meal thirty-nine: spinach tostadas with shrimp and potatoes, linguine and clams, good pho you

Chris: My wife and I recently ordered a large canvas print of an old photo—really big, 3 ft x 5 ft. When we got it in the mail we were disappointed. Up close the photo was grainy. Looking at it for a few seconds hurt my eyes. But step back, and the picture finally snaps into focus. Some days I feel like this blog is that photo. That I’m so far in it that I can’t see its beauty until I take a step back.

Today was not one of those days. We made tons of ugly, disgusting food. There was nothing redeemable about it. I took 1000 steps back and it looked like a school bus fire.

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Chris: The first thing we made was spinach tostadas with shrimp and potatoes. We had basically none of the ingredients, but that didn’t stop us from making it extra gross. It smelled and tasted bad. Allie ate like 20 of them, for some reason. Earlier in the evening, when we were grocery shopping, we split up for a while to speed things up. When I was on my own FOR BASICALLY THE FIRST TIME EVER, I ate like three free samples of pizza. Later, when we joined back up, we walked by the pizza man again and I mentioned that I’d already had a few samples and Allie was FURIOUS that I hadn’t immediately told her that I had pizza. I didn’t realize that was where our relationship has evolved to. Apparently, anytime I eat pizza, I need to immediately inform Allie. Let me tell you her phone is going to be BLOWING UP. Also, I burned my mouth on the pizza which sucked but it double sucked because I didn’t burn it enough because I could still taste all this food. Chris’s rating: 1 out of 5 pizza burns

Allie: Recently I have been super into movies about demons??? I think a lot of it stems from being raised Jewish and not knowing anything about demons and now I’m older and I get to discover all these nifty little things demons do. Like in the Conjuring when Patrick Wilson says the lady demon is knocking on the wall three times to scare children AND mock the Holy Trinity at the same time I’m like wow, what a cool power move, demons are very smart and petty and I respect that. If I were a demon I would be like the one in the Conjuring 2 who is like GET OUT OF MY CHAIR I AM AN OLD MAN and they’d be like why are you haunting this house and I’d be like I cooked all of Guy Fieri’s recipes and now my soul and tummy are eternally restless and I think they would get the message and back off. Anyway, I guess what I’m trying to say is watching movies where demons stalk Ethan Hawke is more relaxing and joyful than flinging dry handfuls of spinach into a skillet and then topping them with warm, lifeless shrimp. Despite being bland and flavorless, these tostadas were edible and I was hungry, so I ate a bunch. They tasted like dried leaves and I ate them anyway. Save me, demons! Allie’s rating: 3 out of 5 dried spinach demon pucks

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Chris: I had sworn years ago that the only blog that would ever ruin my life would be The Huffington Post. So this time, when Allie demanded pizza like she does literally every time we cook Guy Fieri food, I caved. We ordered delicious deep dish pizza but the pizza company told us it would take ninety minutes to arrive, so we had a lame duck session of Guy Fieri cooking in the interim.

We made linguine and clams which I thought would be ok. My mom used to make these a lot. We went to the grocery store to buy clams but they didn’t have them. I feel like instead of writing this blog I should just make that magnetic poetry for your fridge with the three phrases I have to say over and over again. “The store didn’t have the dumb ingredient we needed,” “this food was complicated and bland,” “existence is a curse, life is a prison.” Or maybe instead of a blog I can just have a doll version of myself that when you pull its string it says one of these phrases. The doll would probably look like one of those anatomical dolls they give crime victims. “Show me on the doll where Guy Fieri hurt you…” The answer is MY HEART. Also my stomach and my butt. Anyway, we used canned clams that were 110% more green than I would have liked. This tasted very bad. I am a crime victim. Chris’s rating: .5 out of 5 I do not like green cans of clams. I do not like them Sam I am.

Allie: I don’t think I’ve ever had linguine and clams before (see above re: Jewish), so I was pretty bummed that my first time eating linguine and clams was going to be for this blog. I just knew it was going to be like if I had been saving myself for marriage and then I got married and then my wife took off her face mask and it turned out she had been a can of clams the whole time. From the get-go, I refused to believe that using canned clams was going to work for this. You cannot contain the fury of the ocean in a mere can!, I screamed in Mariano’s can aisle. And as usual, I was right. I ate very little of this because I had plans later and I didn’t feel like canceling them to stay home and barf clams. Anyway, it was very bland and it looked like something a lonely sailor had ladled out of the ballast task of a pasta ship. Allie’s rating: 2 out of 5 penalty points because it is our fault for using the clam can

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Chris: The pizza still wasn’t here. It was like when you’re a kid and you’re waiting for Christmas and you just stare at the calendar trying to will time into speeding up and then everyone sees you staring at the calendar all the time and they think you love calendars so you get like 40 calendars for Christmas. In the meantime we made maybe the worst thing we have ever made for this blog, Good Pho You. Which was Pho. I know that’s a bold statement but it’s definitely on the Guy Fieri Terrible Food Mount Rushmore, along with Waka Waka salad, black eyed basmati salad, and grilled ketchup. I’m not sure how fair that is because we had like none of the right ingredients. We basically just cooked huge chunks of steak in broth we found in the Asian aisle that said “pho” on it, and then added cooked spaghetti. I don’t remember that much about cooking this to be honest. That’s probably for the best. Was there corn in this? Chris’s rating: 0 out of 5 stars pho this recipe

Allie: I walked by a Vietnamese restaurant the other day and the smell of savory, homemade pho wafted out of the window. Unable to resist, I went in and ordered a bowl. It was cold to the touch. The meat was hard and dry, like the wind-battered cheeks of a crossing guard. The onions were devoid of both texture and flavor, like a conversation with Blake Shelton. “What is this?” I whispered to the waitress. She smiled at me. “It’s our family’s recipe. Would you like to meet the chef?” I tried to say no, but I couldn’t move. There was a ringing in my ears, a buzzing that was growing in intensity. I realized I was the only diner in the restaurant. Outside the window there was a flock of crows but no trees and I distantly wondered what they were perched on. The door to the kitchen opened and as my mouth widened into a silent scream, I saw the frosted tips of Guy Fieri, wreathed in flame, and his backwards sunglasses reflected the inky void from which he had emerged.

I awoke screaming. Thank God, I thought. My pajamas were soaked with sweat. “I just had the most awful dream,” I murmured to my wife. “What happened?” she asked, her voice thick with sleep. “I was eating Vietnamese food,” I stammered, “but it was cooked by Guy Fieri. It was so bland and tough. There was barely any broth, but the broth that was there was terrible. But it’s over now. It was just a dream.” “That’s right,” my wife said. “It was just a dream.” Her voice sounded somehow… different. It didn’t sound human. I turned to face her, slowly, full of dread. And then I saw it. She wasn’t my wife anymore. She was just a can of clams. “Where’s my wife?” I gasped. My mouth had gone dry and I felt dizzy. “I am your wife,” the can responded. “I am a can of clams. I am a clam can. You cannot escape the clam can. You CAN… not.” I screamed again, but this time there was no reprieve. The nightmare was real. Allie’s rating: 0 out of 5 TO BE FAIR THIS RECIPE IS MOSTLY BAD BECAUSE WE DID NOT FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS FULLY BUT ALSO TO BE FAIR, THE WHOLE RECIPE WAS SOUL-CRUSHING IN ITS INTRICACY, I HOPE YOU ENJOYED MY SHORT STORY ABOUT MY SPOOKY MARRIAGE TO A CAN OF CLAMS

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Final Summary:

Total dishes made: 130/157

Worst Sentence in one of these recipes: “The tender splendor!” (In reference to clams)

If there was an Allie version of the doll it would say: “Can we order pizza?,” “Look at these pictures of my cat,” and “can dog he’s a dog made of cans.”

Allie: can dog he’s a dog made of cans

Chris: The pizza we ordered was the best thing we have ever made.

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meal thirty-eight: turning greens, johnny garlic's grilled peppered tri-tip with cabarnet-balsamic reduction, red lion flambe cherries jubilee

Allie: And so we return to the realm of Guy Fieri, rending our garments and ululating as we bemoan all the time and money we have spent scrounging together literal burnt offerings for our self-appointed tormentor, our nation's culinary Wario, our planet's most notorious chicken-fried menace. Would it shock you, friend, to learn that not one but TWO of Guy Fieri's dessert recipes involving lighting said dessert on fire? I chuckle at your naivety. I was like you, once. Can you imagine? Me, a carefree lass? Now I scowl at children and taunt songbirds because I envy their gaiety. THIS WEEK WE MADE STEAK, I cry into the void that is this 38-entry suicide note of a blog, AND IT WAS ACTUALLY FINE; PLEASE, KIND SIR, SEND US MONEY FOR A COOKIE CAKE?

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Allie: First, we made turning greens. This meal was special because my mom was in town, so I decided to thank the woman who shot me out of her body and helped me make dioramas and stuff for 18 years by presenting her with a "vegetable side dish" that contained three different kinds of deli meat in it. Cooking this dish basically involved 1) sauteing hot oily deli meat 2) adding escarole to the saute pan 3) watching all the escarole magically disappear and 4) picking miserably at a bowl of hot meat while your mother refuses to eat any of it. All I have to say about this is, if you like eating warm salami out of a bowl with a fork, this is the side dish for you, and also you seem sad, are you OK? Allie's rating: 1 out of 5 sala-meet me in hell, guy fieri

Chris: As I was chopping 1.5 pounds of deli meat to make this vegetable side dish, I had a feeling deep down in my gut that this was not going to be good. This was confirmed by my gut when I ate it. This contained a truly heroic amount of cold cuts. It tasted like if someone took Arby's food and chopped it up and put it on some lettuce. Allie's mom kept telling us how various vegetables like escarole and fennel taste good and we had to tell her that, no matter what, this wasn't gonna taste good. It was like telling a kid that their turtle was sleeping forever and not gonna wake up and also sorry I ate your turtle. It produced a truly INSANE smell, like if a Subway sandwich shop exploded. Chris's rating: 1 out of $5 foot moms? Is that a pun?

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Allie: Then we made some kind of steak with a red wine sauce. We cooked this the smart way: we grilled the steak plain and served it separately from the sauce so that if it was gross we could at least still have some plain meat to keep us alive. The sauce was a little on the sweet side, but it was surprisingly good. Like, I would make it again? This steak was kind of like Henry Cavill: I never remember that he exists but whenever I do I'm like oh yeah, he seems nice, I wonder what he's up to, even though his face and body are silly to me, when is he gonna do a comedy? I think he could be a lot of fun in a comedy. Oh man, I wish Jason Statham did more comedies. He's great. Steak steak steak men men steak men steak men talk! Allie's rating: 4 out of 5 i cav-will see you in hell, guy fieri

Chris: Allie has a PhD in dinosaurs or something and I think the smartest thing she has ever said is "Let's put the sauce on the side." Yea, this steak was good. But it got Allie's mom to be kind of cocky. She was like "Oh you guys complain too much, this food is good!" She didn't believe this was an exception and now I know how Adnan Syed from Serial feels all the time and we have suffered an equal amount. Honestly, the sauce was not bad either, but the steak was the star. I actually cooked the meat correctly this time which was new. Chris's rating: 4.5 steaks through the heart of Count Drac-guy-la

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Allie: Finally, we made (deep breath) Red Lion flambe cherries jubilee. This had lingering undernotes of cherries and also butane, because for some reason (we were drunk) we kept cooking all the alcohol off of this dish and THEN trying to light it on fire (we were drunk). Towards the end we were so frustrated that this wasn't going up in flames like the fire guitar in Fury Road that we were basically pouring a fountain of Costco-brand whiskey directly into an open flame. Sometimes I look back on this blog and I'm like, huh, it's cool that we haven't died yet, I guess. Anyway, this tasted like smoky cough syrup and it was kind of fine but also I think my mom said it best when I told her what we were gonna make: "[horrified gasp]" Allie's rating: 2 out of 5 cherries jubi-be seeing you in hell, guy fieri

Chris: I stand by this being 0% our fault and 100% everyone else's fault for making this impossible to light. Allie is VERY scared of fire, much like she is afraid of BEING COOL, and kept asking if we had a fire extinguisher. This was a totally moot point because we never really got this to light. We just kept pouring more and more bourbon in until my apartment smelled like a poker night for divorced dads. Allie's mom had a lot of opinions on how we were doing this wrong and she was probably right but instead of listening to her we didn't. Look, sometimes you have to let the baby bird leave the nest and fall onto the ground and get driven over by a mail truck, ok? Chris's rating: 2.5 out of 5 unflambed cherries. How do you add accents? Oh. û, ŵ, ŷ, ä, ë, ï, ö, ü, ẅ, ÿ, à, è, ì, ò, ù, ẁ, ỳ.

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Final Summary:

Total dishes made: 127/157

Worst Sentence in one of these recipes: "Now to cook this one really off-the-hook you gotta put on some brown polyester!!!"

Things Allie would like to reiterate: that SHE IS NOT AFRAID OF FIRE BUT RESPECTS IT AND ITS ABILITY TO DESTROY CITIES AND LIVES

Allie: It's gotten to the point now where I will legit watch horror movies and be like "okay yeah being possessed by a demon seems bad but at least no one is being forced to eat hot oily salami in their house of death"

Chris: I hope your mom had a nice time and doesn't resent me for making her eat sub-dog food-level food. 

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meal thirty-seven: fieri-thon part 2

This is part 2 of a long post. Click here to read part 1. 

Allie: Welcome back to THE POST THAT TIME FORGOT AND BY TIME, I MEAN MYSELF! I don't mean to scream like Starscream, the Transformer who is named Starscream, but this all happened so long ago that all of this food and my memories of this food have since vanished into old greasy dust. Ol' greasy dust: my name if I were a prospector. Prospector? I barely knew 'er. Turns out when I write these posts I just turn off my brain and flush it like a toilet and what comes out is DAD JOKES and the NAMES OF TRANSFORMERS. Transformer? I BARELY KNEW HER, STARSCREAM! I BARELY KNEW HER!

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Allie: So like one hundred centuries ago, we made pulled pork hash con huevos. This was a simple dish of pulled pork mixed with potatoes and eggs. JUST KIDDING!!!! It's one of the most complicated recipes in this hellmouth of a cookbook!!!! Each ingredient has its own recipe; altogether, it takes up approximately 4 pages of the cookbook. I'm pretty sure cracking the Rosetta Stone was both easier and more delicious than preparing this breakfast dish turned entry in the Book of Secrets. Why does this have to be so complicated? Isn't hash just potatoes? Can you imagine finding the Rosetta Stone and how much fun that would be? I would be very excited if I found the Rosetta Stone. I would say "Hello, please allow me to translate your hieroglyphics. I have discovered the Rosetta Stone!" And everyone would lift me on their shoulders and ask me questions about canopic jars. I am currently very sad that I will never be able to discover the Rosetta Stone. I refuse to talk any more about this dry-ass hash because I'm busy reading the Wikipedia page about the Rosetta Stone. Allie's rating: 2 out of 5 times I have wikipedia'd the Rosetta Stone

Chris: Do you like your pulled pork HARD AND DRY? Do you like your potatoes SCALDING hot on the outside, yet cold and hard on the inside? When a waiter comes to take your breakfast order and asks, "how do you like your eggs?" Do you say "tough and leathery, like Clint Eastwood's face skin?" OF COURSE YOU DON'T. This took 30 hours to cook and sucked. What else is new? I tried to fit it all on one plate because doing an entire day of cooking Guy Fieri food used ALL OF MY DISHES. AND I'M MARRIED! I HAVE SO MANY DISHES! But it didn't fit on one plate and just kind of spilled on the floor. I left it there until the next morning and it had crusted and camouflaged itself into my hardwood flooring. At some point some children who used to work for me came over and I had to tell them "PLEASE DON'T TELL PEOPLE HOW I LIVE." Chris's rating: 1.5 out of 5 PREDATOR-LIKE chunks of pulled pork

 We didn't get any pictures of the bacon jalapeno duck because we were drunkish but look at my cat! WE DID NOT COOK AND EAT HER SHE IS VERY HAPPY AND LOOKS LIKE A WEIRD SEAL BABY

We didn't get any pictures of the bacon jalapeno duck because we were drunkish but look at my cat! WE DID NOT COOK AND EAT HER SHE IS VERY HAPPY AND LOOKS LIKE A WEIRD SEAL BABY

Allie: We also made bacon jalapeno duck. By the time we got to these, I was drunk and exhausted, like Jimmy Buffett after our captain left him for dead during that fateful snorkeling trip in Key West. I had sweated every nutrient out of my body and all that was left were toxins. I felt like Can Dog, watching from the ground as the Challenger went up on its fateful final voyage, a mere bystander unable to change the course of history. Eventually I got so annoyed that this was my life that I scraped all the meat off the skewers and just rolled it around on the grill pan like a stir-fry. It tasted pretty good, but it took forty years to cook and it also required cooking DUCK, which is what princes eat. Like, would I have murdered that tugboat captain to save Jimmy Buffett's life if I knew this is what I was going to spend all of my time eating? I should think not. Allie's rating: 3 out of 5 tugboat murders

Chris: This was somehow our third duck dish of the day. This means in one day, I essentially TRIPLED my lifetime output of duck cooking. I would like to take this opportunity to discuss how insane the leap between Mighty Ducks 1 and 2 is. In Mighty Ducks 1 (aka The Mighty Ducks), Gordon Bombay is sentenced to community service for a DUI and takes a rag-tag group of hockey players and whips them into shape and at the last minute beats the evil pee-wee team, winning the LOCAL PEE WEE HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIP in MINNEAPOLIS. Mighty Ducks 2 posits that this is essentially NATIONAL NEWS, as if the Mighty Ducks had won the Stanley Cup or Oprah turned out to be made out of a pile of old rags. They take that entire Pee Wee team from the first movie and have them compete in the Ted Turner off-brand Olympics essentially unchanged (save for like 4 new players). And they WIN! How did this team go from the joke of local pee wee hockey to international powerhouse in like 2 years? HUH? That's not to say I don't love those movies. They're great. They are the opposite of this jalapeno duck, which was bad and too spicy. Chris's rating: 4 stars (Mighty Ducks franchise) (1 star for the jalapeno non-mighty duck).

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Chris: The last thing we made was the onion tortilla stack. I've had this dish on my mind for nearly the entire project because there's this picture in the cookbook that looks like what the Ghostbusters logo would like if they busted cake instead of ghosts. Or what the Ghostbusters would look like if in the new WOMAN version if they didn't bust ghosts but busted Fat Dan Aykroyd for eating too much cake. Anyway, like a cop who spends his whole career chasing down his one criminal arch nemesis, I now have begrudging respect for this dish because it is completely insane. Basically we had to caramelize onions, garlic, oil, parmesan and MAYONNAISE and create a paste. We smeared that paste between several layers of tortillas. Then it had to sit in the fridge under heavy cans for 24 hours while it mushed down. Then we grilled it. The reason there was the dumb no cake picture is because it's not supposed to be cake. Duh. And it was not cake! Cake is good. This was... weird. The begrudging respect comes from the fact that this tasted unlike anything I'd ever eaten. That's not necessarily a good thing but it is novel. I don't know, I didn't hate this as much as I should have. Maybe I'm getting soft now, at the end of my life. Chris's rating: 3 out of 5 (a gentleman's C).

Allie: I've never seen the Mighty Ducks. Why are they mighty? What do they do, hockey and stuff? Why would I want to see a movie about hockey? I saw the one with Mick Jagger when he played hockey in an old west saloon. I think it was called, "Hockey Tonk Woman". Sorry, I think I'm thinking of the movie where Edward Norton is a priest who plays hockey and it's called Hockeeping the Faith? Or the one where I know I should write a third joke because of the rule of threes but also didn't you see Hockey Tonk Woman? That's the best joke that's ever happened to me. Usually I just yell the names of Transformers in these posts. Anyway this tortilla cake tasted like hot mayonnaise with some lingering undernotes of cold mayonnaise and I hated it and my brain barfs whenever I think about it. Also it contained like an entire huge jar of garlic and it was awful. Allie's rating: 1 out of 5 cold garlic-mayonnaise globs

Chris: Look, usually I would be done talking now and we'd just move on to the summary, but these puns were so shitty and upset me so deeply that I feel a need to tell all you folks that I DO NOT SUPPORT these puns. They are terrible and do not represent what I or this blog stand for. This blog has STANDARDS.

Allie: STANDARDS? I BARELY KNEW 'ER! I BARELY KNEW HER, STARSCREAM!

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Final Summary:

Total dishes made: 124/157

Number of articles people have sent me about Guy Fieri in the last 18 months: infinity

Number of articles I read about Guy Fieri instead of just saying "don't send me articles about Guy Fieri" and "venmo me $10": zero

Worst Sentence in one of these recipes: "Here's a righteous way to go Big Pork indoors"

Chris: As you may have noticed, it took us like 3 months to write this post. In the meantime, Allie got a cat, I bought a house, and Allie and I produced a live show. It was a great summer and I thought about Guy Fieri very rarely. Well, it was nice being happy for a change. Now, back to the soul-sucking blog!

Allie: The day we are done this blog will be the happiest day of my life. I don't even have a joke here. That is my heart's song right now

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meal thirty-seven: fieri-thon part 1

Note: This post was so long and contained so many dishes that we decided to divide it into two posts.

Chris: Like waking up on Christmas morning and finding Santa Claus dead on the floor or forgetting a tuna sandwich in your minivan that you parked at the airport in the August heat before flying away for a week-long vacation, there are some horrors that are essentially limitless and cannot be prepared for, no matter what steps you take. Going into this blog over a year ago, I did not prepare myself for the constant indignities I would face week to week. The pain has evolved from funny “haha,” to so sad it’s funny, to not funny just sad, to just about everyone we know just asking “Are you ok? You look terrible.” And it was with this sentiment on our minds that we hosted our first ever Telethon to raise money for OURSELVES because we have suffered more than anyone on this planet. Even the Chilean miners got a book deal and all they had to do was sit in a hole for like a week. I have been slowly poisoned for the last year and all I’ve gotten is this weird rash.

Among the many parts of this book that should be against the terms of the Geneva Convention, a solid 1/3 of the recipes in this cookbook take over EIGHT HOURS to make. Several recipes take 24 hours+ to make, and one little number takes A WEEK. This again begs the question of who is this cookbook for? I cannot imagine the venn diagram of people who love Guy Fieri enough to buy his book and the people who love pate so much they want to make it from scratch, cook it for four hours, and then refrigerate it for 24 hours has much overlap. Maybe I’m being a snob, but sadly, I think I can confidently say, without exaggeration, that Allie and I have likely cooked more Guy Fieri recipes than anyone else on the planet other than Guy himself. That’s sobering, huh? And based on that, I’m probably one of the world’s foremost experts on his food. And based on that, I can say NO ONE WANTS TO SPEND 30 HOURS OF THEIR LIFE MAKING HOME MADE GUY FIERI PATE THAT IS MOSTLY GROUND PORK AND BACON.

Because there are so many recipes that take ALL DAY to make, Allie and I decided we needed a day where we just cooked for hours on end to knock them out, because there was no way we were going to have time to do them after work. We livestreamed the whole thing, but you don’t really need to watch it. Allie mostly just stands there looking into the camera and talking about a dog she imagined that is made out of recycled cans, while I SLAVED away. We had 4-5 things cooking at any given time, so the whole thing is pretty much a blur. They say after childbirth your body releases hormones that makes you forget how painful the whole thing was, so you’ll want to have more kids. I think my body saw how much stress I was under and released that same hormone, because I can barely remember anything that happened and now I want to have like six kids.

 raw pate

raw pate

First up, we made the Petaluma pate. As I’ve referenced above, this was a harrowing journey unto itself. To start, the recipe made enough to serve 56 (!!) people. Allie and I decided the most we could reduce the recipe--without losing our minds doing like quantum calculus to measure minuscule portions--was to quarter it. Basically, we laid raw bacon down in a bread pan. Then, I had to take chicken livers and put them in a food processor, which kind of sounded like a frog getting run over by a car, or all my hopes and dreams being crushed in a food processor. Next, since like all of the recipes called for pork, we bought one giant piece of pork to save money, and so we cut off chunks and used the meat grinder to make ground pork. We combined all of that with spices, eggs, and breadcrumbs and cooked it for several hours. Then, we had to weigh it down with heavy cans and eat it 24 hours later. Honestly, this was a ton of work, and it didn’t particularly taste like pate. It wasn’t as awful as it looked, but the nicest thing I can say about it is that it tasted like old meatloaf. Chris’s rating: 2 out of 5 chicken livers I had to pull apart with my hands and they made this weird ripping sound

Allie: I don't eat a lot of pate because I'm not a fucking Rockefeller but I have spent a fair amount of time in Petaluma and that makes me qualified to deem this pate a hate crime to the good people of Petaluma, who, without exception, are all rosy-cheeked dairy farmers and sun-dappled beer wizards. This pate was wet and its mere PRESENCE in my kitchen made my kitchen smell like wet bacon for three days, despite the fact that I spend more time cleaning my kitchen after Guy Fieri food has been in it than those dudes on Breaking Bad spend dissolving human bodies. I also find it pretty appalling that Guy Fieri thinks eggs are too gross to eat but he is fine whipping up a three-meat pate in a blender? And like who is making pate outside of Wayne Manor in 2018? Didn't Occupy Wall Street shut that shit down? Fuck Guy Fieri. Allie's rating: 1 out of 5 occupy wall street jokes that are seven years overdue

 cooked (?!) pate

cooked (?!) pate

Chris: I should mention briefly that we also knocked out a second recipe here, the herbs de Sonoma. It had its own separate entry in the back of the book, but it is only called for in this disgusting pate. It was just a mix of spices. The dumbest part was that the recipe made an ENTIRE JAR of seasoning, while the pate only needed a tablespoon. I’m not gonna even rate this one. It was just some spices. It’d be like if I started rating AIR or MARVEL MOVIES. They’re all the same, man.

Allie: This is my kind of Guy Fieri cooking: throwing a bunch of loose spices in a bowl while yell-singing CAN DOG/HE'S A DOG MADE OF CANS/HE WALKS AROUND/HE SOLVES SOME CRIMES. Poor Can Dog. He can (CAN) travel through time and space but he couldn't stop Enron from happening because he was just a dog made of cans. This herb mixture was terrible because the only thing I tasted in the pate was wet meat and salt. If I were a dog made out of dog, as opposed to a dog made of cans, I'm sure I would have loved it, but alas, I am a human made of tears and spite and thus I did not care for it. Allie's rating: 3 (?)... out of... 5 (?) ... herbs...

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Chris: Here’s a fun fact: Guy Fieri has a Bahn Mi Sandwich recipe in this cookbook called the “Saigon Sub.” I bet the Vietnamese wish they could go back to the Paris Peace Accords and prevent this atrocity from ever happening. Basically, we seasoned a giant hunk of pork, let it marinate in the fridge for several hours, and then slowly cooked it on the stove until it was nice and dry. Then we slapped that on a sub roll and added some fresh mint and mayonnaise and BOOM, you have a sandwich that tastes like you’re brushing your teeth with an old belt you found at Denny’s.

I should also mention that in the middle of all this cooking, Allie ABANDONED me for four hours to go to a class. So, I stood alone in my apartment all afternoon cooking the slowest, blandest food you can imagine, until I began to hallucinate that all the cookware was coming to life and we all sang a song about how friendship can get you through anything, even this blog. Maybe it was the exhaustion. Maybe it was the fact I was in a poorly ventilated room with a stove and an oven running for 12 hours. But I was broken from this trance when I got 30 text messages from Allie saying she was starving and couldn’t wait to get back and eat and asking if everything was fine and I had to play it cool and pretend there wasn’t a ton of tension between me and the Cuisinart for missing his cue in the third verse of You’ve Gotta Blend in Me. Chris’s rating: 2 out of 5 dentists recommend this sandwich

Allie: Look, we all have our ways of coping with this disaster of a blog. Chris talks to cutlery; I pretended to go to a class but actually I just sat next to the lake and stole bread from ducks for four hours. Then I had to go back to Chris's apartment and pretend that I wasn't bloated from eating all that duck bread and sleepy from fighting all those ducks. This sandwich was pretty average for something that took 85 years to cook. I can (CAN) barely remember what it tasted like but I remember thinking "this is not really a banh mi sandwich" and then I remember thinking "what am I doing with my life" and THEN I remember thinking "THEY NEVER FOUND D.B. COOPER" and by that time the sandwich was gone and I was miles away. Allie's rating: 2 out of 5 ALSO WHO IS THE ZODIAC KILLERs

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Chris: We also made Guy Fieri’s duck confit and DLT44, which was a BLT but with duck. I tried googling this recipe, to refresh myself on the process, and suspiciously, there appears to be NO RECORD of this dish ever existing. Did I imagine it? Was it all a hallucination? I feel like that’s the most likely scenario. No one would possibly follow a recipe that takes 4.5 hours to make slowly rendered duck following a Guy Fieri recipe, would they? That’d be insane. And lo, if you were to imagine such a recipe, it would probably taste pretty good, right? And this tasted pretty good. So, what I’m trying to say is that the line between reality and fiction have been so thoroughly blurred that I truly don’t know what is real anymore. It’s like that movie, Shrek 3. Chris’s rating: 3.5 out of 5

Allie: Apparently, duck confit is French for "salty duck", because that's what this was. Chris and I had to go to a weird grocery store to buy duck at like ten am on a Saturday morning. It wasn't at all what I imagined my first time buying duck would be like. I thought maybe a little parade of foxes would escort me to a duck and we'd all dance around and sing little ditties about the forest and then I'd rip the duck apart with my sharp and gleaming teeth. Instead, I walked to a deli case and bought two duck breasts for like $17, which is more money than I routinely spend on prescription medication. Anyway, this sandwich was good because it was salty duck on buttery bread with tomato and lettuce. It's basically perfect for whenever you want a nice, refreshing BLT but you're furious that a normal BLT takes ten minutes to make because you're immortal and need some way to fill up six lonely hours in one of your empty days. So I heartily recommend this sandwich if you're in some sort of Benjamin Button situation and you're looking to have yourself a nice lunch. Allie's rating: 4 out of 5 little foxes eating ducks

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Tune in next week for the thrilling conclusion of: FIERI-THON

meal thirty-six: cheddar trans-porter soup, my super thai beef salad, black-eyed basmati salad, teriyaki sauce

Allie: OK, let's get into it. This week I cooked everything and Chris sat on my couch and put The Flintstones movie on and we started watching it as a joke and then we ended up watching the whole thing. Here is the thing I don't understand: ANYTHING ABOUT THE FLINTSTONES. Like I get that they're old-fashioned prehistoric people but it is chilling to me that there was once a whole civilization that existed and had the same versions of things that we did like McDonald's and Tavern on the Green but then they all died and we all evolved to have the same things but they weren't rock-themed anymore? Like I don't know if I'm making any sense because all I eat is antidepressants and sour gummy worms but a) why do the Flintstones chisel everything into stone tablets when they could just INVENT PAPER, b) don't tell me the Flintstones couldn't invent paper when they were able to harness prehistoric elephants to be their SHOWERS, c) was there an alien???, d) why was the whole plot of the movie about Kyle MacLachlan embezzling money from people, e) why did we watch this whole movie??? Remember when this blog used to be about Guy Fieri food? Me neither.

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Allie: First, we made Guy's trans-porter cheddar soup. Making this soup was a nightmare because I had to blend it in my tiny Cuisinart food processor and believe me when I tell you THIS SOUP GOT EVERYWHERE. Remember when Alicia Vikander was in like 7 movies in 2015? Well in this analogy, this soup was Alicia Vikander and my kitchen was the year 2015. I was cleaning soup out of my measuring cups and cereal bowls and all but preparing burnt offerings to our Lady of Open Shelving, Joanna Gaines, who hath led me astray. I bet Joanna Gaines has never scrubbed cheesy beer soup out of a measuring cup. She really does have it all. Anyway, this soup didn't really taste like anything? It didn't really taste like cheese or beer, despite containing both of those ingredients. It was really thick and gritty and it COATED all my spoons to the point where I've spent the last three days trying to scrub cheese residue off my cheap-ass Target spoons like I'm Kate Winslet in Contagion and my spoons are her immune system. Anyway, Chris and I were both really hungry so we ate like three bowls of this sticky gunky soup in silence and I thought of all these weird analogies about Alicia Vikander and Kate Winslet and how Chris was gonna hate them and I smiled like a little evil boy. Allie's rating: 3 out of 5 times a day I remember Jude Law was in Contagion

Chris: I truly felt like royalty just sitting on the couch while Allie slaved away in the kitchen. And what a fancy king I was. Sitting on a tiny love seat drinking beer out of a can and watching a movie based around rock puns, while a woman yelled at me about how logically the movie makes no sense. Truly, I felt like royalty as paper bowl after paper bowl of hot garbage was served to me. And indeed I felt most regal when all this food made me have to sit on the throne for 3 hours afterwords, because I forgot to take lactaid. 

I would like to compliment this soup on being made of so many ingredients that somehow cancelled each other out so this truly tasted like nothing. Like in the new Avengers movie how there are SO MANY characters that it all sort of ends in a CGI orgy of washboard abs, and people shooting colorful balls at each other, this all just kind of ended in a colorless orgy of brown cheese. Earlier that day, Allie texted me that if I wanted snacks I would have to BRING THEM MYSELF because she didn't have enough room in her arms to carry them back from the store. I don't know why she couldn't have used a BAG, instead of just trying to scoop up all her groceries in her arms like a Hungry, Hungry Hippo. So anyway, for like 4 hours this was the only thing to eat at Allie's house so, like a Dickensian orphan, I just kept going back for bowl after bowl. Chris's rating: 2.5 out of 5 cups of PLAIN SOUP.

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Allie: We also made Guy's super Thai beef salad. It was one of those things: it was basically a bowl of beef, because the only edible part of this was the beef. Have you ever wondered what it feels like to take a big bite of spinach and entire mint leaves drenched in fish sauce and watermelon chunks? It tastes like your mind is touching the void. It tastes like how a Pink Floyd album cover looks. It tastes like toothpaste that someone just dug up from Chernobyl. I made like Walter Mondale and said "where's the beef?" and threw out my salad and I just ate the beef alone in the kitchen. Allie's rating: 1 out of 5 Geraldine Ferrar-NOs to this salad

Chris: Boy did this suck. I don't like watermelon. Yes, I've tried it. Yes, I've heard how refreshing it is on warm summer day. Yes, I know it is a healthy treat. You're not going to trick me into liking it. Really, all melons are the worst. Do you ever get a fruit salad that is like 90% melons and 2 grapes? That's literally worse than getting FACE CANCER. One time when I ran a summer camp, I bought 4 watermelons. Not to eat, mind you (see above, melons suck), but to grease up and make children play water polo with (naturally). I was storing them in my office and I went to lunch and when I came back they were missing. I investigated and no one would own up to it. We ended up blaming this one kid who LOVED WATERMELON, but I'm pretty sure he didn't do it. I mean he is the most likely culprit, because seriously this kid was like that bird who is cuckoo for coco puffs, but instead he is cuckoo for watermelon and a human man. One time I just like watched him go to town on a watermelon for like 15 minutes. Anyway, I still have not solved the mystery of who stole the 4 watermelons and if you have any tips please send them in. There is a $10,000 reward for any tips that lead to the capture of the watermelon thief. Chris's rating: .5 out of 5 melon mysteries

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Allie: Then, we made black-eyed basmati salad. This may have been the worst thing I've ever cooked, and I once made a french fry ice cream that was 80% salt. Neither the peas nor the rice was fully cooked. Everything was crunchy and tasted like mustard. After we were done dinner I walked Chris outside so I could go to the corner store and get some ice cream to bring home and eat alone and when I got there I had a whole conversation with the guy behind the counter and when I left I saw that I had a receipt stuck in my hair and LISTEN HERE I would rather go through my entire life with CVS receipts fluttering out of my damn hair like dead leaves than ever have to eat this crunchy bone salad again. Allie's rating: 0.5 out of 5 times in my life I thought I was being charming but was actually serving as a cautionary tale to someone nearby

Chris: When I was a kid, my sisters used to trick me and make me think their nose was broken by moving their nose while secretly chewing on dry pasta. It was never once funny and the sound of dry pasta being munched on creates a Pavlovian response in me to say "Mom, they're being mean to me." This salad was mostly just dry rice and beans and sounded exactly like dry pasta when chewed and I yelled "Guy Fieri is being mean to me!" to no one in particular. Much like the other Black Eyed Peas, this dish was bland, wilted, and pointless. The only real debate is which did I hate more? The watermelon salad or what was essentially a scoop of dry dog food? I gotta feeling that this dish was a little worse. I mean, where is the love? And...uh...my humps. Chris's rating: 0 out of 5 members of the black eyed peas (there are 5 members right? Fergie, will.i.am...that other guy...the weird long haired guy?...is Stevie Nicks in the Black Eyed Peas?).

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Allie: I also whipped up a cool, refreshing bowl of teriyaki sauce but you're just going to have to BELIEVE ME because I forgot to take a picture of it. It was lumpy and gelatinous. Chris is going to be furious with me for saying this but: it had the exact consistency of menstrual blood (DEAL WITH IT, CHRIS, MENSTRUATION IS A PART OF LIFE)!!!! Teriyaki sauce is also a part of life, but I've had much better teriyaki sauce than this. This was too gummy and sour for my taste, which is saying a lot because, as mentioned above, 75% of my diet is sour gummy things. Allie's rating: 2 out of 5 texts Chris sent me asking me to remove my period joke from this post

Chris: When I walked into Allie's apartment, she yelled at me EAT THIS TERIYAKI SAUCE. I had a spoonful. It tasted like bad teriyaki sauce. We threw it out. I'd complain more but it was such a minor speed bump on the highway that is life that it's not worth getting out of the car and grabbing a random pedestrian and saying "WHY IS THERE A SPEED BUMP ON THIS HIGHWAY?" You know when you're walking up the stairs in the dark and you think there is one more stair and you step on AIR and you almost fall over? This sauce reminded me of that. If you were strolling along the street minding your own business and a man came up to you and said I have free teriyaki sauce, it is not in packets, would you like some, would you say yes? I don't think I would. Teriyaki sauce should only come out of packets or those little bottles they have at sushi places sometimes. I guess what I'm trying to say is that Allie and I are going to set up a lemonade stand but instead of lemonade we are going to sell the world's thickest, least flavorful teriyaki sauce and instead of being cute kids we are going to be world-weary adults and instead of making money we are going to somehow get more student loan debt. Chris's rating: 2.5 out of 5 LIFE LESSONS

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Final Summary

Total dishes made: 115/157

Worst sentence in one of these recipes: "Just when you thought beans and rice combos were all served up hot, I unload this super-duper-tasty side dish. This one rocks like the band!"

Another fun thing that happened during this meal: A group of random women accidentally included Chris on their pre-bachelorette party group text and he texted them a couple times about Muppet Babies

Chris: I can't wait for the 8-part podcast series about finding the Watermelon Thief called Seedless. 

Allie: I can't wait for the 8-part podcast series about our blog called The Fast and the Fieri-ous: One Woman's Descent into Madness and Arson

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meal thirty-five: grilled chicken tortellini soup, coconut-cilantro rice with peas and cashews, lamp chops with marsala-blackberry sauce

Chris: The pointless death march of this blog continues as Allie and I made another round of dishes that all but beg the question, "does the eighth amendment protect against self-inflicted cruel and unusual punishment?" It seems the rest of the Midwest is in mourning with us, as our perpetual winter continues unabated. It snowed today. It's April 16 as I write this, and it snowed. The other day, my partner walked in on me at work googling, "will it ever be warm again?" I'm not saying this blog caused this Narnia-esque hellscape, but I don't remember winter lasting this long when I didn't have a Guy Fieri blog, so you figure that out.

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Chris: First we made the Grilled Chicken Tortellini Soup, which Guy said is "stocked" full of flavor. That really sounds like a joke Allie would make, so the prophecy is correct: soon Allie and Guy will merge into one spiky-haired lesbian who travels around in a red Camaro rollin' out looking out for America's greatest volcanoes, jean jackets, and houseplants. We were also going to make homemade stock for this and knock out another recipe, but the homemade stock called for four (4!!) chicken necks. I just googled chicken necks and google suggested it was a "great snack for dogs." So, we used store-bought stock. Then this recipe called for sausage tortellini, which I couldn't find, so I got sausage ravioli, which for some reason really hit a sore spot with Allie and she kept insisting I didn't know the difference between ravioli and tortellini. I do know the difference! Tortellini are like weird bellybuttons you can eat and ravioli look like throw pillows. And believe me, I know about throw pillows--I live with a white woman. We also didn't make an entire roast chicken like he wanted us to and instead we just bought a whole rotisserie chicken. So, the thing we made vaguely resembled Grilled Chicken Tortellini Soup and it vaguely resembled something that tasted good. Chris's rating: E out of 5 (a score that vaguely resembles a 3 out of 5).

Allie: At the beginning of this blog, Chris would get real mad at me if I ever wanted to deviate slightly from a recipe or improvise or riff on it in any way (which I know makes me sound like an insufferable Ryan Gosling jazz child but in fact was born out of my desire to not spend $6000 buying two tablespoons of weird tequila spice blends every other week). Anyway, if Old Chris knew that one day he'd be dumping store-bought ravioli into store-bought chicken stock and calling it homemade tortellini soup, I think he would feel sad, and the thought of Chris feeling sad and full of regret just filled me with so much biblical power that an enormous and ghoulishly terrifying pair of wings sprouted from my back, Black Swan-style. Anyway, this soup was pretty bland, but the ravioli were excellent. It made me think, why don't I eat ravioli more often? I should eat ravioli more often. Technically whenever I eat ravioli my body becomes a ravioli where the ravioli is the filling and my body is the ravioli. Also, it bothered me that there were just loose tomatoes floating around in this soup. They added nothing to the dish. I know what I like and I don't like a hot wet tomato, thank you. Allie's rating: 3 out of 5 declarations that I like my tomatoes like I like my wheat, hot n dry

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Chris: We also made Coconut-Cilantro Rice with Peas and Cashews. Allie and I both do not like cilantro, which IS THE ONLY THING WE AGREE ON, so we did not include it. So this was just rice with coconut and peas and cashews. It kind of tasted like an Almond Joy with peas and rice. Was this good? No. Did Allie and I grow closer due to our mutual hatred of cilantro? Also no. Did I just remember Almond Joy actually contained almonds and not cashews? Yes. Chris's rating: 2.5 out of 5 rice that tastes like Halloween candy

Allie: Boy was this rice chewy. I liked that it was cooked in coconut milk, but it was just chock-full of coconut and cashews and every time I chewed it I felt like my mouth was a cement mixer and this rice was cement that was full of coconut and cashews. Chris kept talking about how much he liked it and he kept eating this hard, hard rice and I just kind of sat there and quietly seethed at him. I would cook this rice for my friend if my friend were a weak man and I wanted him to know that I knew he was weak and I would cook this rice for him and watch him eat this and make him eat the whole pot and then when he was done I would just nod and shake his hand and he would know he was good and beaten and he would hang his head in rightful shame. Allie's rating: 2 out of 5 stream of consciousness rice nightmares

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Chris: Finally we made Lamb Chops with Marsala-Blackberry Sauce. Like a genius, I only bought 2 lamb chops even though the recipe called for SIXTEEN, because I knew we'd almost definitely hate this. I will admit that I did get the wrong kind of jam. I bought blueberry instead of blackberry. So this dish was bad, but it might have been good had I gotten the right jam? I mean probably not, because that would be a MIRACLE and prove that the universe cares about us, which is clearly not the case. Anyway, these were not very good, but they could be drastically improved by scraping off the sauce and just eating the lamb chop. Chris's rating: 2 out of 5 jars of the wrong jam. Really got myself into a jam with that one

Allie: These lamb chops are marinated in TAPENADE and then covered in BLACKBERRY JAM and MARSALA WINE. This is a flavor profile selected by a MADMAN. It is the culinary equivalent of me yelling "you know what you look like to me, with your good bag and your cheap shoes? You look like a RUBE" to one of my 17 houseplants. Eating a lamp chop covered in tapenade and blueberry jam tasted more like licking the floor of an Amtrak dining car than I thought it would, but on the other hand, it also tasted less like chewing on a toddler's juice-stained Etch-a-Sketch than I thought it would. So either my standards are lower than most barnyard animals', or this was slightly better than I thought it would be. Allie's rating: 2.5 out of 5 Baaaa-nnie and Clyde are ON THE LAMB, FRIENDS

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Final Summary:

Total dishes made: 111/157

Worst sentence from one of these recipes: "If you put the rice with the coconut and you cook it all up . . . You put the rice with the coconut and you cook it all up . . . Come on, you know the words! . . . You put the rice with the coconut . . . "

Other things that different pasta shapes resemble: penne = mini telescope, spaghetti = fireplace match, lasagna noodle = fruit rollup, rigatoni = former President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Chris: Sometimes when I'm writing jokes, I'll do a ctrl+f on the whole blog to see if I've already used a reference before. Some references I didn't use today because they've already been used: TGI Fridays, mimes, lambchop's playalong.

Allie: Sometimes when I'm writing jokes, I start making a low croaking noise and then I have to lie down for a while

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meal thirty-four: braised pork ribs and italian sausage, pork-oulet, grilled polenta, caesar aioli

[Allie: This week, we forced our friend Matt to cook garbage with us. We are monsters and history will not be kind to us.]

Matt: I will admit my bias coming into this experience. Even by the most conservative of estimates, I have watched over 500 hours worth of Guy Fieri’s Triple D. Chris and I once had a roommate that would leave the show on constantly. The Food Network would air 6-hour blocks of the show - pushing the boundaries of the terms “Food” and “Network” - and we would leave it on as white noise. And while I would not consider myself to be a fan, I did want his food to be better than it ultimately was. I wanted the food to be good. But after cooking some recipes, it was clear that neither Guy nor his editor shared my sentiment. They didn’t care, and that feeling was contagious.  

The recipes were nonsensical and hostile. Similar meals could be made in an hour, but these versions took six. The vision of these dishes themselves made no sense. They were so disjointed, needlessly complicated and made up of components that had nothing in common, like that Garry Marshall movie, “Mother’s Day*.” So while it would easy to nitpick and claim that the food sucked because we forgot the bacon garnish** or bought the wrong type of beans, it ultimately sucked because nobody cared.

I imagine an intern somewhere is just spinning a wheel to see what to do with this food. Or like he used some kind of food Mad Libs. “Take the (Italian food) and (verb) it in (fatty noun) and then (verb) it.” Actually, that Mad Lib I just made up could be used for every dish we made.
Take the Italian sausage and pour it in ribs and then bake it.
Take the polenta and cover it in oil and then grill it.
Take the pork and cover it in bacon and beans and then saute it. 

Also, in case none of you are aware, Chris and Allie are in a race where they must finish the book before someone commits murder. (I would totally watch that movie.) So they were most concerned about just being done with the evening. Chris in particular spent 7 hours preparing one of the dishes that ultimately tasted as if you could have bought it frozen at the store and heated it up for 5 minutes in the microwave while you played Candy Crush on your phone. So his soul seemed particularly crushed.  

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Matt: Since I don’t have the cookbook in front of me, I will try to figure out their names based on my memory. 
#1 “Pardon me, sir, can you Spare (Ribs) some Pasta” [Braised pork ribs and Italian sausage]
This was pasta and Italian sausage but poured over ribs. At one point in the evening this dish looked like it would be delicious. It smelled great and looked like something your Italian grandmother would make, albeit when she was older and slowing down around the kitchen. Everyone was looking forward to eating it. But then we poured it on some ribs and cooked it for another 2 hours. And I mean, it was not bad, but the extra 2 hours didn’t make the food any better. Matt's rating: 3.5 out of 5 spaghetti uh-ohs

Allie: This meal had more PORK than A GOVERNMENT BILL WITH A LOT OF WASTEFUL SPENDING IN IT!!!! Am I using that term right?? I have to refine my comedic sensibilities so I can play with the Capitol Steps!!!! But truly what I mean is that it felt wasteful and unnecessary to use both Italian sausage AND ribs in this dish. Like sometimes I will just eat a bowl of black beans mixed with some hot sauce for dinner so eating a dish with two different kinds of pork in it made me feel rich, like a Disney princess or a brutal dictator. However: this dish was DELICIOUS. I was VERY into it and not just because I am always hungry, like a robot dog that has been programmed to always be hungry. The sauce was well-caramelized (re: we burnt it a little) and that gave it a really good depth of flavor. However, it was needlessly complex - it definitely didn't need to cook for 7 hours. That's seven hours I could've spent working on my version of "Putin on the Ritz" or "Let it Bern" SO I CAN PLAY WITH THE GODDAMN CAPITOL STEPS, GUY FIERI. Allie's rating: 4.5 out of 5 unnecessary references to the Capitol Steps

Chris: I would like to take this opportunity to say that I think my parents heard that I watched Triple D all the time and that's why they bought me this cookbook. So I can blame my old roommate for this. Also one time he owed me $50 and instead of paying me back he bought a tie fighter Lego set! (true story). I don't know which is worse. No wait I do. It's the one that is currently ruining my life.

I love having other people come cook because I like to see other people as sad as us. I think the Germans have a word for that. It's called Schadenfieri: pleasure in the misfortune of others having to eat Guy Fieri food with you. This pasta thing was fine, but it shouldn't have taken like 6 hours to make. I did an entire trial recently that only took 45 minutes. The guy went to jail. I guess what I'm trying to say is I'm a very bad lawyer. Another thing that was weird about this is that most of it you could eat with a fork, but you had to reach into the bowl and pick up the rib and eat that with your hands. It's like if you were eating cereal with a spoon and then you had to reach into the middle and eat bbq ribs. Chris's rating: 4 out of 5 million hours of DDD watched

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Matt: #2: Pork Goulet [Pork-oulet]
(I think I’m pretty close to the name here because we kept doing that Will Ferrell bit “Robert Goulet.”)
This dish wins the award for the night for containing the most different types of meat. It also wins the award for “Most Gray.” It was a color, consistency and flavor that would make children ask “Mom, are we poor?” But yet I discovered it was extremely expensive to make because Chris made me Venmo him at the end of the meal for my share. Matt's rating: 2 out of 5 Beauty and the Beast lies (try the gray stuff it's delicious? Shut up you talking candle!)

Allie: I went to Paris last winter to celebrate finishing grad school and I did a lot of great French things: I read alone in cemeteries, I read alone in bars, and I ate so much bread I scared a mime. On one particularly cold day, I wandered into a cute little restaurant and ordered something at random that turned out to be cassoulet. (Also, it's important to me that when you picture this, I look very timeless and chic and French and NOT like a lady Greedo!!! STOP PICTURING ME AS LADY GREEDO!!!) Anyway that cassoulet was super hearty and delicious and it made me feel comforted, like little Napoleon himself was giving me a big French hug. Guy Fieri's version of cassoulet was very heavy and bland and it was mostly pork but there was also a big fucking piece of chicken in the middle of it for some reason, which really did nothing for me. Instead, it made me wish I was back in Paris, ordering red wine in charming cafes and practicing my flawless French with the local pigeons and glaring at little babies and eating butter with a spoon, WHAT A MOVEABLE FEAST PARIS IS!!!! Allie's rating: 2.5 out of 5 revelations that I am this generation's less pretty, more depressed Hemingway

Chris: Despite having bacon, pork butt, and chicken thighs, the dominant flavor in this little number could best be described as "mushed beans." Also, Allie needs to stop comparing food we make for this blog with other delicious food she's had in other countries. OK, scratch that. Allie has to stop comparing these dishes to other food. It's best not to think of it as food. It's just a fine paste that occasionally has chunks of meat in it. Just put it in your mouth, move your jaw a few times, and swallow. We need to lower the bar way down to what constitutes success. Did I get sick from this? No. Did I have plenty of time to just lie on the floor after making this? Yes! Did I cry in the shower this week? Only twice. Chris's rating: 2 out of 5 spoonfuls of paste

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Matt: #3 Grilled Polenta
This was polenta that was made and then grilled. I think this recipe bothered me the most because it was clearly a just a polenta recipe. And then someone realized most boxes of polenta have the same recipe on the side of the box. And they were like OK that won’t do... what else can you do with polenta? And the intern spun the wheel and it landed on “grilled.” You know how most polenta tastes like almost nothing? This was kind of like that. Matt's rating: 2.5 out of 5 recipes on the side of the box

Allie: For months, Chris and I would scan the cookbook and see this recipe for grilled polenta and think hey, it's in the sides section, and it's polenta, so it must be a quick weeknight side, right? WRONG. The polenta must be prepared, poured in a springform pan, chilled for two hours, and then grilled. I haven't seen any of the SAW movies but isn't there one where a guy has a bear trap on his head and has to remove it? Cooking this grilled polenta was only slightly more complex than that. This polenta was very bland and greasy and it had a texture like chewing on a kitchen sponge. I'm not saying I'd rather have a bear trap clamped on my face than have to eat this polenta again but here we are, I'm saying it, I'd rather have a bear trap clamped on my face than have to eat this polenta again. Allie's rating: 2 out of 5 revelations that I am this generation's less pretty, more depressed spiral-cheeked murder puppet

Chris: Now this is what I'm talking about! This was basically Styrofoam! My dream that all the food in this blog basically becomes unflavored toothpaste is upon us. Now all I have to do is pretend I'm doing something else while I'm actually slaving in a kitchen for five hours to make this paste. Maybe I'll imagine what I'll do with the dozens of hours that I'll suddenly have free after this blog is over. Or think about how dumb quidditch is. Why is the snitch worth so many points compared to scoring with the quaffle?? It makes the rest of the game essentially pointless. It's like if baseball had the rules it has now, but also two players have to play a game of pinball that's worth 1 million runs. Chris's rating: 2.5 out of 5 wait if there are TIME TURNERS why couldn't you just see where the snitch was then go back in time and be there

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Matt: #4 Bonus: Better than Mayo Aioli [Caesar aioli]
And this was the recipe where I felt for Chris and Allie the worst. We made a cup of aioli. Even though nobody wanted a cup of aioli. From another perspective, consider the chicken kept in captivity, abused and force-fed hormones to poop out eggs at an alarming rate. Unable to breathe or see the sun, she produces eggs day in and day out. And every day the chicken feels the strain on her life but refuses to give up. As each egg rolls down the conveyor belt, she finds solace in imagining where that egg will go. “Perhaps my egg will be eaten by a king”, she thinks, “baked into a grand souffle at a state dinner. Or perhaps a loving mother will lovingly prepare it for her children. Or maybe two lovers will split an omelette on a lazy Sunday morning.” She smiles. But it is not to be. Instead, this egg was put in a carton and shipped to Chicago, where Chris broke the yolk in his hands trying to separate the egg white and then dumped in a ton of other shit and blended it and put it in a jar and put it in a fridge. It will sit until someone goes “How long has this aioli been here?” And then they will throw it out. All this to say that you made a recipe with the term “food lube.” Matt's rating: 1 out of 5 shrugs

Allie: Well, this is a terrible recipe, or somewhere along the way we messed something up. Either way, we ended up with a soupy mess of sour olive oil, and it turns out that the only thing worse than Guy Fieri describing mayonnaise as "food lube" is staring down a blender full of something that doesn't even closely resemble "food lube", as there is nothing this material can adequately lubricate, except for maybe a boat engine (???). I did not like it. Thinking about it just made me so sad that I had to Google "when will Paddington 2 be on Netflix". No one knows. That made me sad too so I had to Google "Mamma Mia 2 release date" but it comes out in July, which is far away. That made me a little more sad so I googled "snake island" and I read about a snake island. Now I feel better but I would still like you to know that this aioli is bad, please do not make it. Also don't fuck around with snake islands because they are full of poisonous inbred snakes. Allie's rating: 1 out of 5 islands full of snakes islands islands full of snakes

Chris: I think this was the best recipe. It look like 30 seconds to make. We all had a spoonful of it, hated it, and then I stopped thinking about it for the rest of my life. I wrote this great parody of that Eve 6 song: I wanna put my tender/ egg in a blender/ watch it spin around/ to a food lube aioli. One spoonful then I'm through with you. One spoonfullllll. Chris's rating: 1 out of EVE SIX

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Final Summary

Total dishes made: 108/157

Matt's footnotes:

*This footnote is only for my wife: That’s a joke because Garry Marshall also directed a movie called “Nothing in Common.”

**We did forget the bacon garnish, but it was OK because the very next recipe also had a bacon garnish so we were able to use it. Either there is a lot of bacon garnishing going on or Chris and Allie lovingly curated a theme for the evening.

Worst sentence in one of these recipes: "if it's sunny out, get ready to put on sunscreen. And if it's cloudy in Norcal, get out the pork-outlet ingredients." 

Chris: Recently, a facebook fan, Tom, reached out to tell us we had actually forgotten to update the meal count. That means two things: 1. we are actually further along than we thought. 2. at least one dude reads our blog. And if we can get through to just one person, it'll all be worth it. Just kidding, this is definitely not worth it.

Allie: Chris texted me to tell me that I should clarify WHAT GREEDO I was referencing in my part of the post, so let me be VERY CLEAR: I was making a humorous reference to Dr. Greedo Rosenstein, my childhood doctor

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meal thirty-three: fieri spaghetti and meatballs, hunter's hero, gaucho steak with four-herb chimichurri

Chris: In preparation for Mission: Impossible 6-- Rogue Punctuation Initiative¿ , Allie and I have decided to rewatch all the Mission Impossibles. We were rewatching the first one, which was pretty good, and we realized there's very little connective tissue holding this series together. I think the only thing these movies have in common are: (1) Tom Cruise running (2) Ving Rhames (3) the theme song (4) the machine that makes your face into anyone else's face. [Allie: come for the critique of Guy Fieri food, stay for the incisive cultural commentary about a movie that came out in 1996!]

Allie and I tried to really phone it in this week and cut every corner so we could be done cooking early and we could work on some other projects we have going. So of course, this was all incredibly difficult and nothing went according to plan and we just kind of sat there staring over the side of the ship as our blog slow-motion crashed into a Fieri and Meatball iceberg. Much like Titanic, I'm also pretty sure at the end of this blog Allie will remove her mask and reveal that she was old lady Rose the whole time and drop the entire blog into the ocean! And she will win the Nobel peace prize for her actions.

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Chris: First, we made Chim Chim Churi steak. I legitimately am not sure if that's what this dish is called or if that's the song from Mary Poppins. Either way, by the end I was hallucinating penguins. I started to buy the ingredients to make the chimichurri sauce, which included approximately every spice ever discovered and needed to marinate for approximately 2 months. Then, I came up with a clever ruse where I purchased STORE BOUGHT chimichurri and passed it off as my own. Before Allie arrived, I snuck the chumichurri into a separate bowl and destroyed the evidence! And then all I had to do was cook the steak. I eventually told Allie that it was store bought chimichurri when she complained it was bad. I thought it was good and it took me no effort. Allie called my ruse "a waste of time" and I countered that it was actually "an incredible waste of time." Anyway, this steak took five minutes to make and I liked it. Chris's rating: 4.5 out of 5 bad cockney accents

Allie: I assume this was called gaucho steak after the Steely Dan album because why not??? WE BUILT OUR OWN WORLD, BWAAAAAMP. Remember when Inception came out and everyone was like, what a motion picture THIS is, it makes perfect sense, we cannot get enough of watching these young men tumble around in a spinning ceiling box? By the way one of the weirdest things I've learned about Chris during this blog is that he doesn't like JGL and he REALLY doesn't like Ryan Gosling. He also once fed a turtle to a Coinstar machine to remind it "who's on top of the food chain". I thought the store-bought chimichurri sauce was a bit too vinegary for my taste, but the steak was cooked pretty well. However, it was marinated in tequila, just like FUCKING EVERYTHING GUY FIERI MAKES, which kind of made this steak taste like, I don't know, the quaalude-soaked bathroom carpet on Jimmy Buffett's sex yacht? I did not finish it. Allie's rating: 3 out of 5 wasting away a perfectly good steak in Margaritaville

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Chris: Next we made meatballs. Allie, being the clever, jean-jacket-adorned genius that she is, realized that despite taking up two separate recipes and SIX (6!) pages of this god-forsaken cookbook, both Fieri Spaghetti and Meatballs and Hunter's Hero used the same balls. One just served them over pasta and one put them in a sandwich. We would basically only have to make one thing and then we would knock out two recipes and finally all our troubles would be gone and so would our student loans and we'd finally have rock-solid abs! Quick aside: one time Allie and I were in a Five Guys in college and you know how they let you decorate an index card with crayons and put it up on a bulletin board on the wall? Most say something like "I <3 Five Guys" or have a picture of a hamburger or something. But we found one that just "Spaghetti" on it, written in regular pen, by what appeared to be a five year old. It was one of the best things that ever happened to us and we laughed for like 20 minutes about it and then Allie decided to steal it. She snuck up and pulled it off the wall and when she flipped it over she noticed the kid had tried to write spaghetti previously but had spelled wrong as "spuhgetti" and crossed it out, which really took it into the stratosphere. I just love how much time and forethought he put into the dumb ugly card that had nothing to do with the actual restaurant he was in that only served burgers and fries. That card hung on Allie's fridge for YEARS.

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Well, back to the balls. The main ingredient appeared to be wet bread, because we had to soak a bunch of cubes of sourdough bread in buttermilk and then mix them into the meat. That's fine, because on the hero, the second main ingredient was also wet bread, from the sandwich roll. The way the wet bread really complimented the wet bread was divine. The third main ingredient was Allie's hair, which inexplicably got mixed into these meatballs because she didn't even help cook them. She immediately sliced her hand open with a knife ("accidentally") and had to just sit on a stool and boss me around while I cooked by myself like a slightly more masculine Rosie from the Jetsons. The worst part about making these meatballs is that Guy thought they could be cooked entirely on the stove. Usually, meatballs are browned on the stove and then either finished by simmering in the sauce or baked in the oven. Guy decided that they could just be cooked on the stove which took an ETERNITY and they just all fell apart and turned into a crumbly mess that I hated. Eventually, I just finished them in the broiler. They tasted like wet bread. Chris's rating: 2.5 out of 5 delicious chunks of wet bread.

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Allie: I truly did slice my finger open almost immediately and it's still healing a week later and what a blessing that was. Chris had to chop vegetables for the first time in maybe the whole blog and as he started to do so it became clear that he had never seen a vegetable before or even held a knife. He kept staring at his reflection and screeching and then he threw a bone into the air and it turned into a space shuttle. So even though the recipe called for the onion and red bell pepper to be minced, Chris chopped them up into big ol' bricks and some of the meatballs were just wet bread mashed around big chunks of red pepper. I just sat there bleeding from my hand as all my hair jumped into the meatball bowl and if memory serves it was also very smoky because every time we cook Guy Fieri food we turn Chris's kitchen into a giant Negroni. Anyway, these meatballs were pretty bland and dry and took forever to make, but on the other hand, now we have vanquished the infernal "For Kids" section of Guy Fieri's Necronomicon of a cookbook. Allie's rating: 3 out of 5 fingers I have injured during this blog

Final Summary

Total dishes made: 104/157

Worst sentence in one of these recipes: "How do you shuck corn?"

Alternative titles to Mission: Impossible if the sequels were about our blog: Meatball: Impossible, Digestion: Impossible, Happiness: Impossible

Allie: Chris recently texted me to ask if birds can eat garlic bread. Food for squawk.

Chris: Someone has to look out for the birds

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meal thirty-two: spicy steamed mussels, brick in the wall bird with salsa verde, grilled chicken tortilla soup

Allie: One of the best things about being a gay lady is that when I came out I realized I didn't have to take shit from dumb men anymore! That was very empowering and I recommend it. Some other perks include: I have seen Carol a bunch of times; I now know that there's an episode of The L Word in which a fun pick-up basketball game happens and also a deranged woman adopts a sick old dog so she can put it to sleep to get revenge on the vet whose wife gave her a bad book review; I can wear denim on denim to achieve a cool dockworker vibe. However, my lesbian separatist utopia of a life crumbled as soon as I moved to Chicago. Now, multiple times a week I have to think about Guy Fieri, the human equivalent of a limp curly fry, and I have to deal with endless piles of shit from Chris, the human equivalent of a gas station hot dog. Sometimes it doesn't get better, you guys.

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Allie: First, we made spicy steamed mussels. I had never made mussels before, but this recipe was simple and the broth was flavorful and interesting - it had curry powder and a nice level of heat and we used coconut milk instead of cream and it was actually pretty enjoyable. Mussels are weird, but that's not Guy Fieri's fault. A MacArthur grant recipient once told me "that's not how evolution works", though, so who knows, maybe it is? Did Guy Fieri make mussels? Have we run out of ways to describe Guy Fieri's seafood? If you're still reading this: send help. Allie's rating: 4 out of 5 times I made a fool out of myself in front of a smart person

Chris: I went on my honeymoon to Belgium, and I have wonderful memories of eating mussels and drinking trappist beers on the canals of Bruges with my beautiful wife. Those memories have all been replaced by a nightmare-ish amalgam of frosted tips and Def Leppard guitar riffs. One of the weird things about mussels is they are still alive when you go to cook them. Sometimes, they open and close their shell as if to say, "Really? This is how you're gonna kill me? In Guy Fieri broth?" Also, why are they called mussels? They don't have any muscles. Look, I know that was not a good joke, but this blog has worn away any limited comic sensibilities I once had and now I'm just a 90's stand up comedian wearing a bolo tie. Chris's rating: 3.5 out of 5 molluscs with washboard abs.

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Allie: We also made brick in the wall bird with salsa verde. This recipe had all the subtlety, dignity and class of the man I recently saw walking around a bowling alley with a raging sweatpants boner. Instead of just marinating and grilling the chicken, like PEASANTS I GUESS, we had to put the chicken in a pan and then put another pan on top of the chicken and then put 4 bricks wrapped in aluminum foil inside the top pan, like REAL MEN (??). Unfortunately, I left all my bricks at home, so we had to make do with just using a real heavy top pan. My memories of cooking this are hazy, because the kitchen was literally so filled with smoke that it was like doing craft services for Apocalypse Now. The smoke was so thick that Chris's bedroom door kept slamming shut, which I like to imagine was the ghost in his apartment finally getting FED UP with our shit and deciding to go haunt a happier, less hostile apartment. Also, the salsa verde was red. That did not surprise me because this blog has destroyed my capacity for childlike wonder. This blog is the opposite of Steven Spielberg! Allie's rating: 3 out of 5 sad ghosts

Chris: Haha, this was a special kind of torture. First, I took a whole chicken and cut the spine out, like Sub-Zero's original fatality move in Mortal Kombat. The whole time Allie was just standing there chanting "FINISH HER." Then, I had to flatten the chicken into one pan, and then weigh it down with another pan. Guy didn't tell us how long to cook it, so how long do you think it takes to cook entire 5 pound chicken on the stove? If you guessed infinity, you were close, but it was double infinity. Allie and I sat in silence while I watched her beard grow three feet long like a lesbian Rip Van Winkle. After the chicken finally finished cooking in what was basically the FUTURE at that point, it tasted fine. Chris's rating: 3 out of 5 (one for each foot of Allie's luscious beard).

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Allie: Finally, we made grilled chicken tortilla soup with tequila crema without the tequila crema. It had a nice heat to it, but it took a long time to make and the broth was pretty thin and underwhelming. I really wish I could remember more about this soup, but by this point I was drinking white wine straight from the bottle in a smoke-filled kitchen, like a sassy remake of Backdraft starring me as a clumsy career lady firefighter who's just trying to have it all! What else can I say? There's a scene in the new Planet Earth series where these fucking JACKED horses are fighting each other for territory and lady horses and it's crazy. They look like really strong horses and they're kicking each other and stuff, it's pretty intense. Allie's rating: 2 out of 5 scripts for Backdraft 2: Backdraft in the Habit

Chris: I like how Allie said this had a "nice heat to it" instead of "it melted my mouth all over my face." This was super spicy. My eyes were already tearing from all the smoke from the brick chicken and this made them water even more, so they cancelled each other out because double jeopardy? I don't know, I'm not a lawyer. It basically tasted like hot spicy chicken water. But I guess when you think about it, all soup is just hot water with stuff in it. And cereal is just cold milk with stuff in it! Whoa. The good news is I am a genius and knew we would hate this soup, so we made very little of it and so I didn't feel bad pouring it down the drain. Chris's rating: 2 out of 5 revelations about what soup is.

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Final Summary

Total dishes made: 101/157 

The other worst episodes of the L Word: the one where a trans man gets pregnant and is thrown a Willy Wonka-themed baby shower against his will; the ones where a creepy straight man secretly films his lesbian roommates all around their house and there are NO REPERCUSSIONS; the theme song

Worst sentence in one of these recipes: "Oh, oh, oh...yeah, yeah, yeah! These rock!"

Chris: I think the ghost may have been the ghost of all my hopes and dreams flying out the window

Allie: I would like to thank the ghost for helping turn this writing project from having a fun Julie and Julia vibe to having a more sinister Crimson Peak vibe

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meal thirty-one: jambalaya sandwich, beef bourguid-on

Chris: You know what they say: “Shoot for the moon, because even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” This is as good a time as any to tell you that there is basically no way we are going to finish all of this blog in one year. We aimed for the moon, but we just kind of exploded on the launchpad, and now we’re stuck in Flavortown, with no ride. That reminds me, can I borrow like fifty bucks? Originally, we wanted to finish all of the recipes by the end of March 2018. Oh we were so young, shiny, and dumb back then! So much possibility lay in front of us! Now we’ve just been worn down by Guy Fieri world into a bloody stump of a person. The good news is for you: the blog will be continuing for the foreseeable future. We hope to finish this off sometime in the next six months or so. The bad news: Guy Fieri will be part of my life for the foreseeable future. I’ll still have to eat garbage food in a hot kitchen when I’d rather be doing pretty much anything else. People will keep sending me every article they see about Guy Fieri (spoiler: I don’t care. No matter what the article is—I DON’T CARE). I only have myself to blame. Also Allie. I can blame her. Also Guy Fieri. Also that lady who wrote Julie and Julia. Julia, presumably.

Allie has been telling me for months that she feels bad that I have been doing all the shopping and meal planning and hosting, so she will take the book and do that stuff for me. It was very nice of her. So, she took the book, did some meal planning and then made me go grocery shopping. Don’t worry, she helpfully made a shopping list and then took a picture of it and texted it to me. It was super helpful because it was all organized by aisle and it’s so easy to cross things off of a photo on your phone! Just kidding, it was basically scrawled like a ransom note from a kidnapper who didn’t really want the ransom and was also suffering a mild stroke.

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Chris: The first thing we made was the Jambalaya Sandwich (!). You know when you’re eating stew and you’re like, “why isn’t this on a sandwich?” There were FIVE types of meat on this sandwich. I went to the grocery store because I am a SAINT and got in the super long line at the meat counter. When I finally got to the front of the line I told the butcher. “Look, I’m going to ask for a bunch of weird meats in super small amounts.” And he was like, “…ok.” I asked for a quarter of a pound of pork tenderloin and he had to get permission from a manager! He didn’t think they were allowed to sell such small amounts. I also got exactly 4 slices of bacon, one (1!) chicken thigh, and smoked sausage. The line continued to grow behind me and I wanted to turn to people and explain myself but there is no good way to say your life is incredibly sad and you live in a food blog prison of your own creation. This sandwich involved cooking the bacon, taking it out, cooking the pork tenderloin in the bacon fat, taking it out, cooking vegetables in the bacon/tenderloin fat, taking it out, cooking the chicken, adding sausage, adding everything back in, adding the secret ingredient (shh! Water), and then it was supposed to simmer for an hour. This was a pretty dumb recipe and it was like eating a soup sandwich but it tasted pretty good because I was very hungry. Chris’s rating: 4 out of 5 meats I actually bought because no way is Guy making me buy five meats.

Allie: I feel like I am getting JUMPED ALL OVER AND STRANGLED like an iguana being jumped on and strangled by a bunch of SNAKES! This may be because I am watching Planet Earth II right now but I DON'T THINK SO!!! This sandwich took so much effort to make and it had so many meats in it. I kept singing "I'd like to be, under the sea, in a jambalaya sandwich in the shade" and Chris kept telling me about how he had to buy small amounts of meat at the store and I had to pretend like that was interesting to me when in reality I was thinking about other things, like doesn't jambalaya usually have shrimp in it? And why doesn't my apartment have literally any way to vent fumes out of it so now my bed is going to smell like a jambalaya sandwich? And why are there so many islands filled with kicky little crabs and can I move there and become their queen? I thought this was pretty good but also sweet snake Jesus, no sandwich should contain five kinds of meat and take an hour to make IT IS A SANDWICH GUYNATHAN FIERI. Allie's rating: 4 out of 5 I've got a song about an octopuses

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Chris: We also made beef bour-guid-on which answers the question: what is the hardest substance in the world? If you said a diamond, you are wrong. It is the chunks of beef in this thing. This dish also started with bacon, then we cooked beef, carrots, onions together in beef stock for an eternity. This formed the beef diamonds which we ate over egg noodles. I wasn’t happy. Allie and I started watching the reboot of Queer Eye on Netflix while we were eating this and as they criticized straight guys for wearing cargo shorts, I daydreamed about gay guys coming to fix my life. The first thing they would probably do is tell me to quit this blog, and then I wouldn’t have to do it anymore. I guess what I’m trying to say is please help. Chris’s rating: 0.5 out of 5 members of the fab five

Allie: I definitely give off a vibe that says THIS LADY LIKES STEW. I don't know what it is but I do wear a lot of stew-colored sweaters and I like dipping bread in things. This stew made me wish I was eating a bowl of something soft and flavorful, like gravel or glass. Before this nightmare began, I thought that beef stew was hard to ruin. Now I know that Guy Fieri can ruin stew, just like I know the names of Guy Fieri's sons and the fact that Guy Fieri lost his virginity to a bowl of fettuccine alfredo. Also, Chris talks a big game about wanting gay people to come in and change his life for the better but I have been giving him great advice for YEARS like "of course you can wear a denim jacket with jeans" and "we should stop this blog" and "please kill me" and he ALWAYS IGNORES ME. Also he doesn't think Antoni is a real cook, a fact he told me WHILE EATING A JAMBALAYA SANDWICH. After this blog is over I am never speaking to a heterosexual person again Allie's rating: 0.5 out of 5 stew-p there it is

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Final Summary:

Total dishes made: 98/157

Worst Sentence in one of these recipes: "I learned to make jambalaya from a Cajun buddy of mine named Ron Walker. (We call him 'Unyawn.') The first time I saw him make it was at a BBQ class in Houston, Texas. Ron brought in this huge cast-iron pot and set about making his killer jambalaya. I'll never forget it." Great story. Short, but pointless.

Things that should have gotten their own sandwich before jambalaya: caramel/cheddar popcorn mix, a thick roux of Vicodin mixed with red wine, that candy you get in the dish from the bank, a mason jar with like a kale salad in it

Chris: In other news, I recently discovered that Allie thought Tic Tacs were a type of gum and it is BLOWING MY MIND

Allie: Shoot for the stars, even if you miss, you'll die in the vacuum of space

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meal thirty: snake bite, steak diane, chicken dijon

Allie: Well I have good news and I have bad news. The good news is that everything we made for this meal actually tasted pretty good! The bad news is I think that means my palate has been absolutely shot to hell by prolonged exposure to the endless deep-fried fart bullet that is Guy Fieri cuisine. The other bad news is that we have spent almost ten months cooking approximately 100 Guy Fieri dishes, which definitely makes me feel like I am the Pizza Rat of people. Like, I could be spending my adulthood tutoring gay baby lobsters or watching Dunkirk or whatever I'm supposed to be doing but instead I'm spending most of my time drinking industrial-grade tequila and flushing grilled ketchup down my friend's toilet. I guess what I'm trying to say is: live your truth, lobster babies!!!

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Allie: First, we made the Snake Bite. I knew it was going to be a good night because I went straight from therapy to making a shrimp-based sandwich named after a hot rod racer. I also knew it was going to be a good night because I learned that hot rod racing is different from soap box derby racing. That might be a thing everyone else knew but look, pretty much all kinds of racing are far as hell out of my wheelhouse. Call me when Guy Fieri starts naming seafood dishes after Fiona Apple songs or something. Anyway, we cracked a bunch of frozen shrimp out of the freezer and I sang "papa was a frozen shrimp" to the tune of "papa was a rolling stone" and Chris hated it so much he grew a beard and left to go start a new life in the Pacific Northwest. His new wife is a salmon and she's a real bitch. The sandwich was actually pretty good. It was basically a shrimp sloppy joe, and it didn't make my stomach feel like Chernobyl happened inside it. I truly cannot ask for any more than that. Allie's rating: 3.5 out of 5 i dun kirk make any dunkirk puns

Chris: This sounded awful, was named after a hot rod racer, was made with the cheapest ingredients we could find, looked like cat vomit... and actually tasted pretty good. As I was dumping the frozen shrimp into the spices and stuff (you know... cooking!), Allie yelled "DON'T PUT ALL THAT SHRIMP IN! I'm not that hungry. I only want like three shrimp." Which is insane because these were the cheapest, smallest shrimp in the world (you may remember their previous appearance as the second half of the BOGO shrimp from the tom kai gai). But like I said, this ended up being pretty good, and Allie ate like 20 shrimps in her sandwich. It did suck the life force out of us, and we were so tired that we didn't even finish cooking the second two dishes. That's the first time that's ever happened to us, I think. Allie and I hatched a scheme where I would come over to her house and cook really quick before her party a few days later? I know, it was a dumb plan, but I was pretty shrimp-drunk at that point, so I wasn't thinking clearly. Chris's rating: 4 out of 5 tiny hot rods with shrimp riding in them

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Allie: Three days later, Chris made some Steak Diane and Chicken Dijon and brought them to my apartment, because I was hosting a party that night and I didn't want to subject my nice cheese plates and cheerful disposition to the acid rain diarrhea hurricane that is this blog. I also thought my sister would enjoy this steak because her name is Diane! I mean, I enjoy eating Elvis Costello records about whiny men, so I assumed she would enjoy eating this steak. Anyway, it was fine! I thought it was a little bland and I wanted some more flavor, but I also want the pay gap to go away and for Sherlock episodes to be literally half as long as they are now and to be able to pull off a Heartthrob-era Tegan and Sara haircut so I guess what I'm saying this THIS BLAND STEAK WAS FINE Allie's rating: 3.5 out of 5 i dun kirk think i can pull of an alternative lifestyle haircut

Chris: Yea, so shocker: our plan immediately broke down and I had to cook these on my own and then package them up to feed Allie like the world's saddest Meals on Wheels. This recipe called for filet mignon, brandy, and demi glace (which Guy helpfully suggested ordering online(!)). So of course, I didn't get any of those ingredients. I got filet, but I wasn't gonna spend like $30 on food that was likely gonna end up in the garbage. And the recipe only called for a tablespoon of brandy, so hell if I was gonna get that. I did try really hard to find the demi glace. I looked very hard in the soup and stock section, as well as the gravy section, but I could not find it. I asked a clerk if they had it, and I might as well have asked for MOON ROCKS by the way he looked at me, so they did not have it. Also, I ended up having to cook this meal alone BECAUSE I AM A MARTYR, so I was fully prepared to hate this but fall on my sword because I didn't really try hard to make it and I didn't have half the ingredients. But, I actually really liked this. I thought it was really flavorful, but it lacked some the richness I expected (probably because of the lack of brandy and demi glace--I used whiskey and beef stock with butter, respectively). I liked it enough that after Allie and I choked down like five bites before the party, I took it home and heated it up the next day! I know, I'm shocked, too. Chris's rating: 4 out of 5 pants (I substituted pants for points).

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Allie: Finally, in classic Allie fashion, I quickly ate some of the chicken Dijon over the sink. It was fine. I appreciated that the mustard taste wasn't too overwhelming, because sometimes eating mustard makes my sinuses feel twitchy and uncomfortable and like, that's how I feel all the time, why must the inside of my face feel that way too? Guy talks a big game about how he went to France when he was a teen and that gave him a refined palate but like a) this is a boneless skinless chicken breast covered in Swiss cheese, cool it, Jacques Pepin, and b) just because you've been to France doesn't make you fancy, I went to France and I ended up in a Michael Jackson-themed Christmas haunted house rollercoaster and then I killed the plant in my AirBnB like a sassy millennial Jean Valjean. Also, this chicken was pretty rubbery. I really enjoyed not cooking it, though. Allie's rating: 3 out of 5 i dun kirk like mustard

Chris: Like all great Guy Fieri recipes, this started with me pouring salt and sugar and water in a bag with a boneless, skinless chicken breast and letting it sit in the fridge for an hour. Usually, when you brine chicken, you at least boil the water first to dissolve the sugar and salt. Nope. My chicken breast just sat there in his little sweet n' salty bath like it was at the world's saddest spa. Again, we didn't cook this chicken for three days, so it got really BRINED. Or so I thought. Actually, it just came out very rubbery, kind of like the consistency of Laffy Taffy. Also, the bag punctured and salty, sugary water with uncooked chicken juice leaked all over my fridge and got into my crisper drawer and destroyed all my vegetables! Cheers to good decisions! Also again, I made this myself because I AM THE BACKBONE OF THIS BLOG, and I really phoned it in. But the sauce was actually pretty tasty. If the chicken didn't taste like old Halloween candy, I think this would have been a really solid dish. Chris's rating: 3 out of 5 hilarious Laffy Taffy jokes (Why is this blog like a bad pencil? It has no point!)

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Final Summary

Total dishes made: 96/157

Worst sentence in one of these recipes: "Almost every time I cook with mustard it reminds me of being an exchange student in France. Especially when I make a dish like this one, with wine and cheese." Who proof-read this cookbook, a maxi-pad with a drawn-on smiley face?

What Diane said about the steak Diane: "I don't think it's cooked all the way through" (it was; she was wrong)

Allie: Why is this blog like a bad pencil? I think it's giving me lead poisoning

Chris: Why is this blog like a bad pencil? I wish I could erase it

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meal twenty-nine: confetti mashed potato flautas, queen korina's salad, tequila turkey fettuccine

Chris: I grew up in a big family. Being the youngest with three older sisters is and was a huge part of my identity. Growing up we were very close, and despite the constraints of our busy lives and distant geography, we remain close. But it's all too rare that we all get to be together. So when everyone was in town for the holidays, I took it as an opportunity to really get back at my siblings for all the stuff they did to me as a kid by making them cook and eat Guy Fieri food. Katie, Liz, Allie: this is for when you made me be the test subject in your homemade carnival ride (The Wiz!). Have a MASHED POTATO flauta. All those times you made fun of me for watching He-Man on VHS? I will watch you cry as you eat OREGANO SALAD. Remember when you convinced me that I had a long lost brother named Jack? Eat turkey fettuccine with TEQUILA.

And like all best laid plans for this blog, this plan immediately imploded. First, one of my sister's kids got sick, so she was out (this is the same kid who farted in my face on Christmas and then excitedly told me "I honked"). One of my other sisters got held up at work. So just one of my sisters and her husband cooked this meal with me and Allie. Good thing revenge is a dish best served cold because they are getting leftovers in the mail.

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Chris: We settled on kind of a Mexican theme for the night, although calling this food "Mexican" is kind of like calling Allie "a young lady" instead of "crazy woman eating soup on a bus." The first thing we made was Confetti Mashed Potato Flautas with Hot Tomatillo Sauce. Surprisingly, the confetti was not little pieces of torn up paper, but rather corn and stuff. Otherwise this was exactly what you'd expect: mashed potatoes rolled in a tortilla and deep fried. The best part was we still had approximately 400 flour tortillas left over from the Guy Fieri party (a good indication of how popular the carnitas were), and I got to use a few of those here. Seriously, I won't need to buy tortillas or toilet paper for like six months. These tasted ok. Contrary to what the picture may indicate, we made like 10 of these, not ONE GIANT flauta. I ate all of mine, but there were like six left over. And we had at least six people eating at this point! Someone is not carrying their Guy Fieri weight. Me, I'm definitely carrying my Guy Fieri weight. Mostly in my hips. Chris's rating: 3 out of 5 maracas (please don't send me to sensitivity training)

Allie: This food was edible, although calling this food "edible" is kind of like calling Chris "a grown man" instead of "disheveled man weeping at the zoo". These flautas had all the flavor, crunch, and spice of mashed potatoes, which is to say: not that much. Each one was truly bland and dense, like an unsalted black hole. Basically, this food was like bitcoin: I put a lot of time and effort into making it, the payoff was minimal, and if I'm being honest I don't even really understand what its whole deal is but a lot of men I know have opinions about it. Also, you can't just add the word "confetti" to the name of the dish to make it more fun. Like if I suddenly started going by "Nachos McPartybot" I wouldn't magically stop being a stone-cold bitch all the time, that's not how names work. Allie's rating: 2 out of 5 unseasoned astrophysical phenomena

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Chris: Next we made the Queen Korina's Salad. This was kind of like a hearty beef taco salad with a bit of oregano. Actually it was basically a hearty serving of oregano, with a just a little bit of salad. Seriously, there were ten (!!!) tablespoons of oregano in this. TEN! I was kind of excited to make this because for the entire blog I've been saying to Allie: "Or-uh-gone-oh? What the hell?" But that didn't make this salad any better. By this time, my sister who had to work late and her husband showed up and were like "this salad is terrible, it's all oregano" and I said "HEY you show up late you don't get to complain about the food" even though I knew it was terrible. Seriously, instead of making this salad, just snort a line of oregano. Chris's rating: 1 out of 5 wait does Oregano come from Oregon? (Allie: Orega-NO it does not)

Allie: One time I was so depressed I watched Mamma Mia six times in seven days. I still consider this salad to be my rock bottom. It was just a bowl of uncooked radishes smothered in oregano. Why do you want to hurt us, Guy? What have we ever done to you? Allie's rating: 1 out of 5 Oregano Trails

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Chris: Finally, we made tequila turkey fettuccine, which Guy described as "fettuccine alfredo in Mexico during Thanksgiving...Tequila!" Yum, my mouth is watering! Sadly, we had to buy another bottle of tequila because we drank all the tequila we had been using to cook for six months AND all the tequila people brought for Boozeapalooza, so that's a bummer. Guy also says this recipe helped him win the Next Food Network Star Competition. Remember when Cajun fettuccine alfredo helped him lose his virginity? What is it with Guy and fettuccine alfredo helping him reach life milestones? I guess some people have mentors to help them through life, Guy has cream sauce. Despite the terrible name and how disgusting this sounds, this wasn't terrible. I didn't like it or anything, but it was ok. I didn't want to give Allie 3 TV shows on Food Network after eating it though. Chris's rating: 3 out of 5 terrible Guy Fieri shows currently airing (Triple D, Guy's Big Bite, and Guy's Grocery Games, which is a ripoff of Supermarket Sweep, one of the best shows ever made.)

Allie: One day, I will force Chris to give me three TV shows. One TV show will be called Mop Chef, which is like Top Chef but all the contestants are mops and I yell at them while they stand there and my co-host will be a kicky little crab. The second TV show will be called Undercover Floss and it's where I break into people's homes and leave them floss under their bedsheets and my co-host will be a kicky little crab. The third TV show will be called Crabsolutely Fabulous and it's about me and a kicky little crab having fun adventures and being sassy to people!! This pasta was OK. It tasted like pretty regular fettuccine alfredo. If I were a kicky little crab I might say it could use a PINCH more flavor but WHAT THE SHELL it was fine. Allie's rating: 3 out of 5 MOP! CHEF!

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Final Thoughts:

Total dishes made: 93/157

Worst Sentence in one of these recipes: "Veggie flautas? Are you kidding me? Nope, these are money."

Only thing sadder than the picture of that overcooked flauta: The picture my friend texted me today of him eating alone in a Buffalo Wild Wings

Chris: Not to disrespect the #metoo movement, but I feel like I should get to wear a special lapel pin for surviving this blog.

Allie: Not to disrespect you but I'm going to throw you down a well one day

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Fieri and Brimstone Presents: Boozeapalooza 2017, Part II

Allie: Welcome back to the recap of our Guy Fieri-themed party. Last week, we described the food that we force-fed to our ungrateful friends. By the time the party began, Chris and I had been hanging out and cooking for seven hours and I was stone-cold ready to go home and take a nice, quiet, 12-hour nap. Instead, I did what any normal person with crippling anxiety would do: I went into Chris's bathroom and sat there quietly for like ten minutes until I heard someone say "Where's Allie?" and then I walked out of the bathroom with all the energy and enthusiasm of an innocent man making his way to the electric chair and prepared to ladle out some hot, greasy cocktails to people I ostensibly like.

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Chris: Eventually people started showing up for the party. It was truly weird to have a party where you were inviting your friends to come over and be unhappy with you. The first drink we made was the "Agua de Palapa Joe's" which I think translates to "Chalky Milk Stew." We soaked rice in a bowl of water and added some cinnamon, condensed milk, and sugar. Then we blended it and strained it into a bowl. The straining didn't help much and it was incredibly gritty. It tasted like really bad horchata and it didn't have any alcohol in it, so it was pretty terrible. A pretty ominous way to kick off our drinks. Chris's rating: 1.5 out of 5 cups of white Pepto Bismol

Allie: As soon as I had a sip of this, it instantly brought me back to my childhood. Specifically because it tasted exactly like a medicine I once had to take when I was a child. Over the course of the evening, this kind of stratified and all the rice particles settled at the bottom and the water rose to the top, which is a thing that I noticed when I poured a completely full bowl of rice water milk down the drain after 30 people unanimously refused to drink more than one sip of it. Allie's rating: 1 out of 5 rocks I have literally eaten that were less gritty than this drink

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Chris: Next we made the Code Red, which was vodka, peach schnapps, amaretto, cranberry juice, and OJ.  It was described by partygoers as "Robitussin," "tastes like burning," "It's the taste of cough syrup but with the opposite effect, you drink it and get sick," and "tastes like a practical joke played by a possessed cherry tree." I would have a tendency to agree. First of all, it wasn't even that red--it was pretty brown. It should've been called Code Brown, which was the code we used when I was a lifeguard and a toddler pooped in the water. This had a very strong alcohol taste which overpowered the equally unpleasant sweetness of all the fruit juice. Not good, but drinkable. Chris's rating: 2 out of 5 doses of Code Red prescribed by Dr. Fieri

Allie: I thought this would be fine. I love alcohol. The only thing I love more than alcohol is drinking! And I honestly could not choke this down. It looked like swamp water and tasted like a swamp full of amaretto. I even went back later when I was good and toasted and I still could not manage more than a few sips of this. As you can see in the above photo, this drink was also our first warning that Guy Fieri loves throwing, like, four cups of fruit salad into all of his drinks. There were so many goddamned sliced oranges at this party it was like halftime at a children's soccer game. Allie's rating: 1 out of 5 drunk children soccer players

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Chris: Then we made the Shark Attack. I think it's called that because it is often used as shark repellent. I would also recommend using it as a friend repellent---it worked for us! This little drink included: tequila, triple sec, and Bacardi 151, plus juice and fruit. I'm not sure what it is was, but something gave this a very strong odor--like an industrial solvent. I'm guessing it was the over-proof rum. Partygoers said it was "gummy bear diarrhea," "tasted like college," "the kind of drink an alcoholic makes," "I took one sip and got a DUI," and "If I took a chug of nail polish remover it would taste better than this." Despite having a kick, I kind of dug it. It wasn't great but it was pleasantly strong. Chris's rating: 3 out of 5 liver transplants needed

Allie: This was fine, I think. Making these drinks required a level of strategy usually reserved for Civil War re-enactments or avoiding bachelorette parties in public because Guy Fieri's cocktail recipes are all completely unstandardized - some recipes give their quantities in ounces, others in cups; some recipes make 1 serving and some make 12 (not a joke!!!). So this was the only party I've been to where mixing up the cocktails felt less like Cocktail and more like A Beautiful Mind. Anyway, that's a long-winded way of saying that by this point in the evening I was already pretty tired of having to make gross, complicated drinks. This drink tasted like alcohol with a slightly fruity aftertaste, like chasing nail polish remover with perfume. It was one of the better drinks we made. Allie's rating: 2 out of 5 Russell Crowe-cktails

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Chris: Next up was the Grape Ape Bowla, which I think is supposed to be a pun on Great Ape but I'm not sure how. Many other people thought it was some sort of pun on ebola. Either way, my mouth is watering! This was rum, vodka, gin, triple sec, grape juice, 7-Up, and grapes. This one had a more positive reception with partygoers who raved "it's fine," "the ice really enhances the taste," "maybe I'm just getting drunk, but I like it?" "Grape ebola, like a mosquito, I thought it would suck... but the flavor surprised me" and "the best thing about this drink is it's not the other drinks." This basically tasted like grape juice mixed with Long Island iced tea. Chris's rating: 2 out of 5 confusing puns

Allie: If I ever met Guy Fieri and I could ask him only one question, I would ask him what this pun means. Am I dumb? What does this mean? At this point in the evening, I was drinking on an empty stomach because I didn't want to eat the bad food we made but I wasn't really getting drunk because I didn't want to drink the bad drinks we made so I was basically slumped over on the couch waiting for the party to end. It felt a lot like I was sitting shiva for myself. This tasted more like grape juice and less like industrial fumes than some of the other drinks, so I managed to drink like... half a cup of it. Allie's rating: 2.5 out of 5 NO PUNS HERE OUT OF PROTEST

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Allie: At some point, we made a double batch of Guy's "Silver Sangria". This recipe was a pretty traditional spin on an old-world favorite. Just kidding, it was white wine mixed with rum, peach schnapps, sour apple liqueur, 7-Up, and a shitload of apples. You know in Lord of the Rings when Gandalf the Grey dies and he comes back as Gandalf the White and he's like "I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide"? This drink was my version of that because it was the only reason I got through the evening because it tasted like SOUR PATCH KIDS and I was so happy it didn't trigger my gag reflex that I drank like five glasses and I loved it!! Also just now I accidentally typed "soup patch kids" instead of "sour patch kids" which I think is pretty funny. I might still be drunk off of this terrible amazing sangria. Allie's rating: 5 out of 5 nectars of the gods

Chris: Look man, I love sour patch kids. They are a top 3 movie snack for me. I also love booze. It is a top 2 movie snack for me. But I FELT LIKE I WAS ON ANOTHER PLANET WHILE DRINKING THIS. People were saying how good it was and I couldn't even keep it down. The closest I got to ralphing at this party was drinking this, and you saw the Guy-talian Nachos. Part of the problem was we told someone to bring Sour Apple Pucker and he brought Berry Pucker. He said he "didn't understand what the big deal" was and that I should "stop hitting him with a mini souvenir baseball bat" but he destroyed the INTEGRITY of the blog. I'm just kidding, our integrity flew out the window somewhere around Crab Boil. Some party guests agreed with me, calling the drink "like freshman year vomit," asking "how do you fuck up sangria so badly?" and saying "Guy Fieri is an alcohol abuser." Anyway, this was foul and the chunks of fruit got stuck in the spigot of my punch pitcher and I had to poke them out with a toothpick. Chris's rating: 1 out of 5 movie snacks

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Allie: We also made something called "JR's 50/50". This was basically an orange creamsicle with vodka and champagne, which means it's a perfect cocktail for someone who likes drinking but LOVES having indigestion. I don't like orange creamsicles or mixing alcohol with dairy so I took a sip of this and grimaced a little and then I put it down and WENT BACK TO MY SOUR SANGRIA Y'ALL Allie's rating: 2 out of 5 more glasses of silver sangria

Chris: In the span of one year, I got injured two times chasing the ice cream truck. The first time, I ran out of the house trying to catch the ice cream man, but I realized I'd never catch him on foot so I grabbed my razor scooter in hot pursuit. Speeding down a hill, the front wheel hit a storm drain and I scraped up my leg really badly. The second time was a few months later, when I was on vacation with my family in Bath, England and I excitedly chased after a BRITISH ice cream man. When I looked back at my family to gesture, "Come on, guys, he's getting away" I ran into a metal pole. Both times I did not get ice cream. Also, I am now lactose intolerant. So what I'm saying is, I am used to ice cream hurting me. The JR 50/50 wasn't bad, but I can't imagine deliberately ordering it and being satisfied. As a lot of party guests pointed out, this drink had a crazy after taste. It mostly just tasted like a creamsicle, but then it had a super strong aftertaste to remind you that you were making bad decisions. Partygoers also said, "this drink somehow gave me gout," asked "who is JR?", and said "my toddler would like it, and he's a two year old police chief." Chris's rating: 2 out of 5 ice cream truck accidents

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Allie: Finally, we made the drink shown above and the drink shown below. One of them is called the Sea Donkey and one of them is called the Fish Bowl. They both look identical, so I don't know which one is which. As you can tell by the photo below, in which there is a whole lemon floating in a pitcher of blue liquid, we were all very calm and sober at this point in the evening and we were mostly exchanging quiet witticisms and insightful political commentary. These were both blue and that's what they tasted like. One of the saddest things I've ever seen in my entire life is the recipe for the Sea Donkey, which makes 1 serving, which means that Guy Fieri wrote a cookbook in which he posited that a single person would want to come home after a long day of work, pull out the Guy Fieri cookbook, and mix up a single glass of something called the "Sea Donkey", which they would presumably then drink alone. Finally, an answer to the age-old question, "what would the Unabomber drink?" Allie's rating: 3 out of 5 whole lemons thrown in desperation

Chris: I can't identify which is which based on the picture either. Both look like bottom of a porta potty. They were not interchangeable though! The sea donkey was tequila, blue stuff, orange vodka, sour mix, and midori. It was awful. It smelled like chinese newspapers and looked like the stuff they use to test maxi pads in commercials. Partygoers said "all the ingredients are sweet, but somehow it tastes really sour," "gatorade + vodka," and "I threw it out in your bathroom so you wouldn't see." Others raved "it was fine" and "not terrible." I disagree and thought it was among the worst. Chris's rating: 1.5 out of 5 drinkable urinal cakes

The fish bowl was vodka, coconut rum, blue stuff, sour mix, and pineapple juice--so you see how they are very different. This one is my pick for the best of the night. It was so far from good, but stood out in a crowded field of crap. It's kind of like trying to pick your favorite time you had hemorrhoids, or your favorite Pauly Shore movie. But this was drinkable and seemed authentically like something you would order at a TGI Fridays. Partygoers called it "one that drunk sorority girls would order on spring break," and "smurf hot tub water." There was also the most positive feedback including "least offensive,"  "don't hate it," "lived up to the name," "this was fine," and "better than others." Chris's rating: 4 out of 5 low expectations exceeded

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Oh yea, we also had some activities other than terrible food and drink at our party! Because you know what goes great with drunk rowdy people who have only had garbage food to eat for several hours? Quiet activities with lots of rules.

We had this activity, which was surprisingly hard:

 24/39 was the best score. Multiple people thought "Johnny Garlic's Hang Ten Suicide Nuggets" was a real recipe that was published in a real cookbook.

24/39 was the best score. Multiple people thought "Johnny Garlic's Hang Ten Suicide Nuggets" was a real recipe that was published in a real cookbook.

And the winners got to dress up like Guy and received the greatest honor a Guy Fieri blogger can bestow: the coveted food lube award.

 Chris's wife also earned our eternal respect and gratitude when she didn't immediately divorce Chris after being handed a bottle of mayonnaise and being told to "turn this into a food lube award"

Chris's wife also earned our eternal respect and gratitude when she didn't immediately divorce Chris after being handed a bottle of mayonnaise and being told to "turn this into a food lube award"

Final Summary:

Total dishes made: 90/157

Worst sentence in one of these recipes: "My bro Mario Lopez called me from Extra. The movie Hangover had just come out, and he wanted to know what a good hangover cocktail would be. So Mario and I went on and did a competition to see who could make the best JR 50/50. That was a funny gig." When he says hangover cocktail does he mean a cocktail that immediately gives you a hangover? If so, he NAILED it.

Worst text I've ever gotten from Chris the day after a party: "I just looked at myself and remembered I had a goatee. I'm sad"

Chris: The party was a smashing success if you rate it like golf: whoever had the least fun actually had the most fun.

Allie: The party was also a lot like golf in that it was less fun than most other things

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Fieri and Brimstone Presents: Boozeapalooza 2017, Part I

Chris: Very early on in this project we realized that if we had to make all of the bonkers cocktails in this cookbook, we would go broke. Each one requires one tablespoon of approximately 142 obscure liquors. Then we'd be riding the rails as hobos and we would have to explain to all of our hobo buddies that we lost everything because we have a Guy Fieri blog. And I'm not sure I can take that sort of embarrassment. That's why we hatched a scheme to have a Guy Fieri party where we had everyone bring some liquor and share the burden that is literally crushing my soul.

Ever since we had the plan for this party, we've been using it as a catch-all, get out of jail free card for keeping pace on this blog. Can't cook this week? That's fine! We'll make so many recipes at the party it'll totally make up for it. Falling behind pace? We're not taking into account the party, where we will cook like 200 recipes. Unfortunately, the party didn't really put us nearly as far ahead as we were hoping. It was fun (?) though.

Allie and I met at noon and went shopping. Our first stop was Kinkos, where we printed some of these awesome motivational posters using real Guy Fieri quotes from the cookbook. It's pretty hard to lose your dignity at Kinkos because you're already in Kinkos--the jig is up. But printing these things in public was incredibly embarrassing. Like this one:

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And this one:

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We also went to the store where we bought a ton of food, including 10 pounds of pork butt, a gallon of ice cream, and six pounds of lard:

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At this point, it was like 3:00 and Allie and I were already incredibly tired so we sat down and watched Free Willy on Netflix, which has aged like fine wine. There is one point in the movie where the main kid first sees Willy and goes, "what is that the thing?" Apparently, before the internet, kids had no idea what a whale was UNLESS THEY SAW ONE IN PERSON. Also, do you guys remember the animated series where Willy could talk and there was a bad guy who had been disfigured by Willy and drove around in a submarine trying to hunt Willy down? Me neither. All of a sudden, it was like 4:30 and we had people coming in like 3 hours so we started cooking.

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Chris: First, we made carnitas. Allie kept saying "oh carnitas are easy" and like an idiot I believed her. According to Guy Fieri, the best way to make carnitas is to deep fry them in lard. And the ratio of meat to lard should be 1:1. That's not a joke. And we wanted to double the recipe to make sure there was enough for everyone, so that meant buying ten pounds of meat and ten pounds of lard. We bought every lard brick the grocery store had (which was only six) and were too embarrassed to ask someone to go in the back and get us MORE LARD. So we just dealt. Yea so I cut the meat in giant chunks and put them in my giant cast iron pan with giant chunks of lard and cooked them for 90 minutes. It took two batches until everything in my apartment had a thin layer of grease all over it. Some friends came to the party a little early and helped us with some dishes and said "why does everything feel so...slimy." Also this happened to my counter top from cooking for so long:

The carnitas were fine, although they were pretty bland because literally the only seasoning was SALT. Chris's Rating: 3 out of 5 bricks of lard

Allie: As someone who lived in Nor Cal for five years, I had sky-high expectations for these Nor Cal carnitas. However, as someone who has never cooked with lard, I was shocked and horrified that we had to buy all the lard they had at Jewel, even though Jewel insisted on marketing their lard as a "holiday favorite". Maybe other families grew up sitting around a Christmas tree, enjoying their annual hot slices of lard, but in our family we were taught that all fast food was horse meat and that the quickest way to a painful death was to eat mayonnaise. Anyway, these carnitas were fine, but they were pretty greasy and bland and I was convinced we were going to die in a grease fire the whole time they were cooking, which made this one of the more stressful parties I've ever planned. Allie's rating: 3 out of 5 fast food chains that use horse meat

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Allie: We also made Guy-talian nachos. Before this blog, I thought nachos were fun and relatively easy to make, like an idiot. In Guy Fieri's world, making nachos requires making an Italian salsa (ugh), cooking two kinds of meat, buying a million toppings, and MAKING YOUR OWN CHIPS by deep-frying wonton wrappers. It's getting to the point where I expect even one of his basic pasta recipes to begin with "Become an apprentice to a blacksmith and forge a cast-iron saucepan from the fires of Io, Jupiter's most volcanically active moon; boil water". Even though making these nachos took longer than all of WWII, they were fine. I ended up eating a lot of them because I was hungry and they were there and we put them out after we had made a few drinks and I was so tired I forgot to be actively disgusted that I was eating nachos covered in capers. Allie's rating: 3 out of 5 Guy-talian not-chos

Chris: These things were a minefield of different textures and different temperatures. The first bite would be nice and crisp, the second bite would be soft and gooey. First bite would be burn-your-mouth hot, second bite would be ice cold. If variety is the spice of life... um... that would explain why my life is terrible and I have a Guy Fieri blog? I know the photo kind of looks like your pizza delivery driver dropped your salad on the sidewalk, and scooped it up and served it to you anyway, but it was worse. I'm surprised Allie liked this, because I thought it was terrible. None of the flavors worked together. It was incredibly spicy, yet very bland. Also the name was so stupid and so fully set the recipe up for failure, it would've taken the world's best nachos to recover. And these were not them. Chris's rating: 1.5 out of 5 garbage sidewalk salads

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Chris: We also made Hot Wieners, Rhode Island Style which is the spinoff of Love, American Style you didn't know you wanted. What's that? You haven't heard of WORLD FAMOUS Rhode Island Hot Wieners? Well for those who are not COSMOPOLITAN enough to have enjoyed a Hot Wiener, Rhode Island style, it's this thing where you microwave hot dogs and then put ground beef, onions, and cinnamon on them. To be fair, when my brother-in-law (the only person I know from Rhode Island) came over, I asked him what a Hot Wiener Rhode Island style is and he told me it was a hot dog with ground beef, onions and cinnamon on it. So these were extremely authentic. And they tasted pretty good. I know, because we made 16 hot dogs, and only 12 were left over at the end of the party. Chris's rating: 3.5 out of 5 authentically hot wieners

Allie: I'm hot trash, so any version of a chili dog has to be pretty actively bad for me to not want to it eat. I didn't want to eat these. They mostly tasted like cinnamon, which made me feel like I was eating a hot dog jammed inside a Yankee Candle. If this is what Rhode Island has to offer the world, I would like to invite Rhode Island to kindly launch itself into the ocean and let the rest of America work on developing tastier food. Allie's rating: 2 out of 5 new feuds with Rhode Island

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Allie: We also made baklava cigars. They were fine. However, the dipping sauce tasted so strongly of cloves that when I tried it my sinuses folded in on themselves like a thatched hut in a hurricane and I couldn't breathe for a few minutes, which is generally not something I look for in a dessert. Anyway, these baklava cigars are perfect if you want to throw a party and spend 40% of it saying "don't eat that dipping sauce, it tastes like a bunch of cloves drowned themselves in a vat of more cloves, I'm sorry for inviting you to a party where the food is actively not good, please leave me alone while I pick around the capers in these Guy-talian nachos". Allie's rating: 2.5 out of 5 cloverwhelming tastes

Chris: In the commotion of preparing for the party, I briefly forgot we made these and I saw them on the counter and thought they were mini burritos and got excited. Then I remembered that they were baklava cigars, and I lowered my expectations wayyy down. I think these were called Baklava Cigars because they tasted kind of like a casino carpet. Ok, that's not fair, but the dipping sauce was so clove-y that it didn't even taste like cloves anymore. It kind of tasted like Big Red gum mixed with aftershave. The cigars themselves were fine, I guess. The most important thing that came out of this was I found out my friend pronounces baklava as "bah-klava" which sounds so stupid that it can't possibly be correct. But I can't read the pronunciation symbols thing in the dictionary so I guess I'll never know. Chris's rating: 2 out of 5 \ˈpȯints\

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We made so many recipes that we had to divide this post into two parts.  So join us next week for the thrilling conclusion of Boozeapalooza!

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meal twenty-seven: rojo onion rings, roasted acorn squash with turkey sausage, peppers, and goat cheese, holla 4 chicken marsala

[Allie: Please welcome another guest writer to the blog! Sarah is our friend from college, and we made her eat nonsense garbage food. We are bad friends.]

Sarah: I feel like I should start this with a confession: I think that I’m the person to blame for Chris and Allie’s initial meeting, and therefore their friendship, and therefore, this blog. If I would have known ten years ago in college that bringing groups of friends together would mean many hours of bad puns and probably raised cholesterol levels past the point of reversal, perhaps I would have done things differently. But we’ll never know. I am so sorry to everyone that I’ve hurt, and to all the cabbage in Chicago that has been martyred for this weird experiment.

Anyway, I was coming to Chicago for Thanksgiving to see my family and eat food that is good, and was planning on staying with Chris and Becca (the wife) for a few days. I remember I explicitly asked if this meant I would have to eat Guy Fieri food, but honestly I forgot the answer because I really needed a place to crash. So I wish I could say I was excited to be a guest on this blog, but that would be disingenuous. I knew this would be bad and unlike friend of the blog Heather, I came into this with a very closed mind. I had a brief moment of optimism after I chose these recipes -- how bad could Guy Fieri really mess up onion rings, a standard chicken marsala, and squash, which you literally just cut and roast? Reader, you are not going to believe this, but: a lot.

My overall experience can be described in the wise words of Chris, who said to me the morning after we ate this food, “Wow, that food really did not sit well with me last night. Anyway your turn to use the bathroom.”

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Sarah: I love squash and it is autumn so I had the highest expectations for the acorn squash recipe, and I chose it because it seemed like the only thing left that had some semblance of vegetables -- and as an Adult Person who also ate a lot of deep dish pizza while in Chicago, I thought this would be a healthy option. Obviously this was misguided, because within these seasonal, fresh acorn squash halves we were forced to include all this other shit that made it taste more like an Italian sausage sub that was trying to be low-carb. Maybe it was because Allie fondled the sausage in a way I'd like to forget or because Chris, for an inexplicable reason, bought goat cheese that was so infused with pepper that it’s all I could taste, but I didn’t finish this one.

I will also say that this is the only recipe I’ve ever read that had a confusing personal story WITHIN the instructions. After roasting the squash seeds, we were told to sprinkle them with sea salt and keep a close eye on them because his sons named Hunter and Ryder (????) like to steal and eat them. Uh, I’m sorry, in addition to being forced to make this food, I have to watch out for small children with frosted tips and sunglasses on the back of their necks running through this kitchen???? This experience is a personal nightmare. Sarah's rating: 2 out of 5 of Guy Fieri’s children... I don’t know how many he has but honestly any nonzero sum is horrifying to me.

Allie: Chris has been looking forward to making this recipe since we started the blog, which was a surefire guarantee that it wasn't going to be good, because being enthusiastic about one of these recipes is truly a kiss of death. Anyway, this was weird and peppery, but on the other hand, it also had a lot of flavors and textures jammed together in a way that I did not find appealing. The "best" part was when we tried to roast the squash seeds and they literally started exploding and whizzing around the oven. So I guess I don't recommend this recipe if you want something good to eat for dinner, but I definitely recommend this recipe if you're looking to re-enact the beginning of Saving Private Ryan with seasonal fresh produce. Allie's rating: 2 out of 5 squash seeds we found in Chris's broiler two weeks after cooking this

Chris: No one mentioned that this recipe called for homemade turkey sausage, which took 24-48 hours to make. We noped right out of that and just bought turkey sausage from the store. You might think that could be to blame for the overall shittiness of this dinner, but it was actually the best part. If I was a food network dot com commentator who wanted to be helpful and improve this dish, I would say "Instead of homemade sausage, I used store bought, and instead of everything else, I had nothing. It was delicious." Anyway this sausage was delicious. The squash nugget things were fine. Guy seriously hyped how good the seeds were gonna be but they were also just fine. Basically, this whole dish was less than the sum of its parts, which is pretty impressive, all things considered. Chris's rating: 2.5 out of 5 delicious store bought turkey sausages

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Sarah: Then we made rojo onion rings. I was put in charge of the easiest job on this one, which was to mix together the unholy amounts of the ketchup, hot sauce, and garlic powder mixture that coats the onions. Together, this looked like something the devil would throw up after an all-night bender but, as Allie and Chris told me, it wasn’t even remotely the most disgusting marinade they’ve had to make for this blog. I am so worried about my friends.

These onion rings were actually not terrible, mostly because they were fried and I’d probably eat garbage if it was breaded. There wasn’t much heat coming from them but the ketchup definitely came through, which was fine but also gave them the taste that someone pre-dipped your onion ring, left it sitting for a while, and then forced you to eat it. Either way I ate several of them, proving they were okay and/or I am a trash person. Sarah's rating: 4 out of 5 all night devil benders

Allie: Look, I give Guy Fieri a lot of shit, but I have to hand it to him: this was a good onion ring recipe. He had us coat the onion rings in batter and breadcrumbs and let them sit in the fridge for 20 minutes before frying them; I thought this would make the onion rings soggy and more likely to fall apart in the oil, but instead they held up very nicely. It was like the time I got drunk before watching Titanic: I thought it would make me weepy and emotional, but instead it made me tired and I fell asleep well before the iceberg even came into play, thus allowing me to remain in a stable emotional state. That is just one of the many ways I am like an onion ring. The flavoring on these was fine, but just like when I eat salads, I found myself wishing that I was eating a plain onion ring that I could dip into ketchup by myself. Anyway, I took a bunch of these home and the next day I ate them cold out of the fridge because I don't have a microwave and then my stomach hurt later that day for some reason. Allie's rating: 4 out of 5 reasons to buy a microwave

Chris: I don't really like onion rings that much. If I'm noshing on an app sampler, it's definitely the last thing I eat. It's basically a vegetable that's masquerading as a snack. I especially don't like onion rings that need to be assembled in like forty carefully timed steps like IKEA furniture. But when I make IKEA furniture, I don't often get scalded by hot oil for 20 minutes. I mean, sometimes I do, but not often. Anyway, these were fine. They were pretty crispy. They weren't that red. The ketchup-y marinade we made was pointless (much like this blog #selfburn). They basically just tasted like onion rings. Is that a win? Are my standards that low? Yea, I guess they are. Chris's rating: 3.5 out 5 low standards.

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Sarah: Finally, we made Holla 4 Chicken Marsala. My favorite part of this recipe was that I got to pound the chicken thighs using a meat tenderizer, which really freed a lot of my rage. We should all get to hammer things more. We should not all get to eat this marsala more, though, because it had so much butter and wine in it -- usually two things that there can NEVER be enough of -- that it was kind of slimy and the sauce separated on my plate. But given that I was so zen after beating the chicken and my anxieties away, I ate more of this than I care to admit. Sarah's rating: 3.5 out of 5 meat hammers

Allie: I think what bothers me most about the name of this recipe is how lazy it is. Am I supposed to holla 4 chicken marsala? Is this chicken marsala so good I want to holla 4 it? If I holla 4 or at chicken marsala, who or what will respond? Guy Fieri's idea of a joke appears to be: some words rhyme with other words, and it's funny when rhymes happen. When he learns what songs are, he is going to lose his goddamn mind. Like Sarah said, this chicken was slimy. I mean, look at the picture. It's one sticky bird away from being a candid shot of the BP oil spill. It tasted... fine, but it was too oily (FOR ME, and if I were a Star Wars character, I would be the trash compactor), and the Marsala overwhelmed the mushrooms instead of complementing them. Maybe this dish should have been called "Sit quietly and ponder 4 chicken marsala". Allie's rating: 3 out of 5 slimy lil birds

Chris: I tried to make a shopping list for this dinner quickly before work and I ended up scribbling it quickly on a scrap of paper. And my handwriting is generally pretty illegible, but writing a shopping list quickly on my thigh while still half asleep really pushed it into drunk doctor with Parkinson's territory. Anyway, I wrote down as one of the things to buy as "Wanda Gravy." So I'm at the store later, and I'm in the gravy section and they DO NOT have Wanda Gravy. So I try googling Wanda Gravy, and I don't see any results, but there is a woman named Wanda Gravy on Facebook who lives in Florida. I wish I was doing this blog with her instead of Allie. Anyway, I couldn't find Wanda Gravy, so I got regular brown gravy. Then, I was in the bread crumb aisle later and they had WONDRA FLOUR, and I realized that's what I meant to write! There's no such thing as Wanda Gravy! Well, there is but she's a lady in Florida! In conclusion, the moral of this story is I'm leaving my wife and save the date for Wanda's and my wedding. Make sure you respond whether you want the Chicken Marsala or the vegetarian dish which is acorn squash LOADED WITH MEAT.

This chicken marsala was really bad. You may be thinking, "how can you mess up chicken marsala??" It's pretty hard to do, but I think if you follow the exact steps in Guy's recipe, you can do it. I believe in you! The sauce was weird. It tasted super brown. You couldn't even taste the Wanda Gravy in it. I kept trying to pour Allie a glass of Marsala wine as a hilarious joke but she did not think it was funny. That's a lie, actually. I kept trying to pour Allie a glass of marsala wine because we finished our box of wine before we even started cooking but Allie said you can't drink it--it's just for cooking. Maybe that's the problem with this recipe. If you have wine that's poison when drunk alone, maybe it's not the best thing to base a recipe around. Chris's rating: 2 out of 5 refreshing glasses of delicious Wanda Gravy.

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Final Summary:

Total recipes made: 76/157

Worst sentence from one of these recipes: "Watch out--this is when Hunter and Ryder cruise through and steal the seeds."

What I would do if Guy Fieri's children magically appeared while I was cooking squash: call Child Services

Chris: Truly, the most satisfying thing about having guest bloggers is that when some smart ass says "How do you know the food isn't secretly good and you're just bad at cooking??" I can point to these posts and say I HAVE PROOF.

Allie: Yeah but the most infuriating thing is that we have to say that ALL the time because if there's one thing this blog has taught me it's that NO ONE thinks we're good cooks

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meal twenty-six: red rocker margarita chicken, bomb bakers

Chris: It takes a big man to admit when he's wrong. A big, smart, handsome, well-liked man. And ladies and gentlemen, I am that man. We had been dreading these two recipes for a while for different reasons, but they were both really solid. Neither were the best, but when you set yourself up to expect to have to eat a turd, but then that turd turns out to actually be chocolate, it's a lot better than the reverse. This was just basically a pleasant experience from start to finish. The recipes were really easy to make, didn't require much prep, and were tasty. I really don't know what Guy was thinking. He probably knew these posts are way harder to write when you actually enjoyed the food.

Usually, we try to make at least three meals a night as not to fall further behind pace, which brings us to our one big road block for the night. I tried to buy the ingredients for Rhode Island Calamari, which I know sounds like the street name for SUPERMETH, but was unsuccessful. Surprisingly, there is no fresh calamari in Chicago in November. This was probably for the best because my High School Reunion is this weekend and I can't let my life sink much lower or I'll have to just start pulling my pants down for money on the L.

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Chris: First, we made the Red Rocker Margarita Chicken. This recipe had all the building blocks of a classic Fieri Blandwich #FlavorFrown. It started with a page-long story about a time he met Sammy Hagar? Steven Tyler? Chuck E Cheese from the Pizza Time Players? I honestly can't remember and ALLIE STOLE THE COOKBOOK [Allie: this is... not correct]. Anyway, STRIKE ONE. It also required us to marinate chicken breasts in the world's cheapest tequila. Like, when you open this tequila, it smells like you're going to sterilize before a medical procedure. STRIKE TWO. It also required me to deep-fry roasted red peppers, and despite what my LinkedIn profile says, that is not one of my skills, so I was constantly being splashed by hot oil. STRIKE THREE. Also, Guy topped this sandwich with cabbage instead of lettuce, which was really the final insult. Like when your boss calls you into her office to yell at you, and she doesn't just yell at you, but also makes you eat cabbage. STRIKE FOUR. And you know how the saying goes, four strikes, and you have indigestion.

But, but...this was good. We grilled it up, and the meat was tender, if not particularly flavorful. The red peppers were crispy and added good texture. Really, this whole sandwich wasn't really remarkable, but it tasted like a good grilled chicken sandwich. Also, we are almost out of terrible tequila, so double win. Chris's rating: 4 out of 5 members of the Pizza Time players (Chuck E., Mr. Munch, Jasper T. Jowls, Pasqually E. Pieplate, but not Helen Henny because this is a FOUR OUT OF FIVE).

Allie: Yeah, this sandwich was pretty good. Tequila-drenched chicken definitely sounds like something you'd fish out of a Florida swamp, or maybe even find holding elected office in Florida, but the chicken was bland enough that the tequila wasn't an issue, which was good for my taste buds but bad for the tight five I'm trying to write about Florida. The red peppers were good and added a nice touch of sweetness, but I thought that deep-frying them was pretty labor-intensive for a weeknight chicken sandwich. Then again, I have been known to eat my meals directly over the sink so I don't have to wash an extra plate, so I might not be the best barometer of what is and isn't labor-intensive. My biggest issue with this sandwich was the cabbage, which was hard like knives. Guy insists on putting cabbage in everything and it is BAFFLING why he refuses to use lettuce, which is pleasantly crunchy and bland, in favor of using cabbage, which, again, is HARD LIKE KNIVES. Anyway, this was the best sandwich I've ever had that was inspired by a man's friendship with Sammy Hagar; make of that what you will. Allie's rating: 4 out of 5 red flags that Chris knows all the Chuck E. Cheese robots

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Chris: Then we made Bomb Bakers, which I've been calling "Lil' Poop Nuggets", to everyone's, including my, confusion. As you may recall for you all you Brimstone heads, we have tried to make this recipe before. They are baked potatoes in everything but name. But despite baked potatoes generally being a recipe you make when you need a quick weeknight side, these take SIX TO TWENTY-FOUR HOURS of brining before they can be cooked. So, I had to come home from work at lunch and soak potatoes in water and spices like I was performing the world's saddest third grade science project. Anyway, I had to cook these for like an hour and I was pretty annoyed when I took these out of the oven. But honestly, they were basically the best baked potatoes I have ever had. That's a pretty low bar, because baked potatoes are generally terrible, and need toppings to make them good, but these were good. The inside was super soft. The skin was super flaky and delicious. Honestly, I might make these again. I won't, because I have PTSD, but maybe after sufficient therapy... Chris's rating: 4.5 out of 5 Lil' Point Nuggets.

Allie: One thing I've learned as an adult is that people who like cooking get really touchy about brining and everything they make has to be drowned in salty water for 24 hours before it's cooked, like it's not Thanksgiving until you've re-enacted The Poseidon Adventure with your turkey starring as Gene Hackman. I mean, it's good, but calm down, folks. Brining these potatoes made them nice and moist, but I didn't feel like I was roaring through Flavortown in a red Camaro. Instead, I kind of felt like I was peddling through Flavorville (a suburb of Flavortown; it's mostly commuters and angry teens) on a child's bicycle. I am struggling to find any more ways to describe these potatoes, which were fine. In order to write this paragraph, I had to google "movies where people drown", which felt pretty dark and is probably going to give me weird targeted ads for lifejackets and rowboats on Facebook, so thanks, Guy Fieri (yes this is his fault)!!! Allie's rating: 3.5 out of 5 swimfans (swimsfan?)

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Final Summary

Total dishes made: 73/157

Worst sentence in one of these recipes: "I commented, 'I'm going to be forty, and I can't believe it; it doesn't make mathematical sense to me.' He responded, 'Listen to me, Guy.' (Everything he says sounds like a rocker.) 'There's no way you thought you'd be rolling into forty like you're rolling now.' Which is, of course, so true."

Number of showings of Titantic on AMC I watched while writing this post: 1.25

Chris: That's two meals in a row that we basically liked. A turning point? Or just a pit stop on the way to the glue factory?

Allie: Yes, by the time this blog is over, my body will only be useful for being turned into glue and toothbrush bristles

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meal twenty-five: chicago italian beef sandwich with hot italian giardiniera, chicago beef pizza, peach and blueberry pizza

Allie: I know this is becoming a common theme in this blog, but I was truly dreading this meal. Since I moved to Chicago, I've been putting off eating a lot of Italian beef sandwiches. I think it's because I know once I start eating them, I may never stop? For example, I live next door to a hot dog restaurant, and sometimes when I leave my apartment to run an errand or go see a friend my mind goes blank and I wake up a few minutes later in the hot dog restaurant, eating a hot dog. It's like Memento, except instead of tattoos it's hot dogs and instead of my wife's murder it's also hot dogs. Anyway, the point is that I like meat-based sandwiches and I really didn't want my first Italian beef experience in Chicago to be ruined by Guy Fieri, which I think is a totally reasonable emotion to have.

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Allie: So we made Guy's Italian beef sandwiches. Here's the thing: they were delicious. The meat was well-seasoned, and the gravy was tasty. When Chris gave me a little ziploc bag full of hot leftover meat and gravy to take home, I was the happiest girl in the world. I also got to have a fun conversation with my Lyft driver when he said "It smells like meat in here" and I said "I have a bag of meat" and then we drove to my home in silence! So that's my verdict on the sandwich: it tasted very good, and it helped me establish a lifelong connection with a Lyft driver.

Here are my two grievances with the recipe. One: it's kind of pointless to make an Italian beef sandwich when you live in Chicago and could go get a better version that wouldn't require four hours of prep time. I also think that most sandwiches taste best when they're made by genuinely very mean old people, because their spite makes the meat more tender and flavorful, and everyone in Chicago is a very mean old person, so the sandwiches here are generally pretty good. Second: the story behind this recipe is an entire page in which Guy describes, in graphic detail, the time he went to an airport, ate an Italian beef sandwich, loved it, ordered another, and ate it on the plane. Can someone please get Guy into the Moth or enroll him in a storytelling workshop or something? I've read greeting cards with stronger narratives. The only thing I took away from it is that Guy once ate a hot, gravy-based sandwich on an airplane; if my life were a Liam Neeson-esque revenge thriller, that would be the opening scene, and then I would just spend the rest of the movie fighting my way to the front of the plane to yell at him. Allie's rating: 4 out of 5 bags o' gravy

Chris: I was very suspicious of Guy Fieri’s ability to make Italian beef. Like saying “the Chicago skyline is actually better than New York’s” and “the murder rate isn’t actually that high when you take population into account,” Italian Beef sandwiches are a major part of most Chicagoans' DNA. How could Guy Fieri, a man who has found a way to ruin PIZZA, possibly make a decent Italian beef? It’s not that I’m sanctimonious about the authenticity of Italian Beef—I’m just as happy with a sandwich at one of the big Chicago chains as I am at the hot dog stand around the corner. But how could Guy, a sunburned Sugar Ray reject from CALIFORNIA, possibly make a decent Italian Beef sandwich? Well, folks, I’m here to eat serious crow.

This was really good. I’ve never made Italian beef before, because it’s super easy to go buy one at literally any restaurant and it costs like five dollars and it’s delicious. Well, Guy wanted us to make our own Italian giardinera (which is spicy peppers and other veggies soaked in vinegar) (also how do you spell it? I’m gonna try to spell it differently every time I type it). It required over 35 ingredients, a canning kit, and 3 days to sit in the fridge. I guess if you live outside Chicago and you can’t find it at the store, you could make it, but there was literally an entire shelf of different varieties at our grocery store. And this was a grocery store that did not have papaya. Look, I wasn’t about to spend every waking moment of three days making homemade Giadienera. It’s like Guy wanted us to not just watch Dunston Checks In, but to recreate the entire film scene by scene, even though it is available on Amazon Prime for $2.99. So I gave Guy the finger, and bought store-bought jar-dinerra. To be fair, he did say that was an option in the recipe. Anyway, this was really good. It was reasonably easy to make, but it did take a long time to marinate. Without a proper meat slicer, it was hard to get the meat super-thin like I like it for these sandwiches, but this was still really good. The only other disappointment is that Allie didn’t eat her Ziploc bag full of meat by cutting the corner and shotgunning it like a Keystone Light. Chris’s Rating: 5 out of 5 Italian beef capri suns.

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Allie: We also made Italian beef pizza, because Chris extracted a tiny hunk of frozen pizza dough from the back of his freezer and we decided to turn it into pizza. It was just like in Jurassic Park when they extracted the DNA from amber to make dinosaurs! I thought this was going to be a real Jurassic Park situation in that I was going to accuse Guy Fieri of being so excited that he COULD put Italian beef on a pizza that he didn't stop to think about whether he SHOULD. Instead, this was like Jurassic Park in that I was proven wrong, and this pizza was pretty good. Also, Chris was mauled by raptors. The sauce was kind of horseradish-y, but the meat and the cheese and the spice all went together well and it didn't make me want to devour a man sitting on a toilet in the rainforest. Allie's rating: 4 out of 5 pizza raptors. is that even a pun? boy, i'm tired

Chris: This pizza was incredibly inoffensive. It was basically a Nancy Meyers movie, except no one redid my kitchen. We slapped some of the Italian beef we made earlier on a pizza crust we had made months ago. We mixed in some sauce that was white for some reason, added cheese, and bam! We had a tasty pizza that looked pretty stupid, but tasted slightly above stupid. The crust had been sitting in the back of the freezer for like five months so it had definitely lost a fair amount of umpf. Efforts to reinsert some umpf were only moderately successful. Chris’s rating: 3.5 out of 5 amounts of umpf

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Allie: Finally, we made peach and blueberry pizza. Look, there's gonna be a real tonal shift here. I have really just fucking had it up to here with Guy Fieri and his dessert pizzas. There's something so fundamentally unappealing about biting into a mouthful of soft peaches and blueberries and then reaching a layer of stiff, chewy, savory pizza dough. COULD THIS NOT HAVE BEEN A COBBLER?? Why must everything be a PIZZA? Why did we have to top this with PISTACHIOS? Who heard Guy say, "I'm going to top this DESSERT PIZZA with PISTACHIOS" and just LET IT HAPPEN?? The "sauce" was mostly hot cream cheese. I literally ate one bite of this and then refused to eat any more because it tasted bad. It was soggy and tough at the same time, like carpet soaked in gasoline. That is what this pizza tasted like and that is why I hated it. Allie's rating: 1 out of 5 pistachi-nos

Chris: This looked like it would be dumb from the photo. I read the recipe and thought “this will probably taste dumb.” When I took it out of the oven: Yup, still looked dumb. I ate it and it tasted dumb. Chris’s rating: 1 out of 5 dumbs

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Final Summary

Total dishes made: 71/157

Worst sentence in one of these recipes: "I thought I was going to die." It's like Guy reached into my soul right then.

Injury report: Chris grabbed the pan that had been in the oven for 2 hours and gave himself a second-degree burn. This project may literally kill him

Chris: One time my wife was visiting when we were doing long distance and we went out for Italian beefs the night before. She didn’t finish hers so she took half home. When I woke up in the morning, I noticed she smelled like Italian Beef. She had woken up at like 6am, went to the kitchen, and ate half an Italian beef. And she thought I wouldn’t notice. But I did notice, because I have the world’s worst super power—the ability to detect whether someone has recently eaten Italian beef.

Allie: I ate my leftover Italian beef out of a ziploc bag while talking to a plant, because I have the world's best superpower... crippling loneliness

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meal twenty-four: buffalo balls, yakitori chicken, green papaya salad and lemongrass chicken, chili sauce

Wife: While perusing the many posts of this blog and chuckling to yourself at the misery Chris and Allie are in, you may have said to yourself “Who is this wife that we keep hearing about? Who lets Chris and Allie get into crazy antics such as this? I wonder what her life is like”. Well, dear readers, I am that wife. And I’m ready to tell my story. 

Many moons ago, Allie lived very far away in a land called California. To stay connected, Chris and Allie would come up with crazy ideas that they could churn into a blog, a podcast, whatever. One of these ideas was creating a Guy Fieri blog in the likes of Julie & Julia. At the time I thought it was a really funny idea, but it was mostly in theory since I knew Allie lived far away and it probably wouldn’t pan out. Little did I know, Allie would decide to move to Chicago a few months later. I was so excited for her to live in Chicago! We would hang out all the time! Little did I know what I would be in for. 

The fear started to set in when Allie came over one day after she was all settled into her new apartment and they started counting how many recipes they would need to cook in 1 year to complete the book. And it got worse when I saw how complicated the recipes were. When I let my concerns be known, Chris said to me “You should have known when you married me that you would have to watch me create a blog where I cook terrible Guy Fieri food each week for a year.” I sighed, and ceded that he was right. After 10 years of dating even before we tied the knot, I knew what I had signed up for. 

As with marriage, my job in this blog has mostly become the role of supporter and encourager. And not just for Chris. It’s like when I got married I started playing a game of Jumanji, but when I opened the box my kitchen turned into a weird crazy jungle full of dirty dishes and bats and then a feral bearded person came running at me and it turned out to be Allie and she never left my apartment and now we are married. I’m the one who says to them, “Hey, it’s 7:30pm and you guys haven’t started cooking. I’m going to eat my hand soon, so can you please get this going?” Or when they lie on the couch defeated, I’m the one who picks up the recipe book and says “this recipe doesn’t look too bad, why don’t you try this one next?” Allie has told me repeatedly that this blog would have died long ago if it hadn’t been for my pestering, I mean, encouragement.

Even though I complain and joke about how terrible my life has become from this blog, I really have had a lot of fun. It’s very entertaining getting to watch them both slowly go insane firsthand. And when a recipe comes out better than we expected, it feels like a true victory. It’s also an excuse to hang out with the 3 of us every week which is a lot of fun and usually leaves one of us in tears, sometimes even from laughing. 

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Wife: Oh yea, so I guess I was supposed to talk about the food we ate for this meal. We ate buffalo chicken meatballs which were actually pretty good. They were a little mushy and soft on the inside because they were chicken and not pork or beef. It almost tasted as if they weren’t cooked, even though Chris insisted they were, so I trust him. The flavor was pretty good, especially when you doused them in blue cheese. I would give them 3.5/5 bad CGI monkeys. 

Chris: See, guys I told you I had a wife. I was talking to my Dad about the blog, and he said I should be careful that people "don't get the wrong idea" about Allie's and my relationship. I don't think anyone who's a regular reader of this blog (all six of you!) could possibly get the wrong idea. It's just impossible to see someone who you've seen eat cabbage out of the garbage can as a possible romantic partner. We have the opposite of sexual tension--we have a Guy Fieri blog. Also, Allie is gay. Yup, that pretty much seals the deal. 

Anyway, now on to the balls. Allie and I decided to make a variety of ball meals, for some reason. We had a ball doing it. Just kidding. We did not. First we made these buffalo balls*. They were ground chicken + bleu cheese crumbles + ground up ritz crackers. We then rolled them in more ground up ritz crackers, deep fried them, and then baked them. They were pretty good, but they were a ton of work for what they were. They needed to sit in the fridge congealing for 4 hours, plus they needed to be deep fried AND baked. The best part was the awesome/beautiful song I had been singing to Allie: "BUFFALO BALLS WON'T YOU COME OUT TONIGHT, COME OUT TONIGHT, COME OUT TONIGHT..." Chris's rating: 4 out of 5 beautiful buffalo ball lullabies

*NOTE: These were surprisingly not buffalo testicles

Allie: Holy wow were these a lot of work for a casual game-day snack. I mean, I'm not a big sports person, but I know a thing or two about sitting on a couch during a football game, eating lots of chips and dip and yelling "FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! KISS! KISS! KISS!" at sweaty men, and then going to watch Tori Amos music videos on my phone in the kitchen while mainlining handfuls of Doritos. These tasted fine, but they literally took FIVE HOURS to make, and they kind of tasted like bland, mushy crackers. The sauce was good because it was hot sauce mixed with butter, and I'm always looking for new ways to get my recommended 8 servings of hot sauce mixed with butter a day. But I don't think that these are going to be replacing my signature Superbowl party snacks (a bag of Doritos and half a bottle of red wine) any time soon!!! Allie's rating: 3 out of 5 times I yelled at Chris for singing that dumb buffalo ball song

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Wife: Next we had Yakitori chicken. I literally have nothing to say about it. This isn’t my blog, I shouldn’t have to explain to you in 5 different ways how this wasn’t good. I would give it a 1/5 Jumanji sequels nobody asked for. 

Chris: Yup these weren't good. They were dry and crumbly and sort of tasted like meatloaf, if meatloaf was used as a low-cost packing material to safely ship electronics coast to coast. Basically I had to put chicken breast and bunch of other crap in a food processor to make chicken mush. Then I made little meatballs and put them in ginger-infused boiling water. THEN, I grilled them. It can never be easy, Guy, can it? Just once I want him to be like: here is a recipe. Put a thing in another thing and you're done. I didn't really know what to expect when I started this project, but I'm consistently surprised how laborious all of Guy's recipes are. I guess I thought he was lazy. It's probably the frosted tips. Anyway, like I said, these were terrible. Chris's rating: 1 out of 5 lil' balls of disappointment

Allie: I mean, these weren't TERRIBLE, but they weren't great. They were no grilled ketchup, but they were certainly pretty bland and dry. The other day I was eating hot stew and then I sneezed and a bunch of stew came out of my face and I can say with a reasonable degree of confidence that I'd rather sneeze stew all over myself again than have to eat more of these balls. I think that sentence just destroyed any sexual tension I could have ever had with any living creature. YOU'RE WELCOME, AMERICA/CHRIS'S DAD Allie's rating: 1.5 out of 5 stew sneezes

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Wife: Then we had lemongrass chicken with mango salad. I enjoyed how light and fresh this tasted compared to the rest of the dishes we ate that day. I think the mango was actually supposed to be papaya, and Allie and Chris will probably tell you a whole story about why they couldn’t get the correct fruit. It still worked for me though. The chicken was pretty bland, per usual with GF, so I stuck mostly to the salad. This one gets a 3/5 Judy and Peter Shepards. 

Chris: Oh, yea it was supposed to be papaya! First, I forgot that papaya and pomegranate were two different things. So I was looking everywhere at the store for pomegranate. Finally, I asked someone who worked there, and a very nice gentleman named Martin directed me over to the salad bar where they had it by the pound! After I scooped it into my little container, I realized, "ah crap, I was supposed to get papaya." Discreetly, I slipped the pomegranate back into the salad bar without Martin seeing. Then, I had to find papaya, but I couldn't ask Martin, because he would see I didn't have pomegranate! So I had to find another, non-Martin, employee and ask for papaya. Finally, I found someone who literally laughed and said "You know this is Chicago in October, right?" No, man I didn't! Your store was so luxurious and lush with fresh fruit that I thought I was in a tropical fruit bazaar in the Caribbean! Just kidding, of course I know I'M IN A JEWEL OSCO IN A STRIP MALL. Anyway, I subbed mango in. Also, last week I went back to that same Jewel and they had papaya! So, that other guy can suck an egg. 

Oh, this food was fine. Chris's rating: 3 out of 5 mean Jewel dudes.

Allie: I don't have any wacky stories about the food store. Sometimes I go to the food store and a lady in front of me is only buying wine and lunch meat and then I think "is that me in the future?" and then I have to check the picture of myself I keep in my wallet to see if I've started to fade away. This tasted OK, but using mango instead of papaya wasn't ideal, since mango doesn't really have any crunch to it, and it was a little too sweet for my taste. I also thought that the dressing for the salad was a little overpowering. However, I would rather eat this again than sneeze stew out of my face, so I think that's a win for Guy. I would also like a Nobel Prize for Kindness for not endlessly mocking Chris for confusing pomegranate and papaya. They have literally nothing in common except for the letter p. That would be like if I tried to buy pasta and instead I bought the Pope. Whoooo I know that joke was terrible let me have this please Allie's rating: 3 out of 5 papa-ya taking these puns for pomegranate?

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Chris: Haha, I almost forgot that this recipe called for chili sauce in the salad dressing! And that is unfortunate because that is a separate recipe! If you remember our grilled ketchup fiasco from 2 weeks ago, you will know how disappointed we were to learn that Guy started off this recipe by saying "Introducing Grilled Ketchup's wild cousin." I was so mad to find this out that I deliberately hid this from Allie, and then filmed her reaction. It was mostly screaming and crying. I will say, unlike the grilled ketchup, this actually worked. It wasn't delicious or anything but it did taste like food that was supposed to be consumed by humans. Maddeningly, the recipe makes 1.5 cups of chili sauce and you only need 1 teaspoon (!!) for this recipe. Even more maddeningly, the yakitori chicken ALSO calls for chili sauce, but Guy recommends using store-bought sauce for that recipe! I am going to find a street to lie down in. Chris's rating: 1 out of 5 pointless teaspoons of homemade chili sauce.

Allie: Most importantly: this sauce had to be COOKED DOWN for 25 minutes, which meant that it achieved the consistency of actual sauce. This was great news, because, lest you forget, I have cried literal tears that were thicker than the ketchup that we made. This sauce had tomatoes and chili flakes in it and it tasted... fine. I just really don't want to gloss over the fact that Guy Fieri made two sauces and claimed that they are cousins. What is this, Game of Thrones? Do we need ketchup to have a wild cousin? What am I doing with my life? Allie's rating: 2 out of 5 tomato family reunions ending in disaster

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Final Summary

Total dishes made: 68/157

Worst sentence in one of these recipes: "Shoulda been called smack-itori"

Total number of balls made: 39

Chris: I'm getting kind of worried there's some secret third mutation of the grilled ketchup we don't know about yet.

Allie: Not calling your wife by her actual name has given this post a real Handmaid's Tale vibe. For the record, her name is Ofchris

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meal twenty-three: bbq duck fried rice, shrimp and chicken tom kai gai

Allie: Chris recently got transferred? promoted? rolled in a carpet and mailed? to a new office, which is close to a bunch of food stores, so he offered to pick out what meals we were going to cook and do all the food shopping and all I had to do was show up at his house later and start chopping and drinking. Because this project has crushed my soul and turned me into the pigeon lady from Home Alone 2, this was the best thing that ever happened to me. While Chris was schlepping all over Chicago, trying to buy duck at three different grocery stores like the middle-aged Ferris Bueller he is, I didn't have to show my face at Jewel and say things like "where do you keep your crab boil?" Just like Ferris Bueller, Chris was unable to find any duck to buy, so he ended up singing on a parade float instead. At least I assume that's what happened. Most of the time I tune him out because he's talking about the Cocktail soundtrack. Anyway, we're getting a divorce and it's your fault.

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Allie: First, we made BBQ duck fried rice, but with chicken instead of duck, because we are not emperors. I would like to know where Guy Fieri gets off on putting a recipe for duck fried rice in his garbage cookbook, because if I'm going to be dropping $65 on duck, I'm sure as hell not going to be throwing it in some fried rice, which is something I generally make when I want something quick for dinner and not something I make when I want to feel like I'm dining like a Koch brother after a long day of hunting peasants for sport. Anyway, we subbed in chicken and I think it tasted just as good as it would have with duck (and we TRIED to make it with duck. But there are food deserts and non-food deserts and Guy Fieri apparently lives in a FOOD RAINFOREST). I liked this a lot. I mean, it's fried rice, and it has vegetables and a pretty decent sauce that you fry it in, and we didn't have to make our own ketchup. So this was pretty much a slam dunk as far as I'm concerned. Allie's rating: 4 out of 5 food rainforest cafes

Chris: I thought cooking all of Guy Fieri's recipes with another person was sad, but there is a certain sadness that comes from cooking Guy Fieri food alone in your apartment for several hours that can't be washed off, even after several showers. My day started off with going to Jewel, and Mariano's, and Whole Foods looking for duck. At Jewel, I asked if they had duck and I might as well have asked them if they had unicorn blood by the look they gave me. At Mariano's, I had to take a number and wait at the meat counter for like ten minutes and then when they finally called my number I asked them if they had duck. The butcher replied, "No, but sometimes we have frozen goose." That's kind of like going to try on dress shoes and the shoe guy goes "let me see if I have your size in the back" and then he comes back with moon boots. Yea, they might work in a pinch but that's not really what I asked for. Also, they didn't have frozen goose. Finally, I went to Whole Foods and when I asked for duck and they didn't have it, it opened up like this weird faucet of liberal guilt where they apologized, AND THEN A MANAGER came up and apologized as well. I mean, I guess it's nice, but you don't have duck, I get it. It's not like I went to the doctor, and they had to explain to me that they didn't have the heart they promised me for my transplant. So long story short, I bought chicken thighs. When I got home, I thought, "It's 2017, I bet I could order duck online." So I looked on Amazon Prime Now, and sure enough, for $8, I could have duck delivered to my home in 2 hours. I texted Allie to ask if she could wait around for a duck delivery and she refused, because apparently waiting for mail-order duck is a bridge too far. 

As far as this recipe, yes, I thought it was pretty good. Guy told us to "bring some friends to do some choppin'" so I watched Allie chop while I drank boxed wine and tried to tell her more about Cocktail. This came out good, but it didn't really taste like BBQ. It also didn't really taste like duck. That might be on us though. It DID taste like fried rice, though, so that's a win. Chris's rating: 3 out of 5 trips to the grocery store.

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Allie: Then, we made shrimp and chicken tom kai gai. This was a Thai soup with mushrooms and chicken and some frozen shrimp that we hastily defrosted and chucked in there, just like they do in Thailand and at bar mitzvahs. I actually thought this was pretty tasty, even though we had to add a boatload of hot sauce and lime to give it some flavor. The chicken was boiled unseasoned white meat chicken breast, though, so it was truly overwhelmingly bland. Eating that chicken was like trying to eat the feeling of waiting 11 minutes for a subway train on a Monday night. However, in Guy Fieri world, this was a mostly pleasant soup. Allie's rating: 3.5 out of 5 chucked shrimp

Chris: This dish required more hilarious grocery store humiliation! Somehow, we already cruised through 6 pounds of frozen shrimp for this blog, so it was time to replenish our supply. I think for years to come I will keep finding frozen shrimp deposits around my apartment, like how a squirrel only finds like a quarter of the nuts they hide before winter. Jewel, bless their heart, was running a buy one get one free deal on frozen shrimp rings. It even came with cocktail sauce. When I went to check out, this being Jewel, they had one register open, with a line snaking into the aisles. When I finally got to the front of the line, I saw that I did not get my buy one get one free shrimp, so I told the cashier lady. You could physically see the bodies of everyone in line behind me sink and they all gave each other the look of "Oh this asshole thinks he's special and wants a discount on shrimp" but I stuck to my guns. Also I could tell the cashier did not believe me and thought I was trying to poach some free shrimp. The cashier had to make a call to the fish department and then try to describe what she was talking about. "Yea the guy here says he gets buy one get one on this shrimp...ring. There's like a sauce in the middle. It's made by ...Fisherman's Choice. It's not ringing in as buy one get one. I tried to scan it, and it's charging him twice. He said he got it here [no I brought it in myself, and now I'm trying to pay for it, that makes sense]. Do you see a display that has that? I don't know, did you check the seasonal counter? Yea, Fisherman's Choice. It's like frozen shrimp and there's a sauce in the middle. Yea, in the middle. Oh, it is buy one get one. How do I ring it in? It's not working. It keeps coming up as two different transactions..." Eventually she just gave me the shrimp.

Oh yea, the soup. It was pretty decent. Like Allie said, boiling chicken is the buttered noodles of the soup world, not a lot of flavor there. Overall though, this was pretty nice. The worst part was Allie kept saying, "when I was in Thailand" and then telling me a story WHICH WAS EXCRUCIATING and I deserve a Nobel peace prize for not murdering her. Chris's rating: 3.5 out of 5 million stories about that time Allie went to Thailand.

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Final Summary

Total dishes made: 64/157

Worst sentence in one of these recipes: "Tom Kai Gai may be the official name of this soup, but I think it stands for Tom (my manager), Korina (my culinary director), and Guy (me!) So it's gotta be good."

Total number of bags of frozen shrimp we have bought for this blog: 2

Chris: My supervisor asked me yesterday how I liked my new job assignment and I had to restrain myself from berating her for assigning me to an office so close to the grocery store. 

Allie: Having spent three days in Thailand once, I just feel like I'm in a place where petty nonsense like that doesn't bother me that much, so

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meal twenty-two: ginger carrot soup, pepper jack pretzels, malty strawman, guido's lomo saltado, grilled ketchup

Chris: Allie recently decided to make a spreadsheet that organizes all of Guy Fieri: Livin' it, Lovin' it, Puttin' bacon in it for some reason. She really did it up to the nines--color coding, different categories, breakdowns of ingredients. If she put this much detail and effort into the rest of her life, she'd be able to be a normal put-together person who doesn't cry in the tub while eating stale pop tarts and reading Golden Girls fan fiction. The result of all this organization is that we realized we are behind. Like really behind. Like still have to make over 400 sub cabinet appointments nine months into your term, behind. Because of that, we decided to cook a butt load of food, with no theme, rhyme, or reason. It's like we loaded up a Guy Fieri shotgun, put it in our mouth and pulled the trigger. 

Allie: As I have already yelled at Chris, I am strongly anti-bath and I am also VERY capable of buying pop-tarts WELL before their expiration date. LIBEL AND SLANDER!

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Chris: First we made some ginger carrot soup. We sauteed a bunch of stuff in a pan like carrots and onions and put them in a blender with vegetable stock and it made soup. I've been trying to make my life more like the movie Cocktail with Tom Cruise. If you haven't seen it, Tom Cruise plays a flair bartender who does crazy tricks while making cocktails. Basically I crank the cocktail soundtrack and do awesome tricks while making soup. It is going...ok. I think, at least, Allie knows what I'm talking about when I yell at her, "THIS IS JUST LIKE COCKTAIL!" This soup came out pretty good. It was kind of like a cocktail but instead of using rum we used vegetable stock and instead of being a mudslide it was soup. Chris's rating: 4 out of 5 kokomos.

Allie: I don't think I've ever seen Cocktail, and after listening to Chris talk about it for three weeks, I don't think he has, either. Even though this soup involved mixing spices into yogurt and then letting it sit in the fridge for a while, which is rapidly becoming the thing I like least about my life, this soup was actually pretty good. It had a nice autumnal flavor and it was easy to make. It's so normal and balanced that my current theory is that the cookbook's ghostwriter, or maybe a savvy child prankster, sneaked this recipe into the cookbook as a joke. Allie's rating: 4.5 out of 5 soup there it is

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Chris: We also made pretzels. There's like a 5-page-long story in this cookbook about how Guy started a pretzel cart when he was a child. It was called the awesome pretzel cart. This story is incredibly detailed and incredibly pointless. It includes sales figures and startup costs from 1980. I can't complain too much because Guy has started a foundation and uses the pretzel carts to teach kids about starting businesses. Can't make fun of him for that. (Allie: We can't?! Maybe we should be teaching kids about more useful skills. Like TAKING DOWN ISIS)

These pretzels were delicious. They were also weird. I had to roll all this dough out and layer in cheese, and then roll it out again. I used a ruler to get the dimensions right, but they still came out odd. They were tasty, but they didn't really taste like pretzels. They were just baked, so they didn't have that hard, egg-y outside I associate with a pretzel. I also am mad at Guy, who gives step by step instructions in the recipe. He also gives a 15(!) panel photo guide of how to make the pretzels. AND IN BOTH, the last step is "make into a pretzel shape and bake." Maybe he could have removed one anecdote from his pretzel story and included a how to. Chris's rating: 4 out of 5 pretzels making me thirsty.

Allie: One of my favorite childhood memories is eating soft pretzels on the streets of Philadelphia, which is a pastime so beloved that Bruce Springsteen wrote a whole song about it. Those pretzels had it all: a hard exterior, lots of salt, a weird oblong shape that made them perfect for grabbing while running up and down the steps of the art museum. These pretzels had cheese, which was good, but they were pretty blond, and they tasted more like doughy breadsticks than pretzels to me. I mean, I wouldn't kick these pretzels out of bed for eating crackers, even though that's carbohydrate cannibalism, but I guess I was just expecting more from someone who fancies themselves a pretzel tycoon. Allie's rating: 2.5 out of 5 Rocky starts to pretzel-making

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Chris: We also made Guido's lomo saltado. Look, I'll level with you. I don't think I helped with this AT ALL. I just know it was insane. There are french fries in it. It was like someone took an entire McDonald's value meal and chopped it up and put it over rice. Chris's rating: 3 out of 5 McDisasters. 

Allie: This was... sour. I've never had lomo saltado before, so I'm grateful to Guy for helping me expand my cultural horizons, but the flavors in this were all over the place, and I did not enjoy them. If you're wondering what cooking Guy Fieri food tastes like, this is a good example: he took all of my favorite foods (meat, beer, fries) and somehow made them all taste terrible when they were combined together. You could use this cookbook to teach students about the second law of thermodynamics, because cooking this food is basically increasing culinary entropy. Anyway, like I said, this was sour and eating it made my mouth tired. Allie's rating: 2 out of 5 lomo saltad-no thank yous

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Chris: We made the malty strawman which has to be one of the lamest recipes in the cookbook. There's nothing wrong with it, but it's just vanilla ice cream, banana, strawberry and malt. That isn't a recipe from a major food personality; that's like a recipe you see on Buzzfeed's 10 Easy Recipes only 90s Kids Need to Cook because Baby Boomers Ruined the Economy. Chris's rating: 2.5 out of 5 malty strawman fallacies. 

Allie: OK, this was actually called the "malty strawnana". DON'T ANTHROPOMORPHIZE MILKSHAKES. It was hard to find malt powder at the food store, because it's not 1955 anymore and no one is drinking malts down at the sock hop except for us, apparently. Once we found and bought a vat of malt powder, we made this and it tasted exactly like a smoothie and you know what? I'm gonna give Guy a win for this. It was a smoothie recipe and it made a smoothie that didn't make me question the laws of thermodynamics. Allie's rating: 4 out of 5 the malty strawnanas and the papas

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Chris: Finally, we made grilled ketchup. I thought, as a society, we decided that ketchup from the store was fine. No one invites you over and says, "I made everything from scratch, including the ketchup." It's already one of the building blocks of food. Is Guy gonna have me start harvesting my own wheat? Is he gonna have me start slaughtering my own pigs? WHERE DOES IT END? And ok, if this was really tasty, I'd be like, fine, I'll make this as a special treat some time. But it was truly awful. I think it is my least favorite thing we have made for the blog so far. Basically, I had to grill onions, red pepper, and tomatoes and then put them in a blender. You may be thinking, "Is that all it takes to make ketchup? Just three ingredients? How simple! How elegant!" BUT NO. That is not all it takes to make ketchup. This didn't really resemble ketchup in any meaningful way. It was kind of pink and watery and tasted awful. It tasted like old bloody mary mix that had been left in the sun. I was so annoyed by this. I was annoyed that Guy would have the gall to put a ketchup recipe in his book and annoyed that his editor wouldn't bother checking if this even worked. I was annoyed I wasted perfectly good vegetables making this. I was annoyed that I lost ten minutes of my life cooking this. I WANT MY YOUTH BACK, GUY! Oh well, I would have probably wasted it anyway. Chris's rating: 0 out of 5. We have a new champion for worst recipe in the cookbook. I have a feeling it won't last long.

Allie: OK, for some reason, I thought that when this ketchup was done, it would resemble ketchup in some way. I thought it would be red and also pretty thick. You know, like ketchup. But as soon as we put the grilled tomatoes in the blender, I realized that there was no thickening agent anywhere in the recipe. This ketchup was like the Jersey shore: hot, sticky, and 95% water. I don't know why, but this recipe broke me. I was literally sobbing because I was laughing so hard at this dumb, gross ketchup. There's just no way on God's green earth that this bonkers recipe will ever produce anything that even vaguely resembles ketchup. Look, 2017 has been a pretty rough year. If I'm gonna get through it by laughing at ketchup then that's what I'm gonna do. Allie's rating: 1 out of 5. This was definitely the worst thing we've made so far but it gets 1 star for making me laugh

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Final Summary

Total recipes made: 62/157

Worst Sentence in one of these Recipes: "Me: Sorry! You: Sorry for what? Me: Oh, sorry for turning you on to this...It's gonna have you on the quest for gourmet ketchup!"

Things I would prefer to homemade ketchup: artisinal toilet paper, a farm to table noogie, chef-inspired toothpaste flavors

Allie: It's also worth mentioning that Guy's pretzel origin story involved him going to a pretzel cart, realizing that pretzels taste good, and stealing the idea AND PRETZEL RECIPE from his rival, which is some very cold shit that is presented, in the cookbook, as heartwarming pretzel shenanigans

Chris: You're right, Allie. This cookbook is basically The Departed. I think we're all gonna die at the end. 

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