Sass & Bite

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

Month: August, 2013

Buttermilk Pancakes

Going back to basics here. And not with Bisquick.

P1000809Pancakes are like donuts to me: they always seem like a great idea, but then I eat more than a few bites and instantly regret it because of the resulting sugar nausea and heavy feeling. BUT, I’m happy to say that this is not the case with these pancakes — they’re light and fluffy and perfect for a lazy Sunday morning.

P1000813 I even made a giant Mickey Mouse pancake with the leftover batter for my dog, cause I’m just that domestic and maternal. I always wanted Mickey Mouse pancakes as a kid (my best friend’s mom always made them for us), but my horrid and lazy parents refused. It’s a wonder I turned out as totally normal and well-adjusted as I did.

P1000818Funny story:  I initially forgot to add the dry ingredients to the wet and was super frustrated when the mixture of what was essentially butter and milk did not turn into a pancake but instead sizzled in a liquid mess on the skillet. I can neither confirm nor deny that it took me nearly three tries to figure this out. Who let me use a stove?

P1000824

My doggie waiting anxiously for her Mickey Mouse pancake. Except unlike hers, mine never came. . .

I also put blueberries in some of these, but they were eaten before they could be photographed.
By me. They were eaten by me.
Buttermilk Pancakes
via Tracey’s Culinary Adventures


2 cups buttermilk (Fun fact: if you’re not like my weirdo family and don’t have buttermilk just lying around, you can substitute regular milk with one tablespoon of lemon juice; just let it sit for about ten minutes)

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

*blueberries, chocolate chips, whatever — optional

In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, and salt. In a large bowl, add the egg and melted butter to the milk and whisk to combine. Add dry ingredients to wet and whisk gently to combine; some lumps are ok.

Set skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Ladle batter into pan, and add blueberries or chocolate chips to the top. Cook until bubbles form on the surface and the edges have set, then flip and cook another 2 minutes or so, or until golden brown and cooked through.

Turn them into a Mickey Mouse shape if you’re a really cool and special person who wants to make a good impression and cares about joy in life.

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

tumblr_lhoagtLqWt1qc6zxio1_500

1. Don’t leave water anywhere near your computer. Like, within a five-foot radius. It’s a dare to the universe.

2. If you wouldn’t say those things about your best friend, don’t say them about yourself. Be nice. Point out the good things instead of focusing on the less-than-perfect. That extra flab is probably all in your head anyway.

3. Ice cubes in wine? Are you fucking kidding me?!

4. Always get it in writing.

5. Never leave written evidence.

6. Elephants drawn/sculpted with their trunks down are bad luck. Get those out of your house! Throw away that notebook! Take them off your keychain! You don’t want them around.

7. Sometimes, wearing a tiara around for no reason will make you feel better.

8. Growth is good.

Things I Can’t: Party Bros Shouldn’t Play with Guns

This morning on my lovely commute downtown I was listening to Kevin and Bean on KROQ, and they were talking about those insane stories where someone buys a painting for $10 and it turns out to be an original Picasso or whatever worth $40k. And they opened it up to callers.

And this young guy, who sounds like he wears oversized Dickies sagging off his ass and a wife beater, calls about a gun he got for $60 that he later sold for $2,000 or something. That’s not what’s important here. What’s important here is the details:

“I just turned 18 so I bought myself a gun, I thought a rifle would be cool”, he says. That’s first. Just went on down to the gun store and picked himself up a rifle, just ’cause. Just felt like it. Purchasing a weapon simply because he could. Welcome to America. But whatever, that barely warrants an eye roll in this story.

He then goes on to say that he took it to a pawn shop a few years later to see what he could get for it. His reason? “My buddies and I were trying to throw a big party and we didn’t have the money. We were desperate. So I took it in. We were pretty desperate, you know?”

. . . Um, what? Who in their life has been “desperate” for money in order to throw a rager? Why is this even a question? How big is this fucking party that a few plastic handles of Heritage and some Natty Light aren’t going to cut it? Youngsters have been managing to throw debaucherous parties on the cheap for centuries. If you have to sell off your possessions to do it, you’re doing it wrong.

Which is another thing: who cares enough about a party to sell their possessions? I mean, I get that he wasn’t especially attached to this gun, he just bought it cause he was a typical 18 year old who thought it was badass to have a rifle for no reason. But still. He is so invested in throwing a party that he starts hocking his shit. I just, I can’t even. And his question at the end, basically like, “how could you not? What was I to do? Who would have acted differently?”

I couldn’t decide if I wanted to laugh or shake my head in disgust. Bros, man.

I mean, look, when I was a kid I had a garage sale so I could buy a new Sims game or a purse or whatever. I once tried to persuade my little brother to buy a VHS from me so I could go to Build-a-Bear. I am not blameless. But in my defense, I was a child. I understand trying to make an extra buck by getting rid of stuff. It’s just that I’ve never heard someone use the word “desperate” to describe their need to do it. . . for a party. To buy medicine for their ailing child, yes. To pay the rent, yes. I love a party as much as the next person, but for real though, if I ever start selling off my shit to pay for them, make me see that I have gone too far. Stage that intervention. Slap me. Do something.

Don’t Let Me Loose in a Kitchen Store: Useless Items I’m Not Sure Anyone Actually Needs but That I Desperately Want

One of my hobbies is browsing fancy stores like Sur la Table and Williams-Sonoma for interesting and brightly-colored gadgets that I have little to no use for. And whose usefulness to anyone is questionable at best. There’s a lot of really cool stuff in there that I covet because it would improve my life, or at least my cooking snobbery — like this giant cupcake-shaped cake pan:

img41o

It’s dramatic, slightly impractical, has endless pretty potential, and it’s just a little too much — therefore I must have it. It’s basically my thought process for everything I encounter: I don’t technically “need” it, but really, I kind of do. Who’s to define “need”, after all? It will elevate my life.

“Yes I need this Italian-made, spring-loaded ravioli press with a beechwood handle. I’ve never actually made ravioli, but I totally should. And I wouldn’t dream of doing it with some non-spring-loaded press like some sort of peasant, that would truly be ridiculous”.

img62o

Of course I need a $300 heirloom quality champagne saber handcrafted by French master cutlers. Given my history of nearly blinding innocent bystanders and denting walls just by opening bottles by hand, this could do wonders. It’s practically a safety issue. The only thing less dangerous than letting me open a bottle of champagne with my hand and a towel is giving me a sword to do it with.”

img80o

It would be irresponsible not to.

“Absolutely I need a jalapeño corer. What am I supposed to do, keep using some bougie knife to cut them open? Nay. I’ve suffered through that for far too long”.

img37o

“Obviously I need a gourmet whip injector for filling my pastries and also apparently poultry if I feel like it. In fact, I’m not even entirely sure how I’ve managed to live this long without one.”

img4oLet’s be honest, a large part of the appeal of that last one is the fact that it sounds like sketchy drug paraphernalia.

Regardless, this is why I need to have adult supervision when I’m within a 100-foot radius of a kitchen store.

The Little Things

So far today I have managed to get a ticket, sit in horrendous traffic, spill one cup of coffee on my shirt and ruin another, and get whacked on the nose with the windshield visor of my car. All by 9 am. Happy Friday.
But I am looking on the bright side and thinking about all the little things that have made me happy this week, including a weekend getaway to celebrate my friend’s birthday.

A gorgeous three-orchid and gardenia lei my godfather sent me from Oahu -- addressed to "Princess Meghan"

A gorgeous three-orchid and gardenia lei my godfather sent me from Oahu — addressed to “Princess Meghan”

Kitty bling I want to aquire and persuade my kitty to wear. . . We can match!

Kitty bling I want to aquire and persuade my kitty to wear. . . We can match!

Mid-week appetizers. Wednesdays are rough.

Mid-week appetizers. Wednesdays are rough.

I'm a sucker for a beautiful door.

I’m a sucker for a beautiful door.Maison Michel ears, Hermes, and Louboutin. I'll take one of everything.

Maison Michel ears, Hermes, and Louboutin studs. I’ll take one of everything.

A really colorful and delicious salad

A colorful Monday lunch.

Things are looking up — cheers!

Chopsticks are My Vice: a Trip to Little Tokyo

P1000868

I’ve been on the hunt for beautiful origami paper recently, not that I know how to make anything other than fortune-tellers (AKA Cootie-Catchers): it’s just pretty and I wanted it. Although I do have a few projects in mind for it — stay tuned.

I’ve been wanting to go to Little Tokyo downtown for a couple of weeks, and since I didn’t have to be at work until 1 yesterday, and it’s 10 minutes away from my office, the stars aligned and I spent my morning wandering around the shops and restaurants in the Village Plaza. There are obviously quite a few cheap trinkets — polyester “kimonos”, samurai swords, Hello Kitty everything — but there are a lot of interesting and beautiful things as well. So many kitchen gadgets and tea paraphernalia that I irrationally coveted (“I MUST have this slightly flattened wooden rice ladle”).

Maybe I bought a few more sets of chopsticks, even though I already have a drawer full of them. Maybe don’t give me that judgey look.

P1000877

Gorgeous, no? Even the packaging is pretty. Aesthetics are important. There was some really beautiful paper, thick, ornate, with traditional patterns and gold; I wanted all of it, but I had to budget somewhat — $20 for four sheets of paper is a little out of my reach right now. Or it will be until I take up that gold-digging career path I’ve been considering.

The food smelled AMAZING, I am definitely going back for lunch in the near future. I found a ramen place off the beaten track with a large crowd of locals around it, always a good sign, that tempted me to call in late “because of traffic” (JK, I wouldn’t do that) (Someone please give me a job). I will investigate and report back.

 

P1000878

Tip: If you find yourself in Little Tokyo, there’s a parking lot on 2nd, just before Central, that has $5 flat-rate parking all day (it’s $4 after 4pm), which is grand, especially since most of the other lots around there are $2 for every 15 minutes. Gotta love LA.
I may or may not have gotten in an argument with some jackass conversing with his cab driver who was blocking the driveway as I left, but I’m not holding it against the parking lot people — he was just a fuckhead whose pants were too tight.

 

 

Mourning Lisa Frank and the Death of my Childhood

Kitty Kats on acid trips: educational staples

Kitty Kats on obvious acid trips : educational staples

So, it’s that weird part of August that I don’t like, where it’s still basically summer but you’re starting to think about fall — which is cool because fall is great — but it’s also like no, wait! hold on to summer! Sunshine and heat and bikinis and water and drinks outside. Conflicting [Side note: I felt that “confliction” was the only appropriate word here. But spellcheck informs me that it is not a word. I swear it is. No? Well, it should be. Executive decision: confliction is now a word].

Anyway, the way to get through this tough time used to be school supply shopping, but I don’t have that anymore. The kids are all getting ready to head back to school (also: why the hell does school start in August now? This goes against nature. School starts in September, everyone knows this. How will calendar companies decorate that page now?). In my aimless, hours-long, what-unnecessary-but-entertaining-random-shit-can-I-purchase-today wanderings around Target I have seen all the displays. And it fills me with excitement, followed by crushing disappointment. Because every time I idly think about how I should start packing soon and getting school supplies, it very suddenly occurs to me: never again.

Never again will I get color-coded college-ruled spiral notebooks, with the ugliest color reserved for math, the worst of subjects.

Gone are the days of agonizing over the choice between puffy plastic binders, in signature Lisa Frank neon-rainbow-vomit palette, with the golden puppies Casey and Candy (who is clearly a future doggie stripper), or the pink and blue gender-normative dolphins entwined in the shape of a heart.

No more buying my favorite pens of the moment, destined to be lost or loaned out or “borrowed” within two days of opening the package.

Buying school supplies was the tits. Kids don’t even have Lisa Frank these days — they just have that little shit Justin Bieber or whoever on all their notebooks. They can’t even understand. I considered consoling myself by approaching children in the street or at the store and offering to take them shopping. But my lawyers have insisted that I not.

And you know what the worst part is? Every single time I mention this, usually to my friends, they nod wistfully and agree — and then someone just has to say, “until we have kids”.

Every damn time.

Coffee Ice Cream and a Dangerous New Precedent

Oh my god you guys. I may have started something. This has the potential to end so, so badly.

For my waistline, and therefore any hope I have of ever convincing someone to date me (my looks are all I have).

Look what I have wrought

Look what I have wrought

I made motherfucking coffee ice cream. And it is nothing less than sensational. And that is why I have eaten nearly all of it in the less-than-a-week that it’s been in existence. My dad makes ice cream all the time, but this was my first attempt and I am extremely pleased with myself.

If you’re not a fan of coffee ice cream, then a) I’m deeply sorry for you, b) really? what the hell is wrong with you?, and c) are you sure? Cause I’m pretty sure even you would like this, you freak.

P1000861
This recipe originally comes from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home , which is apparently a huge deal in Ohio, and as distrustful as a I am toward anything that comes out of the Midwest, I have to give them, or at least Jeni, some credit here. The coffee flavor is rich and incredibly smooth, with almost chocolatey undertones; the texture is creamy without being too icy or frothy. If that makes any sense.

Unlike most custard-based ice creams, this one doesn’t use any egg yolks, so if you’re not into having extra whites lying around, it’s your lucky day. The source I got the recipe from had adapted the ratio of cream to whole milk and substituted agave nectar for corn syrup, which I think might have added some depth to the flavor. I recommend it. I also struggled (shocking, I know) when it came to draining the coffee grounds from the base because I had ground them too fine for the amount of cheesecloth I was using, so they stayed in there a few minutes longer than directions. If anything, it just intensified the flavor, which is all good. The whole thing was a bit more time-consuming than I thought it would be, but it was worth it.
If you don’t have an ice cream maker, get one. It will only make your life better.

Coffee Ice Cream
cookieandkate.com, adapted form Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream at Home

Ingredients:

3 cups whole milk

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons corn starch

3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened

1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 cup heavy cream

3/4 cups turbinado (raw) sugar

3 tablespoons agave nectar

1/4 cup dark-roast coffee beans, coarsely ground

Directions:

In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of the milk with the corn starch until smooth.

In a medium bowl, whisk the cream cheese and salt until very smooth.

Fill a large bowl with ice and water and set aside.

Combine the remaining milk with the cream, sugar, and agave in a 4-quart saucepan; bring the mixture to a slow boil over medium heat and boil for four minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Remove from heat, add coffee grounds, and let steep for five minutes.

Strain the mixture through a fine sieve lined with cheesecloth or a paint-straining bag (if it’s a large cheesecloth I would fold it so there are several layers so the coffee doesn’t leak through); squeeze the grounds in the cheesecloth to extract as much liquid as possible, and then discard.

Return to pot and gradually whisk in the corn starch slurry; bring to a boil and cook over medium-high heat, stirring with a plastic or rubber spatula, until slightly thickened — about 1 minute.

Remove from heat.

Gradually whisk the hot mixture into the cream cheese until smooth; pour everything into a gallon-ziplock bag, seal tightly, and submerge in the ice bath. Add more ice and let it stand 45 minutes or more (this recipe calls for 30 minutes, but longer is better: you want the base to be as cold as possible before putting it into the machine).

Pour the cold base into the ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions. When it’s done mixing, pour into a container and pack tightly, then freeze until hardened, about 4 hours.

P1000853

 

 

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

whipped-cream-DSC_5504

photo via Elena’s Pantry

1. The answer to the question, “do you want whipped cream with that?” is always yes.

2. Ladies, don’t go in the ocean when you’re on your period. You WILL get eaten by a shark.

3. Get the second cheapest liquor on the shelf. You’ll feel fancy, and your future self will thank you.

4. Don’t make someone a priority if they only make you an option. You don’t have to be anyone’s back-up plan. You’re awesome.

5. Don’t get caught.

6. Have you considered doughnut holes: the healthy alternative to doughnuts?

7. Gold spray paint solves a multitude of interior decorating problems.

8. Eating things with chopsticks > not eating with chopsticks.

9. The plural of “euro” is “euros”. Just like “dollar”→”dollars”. How fucking irritated would you be if someone kept saying “it was thirty dollar for the ticket”, and “I lost fifty five dollar when my wallet got stolen” and “I bribed that cop with a hundred dollar to keep his tattle-tale mouth shut”. Pretty fucking irritated, that’s how irritated.

10. End things on a positive note!

Pretty Things I Want, Nay, NEED.

. . . But probably can’t have because I should be exercising some restraint. Maybe.

I’ve been obsessed with finding a solid gold-plate belt for the last few months. I think it started with an episode of Game of Thrones in which Circe wore one and I was like, wow, that would be sensational. In real life. On me.

ASOS Belt

ASOS Plate Detail Elastic Waist Belt [$24]

This is the right idea, but ideally I’d like gold all the way around.

ASOS Double Plate and Spike Detail

ASOS Double Plate and Spike Detail [$12]

This is not what I went looking for, but it’s amazing anyway and I want it. To quote that sensational film, The Devil Wears Prada, when choosing between two belts, “it’s a tough call. They’re both so different. . . ”
I think that means I need both.

image1xl

Meh. Cool in it’s own way, but I feel like the loops are an invitation for people to hang on to you. Not in the fun way.

goodnight-macaroon-belt_400

Chictopia Gold Mirror Wide Plate Belt [$38]

Now THIS looks promising. I might have to do it.

From my Pinterest, in case you need a visual:

e7f006b3266b3cbe61997084dfc8c788

f5e499e87302b738daf4facf1035f506

*All images link back to the original site or image

%d bloggers like this: