Sometimes the food I cook doesn’t always turn out well. Sometimes I try to cook bacon while I am getting ready for work. I did that today. It was frying up nicely in the pan…but the pan cooked unevenly and all the sudden my bacon got all black in spots. Oh well. Its not always perfect. I did follow my dad’s advice and put a little bit of brown sugar on the meat as it finished cooking and OOOH BOY! It was YUMMY! Some of the brown sugar did not caramelize all the way and just got a little crunchy and was divine. I then drained most of the bacon fat out of the pan and attempted to make some scrambled eggs…they just didn’t really turn out right. There were too many crusties leftover in the bottom of the pan from the bacon getting burned and the leftover brown sugar. I watched Jacques Pepin make eggs on both Jacques and Julia and on Anthony Bourdain and I can’t for the life of me remember if he mixed his eggs up BEFORE putting them in the pan or not…Usually I would scramble them in a glass with a little milk or cream and add a teensy bit of baking powder, but I tried to be a purist. My eggs were not yellow, they were more white with brownish black flecks due to the stuff from the bottom of the pan, but nevertheless they tasted okay. Oh well. We live and we learn. And make mistakes in the kitchen. At least there you can eat the evidence, right?
The last two days I ate homemade pizza. Unfortunately, I am house sitting and did not have my camera with me, so I do not have pictures. I did want to share my experiences though because it was SO easy, I think everyone should try making homemade pizza more often!
I took 1 packet of rapid rise yeast or whatever (Red Star, silver and blue package), mixed it with 1 1/4 cup flour, and 1/4 tsp salt. Then I added a cup of warm water. After that, I beat it really fast for about 3 minutes, then I added about a cup more flour before turning it out to knead. I probably kneaded about another half cup of flour (resulting in 2 3/4 cups flour), however the Better Homes and Gardens recipe that I used said to use up to 3 1/4 cups of flour. I then proceeded to knead the crap out of the dough. It said to knead it for 6-8 minutes, but I probably did it for 10-12. Then I let the dough sit for about 10 minutes, then cut it in half. Put one half in the fridge so I could eat it the next day, the other I rolled out with a rolling pin to the size of a pizza pan. Baked the dough 13 minutes at 425 degrees, then added my toppings. The first night I chopped up some sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers and put that on the dough. I also brushed the dough with some of the oil from the jar of sun dried tomatoes. Then I crumbled up some goat cheese and put that on there and ended with some walnuts. Let me tell you, this was DELICIOUS. It was super crunchy and crispy and yummy and the crust was like a cracker and it looked like there was meat on it because of the artichokes. Then, last night, with the other dough, I put some garlic, spinach, asparagus, feta cheese, tomatoes, and salt on it. That was also very yummy, but I would say my pride and joy was the first attempt. I was really surprised at how the spinach got all crispy dry, yet was still very flavorful.
This was SO easy. I know I said it before, but it took about as long as ordering a pizza would, or even getting a frozen pizza from the store and then baking it. You can use anything for toppings, so it is amazingly versatile, and the pizzas don’t turn out all that large (I at a half a pizza myself), so you don’t necessarily have to deal with extra dough laying around if you have more people to cook for than just yourself or one other person.
Try it, I guarantee you will like it!
Yesterday, I made some French Silk Pie. YUMMY! I used this recipe and already have it memorized because it was so darn easy. I used my own pie crust recipe, but I am quite inexperienced when it comes to making pie crust, so it was really crunchy, yet delicious with the heavy chocolate filling. I think I added too much water to the crust, but when I went to roll it out it wouldn’t all hold together, so I added more, and then I think I may have stopped rolling it out too soon. It was really thick when I put it in the pie pan. There is only one piece of the pie left, and I am hesitant to eat it because I had like three pieces yesterday and had one for lunch today…But I feel as if I need to take a picture of it and post it in cyberspace for the world to ogle at. We’ll see what happens when it comes time to eat it.
I was going to bake and blog last Friday, but instead, I went shopping. I bought four books, and three of them are about food. None of them cookbooks though. I picked up Julie & Julia, and in reading it, I have become even MORE inspired to try recipes out of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which I have checked out from my university’s library. Since I am classified as a graduate student, I get books for the whole semester, so as long as no one recalls it, its mine till May 7! Looking at it, I don’t think it has even been checked out in the last 10 years, so I am guessing no one is going to check it out. Yay!
So anyway, I started reading Julie & Julia last night, and decided today that after my lunch of curried potatoes, onions, and peas, that I needed to make Potage Parmentier. I got scared, because instead of looking it up in the index, I searched through the vegetable section, but then I realized that because it was a soup, it was in the soup section. Page 37. Its done, and I haven’t gotten to eat a bowl of it yet, but i have taken a few tastes and I never thought that the simple combination of potatoes, leeks, water, salt, and butter could be so delicious. It is true that simplicity is best sometimes, I suppose.
I am also making bread tonight. I got some vital wheat gluten recently at the grocery store, and when I was kneading the dough, it was really soft and so I am hopeful. I decided to stop buying bread for the new year. I tried to make my own loaves for a while in January, but eventually after too many near fails I just stopped eating bread! I am working at practicing still, because I understand that bread making is sometimes a developed skill and I don’t have anyone to practice with. So I am trying again with another recipe, and this might be the one. It felt really nice as I was kneading it, anyway.
Well, actually, literally down. As in, when I was coming in from getting home from the grocery store and work, I actually fell down. Thats what I get for wearing boots with no traction. HA! Not to mention that I had half of a pumpkin cheesecake in my hand that was (kind of) sacrificed to the snowy drift as I went kersplat. Well, you see, I was going to take a piece or two to my professors tomorrow, but now that I am telling the world that I dropped it, I think that it is probably best if I save it for a sweet tooth emergency. Luckily, and surprisingly, the cheesecake was completely fine, just a little snowy. Needless to say, before that fiasco, it was DELICIOUS, especially because it was my first ever attempt at a pumpkin cheesecake, let alone a cheesecake.
So now, as I had decided before giving up my delightful cheesecake to the snow drift, I am baking a yummy red velvet cake so I can try Bakerella’s Cake Balls. I heard of them for the first time yesterday and was so intrigued that I absolutely HAD to make them as soon as I could. So that, of course, means making them at almost midnight on a Monday night after I got off work and had a cutthroat Uno tournament with my co-workers. We played three games. The last one went on FOREVER, so much so that we didn’t even count our final points. Oh wells.
Yes, I am, in fact, eating the remaining batter from the bowl in which I made the red velvet cake for those balls. I mean, seriously, who doesn’t do that?!?! Especially after dropping OVER HALF A PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE IN A SNOWDRIFT!
And then I JUST realized that I forgot to put the oil in the cake batter…UGH! I suppose it is a little dry…but I am going to be adding a WHOLE can of cream cheese frosting to it so hopefully it will be tasty still. All that fat can’t be absolutely necessary to making the cake moist and yummy can it? Ho hum. I am probably going to finish making the cake balls tonight, and then wake up in the morning and dip them in the chocolate before I go do my museum studies and all that jazz.
Today marks the first day of February, and the first post of my blog. I am working on creating a header and some other things, which might take a while because, as it turns out, as an anthropology major in college, I am not all that technologically savvy! I have quite a few posting ideas in mind, and can’t wait to get started on them, however, I will need to work on my food photography skills as well as my awesomeness factor…kind of.
Anyway, thats it for now, I will be in touch soon.