Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Freakin' at the Freakers Ball

Today I downloaded some old episodes of Grammar Girl*, which much to my amusement included the show: Spoonerisms, Mondegreens, Eggcorns, and Malapropisms. A popular intentional spoonerism is a book by Shel Silverstein entitled Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook. I listened to this at work today, and as I started to watch tonight's dinner come together, I heard my old Dr. Hook CD come on iTunes. The song, Freakin' at the Freakers Ball, was written by Shel Silverstein. Since most people probably don't think about old Shel more than once a year, let alone twice in a day. I smirked and tipped my hat to Jung, my dad, and my best friend Ed who would have said, "There's a little synchro for you."

So, in honor of Shel, I give to you...

Freakers Ball BBQ Beans

This picture sucks so much ass, but my batteries were about to die and I was hungry.

Serves 4-6

First of all, I highly recommend cooking your own beans during these tough economic times (aren't y'all sick of hearing that?). Three cups water, one cup beans, a bouquet garni, and a slow cooker is all you need. I cooked the beans for this recipe on low for over 24 hours, and I wound up with tender beans, and a really nice gravy.

2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, diced
1 cup dried pinto or navy beans, cooked or 2 cans of same, drained and rinsed.
1 14 oz can tomato sauce
2 tsp tomato paste
1 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp chipotle powder
1 tbsp molasses

Sauté onion in oil until it starts to soften. Add garlic. Cook and stir for about a minute, then add beans. In a bowl, mix together the rest of the ingredients. Salt to taste. Stir into beans. Heat through. Serve with greens and beers.

* I am calling immunity for any grammatical errors in this post. If I was perfect, I wouldn't have to listen to GG.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Alone in the kitchen with an eggplant.

I'm in one of those moods where I want something warm, but not top-of-the-stove warm. I want out-of-the-oven warm. I think a lot of people feel this way, or casserole would have never been invented. Anyway, I had an eggplant. The title is in homage to one of my favorite cooking essays.

I made the Indonesian Eggplant from Peanut Butter Planet, only I added three small russet potatoes, sliced. After roasting, I layered the vegetables with the sauce, added some peas, and baked it at 400° for about 15 minutes.

Here it is with a little sautéed chard.

I know. It looks just like it would look had I made it as per the recipe. BUT, it tasted so incredible. Incredible in a way that can only be achieved through 400° in a Le Creuset dish. Also, the potato added something that would have actually been felt missing in the original dish. Hooray for carbs!

Monday, January 5, 2009

I am a sucky tester.

I'm not sure why I keep signing up for testing stuff, because the moon, my time, my kitchen, and my money never line up. I could be sitting on the couch with my thumb up my ass, but I have nothing in the cupboards and nothing in the bank. When I do have money, I'm out running around. Also, Isa has a knack for posting a freaking deeelicious looking recipe just as I walk in the door with my allotted groceries for two weeks. She is aware of this phenomenon with me. Nevertheless, I need to get my testing butt in gear.

As I was getting ready to watch the Vikings get stuffed by the Eagles, I remembered that I have everything needed for Chocolate Crinkle Cookies (didja know there was a cookie book coming? Eh?). Even black cocoa, which I ordered from some Amish store on eBay (really!) for the Fauxstess cupcakes I never got around to making. Plus, I had exactly the amount of chocolate chips* needed for the recipe.

These are AMAZING. I love super chewy chocolatey things, like Tootsie Rolls. These totally satisfied my craving. They are a bit sweet, but not enough to cause a headache. Pretty fast and so easy. This is going to be a great book!

* The jury is in. Guittard are my favorite chocolate chips to bake with, as well as snack on. For only $3.59 at Target, they are a bargain compared to most of the others.