Saturday, April 30, 2011

Easy Peasy

Sometimes leftovers can be icky until you drastically change their texture.

Here is Tuesday night's dinner, only soupified!

When I made the chicken drumsticks, I had de-glazed the pan with some chicken stock, reduced and strained it, and saved the resulting sauce to make soup later.
There was 1 drumstick leftover, along with a bunch of veggies.
Pureed the veggies with 1 cup water and added more salt and pepper. Minced 2 scallions and 2 cloves of garlic, then browned them in the deglazing liquid.
Stirred in the veggie puree. Finished by dicing the meat on the leftover drums
tick and adding it with some frozen peas.

Oh yeah, and more garlic.

As it simmered I topped it off with another splash of milk and a few good shreds of sharp white cheddar.

Result = soup.

It may not be the prettiest color, but it tastes like chicken pot pie without the crust. Soup day.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Comfort in the eye of the storm

Talking on the phone to my grandma on Easter, she brought up a valid question about something that I wrote on here.
Yes, you guys, despite not having a computer, my grandma still finds a way to somehow read my food blog.

I'm over it.

Anyway, she presented a valid point having to do with my grilled cheese divine method to make you feel like a 10-year-old at 3:30 p.m.
"Why," she asks me, "don't you just butter the bread? It would be much easier than nuking it in the cancer machine and dirtying another dish."
[I paraphrase.]

Two reasons.

1. First of all, for even coverage. Dredging bread in butter is not only fun, but very effective. Streaks of black are not a virtue of the perfect grilled cheese, and nor are soggy sections where the butter has stayed in a clump.

2. Because I keep my butter refrigerated, and softening it for hours 'til it reaches spreadable consistency requires

planning ahead.

Which, as you all know, always works out for me. Every single time.
Like pita chips.

No, in all honesty, I am a second-semester senior. I have learned by this point that starting a project even a second earlier than absolutely necessary is just wishful thinking.
This normally ensues in short-lived utter raging panic the wee morning hours leading up to the final moment that the immaculate paper passes from my weary and caffeine-jittering fingers.
I do my best work in the midst of an emergency. Gets my adrenaline pumping.
I am a creature of the last minute, and may never be otherwise until I am my grandmother's age.

Since it is my last finals week evar (?), and since I fully plan to spend my next 4 days fretting and nights sitting on the floor with a cold cup of coffee staring at a the cursor blink on and off in a blank Word document until 6 A.M., I can't be bothered to cook anything that requires any rigorous planning. [And I consider rigorous planning to be putting a stick of butter on the counter to soften for a couple hours.]

I am making comfort food. Something to make you want to curl up under a warm, baby blue blanket and forget all about walking to class in a tornado warning (because that's what all of us did today, and will hopefully get to do tomorrow too!)

Crispy chicken drumsticks and creamy thyme-roasted veggies

The holy trinity of potatoes, carrots, and celery, sprinkled with mushrooms and a thick-sliced onion. Tossed around with olive oil, a few whole smashed cloves of garlic, lots of fresh thyme, and cracked salt and pepper. Roasted at 350° for 20 minutes, and then for another 20 with 1/4 cup of milk stirred in.

I coated the drumsticks by dipping them in an egg, milk, and worchestershire mixture and then dredging in Kentucky Kernel seasoned flour.
(There is no substitute.)

I only wish that I knew of a better method to keep all the golden crusty breading ON the chicken after it's initially coated. I didn't deep fry it, I browned each side in a pan and then finished it in the oven, turning about every 10 minutes until it smelled done.
It seemed like every time I turned it, though, more of the crispy skin and breading stuck to the pan. I would like to know if there is a better coating method that sticks forreal and makes a uniform crust.
Or maybe it has to do with the level of heat and fat in the pan. I'd be interested to know if anybody has any experienced opinions on this.

I finished the night with some whole wheat banana bread.
I sprinkled the top with brown and refined sugar for a sparklingly sweet top crust. I left it in a touch too long (on 375° for 55 minutes). It's very dense. That could also be the wheat flour. It's still delicious, you can't go wrong with warm, steamy banana bread with some butter!

The best part of all of these things is that they each had practically no prep time. Toss a couple things together and throw it in the oven for about an hour. The veggies go in. Veggies come out and in goes the chicken. Chicken comes out and in goes the banana bread! And that gives me tons of time in my busy school schedule to study....
well, we'll see.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Legumes in Hiding

Title refers to a book I had and loved when I was a baybee, called Pigs In Hiding.
As you can see, it's about hundreds of thousands of pigs who are playing hide and seek in a house. This is what I have to do with lentils, as well as garbanzo beans, every time we have Indian night.

Like anything else, Indian food is easy if you never bother to learn how to do it right.

I'll explain in a minute.

So the other day I was driving to Kroger in the rain and about killed a pedestrian when I saw out of the corner of my eye that I was about to pass up a new Indian grocery store in town. I made a 180 to go check it out right away.

It's in the same building that used to be a tanning salon called "The Toasted Kitty." Wonder why they closed...?

The place had a whole aisle of ready-to-use spice mixtures in more varieties and combinations than I could ever use in a lifetime.
...Unlike my house.
God knows we need more spices. We actually did just ran out of turmeric [from being clumsy and spilling it everywhere] and it was a catastrophe. (What is going to dye the floor highlighter yellow now?!)

I settled on a box of something called "Kitchen King Masala," hoping that it was vague and powerful sounding enough to be an all-purpose spice mix for the casual, interloping Indian food admirer.
Me gusta los Kitchen Kings! I don't know how long it's going to last on my shelf, because I will be using it by the pound from now on! So good. It must be the turmeric. And fenugreek, what even is that?

So I whipped out an old bag of lentils for din dins.
I love daal about as much as I love anything else on an Indian menu, and it's a really healthy option for getting lots of iron & protein.

The only problem is, Katie has a historic loathing for beans as well as anything bean-related. After all, the great mathematician and philosopher Pythagoras did once say "abhor all beans."
How in the world am I going to feed her lentils?!
Answer: I will hide them.

I started out by boiling lentils and some peeled chopped potatoes in the same pot. They don't have to boil at the same rate, because it's all just going to end up as mush, right?
After 20 minutes I strained them (saving the water), rinsed them in cold water, and threw the lentils, half of the potatoes, and a bit of the water into a blender.

What came out was was a thick, gray paste.
Appetizing, right?

...It is with the help of Kitchen King.

Kitchen King Masala.

I should also mention that I purchased a jar of ghee, the Hindi word for clarified butter.

This jar holds the secret to the deliciosity of Indian cooking. I have just used regular butter in the past, but nothing holds up to the flavor of ghee.

Ghee + heaping amount of spices only Shiva could appreciate = Indian food

Maybe throw in a vegetable or two for substance, but it's not necessary.
I asked the bald orange guy at the counter (he really is orange! I swear! Must be residual spray tan particles in the air) whether I should refrigerate the jar of ghee after I open it.
He gave me that sideways head bobble that Indian people throw out when they want to answer your question with both a yes and a no. "Just put the lid back on and maybe kind of turn it."
Got it. I will turn the shit out of that lid, orange man.
Maybe what he was getting at was that a jar of ghee won't last long enough to go bad.

My food creation:

1. Heat about a 1/4 cup ghee in a large pot. Sautee chopped onions and garlic along with several tablespoons of an Indian spice mixture.
2. Add the reserved water from boiling the lentils, mashed lentil/potato paste, and 2 oz. tomato paste.
3. Stir in the rest of the boiled diced potatoes, and any other vegetables you want. I chose frozen peas and frozen okra.
4. Continuing to heat thoroughly and stir, add more spice as you see fit. Do not skimp on spices.
5. Make rice. I made white rice, which I sprinkled with salt, nutmeg and a couple of whole cloves. (The real Indians do something more delicious to their rice but I can't for the life of me figure out what it is!)

YOM! I wish I had me some naan.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Leave your salt shaker in the cabinet

Here is one of the only recipes in the history of time that does not require salt, because instead it relies on two delicious ingredients (olives, feta cheese) to pack the flavor. Creamy, nutty, tangy and sweet What more do you need?

Pistachio-crusted chicken served on a baked orzo "risotto" cake with balsamic glaze


2 chicken thighs
1/4 cup pistachios, shelled
3 Tbsp. kalamata olives
parmesan cheese
pine nuts
olive oil
1 white onion
chicken broth
cooking wine
lemon juice
balsamic vinegar

The Chicken
Note: I used chicken thighs because I like dark meat, but they are a lot more work because it's hard to find them any way other than bone-in. Using boneless/skinless chicken breasts would have cut my prep time about in half, but I need to practice these kinds of skills. On another night where I have less time to play around with I would like to try this recipe with other kinds of meat, like strips of salmon.

1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Remove skin and bone from the chicken, trimming off any fat.
2. Roughly chop pistachios and place on a small plate.
3. Dump kalamata olives in food processor with 2 Tbsp grated parmesan and 1 clove garlic. Drizzle generously with olive oil and blend to a thick paste.
4. Spray or grease an oven
pan. With a small spoon, spread a thick layer of the olive paste onto the tops of the chicken pieces, then turn them face-down onto the pistachio plate one by one to get an even coating of nuts. Lay them in the pan to bake for 30 minutes.

Orzo Cake
1. Finely chop 2 cloves garlic, onion. Measure 1/4 cup pine nuts. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan and add garlic, onion, pine nuts, and stir on medium heat for 2 minutes.
2. Add 1/2 cup dry Orzo, season with black pepper and dry basil. Stir in just enough cooking wine to barely cover ingredients, along with 2-3 Tbsp lemon juice. Simmer for several minutes, stirring constantly.
3. Slowly stir in 1/4 chicken stock, in increments to allow some simmering off of vapor each time. Frequently test the orzo. Continue until it is just barely al dente. It could even still have some crunch to it.
4. Remove from heat and pour contents into a large mixing bowl. Mix in 1/2 cup feta cheese and 1/3 cup grated parmesan.
5. Check the consistency. It should be creamy, not clumpy. If it's too thick, add a splash of each of the three liquids: cooking wine, lemon juice, and chicken broth.
6. Grease 2 ceramic soup bowls and sprinkle the bottoms with a layer of bread crumbs. Spoon orzo mixture into bowls, spreading evenly to fill each bowl to about 1.5" . Bake 10 minutes at 350° F. After cooling to the touch, remove the cake from bowl by running a butter knife around its rim and flipping it upside-down onto a plate.

make a 75% balsamic reduction to drizzle on the sides of the plate.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I don't know about you, but my immune system is not okay with me walking for miles in the cold rain as pollen blows in my face.
Soup is definitely in order.

They say that achieving health and wellness is more of an attitude and lifestyle adjustment than the result of isolated actions.
I know I should start eating less grease, but it just tastes so good!
Why would you take a perfectly good food and get rid of its oil, butter, and grease?!

So I decided I need to start eating more unsaturated fats...

Can you spot the saturated and unsaturated fats?

The difference between low-fat and better-fat at is a lot like the difference between good and bad vegetarian food.

Bad vegetarian food is when the person preparing it makes two versions of the exact same dish, only one is missing the meat.

Chicken salad

Burger, fresh off the grill


That, or they will take the meat out and replace it with a vegetable.

act: this wrap contains approximately 0 calories. I knew I was still hungry.

I had to eat a lot of stuff like this as a kid. Cheese lasagna, a Whopper Junior without the patty, and an enormous platter of celery on the seventh-grade field trip to the Dixie Stampede (They made me eat it with my hands!). The problem is that all of these dishes start out as a balanced meal, but even attempting to make a vegetarian version destroys all possible taste and nutritional quality.

Good vegetarian food begins as its own concept, molded out of its own set of rules. It comes from a world where meat doesn't have to be the focal point. The opposite of a Cornish hen is not a piece of cauliflower. Because, well, there is no opposite of a Cornish hen.

This is where you take a leaf [I'm punny!] out of the book of those few, largely vegetarian populations (surely they have to eat something, right?)

Uh, yeah. The whole continent of Asia's got it together.

Three delicious examples:

Falafel? vegetarian.

Dal? vegetarian.

Buddha's feast from P.F. Chang's? vegetarian.

Anyway, I'm not into the idea of cutting a whole category of stuff out of your diet, but at least in these dishes (where there was never even an inkling of killing a sacred cow) that meal is balanced around something [legumes]. There is a definite focal point that packs the protein and tastes, uh, not bad. Quick! Cover it up with spices!

More to my point, this is an analogy for the role that fats play in food.
People need to realize the difference between cutting fat out completely and using other, less harmful fats that still taste good.
Por ejemplo, the wall of shame:

Low fat frozen yogurt? That's not ice cream. Don't trust it.

Turkeys don't grow bacon. That's not even a thing.

What? Who ARE you?!?!?!?!??!!!?!? UGH!!!!!!!!!!

As you can see, taking a formerly delicious food and stripping it of the one thing that makes it palatable is a travesty.

Oh my sweet grease, I could die in a puddle of you.
If only you didn't settle in my gut and make me look 5 months pregnant.

This is why God made "good fat." This category contains a lot of things that I would probably eat anyway even if they weren't healthy.
Peanut butter. Avocados. Almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, cashews. Sunflower seeds. Tuna nigiri and salmon filets. Cooking oils, including olive, sesame, peanut, and canola.

Seeing large amounts of olive oil always reminds me of the Mediterranean.
Mediterranean is probably my favorite ethnic category of cuisine, and it is often relatively high in unsaturated fats. yeeaaaaaah!

So, today I made Avgolemono, the Greeks' stab at Chicken and Rice soup (mmmmm, my cold is already better).
I bastardized Cat Cora's totally profesh recipe in a couple of ways.
First, I prepared the chicken the same way that I make tinga: shredded, rather than diced. I just like the texture better and think that the chicken gets more flavor when boiled in broth.
I used orzo instead of arborio rice.
I eliminated the leeks, because they were $5 a bundle and what am I, made of money?!
Instead, I added avocado slices. So green, so creamy and rich, avocados are a perfect complement to this fresh chicken soup.

Finally, I de-seeded and minced a cucumber, and mashed it all together with that really soft feta cheese I had left over from when I made the spanikopita. Then I stirred in dill and black pepper. It turned out like a really salty, spreadable tzatziki.
I threw a dollop on the soup for added salt and creaminess to stir in. Like adding a dollop of (full fat!) sour cream in tortilla soup.
Note to self: It was a spectacular idea to treat this like tortilla soup. Only, the next time you want to replace tortilla chips with pita chips, remember that you can't make pita chips. They always turn black, black as night. Is it that you like hearing the sound of the fire alarm? Gone, wasted, another whole package of pita.

I highly recommend this soup, especially if you're feeling under the weather. It's like chicken noodle, but revamped with a freshness to remind you that it's finally spring.

It's been a flippin' good day

Today I successfully flipped a fried egg with one hand. Reason: the spatula was dirty. I would like to thank laziness for bringing out all of our most immaterial talents.

Friday, April 8, 2011

some beef 'n stuff

So, I got a little constructive CRITICISM on my last food photo shoot for making food that looked [was] too greasy. You know what guys, oils and fats taste good.
Okay, I promise that I will make up for it really soon with a light, crisp 10-calorie meal of air-puffed celery. But not right now.
I was trying to decide what to do with all those leftover parsnips, so my line of attack was basically to make a new main course that would complement them, something that I would come up with in a rather stream-of-consciousness process of ingredient accumulation.
It went like this:

okay, brown and rich with a warm flavor... give me... mushrooms, cremini, something meaty that will steam and liquify into a yummy brown sauce... ooh! we have cashews! ummm, and i can throw in all those old onions, and i need to add a little something with color. like red. a red bell pepper. Okay, what kind of protien? Tofu? DAMN, this yuppie grocery store does not carry tofu. Chicken? Chicken is not compatible with my VISION. Beef? Beef. Like beef tips with mashed potatoes, only the potatoes are parsnips, remember? Okay. Carbohydrate, protein, vegetable... aw, MAN, i will feel guilty if i make another meal without a green component, how about... kale greens. healthy, vitamin-rich kale greens that i will ruin with bacon fat.

See how it goes?
Here's what I came up with:

...And you don't get a picture of the kale greens because they don't exist anymore, I ate them.

Here's how I did it:

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour

1 lb. package beef tips
1 red bell pepper
4 cremini mushrooms
pine nuts
kale greens
cheap booze, like sherry or cooking wine -(I went ahead & used both because I am an uncivilized savage)
1 large white onion
about 6 small white pearl onions
1 red chili pepper, dried

Pan fry 4 slices of bacon, in a big-ass pan
that has a lid, on low. It should take a long time, because the heat is on low. You want most of the fat to render.
n a separate pan on high heat, quickly toast a handful each of of cashews and pine nuts, and also 4 whole cloves of garlic, smashed with a knife and peeled. Remove from heat and save.
Wash all the non-edible organic matter [shit] off the cremini mushrooms and thinly slice. Dice the bell pepper. Peel the pearl onions.
In another pan heat some good-quality olive oil. [Note: sesame oil would have been good too.]
Brown the beef tips for 2 minutes, just until the sides are no longer red. Remove from pan and place in a separate dish so they don't cook to death.
In the same pan, saut
é the mushrooms and red pepper for a minute. Add the cashews, pine nuts, and garlic cloves. Then, pour in mass amounts of the wine. At least half the bottle. Throw in some balsamic vinegar or a touch of brown sugar for a little sweet element.
Flavor madly with dried sage and rosemary, things that don't necessarily belong but are fun to pretend to know what to do with.
Grind the dried red pepper with a mortar and pestle, or just dust it with pepper flakes. Also, 2 tsp. of smoked paprika.
Oh, yeah. Salt and pepper.
Throw in the beautiful baby pearl onions whole, aren't they so cute?!
Stir around, taste, feverishly check the consistency of the sauce for about 15 minutes.
Then throw in the meat (hope you didn't forget about it and let it collect maggots or something).
Continue to simmer down until the rest of dinner is ready.

OKAY, with the bacon, remove it from its pan, pat dry with a paper towel, and save for sandwiches this week.
Dice 1 large white onion and add to the fat.
Mince 2 cloves of garlic and add.
Turn up the heat to medium and stir around for 3 minutes.
Add 4 handfuls of fresh kale leaves (I bought them pre-washed and cut, ha-haaaa, suckas, I don't need no fancy salad spinner! just kidding, I need one.)
Stir around with onions, pour in about 1/2" chicken broth, sprinkle with salt and half-cover with lid.
When most of the chicken broth evaporates, they will be pretty good-tasting.

Done boring you. Goin' to eat leftovers.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Oh you fancy huh?

So, even though it is April the weather up until this week has been off and on between HOT and COLD!
Yes, it's back to that time of year that we are wasting tons of money by simultaneously heating and cooling the house, because you never know what's coming next.
It's such a tease, early spring. I've already gotten out the pitcher for sun tea and put it away before I got the chance to use it 3 different times this month.

When I bundled up in several protective layers to go to the grocery store in the hail the other day, the only thing on my mind was hot chocolate and rich winter food--sugar and fat, perfect for this periodic hibernation weather when all I want to do is curl up under the covers and do nothing.

Realizing that it was probably one of my last chances all year to have seasonal winter vegetables, I thought about parsnips.

Parsnips?!? Whaaaat?

Does anyone even know what those are? There is such a myriad of root vegetables out there, but I just want to know why no one uses parsnips. It's like carrots and potatoes get all the hype, and for no good reason. If you branch out at all, you're officially venturing into no-man's land and there is not a soul there to assist you.

Seriously, what is a parsnip?

Judging by my last trip to the produce section, officially no one knows.
They're not even labeled, they just sit on the shelf buried among the likewise unidentifiable turnips and rutabagas, getting periodically misted but never, ever mentioned in conversation.

A wee child runs up to the produce shelf, too young to know that you must never speak of parsnips. "Mommy, what's this?" he half-whispers, pulling one of the long, spindly pale roots from its protective mist. His voice is overcome with the kind of innocent awe and wonder that children indiscriminately place on the common and the obscure alike.

His mother's eyes grow hazy with unfamiliarity. She screws up her forehead for a split second, puzzled, before quickly defending her front of maternal omniscience with a threat: "Shhh. Put that down," she hisses sternly. Her child shrugs and runs off to rub his sticky fingers over other pieces of produce more likely to be bought. The woman's gaze pauses over the discarded parsnip for a mere moment before she changes her pace, letting the mystery vegetable fall back into oblivion.

That scene actually happened before my eyes. The end of the story, of course, is that after this observation I swooped in after the mother and promptly bought every last parsnip that the kid didn't rub his grimy hands on. I can't let a mystery like that go to waste. I can't leave that stone unturned.

So, what exactly is a parsnip and how does it work?
I'm glad you asked.
(Although please note that people have been actually eating these things for millenia. So I can't take too much credit. Hell, you probably know more about parsnips than I do. Just kidding. I invented them.)

On first impression, a parsnip is a lot like a carrot, if a carrot were totally white and got a lot fatter at the top. I'm not sure what parsnip greens are like, because they are not regularly sold at Kroger (got to go to the Meijer's and their Mall of America-sized produce section for that fancy stuff).
The actual meat of the parsnip root, too, is about the same texture as a carrot. They would definitely have a satisfying crunch if for some reason you were to eat parsnip sticks dipped in ranch.
The parsnip is starchy, but not overwhelmingly so. I honestly love the flavor of raw parsnips. I about filled up on it while peeling them and deciding what to do with it. It's mild at first, like a plain potato, but quickly develops a flavor as you chew it that I can only describe as the reason for having a name like "ParSNip." The name is like an onomatopoeia of the flavor dancing on your taste buds. It's got a punch of spice, but it is just as tolerable and approachable as any carbohydrate. The only other true flavor I can relate it to is a much milder, starchier version of ginger root.
That's what they're like raw. Cooked, as I found, they are entirely different. You would probably want to cook a parsnip, just because theire raw texture isn't great. But, like with carrots, their flavor when cooked breaks down into pure sugar. You could ice a cake with cooked parsnips. They become that sweet. I would love to experiment one day by shredding a parsnip thin enough to use it in its pure state. I want to test out all the ways that I can feature this strange, sugar-and-spice vegetable. My first creative impulse? Mashed parsnips.

I was sad to see the nearly abrasive flavor of the raw vegetable become replaced in the form of sweetness. I love the bite that it had when raw, the kind of spice that leaves a slight tingle in your nasal cavity. Ginger, horseradish, garlic: three other strong flavors that go from spicy to sweet upon cooking. All delightfully spicy root vegetables. So I decided to supplement the mashed parsnips I would make with some of those flavors, rounding it out with salty bacon.

Here's the recipe:

Peel and chop 4 parsnips into 1" chunks. Bring salted water to a boil.
Add parsnips, along with 3 whole peeled cloves of garlic and 2 slices of ginger root.
Meanwhile, fry 2 pieces of bacon. Chop into 1/4" pieces, and save rendered fat.
Boil parsnips for 20-30 minutes. Strain, reserving liquid.
Transfer to a bowl. Mash with a potato masher along with: bacon fat, 2 Tbsp. of butter and 3 Tbsp. of sour cream.
If any extra liquid is needed, alternate between reserved parsnip water and cream (actually I used half & half).
Whip the mixture using an egg beater, gradually adding:
-2 tsp grated fresh ginger
-2 tsp cinnamon
-1 tsp horseradish
-salt and garlic powder to taste
At the end, fold in bacon pieces, reheat if needed, and serve.

That's it!
I hope you try it because I think it's real delicious!
Here it is posing next to a to-die-for swordfish steak that Katie grilled up while I was picking at my nails and fiddling with the hinge of the spice cabinet!

Can't wait for the next time I can write about parsnips!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Eat My Jorts

Well, Kentucky had a good run this year even though UConn stole our national championship by 1 point. I made some cute sugar cookies for the Final Four game last weekend:

Get it? Josh Harrellson cookies. I am going to miss when Harrellson and I graduate and I no longer live in an atmosphere of constant mania caused by people who are wearing non-ironic cutoff jeans. It's like the 90's again.

Anyway, that was enough of pretending like I know anything about sports. My idea of game day food was a fillo spinach pie.
I learned how to make this dish from my mom, using her 20-year-old stained spanikopita recipe which has added deliciousness to our lives time and time again. I didn't have the recipe with me this time, so I had to work from memory.

It wasn't terrible, but I wish I had used a better quality feta than whatever was shipped to the Middle Eastern grocery story from Turkey or somewhere. It came in a carton, grossssssss you guys. Authentic, or authentically bad?

Anyway, everyone at least pretended to like the spanikopita.
Plenty of leftovers.
Now I wonder what I should do with the leftover feta cheese. Dudes, it was runny, like sour cream. That is never supposed to happen. I guess I could stir the rest of it into a dip of some kind.

Oh yeah, speaking of dip, I intended to also make pita chips. Unfortunately, I have the tendency to be very forgetful that includes a track record of boiling all our pots dry until the handle melts because I wanted to make tea 7 hours ago.
Here's how it went down.

"Did you turn off the oven?"
"Uh, yeah. Of COURSE I did. Duh, I even took out the spanikopita."
"Really? Because it smells like something burning. Will you go check?"
"Psssht. Yeah, I'll go check, but I guarantee you I turned it off."

(I leave the room and come back.)

"Yeah, TOLD you, I turned off the oven.
.... Just now."

(pause while everyone laughs at me)
--One hour later--

"Oh, CRAP, you guys, I was making pita chips!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Threw open the oven to find my precious pita chips, now pita charcoal.
(For the record, that is not rye flour. Not even close.)

Om nom.

It's the thought that counts?
(most commonly repeated untrue statement ever.)

Well, no one is giving me the Conscientious Award, but at least I tried.