Please Pardon Our Dust

My dear readers, I haven’t forgotten about you. This blog (and my life) are in the midst of a major overhaul. Some differences you can expect to see when we’re back up and running are:

1. A new kitchen.

2. A sock monkey.

3. A new name.

4. Fish. 

5. A bigger cat.

Please bear with me as I attempt to cram my life into 20 or so odd boxes, so that I can move three miles down the street.

The kitchen is worth it.

 

Happy Monday!

P.S. Which name do you like more; Little Kitchen Big World, or Home Plate?

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June 11, 2012. Uncategorized. 6 comments.

This is still happening.

May 14, 2012. Uncategorized. 4 comments.

My Issues With Rain

Whenever it rains, I get a serious case of the blues. If I won the lottery while  receiving a foot massage from Ryan Gosling on a rainy day, I’d still manage to feel depressed. I can’t help but take it personally. The clouds are peeing little soul sucking drops of sadness all over the place, just to ruin my day, and it makes me cranky.

Don't touch me.

It doesn’t even have to be a lot of rain. Someone could spit off the top of a building, and I’d want to go home and listen to Ingrid Michaelson. Or watch the first ten minutes of UP. Try watching that without turning your nose into a snot fountain.

I’m getting distracted.

Rain in southern California is a mixed bag. On the one hand it’s almost always sunny, so I rarely have to deal with it. On the other hand, when it does rain, everyone loses their freaking mind. The freeway slows to a zippy ten miles per hour, people are falling all over the place, and there’s lot’s of this:

This is not a rainy day outfit.

Why do girls wear this? I don’t know. Maybe their knees run at a higher temperature. Maybe they just like their feet better. I’ll let you know if I figure it out.

More than anything, the rainy day blues make it hard for me to write. I get really apathetic and insecure about my writing, and start having all sorts of self abusive doubts.

“Oh yeah, you should definitely take a year and write your novel. Don’t bother getting a job, I’m sure that will pan out really well.”

“Jenna Marbles isn’t afraid to swear on her blog.”

“Your cat only likes you because you feed her.”

It’s a problem.

So how do I break this cycle? There’s a couple ways.

1. I read people who are funnier than me. Like this girl: http://thingsyoulearnincollege.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/sleep-is-for-wimps-right/

2. I run. Very short distances.

3. I make oosh goosh pie.

Oosh goosh pie is the perfect thing to make when you’re feeling self doubt. It’s easy enough to make that you can’t screw it up, it’s delicious, and cheap.

Oosh Goosh Pie

-3 cups cold milk

-Instant pudding mix

-1 package graham crackers

Step one:

Measure out 3 cups of milk. Because if you can measure ingredients, you’ll probably be successful in life.

Like a boss!

Step two:

Whisk in the pudding mix, while beating the hell out of your frustrations.

I FEEL SO MUCH BETTER!

Step three: Layer graham crackers and pudding. Use your problem solving skills to make the graham crackers fit.

Yeah. I went to college.

Step four:

Crumble some graham cracker on top and refrigerate for about an hour.

Learn some patience.

Step five:

Get two spoons, find a friend, and eat it out of the pan. That’s the part that will actually make you feel better.

Enjoy the rain!

April 13, 2012. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized. 6 comments.

Mirror Mirror: The Worst of Them All

Warning: This post contains spoilers.

Double warning: This post contains no cooking.

“You read so many stories where the prince saves the princess. I think it’s time we changed that ending.” This is the promising thesis of the newly released Snow White movie, Mirror Mirror. It opened this weekend, and in my post Hunger Games Go Katniss haze I went to see it in the hopes of experiencing another strong female protagonist.

I was very, very disappointed.

For a movie trying to present a courageous and independent Snow White, Mirror Mirror fell back on every sexist cliche in the book. Rather than developing two strong women in a battle over good and evil, it became about two women in a manipulative cat fight over a boy.

Mirror Mirror rests on the formula that equates feminine strength with beauty, aimed at the eventual goal of marriage. Snow White wins the hearts of the people she meets with beauty and charm (not intelligence or bravery), and is assisted in all of her heroic action by men. She frees the beast from the queen in the climactic scene, with a dagger passed to her by a chain of all the men in her life.

Snow White, the beautiful, young, low maintenance girl is rewarded with marriage. The queen is punished for being evil with old age.

Seriously? Are we still not free of this? The message here is that old ugly women have no value, because they have no appeal to men. Let’s not worry about locking her in a dungeon or keeping her under supervision. If she is no longer beautiful she is no longer a threat, because she has lost any of her control over men. Snow White, in a truly classy move, drives the point home by handing back the queen her poisoned apple with the line, “age before beauty.”

Here is the trouble. As children of the 90’s we were content growing up with two dimensional characters and love at first sight.  We eagerly absorbed every Disney fairytale, unencumbered by an educated mind. The passive women didn’t bother us, because they were always rewarded in the end. The good characters were beautiful, the bad characters were ugly, and the comedic ones were short. The formula was like nicotine, and it was a hard habit to break.

Unfortunately for Disney, we are entering the age of the empowered female heroine. The success of Hunger Games alone (while not a perfect example of feminism) is enough to point out the viability of strong female characters. Their dramatic action no longer needs to be confined to the circle of beauty and love, and the rest of the world is waking up.

April 2, 2012. Tags: , , , , , . Uncategorized. 6 comments.

I’m not dead yet.

I also haven’t been kidnapped or taken over by any sort of supernatural event. It’s just midterms right now.

The weekend was wonderful, and you guys will be hearing from me soon. Until then, here are some of the best jokes I know:

Two fish were swimming along, looking for the ocean. The first fish ran into a concrete wall. He turned to the fish behind him, and said “dam!”

Two antennas met on a roof, fell in love, and got married. The ceremony wasn’t much, but the reception was excellent.”

I went to buy camouflage shorts the other day, but I couldn’t find any.

I sincerely apologize for my love of puns. If you want to put a smile on this overworked college girls face, comment below with your favorite jokes!

The food will come back soon.

March 13, 2012. Tags: , , , , , . Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Mamma Mia!

Hey friends! Do you remember in my first post when I talked about my Mom, the very talented ex-caterer?

If not, here you go: https://cookingcrownunder.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/katies-kitchen-nightmares/

Anyway, there’s very little my Mom can’t accomplish in the kitchen. I once saw her make dinner with nothing but chicken broth and rice. She’s not afraid of live seafood, and she knows exactly how long to microwave things.

For my fifth birthday she made me a cake in the shape of a castle, which really drove home the point “you can’t have your cake and eat it too.” Or more appropriately, “you can’t reenact cinderella inside your cake and let your guests eat it too.”

The point is, my Mom has some skills in the kitchen. I found out a few days ago that she’s coming down to visit me in Orange, which is great (aside from having to actually pick my laundry up off the floor and PUT IT AWAY. WHAT IS THIS??)

And I’m going to cook dinner for her.

My first reaction was something like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfh4Mhp-a6U

And then I remembered that I have all of you! I’m eager to show off the things I’ve learned over the past few weeks, but I don’t know what to serve for dinner. I was hoping that you could help me figure that out. This poll will be open for the next few days. Once I have enough feedback from you guys, I’ll get to work. Thanks, and happy Monday!

Since this post was lacking my usual embarrassing pictures, here’s one of me licking my elbow:

And you thought my cooking was impressive.

March 5, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . Cooking, Uncategorized. 4 comments.

My farewell to tacos

My friends, this is a sad day. Tomorrow I am beginning P90X, and along with this new workout regimen comes new eating habits. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m psyched to start eating healthy. There are just some food habits I’m having a hard time letting go of.

Like tacos.

The first week I came to Chapman I was introduced to a magical place called Taqueria De Anda. All the other tacos in my life were instantly forgotten. The word taco no longer meant crunchy yellow shells, translucent lettuce, and sketchy ground beef. I had met my taco soulmate, and there was no going back.

At Taqueria, they make tacos that are the size of your fist. They are in soft, small, flour tortillas and smothered in onions and cilantro. I have easily eaten six in one go.

Just look at these bad boys.

So last night we visited Taqueria for the last time. The take out menu seemed to glow with a little less brightness, and the chicken shaped jungle gym sat abandoned and empty. The man who handed us our food did so with the gleam of rejection in his eye. I had to brush away a tear as I put my horchata in it’s cup holder for the last time.

I felt like such a traitor.

There is just something so comforting about these tacos. They come with their own little chunks of lime, and an excessive amount of salsa. When you eat them, you make this face:

Our first kiss

So it is with a heavy heart and a spicy mouth that I bid farewell to one of my great loves. Tacos, you have always been there for me. I will always care about you, but I think we need to start seeing other people. I love you, I’m just not in love with you.

I hope we can still be friends.

It's not you, it's me.

February 27, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 9 comments.

Katie Vs. The Chicken

There’s something incredibly satisfying about cooking a whole chicken. It gives you an inflated sense of confidence, in a “why yes, I could have been a fifties house wife” kind of way. You get this idyllic image in your head of yourself, dressed in a flouncy white apron pulling a crispy golden bird out of the oven.

In all honesty, it’s freaking disgusting. There’s knives and guts and all sorts of gross stuff. But we’ll get to that later.

The recipe I used is from A NEW BOOK that my Aunt sent me. Barefoot Contessa. It’s amazing. Oh yeah. All the recipe requires is:

1 Whole chicken, 5-6 pounds.

1 Lemon, cut in half.

1 Head of garlic, cut lengthwise.

2 Tablespoons of melted butter

1 Bunch of fresh thyme

1 Onion, sliced

Salt and pepper

And that’s it! Pretty straightforward, right? At least, that’s what I thought.

 

I purchased my chicken at trader joe’s. Here’s the little guy:

It's okay to be jealous of my spiderman apron.

The first step is to place the chicken in the sink, and remove the giblets. Giblets is a nice name for nasty ass chicken organs. I really did not enjoy this part. Especially when a tiny kidney landed on my hand.

At least they come in a little bag...

I strongly recommend you put the giblets and chicken trash in a bag, and throw it away outside. If you throw it away in your kitchen, it will start to smell like a zombie fart.

Next, rinse the chicken inside and out. Pat dry with a paper towel, making extra sure to remove as much water as possible from the cavity. According to Caitlyn, cavity is a nice name for what used to be the uterus. So that’s fun.

Now place the chicken breast side up in a roasting pan. Take the lemon and squeeze the juice over the skin, and sprinkle it liberally with salt and pepper. This is where it gets awkward. You’re going to take the lemon, garlic, and thyme, and stuff it inside the cavity. I always feel really rude doing this.

I just feel so awkward right now.

You guys. Get excited. Guess what we’re going to use?!

Aw yeahhhh

ITS THE BASTING BRUSH!!

Okay calm down. It’s not that exciting.

Using the BASTING BRUSH you’re going to coat the skin of the chicken in butter. This will make it crispy and delicious.

Check out that sweet basting brush action.

Last step before baking! Using twine (or thread from the sewing kit your mom made you take to college) you’re going to tie the chicken’s legs together.

Girl, put your legs together.

Scatter the slice onion in the pan, then put it in the oven! The chicken will bake at 425 degrees for about an hour and a half. There are a few ways to check for doneness: you can use a meat thermometer, cut the joint between the thigh and body and see if the juices run clear, or wiggle the leg. I like the last one best. If the leg wiggles too loosely, it’s not done. If it gives some resistance, you can go ahead and take it out.

So. You roasted a whole chicken. It’s sitting on your counter.

How do you eat it…..exactly?

I found carving the chicken a wee bit stressful. I just felt mean. Basically, you hack off the legs and set them aside. Then you remove the breast meat by working a knife around the cartilage. Super cute, right?

I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry!

Once you move past destroying the innocent chicken with knives, it turns into this deliciousness:

Om nom nom nom.

Put the chicken carcass in a large plastic bag in your freezer for days you want to make soup! Hooray!

 

February 7, 2012. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. 2 comments.

My Arsenal

Hey everyone. Meet my cooking buddy!

Today I started the process of getting my kitchen ready for cooking. Amy was both startled and horrified to see me messing around in her personal jungle gym.

 

 

The majority of the cooking I’m going to do will come from this book:

The lemur is there to intimidate me into cooking.

I read through some of it last night, I’ve already learned that there are five varieties of beans I had no idea existed. FIVE.

She also gives a very helpful step by step breakdown of the process (with pictures!) that I will try to replicate.

And then…..there’s my kitchen.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I love my kitchen. We have heart plates and a hot guy collage hanging on our fridge. But it’s small. I can put my hands and feet on opposite counters and do a plank. Not that I’ve tried.

I’m also convinced that my electric burner is tilted. What do you think?

This may make things difficult, but we’ll figure it out.

 

When my mom found out I was getting my own apartment, she packed up a huge box of kitchen supplies and stashed it in my car. I’m not saying that it stayed there for a few months, but I’m also not prepared to say it didn’t….

In any event, I unpacked it the other day. I’m going to guess that I’m the only college senior who owns two zesters (because one just isn’t enough, you know?). I also have a garlic press, which I have no idea how to work. The three of us have all tried to open it. No idea. I’ll keep you posted on how that turns out.

And then there’s this:

I’m pretty sure that even the manufacturer doesn’t know what this is. In the upper left corner they just labeled it “kitchen utensil.” Caitlyn has officially labeled it, “the weirdest shit I’ve ever seen.”

So far we’ve come up with the theories: hula skirt on a stick, a baby octopus, or a synthetic broom for a house elf. If you’d like to submit one, put it in the comments!

So far we’ve been using it play with the kitten. I’ll let you know if I actually figure out what it is.

That’s it for today. My next update will be about real honest to god grocery shopping.

 

 

February 1, 2012. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. 3 comments.