Eating Ectoplasm

It’s been a long time since I posted.  I know, it’s the worst.  I think there just wasn’t much happening that interested me.  That, and I could not find Ecto-Cooler anywhere.  I really searched.  And went on the Hi-C website to make sure I hit all the places they said carried it.  I could not find it and I really wanted it.  This blog was put on hold over Ecto-Cooler.

slimer-640x400

But then one day, it happened.  I wasn’t even expecting it.  I wasn’t even in the juice or soda aisle.  I was in the frozen food section, actually.  I looked over and the most glorious wall of Ecto-Cooler boxes greeted me.  It was time.  Ghostbusters viewing night.

20160809_124450

The only way to describe this is “drool-worthy”

Really, everything didn’t depend on Ecto-Cooler.  I also had popcorn to make, idea from Babble, and I was excited to get that going. I started with just some natural microwave popcorn and then I started the insane mixture of margarine and brown sugar.  I only had dark brown sugar so it was darker than called for.  It looked kinda poopy, honestly.   As I looked upon it I wondered what happened in my life to get me to this point.

20160812_190942

You never notice how dirty your stove is until you take a picture and show it to the world.

 

I added in the marshmallows ( I used mini Dandies) and stirred forever.  It really took a long time to get the marshmallows blended in. Eventually it worked, though.

20160812_191625

Looking kind of curdled

Then  it was time to dye the concoction green.  Since mine was brown (and I only had blue food coloring) I put some drops of blue in it.  It did go green, but it was more Swamp Thing than ectoplasm.  I’ll take it.  Poured over the popcorn it looked pretty cool.  The taste is awesome.  It was like a marshmallowy goo that’s sweet and kind of spongy.  Try it and try to describe it.

20160812_192601

I’ll use the same recipe for The Creature from the Black Lagoon night

Cocktail time!  I got this idea from The Homicidal Homemaker but changed some things due to laziness.  The Homicidal Homemaker let vodka sit on marshmallows overnight until they all dissolved, I just used vanilla vodka.  I also used cranberry lime seltzer instead of club soda.  Sounds gross, actually light and refreshing.  And of course it was topped with Ecto Cooler and some more marshmallows.  This is really a drink I’ll make again.  It was awesome and yes, refreshing.

20160812_193337

Blurry picture, awesome drink

Have you seen the new Ghostbusters movie?  Have you made a Ghostbusters themed snack?  Tell me all about it!

20160812_193134

Like batteries?

Advertisements

Summerween!

I took the 4th of July off, but I certainly celebrated the (arguably more) important holiday, Summerween. If you do not know, Summerween is from the brilliant and recently deceased show Gravity Falls and it’s celebrated on June 22nd. That’s my sister’s birthday, so I make it the weekend after. Summerween is Halloween, in summer. Kinda like Christmas in July, but with Jack-o-melons and horror movies.

jpeg

So getting a good watermelon is the first step to a great Summerween. Scoop it out like a pumpkin and carve it. Put a candle in it. Bask in the glow of that beauty.

20160625_172342

Mine’s a buck-toothed gang member!

Now you have a huge bowl of watermelon to enjoy. Every year I struggle with what to do with all that watermelon. This year I went with watermelon salsa from Gimme Some Oven. It was a perfect cool snack for a hot day while binge watching Gravity Falls and horror movies. Let’s see if I can remember how to make it.

I cut the watermelon into smaller pieces so it didn’t look so much like lox, and then mixed it with a fresh jalapeno, cilantro, a ton of the mint that’s growing wild all over my backyard, a red onion, and some lime juice.  Just mix up those ingredients.  I ended up overdoing it on the mint, but who doesn’t like mint?  Salsa is so easy.

20160625_175749

Mix it up, call it a day

So now that you have a snack for watching every horror movie you own, go do it.  Be sure to tell me all about it and as always, hit me with ideas if you have them.  Have a very happy belated Summerween!

 

 

Food Like the Sea, Not Seafood

Finding Nemo is seriously one of my favorite movies and I’ve been losing my mind in anticipation of Finding Dory since I saw the first trailer. So while Finding Dory is still in theaters, I’ll re-watch Finding Nemo until the disk is completely ruined. And I’ll have an under-the-sea themed dinner.

nemo_2279857b

The first thing I did not want to do was seafood or anything reminiscent of seafood because watching Finding Nemo and eating faux fish is really creepy to me. The movie even spells it out, “Fish are friends, not food.” So I tried to made something that brings the sea to mind, without suggesting you actually eat marine animals.

finding-nemo

So with that I decided on stuffed shells and asparagus (yeah, at the time I was still trying to use up my asparagus) and a blue cocktail.

For the shells I used a recipe from The Vegan Stoner, which is my new favorite website. Really, it’s so cute and easy. So just start by boiling some jumbo shells. Rinse and set them aside while you make the vegetables.

20160617_185825

This is nothing like the multi-tasking I did with all the asparagus

I dripped some oil in the skillet and added a chopped onion and cooked it until it was soft-ish. Then I threw in my chopped kale. I went easy on the kale because, to be honest, I’m not a big fan of it.  Seriously, what’s with kale?  I mean, it’s ok cooked like this, but otherwise it’s one of those health foods I only tolerate.

Then I crumbled in a block of tofu and it got interesting as I tried to season it. I would dump something in, taste it, and then dump something else in. I ended up putting in a ton of nutritional yeast, a ton of Italian seasoning, a good amount of salt and pepper, and a hit of garlic powder. I’m sure you can season this better than me, but that’s what I landed on.

20160617_191100

Just keep seasoning, just keep seasoning

Then I just filled the shells. No need to bake them because there’s no cheese on top, and I passed on pasta sauce because I thought the splash of red took away from the ocean look. Instead, I chopped up some grape tomatoes on top. I also think the steamed asparagus on the side looks kinda like seaweed so that works too.  Way to use up leftovers!

20160617_192640

If nothing else, it looks pretty good.

What did not work was the drink I tried to make. I used blue Curacao, coconut rum, and lemon-lime soda. It was way too sweet and pretty undrinkable. Maybe next time seltzer instead of the soda. Actually, that sounds pretty good. Do that.

IMG_20160617_200636

The Big Blue.  What’s it like?  Gross.

In summary: get creative with the shells, have a completely different drink. Let me know if you have any ideas for a new post, and if you try any of these! watch Finding Nemo and enjoy Finding Dory!

A Cloned Meal

I love Orphan Black and I think this season so far has been really great, so of course I wanted to celebrate it, but I could not think of how. I decided it seemed right to take one ingredient and use it a bunch of different ways. They do it all the time on cooking shows. And like the clones on Orphan Black, each thing will be the same and also different.

ob-contest-hero-img

I decided to use asparagus as my ingredient, mostly because it’s seasonal, but maybe that wasn’t such a good idea. I mean, it was ok. But maybe your pee will smell for a year.

I also decided, even though there are over 22 clones, I’m only going to do 4 asparagus dishes. I say because if the 4 main clones; Sarah, Helena, Alison, and Cosima, but really because I don’t want to make more than 4 things with asparagus for one meal. I settled in making soup, wrapped asparagus, asparagus fries, and sauteed asparagus with mushrooms.

So I started with a soup recipe I found on Diethood. I started way earlier in the day, thinking I can heat it up when it was ready. So you trim your asparagus and smash your garlic, toss it in olive oil and put it in the oven until soft.

20160612_131907

Got that?

 

After it’s all soft you blend it up with some veggie broth and milk. I had to use a tiny bit of milk for this which I was not happy about but that’s what you do when you live in a home with dairy eaters that don’t want your old almond milk.

20160612_181027

I know what you’re thinking- ectoplasm

So once I was ready for major cooking I took the bender out of the fridge and reheated it on the stove while I tackled all the other parts of this meal. I decided to start with the phyllo-wrapped asparagus,  In hindsight I think it would be better to start with the asparagus fries because they are cooked hotter and I would save the sauteing until the end because you can keep the others hot in the oven. Oh well.

I found this recipe on The Circus Gardner.  Their version looks much better, not just because I’m sure the writer actually knows how to cook, but because they sprinkled sesame seeds on top.  I don’t have a good reason for not using sesame seeds, I just couldn’t find them at the store.  So start by trimming the asparagus and steam it a little. I didn’t think it was a huge deal to steam it because it was going to be in the oven, but whatever. I cut about 4 layers of phyllo dough into 6 strips for my 6 asparagus and covered it in sesame oil. I mean, I really covered it. I don’t have any kind of pastry brush so I really dumped sesame oil everywhere. Maybe don’t do that.

I plucked some basil I’ve been growing in the backyard and put a leaf on each strip of dough. This basil is so over-watered with all the rain that I feel like using as much basil as possible is putting it out of its misery. Then, you know the next step. You lay a stalk of asparagus on top and wrap.

20160612_175442

Hope you like puddles of oil

So while that was cooking I did the sauteing.  This idea came from Mirlandra’s Kitchen and I think it’s pretty self-explanatory. I plopped a good amount of non-dairy butter in the pan and cooked the mushrooms first. When they were good and soft I replaced them with the trimmed asparagus, some water, and added salt and pepper. Too much salt. I thought it was going to be asparagus, but too much salt was really the theme running through the entire meal. I need to learn to pour in my hand and pinch.

20160612_181803

The water made the kitchen like a spa

So the final dish to make was the asparagus fries.  This is from Damn Delicious and it really was damn delicious. First combine your panko bowl with parmesan (I used Go Veggie), salt (perhaps too much), and pepper. So then set up three dishes. One with flour, one with egg (I did use a real egg but you just need something to make it stick), and your piano panko mixture. Then you go across the board with each stalk of asparagus in each mixture. Flour first, then egg, then panko. Lay them out and bake them at 425 degrees. 

20160612_183907

Have a better battering station.  This was terrible.

 

Once everything is done and reheated as necessary, you’re ready to binge watch Orphan Black. I think my favorite thing was the phyllo-wrapped asparagus. It was SO GOOD with sweet chili sauce. If I were to do it again I would want to try to make each dish more representative of each seestra, but maybe next year I’ll have another chance.

IMG_20160612_190245

Your pee will smell for days

As always, send me any ideas you have. I love a challenge. And stay tuned because I’ll have a post for Finding Nemo very soon. Excited!

 

 

Wayward Pines and a TOTALLY AVERAGE SNACK

I asked my sister what she would like to see on the next post.  She said Wayward Pines.  Ok.  I really like Wayward Pines and I’m totally willing to do it but… what would I do?  It’s not really an eating show.  There’s scenes in a bar, but it’s not really a drinking show either.  Then I thought that Wayward Pines is a town with a crazy secret, but is masquerading as a TOTALLY AVERAGE AMERICAN TOWN WITH NO SECRETS, SWEAR.  So I decided to do something totally average and American, apple pie.  Apple pie, but snack size because you are watching tv.

wayward-pines-review-header

I love the opening sequence the best.

I grabbed this recipe from The Blond Cook.  After preheating the oven to 375, you mix a 1/4 cup of brown sugar and a teaspoon of apple pie spice.  Sounds easy, huh?  Well, nothing is easy with me.  I thought I had apple pie spice, wrong.  So, I had to make my own.  I cleaned out a spice container and mixed some cinnamon, nutmeg, and… allspice?  Nope.  I didn’t have any allspice either.  So I threw in some cloves and wondered why life is so hard.

20160521_134527

I labeled the jar as passive aggressively as possible

The recipe calls for a small Granny Smith apple, but I had red apples so I used those.  They were much smaller than your average Granny Smith, but still made huge slices when cut into 8 pieces.  Way bigger than the pictures on The Blond Cook.

20160521_134909

Not so much apple slices as apple chunks

But I warmed up some 3 tbs dairy-free margarine and soaked them in it.  Yep, the recipe calls for apple slices to be soaked in butter.  Then I laid out the crescent rolls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (I have that now!)  and spread the sugar and the freaking apple pie spice over them.  Then you sprinkle some pecans over that.

 

20160521_140642

This is my biggest cookie sheet

So you fish the apple slices out of the butter and put a slice on each big end of the crescent slice and roll them up.  This was pretty messy and (no surprise) did not come out as neat as in the picture.  Whatever, though.  I never expected it to look neat.  Spread the leftover butter (and likely apple juice) over the rolls and sprinkle some more of that God-forsaken apple pie spice on top.

20160521_141514

I was shaky, so some of these have a ton of apple pie spice dumped on them.

I ended up cooking them for 11 minutes and they were perfect.  Let them cool for a bit and they’re good to go.  I thought leaving the skin on the apples was a lazy move I would regret, but it was fine.  I would make these again.  I would make them every week.  They were that good and easy.  I think the pecans really made it.

20160521_143804

Shaky cam shot.

I call this a success.  And I’m really excited to see where they go with Wayward Pines this season.  What about you?  Any ideas for a future post?  Let me know, I may want to do it!

 

The Last Man on Earth Margarita

I love watching The Last Man on Earth.  When The first season started I thought it was such an accurate depiction of what someone would do if they were the last person on Earth.  As the show went on, I think it became more of a depiction of what a total asshole would do if they discovered they weren’t the only person on Earth.  It’s great.  And I totally love Caril (Phil/Carol ship name?) and I want a margarita pool.

lmoe-aliveintuscon_scene49_0045_hires23

So I’m going to make one…. well, I’m going to make a mixing bowl of margarita.  I think the idea is to make a huge amount in a non-traditional container.  Think Slurpee Bring-Your-Own Container Day.  There’s actually a recipe for the margarita pool on Fox, so I just scaled that down.

20160514_202107

Based on this picture, you’d think I was already drunk

I started by rimming the mixing bowl with salt.  I didn’t do that because I like salt, I did it because I think it’s funny.  I actually tried drinking from the rim and it was terrible, but if salt is your thing, go for it.  Then I started filling it.  I started by taking the “0” off the end of the amount listed on the ingredient list and making it ounces instead of cups.  So that’s 2 oz of lime juice, 1 1/2 oz lemon juice (I ran out of lemon juice), 3 oz triple sec, and 6 oz tequila.

I didn’t expect this to be good, but it actually wasn’t bad.  I drank it and got caught up on The Last Man on Earth. I sent some questionable texts and fell asleep very shortly after.  Today I am hungover. Enjoy!  Just make sure you don’t enjoy the mixing bowl margarita on a worknight.

20160514_202751

Like double fisting, except you have one drink you have to use both hands to carry

I Know What I Did on Friday the 13th

Did you look at the calendar today? It’s Friday the 13th! Also it’s my pay-day, so I can hit the liquor store pretty hard (I originally thought this post would be out on time).

Friday the 13th is one of my favorite days of the year because it’s like a little Halloween that can strike at any time. It’s like Jason in that way. And we’re obviously going to watch Friday the 13th with snacks and booze.

8732_1

For snacks I have some screaming chocolate-covered pretzels. Seemed easy and I made them vegan. Just some pretzels, vegan dark chocolate, and googly eyes that we’ll make. Spoiler: it wasn’t that easy. I copied the recipe exactly from Fork and Beans, except for waiting 24 hours for the candy eyes but more on that later…

I heated the chocolate chips in the microwave for a minute, stirring halfway. The time it takes to melt will obviously depend how much you’re making, though. I dipped my pretzels and laid them all out and then realized I still don’t have any parchment or wax paper so I had to go out and get more. I wasn’t thrilled about it. Another spoiler: this simple snack took me three days to finish.

20160512_194540

Once I had wax paper I started the eyes.  The googly eye recipe makes way more than I needed so I ended up throwing out a lot of it.  Be aware, the recipe yields about 450,000,000 vegan googly eyes.

20160513_193359

Mine didn’t come out all perfectly round.

Here’s where I started making this into a big disaster.  The recipe says to leave these on the counter for at least 24 hours but that wasn’t happening.  I have cats.  And I’m impatient.  I thought I’d put them in the freezer for the last half of the first Friday the 13th movie and they’d be fine.  Nope.  2 movies?  Nope.  Overnight?  Nope.  I begrudgingly put them on the counter for the whole next day but not long enough for them to really solidify.  I eventually just smeared them on the pretzels like a spread.  I have to give it to the eyeballs, they were delicious even as a spread.

20160514_172436

Definitely looks like it’s screaming.  This pretzel is in real pain.

 

For the booze portion I used the recipe for a Black Cat cocktail from KegWorks because we need less luck (just kidding, black cats are great and should be adopted right now).  I shook the blue curacao, vodka, and lime juice in an ancient cocktail shaker that didn’t seal at all so the whole kitchen will be sticky forever now.  I stirred in the lemon lime soda and then transferred it to the glass with the cranberry juice in it.

20160513_181718

Measure it out in your shot glass from the Vatican

I’m not sure what the recipe meant by pouring it over a spoon, I just slowly poured it in.  It combined, but my cranberry juice wasn’t as dark as I think cranberry juice usually is so really the whole drink was just blue.  Blue and delicious.  Like maybe too delicious?  I’ll have a few.  They’re drinkable, really.

20160513_182539

Just blue.  Oh well.

20160513_181816

Nemo helped against my wishes.  But it’s called a Black Cat, so I let it slide.

All in all I had a fun time eating delicious pretzels, drinking delicious drinks, and watching campy movies.  I’ll get over the googly eye failure.  So did you do anything for Friday the 13th?  Please let me know, I might steal your idea!