Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's My Birthday! Hooray!

Dear Reader,

It's my birthday again which means that we'll all celebrate with the traditional sleeping late, eating of pancakes and drinking of champagne all day. Wait... You don't get the day off for my birthday?  Write to your congressperson or someone!

This morning my kids gave me some lovely birthday letters in which they said both,

"I hope you have a happy birthday, you know why?  Because I love you!!!!" 


"In my opinion, every year you become a better mother, meaning when you were one, you were a terrible mother.  But now, I don't think you could get any better."

This blog is called Eat Your Feelings, and today I feel pretty good, so what will I eat?  Sushi and cake of course.  It's not everyday a girl turns forty.

My birthday gift to you is this collection of songs from the year I was born, written of course, in honor of my birth. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

You WILL Please Everyone Perfect Get Stuffed Stuffing

Dear Reader,

Playing host at Thanksgiving is fraught with many challenges, not least of which is stuffing.  Everyone has their own particular idea of what ingredients should be involved in a successful stuffing, and Thanksgiving is really all about the stuffing.  God forbid you leave out the chestnuts, or throw in some diced apples, it will be your head on a platter covered with cranberry sauce.  Better make sure to cover your bases.

You WILL Please Everyone Perfect Get Stuffed Stuffing

You will need:

Two onions, chopped
Four ribs celery, chopped
1/2 lb crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbs. dried sage
1 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. dried savory
1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 stick butter
14 oz. jar chestnuts
2 soy sausages, such as Field Roast Apple Sage
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and chopped

Cube the bread.  This is very important, as you absolutely must include some cornbread for Aunt Betsy who is from Iowa and will be mortally offended if there is not corn in every dish on the buffet.  Also use other breads, such as whole wheat, sourdough, french and a touch of pumpernickel for diversity.  Toast the bread in the oven until it is as dried out as Grandma.  You should have six cups of bread cubes.

Melt butter in a large skillet and add onions, celery, mushrooms and herbs.  Remember that your cousin Fred married that girl who mentioned her mother puts oysters in her stuffing, and decide you're okay with her not speaking to you.  Cook vegetables until they are soft and the house smells like Thanksgiving.  Chop the chestnuts into small enough pieces that your brother won't recognize them, but your mother-in-law will wax rhapsodic about her youth in the Lake District.

Mix the vegetables with the bread, and chop and fry your sausage.  It is important to use soy sausage as the stuffing will be pretty much the only thing your sister and her vegetarian family from Vermont will be able to eat.  Do not omit the sausage, as weird Uncle Tommy, who has finally emerged from the basement after all these years, will turn right around if there isn't some porky thing involved here.  Any vegans can suck it.  Saute the apple with the sausage, and then add it to the other things.  Pour on vegetable stock, parsley and mix it all together, trying not to eat it all yourself before your guests arrive.

Spread into a greased 13x9 baking dish, cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes, before dumping it on the buffet and screaming, "THERE YOU GO! ARE YOU HAPPY NOW? ARE YOU? OH GOOD.  I'M SO GLAD.  I'M SO THANKFUL THAT YOU'RE HAPPY."  Go to basement and help yourself to Uncle Tommy's secret moonshine stash.  Don't come out until Monday.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Edward Cullen's Pumpkin Pie

Dear Reader,

As I finish the preparations for Thanksgiving, I am of course wondering, what would Edward Cullen enjoy in the way of desserts?  Of course, Edward hasn't eaten anything since 1918, but we are all nostagic for the food of our youth, so I turned to The Century Cookbook, published the very year Edward was born, 1901, to bring you this tasty treat.

Edward Cullen's Pumpkin Pie


  • 1 pumpkin
  • 2 cupfuls of milk
  • 1 teaspoonful of salt
  • 1 teaspoonful of butter
  • 1 teaspoonful of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoonful of ginger
  • 1 tablespoonful of molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • sugar


Cut a pumpkin into small pieces; remove the soft part and seeds. Cover and cook it slowly in its own steam until tender; then remove the cover and reduce it almost to dryness, using care that it does not burn. Press it through a colander. To two and one half cupfuls of pulp add the milk, salt, butter, cinnamon, ginger, molasses, eggs, and sugar to taste. Add the beaten eggs last and after the mixture is cold. Pour it into an open crust and bake slowly forty to fifty minutes. Squash pies are made in the same way, but are not the same in flavor, although they are often given the name of pumpkin pies.

You can serve this after Thanksgiving dinner, and nobody has to know that you are fantasizing about Edward Cullen eating your pie.

Caramel Apple Pie For When You've Got Something to Prove

Dear Reader,

A few weeks ago I had dinner at my friend Claire's house.  Claire is an amazing cook, so we were all looking forward to a delicious dinner, which we had.  But then for dessert, she brought out these little caramel cookies.  She had cut them really small so they were almost like petit fours, and I didn't feel at all guilty devouring about six or seven of those bad boys.  I tried to take a picture, but they were gone so quickly - kids hovering over the plate, grownups swatting  away tiny hands - this was all I could manage.

The recipe for those cookies is from Martha Stewart, and if you're going to someone's house for Thanksgiving, you might want to make some of these to bring along.  They are amazing.  Today I have the house to myself and thought I'd get a jump on Thanksgiving and make an apple pie.  Easy enough.  But how about if I incorporated some of Claire's amazing caramel into the pie?  Ooh la la, right?  Claire warned me that making caramel is a tricky business, and I'd never tried it, but I thought I could handle it.  So I put on the Breaking Dawn soundtrack, threw some sugar and butter into a pan, and this happened:

Totally not caramel.

I decided to look around for someone to teach me how to make caramel, and lo and behold, I found Gordon Ramsay!

Elsewhere on the internets, I learned that caramel is best made in a heavy bottomed pan, so I dug out my trusty cast iron skillet, and I sprinkled in some sugar.

One cup of sugar sitting in a pan.

 Starting to melt and turn caramelly.

I went and effed it up.  I could hear Gordon Ramsay's voice in my head, "No! What have you done, you donkey?" I put away my spoon.  Would I have the confidence to let it go really nice and dark?

 Now I added some butter - 6 Tbs. Let that melt, then poured in half a cup of cream, which you can see in this photo, at the ready.

Here is my pie crust waiting to happen.  In my food processor I have 2 cups of flour, 10 tbs. butter, 1/3 cup sugar, and the zest of one lemon.  WHIZ! Then add 2 egg yolks and a little water.

Rolled out dough.

If the dough doesn't fit perfectly, nobody will know unless you take photos and put them on the Internets.

I love this little contraption.  Caroline Ingalls would be consumed with jealousy if she saw mine.

I mixed the apples with a little lemon, sugar and then drizzled on the caramel.  I didn't go too crazy with it, figuring that it would lend a nice goo to the pie, and I could serve extra caramel, warmed up over ice cream to go on the side.  That's how I roll.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Estranged Family Cranberry Sauce

Dear Reader,

In every family there exists one person that someone else isn't speaking to for one reason or another.  Perhaps that person stole their boyfriend, cut up their prom dress, or just never repaid that $5.47 they borrowed for a milk shake at the beach back in 1998.  Maybe you are the person who is harboring the grudge.  Maybe you stormed out of their house, never looked back, and can't remember why you were mad in the first place, but now so much time has passed that even though they are no longer really upset, you have manufactured in your mind an injustice done to you which justifies your anger, even though the longer you go on not speaking the more awkward it is for your entire family.  Whatever.  Everyone needs cranberry sauce.

Estranged Family Cranberry Sauce

You will need:

12 oz. cranberries
2 oranges
1 cinnamon stick
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
Apple Jack or other brandy

Remove zest from oranges using the handy zester that sits patiently in your drawer all year waiting for Thanksgiving.  If you don't have a zester, wish that you were speaking to your sister because she has one and would probably let you borrow it if only you were talking to her.  Squeeze oranges over a bowl to extract juice and release some of the tension that sits between your shoulders from carrying grudges.  Pour juice, zest and cranberries into a saucepan over medium heat.  Add one cinnamon stick to the pot - do not use the stick that's been up your ass.  That one should go in the garbage.  Add sugars, both brown and white, which can live side by side harmoniously in your cupboard in spite of their differences.  Add a swig of Apple Jack to the pot, and then have a swig yourself.  Stir until all cranberries have popped, and the sauce is glistening and gooey like families are supposed to be at the holidays.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

You Ate All the Halloween Candy After the Kids Went to Bed Linguini with Peanut Sauce

Dear Reader,

This one speaks for itself.  Oof.

 You Ate All the Halloween Candy After the Kids Went to Bed Linguini with Peanut Sauce

You will need:

Peanut Butter
Apple cider vinegar
Soy sauce
Crushed Red Pepper
Weight Watchers Membership
Broccoli florets
Cherry tomatoes

First things first, you need to hide the evidence. Toss all wrappers and sweep up all crumbs before innocent children, still reeling from hauling in so much candy, realize you've eaten it all.  In future, remember the Mommy Tax on Halloween candy is 10%.  No more.  You've got to replace all of it, so head out to the store. Realize you'll have to buy one of every kind of bag, even disgusting circus peanuts, because your child has written a complete inventory of their loot and will know exactly what is missing.  This is going to leave you with a lot of leftover candy, so eat some in the car.

Start with the peanut butter cups, and nibble around the chocolate, saving the peanut butter centers.  Do this enough times until you have one half cup of peanut butter.  Put it in a bowl. Add two teaspoons of soy sauce, three minced cloves of garlic, three tablespoons of cider vinegar, don't use the rancid cider you bought when pumpkin picking now festering in the back of the fridge, it's not the same thing.  Sprinkle in some crushed red pepper.

Boil some salted water and put some linguini in to cook.  Log in to and sign yourself up for a membership, because you've got a lot of candy in the house and you can not be trusted with it, lady.  Scoop half a cup of the pasta water out, and mix it with the peanut sauce.  When the pasta has about a minute left to cook, drop in your broccoli florets.  Drain the pasta and broccoli, mix it with the sauce and top with halved cherry tomatoes, scallions and candy corn.