Tuesday, November 10, 2015

I cook. Sort of. Let me learn you.

To claim I am a horrible cook is a pretty significant understatement. Most of the time I apologize to my groceries for the humiliation they are about to become. Its a heart felt apology. Whenever I think about all those heart wrenching, tear jerking stories of how cattle and/or chickens are inhumanely raised and often brutally slaughtered for commercial gain, I immediately follow that thought up with "that's not as bad as what I'm about to do to it". Its sad and true. PETA, arrange for me to cater the next meat lovers luncheon and I'll turn out more vegetarians than you would see at Lilith fair.
Every once in awhile though, I stumble across a recipe that even I can manage. Sometimes, I can do it more than once. That, my friends, is what scientists call amaze balls. If I were to put all these recipes into one book it would be called, You Just Can't F this up.
If you are "one of those" people that can open the fridge and throw together an amazing meal. Two things. F$@% off and move along. This is not the blog for you. If you try to follow this recipe you'll only make things far more fantastical which results in the stealing of my mojo and pissing me right the hell off. As Pantera would say, "Walk on home boy."

If however you are like me and when a recipe tells you to simmer, you hear, "we don't need no water let the mutha f%$# burn" this is the recipe for you. Prepare to impress the haters aka your children. But don't get your hopes up because children are assholes.

First, you are going to need chicken breasts. Then you will need to tell your youngest for the fiftieth f'ing time to get out of the god damn kitchen and if she continues to consume fruit snacks by the box full, costco box mind you, she will never shit again. Now preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Second, clean and clear your workspace and find your clorox wipes because the idea of salmonella freaks me out and I'm convinced its the adult version of the boogey man. No one can see it but its there and it's going to get you. Probably at night. I'm still blaming salmonella contamination for the shit fest of '08. An epidemic not even 10 pounds of colon blocking fruit snacks could have prevented. Those poor children. They coudn't even aim at anything. So many bedspreads and towels were lost forever because I'm not about to wash any of that shit. literally.
Third open the package and dump the chicken breasts on the cutting board without getting anything on you.
The fourth step can be performed by you or whoever you can con into it because it's yucky. Slice the chicken breasts in half vertically to create two smaller pieces. Now you want to open them up by partially slicing them horizontally.
Fifth. Hit it with a hammer. Take it easy John Henry! When you pound a chicken breast with gusto shit goes flying and we've already discussed salmonella is not your friend. Do you want your dinner to break the sound barrier when it comes flying out of your anus? If you have young children this means by the time you hear the fart the carpet has to be replaced. So settle down. If you are like me and hitting anything with a hammer creates a frenzy you can't contain, put the breasts in a plastic bag first. Still exercise a little control though. These aren't the breasts of that stupid bitch that laughs at your husbands jokes and rub his arm every f'ing chance she gets. It's just dinner and you just want to thin the breast a little not destroy it.
Step Six. At this point in a shocking display of stupidity you've likely had multiple family members look at the chicken and other ingredients and still ask "whats for dinner?" this is exactly why I've named this dish "Fermez votre trou a tarte" It means "Shut your pie hole!" in french, but what you're really making is stuffed chicken.
Seven. Choose a cheese. I suggested a dry cheese so that you're minimizing the soupy gunk created once the chicken is in the oven. A lot of cheeses create vast mounts of oil. At the same time I don't even kind of give a shit what you do. You want cheddar and bologna. Go for it, There's a reason your momma gave you two first names. Don't fight it. I chose Gorgonzola because I like it and it seems to really fancy up the dish. Now choose a meat. I like to buy the bags of precooked crumbled bacon. Because bacon.
Eight. put your choice in the chicken. a little, a lot, whatever, as I mentioned I don't give a shit what you do. I don't measure the amount because at this point my hands are covered in chicken yuck and i dont want to be touching all sort of drawers and handles and sending my already insane paranoia of salmonella off the charts. Just keep in mind that too little and you won't taste it and too much and it will just fall out of the chicken and melt.
Nine. Close all the breasts by folding them back over where you sliced them and securing them with a toothpick. Then place them in a greased casserole pan.
We're almost done! The first time you make this it might seem like a lot of steps but every time after that you can sail through it while simultaneously pretending to listen to your children tell you what they're thinking. Even the crazy middle child that will verify you are actually listening multiple times because by now she's developed a complex that she's being ignored mostly because you never pay any attention to her but also because she's the middle child and those ones are doomed to be really f'd up.
Ten. You can't just put it in the oven like that because. I don't know why. Maybe it would be too dry or something. Can you dry out a chicken? I don't even know. It might just be because it would taste like shit. Cheese and meat alone won't give the meal any real flavor. Google it. But first combine olive oil, lime juice, season salt, oregano, pepper, maybe some garlic. I don't know the amounts. Just add a little at a time and when it tastes good stop. Pour your mixture all over the chicken breasts and then top each with a little more of your cheese and meat if you used something sensible. If you really did use cheddar and bologna I think you should stop here and hope for the best. In fact just skip the cooking step. you can eat it now. I'm sure you've inbred the gene that would cause you to get sick out of the family line a long time ago. Throw some gravy on it and just chow down. Everyone else put the dish uncovered in the oven for 30 minutes.
Last and final of the steps. In a saucepan combine equal parts maple syrup and balsamic vinegar. Reduce it, which is a fancy way of saying cook until thick. I told my children its called Cretin. The conversation goes like this, them: "what is that?" me: "jackass" but its in french so they get excited instead of insulted. When the chicken comes out of the oven and on to the plate you drizzle the sauce over the top. Its good. You can also skip this entire step and no one will ever know because the chicken is still pretty damn good without it.
In my house a Gorgonzola bacon stuffed chicken breast with a sweet balsamic reduction is both fun and fancy to say and enjoyed by 5 out of 8 of the asshats. It's not pizza but that's still a pretty good rating. I paired it with brussel sprouts but asparagus is an equally enjoyable veggie to stuff in to their complaint box. Its most enjoyable with the younger kids because they still put up a fight. You know what they say about young children, you can't reason with them and you can't beat sense in to them, but you can force feed them vegetables while they cry as some sort of sick and twisted revenge for their lack of common sense and constant need to aggravate the shit out of you. I love that saying. If I ever learn to sew I'm going to needlepoint that shit on a throw pillow.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Exit Strategy

Thursday is Thanksgiving. I'm not that fond of Turkey and yams but I'll eat a bowl vat of mash potaters and gravy like a boss. Depending on who prepared them. Depending on who prepared them you ask? Yes! is my emphatic reply. Think about your favorite restaurant, your favorite dish. Would it still be your favorite if you could see the cooks and knew about that time he shit himself on your cousins trampoline and just kept jumping? You've seen his style over the years. The unibrows, the gunts, the dirty fingernails, the flaky skin, the afro mullet? In my family Thanksgiving is a giant buffet where everyone contributes. I never eat based on what looks edible but based on who brought what. If this is true in your family and your disappointed no one ate your casserole it's not because you overcooked the noodles it's more likely because you need to trim the nose hairs Panama Jack.
Also, you overcooked the noodles. Way to fail.

Every year I run into my grandmothers house and yell "WHO BROUGHT THE F$%^&ING CHEESECAKE!!!!"

and then I see:

and then I scream: NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm not worried that my family reads my blog and will greet me with torch and pitchfork. They learned to dislike me years ago. Or so I would think, but I must be wrong because I seem to always encounter my second discomfort with Thanksgiving which is chit chat with a gathering of people whom are family yet I only know them through Facebook. Somehow I know current weird intimate details about them. Their hopes, their fears, their bad break ups, their hatred of Mondays and love of Fridays. Who their voting for. The fact that they LOVE booze on Friday and Jesus on Sunday. (to these people I say pick a road and stop straddling). I know all of these things but this is as far into a conversation as we can get:

Hi. Good to see you!
good to see you too.
[dead air] ..............
I should go say Hi to grandma

The small talk is awkward for sure but my least favorite portion of the show, the goodbye. In my defense I have come a long way and I now submit to the inevitable hug. I hate it though and this may be the year I take four steps back and end things more to my taste.

AVOIDING HUGS: My exit strategy's of yesteryear:
I faked I was choking and launched out the door on the guise I needed some fresh air
I picked up three large boxes (I was foiled when a certain relative just waited until I loaded them into the trunk. Which I then had to return later that day because those boxes were not mine)
I spilled a drink on myself - cream based works best apparently no one wants to hug a slimy mess.
I sneezed and let it run free (I was desperate) snot is just as effective as a cream based liquid.
I pinched my daughter. She cried. I swooped her up and held her close. Face into my chest so no one could hear her accuse me of pinching her and then it was "shh shh shh" and out the door! RUN FOREST!
I owned it Mission Impossible style. I crept out the front door got into the car and started honking. My family was confused but I got out of there with just a wave.
My daughter Audrey can fart on command. It's loud and it's proud and I have aimed and fired that child in a time of need.

This year I'm going in with a positive attitude and I'm bringing the pasta salad. I'm going to watch 15 back to back republican debates and I'm going to converse the sh*t out of those yolks. Then as their arms expand for the hug...... Fist bumps for all and for all a good night.