Saturday, March 31, 2012

"Gentleness doesn't get work done unless you happen to be 
a hen laying eggs."
-Coco Chanel

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Meatloaf According to Celia

In which the amazingly talented and gorgeous Celia stops by to talk meat in the shape of loaves and near death experiences. Sorry about your pan, sister!

Enjoy!
*     *     * 




Greetings, Woolies! Gracie asked me share my superb meatloaf recipe (yes, it's superb... I dare you to make it and tell me it's not), and I am as giddy as a school girl to be here today.

Fun facts to know about myself and the lovely Gracie include:

- Our birthdays are exactly one day (and, um, several years) apart.
- We live too far away from each other.
- We both enjoy the word "cunt".
- We've actually hung out in REAL LIFE.
- We live too far away from each other.
- We both LOVE meatloaf.

On that note, meatloaf is so awesome. If you don't love meatloaf, I'm not so sure we can be friends (my veg friends are excused... I guess). Meatloaf is comfort food at it's best, for realz. The next time you're having a stupid and shitty day, just whip yourself up some meatloaf. GUARANTEED happiness in loaf form will have you over your problems in about 20 minutes prep time + 45 minutes oven time. Add a big glass of the liquor of your choice, and who needs prozac? 

So let's get started, shall we? Let's make some fucking meatloaf!

Ingredients 
(Meatloaf is incredibly hard to screw up, so keep in mind that these measurements do not have to be exact)

1/2# Ground Beef (I prefer grass-fed sirloin, but it's only because I'm snobby like that)
1/2# Ground Veal (Yes, incredibly un-pc of me, I know)
1 Medium Yellow Onion, diced
2-3 Stalks of Celery, diced
3 Sizable Cloves of Garlic, diced
1 tbsp. Fresh Thyme, chopped (Don't even THINK of using dried)
1 c. Panko Bread Crumbs
Milk
1 Large or Extra Large Egg
3 tbsp. Worsteshesherre Sauce
1/4 c. Ketchup, plus more for topping
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine your breadcrumbs with just enough milk to make them soggy, but not wet. In other words, we're not looking for panko cereal here. Set aside.

2. Coat a large fry pan with some olive oil, and begin to sauté your diced onion and celery. You're going to want to take the time to really cook your veggies through. I like to do this slowly on medium-low heat because it will keep everything from caramelizing too much.

3. Once your onions and celery are just about fork tender, add your garlic and thyme. Keep sautéing, while stirring, for another 3-4 minutes. Set veggies aside and let cool.

WARNING: If you start making meatloaf right around your baby's bedtime and she begins her nightly meltdown routine, make sure you have your noggin screwed on tightly and remember to TURN YOUR STOVE OFF if you have already turned it on. If not, you will put your baby to bed, and walk out into a smoke-filled living room with a disapproving husband who, luckily, was there to SAVE YOUR LIFE. Also, you will ruin a very expensive pan. 


4. Once your veggies have cooled, add them along with the rest of your ingredients into the panko/milk mixture. Fold everything together with your hands making sure it all gets incorporated, but be careful not to overwork it. Overworked meatloaf tends to be tough. Yuck!

5. Salt and pepper are variables in EVERY recipe. Always make sure to start with a smaller amount because more can be added later. To know if I've properly seasoned my meatloaf before cooking the whole thing, I like to pan-fry a miniature patty for a taste test. This usually gives me a pretty good idea of how much more seasoning I need to add. If you're not as confident in your seasoning skills, you can always cook up a few taste tests until you get it right. Just remember, under seasoning is and easy fix; over seasoning is not. 

6. Now it's time to form your loaf. Personally, I find that loaf pans make for a soggy meatloaf, so I completely skip them. Also, you don't need a loaf pan because the egg in the recipe acts as your binding agent, ensuring that your meatloaf won't fall apart. You can mold your cute little loaf by hand right onto a foil-lined and greased baking sheet. Another option is to use parchment paper. 

7. Top your loaf with a healthy slather of ketchup. Don't try to get all fancy here, guys. Meatloaf is meant to be topped with plain, classic KETCHUP. 

8. Bake your loaf in a preheated 350º oven. All ovens vary a tad, but I find that roughly 45 minutes tends to be the magic number. Once the edges start to turn a dark caramel-y color, you know you're golden.

9. Let your meatloaf sit, or rest, for a good 5 minutes before slicing. You want to make sure all those yummy meat juices stay put. Serve it up with the potato dish of your choice (meatloaf MUST be served with potatoes). Typically I go for mashed, but decided on smashed and roasted new potatoes this time around. 'Twas a lovely combo that I highly recommend.

10. Last but not least, don't forget to make MEATLOAF SANDWICHES the next day.

That's it! Hope you guys take some time to make yourself a loaf or two, and a thousand thank yous to Gracie and to you for having me here to share my special recipe. 

xo -C

Friday, March 23, 2012

Next Steps


It seems silly, but I've only recently made the connection that my anxiety manifests itself in dreams of staircases and old schools. They're usually open stairs that are spaced really far apart. So much so that I get paralyzed with fear and get stuck on one stair, unable to take the leap to the next step. The staircase that recurs the most looks like one that was in my old middle school that connected three floors.

I also find myself wandering hallways of versions of my former elementary and high schools. Sometimes entire floors are abandoned, or I enter through a secret stairwell. I'm wandering down darkly lit hallways and peering into the windows cut out in doors.

According to some retarded website, "to see a staircase in your dream symbolizes change and transformation." I suppose I'm anxious because I've accepted a new job. After four years and several titles at my current office, I was offered a really good, yet challenging, opportunity. It's very scary leaving something behind that you know you're good at.

Every time I land a new position, I spend the first couple of months crippled with anxiety. I try to mask it while I'm at work, but collapse into a complete basket case the moment I step through the door. I feel bad that R has to put  up with this. I keep stashes of little white pills that make me feel dead inside all over the place. They're tucked away in wallets, drawers, and dashes. Easy access to mute the volume of the shrieking voices of self doubt.

I hope this time can be different. I'm more self aware and have gone through this cycle a few times to know better. I usually end up doing very well, so it would be rational to assume that I'll be able to excel at this new dig, too. I hope I can remember to be stronger this time 'round.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Hoag's Object // Caroline


"She wasn't doing a thing I could see, except standing there, leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together." 

-JD Salinger, "A Girl Like That"


quote via the inimitable Royal Quiet Deluxe

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Underwater


Isn't it amazing how one minute you can feel like an Olympic swimmer and the very next a drowned rat?

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Dear W&M: Should I have a Last-Hurrah Fuck?


dear w&m,

i've been with my fiance for a few years now and for the majority of the time, we've been long-distance. i don't believe in soulmates and all that other sappy bullshit, but if there were such a thing, he's basically it - best thing that ever happened to me. however, because of the distance, sex has been scarce. when we have it, it's great but i've been living in asia since june 2011 and he's in new york. this is the longest i've gone without booty since i started doing it.


it's not THAT big of a deal except that i'm also one of those anxious, panicky types. i'm coming back to america only a few weeks before my insane blowout june wedding and am completely freaked the fuck out about having THE sex. you know, THE-i-havent-seen-you-but-in-my-dirty-nighttime-fantasies sex, THE-you-are-the-woman-of-my-dreams sex, THE-its-been-so-long-since-we've-had-sex-that-we-cant-remember-the-mediocre-sex-&-only-remember-the-insane-times-thus-putting-a-ridiculous-amount-of-pressure-on-the-sex SEX.


one of my last fucks prior to this relationship was with a friend who i'd known for several years. we had a few too many drinks one night and the tension that had been building forever just kind of exploded. it was mind-blowing. it only happened that one time & we are still close platonic friends to this day. my friend B is an amazing guy, super attractive & obviously knows what he's doing in the sack. 
 

would it be way too jen-aniston, romcom to have a practice romp with B before the nuptials - something to get my confidence back before the epic wedding sex with fiance? is it normal to want to have a last-hurrah fuck before getting married? is this something i should talk to my fiance about first? what if part of the appeal is NOT telling him at all and having something that's my private farewell to singledom? am i a horrible future wife? am i freaking out for no reason? should i just hit up babeland.com and shut the fuck up about this already?


fiance & i are very open about sex and sexuality and have always given each other quite a lot of space, support and encouragement in this regard. but i think it's always been this weird elephant in the room that i had a considerably more... uh... prolific single life. i think he's still weirded out about how tight me and B are, even though he tries his best not to mention it. B will even be at our wedding.


i don't know. i'm just buggin out. why does this marriage shit feel like such a big deal and so final and apocalyptic right now?

signed, 

(not yet) FUCKED

*            *           * 
Dear (not yet) FUCKED,

You can fuck your friend, you can get married, but you can't do both.

First off, chill the fuck out. There is not such thing as THE sex. You have totally unrealistic expectations placed on it. I'd suggest that you get down to The Business right when you get back on the same goddamned continent. It may or may not be perfect, but who cares!? You've done it before and you'll do it again. Let's let simple math give us some perspective here:

Assume that a couple has sex an average of 3x per week
3 sexins x 52 weeks per year = 156 sexins per year
156 sexins x 20 years (give or take) = 3,120 sexins

So for the thousands of sexins in your future (not to mention the hundreds already in your past), why are you freaking out about this ONE time? Stop being a crazy bitch.

Second, don't fuck your friend. If you're having second thoughts, perhaps you're not ready to get married. I think it's normal to be nervous and feel anxious, but it sounds like you're both open enough to explore sexually and keep each other satisfied.

Put yourself in his shoes for a moment. What if he had a super attractive, amazing girl friend with whom he had hooked up with in the past and whom you've always felt uneasy about their closeness? How cruel and crushing would it be if you found out they fucked right before your wedding and she was in the crowd watching your special day go down? Not so cool, right? Don't do it (at least not with B).

Good luck!
Gracie


[If you'd like to submit a question, please email me. No subject too random. No holds barred.]

Friday, March 02, 2012

Brains in Your Head

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go.”
-Dr. Seuss

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Dear W&M: Americah, Fuck Yeah!



Dear W&M,

I wish I had a question about felching but I'm single and boring and concerned about faeco-oral transmission of pathogens. 

Therefore I will ask you for help of a cleaner kind. I am visiting your continent in June (mainly the West half) and due to my poor knowledge of American geography and destinations I need some advice. I am spending a week in Vancouver with a friend, followed by a week in Portland with another friend, then my Portland (originally Aussie) friend and I have two weeks to travel around before I head home to Australia (via LAX or DFW). 

Thus far we have toyed with the option of train to SF, road trip to Vegas and Grand Canyon. What do you think? Should I be hitting LA, Salt Lake City or Phoenix instead? Or truncate the road-tripping and head to Hawaii? 

Thank you for being wise and not a dumb ass*,
E


*            *           *
Howdy, E!
  1. First off, DO NOT FUCKING GO TO UTAH. 
  2. Definitely go to SF. It's an amazing city. So much to do/see/eat. It's my 2nd favorite US city (behind NYC).
  3. It'd be great to spend a few days in LA before you head back. Perhaps hit up a spa in Palm Springs?
  4. Vegas is a depressing hyper-reality cesspool, but an interesting sight. However, be forewarned, it'll drain you of all soul & cash.
  5. The Grand Canyon is kind of meh, unless you're into that outdoorsy shit. A colleague's wife just recently fell into it while hiking and died!
  6. I'd suggest skipping Hawaii, you know, because you're already coming from an island in region.
  7. Phoenix, it'll be hot as fuck here in June (120°F/49°C), and there's not too much to see (besides me of course-- but that's not worth an 8 hour drive).
Bon voyage! Send postcards!

Lurve you long time,
Gracie

*are you sure about that?

[If you'd like to submit a question, please email me. No subject too random. No holds barred.]