R.I.P., Davide

The new lady cast members of SNL are pretty undeniably awesome. Here is some proof. For whatever reason, this sketch amuses me to no end.

It’s Friday night. Let’s shake out the sillies!

What are you doing/watching/listening to/reading/cooking?

Oh…PS…this video is sideways because NBC is fascist.

Smile.

I'm trying to get Evan a job as Cheerios' new spokesman

I’m trying to get Evan a job as Cheerios’ new spokesman

I’ve talked before about how much I hate wasting food, and I briefly mentioned how much I looooove roasting things as a way to preserve food that’s starting to wilt or look “iffy.” Well, let me mention it again: I LOVE roasting things.

I had some apples that were going mealy and some garlic that was about to sprout. Solution? Roast them on same sheet pan, until the garlic is golden mush and the apples were, well, kinda the same. I put the whole shebang in storage containers, and a few days later, I made this!:

Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Roasted Apple Roasted Garlic Gravy

[From my Facebook page] Anyway what I did was fry up some bacon, drain and chop it up. I browned the chops in the rendered fat, then set them aside. Then I added this huge head of escarole (which I would prolly not use again…it was a little bitter…I’d prolly use spinach or kale). I let it wilt, then removed it and set it aside. I added more oil to the pan, & I sauteed some onions, the roasted apples and garlic. Then I made a gravy—added a little flour to the pan, then stirred in some chicken broth and white wine. I popped the chops back into the mix, along with their juices and some fresh sage and thyme, and let them cook through.

To serve, I made a mound of mashed potatoes (I’d made because I had several Yukon Golds that were about to go bad) on a plate, topped with the wilted greens, then the chops with apple onion gravy, then the chopped bacon.

Important roasting update for smartass commenters

Seriously. Roast things.

Marshall Law. Martian Law. Marsmallow Law. Jude Law.

Welcome to the grand re-re-re-opening of SKMD. My experiment with depending on other mediums to serve as outlets for my silliness FAILYULD. tumblr doesn’t have a comment system, which is tremendously unsatisfying, and twitter–unless you have a lot of followers who actually give a shit about how INCREDIBLY FUNNY AND TALENTED you are– is basically just like talking to yourself out loud. And that’s something I can do on any street corner.

So, I’m back. Maybe not often. But I need a place to shake out the sillies. I need a place to document funny things, silly things, outrageous things, and all the beautiful thoughts in my beautiful mind (except the stuff about hobo sex; that’s personal). And SKMD is probably the only good place for that.

Here’s something I’ve been obsessing over the past couple days. It’s a wingnut who got his PhD in Goofy Consipiracy Theories.

Obama signed an executive order right before the SOTU.

1. Attack the internet
2. Blame an enemy (China, Iran, N. Korea, right wing etc)
3. Take control of the internet
4. Then a major false flag attack on a city or infrastructure
5. Shut down internet
6. Marshall law

Now, orange you glad I’m back? Would you really want to be going about your day, not knowing about the imminent threat of Obama’s secret Internet attack/False flag/Marshall law plan? No, of course you wouldn’t. My readers are not sheeple!

I Blame Roy Edroso for This

Via one of his tweets, I stumbled across this fine piece of investigative journalism. (Sorry, the story’s about a month old. You know me–if it’s not completely irrelevant/obsolete,  I’m not interested!) It’s about how Obama voters are, like, omg, so dumb, you guys!!!

There’s lots that’s wrong with this smug little write-up, but I think the wrongest thing of all is the video he provides as his IN-YOUR-FACE, LIBS! smoking gun. Here it is.

Now, the thrust of this piece is that these young voters are lacking substance, just throwing out buzzwords and feel-good phrases. But I think the video pretty much completely demolishes that idea. Bearing in mind it’s often hard for even confident, bright, older people to articulate why they’re motivated to vote, I actually think these kids did an admirable job of addressing things that are important to them. Our young Bernstein-in-training doesn’t understand that because the issues that the young folks bring up are jokes to him.

Here’s my take on the highlight reel:

One kid admits to be being moved by the campaign. (He’s in thrall to The One!)

One chick says “forward.”  (O-BOT!!! Nevermind that some of us are genuinely worried that the Republicans are trying to drag us back to the 1950’s.  Saying you want to continue “moving forward” is perfectly legitimate and not proof that you’re echoing campaign slogans. Unless, of course, no one outside the Obama campaign has ever expressed a desire to move forward. Seems unlikely.)

One woman says she supports abortion and gay rights. (What is abstract or feel-goody about that? It’s pretty straightforward.)

One young man says that spending on social welfare programs is important to him. (Again, straightforward: The kid wants a safety net. What a fag.)

Shit, one guy specifically mentions he supports Obama’s stance on insurer-provided birth control and gay marriage. (Still waiting for the meaningless feel-good phrases that are just pablum.)

Well, one well-meaning young dude actually mentions the “War on Women.” Mistake. (See, it doesn’t matter if he really cares about women having access to abortion or birth control or that he’s disgusted with all the rapey goodness replete in the Republican party, he used a phrase that wingnuts reject because they are completely lacking in self-awareness and devoid of shame.)

A couple of giggly kids mention caring about having access to medical marijuana and assisted suicide. (They fail here, I guess, because they act kinda stoner-ish and laid-back. This somehow cancels out their very specific nod to the issues.)

STILL NO PABLUM. GIVE ME MY GODDAMN PABLUM, FEARLESS BLAZE “REPORTER.”

So, yeah, that’s basically it for the first part. Then the quiz begins. The kids’ performance on this part is decidedly mediocre. They probably all need to take a civics class. Or a refresher course on civics. Then again, I need to take one, too. (I got the House of Representatives number wrong. Thought it was 400. Shame on me.)

Just for funzies, I’d love to see the results of a national poll asking people who Timothy Geithner is. I’m guessing upwards of 85% of the American people could not tell you who Timothy Geithner is.

The takeaway here is supposed to be “Can you believe these dummies are voting?” But as I said before, I actually think the footage does a pretty good job of acquitting the “dummies.” And were I some hungry young “reporter” working for an esteemed site like Glenn Beck’s “The Blaze, I’d be really really really careful using that little quiz as a metric for determining voter smarts. Because if he thinks this group did poorly, he’d shocked by how poorly your average Teabagger would fare.

I can match you video for video, asshole.

Curried Beef and Butternut Squash Stew and Asteroids. No, Not Together.

What’s going on in the webosphere? Well, people are being assholes. That’s no surprise. And people are being almost endearingly naive, which is just kind of weird and pathetic. And people are cooking delicious food…which should make the first two things seem less obnoxious, if this post works the way I hope it will.

You have to wonder about  a man who would dedicate this much time and effort to being a petty asshole. Apparently, some people get really really really upset if you happen to notice that there is a lack of diversity on a conference panel. I assume these people are similarly nonplussed by the idea of panel containing no white men.

I have discussed Jonathan Haidt here before. Well, not discussed, really-lambasted. I don’t think he’s a horrible person, just a little misguided, a little blinded by his own privilege and, well, just plain wrong about a lot of stuff. That being said, this website doesn’t make me angry; it makes me sad. I think the idea of conservatives (which, if we’re honest, usually translates to “wingnut” nowadays) and liberals getting together to discuss the issues of the day is certainly interesting. But we’re really at the point that we don’t even agree on what the issues are. Put it this way– Haidt says some of the issues of the day are:

Liberal Asteroids
Conservative Asteroids

I mean, I’ll be honest, the “conservative” asteroids don’t impress me much; they’re certainly not “asteroids” for me. And as to the liberals asteroids, I think it’s safe to say that most conservatives a.) don’t believe in climate change and b.) don’t give a shit about inequality. So where does that leave us? Well, I’d say it leaves us with Asteroid Clubs that are really, really tiny.

Are you ready for stew yet? Here’s one from my own beautiful mind: Curried Beef and Butternut Squash Stew

Ingredients:

  • 1- 1 1/2 lb. stew beef
  • 2 mediums onions, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 large butternut squash, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 medium russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 quart beef stock
  • 2-3 tablespoons mango chutney (Adjust according to your tastes; if you like a tad more more sweetness, add more. If you prefer less sweetness in a savory dish, add less.)
  • 1-3 tablespoons Indian curry powder (Adjust according to your tastes; if your blend is particularly pungent or spicy, add less. If it very mild–like mine–add more.)
  • 1/2  14 oz. can fire- roasted (or plain) diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, rough-chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • flour
  • olive or veggie oil

Directions:

  1. Heat 1-2 tbsp. oil in dutch oven or stock pot. While the oil gets to a med-high temperature, toss beef cubes with a generous amount of flour, salt and pepper.
  2. Brown coated beef in hot oil. (The amount of flour will make for some pretty dark fond; don’t be scared, just get your other ingredients ready to add to the pot.)
  3. When the beef gets a nice and brown on a side or two, remove it from the pot and set aside.
  4. Add some more oil along with the onion, curry powder and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper to the pot and stir, trying get up as much of the beef and flour fond off the bottom of the pot. Add a few tbsps of water, if necessary. Saute onions until they begin to soften and become translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant–about 30 seconds.
  5. Add the beef back to the pot.If you would like to add the potatoes and squash to the stew now–as I did–you can. They will get quite tender and even melt into the stew a bit. I think this improves the texture of the stew, making it rich and creamy. But if you prefer your veggies to have more tooth, add them when there is about a half hour left of cooking time.
  6. Add the broth, tomatoes and chutney. Cover and cook stew over LOW heat for 1 1/2 -2 hours, until the beef gets tender. I like to leave the lid off the stew or leave it askew to let some of the water evaporate and concentrate flavors.
  7. When stew is done cooking, stir in cilantro.

Now, don’t you feel better?

How Not to Waste Food

Food waste is something I think a lot about. I make two big shopping trips a month, and I call myself a “suburban shopper,” because my shopping habits are not like I imagine an urban shopper’s to be. In other words, I won’t be popping into the store every couple of days to pick up perishables. So keeping my food fresh and using it in a timely matter is really important to me. Not just because wasting food is a waste of money, but also because it feels like the worst kind of decadence, knowing there really *are* starving children in the world. Wasting food feels profoundly disrespectful to me.

So here are some things I do to avoid wasting food:

  • I usually wash all my produce when I bring it home, which makes cooking with it that much simpler.
  • I store my more delicate fresh herbs in herb-keepers. They really do work.
  • ALL proteins that are not being used in the next few hours go in the freezer.
  • I keep my pantry fairly well-stocked with *my* staples, so it’s easy to create a dish on the fly
  • I keep tabs on what’s “turning” in my produce drawer. Delicate herbs, veggies and fruits tend to get used first–hearty veggies can wait. If something is starting to look “iffy,” it gets used.
  • Make roasting your friend. Tomatoes look lousy? Roast them. (It makes them sweet and improves lousy texture.) Potatoes getting soft? Cut out the eyes and roast them. Mushrooms starting to get brown? I roast them or put them in a sauce. Bread getting stale? It gets turned into breadcrumbs or croutons.

Here’s probably the most important weapon in my arsenal: Google. Seriously. Stumped about how to use up an item in your fridge? Google it. Google “fennel recipes.” Google “uses for ground turkey.” Google whatever the hell you want, and you’ll have thousands of recipes at your fingertips. There really is no excuse not to use up all the perishables in your pantry and fridge. Plus, trying new recipes is fun.

And now a quick note about simplicity. I tend to eschew recipes that have 500 ingredients in them, mostly because I’m lazy, but also because I’m an experienced enough cook to know that you don’t need to empty your pantry to make something delicious. So, I rate for these tacos, which I made they other night. Wow–yummy and healthy.

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. minced chipotles in adobo
5 oz. packaged classic coleslaw mix (about 2-1/2 cups)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 6- to 7-inch corn tortillas
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
10 oz. deveined, easy-peel medium shrimp (41 to 50 per lb.), peeled
Kosher salt
Lime wedges, for serving

This Elf Won’t Stay on the Shelf

First off, I think I should begin by admitting that I got some Himilayan Pink Salt for for Christmas. I didn’t ask for it, but I’m not going to pretend I’m sad about it. This is rich with not just flavor but comic potential.

I’m sorry I’ve been scarce. It’s called having holidays/toddler/pets/inlaws. I look forward to catching up with you all! In the meantime, here’s a naughty elf…

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