Sunday, May 29, 2011

Apocalyptic Pizza Party

To celebrate our survival of the rapture (or to be partying with friends if the end of days actually happened) Mags and Val threw a grilled pizza party.
Here is a smattering of photos of the evening.
I brought fixings for Thai Chicken Pizza- recipes and such are below.

Toppings spread included: sausage, pepperoni, bacon (2 kinds), chicken, smoked salmon, caramelized onions, green and black olives, spinach, basil, cilantro, peppers, artichokes, mozzarella, feta, blue cheese, cheddar cheese...

With Alfredo, pesto, red sauce, peanut sauce, olive oil and BBQ sauce.

A small sampling of the creations

 We also brought fixing's for dessert pizza (go big or go home situation) i.e. grilled fruit, nutella, chocolate, toasted nuts and strawberries. Connie also made a banana pound cake that was then grilled and served under the fruit.

Mag's Pizza Dough
1 1/2c Flour
1/2c very warm water
1 Tbs oil
1 package yeast

Combine all ingredients and knead for 4 minutes.
Let rise for 10 mins, covered.
Roll out dough, oil both sides and put on grill. Grill one side, put your sauce/toppings on the grilled side then put it back on the grill.

Thai Chicken Pizza

Peanut Sauce
1/2 stick butter
2 cloves of garlic- minced
2 tsp dried red pepper (or more, depending on your heat preference)
1/2 c crunchy peanut butter
1 Tbs soy sauce
1/2 can chicken broth
1/4 c orange juice

- saute the butter, garlic and red pepper
- whisk in the peanut butter and soy sauce
- mix in the chicken broth and orange juice

Note- this makes more sauce then you'll need for the pizza. I ate the rest with a spoon, but I hear it's good on noodles.

The Pizza

You'll need:
Pizza dough
Diced Chicken
1 carrot- grated
3 green onions- chopped
1 red pepper- chopped
Fresh Basil- minced
Fresh Cilantro- minced
Bean Sprouts
Chopped Peanuts

- Saute the chicken in the peanut sauce (or you could marinate it in the peanut sauce overnight, and then saute it. I didn't have the forethought)
- Spread the peanut sauce on the crust (grilled side)
- Put the chicken, mozzarella, onions, carrots and red pepper on the crust. Grill until crust is done and cheese is melted.
- Sprinkle the bean sprouts, basil, cilantro and peanuts over the pizza.

Music arena- there were some competing playlists between Alex and Val. The former's including Lady Gaga, TI and co. The latter's was a Pandora station of The Rapture.
It was an interesting mix.

Friday, May 27, 2011


Hey, y'all.

I'm going to attempt to live blog my trip to B-ham on my twitter. You can follow the adventure by following me! @automaticmags

Listening to: Lady Gaga's new album, trying to figure out if I like it or not.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Chana Masala

I had some friends over for dinner the other night and made the following Chana (Chickpea) Masala.

But first, a tangent:

I really love to entertain/play host, almost to a fault.

It's actually good that I can only have dinner parties when I house sit (which is still pretty frequent), because if I could, I would overdose on hosting and probably go Stepford Wife all over everything.

What I'm trying to say is, give me the chance/space and I'll make dinner. You bring the wine.

So... Chana Masala- the recipe was thought up on the fly and it's a pretty bastardized version of masala, but it gets the job done.

You'll Need:

2 tbs oil
1 onion- diced
1 yam- diced
1 potato- diced
4 cloves of garlic- minced
2 (ish) tbs fresh ginger- minced

1 tsp of:
cumin, paprika, turmeric, ground red chili, garam masala, curry powder and sugar.
-Add more red chili and curry powder if you want more of a kick
-You can buy garam masala at Rainbow Foods by the teaspoon. You can also make your own.

2 cans chick peas
1 can diced tomato's
1 cup frozen peas
2 cups fresh spinach
1 cup water (dependent on how thick you like the sauce)
1 tbs butter

-Put the onion and oil in a skillet and let the onion brown, about 7 minutes.
-Once the onion is browned, add the potato and yam and let them soften for a couple of minutes
- Throw the garlic and ginger in the skillet and let everything cook until it's fragrant.
- Add in all the spices and make sure the veges are sufficiently coated.
- Dump the chick peas (with the reserve liquid) and tomatoes into the skillet. Let everything simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Add the peas, spinach and water to the skillet, let everything simmer on low heat for 5 more minutes (or so)
- Mix the butter into the curry right before serving.

Enjoy! I made basmati rice to accompany, but this would be really good over quinoa or cous-cous too.

Nothing makes a dinner party classier than MGMT.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Summer Salad Season!

Summer in Juneau means that there is decent produce and it's available most always. Simple pleasures.

I plan on taking full advantage of this phenomenon, starting with this avocado and grapefruit salad with a lemon-balsamic dressing. (PS- I'm keeping my eye out for that vegetable cart that was by Fred's last summer, has anyone heard if they are coming back?)

It includes:
Spinach, sliced carrots, avocado, grapefruit chunks, cucumber and sliced almonds.

Lemon-Balsamic Dressing-
4 tbs Olive Oil
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste.

I was listening to our local contemporary music station- KXLL.
I'm surprised I haven't given them a shout out before now, they're pretty excellent.

The Perfect Scone: The Waffle Company

The Waffle Co had no scones.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Perfect Scone: The Rookery

It's been a while (cleanse, had to count my pennies etc...), but I finally kicked off the search.

I love The Rookery. Love it.

It's a place where:
a. I dig the atmosphere enough to spend a significant amount of time there.
b. can actually get work done.
c. They have, hands down, the best coffee in Juneau
d. They have some of the best bistro type food in Juneau
e. It goes with the atmosphere, but the owners/staff really enjoy what they do and it shows.
f. I'm all about supporting new businesses in town.
g. It's affordable for the perpetual student/intern/starving theatre artist that I am.

So it pains me, it really does....
but their scones aren't my favorite.

Let's review- the scones have to be able to be dunked in coffee and not crumble. So they must be crusty on the outside, but still light on the inside.

Don't get me wrong, the scones are still excellent, but they are very flaky, buttery and a little under worked for my taste.
On the plus side, they aren't too sweet and it's a nice serving size, if that's your thing.

Don't let this deter you. Go. Now. They are good people doing great things for the Juneau culinary experience.

And I'm looking forward to my next scone.

Spinning this week:
I'm really digging Raphael Saadiq's 'Stone Rollin''

I haven't bought the album yet, but it was on NPR's First Listen. It just dropped about a week ago and I'm not much of an R&B fan, but it's pretty old school, soulful and I want to wrap myself in his voice.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Musicmusicmusic (+ a flavored vodka teaser!)

Mags' kitchen playlist 5/11/11:

1." Go Your Own Way" Fleetwood Mac (I blame Glee.)
2. "Living in America" The Sounds
3. "Arlandria" Foo Fighters
4. "Houdini" Foster the People (If you haven't heard of Foster the People, look them up now! I've been obsessed with "Pumped Up Kicks" since last year and have total faith their upcoming album is going to be crazy-pop-awesome.)
5. "Stare Into the Sun" Graffiti6
6. "Satellite Mind" Metric
7. "Armistice" Phoenix (I once told Val the reason I liked this particular Phoenix song was because the intro reminded me of one of the levels in the Sims for DS game. I know now (mostly from her raised eyebrow) that this is not a socially acceptable way of favoring music.)
8. "Barton Hollow" Civil Wars
9. "This is Why We Fight" Decemberists (I think americana was an excellent direction for the Decemberists.)
10. "Under the Cover of Darkness" The Strokes

Coming soon...

Flavored vodka cocktails!

Val started infusing some vodka last night. One with lavender buds and the other with thai basil. We found these neat glass containers at a garage sale recently, and we bought four of them. So, expect two more flavors before too long.

Thai Basil
And we are very excited to make some fabulous summer cocktails with them.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Chocolate/Raspberry/Almond Tart

This was made for a BBQ/dessert auction/benefit for Generator Theatre Company , a company I just recently worked with.
If I remember correctly, it went for 50 bucks. And no, my parents did not buy it.

Again, it's adapted from Bon Appetit, I made just a couple of changes.

You'll need:
- 1 1/4 c finely ground chocolate wafer cookies.
- 5 TBS melted unsalted butter

- 6 oz almond paste (can be found in the baking aisle of your local Fred Meyer)
- 6 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped.
- 1/2 c heavy whipping cream
- 3 half-pint baskets of fresh raspberries
- 2 TBS seedless raspberry jam
- 2 tsp brandy (recipe calls for kirsch, but this could not be found in the booze section of the local Freddy's).
- toasted, sliced almonds.

For the crust:
Preheat the oven to 350
Mix the cookies and butter in a bowl and stir until it's beginning to stick together.
Press the mixture into a thin layer on the bottom and up the sides of a 9 in tart pan with a removable bottom.
Bake the crust for 15-20 mins, until the crust is set and beginning to crisp. Cool completely.

For the filling:
Break the almond paste into crumbles and press into an even thin layer over the crust (Note- it's a little easier to work with the almond paste if your fingers are a little damp).
Simmer the cream
Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and let it sit for 1 minute. Then stir until combined.
Pour the ganache evenly over the almond paste.
Chill until chocolate is cold- at least 4 hours.

For the topping:
Arrange the raspberries, pointed side up over the top of the tart.
Stir the jam and booze over low heat until blended and warm.
Brush the glaze over the berries.
Sprinkle the almonds around the edge of the tart.

Using a small, sharp knife, gently loosen the crust from the edge of the tart pan. Push the pan bottom up to free the tart (Probably the hardest part of this).

The best part of this was having the empty plate handed back to me while still at the event. The recipient literally "put her face in that"

Spinning: It's a sort-of-oldie but-goodie. The National's High Violet , released a year ago.
It's solid and "majestically mopey."
You can't go wrong with the National and I don't feel the need to justify.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Drunk Blog: Cornbread

When drinking, it is essential to prep the perfect end of the night meal. In my case, it is cornbread.
I can think of no better way to end a night out than with a nice slice of Southern Comfort (drink and bread).

It's pretty easy to make, especially with the pre-made mix.

Note- please don't try home-made cornbread while in this state, I've tried and reaped the consequences. Pre-made mix is the way to go.

-Preheat the oven to 375.

-Open bag of Marie Callender's Low Fat Original Cornbread Mix.
- Put 3 cups of the mix and 1 1/2 cups of water in a bowl.
- Add a "fucking shit load of honey" (Mags Shorey)
- Spray pan with Pam.
- Put mix in pan
- bake for 30 minutes.

It is necessary that the bottle is empty before you attempt such a feat as cornbread.

Music Wise- crappy 80s rock (aka sirius channel 25). Needs no explanation.

Not fuckin' around.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Cleansing, the final countdown.

Tomorrow is Day 10, the official last day! 

Things I learned:
- I can kick my caffeine addiction, but will be jumping back on that wagon ASAP. I just really love coffee. 
- Rice cakes are the best thing ever.
- Things on rice cakes (i.e. avocado, fruit, nut butter, tomatoes, cucumber, Sriracha etc..) push them to an unattainable level of awesome. 
- Quinoa for breakfast is a good thing. 
- Any drink with the title "Liver Flush" and includes olive oil, raw garlic, ginger and cayenne pepper should be avoided. Trust me. 

All jokes aside, I'm very glad I did it. It allowed me to re-evaluate my eating habits and food needs (I'm considering going vegetarian for a while), clean out my liver from the mess that was Folk Fest and discover recipes like this!

Eggplant-Quinoa Roast (From The Yoga Cookbook)

You need:
- 4 tbs sesame oil
- 12 oz Eggplant, cut into thick slices
- 2 tbs Tamari (Soy Sauce- I looked it up for you)
- 1/4 c Lemon Juice
- 1/2 c Water
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 1 c Quinoa
- 1 large bell pepper (any color), cored, seeded and chopped
- 2 zucchini, grated
- Parsley, to garnish

Preheat oven to 350
Heat the sesame oil in a skillet, then brown the eggplant slices, both sides. Put the eggplant in a baking dish. 
Combine the tamari, lemon juice, water and ginger in a bowl, then pour over the eggplant.
Bake in the oven for 10 mins, turn the eggplant over and put it back in the oven for another 10 mins. 

Put the quinoa and 2 cups water in a pan. Once it boils, turn it down and let it simmer for 10-15 mins. 
Saute the pepper and zucchini until tender, add the quinoa and mix well. 

Spoon the vege/quinoa mix over the eggplant and throw it in the oven for about 10 mins. 
Enjoy! And try not to think about how hippy you are by eating this. 

Music land:
I was just pointed in the direction of the tUnE-yArDs new album, w h o k i l l.

Go buy it. Now. 

I can't stop listening, it's funky, peppy, incredibly morbid and low key at the same time. 
I've even added it to my running playlist, which is a very exclusive a mix of Lady Gaga, really terrible disco and Daft Punk (it's the only thing that will get me through, I hate running) but somehow the vocal stylings of Merril Garbus squeeze out that extra mile.