I expect to see this life hack all over Pinterest soon

It's pretty rare that I grace you with an original recipe here on this ol' blog, but today's your lucky day!

Hummus, Cheese, and Tomato Sandwiches

Prep time: 2 hours
  • a poorly-stocked weekend refrigerator
  • a 7-year-old who responds with predictable literalness to being teased "Oh, I thought you were making dinner?"
  • combine above ingredients, as listed
  • wait

  • relax, you've earned it!


Sometimes I "follow" recipes like a true internet commenter

It's probably hard to tell, but I have been quietly running the Eating Well vs. Rachael Ray vegetable-off in the background of my waxy hustling and existential howling. This week: Battle Pasta.

I *almost* followed the instructions for Rachael Ray's Cheesy Ziti with Broccoli Rabe except that HEB did not have broccoli rabe, so I just used broccoli broccoli.

Unsurprisingly, pasta + cheese + broccoli, which I have somehow convinced my children is the least offensive of all vegetables, earned ten fingers up from both parties.

I *briefly considered* following the instructions for Eating Well's Sweet Potato Noodles with Tofu and Vegetables, but HEB did not have dangmyun, so I used rice noodles instead. Also I realized that this dish involved A LOT of steps for something my children were just going to whine at me about so instead of following them I mixed about half the ingredients with teriyaki sauce in a wok and tossed it all the noodles.


Winner: me, for not making my life harder than necessary for once. Laziness or self-care? You decide! And then go ahead and keep that answer to yourself, thanks.

On Wednesday, Ivy 1) graduated from pre-school, 2) climbed a very high wall, 3) ate some ice cream. Got no jokes here, just a pretty good day.


Heart eyes, silly gooses

Well, I was hoping that today's post could be dedicated to orb jokes and discussing what absolute producer trash the final rose on The Bachelorette last night was and maybe if I had enough coffee a Twin Peaks reference, but instead I guess I will just issue an unnecessary reminder that anyone who hurts children is a piece of shit of the absolute lowest order, full stop. (This BBC article is useful if you have children who are old enough to worry about the news, as always I wish I had something more helpful to offer but I do not.)

I had a very good, very non-bummer of a weekend prior to that, as I got to go to tapings of The Adventure Zone AND Sawbones AND My Brother, My Brother and Me and eat meat and pretzels and physically vibrate myself beyond recognition in a photograph with two McElroys.

Either that or I have secretly been haunting the Paramount Theater this whole time

Anyway, in extremely mild concerns, I hope the below picture is just a case of parallel thinking and that Ivy has not discovered CUSS WORD MEMES


Blah blah blah blah blah is what I say about that

I know that there is a lot going on right now but it's important to me that you know that Rachael Ray says you can put potato chips on top of a steak and classify it as a "salad."

So that's...news

I also got to eat some chocolate cake as a reward for staying alive for 37 years in a row.

I know!

Hard to tell in the picture, but it's actually a Matilda-specific chocolate cake, which made it taste about 30% better.

I was too busy for us to actually go out for my birthday, but I'm sure we'll rectify that situation pretty soon. The thing about leaving the girls with a sitter is I have to write up such a long list of instructions, like "don't try to talk to them for more than 30 seconds because they have no attention span," "don't assume they know anything about anything," "cover their steak in ketchup," "if you play any games, let them think they won," "books with lots of pictures only," "compliment them on their electoral college victory," etc. It's exhausting!

Anyway, ugh, here is a flashback Friday picture to a time when it was not 82 degrees inside my house and I fully assumed whatever our president was doing at the time was appropriately presidential.


If it's Tuesday this must be the slow collapse of our democracy

 Oh hey guys, what's up? Can you give me just...just like one sec?

*screams into a pillow for two hours*

*recites Arya Stark-esque list of GOPers who are letting this happen*

*deep breath*

I made a broccoli salad!

I love this recipe because I am basically having yogurt and cherries and almonds for dinner, with the Responsibility Broccoli just mixed right in.

And look who's here! It's the Everything Is Going To Be Fine Fairy! She looks...pretty confident?


Just priming the pump for an actual blog post later

I'll be honest with you guys, I'm typing this with one eye on Twitter right now because our sitting president is having a strangely-quotationed, Comey-threatening meltdown at the moment, as one does, so here are some cats while I try to wrangle my attention back this direction. Please stand by.


I feel like in a less unstable climate I might have given Rachael Ray a hard time about the fact that what I thought was going to be a recipe for chicken nachos is actually a recipe for queso. Chicken nacho flavored queso. Chicken Nacho Flavored Queso. But you know what? WHO CARES, AT ALL.

Not actually nachos, not really vegetables. 10/10

If this whole thing wasn't so draining, this would be the section for my acrostic of "APPOINT A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR" but instead here is some very good preschool art.


Battle: Vegetables

It's May, which means it's my birthday month, which means I can do whatever I want as far as meal planning goes. (Note: this is also true of all months and all meal planning.) And what I want is for two food magazines that randomly arrive in my mailbox to battle to the death for my sick pleasure. LET THE GAMES BEGIN.

Eating Well and Rachael Ray Every Day are both scolding me to eat more shorthand-vegetables ("veg" and "veggies," respectively). They are using exclamation points, so I know they are serious about this. Eating Well promises 31 options, in a relatively straightforward cover that does in fact consist of vegetables:

"Party-Perfect Grain Salads" haha sigh 

Rachael Ray claims to have 36 veggie-laden recipes, which gives her a slight edge:

But hoo boy there is a lot more to unpack on this cover:

One of these things is not like the other

I decided that nachos are, as always, a good place to start, so first up is Eating Well's Pita Chip Nachos.

Conclusion: as you can plainly see in the above picture, these are not nachos. This is a salad with irritatingly unwieldy croutons. There are some vegetables involved, though. 5/10

It's market season!

Which means I am woefully behind on chores. It's fine, though. I have help.

She's slow, but she's ornery!


Back to the library with you, tome of broken promises

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, let's see how the American Heart Association's version of Chicken Tortilla Soup fared with the judges. Did everyone love it?


Tan cerca

Ah, well. What about Pretzel Schnitzel?

Bold move from Judge #2, perhaps weary of Judge #1's endless dithering.

Mixed results on all counts, which is...honestly better than average around here? Although partial credit goes to me and my non-use of fat-free half-and-half, etc. This cookbook and I will part ways on the mediumest of terms.

I'm at the point of my "make hundreds of rocket candles" project where I begin to "ship hundreds of rocket candles," so there are shipping supplies all over the house. The residents are warming them up for me.


Slightly more successful than Fyre Festival #topicaljokes

Time for another round of proving a good-intentioned cookbook's claims wrong, to no one's detriment but my own. Will "everyone love" these American Heart Association Bean and Potato Enchiladas Verde?

I'll start by saying that I personally ate 1.5 recommended servings. Take that, heart!

This dish took Anna on a real journey.

It was a journey to Two Thumbs Downville

Confusingly, this rating from Ivy translated into "zero out of ten stars," so I guess two full thumbs down starts getting into negative points territory.

The system is complicated, but just 

To be fair, my children have very refined palates. It's sometimes hard to nail the complex flavors they crave.