5-Hour Energy Lasagna

On my first day off from cooking in about six days, I was wondering what to do with a free day. Those taxes still needed to be done, but that didn’t sound stimulating. I finally settled on doing some cooking and eating of my own after finding the sharpest, most bad ass knife at the Asian Market for $4.99 (seriously!!). It will be a strong competitor to my $135 Shun. Taxes can wait. And after all, a killer knife is somewhat like a new outfit: it’s impossible not to use immediately.

Since cooking rustic Italian food at my new job for the last month or so, lasagna sounded pretty divine. I have no doubt that you ES-ers love some good lasagna. But if you have your own secret lasagna recipe, I would like you to add one thing to the ingredients: one 5-Hour Energy shot. No, not to put into the lasagna…to drink before commencing said lasagna making. I’m a Red Bull girl, but this 5-Hour Energy is pretty stellar. You can do jumping jacks or wrestle on the couch when it is in the oven to burn off some calories, if you’re planning on eating half of the lasagna like a champion (which I would never do).

You should also add the following to your secret family recipe for lasagna: home made pasta (I challenge you to think outside the box of lasagna noodles), good tunes (forget Sinatra, My Morning Jacket is great lasagna making music), fun stories about Friday Fuck Ups, and some box wine (Bota Box Old Vine Zin perhaps) so you can’t tell how much you’re actually drinking. Please take note that you should not cook lasagna on an empty stomach (or without an energy drink). I always like to eat an opposite-type cuisine for lunch when I’m going to cook dinner. That way your palate has been awakened and will not be dulled with the same flavors. Thai food would go nicely in this instance.

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What the Hangover Ordered

hungover pizza

Three bags of potato chips. Opened. Some stale. Some not salted enough. All next to me in bed. None of it curing my craving for pizza.

There was absolutely no way I could get dressed and leave the house for the second time that day. Not even to go downstairs to pay the delivery person.

>>>Mental Scan of Kitchen<<<
Day-old bread

While this may seem strange, I decided that cooking dinner was somehow less effort than buying it. I’m weird. I’m a food writer. What can I say.

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Small Counter Dwelling Appliance Comes to Rescue


80 and I spent an unfortunate—yet joyous and drunk—less than 24 hours in New York City this past weekend. Unfortunate because of the lack of time in the city and joyous because of our friends’ wedding. Usually whenever we get the chance to visit we extend the stay in this city to the north but with 80’s last exam on Monday night before he graduates on Sunday, we had to get in and out so he could concentrate on macro economics. (And if anyone has any graduation gift ideas – let me know!)

Because we left early Saturday from DC and didn’t get to check out the inaugural opening for the year’s Mt. P far mar and then we got back too late to hit up any of the Sunday markets I was left with a fridge full of last weeks’ purchases for Sunday’s dinner. 80 invited a classmate over for a study session so I was charged with figuring out dinner. Of course it revolved around eggs.

So my new favorite way to incorporate lots of veggies and other ingredients into eggs is to first cook all of the other ingredients, then pour whisked egg over top and throw it under the broiler.

I recently resolved Passover’s matzoh dilemma when I incorporated the stale cracker into an omelet with swiss cheese, garlic and greens. The problem though is the quickness in which an egg cooks and an egg overcooks.

My parents’ kitchen is perfect. Stainless steel perfection. Except for one thing: the broiler.

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God Damn I Need that Karma

Parsnip Ricotta Spread 1 -- edited (500 x 332)

I was wearing a light gray cardigan that reached to mid-thigh. It had two pockets, like most cardigans. These pockets were shallow. I placed my iPhone in one of the pockets. It fell out of my pocket and into the toilet.

I was at the farmers market on Sunday, about to buy an Herbs de Provence cheese for my brother’s birthday (Herbs de Provence is our inside joke), and when I looked in my wallet I realized that my debit card was missing.

I was in one of those beer, wine corner grocery stores and was paying for whole wheat pocketless pitas.
Clerk: That’s $3.99
Me: <Handed the clerk a $5 bill>
Clerk: <Handed me $2.01>
Me:<Hmm, I know I’m not quick at subtracting, but why am I getting 2 dollars back? Did I miss hear him. I’ll just put it in my wallet. Wait, you know what, this isn’t right.>
What’d you say the price was?
Clerk: OH! How much did I give you back? It’s $3.99.
: <Gave him a dollar back, smiled and left.>

God Damn I Need that Karma. Fuck. I fucking drowned my very best friend and then I lost my only source of money. I didn’t need that dollar. I need some fucking luck.

And before I get to parsnips (again), if anyone knows how to resurrect a water damaged iPhone or figure out how not to pay $450 for a new one – please let me know! gansie@endlessssimmer.com

Let’s get back to that whole wheat pocketless pita.

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Maybe Sandra Lee Has a Point


It was one of those weekends where I somehow managed to spend more money in two and a half days than I had all week. Sunday night must be a make-at-home meal.

Of course I refused to leave the apartment for additional ingredients so I performed a mental scan of the kitchen. Two things popped out: broccoli and cheddar cheese. I really didn’t feel like messing with a broccoli and cheese soup. Not that it’d be particularly hard, but I had a feeling I would be scouring the internet for recipes and then melding 20 different variations into one fat crock of soup that would take me two hours to make.

Instead, I decided to chop up a bunch of random vegetables, some summer veggies that were a day away from the trash and some winter veggies that could hold up in the fridge for another week. I’m not sure what defines a casserole.

Actually, can something be a casserole without the help of a Campbell’s soup product?

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Appetizers All Night


My back hurts. Really hurts. I have no idea how chefs stand for that many hours in a row. I just finished my most recent catering gig. This was with 80P’s mom again. I conducted many, many brainstorming conversations (thanks: Maids, Romeo, El, WestCoast, BS, 80P…) but because I’m so used to Eating Down the Fridge (using up ingredients in my fridge/pantry and not shopping for new food) that I could only fathom working with items already in my possession, or ones I knew I could pick up while working at the farmers market.

Fortunately, I was recently in Philly for work and had some spare time before dinner (ate at Monk’s–mussels, fries and stout–with BroadAndPattison). I found this adorable nut shack: Nuts to You.

I’m not even kidding, I was in that place for 45 minutes browsing the 4 aisle store filled with nuts, dried fruits, grains and candies. I  walked out with, and I’m still not kidding, FIVE pounds of food, which I then had to drag around as I wasted more time checking out Banana Republic, Lacoste, Williams-Sonoma (don’t get me started on their uni-tasker inventory; they have 6 instruments alone to peel and chop garlic) and this weird all-natural soap and lotion place with the perkiest staff of all time. Soap that smells like pine nuts and lavender, no thanks.

I left Nuts To You with: dried dates (pound), dried figs (pound), quinoa (pound), mixed bag of almonds, cashews, peanuts, hazelnuts and walnuts (pound) and cashew butter (pound). Yes, not peanut butter, but cashew butter. And I saw them make it. There was this crazy looking glass machine with some peanut oil in it and the salesperson dumped a pound of cashews into the machine and then out oozed cashew butter. No salt, no preservatives, no corn syrup. Just nuts and oil. A-mazing.

Anyway, with that in the cupboard, here is what I proposed to 80P’s Mom:

  1. Dates and figs (either or both) stuffed with cheese (either ricotta, goat cheese or quark) and herbs. This can be served warm or room temp and can be stuck with a toothpick for serving
  2. Sweet potato disks with cashew butter and chili powder spread  ( Can spread the cashew butter on top of the chips or let people dip it)
  3. On a toothpick: cube of roasted winter squash, cube of feta, cube of squash
  4. Cucumber slice with Greek yogurt, lemon zest and quinoa
  5. Artichoke, olive and caper crostini
  6. Radish, cashew butter and broccoli (Or the broccoli can be cooked)

80P’s Mom selections after the jump.

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