Whenever we have company, which isn’t very often, I have a set routine. Throw out all the trash, hide the clutter in a closet and smuggle my nail polish somewhere it can’t be seen. I have an embarrassingly large collection of nail varnish. I have stopped buying new ones (for now) because I feel a little guilty for having spent so much money on them (though they were on sale) and it’s annoying when Eli rolls his eyes when I spot new ones I want, but there is always the guilty hope that the nail polish fairy with surprise me one day with some Butter London, Deborah Lippman or Chanel.
So what does this story tell you about me besides the fact that I just failed the nail polish CAGE questionnaire? That carrots (and tumeric) should come with a warning label: Will dye skin and nails orangey-yellow, which leaves me quite peeved. It’s not permanent, but it does take a while to scrape off.
Congratulations! You are now reading blog entries by a newly guilt-absolved writer. No, I didn’t go to confession–I merely finished some very important pieces oh…72 days past the deadline? Yes, really the only thing Kim Kardashian and I will ever have in common. Phew. During my mad scramble to finish, Eli was put on cooking duty on days I didn’t want to boil pasta. Which was probably just as well that we didn’t have much material for GT because we didn’t have much of a writer. But now we do! Enter, Honey Soy Wings. Wings are always a hit, anywhere. While they’ve been aggressively marketed as “dude food”, it’s just a poorly assessed marketing strategy to promote these delicious bits to the predicted group of most-wings-consumed. “They/The Man” clearly has not witnessed the carnage that results from adding a Linda to a plate of Wings.
Today, right before we sat down to dinner, I told Eli that I had some very sad news. I told him that he deserved to hear it from me, rather than find out on his own…I had used an entire bottle of his new favorite beer for the stew. His face dropped and he looked at me with incredulous despair. But it has gone to a better place! Its happier! It gave its existence more meaning! The simmering whimper didn’t stop until he ladled a spoonful up to his mouth and ate it.
Magic. Pure magic. He completely forgave me when I handed him a new bottle of Vanilla Porter. By any legal means necessary, try this ale. It lends the stew a complex, mellow flavor above the whole yeasty beer thing. The chocolate tones and wonderfully smooth vanilla finish are robust enough to carry a hearty beef stew. There’s a reason we didn’t call this recipe “Beef Stew with Beer” (also known as “Man Stew”), and that is because of the crucial ingredient.
For those of you who are weak-of-will, do yourself a favor and buy 2 cases. Once you take a sip of this beer, you are not going to want to pour it anywhere else but into your mouth!
This morning I woke up and smelled something so antithetical to roses that I would only wish it on my most hated of archnemeses. Parker, our teenage kitten, tracked poo(?!) onto the breakfast bar…in the area I finished a burrito bowl last night. And you know what? Smeared, oxidized avocado can look like poo! I sniffed it. And because my head and nose is stuffed in the morning, I sniffed it twice.
Reserved for the most hated of archnemeses.
I think the universe is trying to tell me something. Like…when it rains, make Indian food! I brought my umbrella this time, but even when you’re taunting those storm clouds with knee high suede boots, it does not rain. Not until you step inside. Its a cruel triumph, I know. Anyway, we had leftover Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani) in the fridge and I decided to make some naan. Murgh Makhani and naan are culinary soul mates very much in the same way milk and cookies are. Great dunkability exists in both partnerships.
Traditionally cooked in a tandoor, naan can also be made on the stove top or, as demonstrated here, in the oven. It keeps for a least one week in an airtight container in the refrigerator and only needs to be briefly revived in the oven.
Two of the most popular menu items in Chinese takeout eloped and had a lovechild (a tasty, tasty lovechild!). Orange Sesame Chicken. I know–its not a very creative name. Its tantamount to naming Eli, “David Sue Jaffa” or “David Sue Jaffa 3.0” (ask him about being a middle child). Can you imagine the Presidential Family going out for a walk with Barack Michelle 1 and Barack Michelle 2? Awful, I know. So moral of the story is: be grateful your parents were creative with your names, and make orange sesame chicken. And eat it, okay?