Don’t grow up, kids. It’s a trap.

You know what’s horrible about growing up? It’s no longer socially acceptable to build forts or jump on the living room furniture to avoid landing on the carpet which is unfortunately made of lava. Well, I guess I still could, but people would think there’s something wrong with me. And I’d also probably break the couch and a limb.

a whole lotta chocolate chips

A few days ago I went to the City Museum. For those of you who don’t live in St. Louis and are looking for something to do when you visit (you know you want to), I strongly recommend going to the City Museum. If you’re over the age of 12 you can only go once. Every time after that it just gets boring and depressing. I remember being so scared of it when I was little. There is one dark part called the caves that I was so terrified of, but when I went through them the other day the only thing I was terrified of was throwing up because the whole thing smelled rank. It was really disappointing. My favorite part was the ten story slide, but I had to climb up ten flights of stairs just to get to it, and it wasn’t worth it.

flourless chocolate cake batter

Last night I went to go see Monsters, Inc. with my friend. We were going to go by ourselves until we realized that two 17 year old girls going to see a movie that came out when we were 7 really is a bit lame, so we took Sister Celiac along. Because bringing along a 13 year old definitely makes things better? There were only four other people there, and we were the only ones between the ages of 6 and 30. We all had a lot of fun and I always forget how sad I get at the end of the movie…

making caramel sauce

As if I couldn’t get any older, I opened a checking account yesterday. I had a moment of panic because I was afraid that the woman who helped me with it would have me practice writing a check. All of the sudden I couldn’t remember how to spell forty. I couldn’t remember if there was a u in it or not and I was like OH NO. I’M GOING TO LOOK LIKE A MORON IF SHE ASKS ME TO WRITE A CHECK FOR $40. Luckily she didn’t. I also ordered checks, and no one supported my decision to buy ones with Batman on them. I basically got bullied into getting my second choice which was polka dots. No one appreciates my love of Batman. But the good news is, heh heh, I underestimated the amount of moolah I had in my Ireland Fund. Unfortunately, I think the Ireland Fund is going to turn into the Ramon Noodles Fund. I’ve been thinking about whether or not I want to continue blogging in college, and at first I wasn’t going to since I wouldn’t be able to really cook. But then I looked at my follower count and I’m like hey, I have over 120 followers here that I wouldn’t want to let down. So I’m going to attempt to cook in college… I’m going to spend all of my money on stupid food just to make you guys happy. That’s how much I love you.

homemade caramel sauce

Also, I have two cups of caramel sauce left over. You’re welcome to come over and eat it straight out of the jar with me.

flourless chocolate cake

Gluten Free Flourless Chocolate Cake

From AllRecipies

1 cup butter, cubed (I accidentally only used one stick and it tastes fine)
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (I just used regular chocolate chips because I’m not that fancy)
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
6 eggs

1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter the bottom of a 10 inch springform pan, and line with parchment paper. I recently figured out that if you trace the bottom of the pan and then cut it out, you’ll get a nice even circle that fits in the bottom of it. Yeah.

2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Stir in chocolate, and continue to stir until almost melted. Remove from heat, and stir until melted and smooth. I’m not sure why you have to remove it from the heat before it’s completely melted, but whatever. In a large bowl, stir together 1 1/4 cups sugar and the cocoa powder. Whisk in the eggs until well blended, then whisk in the chocolate and butter. I love being able to whip out my whisk. It’s pretty much my favorite cooking utensil, in case you cared. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

3. Bake for about 45 minutes in the preheated oven. The cake is ready when the edges have nicely puffed and the surface is firm except for a small spot in the center that will jiggle when the pan is gently shaken. Cool cake in the pan over a wire rack. Run a knife around the sides of the pan to loosen the cake, then remove the sides of the pan, and invert onto a serving plate. Remove the parchment paper.

4. In a heavy saucepan, stir together 1 1/2 cups of sugar, water, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and cook without stirring until the syrup is a deep amber color. For an accurate color check, dip a metal spoon into the syrup and lift it out of the pan to check the color. Once the syrup is amber, remove from the heat. Gradually stir in the cream. The mixture will bubble vigorously and freak you out. At least that’s what happened to me. If lumps form, stir gently over low heat to dissolve them. Stir in 2 tablespoons of butter.

5. Cut the cake into wedges while warm, and serve with caramel sauce spooned over it. You can also chill the cake and sauce, then warm again before serving.

5. Mentally thank me for giving you this wonderful recipe.

My uneventful last day on the earth. Thank you, doomsday, for making me seem incredibly boring.

As of right now it’s 10:04pm on Tuesday, December 20, 2012. Although by the time I actually post this it’ll probably be like midnight because I always reread my posts between 1 and 57 times so I can fix the typos. Also because I make myself laugh with my writing. Sorry for tooting my own horn. I’ll counter it by pointing out that I have officially failed the whole December photo challenge. See? Look how humble I am.

chopped onions

So, what did you all do on this fine last day on the planet? Here’s a list of things I accomplished today:

Slept in until almost 10am.

Finished some data entry I was doing for my aunt.

Realized that I never, ever want to be an accountant.

Helped my brother stir the chocolate chip cookie batter he made. So. Exciting.

Played Hay Day on my mom’s iPad. I’m ashamed that I’m addicted to that game, and I’m even more ashamed that Sister Celiac keeps going on it and using up all my money. ALL I WANT TO DO IS SAVE UP TO BUY A STUPID BOAT.

Recreated the food I made with my friend the first time I ever went to her house. It was about 3 years ago and her family completely intimidated me (not sure why…). I was so nervous, but right when I got there my friend was like let’s go to the store and get some broccoli. So she and I made these broccoli cheese meat things wrapped up in crescent rolls. I’m pretty sure it was at that moment that I realized our love of weird food would make us inseparable. Wasn’t that a beautiful story? Anyway, I left out the broccoli part tonight because I was too lazy to see if we had any frozen broccoli in the basement.


Rehearsed for midnight mass. The orchestra I’m in at church is pretty lame. There are 3 violinist (two of which are Sister Celiac and I), and two cellists (one of whom is Future Chef). My mom used to play in it too, so it was pretty much the Italiana Family Orchestra. But for the mass, the choir director hired 3 more violinists, a violist, a cellist, a double trumpeter..ists, and there might have been drums. I don’t know. It was so cold in the church that I think my brain froze. It was absolutely beautiful with the whole choir singing and the orchestra playing, and I think I have frostbite.

Also, here are some conversations I’ve had with various siblings lately. I really have nothing to talk about here, but I figured I’d blog one last time before, you know, we all die and stuff.

Brute Sister: haha, JK.
Me: Do you even know what JK stands for?
Brute: Uh, yeah. Joe Kelly. (In case you were wondering, along with Yadier Molina, Joe Kelly is my favorite baseball player. I may or may not have a picture of him as the background for my laptop. And phone. And I wrote him a love letter that I’m going to send. And we wonder why I scare people…)
Me: …uhhh…?
Brute: Speaking of Joe Kelly, what would you do if he came up to you and was like “Hey, you’re gorgeous. Let’s get married.”

And then she walked away. It was the weirdest 15 seconds of my life.

quiche filling

Me: Goodnight, Corrupted Brother.
CB: Goodnight… Hey, Picco?
Me: Yes?
CB: Am I from Canada?
Me: No…
CB: Oooohhhh. That’s weird. Let’s shake hands and I’ll go to sleep.

Ok, I lied. That was the weirdest 15 seconds of my life.

spinache quiche

Hey, it’s only 11:34. I got this done quicker than I thought, and I even got sidetracked looking at pictures of Joe Kelly. But I’d better get to sleep because I’m waking up tomorrow at 5 so I can witness the end of the world at 5:11. I’ll take a picture for you guys of the meteor or Planet X or whatever that’s supposed to crash into earth. Honestly, I’m not worried about the world ending tomorrow. I’ve lived through 28 doomsday predictions so far, and that’s not even counting the zombie apocalypse that was supposed to happen last year. Besides, the world isn’t allowed to end yet. At least not until I watch season 3 of Downton Abbey. Then it has my permission to end. Because not only do I make myself laugh, but I also control the fate of the earth. Who wouldn’t want to be friends with me? Exactly.

crustless spinache mushroom quiche

Gluten-free Crustless Spinach+Bacon Quiche

Adapted from a recipe on AllRecipes

1/2 cup butter (One. Whole. Stick)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 pound bacon, thawed, cooked, and chopped
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 (4.5 ounce) can mushrooms, drained
1 (6 ounce) package herb and garlic feta, crumbled
1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

4 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

2. In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Saute garlic and onion in butter until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Stir in bacon, spinach, mushrooms, feta and 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into a pie dish and stir to thoroughly combine the egg mixture with the spinach mixture.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Sprinkle top with remaining Cheddar cheese, and bake an additional 35 to 40 minutes, until set in center. Allow to stand 10 minutes before serving.

5. Just kidding. Eat immediately and happily suffer through the 3rd degree burns you’ll get in your mouth, because this recipe is so dang delicious.

Just an introvert girl living in a loud world.

You know what’s wrong with the world? People don’t think before they speak.

The other day Sister Celiac was talking to a girl about my new brother. The girl asked, “So, how’s your baby brother?” When my sister said that he’s great, the girl said, “Oh cool. Is there anything wrong with him?”

I’m sorry, what? What if he was born with three arms and we were going to have one surgically removed but didn’t want anyone to know about it? My sister isn’t even KIND OF friends with this girl, so why should she tell her, “Well, we’re not really telling anyone, but he’s actually a monkey.” Oh great, now you guys know our secret. This is awkward.

I know quite a few people that I simply can’t have a normal conversation with. Now granted, most of them are teenagers, but I’m not sure how good of an excuse that is. A good conversation consists of asking questions and telling stories, right? If I’m ever talking to one of those people, the conversation is just them talking over me and bragging or making stupid comments. They always feel the need to one-up me in everything. I once had a guy ask me how long I’ve played violin. When I told him 14 years, he immediately told me how he’s played for 6 years and had already learned Mozart’s hardest concerto. Dear Child Prodigy, as my dad always says, “If you have to tell me how great you are, you’re not.” Also, I heard you play and I’m not going to comment on it because I have nothing nice to say.

Better yet is when people don’t just say rude things, but actually do rude things. I can ignore the girl who told me my legs were so big she had no idea how I could fit them into my skinny jeans (When I’m around that girl I have to use every nice molecule in my body to restrain myself from kicking her in the shins. I’ve been successful so far…), but when you forcefully take a drink out of my hand telling me how bad it is for me, then we have a problem.

I’ll admit that I’m very quiet. I’m not as shy as I used to be, but I’m definitely an introvert, and apparently there’s something wrong with that. There’s nothing I hate more than being told I’m quiet. Ok, maybe I hate it second to running my hip into the corner of a table. You do not know pain until you do that. When people tell me I’m quiet I just want to be like, “NO. WAY. I seriously had no idea. Thank you so much for enlightening me,” but I don’t because, hello, introvert. Don’t really talk much. I actually used to get really upset over it. Sometimes to the point of tears. I’m not sure exactly what made (and still sort of makes) me so upset. What I’ve sort of figured out is that since our world is so loud and no one can sit still, I’m the outcast because I’m not dominating a conversation or wanting to party every Friday night or constantly flirting with guys. Because, you know, as if I don’t have a hard enough time fitting in as is. One of the many pros of being introverted is that I think before I speak. Actually, I over-think and run through what I’m going to say 5 times in my head and by the time I’m comfortable to say it, the topic has already changed. Oh well. Better to be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt, right?

Not to go all psychology on you guys, but what do you think causes people to feel like they can say whatever they want? Is it a lack of manners? Class? Or just insecurity? Or maybe the world just needs more introverts. I’d be totally chill with that.

Also, I used to collect those white pieces of paper at the bottom of Reece’s peanut butter cups. I was a weird kid.

Halloween Candy Cookies

(This recipe is from the back of the box. More or less. I added the candy bit because we have so much Halloween candy left over.)

1 package King Arthur gluten free cookie mix

1/2 cup soft butter

1 large egg

2 tablespoons water

8 frozen Reece’s peanut butter cups, chopped

1/2 cup M&Ms

1.Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. Put about half the cookie mix in a bowl, and beat in the butter. It’s especially fun to beat the butter with the arm you got a flu shot in. Yeah.

3. Beat in the remaining cookie mix, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the Reece’s peanut butter cups and M&Ms.

4. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheet, leaving about 2″ between cookies. Gently squish cookies 1/2″ thick. Ok, it said flatten on the box, but I definitely squished the cookies.

5. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

6. Devour. Om nom nom.

This post is in no way sponsored by King Arthur, but I wish it was. Please. I’m not asking for much. Maybe just a few boxes of your cookie mixes or some money. I’d definitely enjoy money.

Oh, you aren’t seeing Batman tonight either? Let’s drown our sorrows in buffalo cheese dip together.

If I had a list of things I’d avoid in a dark alley, at the top of the list would be rabid dogs, creepy dudes, and people who actually enjoy boiled chicken.

This is my attempt at making boiled chicken look appetizing. I took about 20 pictures of it, and this was the only one that didn’t make me want to upchuck. After you boil it, not only do you end up with chicken whiter than…ummm…something white? but the water you boil it in has fat and chicken flakes floating in it. And if you don’t know what chicken flakes are, go boil some chicken. I can’t describe it, but they’re disgusting.

A word of warning: this dip is addicting. It’s just the right amount of party food+comfort food. So, if you’re beyond sad that you can’t go see Dark Knight Rises tonight at the midnight premiere, you’ll eat a lot of it. Which is exactly what I’m doing. If only I didn’t have that writing and logic class thing at 9am tomorrow.  As much as I’m learning from it (we worked on syllogisms for 2 hours today. God is good. Poptarts are good. Therefore, God is poptarts. Ok, we didn’t do that one…), it’s totally ruining my life. Every day I come home exhausted from so much thinking, AND it makes me not able to see my beloved Batman movie. Batman>learning. But you didn’t hear that from me.

Whoever decided to have the premiere of Dark Knight Rises be on one of the few days of the summer I have to wake up early is obviously the same person who decided to let babies grow up, put so many calories in moose tracks ice cream, and thought it would be a good idea for all clothes in the 90’s to be made out of denim. That person has serious issues.

So anyway, for all of you going tonight, have fun. Meanwhile, I’m going to pretend I’m having just as much fun as you are by having a Chris Nolan/superhero marathon. “Because Toby McGuire is just as awesome as Christian Bale,” said no one ever.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

From How Sweet It Is

2-8 0z blocks of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup of blue cheese dressing
1/2 cup of ranch dressing
1 cup of buffalo wing sauce. We use Sweet Baby Ray’s since it’s gluten free, but you can use whatever sauce your little heart desires.
4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375.

To boil the chicken, wash the defrosted thighs and place in a sauce pan. Fill the pan with enough water to cover the chicken by several inches. Set your stovetop burner to high and maintain a rapid boil while the chicken cooks for 20 minutes. Set the chicken aside until cool, then shred with a fork.

For the sauce, in a large bowl combine softened cream cheese, ranch dressing, blue cheese dressing, and buffalo wing sauce. Using a mixer, mix until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Resist the urge to eat all of it right then and there. I mean, you can have a little taste or 5, but save some room for when there’s chicken involved. Fold in shredded chicken and 1 cup of shredded cheese. Pour into a baking dish. Top with remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until dip is warmed through. Now you may eat all of it.

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows to not share his potato salad with the fool.

When it hardly gets below 90 degrees for what seems like a billion years, and the only friend you have with a pool is in Spain for the month, you have to find ways to entertain yourself. Would you care to hear what I’ve been doing? Rhetorical question. You have no choice.

Lately I’ve dusted off my hardly used brain and thought hey, it’s really hot outside, I should use the oven and stove multiple times a day! In fact, why don’t I just start doing pushups outside wearing saran wrap too? I have the best ideas in the world. And I’m uncomfortably hot 24/7.

If on the off chance you’re ever bored out of your skull like I am, I do not suggest reading Frankenstein. Not only was it much darker and longer than I was expecting, it wasn’t even KIND OF like Young Frankenstein. Not once were the phrases “There, wolf. There, castle,” “Nice hopping,” or “SEDAGIVE?!” mentioned in the entire book. Talk about a let down.

If you have a highly refined palate like myself, you’ll watch only the most educating and inspiring movies. Such as the movie Master of Disguise. Not only did it get a 1% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it also displays Dana Carvey at his finest. Hmmm. If you haven’t seen that movie, please do, so another fellow human over the age of 7 can recite it with me. I’ve seen that movie 50+ times and have not only the dialogue memorized, but the actors’ facials expressions too. Impressed? Don’t be.

And if you’re incredibly bored, you’ll make potato salad. I always try to convince myself that I hate potatoes, and I’m not sure why. I tell myself that I adamantly hate them, and then I do things like go and make this. But this is one of my favorite things to make. I mean, it tastes and looks wonderful. Am I right, or am I right? Ugh, I hate when people say that. I always think “uh, you’re right, but you’re actually not right….YOU LEAVE ME WITH NO OPTIONS.” I’m really fun under pressure. I make this potato salad so often that it has become a part of my life. No one questions me when I make it. I mean, no one comes up to me and asks “Why are you making potato salad again?” That’s like asking “Why are you breathing again today?” or “Why do you want a pair of black and white checkered Vans for your birthday, which is in 28 days?” Dumb questions, if you ask me. For real.

For the members of my fan club who read my blog as ardently as I eat Moose Tracks ice cream (and I’ve been known to consume that delicious stuff multiple times daily), you’ll remember that I’ve made potato salad before. I think I made it back in February, and it’s kind of the same recipe, but I’ve tweaked it a bit so it’s even more fantastic. Who came up with the word tweak? They deserve a sympathy pat on the back. At least they were trying…

Picco’s Potato Salad

(Is that a cheesy sounding name? I could always name it The New Batman Movie is Out in 13 Days and I’m So Excited Potato Salad. Better?)

2 pounds of potatoes (I used 7 medium red potatoes. I’ve made this using Yukon potatoes, but I like it better with red ones. But it’s entirely up to you which kind you use. I won’t think of you as less of a person…or will I?)
6 eggs
1 pound of bacon
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Scrub the potatoes using a vegetable brush, because no one wants to find dirt in their food. Although once my mom and I went out for lunch and she found dirt in her salad and the waiter found me attractive. He only looked at me when taking my mom’s order and kept giving me free refills on my Dr. Pepper. It was nice. Take out the eyes of the potato until they’re as blind as Ray Charles. Is that weird? Yeah. Quarter them and cook them in the boiling water until they’re tender but firm, which should be for 12-15 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water.

Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Cover the pot and let the eggs stand in the hot water for 10-12 minutes. Remove from hot water, place in a bowl of ice water until no longer hot to the touch, peel and chop.

Place bacon on baking tray covered in aluminum foil. Place into a cold oven, set the oven temperature to 400 F, and bake for 13-17 minutes. Drain, crumble, and set aside.

Chop the cooled potatoes, leaving the skin on. Place in a bowl and add the eggs, mayonnaise, bacon, and dijon. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill for an hour before serving, or eat it right then and there. I won’t judge.