Monday, August 24, 2009

My Very Favorite Sandwich

The world of the vegetarian sandwich is a cold, desolate one. It seems to me that practcally every sandwich out there involves some sort of meat, and those that don't are composed mostly of lettuce. This is my effort to absolve this travesty of the sandwich universe. This isn't really a recipe, so I'm just going to give it to you straight.

Fill a pan with a little bit of olive oil or Canola oil. Oh, and make sure your stove is nice and dirty and your camera is broken, or this sandwich will be ruined. JUST KIDDING, ha ha, I'm not bitter. Slice up an onion by first cutting it in half to remove the outer papery layer, then resting it on its flat side and cutting down its length. Throw as much onion as you want into the pot; for one sandwich, a quarter of an onion will more than suffice, usually. Let the onion sizzle for a few minutes, depending on how soft you like your sauteed onions. I like mine nice and soft and brown and caramelized, which is why I put them in a good three or four minutes before the mushrooms.
While the onions are cooking, slice up your mushrooms. I like to use baby bellas. I lop of the tough stems and just give them a nice chop into three or four pieces each. Throw these in the pan with the onions. Toss this around a little in the pan and douse generously with salt and pepper. I also like to use garlic powder. Why? Because it is cheaper than whole garlic and a little goes a long way. Also I am lazy.
While the veggies are sauteeing, throw a couple of pieces of bread in the toaster, BUT FIRST, put a slice of cheese on one piece of bread. (I just do the toaster bit so the bread will hold up the sandwich better, and so the cheese will melt.) When the bread comes out of the toaster, butter the slice that doesn't have cheese on it. Why? Because you know you want to.

By now the onions and mushrooms should be ready. They will have cooked down quite a lot: The onions will be brown and translucent, and the mushrooms will be a deep sienna.

Dump as much oniony, mushroomy goodness as you possibly can onto your bread and close up thy sammich. That's about it. Toodle-oo.

p.s. It tastes better if you cut it diagonally. TELL ME I'M WRONG.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Let me make something perfectly clear.

A couple of weeks ago, my dear friend Anna and I were out getting a quick lunch together. We both ordered the same thing: a spinach and feta wrap from our favorite gyro place. As she adorned her wrap with the contents of the ranch dressing packet that accompanied her wrap, I ignored mine completely and began eating.

"What, you're not going to put any ranch on your wrap?"
"Why not? It must be kinda bland without it."
"Condiments are the spawn of Lucifer."

She slowly lowered her wrap from her incredulous face, gaping at me as though I had just told her that Leonard Nimoy is the second coming.

"...Are.. you... insane."

But let me tell you something right now. I am not insane. Why not? Because CONDIMENTS ARE FROM THE FIERY, SULFUROUS UNDERWORLD. I hate condiments. All of them. Ketchup? Gag me. Mayonnaise? I would rather eat Madonna's pussy. Mustard? Only in very small quantities hidden in my egg salad. Condiments are disgusting. They mar the beauteous quality of any food they come into contact with. I hate condiments. WHO'S WITH ME.

In a similar vein, I am a bit of a purist when it comes to some foods. (By "purist" some might say I mean "insufferable snob", but hey, that's on them.) Take, for instance, the raspberry.

Would you just look at that? Some people would look at this gem of nature and think: "Jam! Cookies! Cobbler!"

Not me. Friends, this is how I have always and will always eat a raspberry:

1. Rinse thoroughly to remove any unwanted guests of the insect variety that may be cuddling inside my raspberry's luscious interior.

2. Pick up berry. DO NOT POP IN MOUTH. Instead, hold up for just a moment in the sunlight. Admire the way the water droplets shimmer enticingly on the rotund crimson bubbles of the raspberry's exterior. Feast your eyes upon the tiny iridescent hairs that sprout innocently from the cracks in the berry's flesh.

3. Now, place in mouth. Slowly. Close eyes, if not driving heavy machinery. Focus on nothing more than the burst of sweet, summery juice inside one's mouth (ooer) and heave a great sigh of content.

4. Repeat.

In case you hadn't noticed, I fucking love raspberries. They're awesome, and I scorn anyone who maintains that a few cups of sugar and a 350 degree oven will improve their inborn awesomeness. Class dismissed.

p.s. By the way, this blog is hereby officially rated R. R for recipe-tastic! Oh and I also swear a lot.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Bailey's Irish Cream Mint Chocolate Cupcakes

You heard me.

My boyfriend likes to make houseguests think I am an alcoholic by buying large quantities of girly liqueurs and not drinking them, ever. So I stole his Mint Chocolate Bailey's Irish Cream and made cupcakes with it. Oh yes. And so should you.

I adapted the recipe from

Bailey's Mint Chocolate Irish Cream Cupcakes with Bailey's Frosting

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/3 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup Chocolate Mint Bailey’s Irish Cream (or regular Bailey’s + 1/2 tsp peppermint extract)1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup Hershey's Cocoa

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (the flour, baking powder and soda, salt, sugar, and cocoa). In another bowl, beat together the softened butter, eggs, vanilla, milk, and the Bailey's. Or you can be lazy like me and do it all on one bowl, wet ingredients first. Pour the batter ino muffin tins lines with cupcake wrappers and bake for 12-14 minutes.

While the cupcakes are baking, you can make your frosting. Nicole from Baking Bites goes the homemade route. Here's her frosting recipe:

4 tbsp butter, softened

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

2 tbsp milk or cream

1 tsp peppermint extract

But I'll be honest with you: I took a container of store-bought white frosting and mixed in Bailey's and cocoa. How much cocoa? Until it looked chocolatey. How much Bailey's? Until it looked dangerously thin. God, I'm such a cheat. It's almost too easy.

My one complaint with these cupcakes was that they were a little dense; I was hoping for a lighter, fluffier cupcake. Does anyone have any tips?