Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Scary Halloween Adventure

On Saturday, I threw a party.  A Halloween party to be precise.  And of course, I made food.  There was food I knew I liked (Mozzarella Bites, Pumpkin Cupcakes, and cheese and crackers), food I knew I didn't like (Sugar Cookies), and food that was quite adventurous (Bacon-Wrapped Scallops).

I thought that after my successful experience with shrimp, scallops couldn't be too bad.  There were only three real ingredients: bacon (the ultimate yummy food), scallops (gross), and water chestnuts (yuck).  I hoped my love of bacon would out-weigh any grossness.

There it is.  You can barely see the grossness lurking within....

So I ate that little sucker.  And the water chestnut was still pretty gross.  I don't know why, I know it doesn't really have a strong flavor.  Maybe it's the watery-ness paired with the crunch that I find so unsettling. 

But you know what wasn't so gross when it was wrapped up in the glory of bacon?  Scallops.  Maybe now I can try them on their own.

Or maybe I should just eat some bacon instead.

(Happy Halloween!)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Now I Want to Try the Potato Chips....

Revelation time!  Well, "revelation" might be a bit too extreme.  Kind-of-small-but-still-techincally-life-changing-realization time!  Turns out shrimp don't really taste like anything!  I like that!

Let me start at the very beginning.  As a small child, I actually enjoyed shrimp.  "Enjoy" doesn't do my feelings justice.  I loved shrimp with every fiber of my seven-year-old being.  We would go to Old Country Buffet so I could gorge myself on mac and cheese and shrimp for ultra cheap.

Then something happened.  It might have been an association between that kid who spewed at Old Country Buffet while I was eating shrimp and shrimp themselves.  It might have been a simple case of over-saturation.  Who can say?  Whatever it was, I suddenly found shrimp disgusting.  I could not stand the idea of having those things on my table, let alone in my mouth.

About two or three years ago, I realized that the egg rolls I had been eating my whole life (from the absolutely divine Mee Mah) had shrimp in them.  Curse you, mood lighting, for not revealing those disgusting little creatures!  But I was too old to just stop eating delicious egg rolls.  (The best in the country, my father and I would argue.)  I tried to pretend I had never seen the little things.

Even before I started dating Joey, he would talk about how much he and his family loved shrimp.  He made it sound like they were actually a Scottish-American off-shoot of the Gump family.  I would tell him that his family, like shrimp, was gross.  Who would eat such ugly, disgusting, little animals?  (Of course, his family is lovely.  They were lovely even when I thought shrimp were the oceanic equivalent of worms.)

Finally, I decided to bite the bullet and try shrimp, securely on my "Do Not Eat" list for well over a decade, one more time.  Joey was ecstatic.  I was apprehensive, to say the least.

We bought Jumbo Butterfly Shrimp.  I was nervous that these would be too big.  Joey pointed out that "jumbo shrimp" is an oxymoron.  Shrimp would never be huge.  We also decided to make a whole bunch of mac and cheese in case I hated the shrimp.

So we cooked up some dinner.  I nervously sat down to eat.  They weren't as big as I thought they were going to be.  That was a plus.

There they are.  They've still got tails attached to them!

Obviously, I dipped them in tartar sauce.  They tasted like tartar sauce.  When I ate them plain, they tasted like fried batter.  Shrimp doesn't really have a strong flavor.  It seemed to just take on the flavor of whatever was closest.

I liked it.  It doesn't have the same texture problem that fish does.  I would totally eat this again.  I don't know if I'm ready for them without any breading, but I might be ready for prawn potato chips.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Wow.  So I've been slacking.  I've been so busy these past couple weeks.  I'm planning a Halloween party and I have to make costumes!

But on Saturday night, when we went out to a pub for a friend's birthday, I adventured.  Joey ordered a small plate of buffalo chicken.  Miriah said, "That's really spicy."  Joey said, "It's a little spicy."  I said, "I'll have a small bite."  (I had a big plate of mac and cheese to wash it down.)

I cut off a little bit of the insanely bright chicken.  I took a deep breath and ate it.  Miriah was right.  That was really spicy.  It spread like wildfire, burning everything.  It was worse than the time I drank hot chocolate with a straw and scorched the roof of my mouth.  Somehow, I  managed to get it all down and then stuffed mac and cheese into the burnt remains of my mouth.

On a side note, that was delicious mac and cheese.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Mustard. Mustard Everywhere!

I try to adventure at least once a week.  It's less overwhelming that way.  This week's adventure involved chicken (which I'm coming to terms with) and a whole lot of mustard (which is definitely gross).  This week we made Holy Yum Chicken.

Another dish that involved making a sauce, the glaze (and eventual sauce) called for mustard, maple syrup, pepper, salt, and rice wine vinegar.  We mixed it all together and coated the chicken in the stuff.  Then we popped it in the oven and waited to see how yummy it would be.

After baking at 450 degrees.

A bit too spicy for me.  Before you laugh, mustard is spicy!  Wikipedia agrees with me!  A "sharp hot pungent sensation," it says so right there!  And we put pepper in it!  Pepper is spicy.  We have already established this.  So I could only eat one of my three little chicken thighs.  But I think this dish has the potential for experimentation.

Two of these thighs are officially leftovers.

That being said, I'm getting better with chicken.  It will never be as good as pork or beef, but I can deal with it.  I also really enjoyed the maple syrup.  It helped sooth the spiciness of the mustard and pepper.  Who knew maple syrup and mustard complemented each other so well!  Maybe more maple syrup and a little less mustard and pepper next time?