City Gay and Country Gay

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

More Famous

This post at The Amateur Gourmet makes me feel more famous than having Grandma's recipe listed on Key Ingredient.

Almost Famous

A fancy recipe site has the spritz cookie recipe.

Grandma's Spritz Cookies

This was a cookie my grandma used to make during ...

See Grandma's Spritz Cookies on Key Ingredient.

Friday, June 20, 2008

By the way...

City Gay, you haven't blogged since February. I mean honestly. I'm sure our reader would like to hear from you. Unless you haven't been eating since February and just been living on the General's Juice; then, I guess you have probably turned into pineapple-infused vodka.

An original dish for the pasta file

Dear City Gay:

I've been struggling lately. It's five days until payday, I'm running out of food, and I'm tired of using my credit card to buy groceries. I started digging through my cupboard to avoid running to Sonic for a quick meal. I decided I had enough fixings for spaghetti, but I decided to alter it a bit by using some cream and vodka in the sauce. I have no idea what the exact measurements were, so the following recipe is a total guestimate.

This part's easy. Put water in a pot, throw in some salt, wait for the water to boil, and throw in spaghetti. Duh.

1 pound hamburger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 can tomato soup (I think this is the country part; a better ingredient would probably be real tomato sauce.)
Italian seasoning
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup vodka
Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Brown the hamburger with the minced garlic.
2. Add the tomato soup, Italian seasoning (maybe three tablespoons - I eye-balled this and just kept tasting the sauce), cream, and vodka. I also added about a ladle of the pasta water. Let this simmer for about 1o minutes (or long enough for the strong vodka taste and smell to tone down).
3. Drain pasta, and add the pasta to the sauce.
4. Toss with about 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese.

Serve with grated Parmesan.

Yields: A crapload. Seriously, I'll be eating this for days.

I don't have a picture of it because, frankly, a picture wouldn't have been very exciting, and I was really hungry, so I didn't waste time photographing the meal.

I was surprised how good it was, but because I'm getting rounder by the day, I avoided seconds. I think the cream helps temper the taste and obviously creates a creamy tomato sauce. The vodka taste is subtle. I may not have let the vodka cook off enough because my head feels pretty good. (However, I'm also drinking wine right now, so that is the more likely culprit.) I imagine this would be better using a real tomato sauce, rather than a can of soup, and with fresh herbs, rather than the dried Italian seasoning.

This spaghetti was good in a pinch, and perhaps with a bit of fine-tuning, this could be a pretty good meal.

Country Gay

Friday, June 6, 2008

Hey, cupcake.

Dear City Gay:

It's been awhile. I hope you are recovering from illness and your gambling addiction. Maybe something sweet will brighten your life, and Paula Deen's cheesecake cupcakes could do the trick.

For the traditional end of the year party at which my clique bitches about the end of the school year, I decided to bring a dessert. I thought cupcakes sounded fun, and I thought cheesecake sounded delicious, so thank God Paula Deen combines the two!

The cupcakes are really easy to make, though I found them a bit frustrating. I didn't let the first batch bake long enough, and they pretty much deflated when I took them out of the oven to glaze. However, I discovered this didn't affect the taste or texture. I was more pleased with the second batch that had a nice golden brown color, but they also deflated a bit. I guess the deflation was good so that the glaze would fit nicely, but I was afraid they would just completely sink and be disgusting looking. But after refrigerating for a day and garnishing with fruit, I have to say the were quite tasty.

A bit of the evidence with the recipe to follow:

I bought a new hand mixer just to make these. I imagined the hand mixer my parents received as a wedding gift just wasn't going to cut it any more. The batter is easy to make and full of cream cheese and sugar. My teeth may have rotted a bit just by reading the recipe.

Right out of the oven, the cupcakes don't look incredibly special, even with the glaze. I had a couple of problems with taking them out of the muffin tin, which meant I had to eat a couple. Note: these don't really taste good until they are completely cooled and chilled. They are a bit eggy/custardy when still warm.

I think the fresh raspberries and blueberries make these nice individual desserts and definitely add a summer flair.

Recipe from Paula Deen & Friends: Living it Up, Southern Style
Three 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Kiwi or strawberry slivers, fruit topping or jam, blueberries or raspberries for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line 24 regular muffin cups with paper cupcake liners.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until very smooth. Add the sugar and mix well. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well.
3. Fill the cups about half full with the batter. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the cupcakes are set and golden brown.
4. Make the topping: Combine the sour cream, sugar, and vanilla and stir well with a metal spoon or spatula. Spoon about a teaspoon on top of each cupcake and return to the oven for 5 minutes to glaze.
5. Remove the cupcakes from the oven. When they can be handled safely, remove them from the muffin tins and let cool completely on wire racks. When complete cool, place them in plastic containers with lids and refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, decorate with slivers of freshly cut seasonal fruit, jam, or fruit topping, or 1 or 2 whole brlueberries or raspberries. Serve at room temperature.

Makes 2 dozen.

The cupcakes seemed to go over well, and I came home with just a few, which I'm sure I'll snarf down tomorrow for breakfast.

On a side note, I had my first escargot tonight. I can't say it was amazing, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. The taste was good. (It was served on a mushroom with some sort of breading; it was kind of buttery tasting.) The texture was a bit iffy, but it was pretty much like eating a clam or mussel.

Hope to see you back in the kitchen soon.

Love always,
Country Gay

Monday, May 5, 2008

Photo Test

Dear City Gay:

My new digital camera has a food setting, so I tested it out at Red Robin this weekend.

The picture is fine and so was the hamburger smothered in bleu cheese. The onion straws on the burger were kind of soggy, though, which made made for an unintended chewiness. I'm sure the burger was completely unhealthy, but whatev.

Now perhaps I'll get back into the cooking mode. Yeah, it was the lack of a good camera that was keeping me from cooking. Yeah, that's it.

Country Gay

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Saffron and Fire

Dear City Gay:

Here's an update on the outcome of Evin's birthday dinner. Since you were a virtual part of the grocery shopping experience, you need to know how everything went.

The meal, which came from the Vincent Price cookbook, consisted of a simple pea salad, steak flambeaux with a mustard sauce, risotto, and asparagus. Bread pudding provided a down-home, comfort dessert.

There were two notable parts of the meal: the ingredients for the risotto and the flambeaux.

First, the risotto called for a teaspoon of saffron. I had never paid much attention to saffron, but Jeff and I discovered we almost had to whore ourselves out in Fred Meyer to be able to afford one jar of this stuff. Rare and difficult to procure, saffron costs about $20 for a ridiculously small amount. Usually, spices fill the spice jar, but saffron is in a small bag inside the spice jar. I'm sure the teaspoon of saffron added something invaluable to the risotto, but beyond the lovely color, I'm not sure it added much to the taste.

Secondly, was the setting of the steak on fire. I'm fascinated and horrified by setting food on fire on purpose. I'm not sure exactly what was added to the steak (sprinkled with sage and rosemary) by setting them on fire, but it was certainly a spectacular sight. We cooked the steaks in two batches, and I wasn't watching Jeff when the second batch was flambeed; however, since my back was to the stove, I certainly felt it. Apparently, the flames were quite the sight.

Overall, the meal was a success, and I think Jeff and I need to open a Vincent Price restaurant, where he works as head chef, and I'm sous chef. We are talking about doing a Vincent Price meal monthly, which could actually keep this blog alive.

Sorry there are no pictures. One diner suggested I take a picture of my stomach to show where the food went, but I politely declined with a look of horror that there was no way I was putting a picture of my stomach on the blog.

Happy eating,
Country Gay

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Monday, March 3, 2008

I Taste Like Snozzberries

I only got 13 out of 20 correct on the candy quiz.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Petits Pains au Chocolat

Chere homosexuelle de ville,

Using this recipe from Bon Appetit (via, I made small versions of pain au chocolat.

I believe pain au chocolat is one of France's greatest contributions to the world. I salivate at the memory of stopping by the bakery down the street from the Hotel St. Lambert to get a fresh pain au chocolat before wandering the streets of Paris. I have been able to get chocolate croissants on other travels, especially when visiting City Gay and going to Cafe Verite or stopping at the French bakery near the Pike Place Market, but none of these croissants ever quite match the taste of the real thing.

The recipe from Bon Appetit is simple and uses puff pastry and chocolate to create small pains au chocolat. The recipe yields 24 pieces, but I cut the pastry bigger and made a dozen. This created a doughier result, but I was afraid cutting the pastry smaller would create pain au chocolat that was too small. I used Hershey's milk chocolate, which, in retrospect, wasn't the best decision but it was handy. For further attempts at this, I will probably use a dark chocolate with a more refined quality than Hershey's. Nutella could also be an interesting filling choice.

Bon appetit, homosexuelle de ville!

Grosses bises,
Homosexuel de campagne

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Thanks, Daily Soup

Tonight I made Daily Soup's winter minestrone for Bill, Bug, and the Foxes. I'd never had minestrone, let alone realized how easy it is to make. When I first saw the recipe called for cabbage and butternut squash, I couldn't imagine how the soup would taste, but after mixing everything together and adding the homemade pesto (Who knew this was incredibly easy to make, too?), the strong taste of pesto, garlic, and thyme was shining through. I probably could have eaten several bowls of this, but I held off.

While I don't own the Daily Soup cookbook, I really should. It's a winter staple for soup making with friends. While some recipes may seem complicated, the pay off of a good, solid soup is worth the time and effort of using a lot of ingredients. Go here to buy the cook book.

Here is the recipe for the winter minestrone:

2 Tbs olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 head cabbage, preferably Savoy, chopped
2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 bunch fresh basil stems (leaves removed), tied together with string
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
8 cups basic vegetable stock
1 butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 red potatoes, cut into 1inch cubes
3 Tbs tomato paste
1 (3-inch) piece Parmesan cheese rind
2 cups uncooked spinach radiatore pasta, or any spiral pasta
1 cup prepared basil pesto*
1/2 cup chopped scallions

Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sweat for 4 minutes, until tender.

Add the cabbage and sweat for 4 minutes, until wilted.

Add the thyme, basil stems, salt, and pepper and stir to coat the vegetables. Add the stock, squash, potatoes, tomato paste, and Parmesan rind and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the pasta and cook for 10 minutes, until tender.

To serve, remove the basil stems and Parmesan rind, ladle the soup into bowls, and top with a dollop of pesto and the chopped scallions.

*Pesto Recipe

1 1/2 cups packed basil leaves (Use the leaves from the stems you put in the soup.)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
2 cloves garlic
salt to taste
1/2 cup olive oil

Put basil leaves, cheese, pine nuts, garlic, and salt in a blender or food processor and blend until ground. While blending, add the olive oil steadily until the mixture becomes a fine paste.

(Before going to the store to buy ingredients for the soup I suggested buying pesto, but this really is so easy to make that it's just silly to not make homemade pesto sauce.)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Only in my Dreams

I want to eat like this.