Monday, February 24, 2014

Creative Challenge #1: TV Show (Make something w/me!)

I am very lucky - I know many wickedly creative people. Some are artists, some are writers, some are musicians - some are all of those things and more!

I've been struggling with blocks this past year - I haven't been producing art of any kind! But I want to change that. Louise of Sprinkle of Glitter posted a great blog entry today on Creative Courage, and we're going to follow her example!

I've reached out in the past to my artsy pals - saying HEY! This week, let's try something! Pick a topic, and let's make each other get something done! So let's do it together, guys! Creative challenges, comin' at ya!

This week, I challenge you to produce something - anything - in the theme of a television show. Scribble, doodle, sing-le…character, theme song, how it makes you feel, one you love, one you hate - whatever! It can be as in depth or as simple as you're inspired to do - just MAKE SOMETHING and share it with me in the comments below by Sunday night! I'll post the next challenge Monday morning.

Sneaky peaky: I'm going to work on a picture idea I had weeks ago but never went anywhere with - at the very least I'm challenging myself to have a sketch rough for a painting I was inspired to do.

Tips: Don't think too hard, and don't beat yourself up if it doesn't come easily - give yourself a little time over a few days, and try a few different things. The deadline is to make you complete something, no matter how simple - it's not meant to be scary. Face the blank page demons, and GO!

YOU CAN DO IT! Good luck, guys!


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Sad Sack Cooking Show #2: BBQ Turkey Kielbasa and Buttered Potatoes

Hello again, friends and strangers and strangers-soon-to-be-friends and Mom, and welcome to the second Sad Sack cooking show. Sigh.

"Tonight's meal for 200, Alex!"
"What do you create when you're a) nearly broke b) cold c) lonely d) out of hope that your thighs will ever look the way they once did?"
"What is THIS RECIPE, Alex?"
"Correct! And stop calling me Alex!"

You will need:
+ I package Turkey Kielbasa (I'm using Aldi's brand)
+ BBQ sauce (roughly a cup, but I like it saucaaay. Sweet Baby Ray's)
+ Four to five good sized potatoes
+ Margarine or butter
+ Spices, to taste (ex. salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder, red pepper flakes)
+ Some veggie side to keep your insides from crying and make it look like you're not about to eat your weight in potatoes
+ Whatever shreds of motivation you have left in you for the day
(If you're out of motivation, grab a Pop Tart and crawl into bed. I won't judge)

Gather your ingredients, and remove the packaging from the kielbasa. Don't think about what it looks like. Or what's in it. Or how your insides will probably look like what's in it, when all is said and done. Maybe you should skip this whole thing and eat tofu instead. Press on.

Do they remind anyone else of toes? No? Good!
Chop your kielbasa into small pieces. Toss into a pan on roughly medium heat. I sprayed mine with a non-stick olive oil spray. The kielbasa doesn't need to be fried in oil, you're really just warming and searing it - but something very light to keep it from sticking is a good idea.

I got my EYES on YOU, fellas! Get it? No? Ok.
As your kielbasa is starting to cook, put a small pot of water on to boil - just enough to cover your potatoes once chopped. Wash and peel your potatoes. Mmmm, potatoes. Sorry, thighs! You did yoga once this week, so. It'll be ok? Keep an eye on the sausage to make sure it's not sticking or burning or trying to organize a kitchen revolt against your bad food choices. Get back in there, cilantro - nobody asked you!

I mean it, Cilantro. Unless you want to go the way of the 'tato, back in the fridge.
Chop the peeled potatoes into small pieces. Think mashed potato prep. Whisper apologetically to the starchy demons (and your figure) as you hack them to bits. Watch your fingers. Put them in the water once it's boiling or near boiling. You'll want to cook until fork-tender, but it shouldn't be mush. Let's set that timer for 10-12 minutes. Or whatever.

"The Sauce is the Boss", huh? I've been living life all wrong.
Now the kielbasa should be good and warm and a little brown on the edges. Add in your sauce. See how mine says it's the Boss? I don't think so, Ray! I'm the only boss here! TAKING CONTROL!
Ok, fine, you win. I submit to your saucy will. More sauce.

Sticky goodness that definitely won't make you feel bloated later.
Sprinkle in your spices. Make sure it compliments whatever sauce you've chosen. "You're so pretty, Sauce Boss Ray. I bet all the other sauces want to go to the soda fountains with YOU". I added red pepper flakes as my sauce didn't have much heat. Like my love life. Never mind. Give it a toss and let it continue to cook down. You want the sauce to caramelize, but you don't want it to char or boil or burn or try to achieve world domination. Mine tried to run for office. Wily.

I call this one "Wherefore art thou, Paula Deen?"
Once the potatoes are fork-tender, which is a fun culinary phrase and or celebrity child name I have dibs, drain them. Return them to the pan, and turn the heat to simmer (or low, or still-as-hot-as- medium-high-but-marked-low like my ancient demon of a stove. Add in your margarine, salt and pepper. If you have to ask how much margarine, you didn't add enough. Stir gently, you don't want to mash the potatoes. They've been through enough.

The almost balanced peace sign of mediocre mealness.
Now you're ready to plate. Put extra green beans, or extra whatever your veggie of choice to suffer through today is, on your plate to offset the fact that you're going to eat twice as many potatoes as any human ever needs to eat. Enjoy.

Thanks for reading, gang. Mom. Nobody.

What should next week's meal be?

#1: Coconut milk chicken curry
#2: Spicy pork fajitas
#3: Family sized can of Chef Boyardee Ravioli seasoned heavily with tears

Leave your choice in the comments below, or tweet me -@lakiki #sadsackcookingshow

<3 K