January 31, 2012

Driving Miss Crazy

What do you think the job description is for the person who drives the car away after the rose ceremonies on The Bachelor, with the devastated reject in tow?

- Must have a valid, current Driver's License

- Must not have a criminal record

- Must be able to deal with sobbing, emotional train wreck back-seat passengers

- Must not console them during said sobbing, because it will hurt TV ratings and possibly cause the women to hold on to some semblance of pride once the episode airs

- Must work flexible hours

I can't even imagine driving around these exotic cities they film in with a bawling woman who has so much mascara running down her face that it threatens the upholstery of your car. Particularly if you are not allowed to talk to them and just have to ignore basic human instincts to try to make them feel better.

It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it. These relationships aren't going to artificially create and then naturally destroy themselves!

Love Is In the Air, Way Too Much!

I could never be on The Bachelor.

Not just because I'm not crazy enough. Or because I don't wear enough eye makeup. Or because I don't look good in a bikini.

It's because of the show's excessive use of aircraft. Whether it's hot air balloons, prop planes, helicopters, or commercial aircraft from one exotic location to the next, I would lose my mind with all of that flying!

I hate flying too much for any semblance of love to be worth all of that time in the air. Especially it was spent with a mop-headed doofus who literally could not have selected a worse haircut.

I guess I'll just have to find love the old-fashioned way. On a ferry!

January 30, 2012

Public Feasting

Oh geez. I have a pit in my stomach.

Something so frightening that I never even thought to previously fear just happened to me.

I just heard these words from a coworker: "I saw you at K-38 on Saturday night. But we were tucked in the corner so you couldn't see me."

Gulp. K-38 is my favorite Mexican restaurant in the world. It's also in a conveniently inconvenient location to most people I know in Wilmington, so I never have to hold back on my chip consumption there.

I gruuuuubbed out on Saturday night while sitting at the bar with my husband. We were staying at my parents' house which has no food in it, so I was essentially storing up for winter a whole night without snacks. To think that someone was watching me publicly maul a basket of tortilla chips without restraint is just horrifying.

Especially because it was one of my most vigorous nights o' chips.

Now the mystery of why I am so curvy is debunked for that particular coworker. It's not just genetics. It's tortilla chips :(

January 29, 2012

Ice Cream Sundays - Peanut Butter Cup

This flavor is AGGRESSIVELY peanut buttery and chocolatey. In a good way.

But also in a way that made me feel out of control.

Check out this close up below: Those are monster chunks of peanut butter cups. And yes, they taste just like Reese's.

I knew I was going to love this flavor because I absolutely adore all things peanut butter. And when you add it to chocolate, adoration turns into obsession.

This was the richest flavor I've tried so far, by far. And, not surprisingly, the most fattening flavor out of the 15 that I've tasted. Sadly, that's the thing about peanut butter and chocolate :(

If all goes as planned with my life, I will never buy this flavor again. Not because it was bad. It was amazing. Just because it is so delicious that a small bite isn't enough. But it is so fattening that two bites is just going to ruin your caloric intake for the day. #fatpeopleproblems

If you are in the mood for a truly decadent delight, this is your man. But be warned: It comes with a high caloric price!


Flavors Tried - 15

Pounds Gained - 0

Favorite Flavor - Cinnamon Buns

January 26, 2012

How to Survive a Hand Towel When Your Butt is Bath Towel Size

I showered at the gym today, in an attempt to complete most of my day-hates. And I took in 2 towels with me. One for my hair, and one for my body. But things didn't go as planned...

I accidentally grabbed two HAND towels instead of two BATH towels. And naturally I did not realize the error of my ways until after I was showered, naked, and surrounded by 3 other showerers in the stalls next to me.

A mad dash to the bath towel section was not an option. And even an attempt, I'm sure, would've ended in an XL White Lightening slipping on the shower floor and ending up in a un-toned ball of nudity on the floor (I would be the White Lightening in this situation).

So I did what any Girl Scout Gym Rat wet, naked fatty would do. I made a mini skirt out of one towel and a tube top out of the other. And I creeped to the dressing room as fast as my ample legs could carry me. Buuuut, before I got to the dressing room, I had an accident. No I did not pee in my handtowel mini-skirt. Instead I accidentally launched my watch INTO SOMEONE'S SHOWER. That they were in. Showering. Also naked.

I obviously had to ask the showering stranger if she could pass me my watch back. She obliges, picks up the watch, and opens the curtain to hand it to me, only to catch a glimpse of me - wearing an outfit made entirely of petite towels. To say she looked impressed would be an understatement, and a total lie. Hello embarrassment, it's been a while but I'm glad to know we can pick up right where we left.

The outcome of this whole incident could really go either way. Either I get really motivated to lose weight and get skinny so that the next time I end up with only hand towels I look good. Or I am just going to live in fear of ever seeing the girl who handed me my watch that I never exercise again. We shall see.

Either way, just to be safe, next time I'm bringing a towel from home!

January 25, 2012

Fattening DUH

Who here is upset about Paula Deen having Type II Diabetes and profiting from her announcement/partnership with a Diabetes medicine company?

Not me. Have you seen the woman cook? I was about as shocked to hear that she had Diabetes as I was when Ricky Martin finally came out of the closet (i.e., not at all).

I'm also not mad that she is making money off of her disease. Why would she stop now? She made money getting fat and unhealthy, so what's the difference? If you weren't mad at for adding 4 sticks of butter to everything she's ever made on her cooking show, then you can't be mad that she is getting sponsored to publicize her diabetes. It's the same thing. If you are mad about one and not the other, then you are in a state of denial.

It isn't really Paula Deen's responsibility to inform American viewers on how to not get Diabetes. If you don't already know that eating a burger in between two donuts is going to stop your heart and fatten your ass, then you have so very many serious problems. Child please!

On the flip side, if you model what you eat after a woman who now has a disease that she brought on herself, and is now going around admitting that she will not change the way she cooks or eats (which can make the disease go away, which you'd know if you ever seen the Biggest Loser), then you are just stupid.

Technically, all parties are stupid here. Paula for giving herself diabetes. The American public for blindly emulating her cooking style. And me for giving a shit.

I would never make a Paula Deen recipe. They gross me out, are excessively fattening, and can easily be substituted for recipes that won't make you die on the spot.

America, knowing that is half of the battle. Now step away from the mayonnaise!

*In other bittersweet Paula Deen news, check out this video of her getting hit in the head with a frozen ham. That's just good stuff.

Stop, Hammertime!

Reason #4,596 why I would never want to be famous/on Television. People can catch you like this:

I wasn't even trying to stop the TV on a funny moment, I just lucked out with this heinousness when I went to get more ice.

Man, I love me some Kim Zolciak!

January 23, 2012

Girl Gone Missing

Yesterday morning I woke up to one of the best emails I’ve ever received in my life. It was from my mom and the subject title was “You Go Girl”.

I got so excited to see what I had done to make my mom A) so proud, and B) actually type the words “You Go Girl”.

The body of the email was the following:

"Did either of you happen to pick up the pillow on the upstairs bed ?
Little, white with pink letters
You go girl!
It vanished and Mildred is worried!!!"

Allow me to explain why this is so insanely awesome.

First of all, about 15 years ago someone gave me a pillow that said “You Go Girl!” on it. I tried to get rid of it because, well, it says “You Go Girl!” on it. But my mom was having none of it. She basically rescued it from a life of Goodwill and landfills. Ever since then it has been perched prominently in my parents’ guest room.

That is, until 2012 when it disappeared! Dun, dun, duuuuuun!

Second of all, you have to know Mildred to fully understand the hilarity of this scenario. If you have ever come over to my parents house on one of the last 3,000 Thursdays or Fridays, you should have met Mildred. She has been in the employ of my parents for almost 3 decades as a housekeeper. Just trust me when I say, “That’s a whole lotta Milly!” She has the approximate intelluctual equivalent of a box of rocks, with a heart of gold…And no permanent teeth.

But what she lacks in brains she more than makes up for in drama. When my mom’s mom died last year, Mildred went out of her way to make it as dramatic as possible so that, while showing that she cared, she could also remind my mom as often and as aggressively as possible that her mom had passed away. She also has a 6th sense that allows her to anticipate which room you are about to use, and then immediately start vacuuming there so that you can’t finish your phone call or hear yourself think. Anyway, back to the drama at hand…

Recently, further tragedy struck: The “You Go Girl!” pillow went missing and she freaked, according to my mom.

Yesterday, once I finally stopped laughing, I called my mom and mentioned it might be in the closet or under the bed. And I was soooo relieved to finally receive the following email later in the day:

“Found her in the back of the closet. My bed is complete again…..and Mildred will be so happy!!”

Crisis averted! I’m going to try to get my mom to send me a picture of the pillow. But it’d probably be too awkward for her to get a picture of Mildred. And until then, the epicness of the story might only be fully appreciated by the inner circle. ‘Tis a crying shame.

It's not every day you have a pseudo-family emergency that involves a girl power pillow and the world's dumbest housekeeper.

*Edited to include picture of actual pillow in question. Thanks mom!

So Two-Faced

I just want to preface this post by saying that I believe, seek out, and am fascinated by medical mysteries. (Remember this post?) I've watched enough Mystery Diagnosis and ABC Medical Mysteries to know that it is not that unusual for someone in a less developed country to have a dead twin living in his or her stomach or for a young girl to have 10 limbs. That's just your run of the mill medical mystery awesomeness.

I do not, however, believe that this is true: http://www.omg-facts.com/view/Facts/44498

I don't disbelieve this because it seems medically impossibly to have a second face on the back of your head who is apparently an emotional rollercoaster. I disbelieve this because of the picture on the article.

If the chances of a person have a second face on the back of his or her head is 1 in a billion, then what are the chances of an American looking man growing the face of a grumpy, old Chinese face on the back of his head? A grumpy, old Chinese man with BANGS no less.

Too slim for me to believe! And I am still actively looking for the Loch Ness monster, so, there's that...

January 22, 2012

Ice Cream Sundays - Imagine Whirled Peace

Would you believe me if I told you this flavor is how this whole experiment got started? Well, that, a hankering for ice cream, and a mom with a brilliant, albeit fattening, idea.

This was one of the first flavors of Ben and Jerry's I ever tried when I lived in DC. I told my parents about it, because it was AMAZING, and they loved it so much they started serving it as dessert after dinner parties....Until Cinnamon Buns came along. They have switched over the streusel side.

This flavor is so wonderful it's hard to put in to words. The Sweet Cream factor of the ice cream is so pleasant and flavorful. The Toffee Cookie Pieces hit you like a mac-truck. If that mac-truck didn't hurt you physically at all and was filled with money that started raining down and you got to have it all. That kind of strictly positive, but totally epic impact.

My one complaint about Imagine Whirled Peace is the presence of Fudge Peace Signs. In a world of sweetness, softness, and chewiness, I just don't want hardness. And that is what the Fudge Peace Signs are to me. It's like if that money-raining, mac-truck had a few loose pieces of change in it. That just wouldn't feel good flying in your face.


Flavors Tried - 14

Pounds Gained - 0, we're back!

Favorite Flavor - Today it's Cinnamon Buns, Strawberry Cheesecake is being a distant memory

January 20, 2012

To be young

This makes me giggle for some reason. It really shows my personality, even today.

To clarify, when asked "If you could change any one thing about the way you look, what would it be? Why?"

My answer: "I wouldn't change anything because I like the way I am. I don't think I'm pretty or anything. I think that is sort of a bad question to ask."

First of all, if asked the same question today, I would probably have the same answer. I have always been confident in my person with no concrete confidence in my looks and a feminist with no feminist convictions.

I basically just said, I like myself but I'm not great. That's a bad question for no reason. Now leave me alone.

Essentially, I've always been neither here nor there. I'm not conceited, but I don't want to change. I'm offended by superficial questions like that, but I will do nothing to change the way society forces women to over-analyze their looks. Basically just a lazy, plain Jane who likes being plain.

Second of all, judging by this handwriting, I was at least passed 3rd grade (when I learned cursive) and before 9th grade (when I totally gave up on cursive). Who asks this kind of thing to middle schoolers? I still think this is a TERRIBLE question to ask a young person.

Teachers should be asking, "What do you love about your personality and intelligence and how can you use it to better the world?" Not, "What do you hate about your looks you not-yet-developed pre-teen?"

But, much like in the 90's when I wrote this, I not going to do a thing about it!

"One Day", One very, very sad day

Wow. This is a sad movie. Like, freakishly, aggressively, phenomenally sad.

I decided to watch this movie last night when I got home from work, thinking it would be a romantic comedy about two attractive lovers who keep missing each other but eventually live happily ever after.

Wrong. It's about two best friends who know each other for 20 years but are too stupid to have a real relationship and never even have on-camera sex. Don't you just hate that?

But I digress. I actually thought it was a great movie. I was really in to it the whole time. I just was NOT expecting the sadness that ensued.

I was crying so hard and so ugly that my husband came in at least every ten minutes to laugh at me. What is wrong with boys?!

I was sobbing so intensely that I couldn't even cook dinner. Grant ended up cooking it. (Pause for reaction). It was homemade burrito bowls.

Then I was so stuffed up from crying so hard that I couldn't even breath enough through my nose to eat dinner. It was highly attractive.

Grant declared that from now on Thursday nights are "British romantic tragedy" / "ethnic food" night in our household.

Hey, whatever it takes to get a guy to cook!

I really recommend this movie if you are not afraid to cry uncontrollably. However, do not!, I repeat, do not! see this on a date night or at the early stages of a relationship. This will ruin the perception that your manfriend has of you and will reveal your "cry face" way too early to recover.

January 19, 2012

Politics for People Who Can't Put on Pants

Triumph or Tragedy? http://gawker.com/5877254/is-this-proposed-ban-on-pajamas-in-public-a-triumph-or-a-travesty

Who cares!? This is just awesome news and a good use of taxpayers dollars.

While one Louisiana Commissioner is pushing for a ban on wearing pajama pants in public, one Mamacita already brought this to light years ago. Check it out here: http://www.divasayswhat.com/2009/10/i-got-beef.html

In a world of nasty political campaigns, $4 million boats capsizing, and Burger King suddenly offering delivery (to make it even more convenient to be lazy and unhealthy), can't we just let the people wear want they want.

And, even better, can't we compromise?: http://www.divasayswhat.com/2010/02/because-putting-on-pajamas-is-hard.html

To Be Young

This is the second-to-last thing I have marked to share with you from my baby box. I might have to scrounge up some more memories if you guys have enjoyed this segment.

This memory is actually from a church newsletter. It shows how I rose to fame in the Advent Workshop of 1991...wearing high-waisted jeans and a homemade shirt with painted leafs pressed on it.

Now, why someone would put this in a newsletter is beyond me. Besides the obvious fashion mistakes, my eyes are 100% closed and I'm not even smiling.

My facial expression and hand placement make it look like I am cringing, whilst placing my right hand into a box of mud and worms.

Surely there was another youngster at the workshop that made for a cuter photo subject? Or perhaps it was just a slow year for the paper wreath corner of that particular early-nineties Advent Workshop. Truly one of history's great mysteries.

January 18, 2012

Oh to be young...and superficial

This is one of the more unusual things I found in the baby box that my mom gave me recently. A letter to my parents from camp:

I know that was the summer that I had a broken wrist, so I can understand updating them on the health of my arm. But look closely. I actually mention that I broke a nail, but it is ok because it was only one and it "wasn't important".

Oh my stars. I actually wrote home from camp to tell me parents that I broke a nail.

You know, this whole Diva thing has always been a joke because I am not a diva at all. In fact I can be quite manish at times.

But apparently there was more truth to it in my younger years. Lil' Marilyn did NOT like to mess up her nails apparently!

Wow I bet my mom was so relieved to get that information.

Kids say the most superficial darndest things!

Beautiful Bachelorette

Lesbianest, Emily Maynard is just very pleasant to look at. A Bachelorette I can get on board with!

And it's going to be filmed in Charlotte, NC! Yay for NC.

And even though I think it might be the most redneck name one could possibly choose, I like the way she talks about her daughter Riiicky.

This is a Bachelorette season that I will actually look forward to instead of forcibly make myself watch just for blog purposes! Hip hip hooray!

Before and After - Guest Room

This is the before of one guest room. We didn't really have to do anything to this room except assemble everything. That was nice.

We assembled it as such.

Having twin beds makes me feel old for some reason.

Fun fact while we are in this room: I am not a huge animal lover. I don't dislike them, but I just don't like to touch them.

What I lack in love for living animals, however, I more than make up for with love for the stuffed variety. This room is where I keep my stuffed animals since they got banned from my room after I got married.

Just kidding!

But seriously...I love them.

Here's hoping I don't lose any friends over this post!


Recently I was asked why I never commented on the name that Beyonce and Jay-Z chose for their baby - Blue Ivy.

Yes, I think that is a stupid name. Who wants to be named after a color, one that is only three letters short of the word Blubber? And Ivy? That just reminds me of the time my neighbor got his fingers and eyes each webbed together by a poisonous three leaf growth in the woods.

But this is Beyonce we are talking about people. I don't know if you've ever heard the way Jimmy Kimmel talks about Oprah, but that is how I feel about Beyonce. (Watch this video if you know what's good for you! It even features Boyz II Men)

No one messes with the queen of pop, bitch! Beyonce could name her baby Butt Rash for all I care. Homegirl and her mini-me are still going to be fierce and flawless.

When it comes to Beyonce, don't ask question. Just nod your head and tap your feet...and bring the beat in...Ok now you have to watch this video. It's my second favorite song of the moment.

January 17, 2012


Uuugh. The Bachelor is so bad this year.

I simply could not believe my ears when I heard the conversation between Ben and Emily about match.com.

In an odd turn of events, Emily signed up for match.com and was subsequently matched up with her BROTHER, who was also on match.com. I die.

If that happened to me, and I was romantically linked to my blood-related sibling, my next move wouldn’t be to go on a dating show on national TV. It would be to join a convent.

It is also very enlightening when Lindzi C. goes on her one-on-one date with Ben and then, because it’s too awkward to bear anymore awkward silences, they kiss. She then tells the camera that she “usually doesn’t kiss guys on a first date.” Well, duh Lindzi. Most girls don’t. This is not a normal scenario and it is also not normal for your date to be sucking face with dozens of other women when he’s not with you. Normal went out the window when you accepted a thorny flower in exchange for one more week in a group house of desperates.

Speaking of things that aren't normal, have you notice that Ben always goes for the open-mouth kiss, and the girls almost never do? That’s awkward. And probably really slobbery.

It made me feel really dirty when Ben tells the reddish-haired girl (Jennifer, I think) that she is “definitely the best kisser in the house.” Ummm, that is definitely NOT a compliment. That’s like saying, “Out of all of the crazy sluts that are here for fame and a four month relationship, you put out the most and the best.”

And of course there's Shawntel. Who shows up for no reason other than the fact that she is a glutton for public humiliation?

Oh, and Courtney’s sociopathic personality continues to haunt my dreams.

January 16, 2012

Diveats - Potato Skins

Tonight my husband went to a man party. I thought it would be fun to send him with some potato skins. I've always secretly wanted to make them but not-so-secretly not wanted to be stuck in a house or at a party with them.

I lack a little thing called self-control. BREAKING NEWS!

I used this recipe.

I baked these bitches up for an hour at 350.

Scooped the crap out of the middle. That wasn't very fun, but I managed.

The recipe calls for a mixture of the following ingredients that you then brush on the skins on the inside and outside.

Pretty maids all in a row. Basted and beautiful.

Closeup: Are you drooling? I was at this point. But not into the potato skin. Don't worry.

Bake them on each side for 7-8 minutes. Then add cheese and bacon and bake for 2 more minutes to melt cheese.

Awesome toppings. Terrible cheese mess.

Final product:

Droooooooool. I hope the guys like them!

Diveats - Homemade Baked "Fries"

I wonder why more people don't bake their "fries". Sure, it takes a little bit longer. Sure, they aren't really "fries" if you don't fry them. But they are awesome, healthy, and you can dip them in stuff. That is a trifecta of YUM in my book!

One of the best things about this method is that you can practice portion control. Not that anyone would ever want less fries. But we all know it's better for us. So you can use half of a potato instead of a whole one.

Did you know that a medium plain, cooked potato only has about 160 calories in it? That's a lot of fries/potato sticks you can have for not many calories.

The amount pictured below is just 1/4 of a very small potato. Next time I'm going much bigger!

Just cut up a potato into the desired size, place on a baking sheet lined with tinfoil and sprayed with cooking spray so the potatoes don't stick, season with your favorite spice or salt, and bake at 400 degrees for about 10-15 minutes or until they reach desired crunchiness.

Soon they will start to look like this with hints of crispiness nad a few slightly burnt edges. Yum!

Serve with your favorite dipping sauce - Mine is Light Ranch. Because I'm an American. And because I pretend to think it makes it healthy because it's light.

Then eat them all. And repeat. There's plenty more potato to chop up!

When it comes to at-home dining, there's just no excuse to fry when you can bake!

The Juice is Loose-ing his house

OJ Simpson. You are so dumb.

It looks like The Juice is losing his house to foreclosure. Article here.

That's what you get for not paying your bills OJ! Silly murderer goose!

You know, it is really, really hard to feel sorry for a formerly rich and famous person who loses their home because they lost their money because they have been in jail because of multiple felony charges, including criminal conspiracy, kidnapping, assault, robbery, and using a deadly weapon.

And it is even more difficult to feel sorry for that person when they did all of that after getting off for the obvious murder of his ex-wife and her boyfriend. OJ Simpson literally got a get-out-of-jail-free card. And he literally pooped on it and got sent to jail for 33 years for an altogether unrelated incident.

That is, without question, the dumbest damn thing I've ever heard of any public figure doing. This makes Lindsey Lohan look like a criminal mastermind. And at least she has the benefit of being all high and such during her crimes and getting to wear a free necklace for a little bit. OJ just failed at a pointless crime in a seedy hotel. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

I don't want to say that anyone's misfortune makes me happy, but at least justice is finally being served in the form of jailtime and repercussions. Serves him right to be homeless. He's up for parole in 2017. If he gets it I can't wait to see what other heinous crime he commits while trolling the streets looking for shelter. What a doo doo head.

Golden Globe Awards 2012

Who saw the Golden Globe Awards last night? It was quite a classy affair. Which I can appreciate, because I’m so fancy.

I don’t know if I had a stand out favorite for “best dressed” but I did love Laura Dern’s green number. I also had some beef with a few actors’ choices.

For starters, I thought Sarah Michelle Gellar looked like about 10 blue ink pens exploded on her otherwise nice white dress. But at least she didn’t go the route of Piper Parebo, who she presented with. Piper intentionally made her boobs look nonexistent by choosing a dress with a mesh metal V down the front that gave the allusion of 2 boobs that kept growing farther and farther apart until they both just fell off of her body entirely.

My worst dressed for the evening was definitely Angelina Jolie. I HATE the combination of colors that she wore. Bright red and institutional white. It reminds of a mail-order Russian bride who shaves off her eyebrows only so that she can color them back in with a very thin, dark pencil. Like her facial expression and personality, this ensemble was simply too severe.

On to the awards…I hate that I don’t care about silent films, but I don’t. I can’t imagine anything more boring. The only thing that could have gotten me excited about The Artist winning the award for best something (I can’t even remember), is if the person accepting the speech went up to the podium and just said absolutely nothing.

Also, I was sad that Julianna Marguiles didn’t win. Not just because I love The Good Wife, but mostly because when she does win she invariably makes some hella cute speech about her husband that makes me cry tears of joy.

Speaking of tears of joy, I cried a little when Octavia Spencer won her award. She is so cute and funny. I saw her on Jimmy Kimmel Live and she was hilarious. You have to love a fellow self-deprecating broad. That’s just good stuff.

Did anyone stay up for the awkwardness that was Sydney Portier? He sounded like Spock from Star Trek and/or a Robot when he was presenting Morgan Freeman with…nothing. For real, he did not give him an award. It reminded me of that time at the MTV Awards when Britney Spears presented Michael Jackson with a Birthday cake, which he somehow accepted as a Lifetime Achievement award. AWKWARD.

Call me crazy, but does the fact that Bradley Cooper doesn’t drink not make him exponentially less attractive to anyone else? I just can’t get on board with that. I can, however, get on board with Brad Pitt announcing the best movie nomination for Ides of March starring George Clooney and Ryan Gossling. That’s a whole lotta hot in one sentence. SCHWING!

I definitely think the most charming actors won. I am, in a word, obsessed with Meryl Streep. My bucket list consists of one thing: Have a glass of wine with Meryl Streep. If that turns into a bottle or two, so be it, but one glass is my goal. She is equal parts charming, talented, hilarious, and beautifully average. Love. Her.

And it just doesn’t get any cuter than George Clooney. It just doesn’t.

Final note: Madonna’s arms look like hairless cankles. They are much too large and rectangular to be compared to regular arms. And I find her so unlikeable for some reason. Anyone else?

*I think there should be national holidays for the Mondays after award shows. Obviously I'm not going to stay up until 11:30 watching much more beautiful people win awards and NOT drink wine. And yes, I know it's MLK day, but I don't even get that off. Living below the Mason-Dixon line is not condusive to racially based holidays off.

January 15, 2012

Diveats - Eggplant Gratin (In Mini Dishes!!)

I feel like I haven't cooked anything epic recently. Which is unfortunate and annoying, because I have made some attempts recently. One of which was a recipe for short ribs that I spent 3 days making, took 40+ pictures, and burnt the hell out of my hand for, and they were, in a word, terrible. Terrible as in, inedible. Not just not up to great standards.

This recipe was much better. Although I still want to make them again with my own adaptations to make them even better. I made this recipe for Eggplant Gratin by Barefoot Contessa in some very petite and inexpensive Le Creuset dishes I found on sale at Williams Sonoma.

Start with an eggplant. I don't know how much it weighs when sliced, I just went with one. Beautiful, no?

Then make this incredible sauce.
As usual with with Ina's recipes I nix the fatty fatty ingredients and just use what I have and what doesn't make me feel like I am going to die on the spot from heart failure. That meant in this recipe that I nixed the half and half for skim milk and omitted the full-fat Ricotta for goat cheese, because I had it and because I like it much better.

(Enter a complex story about my former obsession with manicotti at Elizabeth's Pizza in Greensboro, NC and my affection for track suits as a pre-teen. Long story short, I ordered my usual manicotti, it came piping hot, and somehow got spilled down the sleeve of my track suit, trapping itself in my sleeves and forever ruining my taste for ricotta stuffed shells.

The recipe and the episode of Barefoot Contessa says to fry the eggplant slices like this...

Until they look like this:

I found that to be too greasy and would probably even steam them next time before adding them to the dishes. Then the fun starts.

Layer with eggplant, marinara, more eggplant and Parmesan cheese, and then the sauce.

And then more cheese. Don't forget, this is an Ina recipe after all!

I put mine in a baking dish because I just knew that cheese mixture was going to explode over in some fashion. Indeed it did.

And then I baked it until it became golden and crispy and luscious like this:

Once again, at a different angle:

T'was glorious. But also was too greasy. Like I said, next time I'm going to steam them for a less greasy outcome.

I mean, I have to make this again. I bought the dishes on sale, but it was $6.99 a pop. I have to make at least $13.98 worth of deliciousness to make myself feel OK about buying the mini dishes.

It's a tough job, but some whitey's gotta do it!