Since my last post, I have accomplished many items on my newly single household to-do list. Find a roommate: Check. Is that roommate a heterosexual male with a dog? Check, check. I really couldn’t be more excited. How did this possibility never cross my mind before? The situation seems totally ideal: no crying fits, no untoward drama, zero chance that we will be attracted to the same women. I’ll even get to de-sync and reclaim my menstrual cycle as my own. Mind-blowing, huh?
I’ve spent possibly too much time out with friends and too little time at work. The apartment exorcism has been progressing at a good pace so far. I got rid of her nightstand yesterday (an end table I once heroically salvaged from the street on one of Penny’s morning walks just for her, I will add).
I’ve also spent an inordinate amount of time considering whether Penny would prefer plaid or animal print for Christmas. In my lonelier hours with the dog, I’m proud to say that we only have more in-depth conversations when it’s to Penny’s benefit (for example, when her obsessive ear-scratching led us to discuss the pitfalls of sadomasochism). Those of you who know me well know I’ve not gone insane, just turned the bass up on what was already normal.
I’ve also made some moves towards redecorating what will hopefully retrieve its past status as the intimate space in my apartment. I came up with a few combinations. Derisively speaking, my favorite is probably what I’ve called the “Death to the Sex Drive” collection. It includes:
Plus, can’t forget…
(Full disclosure: I did buy the underwear.)
Perhaps misguidedly, I’ve been taking a lot of advice from questionable sources, like MTV’s Girl Code. I had a great sandwich today. I lost my favorite earring on Bedford Avenue for fifteen whole minutes before I retraced my steps and found it. That sort of luck never happens. So seriously, folks, stop worrying about me. Penny, however, has been wearing the same sweater for three weeks now and can barely stay awake four hours a day, so if you’re itching to rescue somebody…
Eating-wise, I’ve become a wizard with leftovers and whatever “food” appears to be in the house. Yesterday I took a risk on a two-egg omelette stuffed with this weird cinnamon apple goat cheese I bought at Trader Joe’s three weeks ago. It was a win. Dinner most nights this week has consisted of a slight variation on the rice and beans leftover from last Saturday night out in the Lower East Side. Those leftovers, plus a fried egg, some Tabasco, a frozen jalapeno chicken sausage I found in the freezer… and we’re done.
If this precis has you thinking I’ve completely let go of my culinary interests, you’re probably right for now. Being a lone, haphazardly employed grad student in New York– even unlike single life as a full-time advertising strategist in San Francisco– means I could easily be out with friends most nights, eating with an eye towards how this dish of enchiladas will look next Tuesday. My day doesn’t even start until after 1pm, and even that’s only the case for three days a week. The other four days, I’m wrestling myself into grading papers or doing a modicum of my own work, in which case I’m always eager for a distraction as soon as dinnertime rolls around.
So for now, I’ll be a drag on the gluten-grieving world. But in the meantime I have a few recipes I collected on that hiatus to tide me over.
The last party I threw involved a modified version of this lame-looking Kraft recipe for mini cheesecakes. I ingeniously (if I do say so myself) realized that I could replace the crust with thumbprinted crumbs from TJ’s otherwise totally creepy gluten-free, soft-baked snickerdoodles. This is what happens when white trash logic meets hipster baked goods. If you can’t imagine what rolling crumbs up into a ball and then mashing them into the bottom of mini cupcake tins looks like, here are a few visuals:
Yes, chipped nail polish and all.
The thumbprinting is the hardest part. After that– and some basic blending and oven pre-heating– you end up with three dozen mini-cheesecakes, each of which I topped with a raspberry or blackberry, because it involved the least effort possible. Raspberry, from what I heard, was the favorite.
gluten-free mini cheesecakes
adapted from kraft recipes
prep time: 20 min.
cooking time: 40 min.
4 8 oz. packages regular cream cheese, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
9 Trader Joe’s soft-baked, gluten-free snickerdoodles, quartered
36 mini cupcake tins and a 12- or 24-cup mini cupcake pan
1 8 oz. package fresh raspberries
1 8 oz. package fresh blackberries
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Blend the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
- Fill cups of cupcake pan with as many cupcake tins as needed. Roll each quarter of a snickerdoodle into a ball and then flatten one quarter-sized thumbprint into the base of each tin. This substitutes crust for the cheesecake.
- Fill each tin just over 3/4 full with the cheesecake batter.
- Bake 20 minutes. Allow mini cheesecakes to cool before removing them from the pan. Then repeat the process with each following batch until 36 mini cheesecakes are done.
- Refrigerate all cheesecakes for three hours. Before serving, add a raspberry or blackberry to each.