Friday, June 26, 2009

Pizza for the Worst Day of the Year

Dear Reader,

Oh the sadness that overwhelms me on this day! I am full of melancholy and malaise. It is as though a dark curtain has descended upon the nation and there is no sunshine in sight. I’m not talking about the death of Michael Jackson, nor poor overshadowed Farrah and Ed McWhatshisname. I’m talking about the actual worst day of the year. Yes, today is the last day of school.

Of course my children are overjoyed that summer vacation is beginning. I’m sure there exist parents that are also thrilled, but my guess is that their kids go to sleep away camp. Mine will be here. Every day. For seventy six days.

And so, I offer you today a super delicious pizza just for grown ups to enjoy on their last day of freedom.

Pizza for the Worst Day of the Year

You will need:


Pizza Dough
Taleggio cheese – a lot
2 cups sliced mushrooms



White Truffle Oil

Grated Parmesan cheese – one handful


Drop kids off at school with huge bags to fill with stuff that you will throw away later when they are not looking. Once home, pour yourself a glass of wine to relax yourself for the endless bickering that will begin come 3:00 and end at 8 AM September 8th. Heat a skillet over medium high heat. About the temperature it is inside their classrooms right now. Toss in the mushrooms. When they are soft, pour in a swig or two of brandy. Don’t drink the brandy, as you still have to pick the kids up later and you don’t want to smell too strongly of booze! Not again! Cook mushrooms until all liquid is absorbed and set aside.

Turn the oven all the way up to as hot as it is going to be in August when your air conditioner breaks. Stretch pizza dough and place on an oiled cookie sheet or pizza pan. Brush the entire top of pizza with white truffle oil and top with globs of Taleggio. Sprinkle on the mushrooms and Parmesan cheese. Dab a little white truffle oil behind your ears because it just smells so damn good.

Cook on lowest oven rack until crust is crisp and cheese melted.
Enjoy, listening to the beautiful sound of a quiet house, and coming up with eighty or so activities that will occupy your kids until tomorrow afternoon.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Went To Bed Angry Cheese Strata

Dear Reader,

I had such an amazing response from all of you! Bad marriages, slutty mothers and inappropriate groping at the workplace, it was hard to choose just one trouble to help with. But one letter in particular stood out to me because it highlights a problem that so many of us have had.

Dear Heather,

Please help me!!! My wife and I have been arguing a lot lately, usually late at night.
Well, I know you’re not supposed to go to bed angry and all that, but I just get so damn sleepy! What can I do for the awkward and angry silence the next day?



Kevin, I’m with you! I think people that want to stay up and fight are just plain belligerent. No argument is worth precious sleeping hours, especially when you are in the wrong. Here I have provided you with just the right breakfast for those horrid mornings when you just want the whole thing to blow over.

Went To Bed Angry Cheese Strata

You will need:
6 eggs
1 lb. asparagus

1 ¼ cups milk

½ stick unsalted butter


¼ cup minced onion
4 slices good quality white bread, cubed

¾ cup crumbled Boursin cheese (any variety)

Wake before spouse and sneak down to kitchen. Very quietly snap off the ends of the asparagus the way your spouse is dreaming of snapping off the ends of your fingers at this very moment. Cut into bite-sized pieces and stick them in a microwavable bowl with a bit of water, cover and nuke for 2 minutes or the length of time you said, “Nananananananana” with your fingers in your ears last night while she was telling you her “feelings.” Drain.

Whisk together eggs, milk salt and pepper in a large bowl. Take out the skillet from behind the sofa where it was hurled the night before. Melt the butter over medium-high heat and throw in the onions. Don’t worry that they will make you cry as you used all your tears in the “You Don’t Love Me Anymore” monologue you performed. When the onions are soft, put in the bread and cook three minutes longer. Remove from heat.

Pour eggs in skillet, poking at bread like she poked you in the chest over and over as if you needed a physical reminder of where the blame lay. Scatter the asparagus into the eggs then top with cheese.
Pop into oven until set – about 15 minutes. Be careful to use oven mitt when removing strata, as you will illogically blame any burn on your wife who is still sleeping. Cut her a large piece, and serve it to her with a big smile and even bigger apology.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Cookies for Beleaguered Parents

Dear Reader,

There comes a time in the life of every parent who loves to cook that they want to share that love with their children. However, cooking with your children is fraught with peril. Here I have devised a perfect recipe to prepare you for the task.

Cookies for Beleaguered Parents

You will need:

6 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3 tsp. salt
1 ½ cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 cups brown sugar
1 bottle vanilla extract
6 eggs (or more)
2 bags chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375° F. Ask Timmy to measure out 1 cup flour. When he dumps it on floor, show him how to use the measuring cup. When he dumps that on floor, show him again, using best patience. Repeat this process until you have 2 ¼ cups flour in a bowl. Add baking soda to the mix and ask Sally to measure 1 tsp. salt. When she mistakes salt for sugar and eats two spoonfuls, give her water to drink. A lot of water. Put 1 tsp. salt into the flour.

Notice out of the corner of your eye that Sally is now gagging and glistening for some reason. Deduce from the stick of butter in Timmy’s hand that he has greased his sister. Remove butter from his hands and put 1 cup into a separate bowl. Try to wash butter off Sally, wiping and smearing and causing much shouting and anger on her part. Give up and let her put the sugar into the bowl. Now DUCK! because she’s about to hurl a handful of sugar at her brother. Show her, again using indoor voice, that she can use the measuring cup to put ¾ cup into the butter.

Add 1 tsp. vanilla to the butter, then drink remainder of bottle. When you realize that kids have found spoons and are eating the brown sugar, grab a spoon for yourself, because brown sugar is good! Make sure to leave ¾ cup to put into butter.

It is very important that you make sure there are no little fingers in the bowl when you turn on the electric mixer! Don’t make that mistake again! Cream butter, vanilla and sugars until as fluffy as the butter/flour mixture in your hair. Ask each child to crack one egg into a bowl. Again, DUCK! Repeat as needed until you have two eggs ready to go. Put them in with the butter and keep mixing then add flour stuff.

Tear open bag of chocolate chips and eat. Don’t share with children, as that much chocolate will make them hyper. Open second bag, allot three chips per child and put the rest into the mix.

Drop onto cookie sheet and bake eight minutes. Enjoy with satisfaction that comes from self-righteous parenting. Make sure to turn off oven and turn on Noggin before falling asleep on couch.

Up next: reader mail! Tell me your troubles and I’ll tell you what to eat to fix ‘em!
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