It’s my Birthday and I’ll be a Bitch If I Want to

This is 35, with the help of hair dye, botox and a little lip filler (just enough to restore me to how I used to look). Cheers kids… enjoy your collagen while it lasts

I have minimal expectations for my birthday… and every year is a still a disappointment, despite my minimal expectations. I have almost no expectations at this point in my life when it comes to my birthday, and somehow I still end up hurt and bitter almost every February 18th. I don’t ask for a lot… in fact, I ask for very little. I told my fiance exactly what I wanted, and he failed to buy me “Tiny Music: Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop” STP album. Instead, knowing that I love Depeche Mode (at least he got that right…), he purchased what he thought was a framed, signed photo of the band. A simple Google search of that shit brought me to the site where he bought it and it says in CLEAR writing, that the autographs are a copy. He’s a straight man… I can’t get too mad; straight men aren’t the most competent. He did buy me the correct Depeche Mode album (Violater), but now the brand new record player my parents got me for Christmas has a distorted sound. It worked fine last time I used it, which was earlier this week. Like, WTF? Can nothing ever go smoothly? It’s my birthday and all I want is to listen to the soothing, melancholic sounds of Dave Gahan’s voice and my fucking record player is slowing down the music, making it sound slightly demonic. The BPM setting is correct; I tried cleaning the needle, and that didn’t work. I ordered new styluses online, but they won’t be here for a week. I hope a new needle fixes it… it’s a great record player, and I’ve asked everyone in my family for new records for my bday – now I can’t even listen to them.

My fiance also failed to plan/book a dinner reservation for tomorrow (since of course, he is FUCKING WORKING today, on my actual birthday). Now, the only fucking restaurant I wanted to go to is fully booked. All I want are oysters and cocktails from Maison Premiere. It’s one of my favorites….it’s small, pretty, cozy, the food is great, the drinks are strong, but, no. Fully booked on a random Sunday in February. I considered Sel Rrose because they have oysters, good cocktails and a seafood tower, but I refuse to dine somewhere that charges $15 for fries. Lick my ballz.

Yes, there are toxic chemicals polluting Ohio and killing wildlife and infiltrating the water. Yes, Putin has decimated all of Ukraine and the threat of nuclear war looms heavy. Yes, there are toxic chemicals in our orange juice and microplastics in our blood streams and we are all going to get cancer. Yes, 30K people died in Turkey and Syria from an earthquake. Yes, children are starving to death in Africa and Afghanistan. Yes, people in Iran and Russian are being sent to jail and/or death for attending protests. Yes, we are in the middle of a mass extinction and experiencing a scorching hot Earth because humans are disgusting pigs and we all deserve what we have coming: DEATH. Death? I welcome it at this point, if it means escaping current society. But for fucks’ sake… I just wanted one day, MY day to go right. And all I needed for that were oysters and a Stone Temple Pilots record.

Like I said though, my birthday always sucks. In 2017, my parents were in town that weekend, but we didn’t even go out to dinner – we ordered in Thai food because my nephew was only a few months old and someone failed to get a sitter or just take one for the team and have one parent stay home with the newborn. My iPhone also shit the bed that year on my birthday night, and I had to go to Verizon at 7PM to buy a new one… which I then dropped in the bath tub (thankfully it was OK).

When I was in high school, my best friend forgot my birthday every year. It’s always the people that I think will be the first to wish me a happy birthday that totally forget. You’re an adult, set a fucking reminder in your phone like I do to remember friends and families birthdays. We are all busy adults, but you can set a reminder a year in advance. On that note, some online friends and people I’m not that close to remembered my birthday… so, that is something happy. Thank you people who actually listen to me and take note.

I want to leave this country. There is a new mass shooting every day, no one even keeps track or remembers them anymore. You could die anywhere, the subway, the grocery store, a movie theater, your office…. this is no way to live. The amount of garbage and pollution and toxic chemicals and plastics infiltrating all aspects of life. The Far Right and the Far Left are equally as bad at this point. Like, I am pretty liberal, but why are we banning words like “ugly” and “fat” in new issues of Roald Dhal books? As if kids are never going to hear these words and much, MUCH worse probably directed at them by some little shithead they go to school with. Why are people vilifying J.K. Rowling? She is not against trans people, she supports trans people and their rights, she said that women, natural-born women, deserve safe spaces like women only violence shelters that are exclusively for them. But no, we live in a lazy world where no one researches their news or facts. Not on either side of the political divide. I’m so over this nation and everyone in it. No one has a brain anymore.

I went to the Meat Hook to buy duck breast to cook for my cat’s birthday, which is tomorrow. I figure if I’m not having the perfect birthday, at least I can give him a great day. They literally had one duck breast left. So I guess it is truly just for my cats now. No duck breast for me or my fiance… for the best. I’m trying to go vegan (again/still), but I will allow myself bivalves since they don’t have central nervous systems, hence, why I wanted oysters for my bday.

Everyday mood in my STP shirt and L.L. Bean that I bought and then stole from my dad. Grunge never died… it lives on in the best of humanity.

Cheers kids. This world is fucked, so take advice from a millennial such as myself and enjoy every day like it could be your last (because it could be). Don’t take anything too seriously because everything and everyone is/are always changing. You can’t control anything in this world apart from how you treat others and how you treat yourself.

Mussels and Potatoes, and my Week Cleaning Up After Cats…

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Not the comeliest of dishes (but than again, neither am I – so who am I to judge?), but it tastes like $1,000,000

DISCLAIMER:

This blog will eventually get to the food/cooking/recipe aspect that it was initially intended for.  I’ve taken a slight detour along the way and have started incorporating other bullshit into my blog, as I need a safe space to express myself and the world today is not a very safe place at all (no more abortion in the state of Alabama… like WTF?  I guess we’ve gone back to the dark ages…. don’t even get me started, we live in a fucking sickening time in history… how did we let it come back to this????).

If you’re wondering why I haven’t posted lately (which I doubt you are, since no one actually reads this piece of shit blog…), I’ve been too busy being a cat-mom (basically a full-time job within itself… unless you’re actually a BAD cat mom), and cleaning non-stop (obviously my TRUE calling in life).

Yes, what a gripping life I do lead! (I want to say that’s a line from Notting Hill, but I could be wrong… might be Bridget Jones… I used to be OBSESSED with Hugh Grant when I was 12… I still might be… I digress).

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All week long I wait for the weekend, so I can cast aside my Hillary Clinton slacks and unflattering, masculine button-ups in favor of something more my style… I really need to find a job where I can where whatever I want ergo, I need to be my own boss. I’ve also been searching for a replacement for this top for the last 4 years… it is my favorite.  I created it from a Zara top that I completely reconstructed but now it’s falling apart, along with my collagen and my ambitions in life… it’s all a mess here.

If you didn’t read my last blog, please do – it’s writing I’m actually really excited to share and want to do more of/with.  I have way too much fun writing this kind of stuff.  For the next installment of ‘Indigo Wren,’ Indigo is going to sail his hand-crafted raft to France, make his way to Paris, and then attempt to live like Ernest Hemingway while also becoming gender neutral. I know… this blog has basically evolved from what was originally supposed to be a food/cooking blog into the madcap nonsense of yesteryear (aka, the shit I used to write on my old blog, God rest its soul).  Yes, I’m twisted.

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Honk if you know where this is – we can only be friends if you do… JK

Last week, I spent basically the entire week cleaning up after my sick cats; first Tuna (the kitten), followed by Mr. Peeper.  I took Tuna to the emergency vet that’s open 24/7 last Tuesday, after several psychotic, older women on the ‘Persian Cat Health Board’ I belong  to, and subsequently posted to, advised me to do so, IMMEDIATELY!!!  Their reasoning was that I should bring Tuna to the vet ASAP since he is still a little kitten and was basically shitting his brains out in addition to vomiting last Tuesday night – they said he could dehydrate and die easily.  Obviously, that freaked me out and since they’re all cat experts and/or breeders, I listened to their advice and I went. The 24/7 vet not only cost a pretty penny (which I would have preferred to spend on new heels and/or partying), but it also ruined my entire Tuesday evening since I didn’t get home again until after 11 p.m. and then couldn’t sleep until 2 a.m.. In case you’re wondering why I haven’t cooked anything noteworthy lately (which you’re not, because you probably order take out every night), it’s because I’ve been so tired and busy raising a kitten that I have no energy left when it’s time to cook.

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This one is a real hell-raiser – like his dad.  This picture was taken before he let me attack those boogers with a Q-tip (so don’t judge me)… but how cute is that face?!  

Luckily, Tuna was fine and was back to his crack-baby self the next morning (he didn’t swallow any objects and doesn’t have any terminal illnesses – what a relief).  However, whatever he did have must have been a virus which he then passed it onto Mr. Peeper, and it was 10 times worse for poor Peeps.  Peeps started throwing up Wednesday night around 10 p.m., and threw up 6 more times before I went to bed at 1:30 a.m..  He also had a couple of explosive BMs (Bowel Movements), if you know what I’m saying…. (sorry for being gross, but it’s true).  I hadn’t slept much the night before because of Tuna, and then I had to stay up a second night in a row cleaning cat vomit and worried about my baby Peeps.

I hoped he’d be better when I woke up the next morning, but I walked out of the bedroom to a living room/kitchen/bathroom area covered with at least 6 additional puke spots.  But the worst part, if you must know, was that poor Peeps was laying behind the curtains in the living room window, with the 6:30 a.m. intense, dawn sunlight coming in directly upon him, not moving, non-responsive, not hungry for breakfast, and totally covered in his own shit. Good morning indeed!  I started crying because I thought he was going to die… he didn’t even acknowledge me when I came out of my bedroom and he didn’t want breakfast.

I called out of work immediately and spent all morning giving Peeper a bath (he hated me, but was so weak he hardly tried to escape), cleaning the floors, disinfecting everything, and feeding him liquids out of a syringe.  Yes… I transformed into a nurse. I thought I was going to have to drop another $300 I don’t have on the vet, and I happily would have it meant making my baby better, but luckily he didn’t throw up or shit again and kept down the combo of goat’s milk and Greek yogurt I gave him… I’m basically a registered cat nurse now.

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I love this cat more than I love myself… which isn’t saying much.  I love him more than most people though – that’s for sure. I lost Bijou last year, and I’ll be damned if I lose another baby anytime soon if I can prevent it (*** after writing this sentence, I’ve realized I am a full fledged cat lady who may or may not ever have human children)

Anyhow.  I haven’t had time to cook anything that spectacular lately.  I did make a pretty legit seafood risotto on Friday of last week, once the house was clean, the cats were better, and I finally had some ambition.

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Seafood risotto with shrimp, scallops and San Marzano tomatoes.

The dish I made the week prior though is where it’s really at:

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Pasta e potate e cozze = pasta with potatoes and mussels! 

Yes, this dish was time consuming as hell to make, and it took a lot of ingredients… but it’s fucking worth it (just like you, darling).

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 bag of small potatoes, unpeeled and diced, OR… 3 large potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 medium white (or yellow) onion, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1 cup, diced cherry/grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen sweet corn (preferably shaved off the cob)
  • 1 lb. mussels, steamed and de-shelled
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups dried, gemelli (or similar shape) pasta
  • 4 Tbs. olive oil
  • 3 Tbs. butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 2 Tbs. freshly chopped parsley

DIRECTIONS:

  • Rinse/clean the mussels and then steam them until they open!
  • Once mussels have opened and are cool enough to handle, de-shell and set the meat aside in a bowl

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Steam me b*tch

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Mussel meat – YUMMMMM! Seriously – yum… especially with some melted butter… 

  • If you’re working with a bag of small potatoes, dice them; If you’re working with three large potatoes, peel the potatoes first and then dice them
  • Heat some olive oil and/or butter in a wok or large saucepan over medium heat
  • Sautee the diced potatoes in olive oil and/or butter until soft (aka penetrable with the tines of a fork)
  • Add the sweet corn into the saucepan and cook until it’s fully de-thawed
  • Set 1/3 of the diced potato/corn mixture aside (I just threw it on top of the mussels), and put the other 2/3s of the potato/corn mix into a blender, with a cup and a half of chicken stock – pulse until completely blended (add more stock as necessary until liquid is a thick consistency)

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The stuff that gets set aside…

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The stuff that gets blended into a creamy puree – I add some chicken stock and some heavy cream so I know what flavors I’m working with when the puree is done

  • Cut the cherry/grape tomatoes into halves and set aside

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  • Heat the butter and/or olive oil in a wok or large, deep saucepan
  • Add in the minced onions and sautee over low-medium heat until translucent
  • Add in the garlic and sautee another minute (*DO NOT BURN GARLIC*)
  • Add in the halved tomatoes and sautee until they become glossy and soft-ish
  • Add in 1/2 cup dry white wine and simmer for about 2-3 minutes
  • Add in the potato puree (the stuff you blended)
  • Add in more chicken stock if necessary and heavy cream
  • The sauce should be thick-ish, yet not so thick that it can’t fully coat other ingredients that will be added shortly!
  • FOR THE PASTA:
  • In another pot, bring heavily-salted water to a boil
  • Add in the gemelli (or other similarly-shaped-pasta), and boil until al dente (do NOT cook until soft… it will finish cooking IN THE SAUCE)
  • Drain and set pasta aside!
  • BACK TO THE SAUCE:
  • Throw in the rest of the potatoes/corn mixture that was previously set aside (this adds texture and makes the dish more aesthetically pleasing than if everything had been blended into a puree)
  • Add in the seasonings: Salt, pepper, dried basil, dried oregano
  • Add in the mussels and fresh basil
  • Cook for a few minutes over medium heat until everything is cooked through and warm again

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Right before the cooked pasta is added back in!

  • Add in the pasta and cook another minute or so
  • Let sit for 5-10 minutes and serve in a shallow bowl or plate
  • Garnish with fresh parsley and enjoy 🙂

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Enjoy with a glass (or two, or three) of white wine! 

Insert disco dancing emoji here.

Hangry and Sleep Deprived

What a day… I can’t even begin to get into it, or I’ll never stop.  Let’s just say – I’m over it…. over everything … on every possible level you can imagine.

I’m currently listing to Dolly Parton, which is another level of disgusting in itself, considering that I hate country music and recently learned that Dolly doesn’t even call or consider herself a feminist.  I won’t go into that either.  I’m not sure why some women think the label ‘feminist’ is a bad thing, especially in the year 2019.  It simply means a person (man, woman, etc.) who wants equal rights for both men and women (and everyone in between).  I guess the people who consider it a dirty term have never taken a women’s studies class in their life, and therefore associate the label with a “feminazi,” or a man-hating, non-armpit-shaving, bra-burning, lesbian straight out of 1968 (**not that that would be a bad thing to be, even if you were that person I just described…).  I’m just saying – calling yourself a feminist doesn’t mean you hate men or that you shun makeup and heels in favor of cargo shorts and trips to Home Depot.  It means you want equal pay, rights, and equal opportunities for all – regardless of sex, gender, or sexual orientation.  I guess in Dolly’s case, even though she has a large gay fan-base, she also has to cater to her equally-as-large, republican, pro-Trump fan base too… sad.

Dolly – you really disappointed me on top of everything else that disappointed me today…

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I had the shittiest dinner after the shittiest day – it was only fitting.  I was so pissed off by the time I arrived home at 9pm, I had no appetite.  I kind of love when that happens, but naturally I had to go and ruin it by drinking a glass of wine and it spurred my appetite into action.  If I never drank alcohol, I’m pretty sure I would never be hungry. But, given my lifestyle, quitting wine isn’t really an option, unless I can take up MMA fighting or get a prescription for Klonopin…

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If the outside matched the inside – this would be my attitude all day everyday… instead I’m relegated to Hillary Clinton-esque slacks and button ups and playing nice.

When I finally got home, ravaged and miserable, I fed my poor little catty, who should have even three hours prior to my arrival time, and then took a bath with a generous glass of Malbec.  I proceeded to electrocute my face with the NuFace, since I have been so exhausted these past few mornings that I’ve neglected to do so.  When I came out of the bath, I could smell my neighbor’s cooking – and tonight it smelled like fried artichoke hearts and stuffed mushroom poppers.  Suddenly, I was salivating.  Instead of eating pasta at 11pm, I decided to be healthy and make a salad to satiate my unrelenting hunger:

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SAD

I guess everything is sad today – because this is one of the saddest salads I’ve ever tried to make into a meal. No cheese, nuts, olives, avocados, or any sort of protein or healthy fat. The salad is mostly purple cabbage.  At least the dressing is homemade and delicious – that’s the only thing this salad has going for it.  Kind of like the only thing I have going for me is my cute cat.

It doesn’t really help that I also only average about 6 hours of sleep a night or less.  The only time it seems like I get enough sleep is on the weekends (and only sometimes), when I can go to bed at 10pm and sleep until 9am.  This happens maybe once a month now, since even weekends seem to be full of obligations and plans. I feel like I’m so haggard when I don’t sleep – I seriously feel I have aged about 6 years in the past 2.5 years given my lack of sleep.

Anyhow, enough about me and my anger and sleep deprivation.  Yesterday, I made a delightful pasta with a creamy sauce made of pureed zucchini.  I’m too fucking tired to write the recipe, but I’ll update tomorrow if I don’t work another 12 hour day…. JK, I’ll write it now… what’s another 20 minutes off my sleep time?

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The finished product: Penne with pureed zucchini sauce and cherry tomatoes

INGREDIENTS:

  • Box of penne, rigatoni, or fussili
  • 4 Tbs. Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (plus more to sprinkle on top)
  • 1/2 chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 4 small, green zucchinis, chopped up into small chunks
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely minced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 small carton of cherry or grape tomatoes, cut into halves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Fresh basil to garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  • In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil (2 Tbs.) and butter over low heat
  • Add in the minced onion and cook for 5 minutes over low heat, until the onions are translucent and soft
  • Add in the minced garlic (about 4 cloves worth) and cook for another 3 minutes (as usual, be careful not to burn the garlic!)
  • Add in the chopped zucchini and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently
  • Continue to stir and cook until the zucchini is soft and fully cooked (taste test to make sure)
  • Remove the zucchini from the the heat
  • Place a large pot of heavily salted water on high heat and bring to a boil for the pasta
  • While the pasta water comes to a boil, add the contents of the zucchini saucepan into a blender
  • Add in about 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • Blend over high speed until mixture is thick and saucy – there shouldn’t be any large chunks

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After adding the cooked zucchini, onion and garlic mixture to the blender, add 1/2 cup chicken stock blend on high until sauce is thick and blended fully

  • Return the mixture to the saucepan and turn to low heat
  • Add the pasta into the pot of boiling water and cook according to time on box
  • Add in the cream, salt, pepper, cayenne, dried basil and dried oregano as well as the Parmesan cheese and stir until all ingredients have combined into thick sauce
  • Add additional seasoning as necessary, depending on your tastesIMG_6001
  • Once pasta is done cooking, drain the water, and add the pasta into the sauce (or add the sauce into the pasta pot – whichever is more accommodating)
  • In a clean sauce pan, add in 2 Tbs. of olive oil over low heat
  • Add in another 2 cloves of minced garlic and cook for about 2 minutes
  • Add in the cherry tomatoes, season with a bit more salt and pepper and cook over low-medium heat for about 6 minutes

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After adding the zucchini sauce to the cooked pasta, use a clean plan to saute the remaining cloves of garlic with some cherry or grape tomatoes in olive oil/butter

  • Add the tomatoes to the rest of the pasta/sauce once cooked through
  • Top with additional sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and fresh basil leaves

I wish I had a shot of adrenaline that would be dispensed into my arm when my alarm went off tomorrow morning.  But sadly the best I could muster was setting up my coffee machine so all I have to do is hit a single button.  Looks like 5 hours of sleep for me tonight…. cheers.