My Brain Is Mush

Today’s forecast: scattered thoughts all day.

Wednesday doesn’t look to be any clearer, but you never know.  I’m hoping for coherence and clarity on Thursday. In the meanwhile, I have a million random links that I would normally attempt to tie together. But not today, for my brain, it is guacamole… the kind that is mushy and brownish.

So here’s the random linkage.

[Ed. Note: See that? I couldn’t even come up with a suitable segue to introduce the random links. Gawd. I feel like I’m thinking through swamp mud.]

Britain could get blackouts, the first they’ve had since the 1970s. Sucks.  They have cold winters. I’m a true Southerner and thus have a very real fear of being without power during cold weather. Go ahead and laugh, Yankees; let’s see you stand up to a real Georgia summer.

I’m not talking about a summer like the ones we’ve experienced recently. I’m talking about the kind of summer that’s so humid you feel like you’re trying to breathe mashed potatoes. It’s the kind of summer that’s so hot you feel your eyeballs boil. It’s the kind of summer when you pray for nightfall. We used to have those. I don’t know what happened to them. Another victim of global warming climate change, perhaps?

A US federal police force? Well, that idea gives me the creeps. And shyeah, he makes a good point somewhere in there: historically speaking, whenever socialism is imposed, it is sustained by force.

I understand misperception (NSFW) well. Try explaining your corset collection and your romance/romantica/erotica reading habit to your Mormon would-be  boyfriend when he tracks your web surfing through cookies from his blog. (I’m talking about me here, so I’ll go ahead and drop the second person “it ain’t me” BS. ‘Cause it is.) Apparently, that all made me a dominatrix in his view, or whatever he imagined a dominatrix to be.

But I learned something from that: once a Mormon man thinks you’re dominant (and a deviant one at that), forget about any eternal happily ever after with him and the billion babies because there’s no explaining anything, even if the truth is pretty much opposite of what he thinks… well, I’ll stop there. I’m sure that had my thinker thunk straight back there I’d be able to edit the TMI out. But it didn’t and it doesn’t. So, next!

Food porn: 100 ways to use a strip of bacon. [Ed. Note: Fixed the link.] I’ve got to add bacon to my grocery list.

I read recently that we are almost at 17% unemployment when you consider all the people (like me) who don’t qualify for unemployment benefits. So when you consider that we’re now headed for negative job growth… just damn. Looks like I’ll be heading back to college Fall 2010 after all (assuming I can get a scholarship or student loan… d’oh).

No astroturfing here, folks. Move along. You know, I’ve decided that the first indicationthat a protest is the result of astroturfing is the pre-printed matching signs.

Food Porn

How do you know when something has Jumped the Shark? You see some no-talent, coke-snorting, faux-cool TV chef using it on the travel channel. Oh yes, dear readers. Anthony Bourdain’s show, No Reservations, will air a show tonight titled Food Porn. Shouldn’t I get paid for that title or something?

It’s not even a real show. It’ a clip show. (Clip shows are where they paste together pieces of a show’s “greatest moments” previously aired on TV.)Yeah, it’s one giant self-important, masturbatory hour of Anthony Bourdain eating. Hairy palms are the least he deserves.

Sniff. I’ll still use Food Porn as a category when I write about food.  But it will never be the same now that Bourdain’s had his greasy, Ramones-playing, bong-grasping, nicotine-stained fingers all over it.

And yes, I watch the show. I much enjoy seeing Bourdain uncomfortable. Occasionally, the show delivers. Looks like I’ll be skipping tonight’s show ’cause I don’t think I’ll get to see him in an awkward situation tonight. I think a rerun of Jon and Kate Plus 8  is on. That’s better anyway.

Food Porn: Best Damn Cookie Ever

You know those shows on Fox Sports? I think they’re on Fox Sports Channel, at least. Eh, I’m referring to those sports shows with the titles “Best Damn Sports Show Ever” or “Best Damn Golf Show Ever” or “Best Damn Knitting Show Ever.” Or whatever. Those. I hate those. Oh, I’ve never watched one; the title alone is enough to keep me away. And I’m not sure why.

Anyway.

I’ve been baking a lot lately. And I’ve found the best cookie recipe ever. Thus, the title… even though I dearly hate the concept, I’m stealing it for the title of this post ’cause the cookie recipe that follows? It’s the best damn cookie recipe ever. Sincerely.

Continue reading

Monkey Biscuits

I thought the stress and craziness surrounding this weekend needed a little relief. (Election Madness!!!) So I decided to make Monkey Bread.

Oy. Easier said than done. I didn’t want to go to the store. And I couldn’t find a quick online recipe for it. Most of those required things like rising times and such. Pshaw! I didn’t want to wait that long. And all the others I found required use of refrigerated canned biscuits, frozen biscuit dough, or biscuit dough made from Bisquick Mix, none of which I had on hand.

Continue reading

Food Porn: Pumpkin Roll

Roll! Roll! Roll in ze hay!

It’s fall. I crave pumpkins pretty much all year round. And when fall gets here I indulge my love of pumpkin unashamed. So yesterday, I made a pumpkin roll, which was damn tasty. It was so tasty, that I’m going to share the recipe. Yeah, I know… I love you, too.

You can use pumpkin from a can if you want. I did yesterday and it was fabulous. If you’re an overachiever, you can process your own pumpkin. Martha Stewart would certainly process her own pumpkin. But to tell you the truth, I can’t tell the difference between canned and home processed. So I use canned.

I like Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin because the only ingredient listed on the label is PUMPKIN (unlike other brands that slop in junk like high fructose corn syrup and such). But any brand that only contains pumpkin will be fine.

To make the roll, you have to make the cake and the filling.

Needed:

15 x 10 inch jelly-roll pan

wax paper

mixer (could be you, could be electric – I prefer my KitchenAid 6 qt stand mixer to a spoon)

thin cotton baking towel (you’ll need at least 2 – I used 3 yesterday)

wire cooling rack

large mixing bowl (I used the large bowl of my stand mixer and just washed it between uses – if you want you can use 2 bowls: one for the cake and one for the filling)

plastic wrap

milk (about 3 Tbsp.)

powdered sugar (about 1-1/2 cups)

grease

some kind of serving platter that can handle a 4 x 10 inch roll

Cake Ingredients:

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

1/4 tsp. salt

3 large eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

15 oz. pure pumpkin (if you like less of a pumpkin taste, you can use 2/3 cup)

1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Cake Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375oF.

2. Grease the jelly-roll pan.

3. Line the bottom of the pan with wax paper.

4. Grease the wax paper.

5. Sprinkle the towel with powdered sugar.

6. In the bowl, combine all the cake ingredients. (If you’re doing this by hand, or with a crappy mixer, you’ll first need to mix the eggs and sugar until thick. Then add the pumpkin and dry ingredients. Gawd, why are you doing this by hand?)

7. Spread cake batter evenly into prepared pan.

8. Sprinkle with nuts if desired.

9. Bake the cake 13 -15 minutes, until the cake springs back up when you touch it.

10. Immediately loosen the cake and turn it out onto the sugared towel.

11. Peel off the wax paper from the cake.

12. Roll up cake and towel together starting at narrow end. (this is where I used two towels – it may take you one)

13. Let the rolled up cake cool completely on the wire rack. (this will take a while since it’s a really hot cake log about 4 inches thick – mine took 4 hours yesterday)

Filling Ingredients:

1 package (8 oz.) softened cream cheese

1 cup powdered sugar

6 Tbsp. softened butter

1 tsp. vanilla extract (more or less – I like more)

Filling Instructions and Roll Assembly:

1. Beat filling ingredients in a bowl until smooth. (this is where it’s important that the butter and cream cheese are soft, otherwise you’ll never get this stuff smooth)

2. Carefully unroll cake, removing towel(s).

3. Spread filling evenly over the inside roll of cake.

4. Reroll the cake.

5. Wrap the roll in plastic wrap. (I used a towel I’d previously used to roll the cake)

6. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

7. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired. (I glazed the roll with a mixture of about 3 Tbsp. milk with a cup powdered sugar)

It’s wonderful. Enjoy!