Friday, May 27, 2011

Today I fell down a flight of stairs due to the fact I was mopping my hardwood floors.  Two days ago I fell down a flight of stairs because I was doing laundry.  The only thing I can take from these experiences is to stop cleaning my house. I have a bruise that looks like a flower tramp stamp on my lower back.  To top it off, my heel got stuck in a sidewalk crack while crossing Market Street and I ate it resulting in Lena road kill and a bloody knee that won't heal.  All of this was dead sober, mind you.  I wish I had the excuse of alcohol for eating shit all the time.

So in my pain, I'm deciding to not leave the house, stay upstairs, and cook for everyone who crosses my path.  My sister informed me it's Friday (insert song here).  That means no meat for us good little Catholic girls.  This is clearly something I would have forgotten, like hypercolor T-shirts or when Kelly from 90210 had that cocaine issue (ok, I don't forget much) .  I texted Jenny Bradley (best Vegan friend and amazing cook) for ideas, she obviously must have a job or something and couldn't get back to me.  So, Lena Fay's Veggie recipes, Here we go!  Hell ya I dated a Vegan for years! But this has eggs in it so scratch that.  And hell, I'm putting cheese in there!  It was obviously a bad break up.  May as well through some veal in the mix (totally kidding Jenny)

Dad Fay's Pasta Sauce:
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 onion (he used yellow/I use red)
5ish cloves garlic
good canned tomatoes from Italy (2 cans)
Cheap red wine (a glass)
salt to taste
Fresh Basil

Heat oil and add diced onion on medium.

 Cook on low until onions are translucent.  Add diced garlic.  Cook until fragrant (4mins).  Deglaze with wine.

Quickly add tomatoes after straining them through a food mill.  Leave on low heat for as long as you can.  I let the basil and salt hang out on top.  So simple! That's so not me.  It's my little sister. But, she food milled it up!

Lena Fay's Eggplant:
I have been told to give this up for Lent instead of alcohol before.  Yeah, it's that good, and EASY!
1 eggplant or 2 if you are in the mood, I like the mood
bowl of flour
bowl of 5 beat eggs salt and peppered
bowl of bread crumbs mixed with parmesan cheese
frying oil (I use olive oil and it has a low smoke point, so beware, but I'm scared of most frying oils so this makes me happy)

Get a good eggplant (when in season of course PS-the season just started!)
Slice and salt to remove the bitter taste of eggplant for 1/2 hour
rinse eggplant of salt

begin the process:
flour then
slice of eggplant in the egg mixture
then bread crumbs/parm
then fry until crispy

Start layering in a really cool dish!

Fried eggplant
Dad's sauce

Bake at 350* until cheese melts (I go about 1/2 hour or an hour, this is subjective)
Stop falling down stairs and drink some vino rosso.  It's a good day!

Oh my dear, I wish I could cook forever... Then I wouldn't have to have jobs or go to school ever again.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

There's no stopping a Lena Fay

Yesterday was dear Steven Fay's last night in town.  One of the many last nights in town he has.  So of course it made complete sense to go to the Philosopher's Club and chat about nothing and drink heavily.  During this experience my sister showed up but failed to witness my three shots of Fernet with the bartender.  This morning she told me "I should have told you not to order another drink, you were crazy!" A little to late there sis.  But there is no stopping a Lena Fay.  When the crazy smile starts and I'm in love with a wall, good luck!  All my friends continued to say "Don't worry Leenz, your class isn't until 4pm!" Thank God I didn't convince some random guy to play megatouch with me.

To top it all off I missed the Price is Right today, a staple in my morning ritual. And I have an oral presentation at San Francisco State about students with multiple disabilities and communication and mobility devices.  And I'm rocking a Micky's 40 hoodie with old man shoe slippers and glasses once again. There may be a reason I've been single for a year now.  But, I introduced an Italian to 7 layer bean dip. Universe restored!
It is a cool hoodie

How is an Italian's mind blown one may ask?  just like this....

refried beans
onions (diced)
sour cream
avocado (lightly salted and diced)
grated cheese (grate it yourself, way better)
in some kind of platter/bowl

and a Negra Modelo with lime (you don't have to layer that).

An Italian (my brother)                                An American (my sister)

Both enjoy seven layer bean dip and look amazing in the morning.
My favorite part of explaining such a trailer trash dish to an Italian was letting him know you don't need a fork.  You chip this stuff!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Campari and Hangovers

Yesterday was Easter.  I gave up booze for Lent (only cheated 4 times, to Catholics that's kind of a FAIL).  But, Easter was going to be glorious none the less.  By glorious I mean having a questionable night winding up on Jenny Bradley's couch wearing bunny ears and a peacoat.  After hopping a 71 at 7am back to the sunset and saying hi to my sister on her way to work I crashed in a giant t-shirt that read "Josephina's".  

Then decided the only thing to do was make my homemade Campari!  How to make TRUE Campari is Top Secret info guarded by the Italian government-This is Lena Fay's best guess, and it's damn close and damn good.  

You need:
1 wide mouth gallon jar with tight lid (pickle jars from Costco work great)
3 tangerines or oranges 
2 lemons or grapefruit
1 1/2 c sugar
1/2 a vanilla bean
2 1/2 bottles rose wine
1 c vodka
1/4 c rum

Chop your fruit wide and mix all that stuff together!
Shake that stuff! Don't ever think this is how I look.  Once again, hungover and in glasses.
Now remember delayed gratification is the definition of maturity.  Wait about 6 weeks. add rum then!

Things to do in the meantime? Practice your Italian flash cards that your sister's husband makes you!

How does one drink Compari one may ask?

Like this: It's called a Spritz

I like:
3/4 Prosecco
1/4 homemade Campari
Orange wedge
over ice

So today is "little" Easter. I think I can wear those ears again.  

Friday, March 4, 2011

Oh gosh, not cooking just living.

My parents are a tad on the crazy side.  I have been told drinking a "few" beers every night is normal by them.  I have been told to take Lexapro to be happy by them.  I have been told to take whatever is stronger than Vicodin by them.  And, day after day, Lena Fay says no, (well not about the beer).  And day after day, my Mom and Dad are better than your Mom and Dad. They kind of say the shit that your parents would never say.

I have some type of free-be card with these guys.  It doesn't really matter about my outrageous adventures.  Kissing a few Italians, hoping a few planes to Europe for a good time or two, or seven. It simply doesn’t matter.  The craziness in them has given me love, and my ability to cook.  My Father taught me the best red sauce of my life when I was 13 years old and you need to learn it.  It's so simple and honors its ingredients.  He taught me while drinking Scotch.  I remember the smell of Scotch and Pasta to this day.  


3 clove garlic
½ red onion
1/2cup red wine
3 Tp olive oil
2 cups crushed tomatoes (or canned tomatoes)
Fresh basil, (at the end)

Here it goes:

Heat onion in oil for 10 mins or less (med heat)
Heat garlic in oil for 2 mins (med heat)
Deglaze for ½ a min. with red wine (high heat)
Add Tomatoes
drink some of the wine
Chuck in basil (at the end)
Oh, the boyfriends keep coming back for this one and this thing is Vegan.  

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Salad is not for skinny girls

I live with two skinny girls and watching them eat is painful at times. The joy of food evaporates off them. I love when they get drunk and eat pasta. I love when they get drunk in general because they probably needed that. But, today I ate like them. Salad. I woke up mad and timid at the same time. Then I realized I needed a salad. Salads do good things to you. I make mine with spinach and tuna. I did not have these things so in my PJ's I went to my natural foods store. They had some great tuna. I say great because anything from Italy is great. And most likely attractive.

Lena Fay's Tuna:
Drain your tuna
3 Tablespoons Vegenaise
splash of good mustard
1/8 a finely chopped red onion
1 finely chopped celery stick

I am a meat eater. Why the Veganaise? Look at the ingredients on your Mayo jar. That's some genetically modified bad stuff. And, from those days when I was a Vegan (Lent), I have learned Veganaise is amazing.
Put that stuff on a bed of spinach and you will be full and happy. And you will probably be kind of skinny, just not super skinny.

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Black Sheep Fay

Under a huge amount of goodness lies the black sheep Fay.  Out of my siblings, I do the dumb stuff.  I've skinned my knee on a high healed wobble home. I've made out with an Italian or two.  I've drank Belgian beers and professed love. My little sisters have looked at me and thought "is Lena on pills?". I go to confession.  But, when you are Irish Catholic your liver is half of your body and it's the fun half.  
But lets talk about today.  
Today I made a great pizza.  I was in a horrible mood.  The doctor told me to come back to see her because something was wrong.  She is a mean doctor and I am mad at her.  But, I must admire her contribution to my pizza.  Out of love and fear, I kneaded dough, made a perfect white sauce, and then made the best margarita pizza of my life (even though a margarita pizza has red sauce).  I channeled my darlings from Italy and thought "Why does buffalo mozzarella only live in one place? The place with attractive men. And why am I here with unattractive men and no Buffalo mozzarella".  Jezze Lena, MOVE.
If you want to make it at home and feel as cute and sad as myself:
1st make your dough, put love into it (if you are like me love is easy)
Chose your toppings (tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil ((after cooking the pizza add the basil)) are the recommendations)
Thats the easy part, here is what makes boyfriends and boys who do not deserve to be boyfriends keep coming back.  

The sauce:
2 tablespoons raw butter (or any butter that you like)
2 tablespoons flour
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup 1/2 and 1/2 
1/2cup or so Pecorino Romano
salt and pepper
Melt the butter, add garlic, stir, take out garlic, add flour, stir, add 1/2 and 1/2 and cheese, stir until melted. Season it. Kiss it, because thats amazing. And easy. Drink some red wine.  Put sauce on Pizza and bake at 400* for 12mins to 15mins or so with amazing toppings.  

Height and Ashbury to 42nd and Noriega

It had been a long time since I had preformed the walk of shame from the Height to the Outer Sunset.  Height street at 10am is a ghost town.  Shops have bars over their windows.  Bars have shops over their windows.  It's not a place to be.  The next 71 was on it's way so I broke change at the new Whole Foods on Height (a kind of out of place place with great water).

As the bus came, I felt mean enough to sit in the seats for the handicap and elderly.  This is because handicap and elderly are offensive terms and none of them were around.   I was thinking about the strange box of red wine Jenny Bradley and myself bought and realized I should be inspired by her and start a blog.  I was also inspired by Julia who would wake up drunk and say I have fat girl fingers.  I had fat girl fingers.

As these amazingly intellectual thoughts were running through my head, a little red head girl and what looked to be her nanny hopped on board.  The little red head girl pretended that her hand was a hat.  But, come on, it wasn't a hat, dummy. She put her hand on her head and said "look, I have a hat".  She put it on her "nanny's" head and said "look, you have a hat".  She reached to put it on my head and said "look, the mommy has a hat".  All of a sudden this little girl was not cute.  Never trust a ginger kid.  I calmed myself down realizing my mother had three babies at my age, so maybe I could be a mommy numerically.  Then I got stressed out because my mother's choices turned out badly.  Yet, cuter then most people's choices.  So I calmed down.  All together, bad little girl.  Why bring up such mischief so early? She was me a few years ago.

Then thank God someone came to distract me, the coolest, yet most annoying Chinese man got on board.  He was speaking to himself in Chinese about the problems in his life.  I could tell this because I don't speak Chinese.  Then out of his reusable grocery bag he pulled a plastic produce bag and folded it into a beautiful rectangle.  Then he pulled another and folded it with the same perfection.  Then another and another.  Then I got annoyed by amazing produce plastic bag man.  Who had the guts to go around taking the produce bags from local stores and save them?  Then I realized I was upset because he is smarter than myself.  And, I wish I was him.  His life seemed so together and perfect.  Ride the 71, fold bags, smile at black haired girls.  Perfect.  I could do that.

Shortly after leaving the amazing produce plastic bag man, I was wondering around my old haunts.  Saying hi to Mom's with babies and having no responsibilities but scoring the free bread sample at my natural foods store.  Sometimes they give me tangerines as well.

I then arrived home in time to catch the showcase (but not the showcase showdown) on the Price is Right.  Best part of the show.  Even though Bob Barker is infinitely better than Drew Carey, I was happy.  My problems in life are not problems when written down.

In honor of Jenny Bradley:
Here's one recipe you need to use if you ever give up sugar, because chocolate is too important to ever loose:

Equal parts:
coconut butter
coconut oil
raw cocoa

Add sea salt and sweetener to taste (I also add shredded coconut)
Sweeteners that work well:
Agave ( but I'm on the fence still about this one)
Maple syrup (make sure it's the real thing)

Place ingredients in a glass inside a bowl.  Boil water and place in bowl.  Stir ingredients until smooth and happy.  Place in paper cupcake cups or candy cups or anything else willing.  Put in freezer for 10mins.  Enjoy.

This is a raw chocolate recipe as well because the temp never heats the ingredients over 104* . Tell your raw friends.  Man, I must have been in San Francisco and Humboldt County too long to have randomly known that.