Monthly Archives: June 2015

Sick Day: Lipton Noodle Soup Secrets

You guuuuuuuuuuys.

I don’t feel good.

I don’t feel good at all.

It’s so bad that it’s affecting my grammar.

I hope it doesn’t get so bad that I forget how to punctuate.

Sidenote: Everybody needs to remember how to use a comma. Commas and apostrophes haven’t gone extinct, everyone. Dont just run on in your sentence and pretend like you dont need any punctuation because youre lazy or because you think because you write a blog the rules are different because internetz. [sic] Please for the love of Jesus/Buddha/Tom Hanks/WHOEVER you believe in, use a comma. Good grammar is sexy.

I’m working from home today and eating on that BRAT diet. Do y’all remember this?

Bananas (Nope, won’t eat those.)

Rice (Well, I have rice, but I’m not eating it right now.)

Applesauce (Don’t have any of that at home.)

Toast (Toast it is!)

I had a dry piece of toast for breakfast. A sensible meal, if ever I’ve had one. Then I graduated to my favorite sick day lunch: noodley soup.

That’s not what it’s actually called. It’s called Lipton Noodle Soup.

…pretty much the same.

You boil three cups of water. Stir in the packet of unnaturally yellow flavor and noodles. Turn off the heat and wait 5 minutes. Sick day success.

What secrets lie within this pouch, Soup?

What secrets lie within this pouch, Soup?

But wait. What? What what? What what what? Soupsecrets.com? Pray tell, what kind of secrets hath this soup? Did it have a steamy affair with a cracker? Does it actually hate being hot? Does it wish it was born a salad? I must click.

Oh BROTHER.

From soupsecrets.com/zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

From soupsecrets.com/zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

There are no secrets here. No frothy, brothy confessions. No salacious dish. Just boring brandspeak, nutritional content and and some “recipes.”

No. This website is so bad. It’s making me sick again.

i think im gonna herl

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Podcast Roundup: Gringo Bandito Hot Sauce

If I had to break down the percentage of topics of my non-work conversation, it would probably go something like this:

  • 70%: Food
  • 15%: Podcasts
  • 5%: Netflix
  • 5%: Naps
  • 5%: Other, including but not limited to Jon Hamm, the john, ham, Jon Hamm’s John Hamm, etc.

Food is a given, as are Jon Hamm and naps, but I’ve become a huge fan of podcasts. They’re a wonderful way to pass the time when you need a little entertainment. Out on a walk? Throw on a podcast! Driving to a place? Throw on a podcast! Prepping your meez? You see the pattern here, people.

There are all sorts of podcasts for your listening pleasure, but here are my go-tos.

  • The Nerdist Podcast: Chris Hardwick (stand up comedian and former Singled Out Host) and his besties/fellow comedians, Jonah Ray and Matt Mira, co-host. They have wonderfully weird and funny conversations with celebrities and each other. Kyle Clarke, Katie Levine and Scout the dog join in and hilarity ensues.
  • Wits: Have you guys ever listened to Prairie Home Companion? Wits is like Prairie Home Companion if Prairie Home Companion had better writing, funnier guests and cooler musical artists. I don’t hate Prairie Home Companion or anything. I just adore Wits. John Moe hosts this delightfully oddball variety show.
  • WTF with Marc Maron: I resisted this one for awhile, but a friend recommended and I fell for it. Marc Maron is a comic who takes long form conversations to a new level. His honesty is charming and disarming and it allows his guests to really share with him. It feels like you’re listening in on someone’s therapy. Notable episodes are: Terry GrossHenry WinklerRemembering Harris Wittels
  • The Thrilling Adventure Hour: Fans of old time-y radio and kitschy things will love this silly, delightful show. It’s a serialized radio show that follows among others a a society couple that seed ghosts and the marshall on Mars. All the comedians ever are on this thing. Notable episodes are: all of them. The new episodes end in August, but there are 250 episodes to go back to and enjoy.

Now you’re probably wondering: what the actual fuck does this have to do with food?

Well, I LISTEN to them during cooking. Which how I sometimes fuck up cooking. Look at how I messed up my buns.

Not MY buns. These hamburger buns. My buns are great. WINK.

To a crisp.

To a crisp.

The cool part about a podcast is that you never know what you’ll learn. Even if you have preconceived notions about the guest, you might learn something really cool. For example: a recent Nerdist episode featured Dexter Holland. You might not know his name, but you probably know his work. He’s the lead singer of the bang The Offspring. They’re still touring (who knew?) but he’s also getting his PHD in molecular biology studying HIV (wait, WHAT?!) This conversation was fascinating. The most interesting thing is that this guy is curious about so many things. He didn’t know how to play music when he started his first band. He loves science so he started pursuing science. And he wanted to play music and continue studying science, so he did both.

And this is how he made a hot sauce. He’s passionate about hot sauce. So he decided to make one. You know, as you do.

Yeah. That's him on the bottle.

Yeah. That’s him on the bottle.

It’s a nice hot sauce for casual hot sauce consumption. It’s say it has a similar heat level to a Tabasco. Unlike a Tabasco, it’s much more of pepper-forward vs. vinegar-forward. It was a nice kick of heat, but it didn’t blow out my palate.

So, I salute you, Dexter Holland. Your hot sauce is solid. Your scientific research is baller. And your music is a major earworm.

That’s pretty fly for a white guy.

OH, YOU SAW IT COMING.

Gringo Bandito Hot Sauce is available at most grocery stores and online. Try it on tacos, eggs, and all the things. Eat it while listening to The Nerdist podcast and enjoy your burrito, folks.

P.S. There are some food podcasts that I’ve started exploring. More on that to come.

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Broad Appetit: The Good, The Bad, The Garbaje

I’m going to blow your mind here: I’m a human being.

I know, I know. There was some speculation because I’m a tall lady that I might be a giantess. Or a cylon or something.

6 via theinstructables.com

Bears. Beets. Battlestar Gallactica. via theinstructables.com

Yeah…I’m definitely not a cylon.

Or, is that exactly what a cylon would want you to think?

So, I’m a totally normal human being and I don’t really like to make mistakes. I think that’s a pretty normal thing. And of course, because I’m a regular ole cylon human being, I make mistakes more often than not.

Here’s a mistake I made earlier this week: I misspelled Richmond. Yep. The city that I live in. I spelled it Richcmond. That’s not how it is spelled. But that will appear on the return address of a card I mailed out this week. Keep your eyes peeled, receivers of my correspondence.

I made a lot of really bad food mistakes this weekend. I went with my new roommates best friends forever, Becca and Evan, to Broad Appetit. Broad Appetit is a lovely food festival on Broad Street here in Richmond with hundreds of vendors, live music and more cute puppies than you can shake (or throw) a stick at (or to). And for as many good decisions I made, l made some really terrible ones too.

Without further ado: food things!

Good decision: Scotch egg from Somewhere.

(That is not the name of a trendy place, I just don’t remember.)

The cure for all hangovers

The cure for all hangovers

Fried and delicious. Only complaint. It was too big and therefore, too delicious.

Good decision: Chicken and waffles with tahini maple syrup.

I kept my shadow in the picture so you knew who took the picture.

I kept my shadow in the picture so you knew who took the picture.

Sweet and crunchy. I want to marry chicken and waffles. I want to be Mrs. Chicken and Waffles. Or Ms. Novak married to Mr. Chicken and Waffles. It’s the 90s.

Bad decision: This ramen situation.

Cold ramen salad. My heart was cold eating it.

Cold ramen salad. My heart was cold eating it.

Listen, this ramen won the best dish of the festival. And I wanted to like it so much because these guys follow me on instagram so I feel like we should be friends. But, this was a cold ramen salad that needed a hit of heat or acid or something. Frankly, I wish I’d taken a hit of acid before I’d eaten it. Maybe that would’ve increased my enjoyment. But, I will go to the ramen joint and give them a proper chance when they are in their element.

Good decision: Barbecue something with something.

(Yeah. I know. I’m crushing these descriptions. I was a little hungover and I forget a lot. Also, it’s a FAKE FOOD BLOG.)

It had cornbread.

It had cornbread.

I don’t remember anything about this dish except that it lead to maybe my favorite picture of all time.

Meet Drunk Sandwich. Coming to Instagram or Myspace or a blog near you.

Meet Drunk Sandwich. Coming to Instagram or Myspace or a blog near you.

WORST DECISION: Summer Vegetable Bacon Salad.

Shoulda been called water salad.

Shoulda been called water salad.

I had been drinking drinks and eating fried things so I thought a summer vegetable salad with bacon sounded delightful. Light and refreshing and bacon-y. Well, sure. That was the theory. This was basically a watery pile of veggies topped with bacon. I returned it from whence it came: the garbaje.

Regret: Cheerwine Slider.

Ok, I get it. It's better than what I got.

Ok, I get it. It’s better than what I got.

I try to live my life without regrets, but it is Wednesday and I still regret not getting this slider. Evan got this slider. I wish I got this slider. The meat was braised in Cheerwine. Thank God I’m going to North Carolina this weekend.

Good decision: Watermelon popsicle from King of Pops.

Perfect summer treat. Also, the guy at the cart was really sexual with how he opened the popsicles. It was awkward to watch.

Damn it, Evan.

Damn it, Evan.

Also, Evan likes to ruin my pictures.

Like another Evan I know.

Evan Pease is the best. But he's dumb.

This sandwich was ruined. Evan Pease will rue the day he touched my iced cream.

Overall, the day was a win even though it was punctuated with food misteaks.

[sic]

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Paloma My God: Steak Tacos, Palomas & Crunch Dynasty

A good weekend requires a nap to recover.

A great weekend requires two naps.

Either I had the best weekend ever or I’m 80, because I took two naps Sunday afternoon and then fell asleep again at 7 pm. As you do.

I did have a pretty terrific weekend. My friends Lindsay, Sarah, and Anna came up to visit from North Carolina and it was just all kinds of fun. Great friends, all the food, and all the tequila. Seems like a recipe for success.

On Friday, they got in 40 minutes early than expected and banged on my back door like cops coming to do a drug bust. I jumped and shrieked a bit, because as I said earlier, I’m 80. Also, I keep a lot of illegal drugs in my house. We made beer-marinated skirt steak tacos on the grill and ate dinner on the porch. Fan living, y’all. The charred tomato salsa is oh-so-good. It’s got that slow burn from the ancho chile, but the sweetness of the charred tomato. I might have eaten the leftovers for breakfast Monday morning.

Taco bar is the best bar after alcohol bar.

Taco bar is the best bar after alcohol bar.

On Saturday, we went to a yoga class. It  was a hilariously hippy-dippy class. “Put your hand down on the ground like an angel is kissing the earth.” I don’t know what it says about me, but I really want to go back.

That afternoon, I hosted a happy hour at mine to introduce some of my North Carolina friends to some of my Richmond friends. And when I say I hosted this party, I mean I drank all the drinks while Lindsay, Sarah and Anna did a lot of the work. I mean, I prepped a lot ahead of time. But they helped so much to cook, clean, buy ice, refill water, pass out mini-Atlantic beach pies, make all the Palomas, drink all the Palomas, etc. I’m pretty sure they hosted the party more than I did. What was I doing? Holding witty, engaging sober conversation. Well, I held conversation. The Palomas were flowing, y’all.

IMG_5095

Double fisting like a champ.

IMG_5084

Another in a series of photos of me taking photos of Anna taking photos of me. I plan to do this for the rest of our lives.

FullSizeRender (2)

Seriously, Lindsay and Sarah did all the work. I just pointed at the ice. Photo by Becca! 

FullSizeRender (1)

Not pictured: tiny pies. And allllll the palomas. 

Our weekend ended with brunch at Stella’s and a trip to the Stella’s Grocery. Stella’s is no joke in the brunch department. You like sweet brunch? GREAT. Greek Easter bread done French-toast style topped with whipped Greek yogurt, sour cherries and pistachios. You like savory brunch? GREATER. The Loukaniko sausage skillet and the black kale skillet are both excellent. Start your meal with an order or hummus and Bloody Mary or a mimosa. (Virginia lacks the alcohol-limiting blue laws that North Carolina holds onto so dearly, making it so much easier to drink on Sunday. Hallelujah and pass the bottle.)

We stopped by the Stella’s Grocery after brunch.  It’s been open for about a month and sells specialty food items, like boozes, meats, prepared foods, such as smoothies, Greek Salads, and desserts (baklava!). Also, condiments. Why do condiments get their own section? Because I found a condiment, Crunch Dynasty, that is made right here in Richmond and it is made right here by my very own friends, John and Anya. I met Anya through work and John through Anya. They are a hilarious, kind, and cool couple with some kids who are the same. One of their kids knows all the knock-knock jokes ever and the other one told me my hair was like mermaid hair. I’m a big fan of all of them.

But I digress. Condiments.

If Chris Pratt were a condiment, he would be Crunch Dynasty.

Delicious, delicious dynasty. 

Crunch Dynasty is this amazing, mysterious condiment that somehow works on everything. Honestly. It’s as good on vegetables as it is on rice as it is on salmon. It genuinely tastes good on everything. Nay, it makes everything taste better. It makes you happy. And it is spicy. Crunch Dynasty keeps you on your toes. It’s like the Chris Pratt of condiments. If Chris Pratt was from Richmond, was Chinese, and tasted of garlic. To be fair, I haven’t tasted him. He might taste of garlic.

Then as quickly as they came, my friends left. And I took all the naps. And then I wrote this post.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’m going to take a nap.

Tecate Skirt-Steak Tacos from Bon Appetit

  • 1 pound skirt steak, silver skin removed, cut into 6-inch pieces | I doubled the amount of steak b/c it looked wimpy.
  • 1 12-ounce can pale lager (such as Tecate)
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more
  • ¼ medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large plum tomatoes, cored
  • ½ canned chipotle chile in adobo, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus leaves for serving
  • 8 fresh corn tortillas
  • Avocado slices, crumbled Cotija cheese, and lime wedges (for serving)

Combine steak, beer, 1 Tbsp. lime juice, 1 tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper in a resealable plastic bag. Seal; chill 3 hours.

Cook onion, garlic, and oil in a small skillet over medium heat until soft and translucent, 5 minutes. Let cool.

Prepare a grill for high heat (if using charcoal, prepare two zones of heat, high and medium-high). Grill tomatoes over high heat, turning occasionally, until well charred but still holding their shape, 6–8 minutes.

Reduce grill to medium-high heat (or use medium-high zone if using a charcoal grill). Remove steak from marinade and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper and grill until charred, about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to a cutting board and let steak rest 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, blend onion and garlic, tomatoes, chipotle, and remaining 3 Tbsp. lime juice in a blender until smooth. Add chopped cilantro, season with salt, and pulse until just combined. Transfer salsa to a small bowl.

Grill tortillas until soft and beginning to char, about 30 seconds per side. Slice steak against the grain into ½” strips. Top each tortilla with a few pieces of steak, then some salsa, cilantro leaves, avocado, and Cotija cheese. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing over.

The Paloma from StyleMePretty

  • 2 oz. Reposado Tequilla
  • 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 2 oz. fresh grapefruit juice
  • a pinch of salt (or a salted glass rim)
  • agave syrup to taste (optional)
  • Ice
  • Garnish with lime, mint leaves, thyme, or jalapenos if you like some heat

In a shaker filled with ice mix tequila, grapefruit juice, and lime. Shake, shake, shake. Pour over ice, add a pinch of salt, and garnish. Add agave if you feel it’s not sweet enough.

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