DIY Headboard

IMG_5111

Painting on plywood is dirt cheap. An enormous board costs only $10 opposed to a canvas which would cost over a hundy. The board will slightly warp in dry temperatures but I’m not fussy when I’m skint and aesthetically pleased with the result. Another Skint Tip is to buy paint in test jars; they only cost $5.00 at Home Depot. They last longer when adding white acrylic paint (from the Dollar Store) to create different shades of the same colour, which I did on the piece in my living room.

I cut out a hexagon shape from a piece of paper and traced it. That’s it. It took a few coats of paint for the lighter shades and for the gold (second from right – the picture doesn’t do it justice.) The plywood is heavy so make sure someone who knows what they are doing hangs it properly, you know so it doesn’t kill you in your sleep.

Miso Deviled Eggs

IMG_4995

There are two things I question the most when hosting a dinner party. Are my dishes going to contrast each other? Or are they going to taste the same? If I served potatoes and plain veg on the side, then it wouldn’t be a problem but that shit isn’t going to fly on a Saturday night with my friends. I based my last dinner party on a soy and sesame kale salad which was decent – it’s a work in progress. I wasn’t too impressed with the rest of the meal either; I cracked out on the soy sauce and everything tasted the same.

I did, however, redeem myself with these savory Miso Deviled Eggs. I’m obsessed with miso paste (fermented soybeans) which has become a staple in my kitchen. See White Girl Ramen. Miso is extremely salty and should be considered a small addition to something rather than a base. These are not your Grandma’s Deviled Eggs. Rock up to your next potluck with these and I promise all the high fives.

• 8 Eggs
• 2 TBSP Mayo
• 1 TBSP Grainy Dijon
• 1 TBSP Miso Paste (light or dark)
• Toasted Sesame Seeds

Bring eggs to a boil, remove from heat and cover for 10 minutes. Let eggs cool and peel. Cut them in half, remove the cooked yolk and place in a separate bowl. Add to the cooked yolk the miso paste, dijon and mayo – mix well. Pipe filling into eggs, sprinkle with sesame seeds and refrigerate for at least an hour. I make a ghetto piping bag from a small sandwich bag. This is an example but not my video.

Brussel Sprout Slaw

fullsizerender1

This couldn’t be easier, guys: throw your sprouts in a food processor and chop that shit up. The first time I made this I thinly sliced every single sprout because sometimes I’m a daft bitch. The processor takes seconds. Get a nice glass bowl and toss the sprouts, walnuts, cranberries, pancetta and shallots with the dressing. I like my slaw well coated, so I often adjust the quantity of dressing.

• 1 Pound of Brussel Sprouts
• ½ Cup of Walnuts, chopped
• ½ Cup of Dried Cranberries
• ½ Cup of Cooked Pancetta, chopped
• 2 Shallots, chopped

UPDATE: do yourself a favour and grate asiago cheese on top – Next Level Shit!

Dressing:

• 1/4 Cup of Olive Oil
• 2 TBS Apple Cider Vinegar
• 1 Heaping TBS of Grainy Dijon Mustard
• 1 TSP of Honey
• Pinch of Salt

Tabbouli / Tabouli / Tabbouleh

IMG_4831

It looks simple enough to make but Tabouli is surprisingly easy to fuck up and is a huge time suck. I once added too much bulgur, minimizing the freshness of the dish which is imperative. I also had to get over my compulsion to add garlic, it just doesn’t work. The lemon juice intensifies the garlic which overwhelmingly takes over the entire dish.

I only recommend preparing this if you possess enough patience to chop parsley for what seems like an eternity. That shit has to be finely chopped and stems are unacceptable so carve out an hour of your day and grab a glass of wine.

• 3 Bunches of Parsley
• 1 Cup Fresh Mint
• 1 Bunch of Green Onion
• 3 TBSP of Bulgur or Couscous
• 3 Lemons – juiced
• 1 Tomato
• ¼ Cup of Olive Oil
• Pinch of Salt

Prepare bulgur or couscous and set aside. Remove parsley from stems and chop finely until you reach the brink of insanity. Chop mint, tomato, and green onions then toss everything in a non-reactive bowl, which is anything other than metal – if you want to know why, Google it. Refrigerate for at least an hour, tossing it a few times. The idea is to soften the parsley by saturating it in lemon juice.

Smoky Baba Ganoush

IMG_4835

Eggplants are straight up nasty. They look weird, they feel weird, I’ve choked and gagged on the skin and they taste like sponge. But when you grill them and blend them with yummy shit – then eggplants are my jam. I wanted to replicate the smoky flavor in the Baba Ganoush from Tabule but I do not have access to a grill so I added Danish Smoked Salt. If you don’t have Danish Smoked Salt (also called Viking Salt which is pretty boss) you’re shit out of luck.

• 3 Medium Eggplants
• ½ Cup Tahini
• 1 Lemon
• 2 Cloves of Garlic
• 1 TSP Viking Salt

I was supposed to add olive oil but forgot. The Tahini made the dip creamy enough but go crazy, add a splash. Place eggplants on a baking sheet and cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 350° turning them every 15 minutes. Remove the skin. Blend all ingredients in a food processor and let cool in the fridge for an hour.

Halloumi and Arugula Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

IMG_4819

I disappeared again. I do that sometimes. I wish I had an exhilarating reason why but I don’t. I was merely off tormenting myself to complete my novel. It was awful but somehow fulfilling and of course still incomplete. My mother poetically calls me, “a tortured creative soul,” I call myself completely neurotic. This is getting dark. I digress.

This past weekend I made a middle eastern inspired feast for a few friends and I was damn impressed with myself. Chicken was bomb. Smoky Baba Ganoush was bomb. Tabouli was bomb. But the star of the show was by far this salad. If you are unaware, Halloumi is a semi-hard cheese with a high melting point so it can withstand frying and grilling. It’s dense, chewy and salty as fuck which pairs perfectly with the bitterness of the arugula and the sweet but tart dressing.

NOTE: the vinaigrette proportions might be slightly inaccurate because I free poured that shit like a boss. Please modify to your preference:

• ½ Cup POM Juice
• 2 TBSP Olive Oil
• 1 TBSP Red Wine Vinegar
• 1 TSP Honey
• ½ TSP Grainy Dijon Mustard
• 1 Small Shallot (finely minced)
• Salt and Pepper

Toss with arugula and serve with halloumi – pan fry, high heat for a 1 min per side.

Creamy Basil Pesto

photo

 

Pesto is pretty easy to make – throw shit in a food processor and blend in olive oil. But in true fashion I succeeded to make a gigantic mess by deviating from the original method and using my NutriBullet. Everything blended well but into the consistency of baby food. I then used my mini food processor because I was too lazy to bring out the big bastard but it wasn’t powerful enough to chop everything finely. So I had one bowl of pesto slime and another of roughly chopped ingredients. After taking an essential wine and scream/cry break I combined the two concoctions into what passed as “rustic pesto.” I’m just making shit up now. Point is; use a proper food processor for this recipe.

2 Cups Fresh Basil
1 Cups Pine Nuts
2 Cloves of Garlic – you can add more but if you keep pesto in the fridge you will have regrets.
1 Cup Pecorino Romano Cheese
1 Cup of Olive Oil
1 TSP Lemon Zest
Juice of Half a Lemon
Pinch of Salt

Add all ingredients except for the olive oil in a LARGE food processor and chop finely. Keep machine on while slowly adding in the olive oil until your desired consistency. You can add more oil later; you want a bit of a pool on top.

Creamy Pesto: This was so amazing, I can’t believe I’ve never done this before. Add half of a cup of half and half cream and two heaping spoons of pesto into a pot and warm it up. The cheese in the pesto will thicken the sauce but I strongly encourage adding more – cheese makes life better.