Friday, November 4, 2011

The Bitch Stopped Blogging?!

Hi guys!!

We sort of slacked off the last year and almost a month. I don't know what happened. Are you mad? Can we still be friends?

This summer flew by, full of fresh veggies, days at the beach, and lots and lots of train rides. We, along with the Original Bitch, her cook, and a handful of significant others (aka cooks) and one adorable thirty-something month old, went to EUROPE! We went on a whirlwind tour of a bunch of countries, seeing lots of people we love, and eating lots of amazing food and drinking lots of amazing beer. We got to go to a wedding in Germany, where they partied for about 20 hours straight. We also marinated in the blue lagoon and got to see the extraordinary buildings (and prices!) in Copenhagen. It was a fantastic, memorable trip.

As the summer has wound down we've been able to cook at home a lot more, often using really good, local ingredients. Maria's CSA through Waltham Fields Community Farms went until last week, and didn't slow down a bit. Check out last week's crunchy bounty!

Another thing that's been happening is that one of the bitches has been getting a little... rotund. We are so excited for new little family member coming in December. It's a boy, so we'll be sure to get him a kitchen set before his first birthday.

So, sorry we haven't been posting as much. We'll be better about it I swear. Some things to look forward to reading about are...

Unemployed Boyfriends and their Cooking Prowess!
Barbeque that will Change Your Life!
Adventures in Canning and Preserving!

Peace, Love, and Kohlrabi,

The Bitches

Monday, October 11, 2010

Have you missed us?

As you've noticed, we've been kind of slacking on posting to our beloved blog. I'm not really sure how people like Ree and Kelle do it, but we just can't get our act together to post every day (or even every week lately). But, we know you love us and that you'll excuse us. If you didn't know this already, two of us bitches are going temporarily insane in graduate school while we learn about swallowing disorders and reading disabilities, how black tea consumption is linked to prostate cancer in China and doing biostatistics like nobody's business. The third bitch already suffered through graduate school a few years ago and is now busy chasing after a precocious and all together WAY TOO ENERGETIC almost two year old. Said bitch is also trying to get a little baby blanket business going. Oh, and watching Madmen.

So...what this leads me to is that we're having trouble making time for our own posts and we're going to cheat today and post a tasty recipe contributed to us by our dear cousin, Liz, of bake sale and Manterview fame. Enjoy!

Lizzy's Oatmeal Buckwheat pancake recipe
Vegan, gluten-free, low-fat, high nutrient

For pancakes for two:

½ cup rolled oats
1 cup soymilk
½ cup buckwheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon canola oil
capful vanilla extract
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon egg replacer (see note)

1) Put the oats and ½ cup soymilk in a bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes or so until oats are
2) Put ½ cup soymilk and vinegar in a bowl. Mix and let sit for 5 minutes or so - the
soymilk gets a little thick.
3) Mix dry ingredients. Add spices if desired: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, ginger,
4) Mix vanilla and oil into soymilk and vinegar mixture. Add egg replacer.
5) Heat pan on med high with canola oil. When oil gets hot, you may want to turn pan
down a little bit.
6) Put oats and soymilk into soymilk mixture. Mix a bit. Add that to flour mixture. Mix
only until combined. (Do not overstir)
7) Pour 1/3 cup batter into hot pan to make one pancake. Fill pan with cakes. Cook on
med heat until edges are dry and bubbles are forming across the entire top of the
pancake. Flip cakes and cook on other side. The trick is to have the heat hot enough
to make a nice crisp edge and top but not so hot that it burns the cake before it is
cooked through.

I serve these with bananas, pecans, syrup, strawberry sauce (frozen strawberry, orange
zest, oj, syrup, arrowroot), Earth Balance spread.

Note: Egg replacer is easy to find at any natural food market, it keeps very well in the
cabinet, and it is easy to use. I am sure you could just use an egg in this recipe as well and
it would be great!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Bacon Explosion

Men, this one is for you. No doubt it's important to know how to properly cook Swiss chard, and who can refuse a homemade oatmeal cookie?! But let’s face it: we know what you really want. Bacon. Lots of bacon. Bacon with sausage. Lots of sausage.

This is the Bacon Explosion. We made it, ate it, and lived to tell about it.

We deviated somewhat from the original Bacon Explosion recipe, so here’s our take on it. This is what you’ll need:

• 2 lbs of sliced bacon (2 packages)
• 2 lbs of sweet Italian ground sausage (you can take the meat out of the casing by hand if you can only find links. If you do this, press the loose sausage together meat in a bowl before using)
• ½ a pepper, chopped (we used green, but you can use any color)
• ½ a medium onion, chopped
• 5 or 6 white mushrooms, sliced
• Barbecue rub
• Barbecue sauce

Step 1. Fry up one pound of bacon in a frying pan, as crispy as you like. Once it has cooled, break it into small pieces with your fingers. This is part of the filling.

Step 2. Sauté the pepper, onion, and mushrooms until soft and the onion is translucent. For added deliciousness, you can do this in the leftover bacon fat.

Step 3. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees (the original recipe calls for it to be smoked. We don’t have a smoker, but baking it worked pretty well. If you choose to smoke it, you’re on your own).

Step 4. Weave the remaining pound of uncooked bacon: place several slices down side-by-side, touching. We used 6, but the width of your bacon may differ. Starting at the bottom, weave one slice of bacon at a time across the slices you already laid down. Do this until you have created a bacon mat.

Step 5. Admire your work. Who says men can’t weave?! If you have extra bacon after making your mat, lay them on top of the weave. Who says you can't have extra bacon?!

Step 6. Press the ground sausage over the bacon mat evenly.

Step 7. Spread the sautéed veggies and bacon pieces evenly over the sausage (unfortunately, this is when you have to stop munching on the cooked bacon pieces, since they’ve now touched the raw sausage).

Step 8. Drizzle barbecue sauce and sprinkle the rub over the veggies and bacon.

Step 9. Roll just the sausage, veggies and bacon from the bottom to the top of the mat, separating from the mat as you go. This will form a nice big sausage log.

Step 10. Roll the sausage log and the bacon mat towards you, covering the sausage with the bacon mat. Be sure to press the bacon mat into the sausage, getting any air bubbles out. Your bacon explosion has been constructed and now it’s time for cooking.

Step 11. Place your Bacon Explosion in the oven on a baking sheet, covered in aluminum foil. We used a slotted sheet placed over a deeper sheet to catch the drippings. Bake covered for an hour, then removed the cover and bake for another hour and a half or so. When the internal temperature reaches 175 degrees, remove it from the oven. Slice, slather with barbecue sauce, and enjoy. Don’t make plans for the rest of the day. Tomorrow, plan to shop for larger clothes. This might not be your last bacon explosion.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Bitch is Still Gardening....a long overdue update!

Hi all. I know you've been chomping at the bit to find out how my gardening is going, especially after I left you hanging with my previous riveting posts about my Adventures in Gardening. Okay, I admit - this might be a bit of an exaggeration. But, I'm dying to tell you, so here you go!

I've decided I will never grow a viney or bushy squash-bearing plant ever again. Sorry zucchini, sorry summer squash. I do love you so, but after being plagued by the absolutely nasty, totally disgusting, worse-than-anchovies Squash Vine Borer, I have left the squash business forever. Seriously, the "frass" (poo) they leave behind is gross enough to make me want to stop gardening forever. Anyone out there agree with me? Ugh! I'd rather look at a potato bug all day. Hmmm...actually that's a toss up. Those Jerusalem Crickets (another name for potato bugs) are pretty grody. See for yourself (if you dare.....).

Okay, moving past icky bugs (and I'm the resident bug remover in our house so you know these bugs must be pretty nasty for me to be bothered by them), another reason I am never growing any kind of viney thing is that my garden doesn't have a lot of ventilation because of the wooden fence around our yard, so plants that are prone to getting powdery mildew get it with a vengeance. I know there are actions I can take to take to help control the pesky whiteness that took over the leaves of my cukes, mystery winter squash and summer squash, but I am more interested in low-maintenance gardening. With a little one scampering around and getting into everything, the last thing I want to be doing is spending half my day washing my plant leaves. I'll leave the squash growing up to my neighbor, Milt. He has quite a green thumb when it comes to squash and a much better ventilated garden.

So, the powdery mildew led to a cathartic 10 minutes pulling out my squash/cuke plants and chucking them over the fence into the arms of my amazing husband who didn't know what he was getting himself into (when he happened to walk by the fence, not when he married me, which is what you were thinking, right?). Now, I have a lovely 3'x5' area in my garden ready for some late beets and peas (if I ever get around to planting the seeds!). Speaking of beets, I just harvested a few this week. My hopes for a bumper crop of beets were dashed when I discovered that most of my beet plants were mostly just leaves with these piddly little "beets" for roots. About 1/2 wide at the most, my beets were a big disappointment. I was able to get about four that were about 2 inches across. When I cut into one this week, I discovered one of the most beautiful vegetables I had ever seen. Check it out!

I also grew potatoes this summer and last week, I harvested about 15 potatoes from 5 plants. I expected to get a lot more, but I recall saying that I would be happy if I only got one, so I'M HAPPY! My carrots are still growing, but I did pick a few this week. Tasty! I roasted the beets and some of my potatoes and carrots. Roasting vegetables and potatoes is fun because it's easy, it smells good and seems really fancy so you can impress your eating partner. It's a great way to cook if you're just starting out. Just chop 'em up, throwing on some olive oil and seasoning and pop 'em in the oven at 400 degrees until they're done (usually about 15 - 30 minutes depending n what you're cooking). Here they are before I roasted the heck out of them.

Well, that's it for the gardening update. I hope your gardens are happily producing. I'm off to see about harvesting my peppers. Fun! I'll leave you with a few pictures.

Cubanelle peppers enjoying the sunshine.

Some flowers living up to their name.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Cool Groupon up in Vermont

Hey readers, we thought you might like this groupon. It is a two-night stay at a Vermont resort plus a cooking class for two for $349. If you're new to Groupon, it is a website that posts short-term deals in certain regions and the deal only becomes valid if a certain number of people sign up for it. This one is already "tipped", which means enough people signed up. If you're new to Vermont, it's gorgeous. If you're new to cooking classes, hmm, so am I.

The deal is valid for stays from November through April and there is a load of classes you can choose from. Some noteworthy classes are Make Like a Bear on November 7 or Holiday in Spain on December 11.

If you're in the New England area or want to be in the New England area, check it out! The deal expires at the end of the day.

If you don't yet live by Groupon, check out the website here.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

And the winner is.......

The day you've all been waiting for! We reached 400 Facebook fans!!!! As promised, we've randomly selected a winner (using a random number generator and everything!).

And now....

The winner...

Of the 2010 The Bitch Stopped Cooking product giveaway...

Marilyn Downs!!!

AND!!! There's more!!! We are also giving away a prize to our 400th fan!


Our 400th fan was......

Dawn Yardeni!!!

Marilyn and Dawn, contact us on Facebook so we can mail you your choice of an apron or dishtowel.

Didn't win? That's okay! Check out our products so you can own your very own The Bitch Stopped Cooking gear.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Another Manterview!

Our amazingly talented cook and cousin, Liz interviewed her hubby about his experience cooking. He's got some really intelligent answers and tips that can really help someone who is new to cooking. You know Liz from our bake sale at Sophie's Sale. Her incredible vegan cupcakes wowed everyone. You can also read Liz's testimonial about how The Bitch Stopped Cooking helped her relationship with her husband and her own experience in the kitchen.

Liz: Do you like cooking?

Andy: Yeah, sure, I like cooking. It depends. I really don't like it in a small kitchen. It is not nearly as good as when I have room do to stuff.

L: What about cooking do you like?

A: Figuring out what combinations work with others, making healthy meals, sharing a healthy meal with others. Trying to make something that others like is part of the fun. Part of the goal is you want to make something others like or appreciate. If it doesn't happen the way you wanted, you move on. Another chance will come again.

L: What about cooking do you dislike?

A: Manterviews! Just kidding. Timing – having everything come out poorly because of lack of experience with a new dish – being able to time the steps accordingly – it never goes by the book if you don't have the experience; improper equipment - not being able to experiment without the proper array of kitchen equipment; Hofstadter's Law

L: What advice would you give to men who are just starting in the kitchen?

A: Don't bite off more than you can chew to start. Start with small recipes that you are familiar with. Learn about your ingredients. Watch good home cooks and help them. Sous Chef at family gatherings. Something simple can be as good or better as something complex. Simple can be really pleasing to others.

L: What is your favorite dish that I make?

A: Hmmmm It is between the lemon-caper tofu and the tofu with mushrooms and pasta. That's a tough one. There are a lot of things that you make really well that I wouldn't say is favored one over another.

L: What is your favorite thing to make?

A: LoMein. That's a lot of fun. Its a project, but it is fun. Because it is a project you don't get to do it very often, which makes it even better when you do get to have it. It satisfies a wide variety of culinary desires. The things that make a meal satisfying, the LoMein has checkmarks in a lot of those boxes. It is juicy, unctuous because of the oil combinations, it is crisp because of the veggies. It is a balanced meal all by itself – carbs, proteins, wholesome array of veggies.

L: What is one of the biggest challenges that you have overcome as you have gotten more comfortable with your cooking?

A: Being able to improvise and having the knowledge not to totally offend or malign the food that I am improvising with. That comes from my earlier statement about understanding your ingredients. For example, now I know it is preferential to roast potatoes. I used to fry my potatoes all the time, but now I roast them. It is much easier to do and healthier. That is what I mean about understanding your ingredients.

L: Do you think that women belong in the kitchen?

A: Yes! Barefoot, pregnant, and makin' me a sammich! Actually, no, but traditional gender roles have offered me an experience of women being culinary mentors. You know, your mom taught you how to cook and her mom probably taught her and her mom's mom and so on.

L: Is there any question that I should have asked you but I didn't?

A: Yes.