29 April 2009


I just ate a whole pizza at Ken's on my own. Dining alone, though pathetic looking and boring, has its benefits. You see, when Kevin and I eat pizza together, it becomes an eating contest that has no winners. Tonight, I ate slowly. I chose my slices based on my own desires, and not on defending property. I thought to myself things like "I think I'll take this little guy over here with all that cheese and arugula on it and save that big slice for later!". Of course, there was no later. Not really, anyway. My plans of bringing some of this beautiful, crispy pie disappeared soon after I realized that it was the best pizza I had ever eaten. I mean it. I may be fond of superlatives, but "best" is truly in order this time, so leave me alone. Anyway, I finished it. I was even praised for my appetite, which I think might be kind of insulting if not surprising.

28 April 2009

That Rainy Day Feeling

This photo was taken a few weeks ago during a memorable staff meal. Jon not only perfected his tomato soup recipe once and for all, but he also whipped up some grilled cheese sandwiches and then put some herbs and oil on my personal bowl of soup. It may be time for me to give in and get a "spoiled"bumper sticker or maybe on that says "got what I wanted." I know I can be a holy hell on Saturday nights, and yet I still get rewarded. I owe those guys a bottle of bourbon.

24 April 2009

Successful Baking

Two photos of buttered bread on one day? Yes. Two posts about crystallized ginger + chocolate chips in one month? YES! This recipe is from Molly Wizenberg's (author of Orangette, my favorite blog) book "A Homemade Life". Banana bread with chocolate chips and ginger sounded like a good death for my brown bananas, and I'll bet they agreed in the end.

Staff Meals have been so wonderful lately. Saturday nights have been wild ever since we opened our patio. People seem to have remembered that it is way better to get plastered on wine while eating food someone else cooked that will later be cleaned up by someone else and all the while hitting on their waitress is WAY better than sitting at home, eating uncooked hotdogs and watching 30 Rock (obviously you know which I would chose if given the choice but whatever). So we have been busy. And staff meal tastes so much better when the night was especially abusive. It's weird. I'm looking forward to tomorrow.

food and otherwise

Lookey lookey guys, I got a present for sprout sitting! Cloudberry preserves. They are almost gone. Do you see my farmers market booty? Asparagus and eggs to cook at home, and a Tastebud Farms veggie sandwich with wheat berries, rapini and chickpeas all wrapped up in a wood oven pita. The little robins egg was my dog walk find from last week. I think I will paint my new kitchen that color...

14 April 2009

This mornings Emails

From my brother:

"I just read your blog and can feel you eyes judging near everything that enters my mouth.
there is nothing wrong with ho-hos and a bottle of blush wine for dinner in my bed while watching youtube clips of cats doing funny things. I feel like you are the Obama of food in our family and I am his Half brother who got caught propositioning a 13 year old girl of food in our family.
I guess I just need to let go and be ok with myself

From another family member (I feel compelled to protect her husband's identity for some reason):

"Can Staffmeal be an advice column one day a week? For our food related problems?
Because I have a question & I need answers!

Q: Is it NORMAL for a husband to go into the GARBAGE CAN with a fork to have a little spaghetti?
Spaghetti that was left out overnight before being tossed?

Here is our conversation, just for context:
(dog walk)
Jay: I ate that avocado.
Me: Oh, good.
Jay: And some spaghetti!
Me: What spaghetti?
walk walk walk
Me: Wait-WHAT?"

13 April 2009


I am depressed to admit that since my failed baking trials with David, I have been a total spaz in the kitchen. I think my confidence was really shattered when everything I tried to make not only did not come out the way I planned, but in fact came out disgusting and inedible. My shaker lemon pie? It was basically a scrambled egg and lemon pie. SICK. I even messed up Lasagna the other night. My only success this week in food was buying pudding at the farmers market, and that wasn't even my idea. (Thank you Holly.)
I'll never tell what Kevin and I had for dinner tonight, I'll only say that our prowess of impersonating fat teenagers has reached another level. It was cute when we used to eat pastries in bed whilst my roommates judged us behind our backs, but now that we are on our own it's disgusting and shameful. SHAMEFUL.
Fortunately, my Aunt and Uncle cooked for us on easter. We ate so much pork that we could not even have our yearly egg-cracking contest. It's the first year we haven't done it, and all thanks to eating too much. It was worth it.

08 April 2009

Spot The Kitten

So, my aunt is famous. This photo, that SHE TOOK, is also on Cute Overload right now. It's her foster kitten and I think we should name it Pattypan after the squash or Kenneth after Kenneth on 30 Rock.


There was a stowaway yolk in one of the eggs I got at the farmers market. Does a double yolk mean that there would have been twin chicklets? It breaks my heart to think of it since twins are my fave, but I guess since they went into chocolate chip cookie dough it was a fair break. Yay! Cookies for lunch!
Here was Kevin's questionable quote of the day: "I don't like warm or soft cookies". Things like that keep me up at night, worrying about his health.


2 sticks of butter (room temp)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs (one with a double yolk, if you're lucky)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. fleur de sel
2 cups AP flour
1 cup pastry flour
1 lb. 70% cacao chocolate, chopped.
1/4 cup crystalized ginger, chopped.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. I used my kitchenaid mixer for this whole process and you should too, if you have one. Fit the mixer with paddle attachment. First cream the butter and sugars together until smooth and wonderful. Don't forget to scrape the bowl a few times throughout the process. Add the eggs one at a time, beat after each addition. Then add the vanilla. I usually add too much on purpose, but maybe I shouldn't tell you that. Put the mixer on medium-slow and add the rest of the dry ingredients in the order that I list them. If you only have AP flour, you can get away with it. Have a few glasses of wine and you won't give a damn about finesse. Otherwise, pastry flour really does make a difference. Drop small amounts of dough onto a cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Here is my favorite trick: shape the dough into a small ball, but then twist the ball and pull apart- this splits the ball in half and leaves you with jagged sides. Stick the pieces back together, but with the jagged sides facing up. This texturizes your cookies and makes them look like models. I did not do this step today so please examine my photo to see what a smooth finish looks like. I'll tell you what- it doesn't look half as good as the textured finish. Again, this is minutia and should be ignored if you are drinking.

07 April 2009

I have to do it

I know I am not supposed to talk trash no mo', but you know what? Waiting tables is hard sometimes. And sometimes servers need to have a little fun, feel a little solidarity, and know that everything is going to be OK. So, though I shall not give the specifics of these customers, like full name and address or eye color and blood type, I will give a few broad examples of how last week went at the old restaurant.

First and foremost, I was sexually harassed by an old lady. Every time I approached her table, she patted my bum. As I opened a bottle of wine...pat pat pat. As I got their orders... pat pat pat. I had to position myself very awkwardly to avoid her advances, and even then I could feel her grandmotherly love reaching for my hindquarters from across the table. Her son left me a very large tip. Which made it feel even more wrong.

On Saturday night I wore a dress to work that I felt skeptical about. It had a big, floppy ruffle around the neckline and was generally not my style. I was in a rush when I left for work and I wanted to believe that it would be ok, but it was not. One of my tables asked me if I was Amish. Actually what they said was "My friend wants to know if you're amish!" (woman pointing to man next to her, man blushing and slapping her pointing finger out of his face.) Holly promised that I looked a little to slutty to really pass for Amish, but still I will never wear that dress again.

Another group that came in on Saturday night spent the evening socializing with their iphones. When they left, I realized that one of the fine gentlemen had left his little buddy behind! I ran out the door, seeing that they were all the way on the other side of the park. I yelled "Sir! You forgot your phone!" I was trotting towards him with the phone raised up in the air. He turned, looked, and waited for me to bring the phone to him. On the other side of the park. I was in my fucking apron! And this guy wants me to deliver his fucking iphone to him! GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! One of my friends asked me why I didn't get his attention and then leave the phone for him on a park bench or something. That's a good question. I also wonder why I didn't a. keep it, b. throw it at his face, or c. throw it in the street.

That's it! Otherwise all of my customers have had insanely nice hair, been polite and positive, and been amazed at how dining out is both affordable and fun!

Sprout Update

The sprouts had a bath this morning and got fresh sheets on their beds. Are these little guys done yet? I vote yes. In fact, I am putting some on my school snack today and we'll just see how it goes. They are scheduled tonight for delivery, so they'd better be ready.

06 April 2009

Greens, Parties

It's 70 degrees in Portland and obviously we are all going batshit crazy over it. Last night Kevin, Jessika and I went out for margaritas and dinner. While they ate some delicious sandwiches, I had hotwings with ranch and a frozen drink. They both wondered how I managed to piece together such a trashy meal at a fairy nice restaurant. Granted I did have to ask for the ranch, it wasn't that challenging. Come on guys.

Off Hours

the bean series

The Bean Corral

Day One

Day Three (honey how you've grown)

01 April 2009

Sprout Sitting *and* Dropping Out Of Greek Mythology

I just dropped out of my Greek Mythology class*, so to those of you who were really sure that I would never learn to enjoy epic poetry, you were right. Here's the thing. My friend Nic is going to the Nordic Countries (all of them, via sailboat, NOT fair) for a couple of weeks. In his wake, I have been left along with 40,000 sprouts to babysit. I have not actually counted them but it seems like a fair number. The pressure is enormous. Having two dogs is already completely time consuming, especially when one is a control freak who lacks control of his bladder and the other is bad, but this is a whole new ball game. People are counting on me for the well-being of these sprouts. You see, Nic is a sprout dealer. I wont give too much of his game away, but suffice it to say I'm in deep. I'm fucked. The jar of beans ( just waiting for me to give them life!) might as well be a big jar of Jacky Scrapple's all needing to be walked.
My responsibilities include but defiantly are not limited to: Soaking the beans for 24 hours. Rinsing the soaked beans 4 times a day until they sprout (3-4 days). Delivering sprouts to clients. Repeating process until he gets home.

Hopefully I will be able to post photos of the journey from bean to sprout, but we'll just have to see how much strength I have left after all of this.

*Mom- I am still in school. Don't worry.