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Archive | meringue experiment

I need your award-winning cookie recipes (AKA orgy at the cookie party)

You guys, I’m going to a cookie party and I need an award-winning cookie recipe.

A cookie party, for those unfamiliar, is where a bunch of bored suburbanites get together and eat cookies and then have sex with each other and then eat more cookies. In between all the crazy sex, or instead of it really, there will be a cookie contest and I pretty much need to win it because I’m a sore loser. In 1983 I won a trophy for “good sportsmanship” at tennis camp and I took it and smashed it into a million little pieces because what I  heard was “here’s your trophy for shitty tennis playing.” And then when I was 10 I came in fourth place or maybe sixth place in pony showmanship at the  horrible summer camp I went to and actually I didn’t care at all, I just wanted to get the hell out of that camp and I was sick of the way the pony kept pushing me into chain link fences (truly. the pony wasn’t “broken” entirely which is upsetting terminology but that’s the language of equestrian whatnot. Anyway, this short but spirited four legged menace was half wild pony and half demon and it kept pushing me into various obstacles on our walk from the barn to the show ring) which is to say I was surprised I placed and won a ribbon at all.

And then before I won some first place press club awards for my writing I won some second and third place awards which are dead to me.

I think you see what I’m driving at: I need some dynamic cookies. Cookies that are charismatic and win you over and possibly perform feats of amazing carbohydrate wonder. What if I told you this cookie could peck out yankee doodle on a tiny piano? Exactly.

So if you happen to be sitting on a recipe do send that over or put it in the comments, won’t you?

And allow me to come clean on two fronts: I didn’t really smash the good sportsmanship trophy. And there probably won’t be an orgy at the cookie party.

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I love Christmas

I love Christmas and the only thing I love more than Christmas is nothing.  I’m happy to report that I just had my first fullblown holidaygasm of the season while standing in the kitchen thinking about Muppet Christmas Carol and cracking eggs into a bowl so I could make meringues which seems like a holidayish activity though I do it year round. Granted holidaygasm is a pretty crude term for what I mean—that visceral fluttering childlike excitement that comes from contemplating the impending season. I used to have the same feeling when I’d see the spinning “Special” letters on TV back in the old days when the world was simpler and I didn’t have this deadline hanging over me.

Oh, did I not mention? Yes, I have a deadline looming which means that everything I’m doing short of actually working on said project is both procrasturbatory (note: I didn’t invent this term) and beside the point. A quick inventory of the things I’ve done today which are beside the point? Wait, no! I will not! I will not spend time making a list when I could instead tell you that before repairing to the kitchen to think about Christmas I got up from my computer with a strange feeling of writerly satisfaction as if I’d actually accomplished something and yet I knew I hadn’t. And then I realized it’s because I was proud of a tweet. It’s upsetting on many levels.

But back to Christmas, I was standing there feeling overwhelmed and all woe is me ish and then I started thinking about how from  here to New Year’s is pretty awesome and filled with twinkling lights and carols and holiday cookies with sparkling bits of colored sugar on them and holiday parties with eggnog and going to California and seeing my California friends and going to the mall where it’s all holidayish and everyone is pissed and angry and the lines are insanely long and you can’t find parking. I love that!

January soon begins to suck though because not only is it another 12 months till Christmas again but some kind of mischievous Christmas elves snuck into your closet while you were sleeping and replaced your jeans with ones that look identical—even down to that frosting stain—but are actually a couple sizes smaller. I’m probably going to have to start putting a lock on my closet. And then maybe I’ll even put my clothes in my closet instead of crumpled in a heap on an array of available surfaces. Sometimes I like to fling a garment so it creates something I refer to as a “clothing bridge” in that part of the item is on my bed and part of it is resting on a nearby table. It’s not a beginner move but I’ve been at this for a long time.

Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Ok, back to work.

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Frozen dairy disaster



Last night I decided to make myself a fancy frozen treat by putting a swirl of fat-free Reddiwip, which is only 5 calories a serving or, to more accurately reflect how one consumes it, 200 calories for a whole can, onto a spoon and then putting the spoon in the freezer. I made two of these ingenious frozen pops. “That will be a delightful treat when I get home later!” I told myself with no inkling of the disaster that awaited me.

“Ooh look! A fancy frozen treat! Yay for me!” I thought as I threw open the freezer door when I got home. Then I put a spoon in my mouth and before I had a chance to really realize what was happening my tongue adhered to the bottom of the spoon. I think some of my lip was attached too. It was all very Christmas Story. I should have poured water into my mouth which I think is how you detach from frozen metal however I now know that when you are stuck to something very cold your instinct is to pull away which is what I did. “Wow, that was horrible!” I thought, rethinking my snacking options since clearly I was going to be compromised in the taste department. I figured my tongue was just a little sore, probably from the coldness, but the pain wasn’t going away and actually was intensifying. Eventually I looked in the mirror and saw that my tongue was covered in a light smattering of blood.

This just proves something I already suspected: the only safe way to eat whipped cream is to squirt it directly from the can into your mouth.

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Fake egg white pasta type thing

So I’ve been eating Shirataki noodles which are made out of tofu and mung bean paste and then infused with fart smell and pressed into a noodle shape. They’re not bad. I had to google the hell out of them though because I began to wonder if they were really as low calorie and low carb as they claim and my biggest fear in life, after death of my loved ones, is that uninvited calories are creeping into my food. While googling I read about a low carb pasta alternative made with eggs. You just pour a really thin layer of eggs (I used egg whites) into a pan and cook it and then chill it and then roll it up and cut and make something pasta-esque. I tried it and it was pretty good.

Egg white pasta

Fake egg white pasta type thing

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Trader Joe's leaves me holding the bag

Ho, ho! Get it? Get my clever headline? It’s not that clever. Anyway.

these came first

Why is it that these taste better than eggs I make myself?  Is it because they’re “hard cooked,” which sounds elegant and mysterious and kind of British as opposed to hard boiled which just sounds mundane? Is it because, if this bag of hard cooked eggs could speak it would say, “Hey asshole, you can make me at home for a fraction of the cost. That is, if you can bear the struggle of turning on a stove and peeling some shells. Now put me back in the boot of your car, mate.” Maybe.

But see, they have a rubbery texture that I actually like that I can’t achieve when I boil eggs at home. Plus boiling eggs on a stove leads to a farty smelling kitchen versus limiting the fart smell to a bag. They should really include that in their advertising.

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I had an argument with an egg

Being freelance affords you plenty of time to be sure you’re going nuts. I devote a small portion of each day to said endeavor, but sometimes the realization creeps up on you unannounced, such as when you find yourself having an argument with an egg.


See, what happened is I was making my famous meringues which I’ve written about before. To make these you must separate the egg whites from the yolks and I recently started using an egg separator which is amazing and I recommend you all head out and buy one or just steal one from your sister which is what I did.

Egg Separator

So I crack the egg—one handed because I’m fancy—into the egg separator and then jiggle it to let all the egg white drip into the bowl. Big blobs of egg white are clinging to the yolk though and just hanging there despite my incessant jiggling. At this point I actually say, with a lot of anger behind it: “Oh come on you viscous piece of shit!”

It was strange and came out of nowhere, though, I mean, the egg totally had it coming.

Yeah that’s right. You go back to your egg house and think about what you’ve done.
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How I end up with stuff I don't want

A cup of something I didn’t want

I have a problem where I go along with stuff I don’t want which I think is why occasionally I have the recurring dream that I’m about to get married when I suddenly come to my senses and think, “Wait! I never wanted to marry this person! I was just going along with it as a joke and also because I wanted to experience what it would feel like to act as if I was going to get married!” And then in the dream I wonder how I let it go that far without realizing that this was the trial run, not the real deal. Then I realize I’m not wearing any pants and I have to take a test that day but the test is in Portuguese and I’m having a conversation with a puppy. Not really on those last three things. Remind me sometime to tell you about the other recurring dream I used to have which I had for years and years.

But ANYWAY, sometimes I not only go along with things I don’t want but actually select them. This morning I was going to get coffee at the little store I go to. I have an off and on relationship with flavored coffee and I’m currently in the heady throes of on. I sidled up to the French Vanilla spigot and lo and behold they didn’t have French Vanilla they had Hazelnut which was definitely not what I wanted. Could I get behind the filbert invasion?

Here to ruin your morning

Hm… I thought to myself, holding up the line. Hm… I thought some more. HM… I kept thinking while people loudly cursed me. Then I whipped out my cell phone to call a friend to get another opinion. Not about coffee but just about stuff. Then I made a list of pros and cons. Then I meditated. Then night fell and I dozed off. Then I woke up and went for the Hazelnut and only a splash came out. “It’s a sign!” I didn’t think to myself. The only other coffee was decaf. Did I want decaf? No! I specifically wanted caffeine and plus I could kind of tell that this was decaf that was going to taste weirdly syrupy. It was a headache in a cup. A headache with a splash of hazelnut dregs. A hazelnutache. (Not to be confused with what that word kind of looks like which is hazelnutstache which would be a mustache made of hazelnuts. God how I wish there was a picture of that.) And really, I could easily have just tossed the cup in the trash and been on my way but instead I poured the cup of decaf and then drank it and it was everything I expected it to be.

“Why did I do this to myself?” I wondered, while sipping the gross coffee and thinking about the various things in life I’ve selected for myself that I knew weren’t what I really wanted. To wit:

My last car
The gray-brown couch which thankfully I no longer own
My amp except that doesn’t quite count because I didn’t really know what I was buying at the time and needed an amp and etc.
The last apartment I lived in but also I’m not sure that counts
I feel like there are more.

Answer? I don’t really know.

Oh! Also at one point I was choosing between a job I really wanted and which I had good reason to think I would get versus one that had been offered to me and I chose the one that was offered to me because I was afraid to roll the dice and end up with nothing. I don’t know that that counts though because I could have ended up with nothing and then I’d be sitting here writing about how that was a mistake and etc. Plus the less desired job ultimately led to television, so perhaps this tangent doesn’t belong here. You are unwanted, tangent! Oh wait, now I’m thinking of another job type situation that would maybe fall in this category. But again, I think jobs don’t count because mostly you just work because you have to and because you need money and because it’s better to be working than not. To really love what you do is an amazing luxury. Also, it’s precious. But not precious like pretentious. Just precious like rare and valuable. Like every word that falls from my lips.

In other grocery store-related news, I bought some fresh herbs even though I don’t quite know what to do with them. Do I keep them refrigerated? Or not? See, the meringue experiment has taken a drastic turn and I probably should have kept you all abreast of the situation but for whatever reason I’ve chosen to shut you out. Don’t take it personally, it’s just that you can’t be trusted. I mean, I’ve given you ample opportunity to prove me wrong and you’ve failed every time. Every thyme! (Get it? No? Okay nevermind.)

Basil, Rosemary

I decided the Splenda was getting out of control and so I’m not longer sweetening the meringues but instead thinking of them as savory cracker puffs. So long as I don’t overcook them and they get so dry and flaky I choke on the dust when I eat them and then gasp for air while coughing out a cloud of aspirated meringue, they’re semi-edible. I’ve been seasoning them with rosemary and sometimes basil. Could I be any more fancy?

Also, I have a headache.

I have other things to write about. I’ll make a list and then never write about them:

The Doug Benson Interruption
Throwing Muses
Will Ferrell on Broadway

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Once more to the meringues

Last night in between going to fancy parties and reclining on my solid gold and diamond encrusted divan, I decided to turn my attention once more to the dangerous world of meringues. Think of meringues as a bucking bronco and me as the cowboy foolish enough to think I could tame them. Or think of them as a mechanical bull and me as someone in a bar. A bar which has a mechanical bull. Or don’t think of that at all. I can’t tell you what to think. I can only tell you that I’m making them without sugar, I’m using Splenda, hence the texture (wooden, cardboardy) and the taste (wooden, cardboardy) is truly out of this world.

Hey, are you the kind of person who likes to eat Popsicle sticks? I have some meringues for you.

Just egg whites, cream of tarter, vanilla, salt, Splenda, gravel, witch hazel, grout, caulk, plaster of Paris and a dash of turmeric.

Then I put the mixture in a pastry bag. While this pastry bag looks megaphone sized in this photo it’s actually only the size of a small bullhorn.

Birds eye view of the pastry bag with the meringue mixture inside. How did birds get in my kitchen?

Because I’m fancy and also disgusting, I decided that plain meringues weren’t enough so I also made some coffee flavored ones (the middle strips) and then I decided to see what would happen if I threw in some butter buds which is butter flavored powder which I think I can still taste today. I don’t recommend it, by the way.

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