Winter is a tricky biddie. This winter has been the trickiest biddie of them all. For whatever reason, I cannot stop eating. I'm eating because it's cold, that much is understood. But I'm eating like it's so cold and I'm preparing for a reality television show "The Donner Party Revisited" and I must put on the necessary weight so as to avoid eating my grandmother. Or getting gangrene. (Do not google image that.)...you google imaged gangrene, didn't you. WHY DID YOU DO THAT? I told you not to! No matter, the problem I was getting to is that for a woman with an insatiable appetite for all food, I lack the required cash monies to support the habit. And it's causing me to do a lot of...questionable things. Like, last weekend at my home in Virginia, I may or may not have "borrowed" roughly $20 in quarters from a jar labeled, "Father Cosmos' Kids." That's right. I stole money being raised for orphaned children in Africa. And for the record, I am NOT proud of this. I'm horrified. But I have every intention of paying it back. AND my favorite guilt-ridden lapsed Catholic friend Rob told me that all is well if I pray the Sorrowful Mystery of the Rosary on the next Friday or Tuesday. He knows things. He also has the special knack for locating a Croatian mass that DOES serve coffee and donuts within a five mile radius. Which is truly, a lost art.
So I have nothing to eat. Well, that's not true I have this:
That's a picture of basmati rice, spaghetti, one red pepeper, one onion, one tomato, an egg, garlic tomato sauce, 5-layer dip from Trader Joe's, and this magic asian remedy syrup I swear by called (I think) Nin Jiom Pei PA Koa. Here it is, expertly staged, up close.
...So you can get this at most Asian markets. Just ask for "family size honey loquat" and see what happens. If that shit costs more than $5.50 and they DON'T offer you complimentary acupuncture in your right foot, you need to leave, and fast. I wish I could tell you more about Nin Jiom, but the entire packaging is in another language and the ingredient list is just a picture of herbs that, I assume, are in this concoction. Just buy it. Take it. And thank me when your skin starts to glow as bright as the sun and you sing like Jesus.
I digress. Back to my hunger. These are the things I can cook with tonight. My ginger bunny roommate and best friend Whitney has decided to make us chocolate chip cookies so I return that kind gesture with a BOX OF WINE. Yes, that's right. Only the best for my friend.
The man at Trader Joe's said that it was the best boxed wine he'd had all day. And who am I to argue with that? So we each get a healthy pour, save for Jackson, the dog, as he was really going through it a while back and spent most of 2013 in this wicked, alcohol-induced stupor. Bless his heart.
I found this website supercook.com where you put in the ingredients you have in your kitchen and it spurts out what you can cook. It's kinda awesome. Apparently I could make Spanish Rice?!? Well isn't that something! And it gets better because I can ALSO make over 199 recipes with my paltry pantry. God is real.
As I click on the recipe for Spanish Rice, I first hone in on the "1 hour cook time." Nope. No. It takes approximately four minutes door to door to get dollar pizza. But I guess if Donna Moore says, "I've had this recipe for awhile. It is very easy to make," then I can suck it up and wait patiently. We get it Donna, it's easssyyy for you to cook. Good for you! As I go in for my second glass of the wine that is boxed, the following conversation transpires:
WHIT: Hey, um, I see you're busy with the wine, but would you mind if I just prepped the cookie dough mix for us?
BLIGH: Ohmygodno! You do you!
WHITNEY: Also, why are you procrastinating?
BLIGH: I think I need a green bell pepper instead of a red and I have to be very quiet and mediate on that right now.
'Twas true. I was becoming increasingly stressed about the color of the pepper. Whitney dismissed it as a non-issue stalling tactic (which it was) and so I made her cut the pepper. And then I made her cut the onion because I have sensitive eyes.
All ingredients cut, oven pre-heated to 400-degrees and not the prescribed 350 because ain't nobody got time for that when I realize...I don't have enough tomatoes. I didn't even USE canned tomatoes like they asked! Will a teaspoon or two or three of tomato sauce suffice? Why not, it's worth a try! Let's add that egg in there too, for good measure.
I then added red pepper flakes and garlic powder because I do what I want. And then I prayed. Here is the before:
And what I busied myself with in between for forty or so minutes:
And here is the after.
And here it is being all presentational and fancy times with a baby bed of mixed greens and a homemade white wine vinegar/dijon mustard/garlic dressing.
It was good. But you know what was GREAT? The seemingly unnecesary (at the time) 5-layer dip purchase at TJ's earlier in the week. Because Donna was right, it was an easy recipe, but it lacked spice! Or it did until I put allll the 5-layer dip on top of it. There was a TJ's seven-layer dip option which I abstained from because five is a luxury unto itself. And as Jo March says as she gives the rag money to silly Amy for that damn orange, "We are not destitute, not yet anyways." So get your dip, however many layers your heart so desires! Use what you have in your pantry! Cook with and for the people you love! And never hesitate to accept a glass of boxed wine from a friend, even if they are gangrenous because I looked it up that shit's not contagious.