Today is one of those days I wish I were a food blogger.
They are so lucky.
They just have to tell you what to eat and how to make it, but they don’t exactly have to dive deep.
In contrast, personal bloggers are kind of obligated, I think, to take what’s going on in their lives, or the world, and talk about how it feels to be dealing. In exchange for your time and eyeballs, we pledge to be open, and honest, and take what’s coming to us.
The thing is, right now I’m pretty spent when it comes to political opinions, even my own, and I can’t imagine that I’m feeling anything all that unusual. Here, in a nutshell, is my entire inner life, as it applies to the 2016 election:
It’s scary, awful, exciting and just too much. I want it to be over, but only if it ends the way I want.
Not exactly insightful commentary.
Which is why I find myself, on Monday Nov.7, writing my very first Pretend Foodie Blog Post. Why not?
What follows are a few recipes that are my gift to you, on this historic day. This is what’s for dinner at my house tonight. They are easy enough to make while your mind is on things like the future of the free world, and the ingredients are things you probably have on hand, which means you can skip going to the store and spend more time staging the perfect “I Voted” selfie.
An Election Night Menu For Hopeful Citizens, plus Me
I know I’ll want a snack, right up front.
It’s a special day, after all, and since I burned all those extra calories standing in line at my polling place, Ima treat myself. If you voted by mail, you deserve an extra snack as a reward for being so together.
My snack of choice, courtesy of my friend Dena who has good taste in everything, is this:
It’s possible I’ve talked to you about Mt.Tam cheese before. If so, I’m sorry but I can’t help it. I love it so much that my son, 11, has suggested that I marry it.
Now, I know you probably don’t have this exact cheese on hand, and while you can sub something else and still be happy, it won’t be the same. Either way, scratch what I said before about not going shopping, and go buy some special cheese. You will be so glad you did.
Whole Foods sells a tennis ball sized Mt.Tam for fifteen bucks, which is about ten dollars more than I’d normally spend on cheese, but you only elect the first female president once, y’all! (see what I did there?)
A Simple Fall Salad With Balsamic Vinaigrette
The world seems to have gone crazy, am I right? It’s times like these that we need to keep our heads screwed on and remember the basics:
- Think before you speak
- Treat others the way you would like to be treated
- Always have something green on your plate
When I look upon The Orange One and fear for our collective future, this list and it’s timeless wisdom soothes me. Plus, FLOTUS wants us to eat salad, so I’m all in.
- Romain lettuce, chopped
- red onion, thinly sliced
- pear or apples, sliced
- toasted pecans
- goat or blue cheese (optional, but when given the option of cheese, I vote yes!)
- 1/4 c. olive oil
- 1 or 2 or however many you want Tbs. balsamic vinegar
- a healthy glob of dijon mustard
- a pinch or three of salt and a few grinds of black pepper
- half a shot of maple syrup
Mix all the vinaigrette ingredients until it looks good, and toss it with the greens. We are all grown-ups here. We know how to make a salad.
This is one of my favorite dishes to make when I want to please everyone. it is bi-partisan in it’s deliciousness, the Switzerland of dinner items, except, you know, Italian. Also, because it has vodka in it, no one will look at you funny for having the open bottle next to you at the stove. This feature will be important, as the evening progresses.
- 1/4 c. olive oil
- 4 big juicy garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- one of those big 28 oz. cans of crushed tomatoes (I like the fire roasted)
- 2 Tbs. vodka
- 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 c. parsley or cilantro, chopped
- 1 lb. penne (you could choose gluten free or whole wheat, but when it comes to pasta, like Trump, I make no apologies for preferring white.
In a big-ass pan, sauté the oil, garlic, red pepper and salt. When the garlic is just turning golden (if it becomes the color of The Donald, you’ve overcooked it), take a sip of vodka and dump the crushed tomatoes into the pan.
Stir it all together and let it simmer on the stove for about fifteen minutes. Meanwhile, boil the penne.
Drain the pasta and throw it into the tomato mixture, which has thickened slightly. Toss in the vodka and mix, keeping the heat low for a minute or two. Mix in the cream, then turn off the heat and let it rest for a few minutes, before making it fancy with the parsley.
(Now’s a good time to toast the Suffragettes with a healthy swig of vodka. Bask in the moment.)
Serve the pasta and salad on the same plate, since you will be
freaking out enjoying your meal in front of the television, and that’s how we roll in America.
By now, the early results will probably be coming in. I can’t predict what I’ll be feeling, but it will either be something like this:
Either way, it’s time for pie.
The thing is, I can’t really tell you how to make a good pie crust. I mean, I’ve tried to make a good pie crust and sometimes it’s ok and sometimes it sucks. The only thing consistent about my pie crust is that I always end up thinking that it’s just not worth the effort. But hey, you may disagree.
And guess what?
***We can disagree and still have pie!***
(PS- See? Women totally need to be running the world)
Ok, for a delicious pie, Do This: (or don’t, it’s a free country. For now, anyway.)
When you go to get the Mt.Tam cheese (did I mention it’s the queen of cheeses?), grab a box of those ready made pie crusts. I know, I know, they’re made with partially hydrogenated lard, but nothing’s perfect, right?
And if you can’t have “the perfect” pie crust, don’t you at least want the very good and capable pie crust??? Or are you one of those people who would say, “No, I don’t want pie-crust-as-usual! If I can’t have my pie crust, the crust I think I should be able to have, then I’ll just have a big ol’ shit sandwich, please!”
No, I didn’t think so.
Where were we?
Oh yeah, put one crust in a pan and fill it with a bunch of peeled apples, a few globs of butter, 1/4 c. of sugar, 2 Tbs. of flour, some cinnamon, a little salt and the juice of a lemon. Slap the other crust on top and pinch it together like your Trump pinching a— never mind.
Bake at 425 degrees for about 50 minutes and, wonder of wonders, you’ll have pie.
Alternatively, you could just get yourself a perfectly nice already made pie, and be done with it.
That’s what I’m doing. Pie making is for suckers.
So, there you go. Eat up, enjoy, and leave the dishes for tomorrow.
no matter what,