Thursday, December 30, 2010

slabs and sausages slices

This year, I'm starting off my New Year's celebration right... with indulgence blanketed by indulgence in the form of Bacon-Wrapped Kielbasa Bites. 

I'll be using the recipe from a boarding house reach. Very excited - Cheers!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

MCG: How to be Good at Being a Man

Welcome to the second installment of MGC.
(Molly's General Consulting is now known as MGC)

Props to the writers of all of those Blah-Blah for Dummies books. Sitting at a local bar drinking and eating my lunch right now, I am struck a strong sense of envy that they thought of the series before me. Although my idea is a little different, it follows the same theme and I'm assuming I'd get hit with some sort of lawsuit if I infringed on it.

For example, with the muse of three middle-aged men sitting at the bar near my table I have developed the following "how-to" guide.

How To Be Good at Being a Man

1.) Never say the following with a childish and feminine enthusiasm: "No! My jeans are Seven for All Mankind! My girlfriend is buying me True Religions, though!"

2.) Don't ever say to another man, "Your wife sucks! And so does your baby!" Okay, the only time you could ever say that is if his wife cheated on him and if his baby starting killing small animals and humans. But, if that is your response to your friend saying "My wife is stopping by," then you suck at being a man.

3.) Don't make a farting noise when you sit down.

With that being said... happy holidays!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


First, I'd first like to acknowledge all those hard-as-nails females out there that dedicated their lives to fighting for our rights as women. Thank you for finding victory in women's suffrage, Equal Pay for Equal Work, Title IX and various other anti-discriminatory milestones.

Next, I'd like to acknowledge all those wonderful things that make stay-at-home moms so adorable: frilly aprons, fresh-baked goodies, spotless houses, home-cooked dinners, fruit bowls, errand-running, cute casual outfits, reusable grocery bags, Keds, Yankee candles, etc etc etc.

Now, I'd like to acknowledge myself for creating the best profession ever: the unmarried-yet-cohabitating stay-at-home mom with no kids. Essentially, the housegirlfriend. The housegirlfriend does all the wonderful things that a housewife does - cleaning, cooking, making sure all the good shows are DVR'ed - but, at the same time, she's a fun-loving gf, ready to don a hoodie, slam some beers and mow down on wings for a good ol' fashioned Sunday Funday.

This isn't meant to discredit the work of the afore-mentioned feminists... but how good does that life sound?

Whether you get to be a full-time or part-time housegirlfriend, here are some quick and easy tips for success:

  • Have a little appetizer ready for him when he comes home from a long day at work
  • Always ask him what snacks he wants from the grocery store when you go
  • Let him help you with things - opening jars, lifting large objects, saving your apartment from burglars
  • Let him watch whatever he wants on TV (ehh I know, it sounds horrible but we all have to make sacrifices)
So go on, get retro with it and June Cleaver the sh*t out of your relationship!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Help Get Out The Vote!

It's the most heated campaign since Obama vs. McCain, bigger than Sandra Day O'Connor's induction into the Supreme Court, more important than the ratification of the19th Amendment (although thank god women can vote or else I'd lose 80% of my support)... It's Molly Mac vs. The Others in the New England Country Soup's "Yours vs. Ours" Soup Challenge.

So please vote for my Spicy Chicken, Ditalini & Basil Soup by simply following the link below and clicking "Vote For This Recipe." It's quick and easy, plus you can vote once a day!

If I win I pledge to solve world hunger by feeding all empty bellies with this hearty soup.*

I'll be out and about kissing babies' heads, shaking the hands of the elderly and holding signs on the street corner all day today so "honk" if you see me. Hey, I didn't almost major in political science for nothing.

*provided I am given the appropriate funding 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Brown Bag Lunches: Top Ten Snacks of the 90's

Growing up there were two basic kinds of elementary school kids: ones who bought lunch and ones who brought lunch. The kids who bought lunch were incredibly lucky on rotini & meat sauce, Thanksgiving dinner and pizza days, but forced to suffer through countless nutritionally-challenged meals like bouncy hot dogs, chicken cordon blue, and "Grade D But Edible" hamburgers.

But let's not assume that all the kids who brought lunch lived in mealtime luxury because these little ones can be further assigned to one of two categories: envy-envoking snack-packed, savory sandwich lunches and bland, blah, boring whatever-is-in-the-cabinet lunches. Even though every now and then I'd get a little pasta salad or a can of Coke in my brown bag, I was, on the whole, a member of the latter designation. While my friends enjoyed individually-packaged Fritos and sandwiches on bulky rolls laden with fresh sliced turkey, lettuce and tomatoes, I was grabbing at the crumbled remains of regular potato chips from a greasy plastic baggy and trying to swallow my regular-old peanut butter on wheat.

Because my lunchtimes lacked indulgence, I was painfully aware of all the awesome bagged-lunch options out there. Here were the snacks I wished and prayed for, stared longingly at in the grocery store aisles and got only on the days we went on field trips:

1.) Dunkaroos
2.) Peanut-butter Twix bars
3.) Hostess chocolate cupcakes
4.) Kraft cheese & crackers
5.) Table Talk apple pies
6.) Jello pudding
7.) Gushers
8.) Fruit Roll-Ups
9.) Keelber Fudge-Stripe cookies
10.) Pringles (little individual cans)

When my spawn eventually goes to school, I'd like to say I'm going to pack them brown bags filled with goodies... but I have a strong feeling they'll be hitting the cafeteria armed with bananas, bottles of water and yogurts... sorry future children, I'm only thinking about your health!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Kopi Luwak, Cat Poop, Say What?!

It's not secret that I love coffee. Iced, hot, lattes, espresso beans, ice cream, candy, mole sauce... if it's coffee-flavored I'll take it. And, I think as much as I love coffee, I hate poop. I am completely disgusted with bathroom humor and it takes a very high comfort level for me to be able to talk about bathroom-related things with anyone.

So when I got wind of kopi luwak, also known as civet coffee, I was really struck with a strong mix of emotions - anger, disgust, interest... Kopi luwak is, simply put, cat poop coffee. And it is crazy expensive! Like, a cafe in Canada is charging a whopping $25 per cup (well, that's only $24.70 American dollars so I guess it's not that bad). And the rate per pound can range from $100 to $600! Apparently these Asian Palm Civets love to eat coffee berries. I guess they're sort of cat-like, but they look more like rats to me. Really though let's be reasonable, how appetizing is "rat poop" coffee?

Anyhow, they eat the coffee berries and then, of course, you know, go. Then, creepy Indonesian men like this guy collect their goings, clean and filter them, and then sell them to silly coffee lovers across the world.

The kopi luwak has a less bitter taste and, as one coffee critic describes it, "the aroma is rich and strong, and the coffee is incredibly full bodied, almost syrupy. It’s thick with a hint of chocolate, and lingers on the tongue with a long, clean aftertaste." I'd think you wouldn't want the cat poop to linger on your tongue, but what do I know?
With the tough economy, I would assume entrepreneurial-minded cat-owning Americans would be jumping on this craze! In fact, I myself might go get a coffee plant, feed its berries to my mother's cats, and start cashing in. Or maybe to my mom's pug... pugs are cuter than cats anyway.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Soup Challenge: The Final Recipe

The recipe is finished. I've tested, tweaked and tasted to brothy perfection and, finally, I'll present to you, my worthy readers, my submission for the New England Country Soup "Yours vs. Ours" challenge...

Spicy Chicken, Diatlini and Basil Tomato Soup

Disclaimer: This isn't a shortcut, easy-as-pie soup. The total prep time is about half an hour and total cook time is roughly four hours, which you'll most likely want to spread out over a couple of days. The reason there's so much time behind this seemingly simple soup is that I wanted to build as much flavor into the recipe as possible and there's only one way to get a slow-cooked taste... slow cooking! So, I've included roasting the chicken and making the chicken stock in my soup recipe.

The ingredient list...
1 4.5-5lb whole chicken
4 carrots
4 celery stalks
3 onions
2 cups water
1 tbsp butter
4 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp black pepper
2 sprigs of thyme
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 28 oz can ground peeled tomatoes
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano
2 cups ditalini pasta

First Step: Roasting the Chicken

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut two carrots, two celery stalks and one onion into large chunks. Wash off your chicken and place it in a roasting pan.

Spread the butter over the skin and sprinkle with one teaspoons each kosher salt and pepper. Line the roasting pan with the carrots, celery and onion and pour in 2 cups of water. Cook uncovered for twenty minutes for each pound plus 15 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 165 degrees. Start with the chicken breast up. One third of the way through cooking time, turn the chicken on its side for the second third, and then switch it to its other side for the last third. Baste every time you turn the chicken. This ensures an evenly cooked and juicy chicken.

When the chicken is done, let it cool a bit, then carve it. Reserve two cups of the breast meat (without skin) for the soup. The rest of the meat will be great for a roasted chicken dinner, sandwiches or even chicken soup! 

Next Step: Making the Broth

Put the chicken bones (don't worry about taking off the skin or any leftover meat, we'll be straining that out) in a large stock pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and let it go for one hour. Then, add two chopped carrots, two chopped celery stalks and one chopped onion as well as two sprigs of thyme and two teaspoons of kosher salt. Bring this to a boil and let it go for 45 minutes.  Then, pour through a tightly-meshed strainer into another pot. If any fat gets through, just scrape it out with a spoon. Boil this down to 2/3rds of its original amount.  This should make you about six cups of broth but you'll only need four for the soup, so freeze the remaining broth.

Finally - the Soup!

Put on water for your pasta according to the package's directions and cook the ditalini to al dente. Strain and set aside. 

Dice one onion and warm up 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. When you can smell the oil, add in the onions and let them sweat out until they are translucent, stirring often. Next, add one can of tomato paste, stirring it into the onions, then cook for two minutes, stirring every 30 seconds or so. 

Now, add 1 can of ground peeled tomatoes, four cups of your homemade chicken stock, one teaspoon of kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of hot pepper sauce, 1 bay leaf, 3 tablespoons of fresh chopped basil and 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped oregano. Bring this to a boil then turn the heat to low and let it cook for 20 minutes. 

Then, add your diced chicken and ditalini. Bring the heat up to medium and cook for 20 more minutes. 

Finally, you're ready to eat! I'd recommend serving with some good bread for soaking up the extra broth. This soup freezes well and makes enough for 4-6 servings.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Croissants and Dying Wishes

(Knock on wood) I think I'm in pretty good physical health at the moment and, barring any freak accidents or encounters with active murderers, I don't think my time is going to come any time soon. But, one can never be too prepared so I'm going to lay out my dying wishes for you on this chilly December Sunday. They include three major themes: memories, celebration and croissants.

I want someone that loves me to put together one of those slide shows of pictures from my life, sprinkling in some adorable childhood photos, like the one where i'm wearing pearls, an oxford shirt and holding a fake machine gun, and then only really good pictures of me now where I look skinny and I don't have a lopsided smile or a big nose. I want you to play it during my ceremony like in Love Actually and everyone has to cry really hard.

But then, halt the waterworks! After you've all shed a few tears, I want someone that loves me to rent out a hall or some sort of venue that can accommodate a deejay, a dance floor and an open bar. I'd like the signature cocktail to be a cucumber martini with Hendrick's gin in remembrance of me. I want everyone to loosen up and dance and talk about how awesome I was - but no more crying.

And lastly, please fill my coffin with fresh baked croissants from Blue Tierra chocolate cafe in South Boston. This dying wish came to me about twenty  minutes ago while I was eating one of those buttery, flakey, heavenly pastries. After finishing mine and pushing back the temptation to eat the croissant I got for Mike, since he was still sleeping and wouldn't know what he's missing, I stared at the stray flakes on my plate and decided I want to be rolled into croissant dough and baked when I die.

Then I sort of thought about that and realized a couple annoying things would have to happen. First, I'd have to be cremated and I really don't feel like being incinerated, even though, I know I know, I'll just rot in my coffin and that's pretty disgusting but hey, it's my body and I'll do what I want. Second, a loved one would have to bring my ashes to the cafe and ask the baker to use them in the croissant dough, most likely violating food safety requirements and ruining the taste of the croissant. So, I figured filling my coffin with the croissants will be good enough.

So, there you go! And a preemptive "thank you" to the loved ones that will one day fulfill my wishes, plus a "you're welcome" for the fun you'll have at my funeral party!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Quick Tip: Let Your Sally Homemaker Self Take a Breather

My dream for years has been to be a stay-at-home mom with no kids, spending my hours cooking, cleaning and running errands. Well, thanks to funemployment, my dreams have come true. I kid, I kid... I left my job just last week and I'll be focusing on writing while I finish up my degree (no cool kids at ASU graduate in 4 years...). Before I dive head-first into building a freelancing career, I'm letting myself have a few indulgent days this week to play the part of a full-time homemaker. 

While I am loving every  minute of my new life, working around my own schedule and not burning under the florescent lights all day, I still manage to be very very busy! There are just so many things you realize you need to do (and can do) when you're not confined to a cubicle like grocery store runs, trips to the hardware store and paying bills. Well, I swear I'll do all that stuff soon... 

Yesterday I by accident spent four hours shopping (with my birthday money!!) and didn't have the energy to cook a meal for my man. So, instead I busted out my trusty frozen backup... PF Chang's Meals for 2

I typically don't like to buy frozen foods except the good junk food like Toaster Strudels and chicken nuggets, especially when it's from a major chain restaurant like the Boston Market or the TGI Friday's meals. But the PF Chang's frozen dinners are unbelievably good - literally just as good as the meal at the restaurant. You just heat it up in the skillet, cook up some rice, and you've got an A+ meal for under $10. They usually cost around $9 but I grab them whenever they're on sale and save them for a lazy day. Now if only they could figure out how to freeze the dishwashers too...