Pesto chango

I’m barely alive. Well, obviously I’m alive. As cool as it would be to blog from beyond the grave, that isn’t going to happen anytime soon. Sorry if I got your hopes up. But back to being alive. Why am I clinging on to my life here? Because I took the stupid PSAT yesterday and my brain is totally fried. That’s why. Any more questions?

I really hate standardized testing. Well, maybe hate is a strong word. How about I really really really really really don’t like standardized testing? After spending all day Monday and Tuesday taking 4 practice tests (that’s over 8 hours of tests. GAHHHH!), I took the real deal on Wednesday at a highschool. Yes, I had to break out of my homeschool comfort shell and interact with people who go to real school. Scary.

After hours of test taking, plus lots of cramming, my brain is in slow-mo today. I’m so worn out that a few different times today I would realize mid-sentence that I had no clue what I was talking about. At times like this when I’m really not in the mood to make real food, I turn to my new best friend. Pesto in a jar. Pasta+pesto=instant delicious.

Now that I think about it, a lot of my best friends are inanimate objects., my Newsies DVD, Waldo my Wusthof knife, and now pesto. Is there something wrong with me?

And apparently my brain is so fried that I though having “pesto chango” as the title of this post was clever. Yeah, there’s definitely something wrong with me.

Speaking of messed up, I opened my blog earlier to look at my stats and look at what some awful person typed into Google to find me.

I don’t know what’s worse, the fact that my blog pops up when you type that in, or the fact that some human being out there actually hates Damian Joseph McGinty, Jr.

In food news: I bet you’re wondering, “what’s on the menu this week, Picco?” Glad you asked. Tomorrow? Red velvet cake balls. The day after that? Pesto cake balls. And I’m so tired right now those actually sound good. Yeah, I’m going to stop talking now.

Am I in…Narnia?

Short answer, unfortunately no. Life would be so much more interesting with giant talking lions and Skandar Keynes.

Long answer, I woke up yesterday morning and looked outside to see snow that was 48 feet deep. And the sad part is I’m barely exaggerating. Umm hello, it’s the end of March? Snow is for winter. I don’t know who’s controlling the weather right now, but it’s pretty obvious they’re one fry short of a Happy Meal. And then it snowed more last night! GRRRRR!!!!! Creepiest part, this morning when I went to mass it was all still there, but by the end it had all melted… which kind of made me second guess myself. Did I imagine it all??? AM I LOSING MY MIND!??!! *cough* I’m a psycho *cough*.

And in other random, pointless, boring news, happy Joe Day! No joke, it’s real. Actually it ties in quite well with yesterday’s Get Dumped By Your Unappreciative Girlfriend Day. Inside joke. No, I didn’t get dumped.

I was looking through The Silver Spoon today and I just wasn’t feeling any of the recipes. I love (like L-U-V love) Italian food, but the spoon has a way of making me hate it. For example, tonight I really wanted to hand-make meatballs, since I’ve never done it before. So I was flipping through the cookbook til I found a recipe. This is how my conversation with the cookbook went
Mr. Spoon: Did you want meatballs?
Mr S:Well let me make you un-want them! How about you make them with bits of eggplant in them! Or with lemon. Or with a tasty onion garnish? (The recipe’s actually called Meatballs with a Tasty Onion Garnish. Adding “tasty” before a word doesn’t make me want it anymore…) Now do you still want them?
Me: *blank stare* …Stupid book!

And then it got ugly, so I’m not going to go into anymore detail. Let’s just say books were thrown and feelings were hurt.

Where I was going with this was that I really tried to use a recipe from The Silver Spoon tonight, but I just couldn’t. *sigh* Failure. So I used AllRecipes instead! As you can see from the beautiful meatball at the beginning, I did in fact make spaghetti and meatballs. They were a major success and I was very happy with myself :) I also attempted to make focaccia bread, since I had it at my friend’s house a few days ago and it was beyond amazing. Mine didn’t turn out as great as her mom’s did, but that didn’t stop everyone from eating all of it. And yes, there is chunk taken out of the bread. I honestly couldn’t wait any longer and the camera wasn’t close enough… or I was just hungry and lazy. That too.

Now I’m going to go to sleep. It’s almost 11. I’ve had a long day. Brain shutting…off….zzzzzzz….

Presto French Fry cutter, je t’adore

My mom is a big antique/vintage junkie which I guess, in a way, rubbed off on me.  She’s more of an old stuff junkie and I’m big on vintage clothes. Although, I guess vintage for me is anything made before 1985… She’s been getting some pretty awesome cast iron cooking tools lately. In the past month we’ve acquired a cornbread mold, a biscuit cutter, an apple corer and a french fry cutter.  The french fry cutter’s been my favorite, though. Am I super lazy? Maybe. Ok, yes I am. But as easy as cutting potatoes was before, it’s now that much easier for me! Like the fancy schmancy directions say, just place over potato and push down. I think I love it. I’m going to marry it and become Mrs. Presto French Fry cutter. You’re all invited to the wedding.Our dish for the evening was Linguine with Genoese Pesto. Also known as Linguine al Pesto Genovese. Basically, pasta with pesto, green beans and potatoes. I was dying for a recipe that used potatoes, just so I had an excuse to use my new utensil. The recipe called for 2 potatoes, cut into thin batons. Perfect. The pesto pasta (Ha! Say that three times fast. Ok wait, I just did and it’s not that hard. Never mind.) turned out well. The only major change I’d make to it was to cook the potatoes and green beans for 1-2 minutes before putting the pasta in. Otherwise, you’ll be scooping out the pasta so the still raw veggies can cook more, like I had to. It was fun and I’m pretty sure I got 2nd degree burns from when the food decided to slip off my spoon, and splash back into the pot of  212 °F water. In happier news, I also got to use the food processor. I actually felt like a real chef tonight! Except for the fact that in the process of making dinner, I spilled ground coffee beans all over the floor. And I also left the garlic out, which made the kitchen reek of, well, garlic. Coffee and garlic and pesto. One word:But back to the potato cutter because I love talking about it. :) I seriously had so much fun cutting potatoes that I had to stop myself at just 3 of them. Is that weird? Wait, don’t answer that.

Thank you, Mr. Hitchcock, for making me scared of absolutely everything

I love Alfred Hitchcock movies. Like LOVE love. I could easily watch all of them all day. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of watching The Birds last night. Mistake #1: watching it at night.  Not only was I scared out of my mind, but I was over at my grandma’s sleeping in a dark room. By myself. Just waiting for birds to swarm in through the windows and vents to attack me. The Alfred Hitchcock movies have a way of making me scared of things that really aren’t that scary. So now I’m terrified of showers, crop dusters, windows, the number 39, and now birds. Great.

Luckily, Hitchcock didn’t have time to make a movie about bacon-wrapped chicken coming alive and taking over the world. And if he did, please don’t tell me about it until all the leftovers from tonight have been eaten. But anyway, I was skimming through The Silver Spoon the other day looking for edible things and I came across a recipe called Chicken Roulades with Sage. So basically, chicken wrapped with pancetta and a sage leaf, held together with a toothpick. Seemed good enough, so that’s what I made tonight. Pancetta is disgustingly expensive so I opted for bacon. Bacon is so much tastier anyway! ;) And, like a dummy, I forgot to check and see if we had dried sage, since I didn’t get any fresh sage from the store. Shockingly, we didn’t. So its understudy, thyme, took its place. I didn’t hit the chicken with a mallet like the recipe said to (the closest thing we had to a food mallet was a sledgehammer and as tempting as that is…) and I didn’t serve the chicken with a radicchio salad. So, pretty much, I didn’t follow the recipe. Not that I ever really do.

As for my critique of this recipe, it didn’t wow me. It was definitely good (bacon and chicken. Um hello, yum), but I didn’t eat it and, with tears of joy rolling down my face, scream out, “WHERE HAS THIS BEEN ALL MY LIFE?!”. Instead, I ate it and went “Eh.” Maybe something I’d make again. After I calm down from the fact that chicken is a bird and now it’s out to get me.

I’d love opera, if only I could understand it

How did you spend your Friday night? I’ll tell you how I spent mine. At an opera. WHACHA. Bet you didn’t see that one coming! Except for the fact that there’s a picture of my opera program right up there. Yeah… But anyway, I went to go see La Traviata and it actually was better than I thought it was going to be. Granted, I went into it with the lowest expectations on the planet and I expected to be bored the entire time. But it wasn’t too long (2 1/2 hours), the singers had amazing voices, and there were English subtitles :) Oh I’m sorry, my 11 year old sister just corrected me. They’re called “supertitles”. Supra above, sub under. Silly me! *eyeroll* But the best part was that while they were running through the aisles during the performance (I’m still not sure why…) one of the…larger singers… got stuck in between my sister’s chair and the wall which made her laugh hysterically. Of course I got stuck next to the lady with the mask over her face, so the whole time I was thinking “Oh great, what deadly toxin is she emitting that I’m breathing in right now?”.  Oh yeah, and then I’m pretty sure the old lady behind me almost died. She was dizzy and loudly announcing “I’M FINE, I’M FINE!” to everyone around her. If she had died on me, that soooo would have ruined my night. 

I got back in the groove of Italian food tonight. I made tomato bruschetta which, of course, decided to not turn out on me. The bread decided to burn even though I had it in the oven for less than a minute. And the tomatoes tasted weird. But other than that-lovely! ;) If you ever make this, I’d recommend slicing the tomatoes in half, scooping out the seeds and then putting salt on it. It helps dry out the tomatoes so it doesn’t turn your bread to mush.

Get ready for some super awesome foods coming up this week. There will be pesto, cod, and of course, flourless cakes!

Random Italian (or not) Foods, the movie. Coming to a computer screen near you.