Ina Garten

Ina Garten

I chose Ina Garten to teach me to cook because she seems genuinely happy to be in her kitchen, talking about how to make food.  I know this seems obvious for a person who makes their living developing recipes, writing cookbooks and filming a cooking show, but there is just something about Contessa Garten that draws me to her process in a way most every other person cooking on TV simply does not.

Contessa Garten loves bread, cheese, her cookies are always delicious and she hates cilantro.  I hate it as well, it tastes like soap.  I love it when she recommends using the “good” version of an ingredient. At first I was nervous it would be expensive and then I realized it was Best Foods (Hellman’s) mayonnaise and not something she got from William-Sonoma that costs twenty-two dollars an ounce.  She insists making our own chicken stock will raise our finished dishes to a whole new level.  That being said, I don’t get the sense she would refuse to eat a dish made with box o’stock.   Read more

My Version of Contessa Garten's Crunchy Noodle Salad

My Version of Contessa Garten’s Crunchy Noodle Salad

For reasons known only to the version of me from ten years ago, I changed this lovely crispy cold salad into a hot noodle dish. In all versions, I leave out the red bell peppers because I don’t care for bell peppers. Any dish I put bell peppers into always ends up mostly tasting like bell peppers. Also, Eddie Murphy had a comedy bit where he talked about wanting to have McDonald’s, but his mom made him eat a homemade burger with chunks of green pepper in it instead.

Anyway, I make this hot version about once a month and my family loves it. Make Contessa Garten’s original version if you’d like, I highly recommend it. It’s the recipe I made that convinced me that the Contessa’s recipes are worth risking my time and money on. Read more

Always have food in your fridge to make a bean burrito

Always Have Stuff in Your Fridge to Make a Bean Burrito

If you opened my fridge at any time over the past 20 years, you would have found the makings of a quesadilla.  You might not have been able to make anything else and there might not have been any fresh fruit or veg, but I feel confident that you would have been able to walk away with a crispy, cheesy quesadilla.  And there was probably a bottle of Tapatio hot sauce to douse it with.

I learned this trick, always have stuff in your fridge to make a quick meal everyone in the house would eat, from my best friend’s mom.  When we were teenagers, my best friend and I ate constantly.  If we were awake, we were eating.  I’m going to pause here for a few moments to remember the joy of a life spent constantly consuming salty snacks.  Delightful. Read more

Nerdette

Nerdette

I am an analog nerd. I love the library. I go there at least once a week to peruse the aisles and check out physical books. I like math and have read many books about it. I watch PBS. A lot. One time my cousin made a joke about the W.M. Keck Foundation and I laughed when everyone else just stared at her. I don’t play video games because I have no talent for them (except for LEGO Star Wars, for some reason I clean up on that one). I can barely figure out how to use this laptop, my cell phone is a mystery I have zero interest in figuring out. I have never seen any of the Lord of the Rings movies and I have only ever seen the Star Wars movie that was called Star Wars with nothing else tacked on to the title when it came out in the 70s. I think it is now number 4, which is irritating since it came out first, but whatever, I don’t care about learning the reasoning behind that, either. Read more

We weren’t in each other’s weddings and other epic mistakes

We weren’t in each other’s weddings and other epic mistakes

When I was young, I was very concerned with being practical. Now that I am well over forty, I realize that ‘being practical’ was just me being afraid. Afraid of what? Afraid of asking for what I wanted, even if it made trouble for others. And guess what, my best friend used to have the same problem. 

And we got married within weeks of each other.

So we decided, in the name of being practical, that we wouldn’t be in each other’s weddings.

Eminently practical. And very, very wrong. Read more

Bossypants

Bossypants

If you read the blog on Wednesday, you already know that we here at Persistiny love Tina Fey. You will also know that my favorite line from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is, “Last one to the bunker is the mother of whores!” That doesn’t have anything to do with the book Bossypants, I just wanted to keep to my habit of saying that sentence at least once a day.

Should you read Bossypants? Absolutely. Will it improve your life if you do? Probably not. Read more

Yelp

Yelp

Thanks to Yelp, there are certain topics on which I no longer have an opinion. I think one person having fewer half-assed opinions is a good thing. And yet there are people who hate Yelp.

Now, if terrible people have ruined your business or the business of someone you care about, then I completely understand why you hate Yelp.  At the end of this blog, I will include links to articles about how Yelp can improve itself. But there are people who dislike Yelp for other reasons. Read more

Tina Fey

Tina Fey

My older son once wrote on his Instagram profile, “I’m not real sure what goes here but Tina Fey, if you are reading this, I love you.” And I couldn’t agree with him more.

More than once, I’ve read and laughed my way through Bossy Pants, I’ve watched 30 Rock over and over, I quote Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on a daily basis. My favorite quote? “Last one to the bunker is the mother of whores!” Read more

Cinnamon Baked Doughnuts

Cinnamon Baked Doughnuts

I had to buy doughnut pans from Amazon because I couldn’t find them in the local shops or big box stores. The trend for cinnamon baked doughnuts has passed, so it makes perfect sense that I would now attempt them.

I am not what anyone would describe as trendy. Not because I eschew trends on principle, it’s more that I am not paying very close attention to what other people are doing. I have enough trouble keeping up with what I am supposed to be doing. Read more

women's unpaid household labor

The Guarantor of Toilet Paper

When I was a kid, my mom made sure our house was stocked with toilet paper. She was, as it were, the guarantor of toilet paper. My father knew we needed toilet paper, he used his fair share. He owned a car, had access to money…why wasn’t it his job to make sure there was enough toilet paper in the house at all times? My dad worked full time and so did my mom. As you might guess, women’s unpaid household labor was a huge issue in our house.

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