For nearly two years, I’ve been littering my blog with “Adventures In Domesticity” posts where I attempt some recipe in an effort to hone the domestic side of my personality. I’ve cooked up many interesting dishes and subsequently had many fascinating adventures, but last night marked a true milestone for me. It was the first time ever that a published cookbook author was in attendance to oversee the chaos. No, Ina Garten hadn’t dropped by the apartment (although, she has an open invitation). This was my friend Heather Whaley, who just published the book Eat Your Feelings: Recipes For Self-Loathing. Falling somewhere between humor and cooking, the book is all about recipes you can whip up easily and with minimal effort when you’re just in one of those MOODS (or drunk). Realizing your marriage is on thin ice? Try the “Staying Together for the Children Chicken Tetrazzini.” Feeling a bit sexually harassed? Go for the “Rainbow Sherbet ‘Cause Your Boss Is A Pervert.” Or maybe you just feel under appreciated. Then it’s time for the “You Are Overqualified for Your Job and They Make You Get the Donuts Super Veggie Dog.”
Anyway, with Heather’s book in hand, we decided to have a little Eat Your Feelings party involving an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert â€”Â and of course multiple glasses of wine along the way. Pictures from this exciting event after the jump…
Things started off on a decidedly floral note as Heather brought over a lovely bouquet, thus providing this apartment with its first flowers ever. (The vase, it should be noted, is my mojito pitcher)
Heather poses with her book as a beautiful sunset over Los Angeles signals the beginning of our adventure.
First things first: time to make a shopping list.
Me judiciously writing away.
A dramatic recreation of me lost in thought, as is often the case when I compile a list of any sort.
Heather shows off her Whole Foods bag, which she’ll be bringing to the supermarket in an effort to promote sustainability. (ed. note â€”Â Heather, you left your bag at my apartment.)
Me walking through the fresh produce aisle of my favorite supermarket, Fresh & Easy. Note that there is nothing in my basket. That’s because no fresh produce would be used. Yeah, this was not gonna be a healthy meal…
Heather marvels at Fresh & Easy’s BIG PIZZA, which incidentally is bigger than her torso. Moments later, the Fresh & Easy police told us we were NOT allowed to take pictures in the store. WTF? Fresh & Easy — more like Fresh & DOUCHEY.
We emerge from the store mostly victoriously.
Heather sneaks in an illegal Fresh & Easy storefront picture, just to shove it to the MAN.
Pure joy on my face as we ascend the escalator to Target. What could be better?
Heather proudly poses in front of T RGET.
We’ll be making pizza tonight, and quite frankly, I’m sick of cooking pizzas on my baking sheet. One can only have so many oblong pizzas. So here I am perusing through Target’s pizza pan offerings. For a moment I’m tempted to buy the pizza STONE for $12, but thriftiness takes over, and I go for the $3 pan on the floor. And yes, this process took five minutes.
Expressing my distaste for Frankenberry cereal on account of the fact that I hate ALL berries.
Next we stop by Tasty Donuts on Santa Monica Boulevard. Why? Well, we’ll get to that later.
Heather peruses the offerings. Soon we’re both in the throes of total doughnut craving.
Heather enjoys an “amuse bouche” before dinner.
Side note: this buttermilk semi-doughnut thing that Heather got was PURE HEAVEN.
My amuse bouche consisted of a cream-filled, chocolate-covered doughnut. Not bad.
Finally, it’s time to cook. We get our ingredients all ready.
First up are “Cocktail Nibbles for Alcoholics.” This involves the use of Pillsbury Grands Frozen Biscuits, a package of which Heather presently is struggling to open. It’s not that it’s a difficult process. She’s just petrified of some sort of doughy explosion.
Heather places pieces of the Grands in a muffin tin. I should note that this recipe is intended for people who may be in the depths of a booze-filled night (or afternoon or morning, as it were).
While Heather prepares the dish, I take a moment to remind her that I’ve met Ina Garten and that Heather has MUCH to live up to.
On top of the Grands go some dollops of brie. We were a bit frugal with the cheese this first round. The second batch we were sure to really slather it on to better effect.
Note the bottle of vodka in the background. The better to emphasize that these are lil’ nibs for alcoholics.
With the cocktail nibbles in the toaster oven, I then prepare the counter for some pizza dough rolling. We’ll be making Heather’s “Pepperoni Pizza for Agoraphobes.” She also has a delicious-looking “Alopecia Pizza,” but that might be saved for another day.
Manipulating the tacky Fresh & Easy pizza dough. I rapidly discover that I’m far from nimble when it comes to these things.
Heather shows me the proper technique: before rolling, one must use one’s fingers to shape the dough into a disk of sorts.
The benefits of having a cookbook author in the kitchen!
With Heather having made me a lil’ disc o’ dough, I go to town rolling it out with my Skyy Vodka rolling pin.
This proves to be a rather long and arduous process.
Here’s me flipping the dough in my hands. I was entirely too afraid to actually toss it in the air though. That bad boy goes up, it’s coming down somewhere else.
Wow, it’s like the San Gennaro Festival is happening RIGHT HERE.
There’s a knock at the door. Who could it be? And why didn’t Heather tell me my undies were exposed?
Why, it’s Ned! Ned and Heather went to college together. He brought three bottles of wine. We like Ned.
Spreadin’ the Fresh & Easy pizza sauce.
One of the cocktail nibbles was done before the rest. We removed it and labeled it the “preemie.”
Ned realizing that he’s going to be immortalized on a blog.
And now the cocktail nibbles are done! Don’t they look purdy?
An official tasting.
The cocktail nibbles are well-received. They pair especially well with alcohol, as evidenced by Ned’s reaction.
The pizza goes in a hot, hot oven. I wince as a backdraft of FIERY AIR bursts onto my face.
Meanwhile, Ned settles down to read some of EAT MY FEELINGS: RECIPES FOR SELF LOATHING BY HEATHER WHALEY. AVAILABLE NOW.
And now time to prepare some custard for our dessert: “Drunk and Disorderly Donut Pudding.”
The recipe calls for three egg yolks, and so Heather decides to show us three different ways to separate eggs. First is to merely spill the contents into your fingers, letting the whites drip down below.
The second method is to shuffle the egg yolk back and forth between the shells until all the white has fallen out.
The third â€”Â and least recommended â€”Â method is to poke a hole on both ends of the egg shell and then…
…blow. Let’s see Ina Garten do THAT. I should note that this method was devised thirty seconds prior to this photo. Did I mention we were drinking wine?
Excitement builds as Ned unsheathes the doughnuts.
Ned and Heather tear up TWELVE DOUGHNUTS (half glazed, half chocolate frosted) and press them into the baking dish.
They then pour the milk and salt mixture, which had been simmering on the stove, into the egg yolks. Vanilla extract and a pinch of sugar are also added.
Some sweet whisking action.
Meanwhile, the pizza comes out of the oven looking pretty awesome. And how about that pizza pan? SO FAR SO GOOD!
We then stick the donut pudding into a water bath, which in turn goes into the oven.
Suddenly, we realize that in our excitement over the pizza (and perhaps our wine-induced haze) we’ve FORGOTTEN TO ADD THE LIQUID to the pudding. Thankfully, Heather realizes this two minutes into the cooking process. Had she not, we would have been stuck with toasted donuts. Nevertheless, we pour the liquid over the donuts, hoping it’s not too late to salvage this dish.
Okay, NOW it’s ready to go.
There’s another knock at the door. Who could it be?
Heather and I brace for our next guest.
It’s Jenny! Not expecting to be photographed!
She’s just in time for the dinner to begin! Here’s a plate of cocktail nibbles, haphazardly arranged.
The pizza comes off the tin, ready to be sliced up.
Meanwhile, I babble away about how much better this kitchen is compared to my last one. This discussion results in a veritable montage of photos, courtesy of Heather, but I’ll just put this one up.
From behind the flowers, Heather marvels at how well the pizza turned out.
Jenny enjoys her slice immensely.
Me dramatizing the “Pizza for Agoraphobes” experience.
General laughter about abortion.
I mean, who WOULDN’T laugh about abortion?
Time to serve the donut pudding. I can assure you that it was rich, sweet, and very delicious.
Jenny, it’s called Eat Your Feelings, not Eat Your Book.
Jenny lost in deep thought whilst taking in this piece of writing.
Thoroughly enjoying the reading experience.
Me also having quite the academic moment.
“I never knew that recipe could be so simple! THANKS HEATHER WHALEY!”
Oh look, someone else reading the book and full of merriment and mirth. If I didn’t have this book, I would CERTAINLY BUY IT.
Jenny likes the book so much that she even reads it while engaging in the Tracy Anderson Method.
And here we are at the end of a successful Eat Your Feelings party. And yes, I can assure you I spent the rest of the evening lying on my couch fading in and out of sleep.
Be sure to buy your copy of Heather’s book now!!