There are an abundance of descriptive words out there, and most of them can be applied to food. Festering gravy. Dolloped cabbage. Smothered raisins. Pungent casserole. You get the idea. Variety is the spice of vocabulary. There are some words, however, that must be banished because they are objectively terrible. Hideous words that make my brain pucker up in a reflexive, sphinctral shudder. Do not use these words.
Yummy: The loathsome bookended “y” makes this word sound like wet mush in your mouth. It also doesn’t mean anything. If I describe a food as “yummy,” you know nothing about it except that I enjoy eating it and am describing it to you as though you are a toddler.
Being crappy is a way of life, and like all ways of life, it has seasons. Sometimes, being crappy means holing up in your lair while the rains of winter dribble around. Sometimes, being crappy means it’s summer and so you decide you’re having social engagements. Webster’s dictionary probably defines hosting as “letting gross bugs nibble your skin flaps,” but we can define it as “having people over and wanting them to think you are 25% less crappy than you actually are.” When that pressure strikes, I clean furiously, decide to make 5 new recipes, and end up yelling at the victims who live with me. That makes everyone feel GREAT by the time guests arrive!
Really though, the heart of crappy hosting is understanding that being not-so-great at it should NEVER be an impediment to your socializing. Your friends want to hang out with you. They don’t really care about your house. At the same time, the level of squalor you can tolerate may necessitate finding a balance. These tips are about where that point really resides. Continue reading “10 Ultimate Crappy Hosting Tips”→
These are some good meatballs. They use common household ingredients. They are easy. They are Delicious as Hell. I owe a debt of inspiration to Smitten Kitchen, whose recipe I have made and increasingly changed about half a dozen times. The result is – get this – even simpler than the original. Continue reading “Most Triumphant Meatballs”→
Everyone who knows the difference between a tsp and a tbsp has a special recipe that they know by heart and whip up regularly. I committed this recipe to memory so long ago that I don’t even know where it came from. (Most likely it was adapted from my mom Karin’s banana loaf recipe, but she probably wouldn’t want me sullying her good name with my mediocre muffins.)
The World’s Okayest Banana Muffins are my go-to lazy weekend stay-at-home sweet-tooth brunch treat. They’re quick, easy, hard to screw up, and go great with black coffee. Plus they’re the perfect vehicles for those bananas in your fridge going brown and splotchy. You might not win any awards or impress your older sister who taught you the difference between a tsp and a tbsp, but like a $9 bottle of red wine these banana muffins are just good enough to get the job done.
I am gravely concerned. It has come to my attention that there are a group of people so depraved in their sensibilities that they have cast their votes for an abomination. Their moral turpitude knows no bounds. (Surprise! I’m actually NOT taking about the representatives voting to repeal the ACA). Continue reading “At What Cost?”→
You clicked on this because the word “hack” was in the title, thinking that I’d be giving you some clever tips and ingredient add-ons to freshen up the most estimable quiescently frozen confection: pizza.
Joke’s on you though, because the only “hack” here is the author.
This list is actually far more important than some poorly advised toppings. It’s a guide to achieving transcendent happiness for about $4.99. Regardless of your feelings about Malcolm Gladwell, I’ve definitely gotten my 10,000 freezer pizzas, which makes me uniquely qualified to dispense some practical tips. In other words: trust me, I’m a professional. Continue reading “Ultimate Freezer Pizza Hacks”→
Make this recipe. It’s named because you’ll weep with happiness once you nail down your method for these any-time-of-day Potatoes O’Brien, topped with a fried egg. It’s a pretty good way to start a leisurely weekend, but it’s also a pretty good way to wind down a stupid day at work.
Over the last six months, I’ve encountered several dismal entries into the dessert hummus market. They usually inhabit the organic section of the refrigerator case, and include “Snickerdoodle,” “Brownie Batter,” “Vanilla Bean,” and “Orange Dreamsicle.” Here are some suggested flavors for 2017:
Pineapple Coconut Barfait: The acidity of the pineapple gives it a pleasant tingle reminiscent of vomit. The coconut is there to remind you that you’re not on vacation and you used up all your personal days earlier in the year.
Spewmoni: Three layers, each inspired by a ring of Dante’s hell. According to Dante, the third ring of hell involves lying in “vile slush,” which seems like a pretty good descriptor of this flavor.
Cookie Doughn’t: Low risk of salmonella from raw eggs, high risk of PTSD.
Triple Fudge Blowing Chunks: A ripple of chocolate, and a ripple of fear down your spine.
Pecan’t Pie: You’d be nuts to eat this.
Blackberry Panna Squatta: A delicate custard flecked with seeds. The seeds of your own destruction.
Yule (regret this) Log: Roll this hummus up in your traditional holiday dessert instead of whipped buttercream. Serve it to your relatives. Guaranteed to revoke your hosting privileges.
Butt-erscotch Pudding: This is pretty cool! It looks the same coming AND going!
Unholy Cannoli: A traditional Italian dessert that involves a crispy cookie shell filled with semi-solid ghost farts.
Caramel Crapple: A fun seasonal flavor to serve on the 31st of never.
A Definitive Ranking of Trader Joe’s Rosemary Raisin Cracker Variations
We here at Handcrapted HQ have been known to partake in a cracker or two. They’re basically a cheese delivery vehicle, so they need to be sturdy enough to stand up to whatever puck of Grocery Outlet Bargain Market goodness I decide to splash my $3.99 on. Or $2.99. Or $.99. (Trust that the cheese acquired for less than a dollar is worthy of its own post.) Anyway! That extra dollar savings can best be put to use on an upgraded Carb Shovel.