Monday, November 30, 2009

It's My Birthday Puff Pastry With Love and Affection and Brie

Dear Reader,

That's right!  Today is my birthday!  To celebrate, I am going to spend a little time with my very best friend, Puff Pastry.  Then, before the kids get home, I'm going to sit in a dark movie theater with all the other dirty old ladies and watch New Moon again.  I can if I want, cause like I said, it's my birthday!

It's My Birthday Puff Pastry With Love and Affection and Brie

You will need:
Puff Pastry

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Hug the puff pastry tightly, whispering affectionate words until it is thaw.  Place the brie on the pastry and give it a kiss.  Then wrap the pastry around the brie like a little present.  Place on a baking sheet into the oven that is as warm as the love in your heart, on this day, my birthday!  Crack an egg into a bowl and paint the pastry all over.  Any leftover pastry can be cut into letters to spell out, "Happy Birthday Heather!  Enjoy the cheese!"  Pop into the oven for about 20 minutes and then bring to my house for me to enjoy.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dear Reader,

For me the best part of Thanksgiving, aside from the stuffing, is that it is socially acceptable to drink early in the day.  No matter what sort of holiday you are planning for today, from my family to yours - Cheers.

Warm regards,

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Don't Give A Damn Yams

Dear Reader,

I have received another letter, this time from a gentleman that is truly in need of my help.  Please read:

Dear Heather,
I want a divorce!  Don't hate me, but my wife is a total nag constantly flirting with my friends.  Problem is, I'm not a total jerk and I don't want to leave her right before the holidays, right?  But we're going to her sister's house for Thanksgiving and they asked me to make the sweet potatoes.  I really couldn't care less and don't even like the stupid things.  Can you help me figure out what to make?
Fed up in Flagstaff,

Ted, you sound like a good guy and I would be happy to help!  For you, a recipe with a negative degree of difficulty is in order.  Enjoy!

Don't Give A Damn Yams

You will need:

3 cans yams
1 bag mini-marshmallows
Splash orange juice

Open up the canned yams.  If you can't find them at your grocery store, check the dollar store, as they are not an in-demand item, yet perfect for your needs.  Dump contents into some sort of dish.  Mash them down with a fork and have a shot of bourbon.  Spit some of bourbon over yams in the dish.  Stir with your finger.  Pour a glass of orange juice and stick your hand in it.  Then flick orange juice all over yams.  Eat some marshmallows because they are soft and yummy.  Scatter some on top of yams.  If you are feeling crafty, spell out "You People Suck" in marshmallow, then stick in the oven at 350 degrees until marshmallows are gooey and brown and as done as your marriage.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ultimate Family Fight Apple Sausage Stuffing

Dear Reader,

Get out your boxing gloves, put on your cloak of indignation and get ready to hurl some insults and air some grievances.  Thanksgiving is coming!  Here's a delicious stuffing to serve to your ungrateful and insensitive family.  Enjoy!

Ultimate Family Fight Apple Sausage Stuffing

You will need:

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 lb. sausage
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 onion, diced
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 shallot, diced
1 Tbs. chopped parsley
2 tsp. fresh sage, minced
1 bay leaf

1 lb. loaf French bread
1 cup milk
1 cup chicken broth
3 Tbs. butter, melted
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup cooked chestnuts
Escape plan

The day before Thanksgiving, make a list of guests who will be dining with you.  Included should be the usual unpleasant cast of characters, but their spouses and children as well.  Leave plenty of room between each name to write down the myriad ways they have belittled, embarrassed and taken advantage of you over the past year.

Heat oil in a large skillet and brown sausage.  Transfer sausage to another plate and consider asking for a transfer at work so that next year you can have a nice holiday spent either alone or with friends rather than family.  Note how sausage smells exactly like your cousin Jared, and plan to sit at other end of table from him this year.  Add celery, onions, apples, shallots and herbs to pan and cook until vegetables soften like the jowls on your manic depressive sister who totally denied putting a huge dent in the side of your car even though she was the only one driving it because your other sister was, once again, too drunk and needed a safe ride home, and neither of them have a job and so can't afford a car of their own.  Add sausage to vegetables.

Remembering the fistfight that broke out between your father and your brother at your high school graduation, tear bread into cubes with your bare hands and your anger.  Throw it in with the sausage like your mom threw out all of your old yearbooks and everything else that ever mattered to you in the whole world when she selfishly moved into that condo.  Crumble in the chestnuts, recalling that in the sixth grade your brother used to refer to your burgeoning breasts as "chestnuts" in front of the whole school bus.

Heat milk, butter and broth in a pot and pour over stuffing.  Crack eggs like you would the skulls of your idiot cousins who prank call you at work every day and mix it into the stuffing.  Season with salt and pepper.

Smear butter all over a large baking dish, the way your drunken sister apparently did with your Marc Jacobs pants she borrowed when she said she was going on a job interview but really was just going out with the guy who sells cell phones at the kiosk in the mall.  The guy that you saw first.

Throw everything in the pan and cook at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and realize that the best part of Thanksgiving is the stuffing. The ultimate revenge would be to not bring it to dinner and eat it all yourself.  Turn off phone, lights and oven.  Enjoy stuffing with peace and quiet.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Drunken Grandma Cranberry Sauce

Dear Reader,

It's that time of year again!  If your family is anything like mine, the holidays mean many things- coming together, family and that Grandma is hitting the sauce pretty hard.  This year, hit her back - not literally  - a broken hip is expensive!  But with a little sauce of the cranberry variety.

Drunken Grandma Cranberry Sauce

You will need:

1 bag fresh cranberries
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
Orange peel
Robert Goulet records

First, figure out where she has hidden the vodka.  Check the garage, the bathroom and her socks.  If you can't find it, try to remove Cosmo from Grandma's hand.  Be careful because the arthritis has made her fist into a pretty tight claw, and those fingers are brittle!  If it is not possible to remove tumbler, lure her over to the stove by asking to hear her stories about how much fun they had during the war.  When she is not expecting it, knock into her so the Cosmo in her glass tips into a measuring cup.

Grandma's yelling is going to frighten the children, so tell them Grandma just heard that some of them have been naughty, and she's going to get them if they don't sit quietly and wait for dinner.

In a sauce pot, heat cranberries with a half cup of water and the sugar.  Bring to a boil like Grandma's temper.  Play some Robert Goulet records and offer to dance with her to calm her down.  To get her out of your hair, spin her around really quickly so that she needs to go lie on the couch.  Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes while she "closes her eyes."

Pour sauce into a mixing bowl to cool.  Conspire with other family members while Grandma is sleeping.  A fun game is to switch names!  And calling Grandma "Jack" is sure to lead to hours of confusing fun after dinner!

When sauce is cool, stir in Grandma's Cosmo and garnish with orange peel.  To keep children from eating this sauce, stick a Brussels Sprout on top.  Enjoy with turkey, stuffing or a beer chaser.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Veal a la Volturi

Never mind the fact that New Moon has far too much of werewolves running around with their pants tied to their ankles with a little strap that they probably pee all over, today is November 20th!  Finally!  Women and their daughters have been waiting for this day for over a year, because today is the day we are reunited with our beloved Edward Cullen.  To endure the long wait on line at the movie theater, and build up your stamina for all the heart pounding, I offer you Veal a la Volturi.  Enjoy.

Veal a la Volturi

You will need:

Body glitter
1 large can tomatoes
Dried basil
1 Tbs. butter
3 Tbs. olive oil
2 veal chops
1 clove garlic, minced
1 onion, thinly sliced
Dried oregano
Dry red wine
Bay leaf
Diversion for boyfriend/ husband

Rub yourself all over with body glitter and stand in the sun.  When people start to stare, look longingly at them then abruptly leave.  Remove veal chops from refrigerator, or alternately, from small cow you have slaughtered to thwart temptation to feed on humans.  Pound chops thin with your amazing vampire muscles, cold as marble and strong as thunder.

In a skillet, heat butter and 1 Tbs. olive oil and saute onions until translucent as the skin of Aro, ancient Volturi who knows you are making this veal right now and planning on going to the movies later.  Add the tomatoes and simmer for two minutes.  Then take the dried herbs in your fingers and crush them easily into a powder, as you would a boulder.  Toss them into the pot with the minced garlic.

Get boyfriend/ husband out of the house and spend a little time on the computer looking at this, this, this and this.  Sigh.

Place remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil into another skillet and brown chops all over.  Then lay them gently, as if laying in a misty flowering meadow, and cover with red wine.  Let the wine pour all over them, running down the supple flesh.  Drink some wine yourself, feeling the rush of it burning past your throat, satisfying an overwhelming urge deep inside you and feeding you with life itself.  Add a bay leaf.

Simmer until most of the wine has reduced and enjoy while looking at this.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gitmo Gazpacho

Dear Reader,

A lot of people, even the ones that voted for him, are upset with Barack Obama these days.  They say he has not lived up to his campaign promises, and that nothing has changed.  Well, that may be true, and even considering that it takes a lot of time to change the world, people are frustrated.  However, I imagine that few are as frustrated as the denizens of a certain hell hole in Cuba.  In their honor I offer this tasty treat!  Enjoy!

Gitmo Gazpacho

You will need:

3 beefsteak tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 red onion, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
1/2 yellow pepper, diced
2 clove garlic, minced
2 cups tomato juice, chilled
2 cups cold water
3 Tbs. red wine vinegar
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1 Tbs. lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbs. tomato paste
Dog biscuits

Begin by combining all ingredients except olive oil and tomato paste in food processor.  Pulse until mixture is chunky - not a smooth puree.  At least that's what you would do if you weren't chained to a wall in a hole in Cuba, surrounded by barking dogs with a hood over your head.  Remember Gazpacho Night in the eating club when you were a Student at Stanford.  Those were the good old days.  Wish like hell that you had just taken the job with Morgan Stanley and not chosen to do humanitarian work in Afghanistan.  Wish also that you hadn't told the villagers you could help them build an infrastructure in their remote cave.  Idiot!

Try to call out to guard.  "Lisa!  Lisa!"  When Lisa arrives, tell her that you want to make gazpacho.  Explain patiently that it is a soup, a cold soup, and not a chemical weapon.  Tell her to ask Pedro.  He'll know what you mean.  Try not to get angry when Lisa laughs at you and takes your picture to put on her Facebook page.

After you feel that three days have passed, call for the other guard.  "Stephanie!  Stephanie!"  Ask to see a lawyer.  When her laughter dies down, explain to her that you are a lawyer and you know your rights.  When she leaves, try not to be too downhearted.  If Obama ever gets to work, you'll be strolling on a golf course in Bermuda.  But make no mistake, it's going to be a long haul, especially for you, Saddam Mohammed Peterson.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ham Souffle for a High School Reunion

Dear Reader,

Apologies, but it has taken me some time to process this whole high school reunion thing.  First off, it was completely overwhelming.  The first hour was spent having the same two minute conversation thirty times.  And then one thing became painfully evident - people don't change.  If you were a douchebag in high school, chances are you're still a douchebag.  A fat, balding douchebag.  The one exception to this rule is nerds.  Nerds are great.  If you were a dorky nerd in high school, chances are good that you look better than ever - perhaps due to high earning potential resulting from proficiency in math and computer science, and chances are even better that you've got a winning personality, having honed your wit to prevent being stuffed in a locker.  Whatever stereotype you fit into in high school, I offer you not only something delicious to eat, but also some tips should you attend your own reunion.  Enjoy.

Ham Souffle for a High School Reunion

You will need:

Parmesan cheese
1 cup milk
2 1/2 Tbs. butter
3 Tbs. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
4 egg yolks
5 egg whites
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
1 cup diced Prosciutto

Look yourself in the eye, either by standing in front of a mirror or by staring at a recent photo of yourself, and honestly answer the question, "Have I ever been happier than I was in high school?"  If the answer is, "Are you kidding?  Of course I have!  High school was alright, but kind of a nightmare sometimes."  You'll be fine.  If you answer,  "Of course not.  High school was the absolute most best time of my life.  Everybody loved me.  I ruled the school and all those dorks wished they could be just like me," get ready, because your upcoming reunion is going to be a very BIG NIGHT for  you, and you've got work to do.

Begin with your body.  It's true that nobody looks the same as they did in high school, but trust me, some of these stay-at-home moms have been doing non-stop Pilates instead of rooting around in the fridge like you have.  Spare no expense and put yourself on a juice fast starting right after you eat the delicious souffle that is as full of ham as your campaign for Student Council President.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Call old high school friends to see who is planning on attending, and most important - what they will be wearing!  Grease a souffle dish with butter, dabbing a little bit around the eyes to soften your crow's feet.  Pour Parmesan cheese into the dish and tilt to coat all over.  Speaking of coats, do an assessment of your marriage.  If it is falling apart before your eyes, purchase a gigantic jewel or great big fur coat to distract from your evident loneliness.  Warm the milk in a pot.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over low heat and stir in the flour.  Whisk vigorously for two or three minutes to tighten and tone your wobbly triceps, then pour in the milk and keep whisking until as thick as your high school boyfriend's skull.  Season with salt and add the yolks one at a time as you remember all your greatest moments - when three boys on the lacrosse team asked you to the prom; the talent show where you received a standing ovation for your hilarious send up of Principal Foster; the graduation party your parents threw - 4 kegs!  Set saucepan aside to cool.

Whip the egg whites until stiff, then fold into the yolk mixture alternately with Gruyere and Prosciutto.  Pour into the prepared dish and decide what to wear.  Obviously this will be determined by your household income and your sense of self-worth.  If you are fortunate to have come from a wealthy family, make a list of all that your wealth has allowed you to accomplish for yourself and the world.  If you spend part of the year, say, handing out mosquito nets in Uganda, then it really won't matter to you.  However, if you spend part of the year in St. Barths and the other part hanging around the house and shopping, what you wear makes a big difference!  Keep it understated, to minimize your selfishness.

Pop souffle into oven and turn the heat down to 375.  Bake until golden brown and puffed up like your high school boyfriend is now.  Eat entirety while reading old yearbooks and crying.  Do not forget the old adage: The less you have to offer, the more you have to prove!  Depending on how sloppy drunk and slutty you acted the last time you saw these people, the more time you are going to want to spend with your hot rollers.  Book daily sessions with a personal trainer, a facial and hire a limo to take you to the prom, I mean reunion.  Also book a professional photographer, because this is going to be the last great night of your life.  Well, for the next ten years anyway.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

National Bookstore Day at last!

I know! I know, HURRAY!  You have been waiting for months and it is finally here - National Bookstore Day is TODAY!!!  I can't think of a more perfect way to celebrate than to run down to your local independent bookstore and buy a copy of Eat Your Feelings: Recipes for Self-Loathing!  If you already have a copy, then buy one for your friend!  

On another note, check back tomorrow for Ham Souffle for a High School Reunion as I will be attending my own this evening.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Poached Eggs Brulee to Avoid a Terrible Mistake

Dear Reader,

I have had another letter that demands my attention!  See for yourself:

Dear Heather,

Last summer I got engaged to my boyfriend Josh.  We've been together for about three years and I really wanted to get married.  All my friends are married already, so I kind of put the pressure on, leaving pictures of engagement rings lying around and all that.  Problem is, he is driving me NUTS.  I can't stand being around him.  When he eats, he chews and breathes really heavy through his nose at the same time.  Gross!  And he reads comic books, which I used to think was cute and alternative, but now I just see it as another factor in the long list of what makes him a dork.  And the worst part is his throat hair!  It's like his chest hair keeps right on going up to his ears.  What do I do? My mother would kill me if I break up with him.  She's paying for the wedding.

Please help,
Morristown, NJ

Oh, Denise.  These feelings, the impatience with your boyfriend; your disgust at the way he eats; the utter disdain for his lack of intelligence and fascination with boyhood culture, are all completely normal.  Unfortunately this knowledge usualy comes to a lady after five or six years of marriage.   Your eyes have been opened too soon!  Never fear, I can help.  By the time your wedding date rolls around, Josh will have headed for the hills with his Sasquatch brethren.  For you I offer:

Poached Eggs Brulee to Avoid a Terrible Mistake

You Will Need:

Grapefruit Juice

When fiance goes to bed at night, eat beets.  Eat at least one pound of beets, some of them boiled and some raw, like an apple.  If you start to feel sick, picture dressing your future children for their school pictures and combing their throat hair.  Choke down those beets!  In morning, when you begin to feel effects of beets in the form of visible gas rising in your abdomen, stand very near finace and let loose. When he wakes with a start in a cold sweat, terrified, wink at him and head to kitchen.

Heat a pan of water and get ready to boil his eggs.  Add in a hefty glug of grapefruit juice and a generous pinch of turmeric.  When the water is boiling, crack in his eggs.  Don't try any chef tricks to keep them together in the pot - the messier the better!  While his eggs boil you have a little time, so make yourself look as much like your mother as possible.  For me this involves donning a blue suit with a matching blue pump on one foot and black loafer on the other, and always Loreal A La Mauve on the lips.

Down a Coca-Cola before he sits down to breakfast.  Use phrases like, "Sooo glad I can just let it all hang out now that we're getting married," and, "It's such a relief to just be me!" and if you should have sex, "Sooo much better than masturbating," punctuated by belches from Coke.

Take his eggs out while the whites are still nauseatingly translucent.  Place them on a plate and top with a good amount of sugar.  If the turmeric hasn't make them yellow enough, drip a bit of green food coloring in the center of each.  Turn on the blowtorch and stomp around the kitchen with it while you point out all of the projects he has started and not finished, with increasing anger, farting beets for added emphasis.

Go to bathroom and chug Ipecac.  Vomit in center of kitchen.  Burn the sugar on top of eggs to make a nice crust.  Serve him this dish explaining that it is not part of a "diet plan" but a "lifestyle change."  Wait.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Eat Your Feelings Party

Dear Reader,

I recently returned from a fun-filled week in Los Angeles. The highlights of my trip included a reading at Book Soup, which is a totally awesome bookstore, even if you're not a nerd; sleeping as much as I want (kids were home with Daddy); and an unforgettable night spent with friends enjoying the first ever Eat Your Feelings Party.

My good friend Ben Mandelker writes the very funny B-Side Blog and he posted about the party here.  You really must check it out as it was a great night, and like I said, he's very funny and not bad looking either.

If you host your own Eat Your Feelings Party be sure to tell me about it!  Customize the menu to suit your woes, or to make you feel better by laughing at woes you don't have (yet)!  Send me your pictures and I just might put them up on this here blog.

With warm regards,


Hey guys, it's Danny DeVito!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Breakfast of Wannabe Champions

Dear Reader,

As most of you know, the NYC Marathon was today and it was won by a man from the good ole’ US of A for the first time in 27 years.
Still in my pajamas, drinking coffee and nibbling on bacon dipped in syrup, I sat on the couch and listened to the commentators as Meb Keflezighi ran his last 2.6 miles to the finish line. They passionately described his struggle, how his family fled war ravaged Eritrea and his parents raised their eleven children in the US, all of whom graduated from college. With tears in my eyes, I watched him cross the finish line as the commentator said, “A great champion and a wonderful person.”

I would like someone to call me a great champion and wonderful person. But that’s not going to happen unless I get out of these pajamas. I have never had any desire to run a marathon, fearful of course that that I would be one of the runners to lose control of their bowels. But perhaps, with a little precaution and some proper training, I, and you too, may one day be great champions. So today I offer a little training advice and some sustenance in case you are thinking about running in next year’s marathon. And as I watched the women runners, noting that they have glutes where I have a booty, the idea has some appeal.

Breakfast of Wannabe Champions

You will need:
Running Shoes
iPod (or other mp3 player)
Sweat pants

On the first day of the rest of your life, spring out of bed and immediately put on gym clothes. Gym clothes should be the ratty old variety for reasons to be made clear momentarily. Since you are now a marathon runner you can eat a big breakfast so crack five eggs into a bowl. Heat up the stove and place six strips of bacon in a pan and fry, turning once until nicely crisp. While the bacon fries, load up the iPod with motivational music of your choice. For me this includes Duran Duran, Jai Ho and songs by skinny women like Madonna and the Spice Girls, also some of my kids’ soundtracks like Madagascar (I Like To Move It) and of course the theme from Speed Racer. Put a lot of butter – remember you’re an athlete! into a non-stick skillet and dump in the eggs. Scramble over low heat as you scramble to find the running shoes you bought two years ago on your last fitness kick. When done, plop the eggs onto a plate like you normally plop your fat ass onto the couch about this time of day. Place the bacon next to the eggs and drizzle with syrup (trust me). Eat entirety with coffee or red bull and a Gatorade.

Go to the bathroom! Make sure that you eliminate all contents of bowels lest they do they job themselves while you’re on the treadmill. In case of incontinence, either due to age or vaginal delivery, place some sort of diaper-like device such as a Poise pad or a kitchen sponge into your undies. Then hit the gym!

On treadmill, start at a good pace like a 16-minute mile. Gradually increase by one minute per mile until you reach six miles or vomit. Afterward, don’t forget to stretch! If the pain is unbearable do not fear – tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life, and it’s never too late to take up competitive eating.