Friday, December 19, 2008

Fakin' It For Dinner

So...I've been cooking. I've never been one to get excited about cooking. Maybe I'd get excited about making an incredible sandwich, each ingredient carefully layered in a very specific order. Or maybe if somebody else wanted to cook a bunch of stuff and have me "critique" their cooking, I'd get excited. But really, the idea of coming home from work at 9 pm and cooking something delicious has always seemed a bit out of reach for me. It's probably because I never really tried very hard before. Whoops a daisy.

And so, this year, I've started trying. Yay Reem! Good show, old man. Seriously though, although it's been a sucko year, it's also been a year of a lot of change, what with my Saturn returning and all...So I've embraced it, and I'm trying new things. I know that to most, cooking isn't a "new thing," but for me, it sort of is. I've been way better at cooking vegetables and making things up as of late, although I still have not, and most likely will not, cook meat. Grody. And so I must say, through hours of hard work, researching recipes on the internet, chopping, slicing, dicing, sauteing, and sampling, my cooking has a reached a point of absolute mediocrity. That's right - from non-existent to mediocre. Not bad.

In my quest to cook more, I've also been attempting to be healthier. Some days it works. Other days, I mostly eat bacon and potato chips. Waa waa. Tonight I was inspired to combine the "trying new things" with the "healthy" and cook up a big, delicious dinner. The funny thing is that it wasn't necessarily the healthiest thing in the world, rather, it was all "fake" versions of other things. A few months ago, I wrote about the fake versions of things, like Not Dogs and BologNo and Gimme Lean. In fact, Valerie made a brilliant comment with a list of like fifteen more - fantastic (you should absolutely check that blog and look at the comments section to see what she wrote)! Tonight was kind of like is the menu:

"Macaroni and Cheese"
"Mashed Potatoes"
"Fried Chicken"
"Garlic Bread"

Why all the quotes, you ask? Well, those names are all sort of lies. For example, in the "Macaroni and Cheese," instead of using pasta, I used spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash is like spaghetti, right? And pasta is spaghetti, and pasta is what goes in macaroni and cheese, so why the eff not? A perfect substitute. I baked the squash for an hour and then added it to the extra gourmet cheese sauce I'd made with Smart Balance and fat free American cheese. Yes, gourmet. Sexy. I know it looks kind of gross in the pictures, but it was really pretty good!

You might be wondering what could be fake about "Mashed Potatoes." Well, my friends, they were definitely mashed, but it wasn't all potatoes. Get ready to be gassy, because these "Mashed Potatoes" are actually mashed potatoes and...cauliflower! That's right, cauliflower. It's actually really delicious, and the same color as potatoes, so you could probably fool people pretty easily. You boil them up together (I did it in a vegetable stock for extra flava), and throw in some light cream cheese, margarine, a splash of milk, and salt n pepa. PLUS - I made it in the Magic Bullet! Everybody wins!

"Fried Chicken." Well, I'm not going to beat around the bush here. It was obviously a Morningstar Farms chik patty. That is all.

And as for the "Garlic Bread," I guess it wasn't really all that fake.I just didn't have any "good, crusty" bread as the online recipe suggested. Yeah...I only had frozen whole wheat loaf bread. was kind of okay. Sort of gross. But, the brilliant and innovative cook in me decided to make roasted garlic. I made three heads, just with some olive oil, salt, and thyme. After that was done, I mixed in some margarine and made a nice spread for the sort of stale bread. It wasn't all that bad, I guess...I probably would not offer it to guests, but still. It filled the void.

The final product (no picture of the delicious vodka drink that went along with dinner - all real ingredients there!):

Now that all that delicious food has been consumed and enjoyed, it's time to get creative. I need new fake names for these scrumptious concoctions! I'm blanking at the moment (I must be exhausted from all that cooking), so I'll need your help. We need names that sound like the real name, but have "no" or "not" or something involved somehow. Am I being clear? Like for Nachos, you could switch it to "Not-chos." Get it? Easy as pie.

Here is what I have so far:

Macaroni and Cheese:
Macaro-No, Please
Macaro-No, by Meez!

Mashed Potatoes:
Slashed Pota-Nos
Bashed Pota-Nos
Mashed Mamatoes

Fried Chicken:
Fried Chalken (this makes me want to vomit)
Pride Chicken
Morningstar Fams Chik Patty

Garlic Bread:
I got nothing.

As you can see, I need a lot of help here. I'm looking especially to Miss Sherin, who was so helpful with the whole Surf n Turf debacle. My creativity can only go so far...I am definitely not a viking at making up new clever names for things. Help a girl out!


Sara Ashes said...

MASHED MAMATOES!!!! I'm grabbing your collar you genius!

Reem Tara said...

I was thinking I could call the squash "Squoosh" or something along those lines. It doesn't follow the whole "no" or "not" thing, but I like the way it sounds...

jx said...

ha! fun friday for you, my frienda! okay, i've not followed any of your links yet. i get too overwhelmed and forget all my comments if i do all that at once. so, for now...

my vote is to keep it simple. you should start a company called food-schmood. and then appropriately name everything with schm in front of it.

*macaroni 'n' cheese - schmacaroni 'n' cheese (or you could even add "schmeese" in there)

*mashed potatoes - schmashed potatoes

*chicken - schmicken

*garlic bread - schmarlic bread

with your brains, i probably didn't have to list all those for you to imagine where i was going with that.


when i first became vegetarian, age 15 i think, i wanted to make french toast without eggs. i was grappling a bit with whether eggs were on the good list or the evil list at the time. in the end, i had a frying pan full of soggy bread chunks. i ate it but it was gross. french toast - schmench schmoast. eggs - schmeggs.

Reem Tara said...

Schmicken?? Schmeggs? You magnificent bastard!

SophisticatedBrew said...

Tonight I had some "Wham" (thanks valerie). And reem, in an earlier post you referred to "bolog-no". I don't know if that's a real product name but I like "phoney bologny" which I also currently have in my fridge.
Other ideas:
nuts = nots
banana = banano
doughnut = do-not (obviously)
yogurt = no-gurt (way better than go-gurt)
soda = noda (cool cuz it sounds like yoda and "no duh")
pizza = please-ah (that's a sarcastic please like, "please, girl, that's not actual pizza)

That sums up my diet more or less.

valerie said...

wrong valerie, reem. it was me! me! the one that is all worky at the co-op and loving of the m.i.a. and the damn pretty piano concerto #5. but you linked to someone else. another valerie! omg. i do have a blog but i haven't written on it yet. it's called weakinthekneesforswedes. just, you know, fyi.

the valerie you know as val