hot on its heels. So much joy! And then a lot of Fuck You, Humans!

So to best capture the circuitous feelings of this season, may I present to you my Thankful/Not Thankful list of 2015? Yes. Yes, I may.

  1. I am thankful for Juniper, because of the unadulterated love she brings to our lives. (Except for the cats. They feel she brings no love to their lives.) There is nothing so awesome as coming home from wherever you’ve been and if a dog’s face could light up, that would be the expression on hers. She is purely and wholly excited to see me, even if I’ve been gone five minutes.I am not thankful for the times I use Juniper as a pillow and she farts in my face. It’s amazing I’m still alive, and that my sense of smell is still in tact after some of the bombs she’s dropped.

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    Super cute, but deceptively atrocious toots.

  1. I am thankful for living in the city of Chicago, because A) It’s gorgeous, 2) I like winter, III) it’s home.I am not thankful for living in the city of Chicago because A) rats in the alley, 2) Rats in the garbage, and III) Rats anywhere near me. Gross, you guys. Rats are gross. Even the ones from NIMH.
  1. I am thankful for Fat Ass and Lady Gaga Halloween Cat. No, I’m serious, I really am. They unwittingly provide hours of entertainment (mingled with exasperation, of course), and recently Fat Ass and I have declared a truce. It lasted all of five minutes, but it’s a step in the right direction, no?Proof that I am not heartless all the time.I am not thankful for the murderous look in their eyes that never seems to diminish. Ever.

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    The show How to Get Away With Murder is based on their life’s quest.

 

  1. I am thankful for grocery shopping. It is my most favorite activity in the world, and I could spend hours, days, months!, grocery shopping and daydreaming about the food I would make. I’m grateful that we can put food on our table and we don’t have to worry about where our next meal will come from.I am not thankful for kale chips. Who the fuck thought making chips out of kale was a good idea? Kale is fine the way it is unchipped. Jesus Christmas, people, come on.In all seriousness, I’m also not thankful for food waste. It’s become a pet peeve of mine over the past year, as I see so much in our refrigerator that goes bad and inedible before we can get to it or before we want to get to it. It’s horrendous, when you think about it, and just so patently smacks of privilege that it’s borderline embarrassing. I’m not proud of it, but I can change it, and believe you me, Interwebs, I’m working on it.
  1. I am thankful to be able to contribute to a retirement plan. In the past few years we’ve all dealt with, in one way or another, so much financial insecurity, and how many stories have you heard of people losing it all and starting over from scratch? Or people who never had it all to begin with, and are about done with the whole work thing, and have no idea how to live? So having a few pennies put aside for my golden years? Luxurious. My 80-year-old-self thanks me muchly.I am not thankful for the fact that I’ve had to learn the basics of investing the hard way (re: trial and error), and the lingo that swathes the industry makes my head spin like a tilt-a-whirl. Why was I never taught these things in school? And other life skills for that matter, like how to change a tire, balance a checkbook, run a household, create life-sized ice sculptures of forest animals? I know how to do some of these things, but for the love of all that is holy and decent, look around you, People Who Make Curriculum Decisions—what the shit are we going to do when we can’t Google our way out of trouble?
  1. I am thankful for you. Plain and simple.I am not thankful for…well, there is nothing about you for which I am not thankful—the good, the bad, the meh, the ugly, the beautiful. Even those times you don’t like me very much, I am still here, and I am forever grateful that I can share this little corner of the Interwebs with you.

Happy Thanksgiving, people.

What are you thankful/not thankful for this year? Share your thoughts in the comments!