Archive for January, 2009


God, the Swedish Chef can be the biggest pain  sometimes.  For example, the other day I was riding the subway and he happened to get on next to me, and he would NOT stop nagging me to make meatballs!  In Swedish!

If I don’t want the litigious ghost of Jim Henson getting all spooky on my as, I’d best explain.  The Boy was the Swedish Chef for Halloween.  And we rode the New York City subway together.  In costume.

We have fun, The Boy and I.

Needless to say, it’s been a while since Halloween.  You can imagine, then, what it must have been like for Bad Mama Genny to have a Swedish Meatball craving since then!  Truly excruciating.   Anyhow, the Swedish Chef just wouldn’t give in–

“Spernda…schweedish meatbalshe…spernda spunda…bork bork BORK!”

–so I finally relented and Holy Meatballs, The Boy, what a great idea!  You can bork bork BORK me anytime!

Yeah, I said it.

Ultimate Swedish Meatballs with Sour Cream and Mushroom Sauce

Makes about 6 servings

Go Get:
1 lb. ground beef (Grass-fed, but of course!  Why not grind your own for the most flavorful blend?)
2 thick slices sourdough bread
3 1/2 cups unflavored almond milk, divided
8 oz. plain whole milk yogurt (if you can tolerate it) or soy sour cream like Tofutti (if you can’t)
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
4 Tablespoons, divided, of butter (if you can tolerate it) or Earth Balance (if you can’t)
2 small onions, finely chopped, divided
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. allspice
3/4 tsp. black pepper, divided
1 Tablespoon dried parsley
3 Tablespoons flour
12 ounces fresh mushrooms, washed and sliced
1 Tablespoon cornstarch (optional)
1 lb. egg noodles

Go Do:
Preheat the oven to 400F degrees. Set the bread in a shallow bowl and pour 1/2 cup of the almond milk over it. Allow it to sit and saturate for 5 minutes or so. In a food processor, combine the meat, bread and milk mixture, half the chopped onions, the egg, nutmeg, allspice, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Allow the mixture to process for two minutes. When this is done, you should have a thick, pate-like paste. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and dip your hands in cold water. Form small balls with the meat mixture, about an inch in diameter, re-dipping your hands in the cold water as necessary to keep the meat from sticking. Bake the meatballs for approximately 25 minutes, or just until done (do not let the bottoms get dark).


While the meatballs are cooking, heat 1 Tablespoon of the butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the mushrooms and the other half of the onions.  Allow to cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms render most of their liquid and the onions are tender. Add the remaining 3 Tablespoons of butter and heat until melted. Stir in the flour, being sure to break up any lumps. Stir constantly, allowing the flour-y mixture to cook for about 3 minutes (do not let it get dark). When this is done, slowly add the remaining 3 cups of almond milk, stirring while you add so as to avoid lumps.

Stir constantly until the mixture has thickened some, and then add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and the dried parsley.  Stir in the yogurt or soy sour cream.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. When the sauce is almost as thick as you like it, gently drop the meatballs in, pushing them under the surface of the sauce.  At this point, cook the egg noodles according to package directions.  Allow the sauce mixture to simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the meatballs are heated through and the thickness is where you like it.  Sometimes non-dairy milk can be a bitch to thicken–if this is the case for you, and heating the sauce uncovered doesn’t seem to be getting the mixture thick enough, whisk 1 Tablespoon cornstarch with 2 Tablespoons COLD water.  Then add it to the sauce while stirring.  Cook it for a few minutes longer–it should do the trick.

Serve on top of pasta.  Bork bork bork!


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Hullo, friendly misfits.  I just love a good roast, don’t you?  Let’s get right to it.


Sausage, Grape, and Potato Roast

Go Get:
1 lb. sweet Italian sausages, halved on the diagonal
2 each small red potatoes, waxy yellow potatoes, and purple potatoes, cut into half-dollar size chunks
1 Tablespoon fennel seeds
1 glug or two extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1 bunch seedless red grapes, cut into small clusters

Go Do:
Preheat your oven to 400F degrees. In a roasting pan or 9×13 dish, toss the potatoes with the sausage halves and the grapes. Add a glug or two of olive oil and toss with the garlic, fennel seeds, and a few generous turns of salt and pepper. Put this into the oven and roast until the grapes are popping out of their skins and the potatoes are very tender, about 45 minutes.

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Ah, the holidays.  I’m going to go out on a limb and conjecture that many of you misfits have abandoned personal culinary pursuits for the remainder of the year and the beginning of this one, hoping to recover your strength and your zest for life after an endless barrage of relatives, cookies, and stuff have robbed it from you.  It’s enough to make a misfit wanna fa la la la barf.  So let’s keep tonight low-key, shall we?

I think that every kitchen contains an endless number of microcosms, that you can probably tell what’s on a cook’s mind by just having a peek around.  I pondered this as I looked around my own little kitchen, amazed at all the cool things that were going on in my kitchen/mind…like this, for example.


This is our humble fruit bowl setup.   To the naked eye, it looks pretty average.  But ho, what are those…things…lurking amidst the tomatoes and the grapefruit?  Let’s have a closer look, shall we?


They’re Larabars!  See–nothing unwholesome in OUR fruit bowl!!  What’s that, you say?  Small glass bottles?  Pay no mind to those, my friends!  Merely shots of Captain Morgan!  Because sometimes eating fruit is hard.  Sometimes you need to put a lil’ Captain in you.  Don’t you judge me.


And this is an adorable “Pear” container that I bought from a 99 cent store here in New York.  Cute, right?  At least cuter than the unrecognizable sludge inside of it.  Hey, Bad Mama Genny, what is that sludge, anyway?  Well, misfits, I’m glad you asked!


It’s a large colony of wildyeast!  Or, in kinder, gentler terms, sourdough starter.  Why not make your own?  If our New York City air is capable of sustaining enough healthy life to make vibrant sourdough starter, then I wouldn’t worry about yours.  Try giving it a good old hearty sniff.  If it makes you feel a little dizzy and turns your stomach a bit, you just know it’s gonna be delicious!

Bonus points if you actually taste some, and gag a little!  …  !!!

But there’s something else about this starter that spells greatness.  Let’s have a closer look at the container…


Kick ass!  It’s Japanese voodoo!!

For those of you who can’t read the photo so well, it says, “You will wisely refresh yourself with a pear/ When you are tired or in low spirits.”  How cool is that?!  Is it a command?  A prediction?  Gosh, it could even be a threat!  “Refresh yourself with a pear”…or else!   How exciting!  But wait–there’s more!


This one reads, “Happy morning time with pear in the morning.”

Hey, in case you didn’t catch this, your happy morning time with pear should come in the morning.  But you know, this one makes me think a little more than the first one.  After all, what makes this pear time in the morning so…happy?  What happens with pear in the morning?  Do the implied audience and pear share special morning moments?  Gosh, I really want a pear for special morning moments right now!

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