Garlic Worms

One of the hardest parts about cooking is having the right amount of the ingredients and using them before they go bad.

Recipe says: 4 tomatoes, 3 cloves garlic, 1 cup basil, 1.5 pounds pasta, 3/4 cup olive oil, 1 pound brie = Tomato Basil Brie Linguine

I have: 4 tomatoes, 2 cloves garlic, a pinch of basil, 1 pound pasta, 2/3 cup olive oil, 1/2 pound brie = Garlic Worms

So this recipe will work, right?

I’m a huge fan of brie although that shit is expensive. I couldn’t even find a pound of it on the shelf for sale. Basil goes brown over night basically so that’s always a wash, as delicious as it is. Pasta is sold in pound boxes, I don’t know where they get this 1.5 pound idea from. But I can always count on tomatoes to be there for me, I sure don’t get why they gotta be on a vine though.

Since I had all these odd measurements, I thought I should lessen the garlic and olive oil too. Yet this still came out tasting like a pound of garlic. Linguine also looks like worms. Garlic worms. I am eating worms that taste like garlic.

You basically chop all this crap and set it on the counter for 2-4 hours.

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It says to dice the tomato, so that means I cut it up in the most irregular pieces possible.

Oh, then it says to tear the brie into irregular pieces. Finally something I know how to do! Until I realize they’re just playing a sick joke on me. Have you ever tried to tear cheese before? Tear sticky cheese. It’s just stuck to my hands! Thanks a lot, I bet the cookbook people are laughing.

And then my trusty friend the garlic press, we meet again… PS: why is the garlic purple?

Basil, you smell so delicious, I love you, why you gotta brown so easily?

It takes me at least an hour to chop all of this up, but it’s so pretty…

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Time to boil the pasta, can I break these noodles in half first? It doesn’t say to, so I won’t. Oh, the noodles stick out of the top of the water, real cool. Oh, they slipped down a second later, okay then. More noodle power to ya.

Now I have to mix it all together, as if that is an easy task. Why would you combine really long noodles with a mixture? How is it supposed to get in the cracks and spread evenly? This would have been better with bow ties. Does it even matter what type of pasta I use? I HAVE QUESTIONS! I wonder if there is a recipe hotline. 1-800-RECIPE-HLP

I’m really glad I didn’t use the 3 gloves of garlic because this tastes like a pile of garlic. Joe ain’t mad doe.

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And the cats are all like, facepalm. facebutt. faceplant. faceplace.   IMG_0955

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The Worst Cook in America

Getting married is awesome because you obtain a bunch of new kitchen supplies. Most of which I do not know how to use. But I will say that they make attempting to cook more enjoyable. I couldn’t tell you what half the nonsense was in Crate and Barrel where we did our registry. Do we need this? What is this? Why is it this shape? I guess we are going to find out in the coming months while we attempt to use these new fancy bojangles.

I watch a lot of Food Network, which doesn’t aid me in my cooking techniques at all, but hey it’s entertaining. One day I caught an episode of the show The Worst Cooks In America. I thought to myself, holy shit, I could be on this show! A show dedicated to not knowing what you’re doing? How perfect! Basically there are 2 teams that learn from famous chefs and you get sent home if you don’t measure up to the challenge.

I decided to go on their website and see what the auditioning process is like. Like most companies, their website lacked the content I was looking for. It had casting dates for the past, so I wasn’t sure if I could fill out the application at anytime – I emailed them these questions and never heard back. Until a few months later, I got a response that casting was open and they would be updating their site soon (yeah right).

I headed back over and filled out the lengthy application. Then I received an email asking me to fill out an attached questionnaire, a day later I received a reminder to fill it out. Girl, slow your roll, I’m gettin’ to it. It had the same damn questions. How many times can I answer “What is your most embarrassing kitchen story?”, “Do you have any kitchen phobias?” Honey, there are not enough lines on this application for me to fill out my probs.

I was walking around Home Depot one Saturday and received a phone call from Cali and normally I don’t answer strange phone numbers, but I had a feeling. It was a casting guy! Asking me the same damn questions again. He was super nice and I enjoyed the conversation. This was shortly after the Baltimore Riots, so of course I was asked about that too. He said if they chose to cast me, he would call in the next few weeks…never heard back. Bummer.

But I would like to think this means I made it to the final rounds of casting and I am a runner up to being The Worst Cook in America. 😉

To combat this horrible horrible loss, my matron of honor got me a book for our wedding titled “The I Don’t Know How To Cook Cookbook”. This book is ahhhmazing! It has the definitions for everything you could think of, even SPOON! It has little tid bits like how to brown ground beef. All sorts of things to answer my daily questions when recipes don’t explain things fully. It also has a lot of vegetarian recipes which is always ideal. Only thing it’s missing is pictures, ha.

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I don’t think I ever would have made it passed the first round on Worst Cooks… I can’t even use a knife properly.

Plus, I’d miss my cats if I was gone for a few weeks. Check out these rad pics my matron of honor’s husband took the day of our wedding…

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BBLK PHOTOGRAPHY

Make your own mac n cheese they says, it’ll be easy they says…

Happy New Year!

Last year I made some mac n cheese and while a lot of dumb happened, it tasted like a lot of good.

“Easy Southwest Mac N Cheese” – easy they says…

I look at the list of ingredients and the first thing I notice is that I don’t like half of them. But I like mac n cheese, so I guess this will end up good. One thing I am definitely omitting is the onions, onions are not mac nor cheese in my experience, so it’s gotta be ok. Everything else can stay, for now.

First I need a big ol’ pot for just the garlic. Why such a big pot for just garlic? Do I put the garlic in the nutcracker press? I’ve never not done that with garlic, is this supposed to be different? I swore I read it 5 times and saw nothing about that. Because I am home alone, I text my trusty side kick Jackie. She says “are you sure it doesn’t say mince somewhere?” Oh, sure enough, it does! I was also doubling the recipe so it becomes like 4 little nubbies of garlic, pressed (minced? same thing?) into the big ol’ pot. Seems like a lot. This part you are supposed to combine with an onion, but I say hell no to onions. The recipe says that they should be “soft and transparent”, so I’m waiting for the garlic to appear this way and it’s just turning brown. Guess that means I burned it. Can I still eat it? Did I ruin the whole thing? I don’t care, lettuce keep going.

Turns out the transparent thing was about the onions, not the garlic. Good to know, thanks a lot, not specific directions. Not to mention the directions say “saute”, excuse me? Come again? You could at least throw a link in there to explain what “saute” is. You know I don’t speak mexican!

Here the cats are, trying to escape in case I burn the house down…

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Next was easy: Drain the diced tomatoes, then add them to the pot with the frozen corn and chili powder. Continue to sauté until the corn has heated through. At this point I assume saute means just leave the burner on and stir. Why can’t we just say that instead? I also never trust recipes with spices, they always call for so little of the spice. What is the point if you’re only using a little bit? I say go big or go home. I might regret this shortly.

Turn the heat off and add the drained pasta and Greek yogurt. Oooooooh okay now I get why we are using sucha big pot. I don’t particularly like yogurt either, but I am trusting this recipe here.

Stir until the pasta is coated in the creamy sauce. Add the cheese and stir until the residual heat has melted it into the sauce. If you pasta has cooled too much to melt the cheese, keep the burner on low as you stir the cheese into the sauce. Didn’t have to worry about that last part, thank jeebus.

Serve hot sprinkled with the sliced green onions. Well, my green onions were a bit old. I sent a picture to my trusty side kick to see if I could still use them. Just had to cut some bad parts off. I didn’t realize that they needed to be chopped super fine, I had chopped them kind of big. I don’t particularly like green onions, but it probably made sense for this recipe.

All in all, it was actually very good! The burnt garlic didn’t ruin it, though I did use a lot because it was a bit spicy for me.

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Exotic Meat Chili

We had a Chili Cookoff at work in honor of the Superbowl. I thought, what better way to demonstrate my awful cooking than to subject all of my co-workers to it by pretending like I know what I’m doing. It was also a chance to make something I’ve never made before. And, to be honest, something I don’t even like.

My good friend Jackie makes a mean, well, everything. She makes a mean everything. I asked her to teach me her chili recipe, and thus began the madness. Her pup Rory had to help us out of course…

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We decided that I would watch her one night and then she would watch me a few nights later to repeat back the exact steps. While I watched her, I took some “amazing” notes. Keyword: amazing.

Dude, chili has a lot of ingredients. How do you people do this shit?!

Might I add, her receipe comes from a cookbook by Moby. Yes, kids, Moby has a cookbook. Who would have known?

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I didn’t want to tell anyone that this recipe was vegetarian, that usually scares people away. So I decided to call it Exotic Meat Chili. If only Moby was as smart as me, he would have had some good marketing there.

The first step to secure heli-camel safety is to put on a helmet of some sort. This can be a mask or helmet of your choosing. It is to protect from toxins, spices, smells, rubbing your eyes, keeps your arms and legs inside the ride at all times. Or if you’re just prone to accidents like me, you might need some protection. I chose to go with the paintball mask.

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I find it easier to show you a picture of all of the ingredients rather than type them all out. There’s a lot of shit! Hold on to your hats guys, this is going to be a lengthy one.

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Note that the giant knife is not needed, but it makes for cool effect. The chocolate in the background is also not needed, unless you’re feeling randy. Notice the devil can opener there and the 6 cans that it needs to open. I just want you to know that it wasn’t just me who had trouble with this. It took 2 gingers and 2 tiny blonde girls to use this satan can opener.

Now, follow these easy directions written by yours truly:

    • 3/4 olive oil in giant pot – My measuring skills are not up to par. I always fuck up. I have no idea why my eyes cannot aline with the lines on the cup, I got probs yo! This measuring cup is pretty sweet, it’s made for animals. Also, olive oil looks like pee. I pee a lot. I have to pee.
    • photo 3chop giant onion butts off – YO! Onions are the goddamn worst. They are worse than that devil can opener. I have never cut an onion in my life, don’t ask me why, probably because they are the devil! My eyes, oh my eyes! It wasn’t the “crying”, it was the burning. Oh, the burning. I was told to put a spoon in my mouth. That shit works somehow, even if you look like a goddamn goofball. I thought Jackie was just messing with me and wanted me to look like a fool, but it actually worked. Well, sort of. I was still pretty miserable. I don’t understand why anyone would want to cut an onion, or have an onion in their food. Shit tastes gross anyways. What a waste of life, onions, what a waste. My cutting skills are not up to par. It took me a good hour to chop everything, this onion probably took the longest. My onion shavings are not very pretty either. photo 4
    • shave onion shavings
    • cut into little chippy guys
    • put in a mixing bowl
    • chop tempeh in bite sized pieces
    • 4 or 5 giant cloves of garlic – 1 bulb (1/4 cup) – I got the good ol’ garlic press out for these jammies. But I feel like chopping them with a knife was easier. Damn that garlic press, it is also the devil.
    • cut butts off – chop super fine
    • drain beans and corn
    • chop dat red pepper girl alrite giggity giggity
    • chop off the buttt and head
    • green and red same choppers
    • chop out guts and chop off that junk
    • jalapeño cut off head and butt
    • put seeds in with red and green peppas
    • membrane in the middle – fleshy junk
    • dice up green parts and put in with peppers

how do peppers work? science, bitch! – The pepper era. Ah, the pepper era. Cutting the butts off was way easier than I thought it was going to be. I have also never cut peppers before dudes. It was actually kind of fun. And the jalapeno didn’t bother me, only the goddamn onion bothered me! I got the seeds out with a knife which was apparently weird and you’re supposed to use your fingers for that. I also eat ribs with a knife and a fork, pizza too. So sue me!

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  • tablespoon cumin
  • half tbsp cyanne pepper
  • teaspoon smoked paprika
  • tbsp chili powder
  • half teaspoon garlic salt
  • quarter teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Ah, the spice era. I have to share this picture of when Jackie combined the spices, it was so damn pretty. Then I go and do it with these crazy little measuring spoons that make no sense. You have to eye ball the measurements, while using a measuring device. How is that fair?! Alls fair in love and chili.photo 3-3photo 2
  • turn stove on medium bitch to heat oil
  • onions in – 5 min
  • do the stanky leg while stirring
  • put garlic in and it’s gonna smell like garlic up in this bitch
  • stir together for a few min
  • tempeh in for a few min
  • stir photo 2-1
  • peppers in for a few min stir
  • spices in stir a bit
  • wait 5 min
  • if it looks like poop than you’re doing it rightphoto 3-1
  • all tomatoes in
  • stir for a min
  • corn beans in from strainer
  • stir for a minphoto 4-1
  • medium low for an hour
  • it’ll be kinda bubbly guy
  • stir every now and then
  • if too liquidy, use lid
  • cheddar cheese

That wasnt so hard, right? The best part was having Jackie read them back to me when it was my turn to make it. Good thing I had her there to assist me, I would have forgotten most of what to do.

It was actually ediable, impressive, right?! Well, edible for everyone except me. It was too damn spicey! My tongue does not like spice, I can barely do pepper most of the time. I had such a hard time eating it, such a fail. It may have been the fact that it was still temperature hot though. It wasn’t so bad the next day. After this I learned that jalapenos can range in their hot-ness, kind of like the chicks on Baywatch. Whoda thunk it?

The most important part of the recipe happens RIGHT NOW! Are you listening? You must transport your chili in a Hello Kitty croc pot. Strap on little buddy, we’re going for a ride!photo 5-1

My buddy Dan won the chili cook off, as he should! Who knows what place I came in, ideally last. Because, lets face it, this is a fail blog. Maybe Dan will guest blog next about how to make a successful pot of chili, one to remember, one to love, one to poop out later.

And in the end, not a single fuck was given that day:

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To Infinity and Beyond, Meat.

If you’re new to cooking, bad at cooking, scared of cooking, I suggest vegetarian meals. They make things so easy.

There is a wonderful plant protein called Beyond Meat that we discovered. It is fake chicken that comes in a few flavors. The cool thing about Beyond Meat is that it acts more like actual chicken then any other subsitute we have tried. It doesn’t need to taste like chicken, it needs to act like chicken. By that I mean, it soaks up the flavors unlike tofu or other fake chicken products. Vegetarian or not, it is a must try. Plus, it has 20g of iron. Suck it, steak! The best part is that the founder went to University of Maryland and I dig anything created in my state. Find it at your local Whole Foods!

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We picked up the Southwest flavor of Beyond Meat and what better thing to make with it then a “Mexican Bake”.  I found this recipe by Kraft. What I love about the recipe, is that I completely ignored it.

Half cup of this, whole cup of that, pinch of this, pinch of that. Cook the meat for this long, toss your meat like this, throw your meat in the air and touch your derriere. How ’bout, no. Ya’ll know how I feel about following directions. They never make any sense and they always assume too much. They assume you know what you’re doing, and guess what, I never know what I’m doing.

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This is what ya do:

Preheat oven to 375. Get a pan. Cover the bottom of it with all of the Beyond Meat chicken. Lay a can of beans on top. Sprinkle some frozen corn on top of that. Scoop out some salsa and throw some clumps around. Put in the oven for 20 min. Take out and top with cheese. Bake for 5 more min. Now eat that bitch. You could make some rice on the side too, if you felt like it. Maybe, maybe if you have time.

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Since you’re not using real meat, you don’t have to worry about the meat being cooked all the way through so the timing almost doesn’t matter. Why do we need measurements for the other ingredients? Use as much or as little as you want based on your feelings about said ingredient. I love corn, but I hate onions and peppers, so fuck them. If you do decide to use real chicken, I can’t help you. Go somewhere else.

If you’re anything like every other vegetarian I know, a half cup of cheese is not nearly enough. You have to use the whole damn bag. And then some!

If you have no patience like me, you’ll forget to take a picture when you take it out of the oven and you’ll stick your face right in it. Om nom nom.

If you’re picky like me, you will pick all of the green peppers and onions out of the salsa, but when you accidently get a bite with a pepper in it, you’ll actually like it. But you’ll keep picking aroud them because psychology is a bitch.

I decided to take a tortilla and rip it up into pieces and throw it in the mix, while Joe piled his into a tortilla and ate it like a burrito. Whatever floats your boat!

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I hope you guys enjoy how horrible my photos are, it really makes all of my food look absolutely not appetizing what so ever. But come on, trust me! Beards, they grow on you.

The only thing you really need to remember is to drain the beans, otherwise you’ll end up with a soupy mexican bake and it isn’t so great.

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The Beyond Meat soaks up the flavor from the beans and salsa and really takes your taste buds to infinity and beyond! I talked to Buzz Lightyear about this, and he agreed. You can ask him yourself after you invite him to your kids birthday party.

There were no cats in the making of this dinner. Where the hell were they? Oh, right, snooze fest.

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Little shit is apparently a lightweight, he got too drunk before dinner time and passed out before he got his pajama pants on. What a n00b.

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I need an adult-wich

Sometimes your cat just isn’t enough, and you need an adult.

I tried to make Manwich so it would be ready when Joe got home, I almost failed.

Before I tell you about my failure, I must tell you about Manwich.

First of all, a can of Manwich is vegetarian. Read the ingredients, no meat son.

Now, get yourself some Morning Star veggie crumbles. Or any ground beef meat subsitute will do.

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In 10 minutes tops, you will have yourself a delicious sloppy joe. (Not to be confused with my Joe, he’s not getting sloppy)

Start the veggie crumbles heating up in a pan for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, open your can of Manwich. That is, if you can. You might need an adult if your can opener breaks apart in your hands.

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If there is no adult around, ask your cat to help. Though they will probably respond by saying they have no thumbs and cannot be of service. Or they will just stare at you in disbelief making you feel even worse about yourself than you already do in that moment. If they do actually respond to you with words, go see a doctor, stat.

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If you can’t put your can opener back together, try openng it with a knife, or scissors, or a fork, or your own hands. Don’t cut yourself.

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By this time, your veggie crumbles are probably heated up enough and are ready for their sloppy toppings. Go ahead and shake the can vigorously over top of the veggie crumbles, it will slowly ooze out of the little holes you have created with your can opening devices. A few hours later, the can should be empty.

Now you can stir that bad boy around for a few minutes.

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As soon as it’s finished, an adult will walk through the door. Had they arrived a few moments earlier, they could have helped you to open the can the right way. But hey, who needs ’em! I got the job done!

Vegetarian Manwich is delicious and simple, don’t knock it until you try it.

(There was no cursing in the making of this dinner)

Boiled and baked noodles with sauce and cheese and shit

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted a blog here. I am having far less failures lately, zomg I must be learning something!

A big thing I have learned is that people make cooking sound way harder and fancier then it actually is. They list every ingredient they can think of and make that the title of their recipe. “Baked white boneless skinless perdue chicken with green broccoli from a green giant bag and white gold sprouted maybe had eyeballs before I scraped them off potatoes from a bag in the store dot com”. Shut. Up.

Baked ziti has become a hot item around here because it’s easy as shit and makes mad leftovers. And trust me, it’s easy peasy. Let me break it down for you.

Buy some noodles, any noodles, I don’t even care what shape. They all taste the same. Make your own noodles if you’re feeling ambitious, but don’t look to this blog to tell you how to do that. That seems like a chefs job.

Read the box. Well, you don’t really have to read it. Just look for some numbers. Boil the noodles according to those numbers.

If you search the internet, people bake their ziti anywhere from 350 to 450 degrees. Pick somewhere in the middle, or not, it doesn’t matter, its just a noodle.

I go with 350 and I start this shit right away because in this day and age you have to wait 10 years for an oven to preheat. Come on technology, can I get an iPhone app to make this shit go quicker?

Alright, so you’ve got the oven preheating and you’ve got some noodles boiling. If you’re feeling fancy, dump some spices and olive oil into the pot. Though it doesn’t really matter because I can’t tell the difference if it is used or not.

PIck some sauce, any sauce. I usually go with Tomato Basil.

Get a pan, any pan. Use your eyeballs, how many noodles can I fit in dis pan? That’ll do! 9 x 13 is usually good for a pound of noodles.

When the noodles are done, turn off stove, lift pot, carry to sink, and strain.

Pour the noodles back into the pot a little at a time while mixing with the sauce.

Once complete, pour a layer into the pan of your choice.

I like to mix my lazy cheap ass with my fancy expensive ass, so I go with real mozzarella cheese and also the fake shredded kraft shit. After a layer of noodles, layer some shredded shit. Repeat until you reach the top, here is where you use your fancy real ass expensive mozz. Just throw that junk on top.

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Now stick it in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes. Or however long it takes before your house starts to catch fire.

Was that so hard?

You can throw anything you want in there, too. Sometimes I do tomatoes. Other people of the internet use meat, but I don’t know shit about cooking meat so I steer clear. The noodles make so much that you really don’t need other crap. But I know how you people like to get all fancy. Throw whatever you please in there: veggies, meatless meat, real mans meat, cat food meat, feet meat, cake meat, mustache meat, whatever. Just make sure you title your recipe accordingly.

I like to call mine “Boiled and baked noodles with sauce and cheese and shit”, that would be most accurate.

(Now do yourself a favor, go to Gizoogle.net, put in catscantcook.com and laugh your face off)

Lastly, pass out in some awkward position:

 

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