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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