So... last weekend, I had a very unfortunate visitor. Worse than Aunt Flo. Uncle Hemi! As in hemorrhoid. (Probably from all the wishful grunting that was happening when pooping wasn't.) Uncle Hemi usually only rears his ugly head around the times I'm pushing a baby out of my vag, so his appearance was quite unexpected. I couldn't even pull out the ol' doughnut pillow for him to sit on, because I threw it out after the last time he left, determined to never see him again. I mean, we moved to Hawaii for god-sakes, and he STILL found me! I did have some leftover Preparation H, so I used some of that in hopes it would turn him into a shrinking violet. Unfortunately, Operation Ass Cream was a
Anyway, by Tuesday, my poor butthole looked like it was doing ducklips. Let THAT image sink in for a moment. If your imagination failed you, maybe this will help:
I've never had any experience with any kind of suppositories prior to this, so I wasn't really sure what to expect. Well I knew where and how things would go down (up), but not what it would feel like. It was NOT pleasant. And afterwards I felt like I was walking around with something stuck up my ass. Probably because I was. But the medicine up my bum helped Uncle Hemi go back from whence he came (the retirement home in my rectum? a lot of old farts hang out there, I guess), so it was worth it. I have to give muchas gracias to Tucks pads, as well. They're my homeys. And YES, I realize this all goes down in the record books for waaaayyy T.M.I. But I'm the queen of too much information, and laughing about my hemorrhoids makes them seem like a little less of a pain in the ass.
I am officially Pinterest obsessed. Mostly for home decor ideas... for the perfect house we'll never have while we're in the military. But whatevs. My other favorite pins are for FOOD. Omigod. It's opened me up to recipes I didn't even know I wanted to try cooking! One of the first I had to make was Shrimp with Spicy Garlic Sauce from the blog Appetite For China. Flippin' amaze balls. This is how it turned out...
Ina Garten's Sugar Snap Peas with Sesame and some coconut brown jasmine rice to go with it. It was spicy as hell, but wonderful.
Here are the recipes.
Shrimp with Spicy Garlic Sauce - Serves 2
adapted from appetiteforchina.com
1 lb uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined (I like the tails off, but you can leave them on), and patted dry with paper towels
3 tablespoons low sodium tamari or Bragg liquid aminos
2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce (I used Huy Fong, Red Rooster brand)
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons dry sherry (I didn't have any rice wine, but if you do, use that instead)
1-2 teaspoons honey, depending on how sweet you like it
1 tablespoon coconut oil
3 gloves garlic, finely chopped
1 scallion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
In a small bowl, whisk together the tamari, chili garlic sauce, sesame oil, sherry, and honey. Heat the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add the garlic, and stir fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Carefully add the shrimp, and cook until curled up and pink. This could take anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes per side, depending on the size of your shrimp and how hot your skillet is. (By the time I got all the shrimpies in the pan, it was already time to flip them over - so be prepared to work fast.) Remove from heat, and add the sauce mixture. Stir until fully coated. Serve with vegetables and/or rice.
Coconut Brown Jasmine Rice - Serves 2-3
1 cup brown jasmine rice
1 can lite coconut milk, plus enough water to make 2 full cups of liquid
pinch of salt
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir once, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 50 minutes, or according to the directions of your rice. Remove from heat, and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff with fork, and serve.
Sugar Snap Peass with Sesame
adapted from Ina Garten
1 pound sugar snap peas, blanched and drained (or you can get the bagged kind from the produce section and microwave in the bag for about a minute and a half, like I did)
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
kosher or sea salt
sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds
Trim the ends off the snap peas, and remove the string if it's tough. Cut the larger pods in half on the bias, and leave the smaller ones whole. In a bowl large enough to hold all the peas, whisk together the vinegar and sesame oil. Add the peas and a sprinkle of salt, and toss (I like to do it with my hands) to coat. Sprinkle on as many sesame seeds as you like. I used about a tablespoon.
The other Pinteresting dinner I made was Braised Pork Shoulder with Tomatoes, Cinnamon, and Olives over Polenta. It had been awhile since I'd cooked something slow-cooked and rich like this, and it was sooooo comforting. Jake said it was up there with some of the best stuff I've made, and it was pretty easy. The hardest part was searing the pork, and that really wasn't hard at all.
It's pretty rich, so we started off with a green salad to fill up a little first. Next time I'll probably add a little hit of vinegar with the wine to help cut through some of the richness, and a little sprinkle of parsley at the very end would be nice, too. (This is coming from a parsley hater, mind you... but it's what it needed.)
Braised Pork Shoulder with Tomatoes, Cinnamon, and Olives over Polenta
adapted from huffintonpost.com
2 pounds pork shoulder (aka Butt), cut into large cubes (about 2 in)
Kosher or sea salt and black pepper
2 tbs virgin coconut oil (don't worry, it won't make anything taste like coconut)
1 tbs canola or olive oil
3 med or 2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, cleaned and sliced into half moons
4 cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled
1 tbs tomato paste
1 tbs anchovy paste
1 tsp cinnamon (I used McCormicks roasted Saigon cinnamon)
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
1 can (28 oz) organic whole peeled tomatoes (I used Muir Glen)
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, or 1 tbs dried rosemary (I used dried, but I hate its texture in dishes, so I wrap it up in cheesecloth or an unbleached coffee filter tied with butcher's string so I can just pitch it out when everything's done cooking)
2/3 cup pitted green olives, chopped
Pat the pork dry with paper towels and season all sides with salt and pepper. I like to do this at least 20-30 minutes before I'm going to cook it. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Heat a dutch oven over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil and all of the canola or olive oil. When it shimmers, add the pork in small batches, and sear on all sides until the pieces are crusty brown and much of the fat has rendered. Place the seared pieces on a plate and reserve. Once all the pork is browned, carefully dump all of the oil out of the pan and discard. At this point you should have lots of crusty brown goodness on the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to medium and add in the other tablespoon of coconut oil. Add in the leeks and smashed garlic and saute until they begin to soften, stirring frequently. Once they've softened up, add in the tomato and anchovy pastes. Saute until they begin to brown a bit, about a minute or so. Add the cinnamon, and saute until it gets really fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add in the wine, and as it starts to bubble, scrape up all the brown bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the tomatoes and their juice, the bay, and the rosemary. Nestle the pork back into the pot, making sure the liquid comes almost all the way to the top of the pork. If there's not enough liquid, add some water. Let the mixture come up to a good simmer.
Cover the pot, and cook in the oven for 2 hours, stirring once halfway through to make sure the pork isn't getting too dry on one side. Raise the oven heat to 425. Add the olives to pot and return to the oven, uncovered, for about 20 minutes. At this point, the pork should be fall-apart tender and the liquid should have reduced quite a bit. Discard the rosemary and bay leaves, and serve over polenta.
1 cup milk (the higher fat the milk, the creamier the polenta)
1-2 cups water
1/2 cup cornmeal (I had Quaker brand on hand, but use what you have. The coarser the grind, the longer it will take to cook)
pinch of kosher or sea salt
1 tbs butter
1/4 cup shredded cheese, if desired (I need to use up some Colby Pepperjack, so I used that)
Bring the milk, one cup of water, and the salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Once boiling, very slowly add in the cornmeal, whisking constantly the entire time. (This is the make or break part - adding the cornmeal too fast or not whisking enough will result in lumpy polenta... not tasty.) Reduce the heat to medium, and continue stirring. The mixture will thicken pretty quickly. Depending on how runny or thick you like your polenta, you may want to add up to a cup more water. You can stop stirring as often, but don't walk away from it. The longer it simmers, the more it will thicken. When it gets to a consistency you like (and remember, it will thicken more as it cools), remove from heat. (For me, once I've added the cornmeal, the whole simmering process only takes about 5 minutes. But if you use a coarser grind cornmeal, it could take 15-20 minutes. When the polenta tastes tender and is at your desired consistency, it's done.) At this point stir in the butter and cheese (if using).
It is Mother's Day (happy Mother's Day to all you baby mommas out there), so I made dessert tonight, as well. They're called Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies, but I refer to them as Sexual Chocolate. You'll see what I mean. I saw the recipe on Pinterest (of course) and had to make them.
Also known as Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies, adapted from divinebaking.com
1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (I used 1 pkg. Ghirardelli)
3 large egg whites, room temperature
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
2 cups powdered sugar, divided
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbs cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
Melt 1 cup chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring twice, about 2 minutes. Cool slightly.
Whip the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually add in 1/2 cup powdered sugar, and whip until glossy and stiff. In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup powdered sugar, the cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt. On low speed, gradually add the cocoa powder mixture into the meringue. By hand, stir in the melted (now lukewarm) chocolate and the remaining chocolate chips. The dough will be very stiff and probably very sticky. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Add the remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar to a pie plate or medium bowl. Roll rounded tablespoons of the dough into balls and roll them in the powdered sugar, coating heavily, and place on the lined cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the tops begin to crack. Cool on cookie sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
Honestly, I was afraid to let these babies over cook, so I took them out right at 10 minutes. They probably could have gone another 2 minutes or so to be absolutely perfectly chewy, but I'd rather have them a little under done than over done. The middles of mine were like chocolate lava. Not necessarily a bad thing, though! They were damn tasty! As they set up, it became more like ganache.
If I end up with salmonella from their gooey centers, at least maybe I'll be able to poop.