Who are you?
I’m Michelle, a food and drink lover from Jersey City, New Jersey. I’m a lapsed Catholic, a lapsed lawyer, a lapsed pianist and a lapsed vegetarian. I am curmudgeonly. I live and cook by a strict ethical code:
- Any food is improved by at least 50% if (1) covered in cheese (2) wrapped in puff pastry or (3) accompanied by a vodka gimlet,
- Bacon fucking rules,
- Children are our future, so we should teach them well and let them lead the way, and
- Escargot are actually pencil erasers and are a cosmic joke perpetrated against gourmands the world over by the French.
What does Thursday Night Smackdown mean?
Thursday Night Smackdown is the Telltale Heart of the site: A woman, a cookbook, and a “man, I should really make this one day” recipe. The other days, tune in for original recipes, cool kitchen finds and reality food television mockery.
Why should I bother to read this?
Here are a few fine reasons to read TNS:
- You get to say you knew me before I got my book deal.
- I make jokes. People like jokes. If you don’t like jokes, there’s something wrong with you.
- I help you make simple, delicious foods that will impress your friends and family and possibly help get you laid. Some of which may also try to kill you, but sometimes that’s the price you pay for good food.
- I’m educational. You never know when you’re going to be exposed to new and exciting wonders like marshmallow hamburgers or the six-hundred dollar coffee pot or conveniently packaged peanut butter slices.
- There are cute stories about little old ladies.
- I help you make cheap delicious foods too, which is critical now that the entire world has been laid off.
While you’re inspecting the goods, check out some of TNS’s greatest hits like this one, or maybe this one. Shake things up with this little ditty. Or slow it down with these smooth slow jams.
Look, everybody reads Dooce and the Pioneer Woman. There is no way to stop the ever-encroaching juggernaut of Cake Wrecks which, if it continues expanding at its present exponential rate, will one day devour us all. But you? You don’t want to be like “everybody.”
If you read me? STREET CRED, my friends.
Is there anything else I should know?
Brian is my significant other, sous chef, general kitchen gadabout and is an ACTUAL ROCKET SCIENTIST, which comes in handy with some of the more complicated recipes. I’m looking at you, Thomas Keller. He will also eat anything put in front of him, whether he likes it or not.
Chester and Felix are our dogs. They eat our failures. They are surprisingly picky for dogs and have to be directed to food that has fallen on the ground. I don’t know where they picked up this pansy-ass behavior.
I have no training of any kind in (a) cooking, (b) pastry, (c) writing or (d) photography. This will, most likely, be quite evident to you. I’m sorry.
Is there any fine print?
Most if not all Thursday Night Smackdown recipes will be coming from our cookbook collection, and the point is to follow the recipes as closely as possible. This means that (1) any variations will usually be pretty minor, so that (2) I’m not really comfortable posting the recipes, since I’d essentially be giving them away. You know, copyrights and whatnot. I will post pictures of the ingredients and the process along with our description and review, and you should feel free to put 2 and 2 together and try to re-create the dishes yourself.
I’ve never commented here before but I’ve been reading for awhile, and just wanted to let you know that you’ve got my vote 🙂 Yours is easily the most fun of the blogs I read, and I always look forward to your posts. Congrats on the nomination and good luck!
I just voted for ya too 🙂
You forgot the best reason to vote for you: Because you swear like a sailor and you’re really (REALLY) fucking funny. Consistently.
Also, you’re not palming me off with no stupid hug. I want the dollar you promised earlier. You think my vote comes for free? I’ve learned a thing or two from Blagojevich.
Just wanted to say that, while I’ve never commented on a post before (mainly because I’m to lazy to leave Google Reader to go to the real post), I am a pretty huge fan of your blog, and I totally just voted my ass off for you.
That is all.
you da bomb, m! i not only voted for you, i made gravy. i know you understand.
haha, you, a secret? i voted for you! good luck 🙂
erica, i so appreciate it! and thanks for piping up- do it more often!
whitney the first, thanks!
kristen, i’m not allowed to say that about myself, am i? i just to rely on you to spread the work. and force all your friends to vote for me.
also, the promise of a dollar was for the food blog awards. these are the bloggies, and are much bigger, so all i can afford are hugs.
whitney the second, again, so very appreciated. come by and chat again.
burkie, aw, yeah.
I’ve just stumbled across your little gem of a web site from the bloggies voting form, and in the mere five minutes I deigned to gloss over your weblog I am intrigued.
So I will vote for you, if…you can tell me what I can do with all these tomatoes (beefsteak, roma, pear, cherry) I have ripening on my plants right now that doesn’t include tomato sauce or a salad.
jay, i will tell you what to do with your all your tomatoes if you vote for me.
my advice to you:
1. plant fewer fucking tomatoes.
2. preserve a bunch of them so you’re not sorry like the rest of us when winter comes.
3. make this painfully easy tart.
4. use whole slices on fresh grilled pizza.
5. eat really good BLT.
6. make your own tomato soup and save if for colder weather when you will crave it will a grilled cheese sandwich.
now, you are officially a reader of the blog and are thus required by the bylaws to vote for me.
Hey, I knew you when. Congratulations on the Well Fed Network awards too. You’re on your way.
I love your site so much, I voted for you with all four of my email addresses AND made your amazing apple muffins to celebrate your imminent victory.
I found you from the bloggies…. who knew what I was missing? Foul mouth language is by far my weakness, so I fucking voted for you, o.k.? 🙂
You know I tried like hell (and keep trying!) to vote for you more than once but damn the powers that be at the Bloggies, they won’t let me – which I think is just horribly, horribly wrong. On the upside, when you win, you’ll know that you came by it honestly…..
Oh well, can’t say we didn’t try!
BTW: I believe your link “pander for votes” to this page is broken…..
While this post is clever, well written, gives the LOLs and leaves a generally warm feeling in one’s heart, I’d like you to all know that I wrote it, and emailed it over here because that’s the kind of competition for (moster truck voice, please) Best-Kept Secret Weblog! I am.
(In other words, I’m digging your style lady. You’re the goods. I just tried to make chili. My house is full of smoke. Full stop.)
deb, you did, and your kindness will not be forgotten.
lisa, now THAT’s the way to vote: often. hope you liked the muffins!
courtney, fucking a. thanks!
anna, that’s because you don’t have enough email addresses. (and thanks for the heads up about the link) every one of you should be acquiring more email addresses – did you know they’re free these days – and stuffing the ballot box.
jodi, know this: i am monitoring your blog, and telling my friends not to read it lest you lure them away from me, because not only are you funny, but you have the power of ADORABLE CHILD on your side. said power cannot be underestimated. also your life is vastly more interesting than pound cake.
i see that you are in brooklyn. i, too, am in the area. i think that rather than compete, we should become total BFFs.
Oh I totally voted for you, in a heartbeat, and I didn’t even see your post first. I dig your blog totally,but honestly, and this will get me hate mail, I HAD to vote for someone other than the Pioneer blog. Love her recipes, but reading the posts make me violently ill. UGHHHH. So “Vote for Michelle because her blog kicks ass and doesn’t make you scream ‘the writing on this blog is trite and sucks ass, knock off the cutesey shit’ like other blogs do.”
How did it take me so long to get here?
I found you thru Marc’s guest post from No Recipes.
And that you live in Jersey City! We eat at some half way decent places there……Light Horse Tavern and we recently tried Ox.
I can’t wait to see what else you have to say!
Oh shit! I’m so glad I found this site through Marc’s blog, I am dying of laughter over here
I just found your site via Serious Eats. I am very excited b/c not only are you hilarious, but I enjoy your writing style, AND I also live in JC and am happy that someone else is profiling some places I’ve never been to!
Looking forward to more!
stacey and jessie, i don’t know it took either of you to get here. finally, marc does something worthwhile.
lost, welcome, glad you like it, and holla for jersey city. stick around, and speak up!
girl, you crazy! you bad, too, teehee
Just found your blog. Mourning the fact that I JUST found your blog. Can’t wait to poke around your archives, and I’m looking forward to following along. Cheers!
I’ll browse longtime for a laugh. This was worth the effort. Thanks and I look forward to digging deeper.
Hi Michelle, Thought you could use an interim Yukon Cornelius/Beardie fix: http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/07/bocuse-dor-contestants-are-announced/?src=twt&twt=nytimesdining
Thanks for keeping the culinary snarkiness alive for those of us relocated from NY to the food wasteland of Colorado.
Hi Michelle….thank you for keeping it fresh….after following Jen at use real butter, i see why she featured on your blog, you both are REAL! Looking forward to what you pull out of your sleeve next, kudos to you!
Hello, Michelle! I got into your blog because of Jen (userealbutter). I just want to say that your welcome write up alone blew me away because I cook just like you, have two dogs, and a significant other who also acts as my kitchen assistant/official taster/food credit and an all around ass. I’d forever be thankful to Jen for introducing this blog to me.
Good luck to you.
haha i love your blog!
and when you come through richmond, let me know!
i happen to eat here a lot, seeing as how i live here.
i stumbled upon your blog and i love it!!!
you live in jersey city! oh my, i just moved to hoboken about three months ago, great to see someone local. you are hilarious and ill be checking back and trying out your recipes!
holy crap you are hysterical! i can’t believe i only just now discovered your blog. got a lot of lost time to make up for…
Just found you from Damn Ass Kings. I, too, like your style, both cooking and writing. Best of everything.
I luv your kick-ass honesty! So unexpected in a female and so refreshing. I’m a huge fan!
(p.s. you have a potty mouth, stop fucking swearing)
Damn you! And here I was thinking I had the first unpretentious food and wine blog. Great stuff!
I just found you through the “ever-encroaching juggernaut of Cake Wrecks” (yes, I went to the book tour). While reading through some of your posts, I couldn’t stop smiling. I like that in a blog. Keep it up.
I just took 2 valium and a whiskey chaser, so while there are MANY things I enjoy right now, your site tops them all. As soon as I leave strict muslim society (no, really, though) I plan on making Death Grits, Bacon Toffee and gay sex. Possibly all three at the same time.
@jeremy, 2 valium and a whisky chaser is the penultimate night; death grits, bacon toffee and sex is the ULTIMATE night. welcome!
Michelle, you’re a superstar. Love the site. Love your food. Love all the shit on TNS!
@vicky, thanks! love having you as a reader!
I was sold at food improved 50% if covered in cheese. 🙂 I’m signing up!
@neri, howdy! welcome aboard1
I love your site so much. SO very much. However, why can’t I follow you via wordpress? Is there a magical button somewhere that I can’t find?
I also tried to sign up via email but instead it opened microsoft outlook and attempted to SEND you an email. Apparently, I suck at the internet.
Bacon DOES rule.
This delighted me, and it may tickle you as well —
Should You Eat That Bacon: A Flowchart
“When you eat bacon, it feels like 100 of the cuddliest people in the world are surrounding you in one big hug, while simultaneously giving you the nicest compliments you’ve ever received.”