Everything Mashed Potatoes

Last week I decided I wanted to make something different for dinner, and the only things I knew was that I wanted mashed potatoes, and I wanted some kind of sandwich. And then I wanted to make something with coconut milk. I went to the store and improvised, coming out with a bunch of random items. This is what I made:

I heated up some light coconut milk (even light coconut milk has 7 grams of fat per serving!) and added organic chicken broth. Once that heated up, I added some soy sauce, some bay leaves and thinly sliced red peppers (the tiny, hot ones, not the big ones). I added half a lime’s worth of juice, 3 cloves of chopped garlic, chopped basil and chopped cilantro, some salt and chopped chicken breast cutlets. I let it cook while I boiled fettucine. It came out like a coconut thai pasta that was pretty good, but the one thing I lamented was having forgotten to buy an onion.

Next, for something completely random, I made mash potatoes by mashing boiled potatoes with the chicken broth and salt. I put the mashed potatoes in the fridge to cool. Then I ripped up small chunks of sharp cheddar cheese and mixed them into the potatoes, and balled the mixture up about the size of an extra large falafel. I rolled them in panko (Japanese bread crumbs), then fried the balls in heated olive oil so they were very crispy on the outside. I put them in a poppy-seed french roll and ate it while it was hot. It’s like a hash brown sandwich, but smoother. I really wish I had something spicy to go with it in the sandwich, like maybe spicy buffalo chicken strips or pepperoni.

The next day, I had a roast beef sandwich with sharp cheddar cheese (you’ve gotta get it thinly sliced from your grocery store’s deli) and mash potatoes on top, stuffed inside the poppy-seed roll. It was amazing. Seriously, why isn’t mashed potatoes on everything?

In other news, I’ve bought a Roomba. I had a 20% off coupon to Bed, Bath & Beyond, and anyone who lives near a BB&B and gets these coupons in the mail knows that these coupons will make you buy anything. Well, with coupon at hand and looking to save so much money on this little gadget, plus with Reggie’s comment that his friend has one and thinks it’s the most amazing thing on earth, I had to buy it. I’ll tell you…the Roomba is amazing. It’s like a pet. I spent the first few days following around, watching it bump it’s way around the rooms, going under beds and grabbing every corner in the most random pattern. It does a good job of moving between hardwood floors and carpet, but if it gets tangled on anything (ie extension cords, sheets, etc), it tries to untangle itself then makes this sound that sounds like an electronic, “Uh Oh.” I never thought I would get so much pleasure from emptying a vacuum bin of lint. I probably ran it about 3-4 times a day the first few days, and was always amazed at how much stuff it would pick up, even after the place looked spotless after the first few times. It made me so proud to empty it and see how much it had picked up…kinda made me understand those parents who get really proud when their baby poops. Seriously, if you ever wanted a pet but didn’t want to deal with the responsibility, get a Roomba. It’ll clean for you and even dock itself to recharge when it’s done, and I know it sounds crazy, but when you find yourself spending hours following it around the house just mesmerized, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

In other news, I went to the premiere of John Tucker Must Die last Tuesday at Mann’s Chinese. I’ve never been in that theater so it was nice, but it was a motley crowd as there were the user Hollywood suits of agents, managers and studio execs, the minor stars (Eva Longoria looks she’s made out of paper. She looks like she’s about 45 lbs.) and the cast and crew, but Power 106, our local hip hop station, had run a contest inviting listeners to the premiere, so there were a lot of rowdy high school kids. But it was a decent teen flick with funny moments (watch Jesse throw a hissy fit…best part of the movie). I really hope this movie helps Jesse get bigger roles. We met Nelly at the after party who wasn’t that tall but was really nice, and 3 key lime martinis had me toasty. I had the bartender make Reggie a drink with Hennessy, Amaretto and a splash of Sprite which I made up on the fly but was pretty good. Afterwards, we were gonna meet Jesse and his friends at Hyde but randomly, we pulled up next to a couple of my coworkers who were driving on Sunset on their way to meet one of our other coworkers who had quit to move to Israel last year. We invited them over to hang out at Hyde with us, but the people at the door wouldn’t let them in because only Reggie and I were RSVP’d to Jesse’s group and there were more people meeting up with my coworkers. My coworkers decided to head over to someplace more chill to make sure that everyone meeting up with them could get in, and I got irritated about Hollywood bullshit and idiot doormen so we decided to go home instead. Overall, it was a good night out for a Tuesday. Can’t stand the Strip.

Saturday found the Michigan gang (Sareet, Thode, Rebecca, Kate & Plumb included) helping to build a house in Glendale for Habitat for Humanity. Considering that Los Angeles has been consistently working with 105+ degree heat, we were relieved to show up and find it overcast, gray and slightly misty at times. We were given the unskilled labor work that involved a lot of cleaning and hammering. I chose a hammering job that somehow turned into a pulling-out-bent-nails-without-heads that the people in a previous week had hammered down into the wood. It was a pretty hard and frustrating job because without the heads, you had to dig at the nail until you got some kind of area to grab onto with pliers, then twist and yank it until it broke off or came out. Sometimes I had to put my entire body into pulling a nail in the opposite directions, and if I slipped or if the nail suddenly came out, the force would send me flying. Luckily, I was on a lesser populated side of the construction so no one saw me fall on my ass. I think. It was a pretty fun day, and I got to learn a lot about my friends…mostly, how much those boys love their Rocky. It was really satisfying to use a hammer and get down and feel like you were building something, but the next day, I realized, all the work that the 20 of us did in an entire day, could have been something that two nail guns could have done in 2 hours. Oh well. I guess that program is as much about giving volunteers the satisfaction of contributing to a greater cause as it is about providing a need for the community. As Ben (who organized everything) said, the problem in the U.S. is that there’s a surplus of volunteers willing to help out, but not enough resources.

Comments are closed.