Thursday, April 28, 2011

What mamacita is...

Somehow this exceeded even my high expectations. It's absolutely wonderful.

I swear to God I'm ready to grab a pitchfork and storm the castle.

I'm recommending this book to everyone. I love the way they write, and the things they cook. The recipes are entirely down-to-earth, but not in a Sandra Lee-way: you will actually want to cook these things. Their blog will give you an idea of what they like to make.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Good Slow Cooker Recipe Is Always Blog-Worthy

I've been buying something labeled "Top Round Sirloin" from Costco. It comes in a pack of 2 2.5-lb. hunks of meat. Tonight was the first time I used it in a recipe I really liked.

If you search for recipes for "top round sirloin," you will be lead to believe that it's the same thing as London broil, or that it's almost the same thing as London broil, or possibly that it differs significantly from London Broil. Nothing like a consensus, eh?

I haven't have much luck with the London broil recipes (specifically, a couple of the "Bloody Mary London Broil" recipes). Today I tried one that called for a "chuck steak," which is something else entirely, but the top round worked for it. I am also given to believe that paillards and grillades are good uses for top round, so I might try those in the future.

photo: Martha's site
In the meantime, I highly recommend this Lucinda Scala Quinn recipe for Steak Pizzaiola.  

Lucinda is a hard-working and virtuous person who diligently browned the meat and chopped the vegetables before braising them in the oven. I am a lazy slob, however, and I did not brown anything before I put it in the slow cooker. Furthermore, I used already-crushed tomatoes, and instead of mincing 5 cloves of garlic (tedious, smelly, time-consuming, ugh), I just peeled an entire head of garlic and threw all the cloves into the pot.

So after you cook this thing forever, you shred it in the pot and serve it over polenta (i.e. grits). Here is some good info about cooking polenta/grits without having to stir constantly.

It was all way better than it had any right to be. Oh, Slow Cooker, I love you so very, very much.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

How all the cool people celebrated 4/20

I ditched work and got high!

Uh, where "ditched work"=asked for the day off weeks ago. And where "got high"=went to a flower show. 'Cause I'm PUNK AS FUCK.

[The thing is, I wasn't completely forthcoming about why I wanted to take the day off. No one asked, so I didn't mention it. And then I stayed up too late last night, so I went to work with bloodshot eyes. If my boss ever finds out about 4/20, I'll have some 'splainin to do.]

Florescence is a flower show that comes to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston every two years. There is a flower arranging competition, a photography competition, and a horticultural competition. Nonnie came to Houston and joined me and Uncle John for the festivities. As ever, I forgot my camera, so below are some crappy cellphone pics.

But next year for sure: Golden Gate Park.

The gardenia table.
This is some kind of succulent. I think it was named elephant something-or-other.
Bourbon Rose Souvenir de Malmaison will make a maximalist out of anyone.
Flower arrangement made in the shape of a turban. I love how it looks against the Warhol.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

What mamacita is...

Not bad.
[Man, I suck at book reviews.]

This was so much fun to watch.

Listening to
Time for a new playlist for spring. Suggestions?

Thursday, April 7, 2011


via Sarah Sprague, via the LA Times:

“Earlier this week U by Kotex launched a collaborative contest with costume designer Patricia Field, inviting people to redesign the maxi pad,” says Deborah Netburn. “Ridiculous marketing ploy? Clearly. But if you check out the 600-plus colorful maxi pad submissions the company has collected on its website since Monday and don’t find yourself coveting at least some of them, you are a stronger woman than I.”
Photo: The Banksy-inspired maxi pad. Credit: Courtesy U by Kotex.
Please make in shark design.
Other ideas:
The horse head scene from The Godfather.
A hipster version with a "retro" belt attached.
Officially licensed Tina Fey pads.
Officially licensed Alexander McQueen one with a trompe l'oeil vadge.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Got Some Podcasts For You

Do you listen to podcasts? I love them, and I'm always looking for new ones. Here are my current favorites:

Car Talk -- Especially relevant now as my car enters its twilight years months.

Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me! -- Last week PJ O'Rourke was on!

How to Do Everything -- From the folks who created WWDTM. The hosts' voices are very Schweddy-Balls, but the podcast is very funny. Tom Bodett's advice on how not to look like a n00b in Alaska was terrific.

Judge John Hodgman -- John Hodgman does a fine Judge Judy smackdown. This is so awesome, you really have to give it a try. I need to listen to some of the other podcasts on Maximum Fun.

WTF with Marc Maron -- this week's interview is Conan, and they talk about Flannery O'Connor (among other things).

Do you have any to add?

PS to Grams-- A podcast is a radio show that you listen to over the Internet. You can listen whenever you like on their websites; you don't have to tune in at a certain time. And no matter what anyone tries to tell you, you do NOT have to install iTunes. All of the podcasts listed above are free.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

"You don't really understand human nature unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around -- and why his parents will always wave back." -- William Tammeus

Friday, April 1, 2011

Punkin' the Punks

So, this is what I made the little heathens for their April Fools' lunch: 
  • The white things are boiled eggs I put into Japanese egg molds
  • The orange things are "carrots" I carved out of cheese and topped with rosemary sprigs. I am the Michelangelo of processed cheese.
  • The "berries" are little candies from the bulk bin at the grocery store. I think they're jellies covered in nonpareils.
  • Then there is the dirt pudding (chocolate pudding covered with crushed chocolate wafers), complete with buried gummi worms.
  • Perhaps most evil of all, I opened those bags of Lays and replaced some of the chips with dried apple slices. Vitamins! NOOOOOO!