I know some goofy people…

Here’s a few snippets of fully random and slightly disturbing conversations I’ve had this week:

Bambi: I’m at the OBGYN’s office, this girl said it looks like a Turkey, bwahahahahahahaha!

Me: Excuse me???

Bambi: A vagina! She saw a diagram and said it looks like a turkey!

Me: I was afraid that’s what you meant. And now Thanksgiving will never be the same for me. Thanks…

Another:

Chef Vivi: Your soon-to-be-son-in-law is mean to me…

Me: Elaborate please…

Chef Vivi: Ok, ya know how I’m being graded tomorrow on the egg flipping thing? Well he wanted to try, and he did it on his first try! So not right…

Me: It’s a wrist thing. Men naturally have stronger wrists because they use them more often,  you know…

Chef Vivi: Yep, now it makes sense.

Me: Tell him if he doesn’t stop showing off with the eggs he’s gonna get a lot more practice with the wrist thing….if he keeps it up then spit in his oatmeal in the morning. He’ll never know and you’ll feel better! Or go with option B) hold his pillow over his face when he’s sleeping til he starts to sputter, then turn over real quick and pretend his thrashing around woke you up.. Maybe mutter something like “huh??? WHA???” to throw off suspicion…

Chef Vivi: Thank you for the sound marital advice…

And then there was:

Red: So I’m in the Hilton at Universal studios and there’s a porn studio near by…

Me: Nice of them to make it so convenient for you…

Red: Right??

Me: Let me know when the release date of your new flick is…

Red: We need to come up with a title…

Me: Oh the possibilities….

Red: I know!

Me: “Red Does Disney since Minnie’s a Slut”

Red: Hmmmmmm…..

Me: “Hollywood Ho’s Learn New Tricks from a Pro”

Red: Who you callin’ a Ho??

Me: “Memphis Makes Disney Her Bitch”

Red: YES!!

Me: Glad I could help….

And people wonder why I’m a nut job….or maybe they don’t…

🙂

Tyler Florence can cook for me anytime

I’m Southern. I fry stuff….It’s my heritage. Deep fried lil’ smokies wrapped in bacon anyone??? However Kiddos, today’s lesson in Southern comfort food comes not from Grammy’s age-old-passed-down-for-generations recipe for old fashioned Fried Chicken but from Mr. Tyler Florence. (mostly because I don’t have one of those great family recipes, my Mom never fried chicken….Sacrilege right??? I agree)

I’ve been wanting to try Tyler’s original recipe since I first saw it on the Food Network for a couple of reasons: A) Tyler’s a cutie and I have a little crush on him… Wha?? Grammy’s still crush! And B) his ingredients and method totally intrigued me. So here it is:

Fried Chicken ala Cutie Patootie

  • 1 (3 to 4 pound) chicken, cut up into 10 pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons hot chili sauce (recommended: Srirachi)
  • Peanut oil, for frying
  • 1/4 bunch fresh thyme
  • 3 big sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 bunch fresh sage
  • 1/2 head garlic, smashed, husk still attached

 Start off by rinsing and trimming the chicken. Personally, I always take the skin off chicken before I fry it but that’s a matter of preference…Put the chicken pieces in a large bowl or container and cover with cold water, add 1 tablespoon kosher salt for every quart of water. Let chicken brine in salt water in fridge a minimum of 2 hours.

Don’t skip this step, brining will make all the difference in the moistness and juiciness of your fried chicken no matter what recipe you use….trust me! After brining, drain chicken and pat dry.

Mix the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne and black pepper in a gallon ziplock bag or large container.

Mix buttermilk and Srirachi in another bowl. *hint, I never buy buttermilk. Add a tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to a cup of  milk and let it sit for a minute. Wahlah! Buttermilk!*

Dredge chicken pieces in seasoned flour, then dip in buttermilk mixture, then back in the flour. Lay the breaded pieces on a cookie sheet to rest while you work on flavoring the oil.

I used my FryDaddy but you can use a deep skillet for frying. If using a skillet, fill it with at least  2 inches of oil making sure there is enough  room for the massive bubbling effect you’ll get when you add the chicken! This is why I use the deep fryer…

Add the garlic cloves, and fresh herb sprigs to the cool oil, and begin heating the oil. You want to heat to a temperature of 350-365. The idea is to flavor the oil with the herbs/garlic….

If at some point during all this you feel compelled to to have yourself a red beer (V8, beer, dash of worchestire sauce, think Bloody Mary with beer!) you go right ahead…frying chicken is a long hot job. You deserve a wee drinky-poo…Or a rather large one if you’re like me. Whatever..

When the oil has reached the proper temperature, start frying the chicken in batches. Please, please, pleeeeeease don’t overcrowd the pieces!! Overcrowding will cause the chicken to be less crispy…you always want to leave plenty of room around each piece. If using a skillet, resist the urge to turn and turn and turn the pieces! Only turn them once, each side will take approximately 12 minutes to reach an internal temperature of 165. I use a meat thermometer, I don’t trust chicken as it’s lied to me repeatedly. It looks all golden brown and yummy on the outside but inside it’s still undercooked…

Remove pieces to paper towels or a brown paper bag to drain, garnish with the fried herbs.

  And there you have it, a sort of non traditional version of Fried Chicken…and it was yummy! However, Hubs and I could not tell the difference in the taste as opposed to my normal fried chicken…disappointing. I had such high hopes for an explosion of flavors! Infusing the oil with herbs is such a culinary thing to do..*sighhh* It was juicy and flavorful but aside from the Srirachi and the herby oil thing it was very close to my recipe. Oh well……

 Ya know, now that I think about it, I betcha I messed something up….I betcha if I had a personal demonstration from Chef Cutie-pie Florence, in my own kitchen,  I could learn the error of my ways….

Yep, that’s exactly what is needed here in order to accurately judge his recipe against mine…

🙂

 So here’s my recipe….judge for yourself. (Personal visit from Tyler is optional…)

 Grammy’s Fried Chicken

  • 1 baking chicken

For the brine:

  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt

Cut up chicken. Remove skins and trim excess fat.

Mix all brine ingredients together in large pot, simmer until salt has dissolved. Allow to cool.  Pour over chicken in a large ziplock bag or container with lid. Brine in the fridge for 6-8 hours. (I usually do this part in the morning before work, and then it’s ready to fry when I get home)

Remove chicken from brine, rinse and pat dry.

For the breading:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned salt
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups milk mixed with 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Canola or peanut oil

Mix first 6 ingredients together in large ziplock bag.

Mix milk, lemon juice and black pepper in large bowl.

Dip chicken pieces one at a time in flour mixture, then milk mixture, then flour mixture again. Let breaded chicken rest for 30 minutes before cooking.

Fry chicken pieces in batches in oil heated to 350 in either deep fryer or large skillet deep enough to hold 2 inches of oil.

Drain on paper towels.

 I hope you enjoy your Fried Chicken, whichever you recipe you choose! And please, let me know which one you try!! So you know, when Tyler comes over we can debate the merits of each others recipes….

🙂

10 Things I would NOT do if I won the lotto….

Remember my “Things I’d do if I won the lotto” list from a while back? Well here’s a follow-up!

THINGS I WOULD NOT DO WITH A SEMI-TRUCK LOAD OF MOOLAH:

1. Buy one of these. Because how pompous do I need to be???  All I need a car to do is get me from one shopping destination to another and then home in air-conditioned (or heated) comfort and have a place to plug my ipod into. Heated seats in the winter is a nice bonus… Seriously, this dumb thing cost $2,400,000. I’m sorry but if you feel you need this car you’re an idiot, Tom Cruise I’ma talking to you….

2009 Bugatti 16.4 Veyron Fbg par Hermes

2. Bling myself out. Do I need to dress like Mr T?? I don’t think so….

3. Get ridiculous plastic surgery…..a tummy tuck, boob lift and some lypo? Maybe. But this?? HELLS NO! I am not a duck thankyouverymuch.

4. Build this house….it’s 63 acres. THE HOUSE. Not the land it sits on, the house itself is 63 frikkin’ acres. Really??? By the time I walked from one end to the other A) I’d have totally forgotten why I went there in the first place, B) I’d be too exhausted to do what I went there for. It has 29 bedrooms. That’s not a home, that’s a hotel and if you want to live in a hotel why not just rent a suite for a couple years….geesh.

5. File for bankruptcy. Helloooooo?? How does that even happen when you’re loaded?? Apparently even with millions, some people don’t know how to live within their means….yes Mr. Trump, I mean you.

6. Become a different kind of person… I’m already snarky and opinionated so I’m pretty sure millions won’t change me!

7. Do dishes. EVER AGAIN! That’s what I’ll have Helga for…

8. Go to the grocery store for everyday mundane groceries. Thank You my sweet, sweet Helga.  Now the fancy schmancy stuff I can only get at the kitchen store? That’s different. Safeway? Zero fun. Someone’s in the Kitchen? Full on ridiculous fun!

9. Let someone else have total control of my money. No sneaking $1000 dollar a night hooker fees onto my Visa….I’ll be watching for that kind of shenanigan…Ditto for investing $100,000 in your Brother-in-Law’s ant farm. That crap ain’t gonna fly Mr. CPA…

10. Be cryogenically frozen. Because ewwwww….

Pass. Thanks anyway Mr. Creepy McCreeperton…

What would ya’ll do or not do if you hit the big time? Hmmm??

🙂

 

It’s Fall people, get to Braising!

Those of you who love and adore me (you know who you are) know that I love me some braised foods….

Those of you who don’t yet love and adore me….get with the program would ya???

So braising….it’s a magical thing that happens to meat and veggies when you brown them nicely and then add some broth and wine and cook them slowly. They become devine, succulent,  tantalizing morsels of NomNom….it’s not stewing. There’s a difference, you can read about it Here.

Fall is the official start of braising season around here….so here ya go, the first of many braising recipes!

Short Ribs with Wine and Cream (Original recipe courtesy of my Hero, The Pioneer Woman)

  • 12 whole Short ribs
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Red Wine
  • 2 cups Beef Broth Or Beef Stock
  • 2 Tablespoons Minced Fresh Rosemary
  • 2 Tablespoons Grainy Mustard
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 2 Tablespoons Capers
  • 16 ounces mushrooms of choice
  • Olive Oil, For Drizzling
  • Pasta (optional)
  • 4-6 whole carrots (also optional)

First off, I used white wine instead of red because that’s what I had. I read somewhere that you should cook with the wine you like to drink….or maybe I made it up, whatever…

Second off (??), in typical glorious Pioneer Woman fashion, Ree served her velvety, saucy short ribs a top a pile of fabulous mushrooms…about 4 different kinds of fabulous mushrooms! I didn’t which broke my heart but we’ll get to that in a minute….

Start by heating some olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium/high heat. Salt and pepper the ribs and add to hot oil.

You want to sear the ribs, letting them get beautiful and brown…

Like this….yum! This only takes a minute or two on each side. You’re only browning, not cooking through…Remove the ribs to a plate.

Now, because I’m a rebel and do things my own way,  I wanted to add some carrots to this recipe, because braised carrots are a revelation….so I scrubbed them as opposed to peeling them and trimmed the ends. Cut them in half, then in half lengthwise. Brown them in the same pan, starting with flat side down. This only takes a couple of minutes on each side also…

Beautiful color…and the natural sugar in the carrots carmelizes slightly giving these little babies a rich, scrumptious flavor.

Remove the carrots to the same plate the ribs are resting on and add the wine and broth to the pan, scraping the bottom with a whisk to deglaze the pan.

Add the minced rosemary. I love the smell of rosemary…

Bring to a simmer.

 Add the ribs back to pan, then the carrots on top. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or put in the oven at 300 for the same amount of time. Either way is fine…

 At the end of the cooking time, remove the pan from oven (if you cooked yours that way, like me) and remove the ribs and carrots from the pan to a clean plate. Add the cream, mustard and capers to broth. (I always skim the extra fat off as much as I can) bring to a gentle boil over medium/high heat to let the sauce thicken a little.

While the sauce is cooking, you can do one of two things (or both if you’re like me)…My Hubs won’t eat a mushroom to save his life (this is where my broken heart comes in) so I cooked some Angel Hair pasta for him to put his ribbies on top of. I also sauteed some Baby Bella’s for me because I ain’t afraid of eating fungus…fungi?? Whatever…mushrooms are da bomb…

So cook the pasta…

And saute the mushrooms in a little olive oil while the sauce bubbles…

When your pasta is cooked, drain it and do this:

Why yes, yes that is a half a stick of butter…is there a problem with that?? The recipe has a cup of heavy cream for crying out loud, all hope of this being a low fat meal is out the window already so just do it! Put the pasta back in the pan and toss until the butter is melted, add a little salt and pepper…

Put the ribs back in the pan with the sauce and turn to coat…

Place some pasta and/or mushrooms on a plate, add a couple of ribs, some carrots and drizzle a generous amount of the yummy-nummy sauce over the whole thing….

And dig in!!

🙂

 

YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!

Or maybe you can….

How much truth is too much? Example:

Neighbor: So how do you like my new hair? Honestly…

 

Me: Honestly??? It looks like your cat slept on your head and woke up pissed off…

And now I’m an asshole….because it was too much truth. She’d have felt better if I’d lied, told a fiblet if you will:

Neighbor: So how do you like my new hair? Honestly…

Me: Oh you’re gawjuss, Jennifer Anniston’s got nothin’ on you!

And now she loves me, and will walk around with a big silly grin all day picturing herself married to, and eventually dumped by, Brad Pitt…

Here’s another:

Co-worker: Hey there, how are you this morning?

Me: I’m PMS’ing like a mo’fo’…I’m bitchy, bloated and I couldn’t button my pants this morning thankyouverymuch…

Again, too much truth. And now I’m the office psycho….

Should have just been polite and answered with the standard “good thank you, and you?”

Want one more?

Friend: Ok, don’t you think my new boyfriend’s great?? I mean, he’s great right??

Me: Actually, right before dinner I caught him picking his nose. Plus I heard him ask the waitress if the (chicken) breasts were plump and juicy, *wink, wink* which puts him squarely in the Douche Canoe category…

Friend: Great….go to the bathroom and sneak out the back so he gets stuck with the check??

Me: Meet ya at the car…

So ok, here I’m a hero because my friend could handle the truth but it could have gone like this:

Friend: Ok, don’t you think my new boyfriend’s great?? I mean, he’s great right??

Me: Ummmm, well……I’m pretty sure he was hitting on the waitress…

Friend: You never want me to be happy…*sobbbbb* you’re just jealous… *sniffle* and *wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh* We’re leaving!!  *hiccup*  

Summary: I was honest, got stuck buying their over priced dinners, plus now my friend’s not speaking to me and I since I rode with them to the restaurant I have to call a cab for a ride home. Epic.

Are there times when it’s better to tell the tiniest little white lie?? And for the record, I would always tell a friend, close or casual, if her new man was a scum bag. Even if she hates me for it…She’ll figure it out eventually and then be all like “Chickie, I shoulda listened…my bad. Buy you an ice cream?”

How many people are 100% honest 100% of the time? Anyone know?

Maybe the answer depends on the question…”Do these pants make my butt look big?” should be answered in a way that doesn’t crush the spirit of the girl asking the question…but “Do you think my girlfriends a slutty no-no?” should be answered truthfully (as long as you are sure of the truth and not basing it on rumors some other slutty no-no told so-in-so) to avoid your friend having a broken heart and crying himself to sleep on your couch every night for a month…

What are your thoughts on the subject? Answer honestly! I can take it….I think….maybe.

🙂

p.s. These are all hypothetical examples I made up in the dark, scary place that is my head…any resemblance to any persons living or dead is merely coincidental. I swear!!!