Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Food Experiments + Mamma Mia

Hi hi hi.

So, last night, right after R. and I had just gotten home from a big grocery store trip at Le Heb, I'm dutifully arranging the 4 ingredients I use to make 80% of my meals when R. says "woman, we need to learn you some new recipes."

And I've been thinking - maybe he's right.

You see the lettuce, veggie burger, tortillas, and pasta sauce there? I compile those 4 things almost every morning and most nights to make my favorite, veggie burger tacos!

Isn't that sad? You can just tell that a grad student came up with that. But after two years since I invented it - groggily, before Victorian lit. seminar, after we had run out of coffee at home and these were the only ingredients in the refrigerator - it's still pretty good. Tasty, really.

But I think it might be time to explore the exciting world lying just beyond the texturized soy protein horizon. Such as fish? Fruits? Vegetables? Dare to dream!

So I'm starting a weekly segment here called "Food Experiments." I'm actually a pretty healthy gal - just lazy. R. is definitely the cook in this household. Our roomate Caleb wanders in and makes a frozen pizza from time to time, so there's that, and I just showed you the only thing I know how to make. It's time, as R. wisely instructed, to learn me some more.

The reason behind the veggie burger tacos' undeniable staying power is that they are so freaking easy: 4 ingredients, 5 minutes, BREAKFAST! (Has anyone ever heard of the book A Man, A Can, A Plan? If so you can see where I'm going with this). I want Food Experiments to have roughly the same criteria as the tacos: let's set the bar low. If there is "prep" involved, then, no. Ix-nay on the julienning of tomatoes. Negatory on woven pie crusts. The beauty of writing restaurant reviews is that you can pay the real geniuses to do stuff like that for you. While Food Experiments, on the other hand, will be just that - hey, let's put these 4 things together and see if they taste good. Let's spend 5 minutes doing it. Ready? Ok go.

So I'll try to think of something easy and fun next week to share. And if you guys have any "Food Experiments" - remember, minimal ingredients and prep time people - I am all ears.

Moving on - I'm going to see Mamma Mia tomorrow night!

It's been quite the movie week. It's Steph's birthday on Friday, and we work north, so we're going to Manuels at the Arboretum and then onto Regal Arbor Great Hills for the 8:00 of Mamma. Let's check in with the critics, shall we?

From the esteemed Kenneth Turan, at the Los Angeles Times:

"In the transition to film the "Mamma Mia!" brain trust just couldn't resist overloading the story with unneeded improvements. Lured by the siren song of a Hollywood budget, they allowed themselves to be fooled into thinking that bigger -- more singers! more dancers! more bad jokes! -- would automatically be better. It's not necessarily so."

The bottom line? He gave it a C, y'all!

But lest we forget, there's Meryl Streep. So it can't really fail as a movie, now can it? I'll offer my thoughts soon.


Amy Strecker said...

I can see where a critic might think Mama Mia is a bit awful, but I loved every minute of it and you will too!

courtney disabato said...

hey tolly!
i stumbled onto your blog one day and it cracks me up...particularly your posting re: AHHS...all i can say is :-/
Anyway...i have little recipe i like to call white trash pizza...
-one can tomato paste (not sauce or anything fancy...just HEB brand paste)
-shredded cheese
-whole wheat tortillas (already one of your staples apparently...i love them because they take forever to get moldy)
-any other toppings you might like- i usually use some peppers out of a jar or some pepperoni maybe? you could do vegetarian crumbles or olives or whatever...

So just spread some tomato paste on the tortilla, then add cheese and toppings...

Ok, so the best part about this recipe is that it doesn't even require an oven (my oven does not's part of the "charm: of my south austin bungalow) I use a toaster oven for this...I set to Broil setting and let it heat up for a few minutes.
Then pop the "pizza" in and cook til the cheese melts and the edges get a little might be like 10 minutes...or my perception of time might be totally incorrect, so best to watch it the first time!

Anyway, it is DELISH.

Long time no see....hope all is well!

Tolly M said...

Hi Amy!! You're right - I did love it. But then, girls do love excess! Ok, how hard did I laugh at your "Las Chicas Malas Por Vida" email?? Memories!!

Well hey there Courtney! Thanks for the Food Experiment suggestion - yours shall be the very first recipe I make! Look for it on Thursday? I'll take a picture and you tell me whether I've butchered it or not. ;)

Jason said...

Putting cereal on a peanut butter sandwich gives it that much needed crunch without adding anything pointless. Like iceberg lettuce.

Tolly M said...

Ah, now that's a smart thought Jason. Whereas normally cereal would fall right out of a sandwich, the stickiness of the peanut butter holds it in place? Am I right about that?

Am thinking flakes, or something else flat, would work best on sandwich. But there I am at a loss. Cinnamon Toast Crunch? Bran flakes? Cheerios would just be all wrong.