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First Official Blog Contest …

February 3, 2010

… but only because you don’t realize you’ve all been competing all along for my favor earned by number of comment-postings.

Best (or whoever actually responds) reasoning for why this other blog post was generated by WordPress.com as related to my last “Things You Should Know” entry receives 5 cookies at our next rendezvous.

Stuff You Should Know

February 2, 2010

In case you haven’t noticed, which you probably haven’t because my daily hits have been awkwardly similar to the number of times I visit the site, I haven’t blogged in nearly two weeks!  Not super exciting considering that my last break from blogging was about, say 5 years.  But anywho, I haven’t posted many recipes, pictures, stories about culinary failures in a while.

Rest assured that does not mean I haven’t been cooking and baking.  Some of my adventures: chocolate brownie cookies (ice cream sandwich parts) and mushroom bourguignon.  Oh, hi, can we talk about how delicious both of those were?  In less than a week I made the cookies twice and I got rave … rave, go back and get seconds and want more … reviews for the mushroom bourguignon.  It was probably the yummiest thing I’ve ever made in this lifetime.   Because people always make such a big freakin’ deal out of beef bourguignon, I figured this too would be an incredible challenging, inevitably easy-for-me-to-mess-up recipe.  I followed the linked-to recipe EXACTLY and it was totally delicious and easy as … I’m not sure how PG-rated I’m going to keep this, so we’ll just say “very easy.”  I will try BEEF bourguignon, with bloody, red, American meat, as soon as I can get a hold of the appropriate, local, pasture-raised cut :).

As far as the chocolate brownie cookies.  Super yummy.  Did not follow the recipe exactly!  Only made half (twice, which means I should have made a whole batch the first time, but with my luck they would have been horrible and then I would have had a ton of disguising crumbly, flour tasting brown cookies) and I made another adjustment, but I will not reveal just what, because then you’ll steal my recipe (which I guess I technically stole from this lady) and when I open my own bakery in 5 (billion) years you’ll know my secret, print numerous copies of the recipe, distribute it to my faithful patrons, and they will no longer be so faithful.   Or at least that’s where this whole thing goes in my head.  I’m sure YOU’LL be fine baking them right off this recipe.  But mine are better, so ask for some next time you see me.

Also, if any of my readers (Mom) wants to know what to send me for upcoming holidays/birthdays … cookie cutters.  Preferably simple shapes, definitely like this (open back) and not this.   And definitely not like this.

I guess it’s not PG anymore.  And I hope Nana never finds out about blogs.

For my sister …

January 6, 2010
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A chef and an artist, I think she’d like what the National Pasta Association created.  Useful and nice to look at!

Stay tuned for a list of January recipes!

Corn Soup

January 6, 2010
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Delicious!  This was a really simple and yummy recipe.  I did alter it a little and also have ideas of more changes I’ll make next time.

The original recipe is from Erica at My Colombian Recipes & International Flavors.  While this recipe doesn’t seem very Colombian, it’s delicious.  Instead it reminds me of something you’d make with the leftover ingredients from Shepard’s Pie (ha, put that on the to-cook list while it’s still cold enough to stomach) and I’m excited to try more of her recipes.

Here’s Erica’s recipe and my edits:

6 Servings (Really, I think it’s about 8-10 and I was able to put away some in the freezer for future quick dinners as well as two in the fridge for the rest of this week.)

4 large ears corn, kernels scraped from the cob (I used one quart sized local corn put up from the summer!)

5 cups water (I used five, next time I’ll use 4.  Even after plenty of simmering it was still a little too thin.)
2 chicken or vegetable bouillon cubes (Only had one veggie bouillon, didn’t miss out on any flavor.)
1 garlic clove, chopped (Three.  ❤ garlic.)
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon Pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (From the garden!)
½ cup white potatoes, diced (I used 4 small white potatoes.  Probably about 2 cups, surely the reason the recipe grew.)
¼ cup chopped scallions (Didn’t have any.)
1 cup heavy cream (Also didn’t have heavy cream so I used yogurt.)

While the recipe says just to put everything in (minus cream/yogurt), bring to boil, simmer 4-5 minutes, blend, and add cream … I did it a little differently.

You might (or might not) notice that we skipped a few things: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies and Ethiopian Lentil Soup.  Classic pair.  Well, here’s what happened.  The cookies were moist and yum even if they did flatten and they are gone, gone, gone.  Ethiopian Lentil Soup?  Also a hit.  Surprise to you and me both.  Although we can’t vouch for it’s authenticity, it’s worked really well over rice with a little yogurt (cool for the bit of spice).  Because I have no practice in portion control (on my plate or in the pot) everything happens in bulk.  A few more servings in the fridge and at least one dinner put away in the freezer!

An Effort in Full Disclosure

January 3, 2010

Listen y’all, I don’t want to lie.  I made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies last night (when I make any cookie you can add “spiced” to the title because I always dump something extra in there … usually cinnamon, allspice, ginger, or nutmeg, but could be anything!).  And while they are DELICIOUS … they also flattened out to look like something kind of … disgusting.  I blame it on my fears that the batter was too dry and adding vegetable oil.  Doy!  Won’t do that again.

Now I’m in the middle of Ethiopian Lentil Soup … and as far as my nearly Ethiopian-virgin pallet is concerned, it does not taste like it came from any other continent.  Arg.  We’ll see when all’s said and done and taste-tests have been performed.

But, these two recipes have led nicely into one of the lessons I’ve (tried) to learn so far in my baking/cooking/culinary voyage.  Trusting yourself is paramount.  Don’t be afraid.  Just mix it altogether and let it simmer, bake, stew, or fry away.  You’ll know in the end and as long as you cook the eggs and meat long enough, you probably won’t die from your mistakes.

Point taken, kitchen-gods, point taken.

New Week Resolutions

January 2, 2010

Heading the grocery store in a bit, working on making a list based on the following recipe ideas for this week:

1. Ethiopian Spicy Tomato Lentil Soup (I have eaten Ethiopian 2 times.  It was delicious, so if that weren’t reason enough, the fact that it’s 40 degrees outside is …)

2. Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (Not a stretch, but I’m becoming a firm believer in always having a homemade baked good at hand.)

3. Corn Soup (I like warm soupy things in the winter!  And we canned a lot of corn this summer.)

I’ll let you know how it goes!

Making It Official

January 2, 2010

For about the past 6 months I’ve been trying to feed myself/people/not burn down the house.  So far it hasn’t been all bad.  I’ve made numerous cookies, cakes, and desserts, granola bars, Crockpot anything (other than my mother’s, my favorite chili is Door Sixteen’s vegetarian chili, you WILL NOT MISS THE MEAT, promise).

When I start any dish I rarely have any real idea of how it will turn out, but somehow, most of it’s turned  out really well.  Other than some horrible chocolate cupcakes and two failed attempts at creamed corn, eaters have been pleased.  I find most every recipe I use online … I like being able to search, compare multiple recipes, see which works best for what I already have in the house, see what others have had to say about this combination or that, and then pull what I like from each to create something a little different to my liking.

So, this blog it just a little documentation of my experimentation.  I don’t know how regularly I’ll update (maybe a couple times a week?  maybe not?).  But I do want to try and at least mention each new thing I try as a way to keep track for myself.  Hopefully yum!