Thursday Night Smackdown: That's a big nooder

Man, I cannot WAIT for that new Howie Mandel Candid Camera-Punk’d hybrid show, can you? It is going to be off the fucking hook.

Whoa, sorry! Where did that come from? TV rots your brains, kids. Also, stay away from crack.

A while ago I put up a little poll asking you, my trustworthy readers, to vote on what new cookbook I should buy with my hard-earned Amazon kickbacks referral fees. Hot Sour Salty Sweet initially looked like it was going to sweep, but The Splendid Table made a last minute surge to tie things up, leaving me with the tie-breaking vote.

I then forgot all about it for two months until I was doing some Christmas shopping on Amazon, when I picked Splendid Table up for myself. It came this week, and I was immediately drawn to the Hoisin Chinese Noodles with Four Flavors. There are few things upon which hoisin cannot improve, and to have that plus four entire flavors? Unfathomable! FOUR FLAVORS? Truly, the world is full of marvels.

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Liveblogging Top Chef: Episode 6

Tonight: MARTHA.  I’m trying to keep an open mind. I’ve been scared of her ever since I saw a Christmas episode of her show where she covered the WHOLE SIDE of her house with chicken wire and painstakingly wove evergreen boughs into it until the the entire side was covered.  You know, for a festive look.  That is not the behavior of a sane woman.  That is the behavior of a woman who has torched Santa’s workshop out of jealous rage and had all the elves sent down to Bedford in shipping containers to spend the season making homemade ornaments out of twigs and hand-spun silk. Continue reading

Cheap Ass Monday: I have squash out the yin-yang.

And I don’t mean in the gross way, like with the carrot; I’ve learned my lesson there.*

No, the final delivery of the 2008 CSA is the root-vegetables-to-last-you-through-the-coming-nuclear-winter delivery. Thank god we split our share with friends, because we ended up with 20 or 30 pounds of potatoes and 2 dozen squash – and this was after a harsh freeze that killed off a goodly part of Farmer John’s crops.

*You’d think I’d stop beating the dead carrot already, but I just can’t. It’s TOO GOOD.

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I was working on a currency for cats and dogs to use*

But that was too hard, so I made some English toffee instead.

There are some foods that non-cooking-type people will be really impressed when you make from scratch, even though you as a cooking person know they are actually very easy. (Non-cooking-type people, stop reading here so you don’t lose the magic.  Remember how you felt when you found out there was no Santa?).  Like layer cakes.  Chocolate mousse  Truffles.  Pretty much any candy, come to think of it.  Like toffee.  Delicious, buttery toffee, covered in chocolate and nuts.

*I know, it’s not a very good movie, but this line cracks my shit up.  In the outtakes, he says he wants to “open a bed and breakfast inside a volcano.” Also, Kenneth the page from 30 Rock is in it, and that dude is just funny.  It just happens to be on TV right now. Shut up.

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