Monday, October 31, 2016

Breakfast with the Murder Demon: the Last Meal of H.H. Holmes, America's First Serial Killer {Serial Killer Supper Series, Part IV}

Choosing the final killer for my Serial Killer Supper series - at least for October; frankly, I'm having too much fun to stop forever - was no easy task. I don't know if you've noticed, but there is no shortage of crazed murderers in this world. That said, how could I resist featuring Herman Webster Mudgett, aka Dr. Henry Howard Holmes aka H.H. Holmes,  the man billed as "America's First Serial Killer?"

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Pungent Pretty Things: Wild Garlic (Ramp) Hazlenut Pesto from "Garlic" by Jenny Linford

The Guardian recently ran a piece with which I wholeheartedly concur: "The Book is Back: Only the Technodazzled Thought They Would Go Away."  Ebook sales are on the way down, and people are discovering (or rediscovering) what I knew all along -- there is no replacement for the tactile pleasure of holding a real, solid, crispy-paged, yummy-smelling book in your hand.

Though I don't have the data to back it up, I think the over-saturation of food blogs -- combined with, let's face it, the many blogs of ... erm, dubious ... quality -- has probably helped boost hard copy cookbook sales as well. Even the most lush, gorgeous, recipe-tested blog or Web site can't (in my mind) hold a candle to the visceral pleasure of paging through a beautifully-photographed cookbook.

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Count of Monte Pancake: A Sweet and Savory Treat for National Pancake Day (and a Hungry Jack/T-Fal Giveaway)

I was compensated with product for this post, though the views expressed are all my own
Update: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to the winner, Jackie! 

It seems as if there's a food holiday for everything. If, say, you want to take off work to observe National Wiener Schnitzel Day, then please mark your calendars for September 9. Or if you'd like to arrange your next vacation around a month-long celebration of salad, vinegar, or hamburgers, make sure to request your paid time off for the month of May.

Meanwhile, I am considering declaring my adherence to a pancake religion of some kind (it's as good as any) as this February 17 is National Pancake Day and I could really use a day off. Mind you, I have no quibble with a pancake holiday whatsoever, especially given the fact that I've been invited to celebrate it - and T-Fal's 60th anniversary - by the folks at Hungry Jack and T-Fal.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Spiced Spatchcoked Cornish Game Hens (Ground 2 Table Sponsored Post) ... and a mea culpa

This post is sponsored by Ground 2 Table, though the views expressed herein are entirely my own
 I suck. That's not really the recommended way to begin a sponsored post, but the fact is I am shockingly late in posting this. The Ground 2 Table people contancted me months - months! - ago and I dutifully promised that I would post about their product (though I did not make any promises as to what I would say) in exchange for product samples.

And I made a lovely roast chicken with the fresh single-use packet of herbs they sent me. And it was very pretty and the herbs were lovely and ...

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Breakfast of Champions: Johnsonville Breakfast Sausage in a Butternut Squash, Gouda, and Herb Frittata and a Potato, Squash, and Kale Hash

This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Johnsonville sausages. The opinions, words, thoughts, and ideas are 100% my own. 

"Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” 
                                                               - Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

It turns out all I needed to break my one-year-plus blogging hiatus was an offer of some free sausage. 

Of course, when the folks at Johnsonville Sausage contacted me to find out if I'd like to create a breakfast or brunch recipe featuring their sausages to share here on Tasty Trix I went through an existential crisis and tormented myself for over a month deciding whether I would do it. ... Oh wait, that's the narrative I told myself ... to add drama.  What actually happened was, I said "yes" right away. Given that this would include two things I love - sausages and breakfast/brunch - it wasn't that hard.  And I came up with not one but two recipes for your eating pleasure. 

I should mention that as part of their campaign, Johnsonville wants to encourage parents to create kid-friendly breakfasts and get their kids involved in the kitchen. That's a great goal to be sure, but I am not, never have been, and never plan to be a parent. Cats are the maximum responsibility for another life that I desire. I do, however, have a boyfriend and I think many will agree that it's not entirely different than having a kid in many ways, so don't let my kid-free kitchen stop you from trying this out on yours if you have them - I would have scarfed this up as a child. My boyfriend and I sure did, despite being what you might call grown ups. Technically, anyway. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

A Retro-Tastic Recipe Event for the 4th and Beyond: Corn & Bologna Boots!

Hey kids! There's still a lot of picnic and barbecue time left in this holiday weekend, and you can't make a better personal culinary choice than creating a genuine, authentic piece of edible Americana, like these irresistible corn and bologna boots. I can assure you, they're every bit as good as they look. This hot mixture ain't your grandpa's stuff. 

Do you want to surprise and delight your friends and family this July 4th? Of course you do! And you will if you show up at the annual picnic with a big pile of corn and bologna boots, a dish that truly symbolizes America's forgotten culinary past and spirit of enterprise. Just imagine the smiles and looks of shock on everyone's face when you present them with this  hot "knife and fork" sandwich instead of that boring old red-white-and-blue cake you usually bring!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Convict Curry Three-In-One: A Murdering Child, a Benedict Cumberbatch Movie, & My Move to London

The next time someone asks me why I don't want children, I will lower my voice, lean in, and whisper these two words: Mary Bell. To those who maintain that children are angelic bundles of joy, Bell stands as the exception that proves there really is no such rule at all.

In 1968, just a day shy of her 11th birthday, Bell strangled a four year old boy in her home town of Newcastle-upon-Tyne; just a few months later she (possibly with the assistance of a friend)  murdered a three-year-old boy, Martin, by the same method, afterwards inscribing the letter "M" on his stomach with scissors. These are horrible murders to be sure; but perhaps even more disturbing was Bell's apparent lack of remorse or concern, a psychopathic trait that should be familiar to regular readers of my Macabre Meals  and Serial Killer Supper series.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Dining with the Doctor: Charles Dickens' Own Christmas Punch for a Doctor Who Regeneration Party

Tick tock goes the clock 
And all the years they fly
Tick tock and all too soon
You and I must die

Tick tock goes the clock 
We laughed at fate and mourned her
Tick tock goes the clock 
Even for the Doctor
(from "Night Terrors") 

All Whovians know the true meaning of Christmas: the annual Doctor Who special. And this is particularly true this year. Not only is 2013 the 50th anniversary of the iconic BBC show, but in this year's special, "The Time of the Doctor," the 11th Doctor, played by Matt Smith, will regenerate into a new one, Peter Capaldi's 12th Doctor.  Now that's a Christmas birth I can get excited about.

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Bee's Knees Cocktail: Velma West, the Hammer Murderess {Macabre Meals & Dastardly Drinks}

In my post about Anna Marie Hahn, aka the Blonde Borgia, I discussed the origins and the rise of the female poisoner as a cultural archetype. And while it is more or less true that poisoners tend to be women, certainly not all murderesses are poisoners. Take Velma West, the Hammer Murderess; or, as newspapers of the time dubbed her, "A 12 O'Clock Girl in a 9 O'Clock Town."

In 1926 - the height of the Prohibition era in the U.S. - the 20-year-old West, nee Velma Van Woert - was working as a shopgirl in Cleveland, Ohio. She became engaged to a much older man, but broke it off abruptly after meeting her future husband, Eddie West, at a picnic. She married Eddie and moved from her beloved Jazz Age city of Cleveland to the small, repressive rural area of Lake County, Ohio.

Things did not go well for her.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Roast Bone Marrow with Parsley Salad {Macabre Meals}

I enjoyed researching, cooking, writing - and of course eating - my October Serial Killer Supper series so very much that I've decided to continue with it indefinitely. And because the space where death, culture, and food intersects is so vast, I'm expanding the category. Under the umbrella of "Macabre Meals" I'll be exploring all sorts of dark and lovely things. Real murderers, fictional killers, history, scandal, myth, and more. It's going to be so much fun!

As luck would have it, this month's Creative Cooking Crew Challenge, hosted by the lovely Joan of Foodalogue and Lazaro of Lazaro Cooks, has dovetailed nicely with my current preoccupation. The task: Create an appetizer for Thanksgiving, something for guests to enjoy before the main feast.