Month: May 2014

Slightly Less Wise (and Hot Sock Magic)

I got my wisdom teeth surgically removed yesterday. It wasn’t that bad! The anesthesia hit me like a ton of bricks; I think I was out within 30 seconds of the IV being placed. I remember sort of waking up during it because my nose was itchy, and a very nice nurse kindly moved my arm back down. I also kind of remember feeling someone poking around in my mouth. I woke up, Mr. Something drove me home, and my pain is fairly easily managed with a touch of hydrocodone (yesterday) and ibuprofen (today). I’ve been living on smoothies, mashed potatoes, and miso soup. Never in my life have I so badly wanted to chew.

My face is pretty swollen. I sort of look like Quagmire, which is really unfortunate.

photo (31)

 

We used to have a rice-filled hot pad that we would heat up and stick under the covers in the winter when it was really cold out. I couldn’t find it today, so I made my own little hot sock to ease my swollen cheeks.

Hot Sock Magic

  • clean sock (I used one whose mate is long lost)
  • uncooked rice

Fill the sock with rice so it’s just up to the heel. Tie a knot in it, leaving some room so the rice can move around. When you need a fairly long-lasting hot compress, stick it in the microwave for around 45 seconds. It’ll be really hot, so watch out!

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Surgery Fears (and the Perfect Amount of Chocolate Chip Cookies)

I’m having my wisdom teeth removed this Friday and I’m pretty nervous. I’ve never had anesthesia before, and this will be my first surgery ever. I’m pretty fortunate, I guess, and I know it’s a routine thing, but it’s still scary. I hope, at the very least, that I am hysterically funny while drugged out of my mind. Surgery Fears | Gainfully Something

And when I’m stressed, I bake.

I think that most cookie recipes are formulated to feed large armies of cookie-crazy loons. I don’t want to make SIX DOZEN cookies, cookbook, because then I will eat SIX DOZEN cookies. So here’s a chocolate chip cookie recipe that makes about 18 cookies, which is perfect for giving someone a dozen and then having a few cookies for yourself.

The Perfect Amount of Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 3/8C white sugar
  • 3/8C brown sugar
  • 1/2t vanilla
  • 1 egg

Cream that together (I used the paddle attachment on my stand mixer).

  • 1 1/8C flour
  • 1/2t baking soda
  • 1/2t salt

Add to the creamed mixture and mix until it forms a dough. Don’t overmix!

  • 1C chocolate chips (or mini peanut butter cups, or butterscotch chips, or chopped up Heath bar)

Add and mix until the chips are combined.

Drop rounded tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 375F for 9-11 minutes. Cool on racks (or devour at your own risk).

Coconut Sugar Scrub | Gainfully Something

Spa at Home: Coconut Sugar Scrub

I have recently become slightly obsessed with coconut oil. It’s a great moisturizer, you can cook with it, and if you put some in water with limes in a small pot over low heat, you can make your house smell like the tropics.

After seeing this concoction on Pinterest a million times, I finally decided to make it. I put mine in a little Gladware thing so I can keep it in the shower, but you could also put some in a glass jar and give it as a gift.

Coconut Sugar Scrub

  • coconut oil (solid, in a jar)
  • white sugar
  • a few drops of essential oil, if desired (I used lavender)

You can scale this recipe to make however much you want. Microwave some of the coconut oil so it’s kind of soft (do this 10 seconds at a time), then transfer to a small bowl. Mix sugar in a little bit at a time until it reaches the consistency of thick batter. Add the essential oil, if using, and stir in. Plop this into jars, if you want, or a little plastic thing for the shower. Use instead of body wash/lotion or shaving cream.

My Poor Right Arm (and Mr. Something’s Favorite Meatloaf)

The past week has been hard on my right arm. When I came home from the grocery store the other day, Big Puppy greeted me with happy paws (and dewclaws that need to be trimmed). Then I grazed my forearm with a very hot baking sheet (that’ll be a fun scar). THEN I acquired a mysterious bruise on the knuckle of my middle finger. It’s a big enough bruise that I should remember how I got it… but I have no idea.

Sigh. At least none of these things hurt anymore.

I know it’s May and getting warmer, but it actually snowed here in the high plains the other day. Like… Christmas amounts of snow. So I made meatloaf yesterday.

Meatloaf gets a bad rap. First of all, meat. loaf. It’s such a gross name. “Who wants some loafed meat, kids?” No one. No one wants meat in the shape of a loaf. But it’s SO GOOD. It’s one of those foods that scares some people, because it’s so midcentury (“Make sure you eat lots of red meat so we build strong Americans!”). Just make it. It makes wonderful sandwiches the next day, and if you have a ton left over, you can chunk it up, freeze it, and use it in a batch of crock pot pasta sauce.

Mr. Something’s Favorite Meatloaf

  • 1.5lbs ground beef (I used extra lean)
  • 1/2C ketchup
  • 2T Worcestershire sauce
  • black pepper, to taste
  • crushed red pepper, to taste
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1C+ 1T bread crumbs (I put a few slices of stale sourdough in the food processor)
  • 1/4C onion, finely chopped (again, I whirred this around in the food processor; smaller pieces are better)
  • 2t brown mustard

Topping

  • 1C ketchup
  • 2t brown mustard
  • 1T brown sugar
  • 2T molasses

Preheat the oven to 400F. Mix the beef, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, spices, eggs, bread crumbs, onion, and mustard. Squish into a foil-lined pan. (We have a special non-stick meatloaf pan that has an insert with holes that drain the grease. I highly recommend getting one of these; we got ours at Williams-Sonoma. It makes meatloaf so much less greasy and icky. If you use one of these, don’t line it with foil.) Mix together the topping ingredients and spread on top. Bake 45 minutes (or until internal temperature reaches 165F; get out that probe thermometer!). Rest 5-10 minutes.

SECRET PROJECT NUMBER ONE (and Crock Pot “Roast” Chicken)

So Mr. Something and I have been working on SECRET PROJECT NUMBER ONE for the past few weeks, and while I can’t reveal anything right now, know that it is very exciting. (Spoiler: it does not involve my uterus.) I can’t wait to tell everyone at the end of this month!

Yesterday I wanted to make something easy, but delicious, so I made a chicken in the crock pot. Now, many recipes for this sort of chicken will call it “roast chicken,” but I think it lacks the crispiness I associate with roasting, so maybe “the best chicken ever that sort of steams in its own juices” is more appropriate.

I adapted this from Iowa Girl Eats, one of my favorite cooking sites. She recommends taking the chicken skin off–unless you are on a super low-fat diet, do not do this. Just… don’t. Chicken fat is one of the joys in life. EAT SOME JOY.

Crock Pot “Roast” Chicken

adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

  • 4lb chicken (if yours comes with giblets, take ’em out)
  • 2T melted butter
  • 2T olive oil
  • 1T Hungarian paprika (do not use smoked)
  • 1T granulated garlic
  • 2t kosher salt
  • 1t onion powder
  • 1t Italian seasoning (I used Penzeys Pasta Sprinkle)
  • a few generous grinds of black pepper
  • 6 foil balls (it’s very fun to crumple them up)

Put the foil balls in the bottom of the crock pot. Mix the spices with the butter and oil and rub them over the chicken (if you use disposable gloves, your life will be easier and your hands won’t be disgusting). Put the chicken, breast side up, on the foil balls. Cook on low for 6 to 7 hours. It will be so tender that you might have to take it out of the crock pot in chunks.

This chicken was amazing straight out of the crock pot, but it’d also be perfect for chicken salad (both mayonnaisey and lettucey), enchiladas, etc.