How To Impress At Your Dinner Party

The key to an amazing dinner party is not the food, but the experience. I like to not only meet expectations, but smash them. I will use a recent dinner party success as an example. And since this is such an important topic, instead of using regular photographs, this piece will be accompanied by the lovely artwork of Jon Hunter from pastramibasket. If you are not following his blog, you’re missing a vital part of art history. Now let’s go head and get started.

1.  String Cheese Starter – Guests can either eat them in stick form, or peel them off in individual cheese layers. Not only is it nutritious, but it’s also entertaining. There’s nothing worst than bored guests. So by serving string cheese, you bypass any possibility of that altogether. Not to mention it’s a great metaphor for the guests themselves. Watch as they enter your home in cliquey groups, uptight and shy. Then as they start to eat and drink, they’ll begin to mingle. They’ll laugh about the cheese, and peel off the strings. Much like peeling off their own protective social shells.

stringcheese

2.  First Course : Bologna Roll Ups – This is a quick and satisfying dish. Simply open the package of lunch meat (I prefer Oscar Mayer, but it’s up to personal preference). Take out an individual slice, roll it up, and then place a toothpick in the center. This will not only hold the meat together, but also act as a handle for the guests to grab. Trust me, it’s a win win. You’ll hear things like – “I haven’t had bologna since I was eight!” Or “I didn’t even know people still ate this”. See what’s happening here? You’re providing delicious food, and reminding them of childhood. Memories are one of life’s greatest gifts, and you’re providing them in bunches. And we haven’t even got to the second course yet!

bologna_rolls

3.  Second Course : Mac n’ Cheese Paired With Hot Dogs – Mac n’ cheese is known around the world as great comfort food. Whether you’re eating it here, or in China. It always tastes delicious. Although good by itself, by adding hot dogs, you’re actually enhancing the flavors. Similar to eating wine with cheese. The combination of the two different flavors really bring out the nitrates, and the smell is to die for! If this course doesn’t have your guests mouth watering, then they’re probably aliens (the space kind).

macdogs

4.  Third Course : Chicken Tenders Paired with a Ranch or Honey Mustard Sauce – Poultry is delicious on it’s own of course. But to truly raise the flavors to new heights, one must dip it in batter and fry it in vegetable oil. The result, will be a piece of chicken that is not only tender, but also crunchy! Your guests may not be able to handle that many sensations at once. But if they can, I recommend a ranch or honey mustard dipping sauce. The cool temperature of the ranch balances well with the hot chicken. And the sweet of the mustard will taste amazing with the salty batter. You really can’t go wrong with either. Provide both if you want to show your guests that you go that extra mile.

chicken_tenders

5. Dessert : Pudding Cups – Now I’ve saved the best for last. If you’ve portioned out your courses correctly, your guests should have just enough room left for dessert. It will now be time to bring out the pudding cups. I recommend bringing out an assortment. Chocolate is a must, but a good vanilla chocolate blend is also popular. A third alternative like butterscotch, isn’t a bad idea either. People rarely have that option, and it also shows you have an affinity for the “old school”. It’s just classy, like Sinatra or Edgar Allen Poe. I prefer to serve them cold, so make sure to refrigerate them ahead of time. But some guests may want them room temperature, so leave a small number out.

pudding

That’s it! Follow this menu, and you’re guaranteed success!

Ghost Foods

I think it’s pretty common knowledge that the spirits of the undead haunt this world. This can be due to a variety of factors, but most commonly the cause is a violent death. And usually when you hear the term ghost, you think of lost human souls. But there is an entire group of ghosts that are forgotten about completely. Yes, that’s right, food ghosts. Imagine being grown, murdered, and then eaten. You would be pretty angry too right? Well they are. And they want vengeance… Here are a few to watch out for. I hope this list helps you in your everlasting crusade against wayward spirits.

1.  Cauliflower – I don’t care what people say. Cauliflower is clearly ghost broccoli. Everytime you eat it, you end up burping it up for hours. That’s because it’s trapped in limbo between your stomach and intestines. It’s trying to take control of your body, through stomach possession. I recommend not eating it all, or having an immediate exorcism.

2.  Beef jerky – They’re the mummies of the food world. Stripped and dried out, then wrapped up for consumption. You think it’s a coincidence that beef jerky always gets stuck in your teeth, and can only be removed with the help of floss? Not to mention it’s so hard to bite off chunks or chew. It’s their curse I tell you. They’re torturing us from beyond the grave.

3.  Alcoholic spirits – I don’t even know how this is sold in stores frankly. The ghosts are clearly mocking us with the title. It’s on the label! Yet people still buy and consume these on a daily basis. Everytime you drink one of these, you’re drinking actual spirits in liquid form. With their euphoric properties, you don’t even notice them sucking away small pieces of your soul. That’s why you wake up in the morning with such a headache. Scientists try to blame this phenomenon on something called a “hangover.” But that’s just the government trying to cover it up.

4.  Onions – This one is tricky. Obviously the white onions are ghosts. But what about the red and yellow onions? Are they haunted too? Yes. All of them are. Why you ask? Because they release an ectoplasmic ether that causes our eyes to burn and tear up. They’re trying to get us to mourn and feel pain for eating them and their ancestors. But they should’ve thought of that before tasting and smelling so good when carmelized.

5.  Pomegranates – Or what I like to call “demon pods,” are one of the biggest threats to the human race on this planet. People pay hefty prices to buy these fruits, and they’re made up of 80% seeds. Not only is that stupid on a financial level, but everyone of those seeds can grow to be another pomegranate. It’s a never ending cycle of death, and we’re perpetuating it! People please, heed my words, and stop buying these abominations!

My Playlist For Sandwich Eating

I don’t generally enjoy my food, unless it’s accompanied by music. It could have something to do with the fact that I always eat alone (girls like a man of mystery). Or that music naturally enhances the palette. I have several “sandwich playlists” on my Ipod, that I turn on when I’m eating. The songs vary greatly depending on my mood, and the sandwich I’m ingesting. But for your sake, I’ve tried to include my favorite sandwich/song pairings. May you enjoy your own solitary eating concertos.

1. Beach Boys: Good Vibrations- It starts out kind of slow and airy, then really picks up the pace. If that’s not how you should eat an eggplant parmesan, than I don’t want to live anymore.

2. Huey Lewis: Hip to be Square- Okay, technically a quesadilla isn’t a sandwhich. But I just can’t help but giggle to the irony of eating a circular food to this song.

3. Sex Pistols: Anarchy in the U.K.- What’s more important? Being healthy, or staying true to yourself and not selling out? Not selling out, of course. So everytime I eat a burger made of turkey instead of beef, I listen to the Sex Pistols. I pretend Sid Vicious is spitting on me, as I take every bite. Man, I’m so punk…

4. Louie Louie: The Kingsmen- Whenever I’m eating a sandwich with some kind of mystery meat or spread on it, I listen to Louie Louie. You don’t know what you’re eating, but dammit, it still taste great. That’s just like Louie Louie. Nobody knows what they’re saying, but tell me that song isn’t amazing?

5. Celine Dion: My Heart Will Go On- This is my sloppy joe song. As I’m sure you already know, eating a sloppy joe can be an emotional roller coaster. They’re so good, but they’re also incredibly messy. It’s an internal conflict every time I do sit down to eat one. That’s why I need a song that can match my mood and emotions. Thank you Celine. Thank you.

Dear French Fries

Despite my previous three letters, I have still not recieved a response. I understand that you are busy, and served all over the world. But I have concerns that need to be discussed. If I am ignored again, I will assume that it is on purpose, and will be switching to sweet potato fries for the discernible future.

First off, you must do something about this hot/cool dilemma. You go from being either too hot to enjoy, immediately to cold and soggy. Neither one is enjoyable, and I find extremes very annoying. I would appreciate some middle ground, thank you. With all of today’s gourmet advancements, I find it a little baffling why you’ve done nothing to change this. Please take some time out of your “busy” schedule to look into this.

Secondly, you must do something about these “steak” fries. I understand issues with family members are not to be dealt with lightly. And I’m not suggesting you kick them out, but something must be done. To be frank, I think they are a bunch of deadbeats. I have never experienced such lazy, flavorless, takers of space in all my life. There are few foods in this world, that make me as simultaneously angry and thirsty as steak fries. Anything that has to be marinated in nacho cheese to be edible is a disgrace.

And finally, while we’re on the topic of flavor, stop hiding behind these fancy sauces. If you can’t do us the service of tasting good without the help of a curry, garlic aioli, or god forbid a chili, then what are you good for? I understand the need to continually reinvent oneself, but try and remember why we all fell in love with you in the first place. That is all, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Concerned Eater,

Andrew

P.S.- The Onion Rings have responded to every letter. Just thought you should know.

How To Be A Gentleman

As many of you know, I come from well-bred stock. I am most comfortable in polite society, surrounded by other great minds and people of class. I scoff at cheap liquors and consume only the finest spirits. But at times, I lower myself to teach the lesser educated minds, the ways of a gentleman. Part of this cannot be taught, because you must be born with it. Royal blood and all. But some of it can be learned, and for that I will do my best to impart such knowledge. I have written up a curriculum for you below:

1. Have an adventurous appetite–  Eat and try everything I always say. Not only will you find new dishes to fancy, but it will make you far superior to the less experienced eater. At the next social gathering when someone tries to boast of their story of eating “jellyfish”, interrupt them with, “Oh I’m sorry, I’m rather full from my omlette made of bald eagle eggs, and human kidneys.”  See? Exotic, interesting, and delicious. You’re now the life of the party. Their mouth will drop, and you can offer them a pink martini topped with a dolphin fetus foam to cry in.

2. Travel the globe– See and experience as many new places as possible. And by that I mean avoid anywhere without electricity. If they don’t have adequate lighting, you can assume they have dreadful parties. I made the mistake of visiting Australia once. I will not make that mistake again. The Wi-Fi there was horrendous. I was appalled at how long it took me to check my stocks and view my erotica (porn is for peasants). The so-called government there (if they even have one), should be mortified. How do you expect tourism dollars if you can’t even book a proper hotel online? Simply disgusting…

3. Be a lover of fine art- I am an avid believer in all forms of expression. To appreciate art, is to appreciate ones own self. Whether that be through painting, composing music, or crafting beautiful creations from clay. All of these things are important to man’s evolution as a species. For my latest project, I had three beautiful Swedish models flown in. Blonde, giant natural breasts, only the best of course. They disrobed, and I took pictures of them riding live tigers (they had muzzles, I’m civilized after all). In the background were giant photographs of lightning. It really was a sight to be seen. The piece will be one of many showing at my next gallery show in Paris. I think I’m going to call the piece “Pussy Storm.”

4. Be a voracious reader– As most of you know, being extremely wealthy is a blessing, but also a curse. Stresses can pile up like the tower of condos I own in Milan. What car will I drive today? Fencing or squash? What servant shall I punish today? Those are questions and pressures I wouldn’t wish on the Featherbottoms (they only have one plane the savages). Many people look to alcohol or sleeping pills to numb the pain, and rest their weary minds. Although I find any drugs other than the occassional recreational experience to be bad for my skin. I find reading puts me right to sleep. Two full pages and I’m out like a light! It’s quite amazing. I recommend War and Peace or the Boxcar Children series for quick results.

5. Help others– I think this is pretty obvious with all the advice I’ve given you so far. But in case you really are that much of a ninny, I’ll expand. When you help others, it makes you feel good. For example, I give all my leftover cocaine from fundraising events to homeless shelters. It’s at least two or three days old, so obviously I’m not going to use it. Why not let them have it?  Sometimes we even offer them employment. If they let us hunt them like wild game, we send whatever remaining family members they still have a large sum of money. Everyone wins, and you made a difference in someone’s life.

5 Romantic Dinner And Movie Ideas

Being that I’ve been with my current life partner for seven years now, I think I know my way around a relationship. We don’t believe in the act of marriage or society forcing its sexist ideology into our home (I’m broke and can’t buy a ring). But despite all that, I’d like to pass on some great dinner recipes and ideas for setting that special mood. Oh and I reference all my ideas as movie titles, because it helps me remember them. And it’s fun! Anyway here they are-

1. Jurassic Park– I think it’s critical to constantly experiment in every aspect of life. Whether it’s in the kitchen or your relationship (I’m talking about doing it). And being a connoisseur, I alway try to be on the forefront of all gourmet advancements. Whether it’s the slow food movement, molecular gastronomy, or being a rawist. For this dinner idea, we’ll be discussing the latter. When your partner comes home from a hard day at the office, have a beautiful spread already waiting out for them. I usually have a plate of uncooked broccoli and raw hamburger patties (I mean steak tartare). There’s nothing more romantic and adventurous than eating like a dinosaur. But make sure windows are closed, because flies will come otherwise.

2. Back to the Future– Make a fantastic dinner, and get blasted drunk. Take pictures of it, because when you wake up and look at them it will be like time traveling. I usually recommend chili cheese fries with two buck chuck for this. No need to spend a ton of money on food and ingredients if you’re just going to throw it up again anyway. Plus if you eat enough chili cheese fries, you might actually remember some of the night. There’s nothing more romantic then heartburn and gas.

3. Waterworld– Have a whole meal in the bathtub. It’s good clean fun (sorry that’s the marketing side of me coming out). We usually eat fishsticks to keep it authentic. Plus since they’re crunchy, if one happens to fall in the water, you can still eat it. No harm no foul. Also bring in a six pack. They float on the water surface for easy access, and you’ll be surprised how refreshing cold beer is when you’re sitting in hot water.

4. Naked Lunch– Get naked and have lunch. That’s it. Fun and delicious. Don’t worry, you don’t need to take drugs and talk to giant man eating centipedes or pulsating type writers. I recommend cold cuts or an already prepared quiche. That way you can just throw it in the microwave and serve. Cooking when naked can be dangerous. That’s why I don’t make bacon or onion rings anymore.

5. The Thomas Crowne Affair- Nothing gets the appetite up and the adrenaline pumping like criminal activity. Tell your significant other that you’re going out to a nice restaurant, and that they need to dress up. But on the way, say you have to make a stop at the grocery store (do not pick one you shop at regularly). Then when you walk in, grab a rotisserie chicken and some donuts. Then when they ask confused, “But I thought we were eating at-” you cut them off and yell “Run!” Dash out the door, and jump into your car. I recommend having a song already queued up for your getaway. Sammy Hagar’s  “I Can’t Drive 55”, or Motley Crue’s “Kickstart My Heart” are always solid bets. He or she will be surprised and appalled at first, but when she realizes no one is following you for stealing $8 dollars worth of food, will be overcome with lust. You broke the law. Together. And that’s sexy. Enjoy your donut lovefest.


5 Rainy Day Activities

Despite millions of years of conditioning, the rain still seems to be a surprise for most people. If you can believe it, some people actually prefer exercise and sunshine, to eating cereal and watching cartoons. But rather than fighting about something we can’t change (yet), try to focus on being productive while inside. Like always, I’m here to help. This is my usual rainy day schedule-

1.  Make Things – My two favorite things to make on a rainy day are definitely moonshine and forts. Nothing beats a good corn mash in the saftey and comfort of a new fort. But let me clarify, I don’t have a distillery. Or a bathtub for that matter. So I just improvise, and mix all the leftover hard liquors I own into an empty jar. Then I just drink out of that. Boom, you’re very own moonshine. It tastes just as bad, and you’ll be wicked drunk before you finish the jar. Oh, but make sure and build the fort first. Otherwise you’ll just pass out in a pile of blankets. I also like to bring rations (treats) into the fort. You never know how long a rain will last, and you’ll need sustenance. Or at least some kind of material to soak up the poison burning in your belly.

2.  Recorder concert – One of the most under utilized instruments of this era is the recorder. Almost everyone got one in grade school, and even idiots can play them. Plus they sound amazing. Not annoying at all. Make sure and get three or four of you all playing your recorder at once. Hmm… beautiful. I can hear it now, Mary Had A Little Lamb playing in four different tunes. Now normally this would be a torture you wouldn’t wish on a terrorist, but hopefully the moonshine is kicking in at this point.

3.  Listen to Sad Music – At this point, there has definitely been an argument or fight of some sort. The close quarters of the fort, moonshine, and loud noises probably set someone off. Don’t worry when you wake up the next morning, you won’t remember what you fought about anyway. But at that moment it will feel like knives in your heart. I always grab my Ipod, and just stare out the window with the Shins playing. It’s just like Garden State. Watching the rain slowly drip down the window pane is cathartic. Sometimes it’s okay to be sad.

4. Hot Dog Eating Contest– You’ll need to get the energy back up after that little spiff, and in a positive way. I always find eating makes me happy. And if you’re like me, your rations were gobbled up hours ago. Now it’s time to gather around the table and race eat. I usually just throw all the hot dogs into a pile, and put them into the microwave. Yes they split, and some of them explode, but you can give those to the person you just fought with. This is your house and your rules. Just yell go, and let the gorging begin. It’s good clean fun, and if you eat enough nitrates you glow in the dark.

5. Watch Point Break- Everyone will be falling asleep at this point due to an alcohol and food coma. Top off the day with an excellent film about friendship and pushing life to the edge. Plus it has Warchild in it, and a great rainy scene at the end to match your own enviroment.

I hope this helped my little rain friends. Remember to have fun, but be safe!

Taste Test With Myself

Yahoo.com is the first thing I see every time I open the Internet (I’m pretty tech savvy) . Today they had a taste test for “Best Canned Beers.” I was unimpressed. Half the beers you can’t even try unless you live in stupid places like Brooklyn. So to make up for their mistake, I decided to throw my own taste test….with myself. Judge, jury, and executioner. I knew I’d have a lot of hats to wear, but that’s what a journalist does.

The only problem is I didn’t want to actually make anything, because that would take work. I just picked random things in the spice cabinet (smells like old people vitamins), and other condiments. I still feel gross, but somebody has to write weird things for the 10 friends of mine that read this. Here is the taste test below with pictures and descriptions-

1. Tanjin Clasico Seasoning (1 fire symbol)- This is supposed to add a spicy zest to fruit and vegatables, but you know I hate things that are good for me. So I just licked a line of it, like drugs. I probably could’ve tasted it too by snorting it, and that would’ve been cooler. But then I would have had to film that, and I’m only one man. After tasting it raw, it reminded me of licking spicy lime ants. I’ve never done that, but that’s what I always imagined it would be like.

2. Agave Nectar– Honestly I always thought this went on sunburns. I didn’t know you could eat it. But you can, and it was surprisingly good. Sweet and good for you according to the back label. The girlfriend will have some explaining to do when she gets home. We have a “no hiding treats rule” in our home. Except when we’re dieting, but if one of us starts to cry we have to bring it out of the hiding place.

3. Dip? I say question mark, because it looked and smelled like dip. It had kind of a garlic-esque smell. But it tasted like weird chunky butter. This one was a little risky, but life is about taking risks. I’m still alive, and not hallucinating, so I’m probably okay.

4. Thai Barbeque Sauce– Tasting this should’ve been the easiest and most rewarding experience of the day. Barbeque sauce is great by itself, and add the Thai twist to it. Maybe some lime or peanut flavors. Sold right? NO! This company should be sued for false advertising! This is soy sauce masquerading as BBQ sauce. A travesty and an insult. I almost choked after taking a big gulp. Bad, bad….

5. Candle– This tasted just like crayon. It smelled like melon, so I figured that might affect the taste. Nope. I’m sure some of you are being judgmental, “What kind of idiot eats candles?” In the late 80’s and early 90’s I ate my fair share of candy wax lips, and I know I wasn’t the only one. If you’re really old (I’m not but I’m a candy connoisseur), then you even drank soda syrup out of wax bottles. So everyone just shut up. Remember your roots, and try a candle.

 

 

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