Thursday, December 27, 2007

RQ Cooks

I thought it was time to share some recipes. You should be warned- I don't measure, I make things up as I go along, and I change recipes all the time.

Leftover Chicken Salad

I tend to like to use herbs instead of lettuce when I can. I don't stuff tacos with watery iceberg, I use cilantro instead. So I did the same for this chicken salad and used flat leaf parsley for the greens. Be sure to chop it really fine or you will end up with stringy salad.

Mix chopped up leftover chicken, chopped celery, chopped green onions (chop as high up the stalks as you can before they get yucky) chopped parsley. drizzle with some lemon juice, sprinkle with pepper and garlic salt. My chicken got marinated in tarragon before I cooked it, so I didn't add any other herbs, but you could add some chopped fresh tarragon or dill if you like. Add enough mayo to make it creamy.

If you want to skip all the chopping and you want a really fine salad that will work better on bread- throw everything in the food processor instead.

If you don't like mayo, use some sour cream or add some extra greens and drizzle with a good vinagarette.

Chocolate hazelnut pie

I got this recipe out of a very fancy cookbook, and it was called ice cream pie. The instructions didn't work well- so I fixed it. It is super easy for us non-bakers (cooking is art- baking is science, I'm an artist)

1 and 1/3 cups whipping cream plus another few tablespoons for softening the nutella
1 jar of nutella
a little more than half a stick of butter (5 tablespoons I think) melted
1 pack of chocolate graham crackers, made into crumbs in the food processor

Make the crust first. It's a basic cookie crust. Preheat oven to 350. mix crumbs, melty butter and about a teaspoon of vanilla together. Press into a pie pan and bake for about 6 to 8 minutes till crisp. Let cool completely before adding filling

Mix the whipping cream and another teaspoon of vanilla till it forms soft peaks. put nutella into another bowl and add some whipping cream to soften. Mix well with a hand mixer (if it is too thick, add a bit more cream- but be careful no to overdo it or you'll have runny pie).

Fold nutella mix into the whipped cream in small batches. Once it is all in, use hand mixer to fluffy it up a bit more. pour in pie shell and let set up in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The road to good intentions is paved in hell

So I spent last night taking the big memory card for my phone, converting it to work on the Kid's phone and loading it up with mountains of music he can shake his tale feather too. I made sure he has The Sun is a MAss by TMBGs, and a bunch of the GoGos and the Donnas and Franz Ferdinand. And Keane. The Kid looks like a junior version of Keane's lead singer and he can sing just like him too.

So then I stole the Kid's phone, replaced his memory card and loaded up a silly picture of the two of us from a happier Christmas as his new wallpaper. That was all I could do for him.

He was happy-ish. He was glad to have all the music, but a week or two ago the Kid dumped his headphones on milk. So he can't listen to the music. I didn't know this (of course, headphones have not been a priority).

So I spent a good chunk of the night working on a present he can't actually use. Sweet. Broke and useless.

Holy Shit Batman!

It's snowing.

It's Seattle.

It's Christmas.

That these three things are true all together is a very rare thing.

Kinda makes hazelnut ice cream pie seem inappropriate, but I'm going to eat it anyway.

Monday, December 24, 2007


I really hate Christmas. I hate that right now the entire world is saturated with gifts and presents and that tomorrow a gazillion bratty kids will wake up to rooms full of presents while my kid, who had the fucking patience of a saint isn't even going to get a fucking stocking.

I would do what my mom used to do. She hated Christmas about as much as I do, and she was horrible to me from Thanksgiving on. Then on Christmas eve, when the guilt was too much, she'd go and write bad checks for gifts to assuage her guilt. Then the bills would come in January and she was back to being horrible again. But if I do that today, we'll be homeless by February.

I hate all the fucking good cheer and hopefulness. I hate that every single thing on TV either tells me what a miserable parent I am cause I can't fill the house with toys or shows some sappy fucking movie where everything works out in the end cause Santa shows up. There is no Santa. It doesn't matter how good you are, or how awesome your kid is. It doesn't matter if you've been good or bad. Actually, if you've been bad, selfish and small minded and ruthless, you're probably going to have a better Christmas for it.

I hate that I can't give the Kid anything. I hate that he is so understanding about it. If he were awful then I could at least justify it. I could tell myself that he's too materialistic or bratty. But he's not. He's just a sweet, tenderhearted little monkey and I am terrified that he is going to be crushed tomorrow because I don't have any magic tricks up my sleeve.

I hate Christmas. And now I have to go put on a happy face and pretend like this isn't the crappiest Christmas ever and I'm not the biggest fucking failure as a parent. I'm so broke I can't even afford booze to drink myself into happy.

I truly hope the rest of you have a much better holiday.

Sunday, December 23, 2007


I have been studying political science for so long that it is rare that I hear anything profound come out of someone's mouth regarding politics anymore. I think the last time I read something that made me go "OMG!" was several years ago while reading a biography of the first socialist leader of Sweden, Tage Erlander. To paraphrase severely- a business that does not pay it's employees a living wage is a failing business in the eyes of the state, and should not be supported. Why would it be a failing business? Well the people who are employed are not making enough to live on, let alone contribute to the public good through paying taxes. If a business cannot employ people well enough so that they can pay taxes, then the business is failing it's duty to the state (WalMart- I'm thinking about you) by pawning off some of the costs of doing business on to the state.

So I was watching Bill Moyers interview Benjamin Barber about his book Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults and Swallow Citizens Whole. And I had another "OMG!" moment. To paraphrase again

When politics invades every aspect of life, we call it totalitarianism, when religion invades every aspect of life, we call it theocracy, but when capitalism invades every aspect of life, we call it liberty.
We are slaves to the market economy. It invades everything we do, from birth to death. But we call this freedom because we think we have a choice. More from the interview (and again paraphrased because I am not great with on the spot dictation) We think we have a choice because we can choose over 200 models of cars to drive, but what we can't choose is quality public transportation because it's not available.

The freedom to shop is not true freedom. (I would say that the freedom from shopping is not true freedom either and the kid and I are in the midst of what is being called "The Suckiest Christmas Ever!") So if we are entrenched in a society based on shopping- what do we call it?

(Editor's note: You may have noticed the Powell's books banner at the top of this site. If you are looking for books and you go through my site using that banner or any links, like the one for the Barber book above, and you buy books through that link- I get a commission. Yes I realize the hypocrisy of shilling for cash in this post. But buying from Powell's mean you support one of the last independent book sellers and help the Kid and I at the same time. I have also got some t-shirt designs up at CafePress, so if you want a bitchy t-shirt, now you know where to get one. )