The Roof, the Roof is On Fire (Or I Attempt to Fry Chicken)

So, LA is beyond weird. I mean, look at this madness.

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We ran into this bizarre little pony and his goat friend on our morning hike recently. They were apparently part of some strange movie being shot in our neighborhood. We also encountered a battered and bloodied Girl Scout running out of the woods wearing a bad beret, and that absolutely freaked Woodley out. She started barking like mad which probably ruined the shot, but that’s what people get for making unsavory low budget films when I’m trying to hike in the morning.

So anyway, I mostly embrace the madness that is LA, but there is a part of me that longs for something sort of homey and normal-like. So tonight in an attempt to keep things real, I made some fried chicken.

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I nearly set the place on fire and Albus had to retreat to the window for some fresh air, but it mostly turned out well.

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It’s probably safer over here.

I riffed off of this recipe from Miss Paula Deen (naturally). I used a mixture of mustard powder and onion powder instead of garlic powder, and it totally worked.

See?

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It was kind of awesome — even if my plating isn’t.

Later this week we’ll discuss last night’s Indian dish. And the state of my bedroom walls, ‘cuz that conversation is LONG overdue.

Now I’m going to crank up the Divine Miss Beyonce and attempt to get the grease off of my stovetop.

Lord. It’s a mess.

The Sky is Dark and So’s the Beer in My Chili (Or How to Make Simple Stout Chili)

I love love love thunderstorms. And thunderstorms are incredibly rare in LA. In my 11 years here, I can remember maybe six of them. Total. So, you can imagine my excitement when I awoke to an ominously black sky today — particularly when it was accompanied by a few claps of thunder and a light drizzle.

This sort of thing almost never happens here.

Sadly, the storm hasn’t really materialized in the way I wish it would, but we still have newscasters talking about “flash flood warnings.”

Flash floods.

From about a ¼” of rain.

So, I find this patently ridiculous, but I’m happily embracing the gloomy day. And fantasizing about lightning.

Couldn’t you picture some bolts of lightening here? We really should have lightening. It would be better with lightening.

Because today’s dark sky also brought the first hint of fall temperatures yet, I decided it was the perfect day to make a pot of chili.

This chili is easy to make, and it’s perfect for a dark and stormy night. Or a dark and sorta stormy night.

Simple Stout Chili
1 lb of ground beef
1 medium onion, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
16 oz can of Murphy’s Irish Stout, or other dark stout
2 15 ounce cans of pinto beans, with liquid
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T chili powder
1 tsp cumin
¼ C jalapeno slices, finely diced, with liquid
14.5 oz can chopped tomatoes
15 oz can tomato sauce
6 oz can tomato paste

Brown the meat in a large, heavy pot over medium high heat, about 3-5 minutes. Remove excess fat from the meat, if you wish. Add onions and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes or until onion is slightly soft.

Add remaining ingredients, and allow the chili to simmer for at least 35 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.