AND THE WINNER IS…

The wait is finally over, pop tarts!

The winner of the First Ever Haiku Ambulance (x Dresslily) Giveaway is:

Dresslily Giveaway Winner

Haiku Ambulance

Haiku Ambulance

Haiku Ambulance

ESREF!

Congratulations, Esref. I will be emailing you shortly for details.

And a big thank you to the gals at Dresslily and all of you wonderful creatures for playing.

I promise you’ll win next time.

Some Things You Probably Haven’t Seen But Should

Well, hello.

I wanted to share some quick little gems with you since it’s been cold as balls lately and you’ve probably been spending some legitimate quality time with your couch.

This first one we can all thank my father for. A few years ago he would not shut up about OSS 117 (that’s cent dix sept, you yankees). “You have to watch it. Have you watched it? Watch it. It’s hilarious. Ohmygod it’s so funny, tell me you watched it.” Ryan and I finally got around to watching them a year or so ago (there are two total) and seriously: WATCH THIS SHIT. It’s Jean DuJardin as a ridiculous, crass, joke of a James Bond, set in the sixties. They could not be funnier and I would give away my savings if they would make more. We’ve watched them each at least twice.

Both movies are available on Netflix streaming.

And I swear to God, if this poster doesn’t convince you then just go ahead and close this tab right now.

OSS 117

Now, I give you the strangest little trinket that Ryan and I happened upon the other night when trying to remember who the fuck sang that 90s song that goes:

AND I SAID HEEEEEEEEEEEEYYY

HEYYYYYYYYYYYYY.

I said HEY.

WHAT’S GOIN’ ON.

You know the song.

Well. It’s Four Non-Blondes and the song is called What’s Up and none of that matters, because this:

You’re welcome.

And since we know each other so well, I am pretty stinkin’ sure we’re all watching Sherlock, but just in case we aren’t watching Sherlock, this is a really great time to remind ourselves that we should definitely be watching Sherlock.

Sherlock

Definitely.

And finally, as we as a planet mourn the loss of Philip Seymour Hoffman, my pick for your PSH retrospective is Happiness by Todd Solondz.

060424_happiness2_hmed_2phmedium

It’s not for the squeamish, intolerant, or children.

But holy hell is it a good fucking movie.

Enjoy your couches, friends.

And let me know your weirdo viewing recommendations.

Please.

Oh, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway, you beautiful creature, you.

Get Ready To Get

Oh, you guys I’m so excited I could just squeal.

 drumroll please

It’s time for the first ever Haiku Ambulance Giveaway.

The folks at Dresslily.com have been kind enough to offer one of my delightful readers a very sweet treat.

So get comfy, take your shoes off, and take a look at these fine items hand picked by yours truly.

Here’s how to win:

1. Choose your favorite item of the following six

2. Leave a link to it in the comments

3. Don’t forget to mention your color choice (if applicable) and size

4. Be sure to include your email so that I may contact you when you win!

Option 1: These freaking adorable gloves for keeping winter fingers warm.
Fashion Button Embellished Colored Gloves For Women

Option 2: A feminine, floral scoop neck blouse for the lady in you.

Floral Blouse Giveaway

Option 3: Your new Weekend Hoodie (it has thumb holes!).

Hoodie

Option 4:  This neon, Serious Statement necklace to make all of your shirts more exciting.

Neon Statement Necklace

Option 5: Everybody’s favorite trendy Origami Skorts.

Origami Skort

Option 6: This gorgeous Anthropogie-esque Gem Necklace.

Big emerald gem necklace

Now, take one more look at those rules to be sure you’ll be properly entered and then leave a comment below so that you can win!

And before you go, let’s all give a big THANK YOU to our friends at Dresslily and peruse their amazing deals here while we wait to find out who won.

This giveaway will be open until Thursday, February 20th (you have a whole month, guys!) and a winner will be chosen at random and announced on Friday, February 21st.

Some Things That Are Haunting My Brain

Hi.

Here are some things that are haunting my brain lately.

1. David Lynch on Louie. This scene has played in my mind at least once daily since I saw this episode (S3, Ep11). It is so perfect, so surreal. I don’t think I’ll ever get over it.

2. Joe Lo Truglio

Guess what? It’s Joe Lo TruGlio

All my life, he has been Joe Lo Trulio, pronunciation-wise. WRONG.

The G is not silent.

Joe lo TruGlio

And in related news…

3. It’s Yorma Tackoney

NOT Jorma Taconne.

So.

Yikes.

It's Jorma Taccone, but forget English while I explain this.

Wonder how many people I’ve said those names to who knew the truth but didn’t tell me.

Ewwwwww.

Drinking Thanks

 

Hello friends.

I hope you are all well and warm and full from the holiday.

Thanksgiving is one of my absolute favorite days of the year and this year was no exception. In fact, it was maybe the best yet.

And I must say, the icing on the cake was the holiday cocktail that Ryan and I created for the festivities.

Seeing as the entire Holiday Season officially starts when Santa floats by in the Macy’s Day Parade, it was only right that we paid homage to our favorite, most-likely-sauced-each-year anchorman, Al Roker.

So it is with great pride that I present to you:

THE ROKER:

The Roker \\ Stetson Bourbon

TO MAKE IT:

1.5 oz Stetson Bourbon

1 0z Apple Cider

1 tsp Brown Sugar

Dash of Angostura Bitters

Dash of Cinnamon over ice

SHAKE

Strain into your favorite rocks glass with ice ( and optional, but highly recommended: candied ginger)

Garnish with rosemary sprig and three whole cloves

\\\

You guys.

This drink is so herbaceous and wintry it smells like the christmas of your dreams.

The unique Stetson Bourbon is really the MVP here, so I highly suggest grabbing a bottle.

Might as well buy a hat for the bartender, while you’re at it.

CHEERS!

Sneaks

 Hello and howdy.

Two days and counting, my friends.

Thought I’d share two little sneak peeks into our Thanksgiving plans.

Chanterelles \\ Haiku Ambulance

I just picked up these gorgeous chanterelle mushrooms and cannot wait to use them in my gravy, and maybe share some with the salad.

They were just so sexy I couldn’t resist.

Hand-Embroidered Napkins \\ Haiku Ambulance

And I’ve been dusting off my embroidery skills to personalize everyone’s napkin.

I think it’s a nice touch and you can save them for your guests to use each year, adding names as your family grows.

I can’t wait.

And if I don’t see you before the Big Day, please have a fucking awesome Thanksgiving and/or Hanukkah.

Please.

Mini Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Cakes

Two weeks to the day, folks.

We’re almost to The Big Day.

This means I’ve been spending my evenings testing out gluten free sweet treats that will be suitable for Thanksgiving.

I’ll save you the grudge work and present you with the winning recipe.

There was no question.
Mini Pumpkin Spice Cakes \\ Gluten Free

Mini [Gluten Free] Pumpkin Spice Cakes

This recipe has been adapted from Country Living to be gluten free and miniature. The original is here.

WHAT WE NEED:

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted Butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed dark brown Sugar
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin purée (PRO TIP: Buy a big can so you have enough for the frosting)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups Betty Crocker Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

WHAT WE DO:

Preheat to 350˚

Generously coat the sides and bottoms of 8-20 small ramekins or brulee cups with softened butter. I used these, which are available at Crate and Barrel for a mere $1.95 ea. I made eight mini cakes, PLUS one 9″ sheet cake with this recipe.

Next, cream the butter until smooth in a large bowl with an electric mixer set on medium speed- if you have a standing mixer (yay!) then use it. Add the sugars and mix until smooth. Add your eggs one at a time, beating well after each, until the mixture is smooth and light. Set it aside. In a medium bowl, combine the pumpkin purée, buttermilk, and vanilla and set that shit aside, too. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and nutmeg in a large bowl and set aside. In thirds, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture to the butter mixture, blending well after each addition until smooth. This step can get a little messy, so be an adult and move your machinery out of the way (lift your paddle attachement before adding ingredients) before half of your stuff flies onto the walls and you have to start over.

Pour your beautiful batter into your ramekins/cake pans. I filled the ramekins nearly to the top.

Put those puppies in the oven for  30-40 minutes or until the cake gods say it’s done. We appease the cake gods by inserting a toothpick into our cake. The cake gods bless us with a clean toothpick. If they give us crumbs on our toothpick, it is foretold the cake needs another 3-5 minutes.

When they’re ready, let them cool on racks for at least 45 minutes before frosting.

FROSTING?!

Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Cake

 

PUMPKIN CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

WHAT WE NEED:

1 package (8oz) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup pumpkin purée
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted Butter, softened
1 tablespoon fresh orange (or lemon) juice
1 teaspoon grated orange (or lemon) zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, SIFTED

WHAT WE DO:

Blend the cream cheese, pumpkin purée, butter, orange (or lemon) juice, zest, and vanilla in a large bowl using an electric mixer set at medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar and continue to beat until light and creamy — about 5 more minutes.

Once the cakes have cooled, begin to gently lift them out of the ramekins. I did some light lifting and then turned them over, having the cakes gently fall into my hand.

Once loosened, fully remove the cakes and cut each in half, horizontally.

Reinsert the bottom half into the ramekin and spread a good spoonful of the frosting onto it, spreading it evenly so it covers the entire layer. Top it with your “cake top” and frost away.

While this layer-cake step is optional, it will give your guests a little surprise and a lot of extra yumminess.

Now hide them from your family and eat them all.
Gluten Free Mini Pumpkin Spice Cakes

And feel free to take some stress off your plate and make them in advance because they’re safe to live in the fridge for up to four days.

YOU’RE WELCOME.

Spaghetti Squash Ratatouille Bake [Gluten Free + Vegetarian]

Welcome to what is now a food blog?

I don’t quite know.

Does it really matter?

Gluten Free Ratatouille Bake \\ Haiku Ambulance

So, this year will be my first time hosting Thanksgiving.

It’s all on me, folks. And I am so fucking excited.

And I guess I’m pretty blessed to be part of the generation that gets to host Thanksgiving after the invention of Pinterest.

I’ve got all sorts of awesome ideas rattling around.

 But one of our guests is a vegetarian and so I’m in the process of testing out veg-friendly entrees on his behalf.

I refuse to serve him just a bunch of side dishes, so I want to find an amazing entree that is warm, comforting, hearty, and autumnal.

Veg Test Round One:

Spaghetti Squash Ratatouille Bake

WHAT WE NEED

1 small-medium spaghetti squash

1 small eggplant, chopped

2 ripe tomatoes, chopped

1 onion, cut into small wedges

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 yellow bell pepper, chopped

1 zucchini, chopped

2/3 cup button mushroom, sliced

2 tbsp tomato paste

3 tbsp water

1tsp olive oil

1 tbsp shredded basil to garnish

2-4 tbsp crumbled goat cheese

Gluten Free Ratatouille \\ Haiku Ambulance

WHAT WE DO

PREHEAT OVEN TO 400˚

Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan. Add the onion, garlic, and eggplant, stirring frequently for 3 minutes.

Add the peppers and zucchini and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Now, get all of your frustrations out by stabbing the shit out of that spaghetti squash, all over, with a fork. Then maybe stab (pierce) it 4-6 times with a paring knife as well. Then pop that puppy in the microwave for 20 minutes and faghettaabouttit. Once done, let it sit for about five minutes before slicing it lengthwise and removing the seeds.

Now mix your tomato paste and water together and add to your pot, bringing to a boil. Then reduce the heat and let simmer 10 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and mushroom and let simmer for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Once ready, drain the ratatouille using a wooden spoon or spatula– what I’m saying is: get as much liquid out as you can by pouring, there’s no need to use a colander. Once you have gotten as much liquid out as you can, add the spaghetti squash to your ratatouille pot. I used pretty much all of my squash for a drier end result, but you could use less for a more stew-like bake. Totally up to you, dude. Stir it up so that it’s all incorporated and then you can put it into one big casserole dish, or several smaller ones for you and your cats.

Using a spoon, make a divot into the bake and crack and egg. If using one big casserole dish, or crock, make several divots and add several eggs.

Sprinkle goat cheese and bake for 12 minutes.

Garnish with basil and probably more goat cheese.

YUM.

Pan Seared Tuna with Cream-Braised Cabbage [Gluten Free]

 

Hello.

I came to brag about last night’s delicious gluten free dinner.

Sadly, I only took one photo before my phone died.

But rest assured, this was fucking delicious.

Pan Seared Tuna with Cream Braised Cabbage, Gluten FreeI had these ahi steaks intimidating me from the freezer for about two weeks.

I really didn’t want to make your typical soy-something with wasabi-whatever, so I had to think outside the box.

It’s been super cold here lately so we’ve kind of been aching for warm, comfort food.

I vaguely remembered an amazing dish from an incredible restaurant I used to work at [if you find yourself -cringe- in Tampa, you should really treat yourself]. Anyway, in my recollection, Chef prepared a simple ahi steak (or perhaps a white fish) over a creamed cabbage and for as homely as it sounds, it was phenomenal. I believe he used some sauteed local carrots in the prep as well, but I did not have any. I’m also pretty sure he used savoy cabbage, while your truly used regular old cabbage cabbage.

Hence:

Pan-Seared Ahi Tuna with Cream-Braised Cabbage and Lemon Chive Oil

{SERVES 2}

WHAT WE NEED:

1 cabbage

2 ahi steaks

3 tbsp unsalted butter

2/3 cup heavy cream

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

WHAT WE DO

Begin by prepping your cabbage, removing any bruised leaves, trimming the root, and rinsing. Depending upon the size of your cabbage, you may wish to use the entire head. I used a particularly large cabbage, and ended up using about 1/3. Keeping that in mind, halve of quarter your cabbage, slicing it lengthwise into approximate 2 inch thick (on the outside) wedges.

In a large skillet, melt your butter over medium-high heat. Once melted, add the cabbage wedges, arranging them in a single layer with one of the cut sides down. Allow them to cook (undisturbed) for about 6-8 minutes, or until they are nicely browned. Then, gently turn the wedges onto their other cut side. Because I used a large cabbage, my wedges fell apart right about here. I let them brown on their second side, and then coarsely chopped them in the pan. This worked perfectly for me, but if you used a smaller cabbage you may have luck with your wedges remaining intact.

Once the second side is browned (and chopped if you preferred/had to do so), add your salt, pepper, and cream. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and reduce the heat. Allow to simmer for about 30 minutes. Remove lid and allow to simmer uncovered for a few minutes more to thicken the cream braise.

Once the cabbage is almost ready, heat your olive oil in a separate pan over med-high heat. Rinse and pat dry your ahi steaks and season one side with coarse salt and pepper. Add steaks, seasoned sides down to the pan for 2-3 minutes. Season the exposed sides of the steaks as before and flip for another 2-3 minutes for a rare/med-rare steak.

LEMON CHIVE OIL: OPTIONAL

I wanted a little something other than lemon to add a nice acidity and counterbalance to the richness of the cabbage, so I whipped up this little ditty.

1 small bundle chives

2 tbsp olive oil

1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

Throw it all in a food processor, you dingus!

Gluten Free Cupcake Experiment™ Part II

 

I hope you guys like food.

Because it’s kind of the only thing I think about/expend energy on these days.

This weekend was no exception.

Gluten Free Cupcakes

 

I decided to try the much, much, much easier route and give the highly lauded Betty Crocker’s gluten free cupcake mix a try.

Actually, I put all of my eggs in one fucking basket and bought like six boxes of it.

Glad I did, boy.

This shit was so easy.

And hands down, the best glute-a-like I’ve tasted to date.

Gluten Free Devil's Food Cupcakes

 

I decided to go for the Devils Food because Halloween and YOU GUYS it’s perfect.

Just absolutely fucking perfect.

Gluten Free Cupcake

 

I made a vanilla bean buttercream frosting from scratch that was such a nice counter to the rich chocolate of the devil’s food.

I’ll tell you what though, I do have kind of a hard time just baking stuff out of a box. It doesn’t feel ‘homemade’ in quite the same way.

I feel like a sneaky cheater.

And I would never do it under gluten-consuming circumstances, but seriously.

It ain’t easy to get great results on your own, so I am super pleased to have a fool-proof alternative.Gluten Free Devils Food Cupcake

Love ya, Betty.