Baba Ghanoush with Cumin Chips

Last weekend, we went to a 40th birthday party for our good friend.  I went shopping (groan...) for a cute shirt to wear to the party, since the women are all gym/fitness/volleyball people (a.k.a. skinny bitches that make me look like I'm 1256 lbs. overweight).  I found one that accentuates my boobs (my only asset right now) and minimizes the spare human being I have wrapped around my waist.  Feeling about 10% good about myself, I thought, "What the hell... I'll wear heels too!" Remember how I said they are volleyball ladies?  That means they stand 6 feet tall barefoot. Assholes.

I put on these super cute black heels I've only worn once, and that was to a lesbian wedding in which I was the matron of honor, so my feet hurt regardless due to the fact that I was running around like a kid with ADHD who just slammed 6 Redbulls anyway.

Ready to go.  I follow my husband out into the garage, catch my heel on the step, fall, and break my ass.

I fell straight on my hiney, meanwhile twisting and turning my legs like one of those sticky octopus we used to throw on a window and watch crawl down.  It hurt like a bitch.  And I have a black bruise the size of a softball on my tush to show for it.  Good times...

Baba Ghanoush is a roasted eggplant dip that even those who "don't like eggplant" (insert whiny voice here) like this dish.  It's easy as hell to make if you have a food processor.  It keeps well too, so feel free to make ahead (just toast the chips before serving).

Baba Ghanoush with Cumin Chips

2 eggplant
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
1/4 c. tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 T. olive oil
Handful parsley leaves
Salt & pepper

Cumin Chips:
2 packages pita bread
Olive oil
Ground cumin
Kosher salt

Pre-heat oven to 400*.  Prick eggplant all over with a fork and place on sheet pan covered in foil. Roast for 30-45 minutes, flipping once, until very soft and slightly browned.  Let cool a bit.

When cool enough to handle, trim stem end off and peel eggplant like a banana.  Roughly chop and place in food processor.

Add lemon juice, tahini, and garlic and puree until the consistency you like (smooth or chunky). Season with salt and pepper.  Stir in olive oil.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Meanwhile, cut pita bread into wedges like a pizza.  Place on sheet pans and toss with olive oil. You will need 2 sheet pans for 2 packages of pita bread.  Sprinkle with cumin and salt to taste (we like a lot of cumin so I probably use 3-4 tablespoons total).  Spread in one layer. bake for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crisp and golden.

To serve:  Drizzle baba ghanoush with additional olive oil and serve with cumin chips.


Fluffernutter Cocktail

I'm always looking for a new cocktail to try.  And no, I'm not a lush.  I'm just a working mom with three kids (one of whom is a teenager and the others are girls), a dog, a house, and the normal stresses anyone else has.  In order to not let the raging lunatic out (very often), I have a cocktail now and again.

If you've never had a fluffernutter sandwich, it's amazing.  Basically, it's peanut butter and marshmallow fluff between two slices of bread, usually white.  It's history is fairly interesting. Around 1913, Emma Curtis invented Snowflake Marshmallow Creme in Massachusetts.  During World War I, she published a little recipe booklet that included a sandwich of peanut butter and marshmallow creme.  Every year there's a festival in Mass called What the Fluff? which is all about the marshmallow fluff love.

If you ever watch the Classy Ladies on Cooking Channel, you may have seen their cocktail for a Nutterfluffer Cocktail, although I'm not sure why they call it that.  Maybe they had one too many of these sweet dessert-like concoctions.  Anyway, it's damn good.  Garnish with a toasted marshmallow or seven.

Fluffernutter Cocktail
Makes 2 cocktails

3 oz. marshmallow vodka
1-1/2 oz. hazelnut liqueur (such as Frangelico)
1-1/2 oz. peanut butter syrup (see below)
Marshmallows, for garnish (optional)

Peanut Butter Syrup:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup peanut butter

Make the syrup:  In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the sugar, water, and peanut butter.  Whisk until combined and no sugar granules remain.  Set aside to thicken and cool.

Make the drink:  In a shaker filled with ice, combine the vodka, liqueur, and peanut butter simple syrup.  Shake and pour.  Garnish with marshmallow perched on rim.