June 29, 2015

Strawberry Soup

Not Pictured: Salt. He knows what he did.
Next, in my line of recipes designed to thwart the sun from it's attempt to kill us all, is Strawberry Soup. And let's face it...we need it. I don't know who decided to let the sun have all of that andro, but it's coming back to bite us. Big time. The only chance we have to make it through the summer is to have some insanely high levels of refreshment and deliciousness. Or we could make a run for it and move to Australia where it's winter. But then we'd have to deal with preachy Koalas, with their promotional pamphlets, and their eucalyptus leaves. So instead we're gonna make some awesome and refreshing soup, guzzle down half of it to avoid death by sunshine, and launch the rest of it directly into the sun to get it to chill the hell out. It's the best shot we've got. Well, maybe the 2nd best.


32 oz Strawberries
2 cups Orange Juice
1.5 cups Soy Milk
3 Limes
2 TBSP chopped Mint Leaves
1 average human-sized pinch of Salt
A fun kitchen gadget/whirry electric knife stick

This is one of those delightful recipes that doesn't actually require us to cook anything. Which is a good thing, because starting a fire is the last thing we want to do in this heat. The first thing you're gonna need to do is to rinse your Strawberries, and cut the tops off of them. Because they grow in the dirt, and regardless of what David Spade would have you believe, there's nothing refreshing about dirt. This is all assuming you used fresh berries. If you used frozen berries, chances are the tops were cut off long ago. You can use this time to lord it over the rest of us. Done? Good. Dump your berries into a pot, along with your Orange Juice and your Soy Milk. Take your limes, cut them in half, and squeeze them over the pot with all of your might until their insides become their outsides, and their juice comes pouring out. Spend half an hour picking out the seeds, and promising that next time you'll actually remember to be careful.
I'm pretty sure my body temperature dropped just by looking
at this picture. I'm still gonna have some soup though.

Next it's time to choppity chop your Mint down into tiny bits. Toss the Mint into your pot along with a pinch 'o salt, and grab your Immersion Blender! I've talked about these before, but let's have a quick recap. It's an electric stick with sharp bits at the end of it, that you stick into a liquid. Then you push a button on said electric stick, and the knifey bits get super excited and start jumping around until they kill everything in the pot. With love. So get that going on, and keep it going until your soup is smooth, and delicious. Stick it in the fridge for at least an hour, and enjoy! (Protip: for even more enjoyment, take the whirry knife stick OUT of the soup before serving)

June 23, 2015

Sparkling Mint Lemonade

Only one lemon can be the chief. He gets the funny hat.
It's that time of year again. Summer is here! Which means that it's time for the traditional summer activities of sticking to our furniture, wondering how the hell it can be so HOT, and reminiscing fondly about the cold that we were so incredibly sick of a month ago. But don't melt into a gross puddle yet, because there is a solution. Well, there are a lot of solutions. Blasting the AC or moving to Antarctica come to mind. But the former is bad for the environment and also super expensive, and the latter means you have to deal with uppity penguins. So that leaves us with making something ridiculously refreshing to guzzle down as fast as we can until we forget that we're pretty much living in Mad Max times.


4 largish Lemons
2 cups Sugar
1/2 cup fresh Mint 
An unspecified amount of Water
An equally unspecified amount of Seltzer Water

The first thing you're gonna need to do is peel 3 of your lemons. Normally this is the part where I'd make some crack about the various utensils you could use, and sum it up by adding that you could just man up and use your hands. And believe me, I've got the urge to do just that. But you're looking to get the actual peel (The yellow, fragrant, awesome part) off of the lemons, without picking up any of the pith (The white, bitter, gross part). And the best way I've found to do this is with a standard vegetable peeler. Take your lemon peel, along with your Sugar, 2 cups of Water, and the shards of your masculinity, and put them in a pot over medium heat. Stir occasionally, until the sugar dissolves, then turn the heat off and let it steep for about 30 minutes (If you've been paying attention over the last forever, you might recognize this as a flavored Simple Syrup, kind of like we made for our Holiday Spiced Schnapps. Congratulations on your alacrity! It earned you some nice knowledge, exchangeable for prizes at the gift shop).

Once your lemony syrup is nice and cooled, you're gonna add about 1.5 cups of it into a large pitcher. You can add more or less depending on how sweet you like things. At 1.5 cups, you'll end up with a result that's a little sweet, but mostly just crisp and refreshing. Adjust according to your preferences. I'm sure it won't end up being worse than what I painstakingly prepared for you. Regardless of the crushing weight of your hubris, it's time to add in your Mint, and muddle the heck out of it. For those unfamiliar, muddling is essentially taking a big stick and squishing the mint until it bruises, but doesn't tear into little bits (Yes, technically the word can describe any type of stirring, but this is how it's commonly used in regards to making drinks. So I don't wanna hear it.) Once your mint is bruised and probably frightened, add in the juice from all 4 of your lemons, and 1 liter of water. Stir this mixture to combine, and then plant it in your fridge for at least an hour. Why? So that all the flavors can get to know each other, and your drink will taste awesome instead of just good. Because drinks that are just good don't make you forget that the sun is trying to melt your face.
Completely non alcoholic! Which is why I left some room
at the the top of the glass!

When you're serving, take some cups and fill them with ice. If you want to be all fancy and awesome like me, take some slices of lemon, and shove them all down in those icy cups. Then get your pitcher of sweet lemony goodness, and pour it about 3/4 of the way up each of those cups. Finally, top them off with your Seltzer Water. Bonus points if you add a sprig of mint all up on top of your drinks to make them look even better. Of course, all of this is academic because it's burning hot outside, and by now you've probably given up on the concept of individual cups, poured some Seltzer directly into the pitcher, and started chugging. I hope you're proud of yourself.

June 15, 2015


Salt and Pepper were hung over after celebrating the
Blackhawks victory last night. They send regards.
There's something about meatballs. They're iconic. There's just something about them that calls to us and screams to our very souls. "I'm a delicious bite-sized bit of meat," the meatballs say. "Get off your lazy butt and make me. People will love you for it, and will probably ignore that gross skin condition you're ashamed of." They aren't lying. And they come with the added fringe benefit of getting to pretend like you're Italian. Or at least like you fall into some of the more positive stereotypes associated with people from Italy. Of course, you don't, but you've got your dreams don't you? Your vaguely racist dreams.


1 lb Ground Beef
2 standard-issue Onions
1/4 cup Seasoned Breadcrumbs
1 Egg
1/4 lb Pastrami 
28 oz Tomatoes (Available in both canned form, and Tomatoes form. Take your pick, but if you use fresh tomatoes you'll have to skin them. And don't expect me to find you a video explaining how to do that, taught by a woman who seems like that grade school teacher who's a little too desperate for you to like her)
4 cloves of Garlic
4 tsp Fresh Chopped Basil
1 tsp Fresh Chopped Parsley
1 tsp Dried Oregano
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
An unspecified amount of Salt
An even more unspecified amount of Olive Oil

Now, just to be clear, this is a slightly less-than-traditional meatball recipe. Specifically, it's a Kosher meatball recipe (Because I swing that way), which I guess is kind of a tradition. Just not the right kind for this recipe. If you want to make these super legit, and super not Kosher, replace half the beef with pork, and mix 1/4 cup of milk and 1/2 cup of grated parmesan in with your ground meats. Still, the Kosher version is awesome, and will definitely be a hit regardless of where you come from. Now that that's settled, the first thing you've gotta do is make some sauce. Chop up one of your Onions, and coat the bottom of a pan in oil. Throw the aforementioned onion (The Aforementioned Onion sounds like the name of the worst experimental rock album ever) into that oil along with an average human-sized pinch of salt, and sauté that sucker for about 3 minutes over medium heat. Chop your Pastrami into itty bitty pastrami bits of glory, and throw them in with your onion. Cook them together for another 3 minutes or so before adding in you Oregano, Pepper, and half of your Basil and Garlic. Stir and cook for another minute or so, and then add in your Tomatoes. You can used crushed tomatoes if you want, or you can use whole tomatoes and crush them with a spoon directly on top of your pastrami and onions. Like a man. Regardless of your testosterone level, simmer your sauce for about 30 minutes.

While your sauce is simmering, it's time to actually make some meatballs. Hah! Just kidding. Let's chop and sauté your other onion with some salt and oil for about 5 minutes instead. Then add in the rest of your Garlic and Basil, and cook it down for another minute or so. Turn the heat off, and wait for it to cool down. It shouldn't take too long. Alright, this time I promise we'll be balling some meat. Add your Ground Beef, your Egg, and your Seasoned Breadcrumbs into your onion mixture, along with about 2 TBSP of the sauce you've been simmering. Mix it all together, making sure to remember that
Teacup added for reasons of adorableness
spoons are for communists, and real patriots mix with their hands like our founding fathers intended. Roll your meat goop into little balls, each about 1 inch in diameter. Don't have a protractor and a compass? Figure it out. Or just use a melon-baller to segment out your meat portions. Throw your meatballs in a pan, and sear them under a broiler for a couple minutes on each side. And there you have it! Meatballs! But not really. Because they're still raw on the inside, and also you've got a big pot of superfluous sauce. So simmer your meatballs in the sauce for about 2 hours. Then serve and enjoy, preferably while using a super offensive fake accent, just to prove to Joan from HR that her sensitivity training taught you nothing.

June 9, 2015


Poor celery. It's pretty much just the carrots' armchair
Let me start off by saying you're welcome. Kishke, according to wikipedia, refers to a variety of different types of sausages from all over Eastern Europe. This is a recipe for a Jewish kishke, because it's awesome, and because it's what I know. Traditionally, to make this you'd take some leftover scraps of vegetables from your hut, mash them up with some fat and some starch, stuff it all into a piece of intestine you have lying around (It was a different time. A far more gross time. Then again, we're responsible for Justin Bieber and Honey Boo Boo, so who am I to judge?), and cook the living hell out of it. This mostly hasn't changed.


5 Carrots
4 Celery Stalks
2 Standard-Issue Onions
Approximately 2 Cups of Flour
3/4 Cup Schmaltz (For the non-Jewish amongst you, this is a rendered chicken fat. It's not necessarily present in all Jewish cooking, but if it seems like something a Jewish grandmother would have made, it's probably got Schmaltz in it. If you're a wuss, you can replace it with oil. Otherwise, you can buy it at kosher markets, or even make it yourself. There are a bunch of hilarious tutorial videos. I like this one. I don't know anything about this guy other than I'm calling him the Minnesota Hipster. I'd personally add some onions and a pinch of salt to his recipe, but Minnesota Hipsters...whatcha gonna do?)
1 TBSP Salt
1 TBSP Smoked Paprika
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Black Pepper

The first thing you're gonna need to do is pray. Because this is another recipe that involves our favorite kitchen device/blood-thirsty monster, the box grater! Peel your carrots and your onion, wash your celery, and set your affairs in order. And then grate the hell out of all of the aforementioned vegetation. Now, the more observant of you will have noticed that the typical box grater has, in addition to an insatiable bloodlust, a LOT of different grating options. You want the larger of the shredding options (For the slow class, that would be the side of the grater full of the largest little shreddy holes. Not the little slicy holes, or the itty bitty nonsense holes. I hope this helped). I won't lie. By the time you're done shredding these vegetables, your arm will hurt. And not just because it's been attacked by the grater. But it will be worth it. Probably!

Once your vegetables, fingers, and dignity are good and shredded, add in your Schmaltz, Salt, Paprika, Garlic Powder, and Black Pepper, and stir it all together. You can use a spoon. If you're some kind of a pantywaist (It's an old-school dish. So you get old-school insults. This is how these things work). Or you can be a man, and squish things together with your hands.
Whose bright idea was this anyway? Right, mine. Awkward.
Slowly add in your flour during the squishery, until it begins to hold it's shape well, and generically feel kinda like a dough. If you don't know what dough feels like, pay more attention to the first part of that sentence, and less to the end of it. Form your Kishke into sausage-shaped logs. How large is up to you, but they should be relatively substantial. I usually get about 3 out of this recipe. So, since I'm assuming your goal is to imitate me in all things, shoot for 3.

Traditionally, this is the part where you'd incorporate some intestine. We're not doing that. Because it's gross. And also because my intestine guy hasn't gotten back to me. Double wrap your logs of goodness in aluminum foil, and throw them in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. The double wrapping should help keep fat from dripping down onto your oven, burning, starting a fire, and allowing you to cash in on the sweet insurance money to start your new life in Aruba. But, if you want to (nudge nudge, say no more), you can be extra safe and stick them in a pan as well. In any event, once your 45
Kishke artfully arranged for your pleasure. Take it all in
minutes of purgatory are up, you've got Kishke! Which is awesome. You can simmer it in a stew, to add insane amount of flavor and body to it. Or you can cut it into slices and throw it back in the oven for another 30 minutes to crisp up and just eat it like that. The whole thing. On your own. I totally won't judge you (I'm already judging you).

June 2, 2015

Potato Salad

Based on the burning hot sun, the rowdy bands of seemingly parentless children, and the sweating
Dumb potatoes don't even know I'm gonna salad them
pedestrians everywhere, Summer is here. Then again, I live in LA, so I could just as easily be describing December. The point is that Summer is all about grilling and inviting friends over. Which is awesome, don't get me wrong. But chances are you'll go crazy trying to make sure that your grilled meat is perfect, but will completely neglect your side dishes. You know, the things that your guests will be anxiously eating while they wait 45 minutes for you to finish fussing over the charcoal and actually cook their damn food? The truth is, a good Potato Salad is the backbone of any great barbecue. Well, that, and actually owning a grill. Also beer.


3 lb Red Potatoes
4 large Eggs
1 cup Mayonnaise
1/2  a Red Onion (If you don't have a Red Onion, you can totally replace this with any other onion. If you want the recipe to come out slightly wrong. Or you can go to literally any grocery store, and buy a Red Onion)
2 whole Kosher Dill Pickles (Or 4 halves. Or 8 spears. Isn't math fun?)
2 TBSP Dijon Mustard
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
An unspecified amount of Smoked Paprika

The first thing you're gonna need to do, is forget everything you know about cooking potatoes. Since multiple people have told me that while they enjoy reading my blog, they don't actually cook themselves, this may be relatively easy for you. Take a large pot of water, and bring it to a boil. While you're waiting the roughly 3.7 hours for water to actually boil, you're gonna chop your potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Don't break out a protractor, just do your best. 

Dramatization: Potatoes playing it cool. Real cool.
Drop your potatoes in the boiling water, and cook them about 10-15 minutes, until they're tender enough to let you stab them with a fork all the way to their potatoey hearts without resistance. Then turn the fire off, drain the potatoes, and cover them with cold water until they cool down to room temperature. Why? Because turning off the fire doesn't completely stop the cooking process. There's still a bunch of heat in there. And if your potatoes are perfectly done, but then they cook more, you end up with overcooked nonsense. So pour the water on them to help your potatoes play it cool. 

While you wait for your potatoes to cook, and then for them to cool down, take another pot, and fill it with water and with eggs. Hard boil them there eggs, and set them aside. Also take this time to dice your Red Onion and Kosher Pickles (Note to bigots: A pickle being "kosher" is indicative of it having been brined with lots of garlic and dill. It isn't another rung in some conspiracy that the monsters living under your bed told you about. Unless that conspiracy was about garlic and dill.), and to whisk together your Mayo, Salt, Garlic Powder, and Mustard. Isn't it fun being efficient with our time? This way we finish like 5 minutes earlier, and also have the added bonus of making everything a lot more stressful! Frederick Taylor would be proud. The rest of this process is pretty simple. Once your potatoes are cooled,
Damn. That almost looks good enough to make me foget
about the grilling meat part. Almost.
remove the shell from your eggs, slice them, and dump them in, along with your Mayo concoction, your Onion, and your Pickles. Stir to combine, and then shove that baby in the fridge for no less than 2 hours. Top it with a sprinkling of Smoked Paprika, and serve it to your friends, to make up for what you did to their burgers.