Archive for February, 2010

Third Grade Throwback

After the Samosas Incident, I really needed to reimagine the kitchen as a soothing place, not a place of stress and frustration and total abject failure. For a couple days I stayed out of the kitchen entirely, living off leftovers (to be fair – we did have a TON of leftovers) and then finally the other night the boyfriend and I decided it was time to get back in the saddle.

I knew immediately what we’d be having for dinner that night (Dinosaur Macaroni and Cheese) and the boyfriend suggested we also add sloppy joes to the menu. I countered with canned green beans (the boy has a fondness) and pretty soon we were both 8 years old again, reliving the best meal from childhood.*

It’s important, I think, to follow up a sucky experience with a super awesome experience, and joes ‘n’ mac was definitely the way to go. Plus, we all know macaroni and cheese tastes better when it’s in fun shapes!

*This was also my favorite meal from graduate school. Gotta love eatin’ on the cheap!
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Vegetable Dumb-osas

Spoiler alert: Mine don't turn out like this.

Image from PKU Recipes, which has a recipe for samosas that sounds manageable. Ugh.

So my boyfriend’s been in kind of an Indian mood lately – which is fine by me, I love Indian cuisine. The other day, though, we started thinking: for what we’d spend on ordering Indian, we could probably make it. (And when I say, “we,” what I really mean is, “he.”)

Sunday turned out to be Indian Food Day in our house.

I did not go into this experience with the right mindset. I know that now. What I wanted to do was nap, maybe play a little Tetris, and let him work his culinary magic solo. But that turned into, “hey, honey, why don’t you come keep me company?” and that turned into, “want to mix up the dough for these samosas?” and that turned into, “want to make the samosas?”

The things we do for love, right?

Not only was I (more or less) conned into making them, I had possibly the WORST RECIPE IN THE WORLD guiding me. I’m at a Samosas 101 level. This recipe, I’m pretty sure, is for people who already know what they’re doing and just need a reminder about the order. Or a good laugh at someone else’s expense (ie, mine).

Some ranting and photos after the jump.

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My “Perfect” Hash Browns

One of my favorite parts of eating breakfast at not-my-house is the hash browns. I’m a big fan of potatoes in general, but crispy fried potato strings with my pancakes? Yum. I don’t know why I never tried to make them before – turns out, they’re pretty easy! And almost impossible to ruin, as I found out. Bonus!

Start out with your shredded potatoes. I used two redskins for two servings and the portions were just fine, but maybe you like bigger or smaller. I don’t judge.

Note that I didn't bother to peel them - doesn't make a bit of difference.

Then use a cloth and your brute strength to squeeze all the moisture out of the potatoes and add your flour and spices.

I went with lots of garlic and a little basil and salt.

Mix and toss the whole shebang into the microwave. See, I told you this was easy!

When it’s done, spread a nice thin layer of potato in your hot oil. (Seriously, the thinner the better. Mine was gloppy and thick and that was a MISTAKE.) Let it get brown and crispy then flip to the other side.

Mine is shaped a little like a lumpy Texas.

Once both sides are done, you’re ready to eat. I had mine with sausage and eggs and a glass of Simply Apple.

DON'T FORGET THE KETCHUP!

There’s seriously no excuse to not make these every day. Or, okay, every weekend at least. The only way hash browns get easier is if you buy them frozen or order them at Denny’s.

Recipe (and some admissions of screw-ups – jeez) after the jump.

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How To Make Cupcakes

…in five easy steps!

Step One: Go to Vanilla Pastry Studio.

Step Two: Buy a bunch of cupcakes. (Half a dozen will do, I suppose.)

Step Three: Marvel at the beauty of your chosen cup o’ cake.

(I chose chocolate peppermint – it was a GOOD CHOICE.)

Step Four: You’re not done yet! I said MARVEL!

Step Five: Jam that sucker in your mouth. Or eat it in a bowl with a spoon, if you’re classy.

Vanilla is easily the gold standard for cupcakes in the city of Pittsburgh.* The “sugar fairy” gimmick I could see as getting a little obnoxious over time, but as long as they keep creating such moist, delicious little cakes topped with such fluffy, delicate mounds of heaven icing, they can call themselves whatever they want.

Like “genius.” Or “goddess.” Or, okay, “sugar fairy.”

*They don’t even pay me to say stuff like this! But, hey, Vanilla…if you’re listening…WILL WORK FOR CUPCAKES!

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A blog that lives up to its name!

The other night, as I was ignoring a recipe’s direction to peel potatoes (really, who bothers to peel potatoes?), the idea for this blog came to me.

Wouldn’t it be fun, I thought, to document my kitchen successes and failures? To see which of my many shortcuts worked and which turned out to be a complete disaster? If you can’t laugh at yourself, you have no business laughing at anyone – and when I’m in the kitchen, laughter abounds!

So here we are at The Lazy Kitchen. I’m not in the kitchen yet because, well, I’m too lazy to cook anything right now…but stay tuned. No doubt there will be plenty of entertainment to come.

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