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Category Archives: cooking

  • Always use milk. The recipe and the instructions don’t matter in this case: “Hot Chocolate” is German for “warm, delicious chocolaty milk.” If you’re on a diet, you probably shouldn’t be drinking liquid chocolate, anyway: go hard or go home.
  • Don’t buy store brand. The stuff is cheap for a reason. It’s not going to taste good unless you add all the stuff that you’d have to add to your own recipe anyway.
  • Spring for the good stuff. If it says something like “indulgent” or “Godiva” on it, that’s exactly what you’re looking for.
  • Add stuff. If it isn’t chocolaty enough, consider adding cocoa and sugar won’t be a problem. A basic homemade hot chocolate is cup of milk, half cup of cocoa and half cup of sugar. Adding chocolate syrup is good. A half dash of nutmeg and a full dash of cinnamon will probably taste phenomenal. Whipped cream isn’t just for teen dramedys. Marshmallows were meant for hot cocoa like plugs were meant for sockets.
  • The Italians know best. They make this thing called cioccolata calda. Translated literally, it means “hot chocolate,” but it’s different because it’s a whole lot thicker. Add about a tablespoon, probably less, of flour and mix the crap out of it. I’m talking use a blender while you’re heating it up. You could use a wisk on it but it’s going to take a while and it’s going to get kind of thick like a pudding. And it’s going to be very hot, since this is one of the few times you can let milk come to a boil.
  • Sharing is caring. Snow days are fun and all, but they’re more fun when you come back to a delicious cups of cocoa after a solid day of near-drownings in puddles or one-on-twenty snowball fights with the local orphanage.

So I kind of got a little overambitious last year. To resolve that, I think I’m going to carry over some resolutions that didn’t get addressed and some things that need to keep happening because I still haven’t fixed this, “I still work in retail despite a Mensa membership, Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and English and a ridiculous resume,” thing.

I hereby resolve to:

  • Learn how to play at least one Robert Johnson song.
  • Compliment women.
  • Drink less coffee and get more sleep.
  • Get back in shape.

New edition: I hereby resolve to:

  • Play guitar, even when not drunk. Additionally, learn new scales and practice old scales.
  • Start writing applications during the week, not just putting them off until the weekend. Because this job search needs to end. Now. Not Saturday. Now.
  • Find a coffee shop. When people ask me about New York they ask two things: 1. “Do you see a lot of shows?” No, don’t give a shit. That’s why then invented movies and CDs. 2. “What’s your favorite cafe?” Don’t have one, I’m too busy loving Zabar’s coffee. For a while I was a Fairway guy until I discovered Zabar’s. Even my dad likes it and that guy drinks like five cups a day–he kind of knows coffee. But now I will try to find a good coffee place besides my apartment–or Starbucks.
  • Three, maybe four parts vanilla or chocolate ice cream–frequently both flavors
  • One part milk–in some cases just a splash
  • Big ‘ol gob of chocolate syrup

Mix all that shit up, drink it. This has been my personal crack for the last three days. I expect to either gain between five and ten pounds or, as a result of extended and strenuous work days involving lots of heavy lifting, to be roughly the same.

But happier.

I have an addiction and the only cure for that addiction is coffee. Seriously, I’ve gotten to the point where I can’t go a day without it or I get these headaches that can’t be cured by a Midol. Don’t ask me how I know that.

Anyway, I’ve never heard this anywhere outside New York, so I’ve come to assume it’s the cool NYC thing to say: next time you order your coffee and you want it with cream and sugar, order it “light and sweet.” I definitely do because I only like my coffee if it tastes like ice cream.

Fuck you, pickles!!! Get out of my sandwich!!!

This recipe took about a week of shitty tries and really gross clean-ups to finally get right. And I have to say, I think I did a damn fine job.

Combine these:
Cup of Flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda

Combine these in a different bowl:
Cup of Milk
1 Egg, whisked
2 Tablespoons Melted Butter
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract *Secret Ingredient Alert*

Once you’ve got those mixed together, slowly mix the liquids into the solids. I usually melt the butter in the skillet and add it last so the skillet’s greased. This recipe makes four large pancakes (or 8 dollar pancakes) that should be flipped pretty much the second the edges start to look dry. That is, the pancakes should be bubbling for a short while (20-30 seconds) before you flip them.

Also, don’t ever—ever—put in more than a teaspoon of salt. That was a terrible, terrible day.

After extended aisle pacing and deliberation I finally bought my first box of Cookie Crisp back on Friday. When I was a kid, there was just so much hype on TV and yet so much restriction. The commercials made it sound like it was perfectly okay to live on the wild side and eat an entire bowl of cookies for breakfast. But then even eying a box of cereal in the grocery store that was touching a box of Cookie Crisp induced strong rebukes from my Mother. Somehow, Reese’s Puffs were okay but Cookie Crisps were an unforgivable sin in a house that never attended church unless it was a holiday.

So I figured, I haven’t even really been eating cereal much lately, I’m going to buy this and enjoy bachelorhood at its finest. And then I found out it doesn’t even really taste like cookies. I went in expecting a bowl full of chocolate chip cookies but I didn’t expect they would be tiny, stale chocolate chip corn meal things. When I got to the end of the bowl I even found out I preferred the milk to the cereal. I guess I was just really thirsty.

Maybe my mom knew all along it tasted gross.

Here’s a story that’s way too long for this recipe:

I had Saturday off so I took the subway into town and walked from Manhattan to Brooklyn. Last summer I walked to the first tower and turned back (n00b tourist move) so I could get back home and make myself some dinner. Back on Saturday I felt the time had finally come for me to finally go the distance and walk the entire thing.

On the way up to the first tower the crowd was pretty much half Euro[tourists] and half gigantic families. I passed a ton of people and felt good about being a local instead of slow tourist. Past the second tower, everyone was pretty much walking towards Manhattan and beyond it, well, there was no one. To be honest, I don’t think many people have ever seen the “Welcome to Brooklyn” sign simply because the whole tourist venture seems to end at the second tower. I however love DUMBO, so I exited the bridge and found my favorite wine store where I purchased a bottle of red as my reward. The bottle said something about tasting great with meat on the label and I realized I should whip up some delicious hamburgers because the only way I know how to cook steak is on a grill (and since cooking on a grill would be 1) both ridiculous and hazardous in my apartment and 2) kind of too much effort for one steak for one dude).

Beat this meat:

  • ~1 lb of Ground Chuck
  • Less than a tablespoon of Cayenne Pepper
  • Dash of Salt
  • Dash of Pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 2 minced garlic cloves

Pretty simple preparation: mix it all together with your (clean) hands, shape it into patties (3-4) and cook ‘em. Tastes delicious in a little less than 10 minutes when you broil them. Also, about the Cayenne Pepper: I made these for my mom—who cannot stand anything spicy at all—and she thought they were delicious. It just adds a bit of flavor, not heat, to the delicious garlic topnotes.

If you don’t want them to shrink up, you can take a cookie sheet, place it on top of the meat and then put a brick on top of that. Usually that keeps them skinny like fast food hamburgers. Usually.

I have always hated looking up recipes and seeing stupid measurements like “Add 1 teaspoon vermouth and 1.25 ounces gin, then stir in a quadrant of ice and 1 and three quarters of a jigger of finely chopped peppermint sprigs.” So I’ve reduced some of my favorite recipes to simple measurements and all in whole numbers so you can measure with a shot glass, pimp cup, tea kettle or cough syrup cup without doing something stupid like measuring half a shot glass. Easy.

LONG ISLAND ICED TEA

  • 1 part Vodka
  • 1 part Gin
  • 1 part Tequila
  • 1 part Triple Sec
  • 1 part Whiskey
  • 1 part Rum
  • 1 part Lemon Juice
  • 1 part Simple Sugar (See recipe below)
  • 1 dash (or equivalent, see directions) of Coke

The best part about this drink is it’s pretty much 75% alcohol and all you can taste is sugary lemony tea. Unless you don’t make the Simple Sugar, in which case it’ll taste like someone made you a lemon tequila and threw some sugar on top. Another great thing about this recipe is if you actually invest in all the ingredients, you can make pretty much every basic mixed drink there is except a White Russian. Take everything on the list and shake it with an ice cube in a cocktail shaker. If you’re making a punch bowl’s worth, you could probably skip the shaker and mix everything in the punch bowl with a spoon or a whisk. Whatever you’re into. Pour over excessive amounts of ice. Add enough Coke that your beverage turns from light yellowish to iced tea color. Consume, but in moderation; they’ll sneak up on you.

Bonus summer game: Make a punch bowl’s worth and split with your friends on the driveway. Drink 3 and see if anyone can get back inside. Whoever places their hand on the door handle has the strongest liver and the highest chance of incurring alcoholism. Hooray!

SIMPLE SUGAR

  • 1 part Sugar
  • 1 part Water
  • 1 part Stiff Drink (See recipe below)

Prepare your Stiff Drink of choice. Honestly, if you’re cooking up something that’s only good for mixing drinks, why not take advantage of the mood? I’m right handed so I generally place the drink in my left and whisk with my right. Heat the water on the stove and gradually stir in the sugar until you have a pot of clear, delicious sugar water. I stir in gradually because I get to enjoy my Stiff Drink and because it just feels like more of a complicated recipe than it actually is. Place your Simple Sugar in a lidded container and refrigerate. No one wants hot sugar water.

MARGARITA (MAN STYLE)

  • 3 parts Tequila
  • 1 part Triple Sec
  • 2 parts Lime Juice (Alt: 1 part Lemon juice, 1 part Lime juice. Your call.)

Shake it, ice it, drink it. Sometimes I just throw the salt directly in because I don’t really want to salt the rim. Whatevs.

WHITE RUSSIAN

  • 1 part Kahlua (or other coffee liqueur, but why wouldn’t you just get Kahlua?)
  • 1 part Vodka
  • 2 parts milk (or cream, I guess)

Pour in listed order over ice, mix if you like. Now there’s a beverage involved here. Man.

GIN AND (TONIC, GINGER ALE, SELTZER, SPRITE, WHAT HAVE YOU)

Guess.

WHISKEY AND (COKE, GINGER ALE, ETC)

  • 1 part Whiskey
  • 1 part Mixer

Pour in listed order over ice and imbibe. Even better, if you have Jack Daniel’s and testicles (optional) take 1 part whiskey, pour it over ice and imbibe. You’re welcome.

1. Hang out with the Dick Clique

1.a. Drink Shiner.

1.b. Drink at another round of high school reunions at the only bar in town that anyone goes to.

1.b.i. Say hi to everyone you hoped you’d never see again.

1.b.ii. Remember why you haven’t talked to most of these girls since high school or–on rare occasion–sometimes regret not keeping up with some of them.

2. Play guitar every night from 7 to 10 PM

3. Reminisce about all the different kinds of horns you haven’t heard since leaving the City of a Million Car Horns.

4. Never wake up a minute before 12:15PM.

5. Watch all five Harry Potter movies in chronological order. Repeat.

6. Wish everyone a “Happy Ramadan,” particularly after they wish you a “Merry Christmas.”

7. Participate in American consumerism and overconsumption in order to prevent a recession. And to get gifts for your family.

8. Practice my Brooklyn accent by repeating everything my Grandma says (“I’m ole!!!” “I cowled Mahgret yestahday.” “I tawlked to Johnathan. He gets me Netflix.”).

9. Drive to downtown Houston and do something.

10. Make my sister uncomfortable by being overly affectionate.

11. Cook dinner for my family.