Roasted Tomato Puttanesca

This is one of those recipes that I fantasize about. It is totally possible that when I first saw this in my Whole Living magazine that I drooled on the page. I will eat roasted tomatoes with almost anything, and since I’m Italian and legally obligated to love pasta this is pretty much heaven for me.

There are a few reasons why this recipe is so great:

1) You get to make a totally comfort food worthy sauce without having to stand over a hot stove stirring a pot. (I actually secretly love doing just that most days but sometimes I would rather watch SVU).

2) You can get great flavor out of any tomatoes you have, even after all of the flavorful summer ones have vanished and you’re left with those far less impressive winter offerings. Trust me, anything will taste good after it’s been roasted in the oven with olive oil and garlic. I would eat balsa wood if you cooked it like that. Well, not really. I mean, maybe. If you used enough garlic.

3) Did I tell you there were olives in this? And garlic? Does anyone really need another reason not to just shove their face in it?

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I think it’s trying to tell you something

Let’s talk about this picture frame, shall we? Yes, it is absolutely a replica of the gates to Jurassic Park. It also happens to be a prized possession of my husband. There is something about this ridiculous picture frame that fills him with fond memories, though apparently none of these memories were caught on film since it still remains empty to this day.

However, I have quite a few memories associated with this picture frame, most of which involve me arguing with Chase over whether or not we should get rid of it. At least 2 times a year we will do a major cleaning of our apartment and without fail this stupid thing always comes up.

This past Saturday Chase had to work and so I was left home alone to clean the apartment, and I felt compelled to address the issue once again, which resulted in the following image/text conversation taking place:

Me: I think your picture frame has become suicidal.

Chase: I think you can leave my picture frame alone.

Me: “Chase, you never put pictures in me! I feel so unloved.”

Chase: You have too much time on your hands. How about doing my laundry?

Me: “But what about me? Don’t you care about me? Why do you insist on keeping me around??”

Chase: Love you too.

Sadly, after all that the frame has not only survived, but Chase is still vehemently insisting that this is a “really cool picture frame.” I think I’m going to insist that we place it on a very high ledge and hope that a “tragedy” doesn’t befall it.

Sun-dried Tomato and Mozzarella Cornbread

It’s September, meaning we should be experiencing fall now, but I live in Los Angeles, so I’m still walking around in skirts and flip flops and wearing sunscreen. Here are a few things I would be do right now if I lived somewhere that had actual seasons:

1) Switch out all my summer clothes for winter clothes. The main reason I don’t do this now is that I no longer have winter clothes. I have some light jackets, and sweaters that I used to wear in college that now only come out when I go home for Xmas. Based on our holiday photos you would understandably think that I hadn’t gone clothes shopping since 2007.

2) Go on  a hike and take in the beautiful colors of the leaves. Unfortunately, in Los Angeles leaves have two colors. Green and dead.

3) Buy school supplies!!! Okay, this is the only thing I miss about going to school. I wish that I could come up with any excuse to go to Target in September and buy Lisa Frank notebooks, #2 pencils and colorful erasers.

4) Play in leaf piles. Please note: I will NEVER be too old to do this. Ever. In 60 years when you see the 80 year old woman rolling around in a pile of leaves, it’ll be me. My grand kids will all think I’m weird. Or maybe awesome.

5) Make comfort food. Okay, this is something I can still do in LA.

I made this cornbread to go with a new chili recipe I was trying. The chili needs some tweaking, but this stuff was perfect. Cheesy and with the sharp tomato taste, I ate this for breakfast the next morning. And as a snack. And…yeah, let’s just say most of that pan ended up in my belly.

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Chocolate Raspberry Smoothie

This is chocolate that you can have for breakfast. Not to be confused with Chocolate Cake for Breakfast, this is chocolate you can have for breakfast and not feel like a guilty fat slob. Cause mixed in with all that chocolate is tangy Greek yogurt and yummy fresh raspberries. Yogurt and fruit are totally non-guilt inducing choices.

I’m glad that I have this for those few times I wake up and am craving chocolate ice cream for breakfast. Not that I’ve ever done that of course, cause that would be a downright unforgivable.

But seriously people, go out and buy yourself some Greek yogurt. Then add some fruit. Or maybe even some peanut butter. Chocolate is always a wise choice. So is honey. Then you blend. That’s it. No need to add milk, or ice. It’s one of the best breakfasts you’ll ever had. Even better than chocolate ice cream.

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Forgive Me for I Am Old

I am self employed, meaning that I’m either working long hours or am sitting at home doing nothing. The problem with having a job that comes and goes is you are often left in the position of having a bank account full of money and a mountain of household chores to do. This can lead a person to surf, where she will rationalize that if she buys this cool new mop, mopping the floors will suddenly become a SUPER FUN activity, and the problem of avoiding household chores will be solved. You will have a clean home and never be bored. This scenario is of course just about as likely winning the lottery without ever buying a ticket.

Nonetheless, it was this exact series of events that led me to be excited when I received an email from Amazon that said “Your mop has shipped!” Yes indeed, I am excited about a new mop, which means I am both lame and old. I cannot decide if it would be worse for this mop  to arrive and either A) I  do not fall head over heels in love with mopping as I hoped, or B) that I will in fact think mopping is the greatest activity on the earth, meaning I should just throw out all my clothes that aren’t sweat pants since any hope of having a life will be gone at that point.

PS – I contemplated having a lame-a-thon of Facebook statues, but I worried I would lose some friends in the process. The sad thing is, I actually know people that post things like this:

“My new mop just came in! So excited!!!$%@!”

“Just took my new mop out for a “test drive” haha. My floors are soooo shiny!”

“Anyone want to come over and watch Dr. Phil in my new clean house??”

If I still have readers after this post, I will update you on the mop when it *gasp* arrives. Stay tuned…for more tales from a part-time housewife.

Be My Baby

I am still jet-lagged from a wedding I was in this weekend, and I’m not sure if it’s from the plane trip across the country, or the fact that my life seems to be moving at an unusually fast pace. I have crystal-clear memories of the bride and I singing Joey McIntyre’s “I Love You Came Too Late” with braces on, and now suddenly we appear to be considered full-fledged grown up adults that can marry other adults.

I told her that I really wanted to work that Joey McIntyre song into my speech at the wedding but I couldn’t figure out a way to make it not sound like a lesbian love confession. Awkward turtle, anyone?

So anyway, here’s this little video as a tribute to them. I like this video since it’s how I feel about a lot of relationships. At times awkward, but always a beautiful thing to see.

Sour Cream and Chive Potato Patties

I am definitely a potato girl. Any of my friends will tell you that fries are “my thing.”  If by some chance they don’t come with my meal at a restaurant, I take no issue in eating them off my neighbors’ plate, even if that person is at another table and doesn’t actually know me.

But then again, I can certainly eat my way through some mashed potatoes as well. It’s hard to decide which is better: crispy fries or creamy mashed potatoes? Now I have this recipe, which gives me both. It is otherwise known as “perhaps the most unhealthy way you can possibly eat potatoes.” Cause see, first you whip up a batch of creamy, dreamy mashed potatoes. Then you flatten them out into little patties and fry them to a crispy brown in some oil. It’s food like this that keeps me from getting depressed. And a perfect bathing suit body.

This recipe is also great to have around if you have leftover mashed potatoes that you need to find a purpose for. I, however, wouldn’t know what leftover mashed potatoes look like since I always do as my mother taught me and clean my plate. And my husband’s plate if necessary. But…this is a good recipe to have if you want to make twice as many mashed potatoes in hopes that you might not be able to eat all of them in one sitting. I guess something like that is always possible, if not likely.

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Amazing Deviled Eggs

This post is sort of a photo fail for me. I could give you a million excuses – the sun was too low, I was distracted, in a hurry, the egg shells didn’t peel right, blah, blah, blah. Basically, I didn’t take good photos, which I didn’t realize until I came to post this a couple days later and realized I was totally screwed.

Normally, this would mean that I would have to just make the recipe over again and not be a dumbass with the camera. Which would have been fine cause I will use any excuse to make these eggs. Except…I REALLY wanted to post this recipe before this coming weekend. Cause it’s Labor Day weekend, also known as possibly-the-last-time-most-people-are-going-to-a-barbecue-or-picnic-this-year weekend. And these eggs cannot wait until 2012 to be posted – they’re that good. So yes, I posted these really crappy photos so that you all could have this awesome deviled egg recipe. I  care about you, for reals.

Please don’t let my embarrassment be in vain. Make these eggs ASAP. For your own sake, as well as mine.

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