barefoot contessa? more like slippered pro-stressa

i have no idea where i came up with pro-stressa (which one could argue i am). okay, so i know it was only a few posts ago that i bashed food in its entirety (and by "entirety" i mean by the three main meals i feel rule my daily/nightly life). however, i got over myself and realized: "perhaps it isn't the food itself that's so boring and uninviting. perhaps it's the way i'm preparing it, i.e. not putting in enough effort or enough fat?"

it was around this moment in time when i happened to catch an episode of "barefoot contessa" on the beloved food network (by the way, has anyone else noticed how much smaller giada's breasts appear to be? either she got a reduction after having a baby or her head has gotten so big that it's really starting to take away from any other part of her body).

on this particular episode, ina was preparing a delicious afternoon lunch for her photographer friend who just happened to be in her backyard, snapping pictures of the scenery and gaying it up. clad in her standard denim button down, ina prepared a bibb salad with green goddess dressing and a lemon pasta with arugula. as i sat watching her make all this savory food, i thought to myself...

oh, ina. hold me. hold me and tell me everything's gonna be all right. but watching her cook such delicious things also made me realize: when life closes a door, it opens a window, and through that window you may be able to see someone's TV on, and a show like "barefoot contessa" may be what they're watching, and you should sit and watch that show and take notes until the person who owns the TV and the apartment see you and you do a fake yawn/stretch and act distracted in your own apartment. then, you should cook the meal ina was cooking.

and i did. so, now, i'd like to welcome you to slippered pro-stressa with your host, emma golden.

just like ina, except substantially smaller and my best friend isn't martha stewart anymore (we had a falling out. i don't want to talk about it).

part 1: the green goddess dressing

funnily enough, although the name of this dressing sounds innocent, healthy and completely harmless, it's anything but. loaded with mayonnaise and sour cream, this dressing has the term "goddess" in it for a reason; one bite of this stuff on a salad and you'll be dropping to your knees.

the ingredients looked something like this:

notice how i try to arrange them just so. too bad i don't have the resources or the patience to do it like the food network stars who seem to have every size and shape container in the world to better the aesthetic of their ingredients. this is the raw shit. this is real life, yo. now for your "after" picture once the ingredients are prepped:

oh, i totally forgot to point out the ANCHOVY PASTE if you hadn't already seen it, gagged, composed yourself, then came to. yeah, weird but i would never question ina other than why she couldn't have been related to me in some way.

once the ingredients are ready to go, you slop 'em all into a food processor. see here:

mmmm.... globs of white stuff - MY FAVORITE. i don't usually come within 7 feet of mayonnaise, but this was for a good cause, so i sucked it up and pressed the "blend" button and got this:

delicious, creamy, green goddess-y dressing. the recipe states if you don't use it right away as a face mask or natural adhesive to store it away. so thank buh-GAH i had something to do so with.

i realize this last picture was completely unnecessary in every way, but so are a lot of things in life. deal with it.

therein ends the making of the green goddess dressing. easy, right? now onto the main course: lemon pasta with arugula.

this dish literally made me drool and tear up when i saw it coming to life in ina's hands. so delicious, so fresh, so fattening - i couldn't wait to make it and eat it all in a matter of days. the sauce is cream-based, which is very much out of my comfort zone when it comes to pasta, but the addition of garlic and lemon made me feel safer.

another ingredient picture. i take the time to arrange this stuff to make it more enjoyable for you, people. be gracious. and yes, that is a legitimate block of cheese to grate. i figured i could half-ass it and go the kraft way, but i stuck to my guns.

so, first came the sauce that has to simmer for 20 minutes (awesome, because it gives you time to get everything else prepped and i'm all about multi-tasking). as soon as the sauce ingredients were put into the saucepan, i died.

if cream, garlic, lemon and lemon zest hasn't been deemed an aphrodisiac by scientists yet, it needs to be. forget chocolate and whathaveyou - it's garlic and lemon.

whilst the sauce simmered in all its glory, it was time to boil some broccoli. i really appreciated the simplicity of ina's broccoli-boiling instructions. 3-5 minutes in boiling water, drain, set aside. okay, ina. you got it.

perfectly boiled broccoli. tender yet firm, like my calves. what? did you think i was gonna say something else? sick freak.

okay, so skipping ahead several steps, this is what the finished meal looked like complete with the green goddess dressing on a salad and a glass of wine (duh):

WHAT? hang on. in case you missed it, here it is again:

literally the best thing i have ever eaten. i mean, there are no words. all i could say the entire time as i chewed was, "oh. oh my. so good. SO GOOD." i knew ina wouldn't fail me. i'd recommend this recipe to anyone - OH EM GEE and vegetarians can eat it, too. how 'bout that?

oh, and here's my own, real-life "jeffery"

not to be mistaken, that is a kansas crew neck sweatshirt, and his facial expression is that of satisfaction and unbearable content.

go and do, my friends. go and do.