Sass & Bite

"If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you" Oscar Wilde

Month: July, 2013

Reasons I Can’t Be an Adult

Apparently I’m at that stage in my life where I’m supposed to get my shit together and be a responsible, mature adult or something. Evidently a lot of people have faith this will happen. And it’s kind of bewildering. Despite accomplishing supposedly mature things like graduating from college, living on my own in a foreign country for a year, and, mystifyingly, being given a driver’s license, I think I’ve made it pretty obvious that that’s not going to happen any time soon. Here I’ve compiled a (not even close to exhaustive) list of reasons I can’t be an adult:

1. I have the impulse control of a rabbit. I’m notorious for declaring that I’m getting one drink at the bar, or no drinks at the bar, because I’m driving or I’ve had enough already (more responsible people tell me), only to immediately order a Jack & Ginger upon arriving, and decide to figure out how to get home later. I buy beautiful but functionally useless things I have nowhere to store, because they’re pretty and I want them. I will eat obscene amounts of ice cream even though I’m not hungry and don’t even particularly want it, just because I saw it in the freezer. Don’t even get me started on my heroine binges.

2. Even when I do try to exercise some self control, I am very easily persuaded not to. Really all it takes is one person to say, “oh come on, just one”, or “well you’re not paying rent right now, so what else would you spend it on?”, or my personal favorite, and the most effective: “come on, it’ll be fun!”.

3. I find notes to myself that say things like, “use the word ‘twat’ more”.

4. I play with my food. Like, people have to take it away from me.

5. I don’t understand wine jokes. I mean, I don’t understand wine either, which I think also disqualifies me from adulthood, but yeah, I just don’t get them. I tend to just stare blankly when everyone at the table laughs at the one about the merlot and the chardonnay — is that a race joke, or what?

6. I find wearing coats draped over the shoulders, while chic in a Parisian business-woman way, inconvenient.

5. I do things like put on SPF 30 and then lay out for two hours, congratulating myself on managing to both get a tan and take care of my skin.

6. When my aunt says “I don’t like pulling it out” about her Keurig or whatever, I snicker.

7. I found Space Jam on HBO GO the other day and it was basically the highlight of my week.

8. I see pink lawn flamingoes as an opportunity to make a beer bong.

9. I spent a good 20 minutes at a party this weekend running around trying to see how many people I could get to almost drink from a margarita that had a cricket in it. Again, someone had to take it away from me.

10. Last week I accidentally set a dish towel on fire. Twice.

Pancetta-Wrapped Peaches with Basil

After careful consideration, I have come to the conclusion that peaches are the Gisele of the food world. 

IMG_9580They’re just so pretty and so photogenic and so universally appealing. Even if they’re not personally your thing, you can admit they’re unfairly blessed in the looks department and they really jazz up a picture. 

Food and Wine led me to this gorgeous use of peaches, which I made as a lovely appetizer on a random Wednesday last week. It’s been on my list forever and a day, but I had to wait for summer because peaches any other time of year are useless. Call me a snob, but it’s true. I went even more summery and tried grilling one wedge directly on the grill, but it was not ideal for getting the pancetta crispy — I might do it again in a grill pan. 

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Naturally, in my excitement I got ahead of myself and forgot to drizzle them with balsamic at the end, as in the original recipe. I’m sure it would have added some depth and contrast, but it was incredible even without it, so no harm done. My pancetta didn’t get quite as crispy as I think it could have, but again, it was still rad, and I will do better next time. The point is you really can’t go wrong with this one. 

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Pancetta-Wrapped Peaches with Basil (and Aged Balsamic if You’re Fancy/Focused)
via Food and Wine

16 slices pancetta

2 ripe peaches, pitted, halved, and cut into 8 wedges each

16 basil leaves

Salt and pepper (I prefer coarse salt such as kosher, and coarse pepper)

1 tablespoon olive oil (I just sprayed the pan lightly with olive oil because the pancetta creates more than enough of its own)

Aged balsamic vinegar

 

Lay slices of pancetta on a cutting board or other work surface. Place a peach wedge and basil leaf at the end and season with salt and fresh pepper; roll up to enclose the wedge. 

Heat oil in a medium skillet. Add half the wedges and cook over medium heat, turning occasionally until pancetta is browned and crisp on all sides, about 5 minutes.

Transfer to a plate, drizzle with balsamic (if you remember), and serve warm. 

Gratuitous picture of peaches

Gratuitous picture of peaches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It Truly Was a Spice World

The Spice Girls are, for lack of a better word, the very essence and definition of why the 90’s were the tits.

Camilla who?

Ginger is photo-picking Prince Charles’ nose. That happened.

If you were not a young girl in the mid-90’s, you cannot relate to this. You cannot relate to the feelings of absolute worship that we all felt for them.
I absolutely begged my mom to get me (a VHS of) Spice World  — which I maintain was robbed during Oscar season — watched it multiple times that first week alone, and quote it to this day .
I was fully convinced that the Spice bus looked exactly the way it appeared onscreen, including a full swingset for Baby, aquarium for Scary, elliptical for Sporty, and runway for Posh (Because apparently my depth perception/sense of spacial relations has never been very good).
I fully anticipated running into them and being asked to join the band. Or at least hang out and eat some Chupa Chups with them on said bus (like, where would I even have met them? At a club? On Ventura Blvd. as they roamed the Valley in their spare time?).
Whenever groups of girls congregated to play Spice Girls, either in real life or with the Spice Girls Barbie dolls (which every self-respecting girl with a shred of dignity had at least one of), there was sure to be a fight over who got to be Baby. For the record, I always wanted to be Posh, with Sporty as an acceptable alternative.

'Sup, your majesty?

‘Sup, your majesty?

While looking through Into the Gloss’s truly spectacular TBT , I found what has to be definitive proof that they were, and are, unparalleled in their awesomeness and badassery, and absolutely deserving of the worship of an entire generation. Please examine the photo above.

That is the motherfucking Queen of England, and there are thigh-slits, Wonder Bras, and TRACK SUITS as far as the heavily-glitter-eyeshadowed eye can see. It’s just, I mean, it’s just perfect. I wish I had a more entertaining way of putting that, but sometimes less is more. Or so I hear.

That is power. It took Kate Middleton like 5 years of exclusivity with William to even get to meet the Queen. Even among the royal family they still observe formal protocol like walking two steps behind her. This is a woman wouldn’t publicly mourn Diana because she felt it was inappropriate. And there is Scary with her tits out for the boys — or more specifically, the Queen’s eye-level — caring not at all. Literally in a bra. A very tiny bra. To meet the Queen of England.

And then there’s Ginger, who, typically, had to upstage everyone by bringing out the tits and the thigh-slit.  To meet the Queen of England. Sit DOWN, Angelina. And you know what? Sit down, Baby. Is that just a white dress? Did you even try?

Sporty clearly gives not a single fuck, since she didn’t even bother to change after the gym, although she did make the concession of matching her track pants to her hair streaks and shoe laces. Cause she’s classy like that.

And I don’t want to hear about how they were probably told by the record label to dress like that and were maybe even had qualms about being forced to meet their sovereign in their loungewear — that is false, they were expressing themselves because they believed in Girl Power, and even if it was true, well that just means they’re really fucking dedicated.

Last year that little shit Justin Bieber met the Canadian prime minister in overalls. A slap in the face. Overalls, Justin, are you kidding me, fucking overalls? You might think you’ve got the street cred to be rollin’ like the Spice Girls, pulling shit like that, but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you sir, are no Spice Girls.

And you weren’t even alive in the 90’s, so you don’t get to wear overalls. That’s our thing.

I would just like to point out that apparently there is a website called girlswearingdenimoveralls.blogspot.com. That exists.

I would just like to point out that apparently there is a website called girlswearingdenimoveralls.blogspot.com. That exists.

Mango-Papaya Salsa (and Spicy-ish Chicken)

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Mangoes are clearly one of the best five fruits in the history of fruit. This is an objective fact. Chicken breasts, although versatile, healthy and delicious, can get boring and repetitive as shit. This is another objective fact. How do we solve this problem? We help them out with our friend mango, which we have turned into a flavorful, slightly spicy/slightly sweet, generally zesty salsa.

This salsa is insanely easy to put together while the chicken cooks. I made a rub for the chicken of chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and a little bit of cumin, vaguely Mexican and with a little spice. I’m really terrible at measuring if I’m not baking, so these measurements are low-key bullshit, but you can adjust based on your taste. Also I’m not terribly committed to the papaya (it’s pretty and it seemed like a good idea at the time) but you can always omit it and just up the mango, which I’ve done and it’s equally as awesome.

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Mango-Papaya Salsa

1 mango, chopped

1/4 papaya, chopped

1/3 jalapeño, minced (keep the seeds if you want it really spicy, remove them if you just want the flavor of the pepper)

2-ish tbl. cilantro, minced

1/2 white onion, chopped

1/2 avocado, chopped

juice of 1/2 or 1 lime

sprinkle of coarse salt

Gently fold all ingredients together, adjusting for taste.

Spicy-Ish Chicken

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. – 1 tsp. cayenne

1/4 teaspoon cumin

salt

Combine spices, adjusting for taste; rub on chicken and grill until done, 10-15 minutes.

Words of Wisdom

“The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on — it is never of any use to oneself.” –Oscar Wilde

1. If you have to be drunk to have fun with certain people, you probably shouldn’t be hanging around them. They sound like they suck. Come hang out with me instead.

2. Tomorrow is another day.

3. Guys: the fastest way to reveal that you’re an immature, whiney asshole is to pull the “do you need a tampon?” card when a girl is mad.

4. Wine counts as a serving of fruit. This isn’t me talking, it’s science.

5. Clever ain’t wise. Except where I’m concerned. Clearly.

6. French fries were not meant to be shared.

7. Don’t take out a pack of gum within anyone’s line of vision unless you are prepared to give a piece to everyone in your general vicinity. And most likely end up with an empty package of gum.

8. “There’s no shortcut to a dream: it’s all blood and sweat, and life is what you manage in between”.

9. Proofread.

10. It’s always an appropriate time for champagne.

11. Leggings are not pants. Tights are sure as shit not pants. I’m not going to say this again.

Interesting Householdy Things

I spend a lot of time mentally decorating my imaginary house. From my parents’ couch. Where I live.

It helps keep me sane.

Froissé Mirror by Mathius Kiss

Froissé Mirror by Mathius Kiss

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Jazzin’ up the stairs

Sofia Coppola's inspiration board. I'm pretty sure.

Sofia Coppola’s inspiration board. I’m pretty sure. Why is she so cool?

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P.S. I tried to link back to the sources, but I don’t have any for a few of them. If they’re yours and you find this, don’t sue me.

I Guess This is Growing Up?

Apparently I’m in a transitional period of my life. And I’m struggling with it a bit, which I tell myself is both fine and expected, but then again I’m also really good at rationalizing. I can justify a lot of things to myself, because I am very clever and I was raised by lawyers. So who knows.

Anyway, I’ve hit a few stumbling blocks. For example, I’ve spent the last four years justifying my poor decisions, ill-considered plans, and childish behavior with the vindicating expression “fuck it, I’m in college”. Those five handy little words cover(ed) a multitude of sins: go to a Thursday 9am class so hungover/borderline still drunk you spend the entire time praying for a swift death? Fuck it, I’m in college.
Eat cookie dough out of a bowl and wash it down with a bottle of wine while watching 5 straight episodes of Law and Order: SVU with your roommates? Fuck it, I’m in college.
Use having a final paper to write as an excuse to spend obscene amounts of money you don’t have on coffee from places other than your house because they can make it way more fancy? Fuck it, I’m in college.
The stripper you hired for your friend’s birthday shows up late, unshowered, on coke, and middle-aged, and hangs out afterward hitting on all the girls and drinking your beer? Fuck it, I’m in college.

Except the problem is that I am no longer allowed to use that excuse. I managed to stretch it out for the last three months even though technically I graduated in March, because I was still living at college and hadn’t walked yet. But I’ve now been home for almost three weeks, living on my parents’ couch, and I’m willing to face the music and admit that that excuse is finished for me. Except not really, because I’ve just replaced it with “Fuck it, I’m in a transitional period of my life”.

Bought two dresses, a skirt, and a pair of silk and lace shorts when you only intended to get denim shorts? Fuck it, I’m in a transitional period of my life.
Skip working out because you don’t want to have to wash, dry, and straighten your hair again? Fuck it, I’m in a transitional period of my life.
Go out with your friends fully intending to not drink at all and instead accidentally getting hammered and bursting into tears when your brother yells at you for making him pick you up at midnight before you’ve even gone into the bar? Fuck it, I’m in a transitional period of my life.
Find yourself unable to focus on any book, TV show, movie, mindless internet shit or project for more than 30 minutes at a time even though you have absolutely nothing else to do? Fuck it, I’m in a transitional period of my life.
Use the phrase “cunt-punt” frequently and at inappropriate times? Fuck it, I’m in a transitional period of my life.

And for the record, I know I’m not the only one doing this. I can think of at least one other person who does nearly exactly the same thing, sometimes.

I’d like to think that I’ll improve with age, buuuutt at this point it’s not looking promising. In all honesty, I will probably always replace the last cover-all justification with a new one. “Fuck it, I’m 25, my youth is behind me”. “Fuck it, I’m almost 30”. “Fuck it,  I’m 30 and my youth is really behind me and I’m showing every sign of dying a crazy cat lady”. Etcetera, etcetera, all the way until I’m 80 and saying “Fuck it, I’m 80. I can do, say, and eat exactly what I feel like at any given moment. Cuntpunt”.

Acceptance is the first step. Or so I hear.

Coconut Oil White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies

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Little-known fact: I am the president of the Coconut Fan Club. It’s the best and I love it on everything from donuts to popcorn. Coconut Oil is one of my favorite discoveries: it has 432,000 health benefits, from vitamins, healthy saturated fats and antibacterial/antioxidant/antiviral properties, and its versatility is insane — it can be used as everything from moisturizer to car polish to cooking aid. Which, let’s be honest, is obviously the best one. The combination of white chocolate, macadamia, and a hint of coconut makes these cookies Hawaiian-ish, according to me anyway, and therefore perfect for summer.

If you’re not a fan of coconut, don’t be afraid, little darling — coconut oil gives more scent than flavor, and in this recipe it’s fairly subtle and outweighed by the white chocolate. It’s used here as a substitute for butter, which I’m assuming means these cookies are practically a health food. Let’s go with that.

IMG_9225So. Coconut oil is very responsive to temperature, so it changes consistency fairly easily. The thing with replacing butter with it, in a cookie recipe at least, is that it has to be the consistency of softened butter so we can cream it in the dough. Because it’s so hot out, my oil was liquid when I used it, so I just measured it out and put it in the freezer for 5-10 minutes, which brought it back up to a firmer consistency. You don’t want it solid, so don’t leave it in too long; conversely, if yours in a solid state, congratulations — you live in a better-insulated house than I do. Melt it down a little in the microwave, three seconds at a time. We’re going for softened but not melty.
As with all my cookie dough, we refrigerate this for a while before we use it; this gives you softer and puffier cookies, whereas not refrigerating the dough causes it to spread and thin out.

Coconut Oil White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies
Adapted slightly from Averiecooks.com (link below)

1/2 cup coconut oil, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 large egg

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (Averie recommends using 1 cup all-purpose flour and 3/4 cup bread flour, because it yields chewier cookies, but I didn’t have any so I used only all-purpose and they came out plenty chewy)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste

1 cup (6 ounces) white chocolate chips (Confession: I never actually measure — can’t go wrong with more chocolate. Sorry I’m not sorry.)

1/2 cup roughly chopped macadamia nuts (optional)

To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine coconut oil, egg, sugars, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed to cream until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes.

Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flours, baking soda, salt, and mix until just combined, about 1 minute.

Using a cookie scoop, or your hands if you’re a savage like me, form heaping mounds of dough, flatten them out slightly, and place them on a plate or baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (I did mine overnight).

Preheat over to 350°F; line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place cookies on it, spaced 2 inches apart. Bake for 9-11 minutes, rotating halfway through, and remove when they look slightly undercooked/soft. I do this because they’ll continue to cook even outside of the oven because of the heat from the baking sheet, so taking them out of the oven before they turn golden brown will keep them softer and chewier. Allow them to cool 3-5 mins. on the sheet before moving them to a rack or plate.

Enjoy!

Because WordPress’s hyperlink function never works and is a constant pain in my ass, here’s the link to the original recipe, as well as an article about coconut oil:

http://www.averiecooks.com/2013/01/coconut-oil-white-chocolate-cookies.html
http://intothegloss.com/2012/10/nutz-4-coconut-oil-uses-for-natural-coconut-oil/

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