Thursday, January 31, 2008

Roasted Cauliflower

There are some things in our lives that we become experts at ignoring. It hurts too much or it's too shameful or any other number of things keeps us from examining it too closely. Sometimes they're thrown in our face and we have to deal with them. Luckily, sometimes these things aren't horrible secrets so much as bad habits that we relish fixing. In my case, the healthiest thing I've eaten in over a week is the pineapple chunks on my pizza. Earth-shattering, I know, but come on! It's no wonder I bruise with just a look. It also helps that I'm drooling over all the luscious vegetable recipe's the Shazam blog is concentrating on. So in an effort to save my health and use my fancy balsamic vinegar, I bought cauliflower.

Cauliflower isn't my favorite vegetable. Don't get me wrong, I'm not offended by it or refuse to eat it or anything. I just hardly think of it. Of course, something that is so often physically compared to things like, oh, genital warts doesn't usually stand out as one of those things that makes you go mmm. Let's scrub our minds from the last bit and move forward, shall we?

None of my fancy cookbooks had a recipe for the pale stuff that both looked good and I had all the ingredients for. I returned to the original inspiration then. The recipe for balsamic and parmesan roasted cauliflower had me at balsamic. Plus, I had enough to make due. I used one whole head of cauliflower, had to substitute oregano for majoram, and used Kraft parmesan. How was it? Very tasty, no complaints. I had some trouble getting it roasted all the way, but meh. Make sure to go here if you'd like to try it out for yourself.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Good news everyone! My oven is now in working order. All they had to do was replace the bottom coil. So don't worry, mom. The only way I'm not going to bake that bread is if I killed it, which is probable because I forgot to feed it for the entire cycle. I was stirring though! Anyways.

This is a recipe I made over the Christmas visit to my mom's. I wanted to try out some of the diabetic recipes in the cooking magazines she sent me. The only person I know who is diabetic and in cooking range is my step-dad. Also, mom does dishes and is very helpful when not annoying me. Like I said before, I'm wary of anything that's remotely related to a diet recipe. I never even contemplated making this for me alone, but wow. I think is my new go-to recipe. Me and mom made homemade tiramisu before, but this kicks it in the ass and calls it names.

I found the recipe in an Outsmart Diabetes Cookbook put out by Prevention. The great thing about this cookbook is that it doesn't use sugar substitute. They realize that sugar is not the enemy- too much sugar is. Many of the recipes rely on natural sweetness from fresh ingredients and others simply reduce the amount of sugar. We didn't tell my step-dad that this was diabetic because he blatantly refuses to learn portion control. If this is you, you may want to avoid it. Otherwise, I think this is what real tiramisu should always taste like.

The original recipe was too fiddly in the prep for my taste, so these are the revised directions. You can take the time to individually brush the ladyfingers with the coffee mix if you like, but damn. You've got too much time on your hands.

Outsmart Diabetes Cookbook

1/2 c hot water
2 T instant espresso powder (or 3 T instant coffee, this is what we used)
32 ladyfingers, split (We used way less, so it's your call)
2 lg egg whites, room temp
1 c sugar
3 T cold water
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
4 oz mascarpone cheese (We used the whole 8 oz because we love it)
4 oz cream cheese (the recipe calls for reduced-fat) room temp
1 T semisweet chocolate shavings

Mix the hot water and espresso powder in a casserole dish with a flat bottom or a cookie sheet deep enough to hold the mix. We used store-bought ladyfingers that were connected. They need to be split down the middle, but you can still keep the two sides in sheets to do several at once. Quickly dip one side of the ladyfingers and immediately transfer to the dish you'll cool and serve the tiramisu in. Cover the bottom and sides of your serving dish, but leave the rest dry.

Bring a few inches of water to a boil in a large saucepan. In another bowl, mix the egg whites, sugar, cold water, and cream of tartar. Holding the bowl over the saucepan, mix with an electric mixer set on low for about 4 minutes, then beat on high for another 4 minutes or until very thick. Remove bowl from heat and beat another 4 minutes of until the mix is light and fluffy. (Mom is my hand-model and official fiddly egg beater)

Place mascarpone and cream cheese in a large bowl. Beat until creamy. Add 1 cup of the egg mix and beat until smooth. Gradually fold in the rest.

Pour 1/3 to 1/2 of the mix in your serving tray. Cover more ladyfingers with the coffee and arrange on top until you've used all the mix and have as many layers of the fingers as you want. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours.

12 Servings

Saturday, January 26, 2008

New Developments

Well well. I had a busy day yesterday.

Let's start by saying that roasted potatoes with my left-over horseradish butter from the steak was not a good idea. Butter + potatoes= no flavor. Also, let's say that roasting rosemary chicken with onion and garlic powder over similarly flavored potatoes was a great idea. That is, of course, until my oven committed suicide. There I was, minding my own business, when I hear something like welding coming from the kitchen. I open the oven door to see bright light. Oh, nothing to worry about. I just set my oven on fire again. These things happen fairly often, so I turned it off and kept the door closed. The sound of grating, rattling metal went away.

However, when I opened the door minutes later to take the food out, parts of the coil were still orange. And disconnected. And laying on the floor. A comedian once pointed out that if something is wrong with one side of the body, we immediately check the other to compare. (Of course, you could just have two tumors in the same spot, so be careful.) The other side didn't do the dippy thing. Crap. The coil had somehow snapped, fallen, and dry-roasted the bottom of my oven. I am not happy. This means maintenance men stomping around my kitchen and scaring my cats. I think I'll be cooking off the stove for a while. Or hey! A whole session on microwave cooking. I know you'll all want to read about that. Sigh.

Anyways, I ordered pizza today so I think I'll be fine for a while. They even got my order right. Pizza, iced tea, and possibly my best friend will more than make up for all this.

Also notice that I messed with the page elements a bit. I was finding it hard to navigate around my own blog, so I organized for clarity and ease of use. I added a search function that will allow you to search the site without sifting through archives as well as searching for any item or term you like on google. Let me know if something doesn't work or I just screwed things up further.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

What I Have and Have Not Been Eating

Well, let's start with a nice cuppa. I think I'm in love with this coffee press. It turns finely ground coffee that sat in the freezer for months, then by my drip-pot for longer into full-flavored sludgy goodness. Even with more steps and more clean-up it still seems easier and faster than a drip. And that sleek little glass and metal pot on my counter makes me feel so European. Which I guess is good.

It's also giving me a perfect opportunity to take even more picture of this particular corner of my kitchen window. I'm enamored with the dirt there left from some plant-related mishap. No idea why.

It might also be making me picture happy.

This is good though since the only other thing worth taking a picture of is potatoes. I did the buy one get one free bag of reds at Winn-Dixie again. I do love potatoes. Especially since I don't want to spend anymore money at the store. So be expecting many new ideas there. Like today's. The recipe isn't pulling up anymore, so here's how I made them. Half a pack of dried onion soup mix, lots of parmesan cheese, black pepper, garlic powder. 350F covered in foil for 35 mins. 20 more mins without foil.

They were very nice, especially with a little extra parm right before eating. I'm so used to roasted reds at this point that I found the moistness from this recipe almost disturbing. I won't use foil next time.

I had a can of sauerkraut in the pantry, some diced tomatoes lounging in the frige, and an idea for a quick kapusniak. Check to see how sauer your kraut is before you get too happy with it. Mine is good, but wow. I chucked some beef bouillon into water with the rest of the instant onion mix from the potatoes, added sauerkraut, diced tomatoes, garlic powder, and a potato, heated and served.

I have also decided that English peas are on my shit list. They taste funny. Too sweet to make a good vegetable and not sweet enough to use in a dessert way. I discovered this after making a very lackluster creamed tuna recipe. It's in a Tupperware tomb right now where it'll probably stay. It was ugly and bad, so look over here!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Roasted Lemon-Pepper Chicken and Potatoes

You know those days where you can't be bothered to do anything new? The days where you cook something you don't really want to eat just because it's there and easy? Last night was one of those nights. But boy did it turn out different.

I've roasted chicken and potatoes before. I mean, come on. What is a lazier dinner? It's just that a few snippets had lodged themselves in my brain and I was doing them despite my auto-pilot. On a food blog I frequent (I can't remember which), a reader commented on how they loved to roast potatoes under roasting chicken. Kay. Also, I had a package of chicken legs with the skins. I'm so used to boneless, skinless chicken that I can't even fathom what to do with skin. Or hey, good olive oil. But all these little things just added up to way beyond the sum of their parts.

Roasting with the skin on retains moisture and adds flavor. We know that. Seasoning both under and over the skin adds flavor too. Also, duh. But I never thought of drizzling some olive oil over the top. I think the only reason I did it was because that's what I did to the potatoes. Also, I don't have a roasting pan. I have an unnatural aversion to slimy chicken baked directly on a pan, so I routinely cook them on cooling racks. Shoving some potatoes under them was a no-brainer that I'm ashamed took me this long to figure out. A healthy dose of lemon-pepper seasoning on all and it was done.

It was probably the best roast chicken I've ever had. It was falling off the bone under a crispy shell of deliciousness. A true "Did that actually come out of my kitchen" moment. And the potatoes! Guh. Nice and flavorful from the seasonings but drowned in chicken fat and good oil. It. Doesn't. Get. Better. I promise you. Of course, it was so good that I ate all three pieces in one night. Still, I've got two legs left... So, in essence, this is the most long-winded way I could tell you that I made awesome dead animal. Who wants carcass?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Lemon-Ginger Bread

If you read my last few posts about Amish friendship bread and the okay but ho-hum loaf I got from it, prepare to be amazed. Originally, I was going to make lemon cranberry bread, but I found out while mixing that yeah, I had less than a handful of dried cranberries. No worries, that candied ginger looks wonderful. And hey, why not add some ground ginger to that. Wow, this tastes good. I'm gonna add more of that ginger and so on until I ate enough of the batter to actually affect the cooking time on my second loaf. Oh yeah, it was the shit.

Bread, especially just sweet bread and not the pretty rustic loaves, just doesn't photograph well. Mix that with my own crappy camera and inexperience and it's not nearly as appetizing as it should be. Just trust me on this. If you like lemon or ginger, you will love this. Personally, I WILL be making this again and I'll probably be adding more of both.

Lemon-Ginger Bread

1 1/4 cup Amish friendship starter
1 c oil
1/2 c milk
3 eggs
1 tsp lemon extract

2 c flour
1 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 box instant lemon pudding (I used about 3 ounces)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground ginger
Chopped candied ginger- to taste. I used about 5 of the peels

Preheat oven to 325F. Mix wet ingredients. Slowly add dry and mix as you go. Pour into two loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Cardamom Coffee

If you're like many Americans, cardamom sounds like one of the flowers your grandmother grew as opposed to something you would willingly eat. And while I'm constantly amazed at just how world-blind my fellow college students are, I admit that I too have had limited experience with this particular spice. Oh sure, I picked up a bag of whole pods at World Market. I used them once in a cake. Yet somehow, I've let them sit in a lonely plastic bag, buried in the freezer for... let's be gentle and say two years. I try not to think about it too much because the idea that I have most of the spices I've ever dreamed of sitting idle in my kitchen, with no inclination to use them, makes me just a little sick. Now there are some that I'm saving. Those vanilla pods? So going in a panna cotta. One day. One day this year, actually, since it's on my list. Go me. And those saffron threads? Authentic saffron rice. And and and.

However, there are some days when all those ideas in your head seem to coalesce brilliantly into one cohesive idea that suddenly seems like an effort NOT to do. And today, that was cardamom coffee. I have a coffee press gleaned from my mother that I've never used. I have the best intentions really, but I make coffee so rarely now that I relegated my trusty drip pot to an under-counter cabinet with the full bar I hardly touch. The french press itself has sat patiently in a high cabinet behind the "good" creamers and soy sauce bowls. Do you see a pattern here? The last thing holding me back was coffee. All I had was the flavored kind, while good, wasn't something that would offer a clean background to added flavors. Oh! But what's that? Whole bean Starbucks coffee that my dad and step-mom gave me two Christmases ago? It was shoved under everything in the back of my freezer. I realize that I am somebody's walking nightmare. Usually my own.

Despite my best efforts to never make coffee again, a long-ago read blog kept tickling the back of my mind. I remember that cardamom coffee was a sign of welcome in some Arab countries, and doesn't that just sound delicious? It beats the hell out of the chocolate milk I've been dribbling all over my sweat pants. It's cold and raining and it's the weekend. There is no better time for a hot little cup of heaven. And this really is heaven. I haven't enjoyed a simple cup of coffee this much in a long time. Plus, I got to whip out all my neglected pieces and make them feel useful.

The recipe I used was from a blog called SpiceLines. The original blog that got me thinking about all this over a year ago was Cooking Debauchery and her, how'd you guess?, cardamom panna cotta. Oh, you definitely see a pattern now.

Since I used... mature ingredients, I changed the amounts a bit. For the original recipe, follow the link.

Cardamom Coffee
Makes 2 cups

6 cardamom pods, crushed or whirled in the coffee grinder
5-6 T coarsely ground coffee
2 cups water

Place dry ingredients in the bottom of a coffee press. Boil the water until nearly boiling, add to press. Place top on press, but don't plunge. Let sit for 1 minute, stir. Replace top, don't plunge for another 3-4 minutes. Plunge slowly with spout facing away from you. Serve immediately.

She says that the Arabs don't take sugar or cream with this, but it was much too strong for me that way. I tried with both sugar and honey. The honey and milk was my favorite combo. Something about the distinctive sharpness of the cardamom and the smooth sweetness of honey, and the bite of strong coffee balanced by whole milk. Just gets you going.

I'm sure you could try to substitute the whole pods with cardamom powder, but I would recommend you try it with a traditional drip-pot. I've added many spices through that method with success. The last cup from a drip would be much less silty than from a press.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

In my last apartment, I went through a phase where I was making a dish of baked mac every night. I shit you not. My obsession with finding a perfect recipe consumed me. With homemade macaroni and cheese there is a clear line between cheesy and creamy. It's either one or the other. What Kraft foods knows so well is that processed cheese melts creamy with the flavor we crave. Deli cheese, on the other hand, melts stringy, sets up hard, and looses most of its flavor in the heat. So you see it doesn't meld well with the creamy bits. Of course, cheesy is always better than creamy and not flavorful. Always.

After following several links, I landed up at Smitten Kitchen where she prepared a New York Times recipe for baked mac that she deemed wonderful. My verdict? Very good. Still, it's not completely spot on. Flavor-wise, this is fabulous. Yet, it did was regular cheese does and got rubbery- even right out of the oven. It definitely fell on the cheesy side of the fence despite the cottage cheese's best efforts. Did that stop me from eating almost all of it in one sitting? Absolutely not. A few dashes of smoked paprika on the top completed my entire meal. I will say though that the cheese I used (Winn-Dixie brand extra sharp) gave it a slightly funky taste. It had an undercurrent of blue refrigerator mold. Not enough to kill it, but... spice it. Nevertheless, if you're in the mood, this is definitely a good recipe.

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

New York Times
Julia Molskin 1/4/06

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup cottage cheese (not low-fat)
2 cups milk (not skim)
1 teaspoon dry mustard
Pinch cayenne
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound sharp or extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 pound elbow pasta, uncooked

1. Heat oven to 375 F and position an oven rack in upper third of oven. Use 1 tablespoon butter to butter a 9-inch round or square baking pan.

2. In a blender, puree cottage cheese, milk, mustard, cayenne, nutmeg, salt and pepper together.* Reserve 1/4 cup grated cheese for topping. In a large bowl, combine remaining grated cheese, milk mixture and uncooked pasta. Pour into pan, cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes.

3. Uncover pan, stir, sprinkle with reserved cheese and dot with remaining tablespoon butter. Bake uncovered 30 minutes more, until browned.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

* I followed her tip on blending the cottage cheese first (until it was the consistency of yogurt) and gradually adding the milk. No lumps.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


How this particular recipe wormed its way into my consciousness I'm not sure. Yet, it's been brewing there for a few weeks now. It kept getting stronger as I bought ingredient by ingredient and finally sat down to peruse actual recipes. Top priority, as with most of my recipes, is not having to buy a ton of ingredients. Luckily, the only things I didn't have were the eggs and I just so happen to have a box of egg substitute lazing around my pantry. Okay, it's new and this is the first time I've really used it. It's also the first time I've ever used phyllo dough. Do you know just how many layers it takes to equal one pound? A lot. And according to the recipe, you brush each and every one with a butter/oil mix. I'm sure you can guess what happened.

Verdict: It's alright. I choose to blame the recipe on this one. I even followed it! Why do I only follow the bad recipes? Well, I did add garlic but that doesn't count. I would have liked more filling, less phyllo, and more flavor. I can't vouch for whether this is authentic or not, but I think it's a nice jumping off point for future tries.

The recipe can be found here.

After I peeled off the first few layers of crusty brown-ness, it was much better. Check your oven on this one because I think mine was done at about the 40 minute mark.

Still, it's about par this week for ugly food. I also made stroganoff. You can tell my the sheer mass of orange-crusted dishes in my sink.

And I tried my hand at a single-serving of mulled wine. Yes, it was lovely.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Sourdough Starter FYI

So, if you think you're cool and can start your own starter without a mix, let me caution you to NOT BE LIKE ME. Why? I'm an idiot. I'm forgetful. I like to break the rules. Of course, I didn't mean to break these, but that leaves us back at forgetful. You must dump half and add your flour and water everyday. Please, for the love of god, do not let it sit out for three days just festering in its original form. Imagine the most technicolor vomit you can, really trippy acid-flashback kinda stuff. Got it? Now imagine that cooking in its own juice on a warm frige top for a while. You want that wafting out at you unsuspecting chumps? No, you don't. Because it's UNHOLY!

Be cool. Follow the rules.

I'm gonna go throw up.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Pantry Dinners: Tuesday/Wednesday

I'm sad to say that I couldn't make this recipe because my butternut squash had molded. I quickly realized that substituting an acorn squash was a pain in the ass. In defeat, I just roasted the acorn with some olive oil, salt and pepper, then splashed on a bit of balsamic vinegar.

Okay, if you're like me, the best balsamic you've ever had cost $3 at Walmart. Well, that's all changed. I asked for a bottle of decent quality balsamic and olive oil for Christmas. I haven't been able to really use the olive oil yet, but this balsamic is amazing. It's not the $120 a bottle stuff, but if $16 is good enough to make me drink it straight from the bottle then I could care less. What I bought in the supermarket was a fraction of low-grade balsamic and mostly red wine vinegar. This is the real stuff. It's tangy and salty and sweet and ohmygod it made my paltry, too-old acorn squash a delicious treat. Both the oil and vinegar were ordered from iqourmet.

Wednesday night I was starving, but didn't want to move. At all. However, I did come up with the tastiest rice dish I've had in a long time. 1 package saffron rice, my last stick of chorizo, half a can each of black beans and diced tomatoes, and a few knife-fulls of smoked paprika did the trick. Top with a bit of cheese and I'm still enjoying it.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Amish Friendship Bread

Everyone has heard of something like this. You have a starter that you feed periodically to bake something out of and it grows exponentially- perfect for gift giving and such. My mom has started yet another round of these and I finally got one. It looks easy enough to start and it's just as easy to keep going. I've also started to do my homework on sourdough bread and it turns out that this friendship bread also falls under the category of sourdough. I think any starter that relies on yeast and ferments at room temp qualifies. Interesting, no?

The basic starter recipe calls for 1 package of regular yeast, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour, and 1 cup milk. Stir with non-metal implements and store on the counter in a non-metal container that lets a bit of air in. This is day one.
Days 2-5 Stir with a non-metal implement
Day 6 add one cup each of flour, sugar, and milk- stir
Day 7-9 Stir
Day 10- Today is baking day! Add one cup each flour, sugar, and milk. Stir. Take out three cups. These are for gifts, but make sure to keep one for yourself if you plan to do another batch in 10 days. You bake with what's left over.

There are tons of recipes for friendship bread, but here is the basic.

Mix starter with:
1 cup oil
1/2 cup milk
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix:

2 c flour
1 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 (5.1oz) box instant pudding
1/2 tsp salt

Add dry ingredients to wet. Mix and pour into two well-greased and sugared bread pans. Bake at 325F for 1 hour.

I used what I had on hand to create Pistachio Cranberry Bread. I had a small (1 oz) box of pistachio pudding. Add to that some salted pistachios and dried cranberries, nix most of the cinnamon and you're set. It turned out pretty well. My mom sent off three loaves of bread with me and those are more cake-like. Mine is something that would go well with coffee. I kept a cup for myself and plan to keep experimenting. Next stop, sourdough.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Deep Dish Apple Pie

Before you even ask, no I didn't make it. The boyfriend whipped one up for his folks on Christmas. The recipe was from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa Family Style cookbook. He saved me a piece. In a ziplock bag. Stored on his backseat under an anvil. Despite that, it still tasted very good. The citrus in the recipe really lightened it up, but I think I would cut back on it in the future. It was almost too much and I prefer my apples pies with more spice.

Also, should you happen to make this, the deep dish pie crust is a necessity. Even then, it's going to be one huge pie that towers over the pan by a few inches if you use a store-bought crust. Monster. Unfortunately, the only before picture is on his phone.

Deep Dish Apple Pie
Ina Garten

4 lbs granny smith apples, peeled, quartered, and cored
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1 orange
2 T lemon juice
1 T orange juice
1/2 c sugar, plus 1 tsp to sprinkle on top
1/4 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground allspice
Pie crust- homemade or bought- enough for bottom and top
1 egg beaten with 1 T water for egg wash

Preheat oven to 400F.

Cut each apple quarter in thirds crosswise and combine in bowl with the zests, juices, sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.

Assemble pie crust in the bottom of a pan.

Fill pie with apple mixture. Brush edges of the bottom pie crust with the egg wash so the top crust will adhere. Top with the second crust and trim edges to about 1 inch over the rim. Tuck the edge of the top crust under the edge of the bottom crust and crimp the two together with your fingers or a fork. Brush the entire top crust with the egg wash, sprinkle with 1 tsp sugar, and cut four or five slits.

Place the pie on a sheet pan and back for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until the crust is browned and the juices begin to bubble out. Serve warm.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Easy Chicken and Dumplings

This is a handy, tasty recipe my Aunt Moy introduced years back. I tend to lose recipes left and right, but a new church cookbook has been printed with this recipe. Now, when I say "church" cookbook, I mean "The Dees Family Cooks: Starring Random Congregation Members." Really, they ARE the church. Anyways, church cookbooks, family or otherwise, are my personal favorites. They're recipes that have been handed down and swapped around for ages, all compiled based on demand and popularity. If you don't believe another word I say on this blog, know this: a good Southern Church cookbook will never let you down. Ever ever ever.

Not that making dumplings is hard labor, but this is much easier and faster. I also happen to like the taste of the tortillas. Of course, I played around with the recipe. I also added red pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, a touch of cumin, and enough black pepper to clear out most of my shaker.

Easy Chicken and Dumplings

1 whole chicken
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1/4 c margarine
2 c milk
1/2 c flour
1 large package flour tortilla shells

Seperate chicken into manageble chunks. Cover with water in a large pot, add salt and pepper to taste, cook until tender. Remove chicken from broth; skin, debone, and cut into bite-sized chunks. Add soup to chicken broth and mix well. Add milk and let mixture come to a boil. Cut tortilla shells into bite-sized pieces, coat in flour so they don't stick. Drop in by handfulls, constantly stirring. Add chicken peices and margarine. Let boil slowly to keep from sticking.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


Well, here we are again. 2008 even though I still have a tendency to date my checks for 2004. Wondering where the last year went and if this will be any slower. Knowing it won't be. Wondering why the new school semester always has to kill my fun. Sigh. But! I've made cooking resolutions I can keep this year. One new thing I've always wanted to make each month. Yep, I can pick as the month comes up, whenever I'd like and go at it. No more pressure than that. Yay! Without further ado:

1. Marshmallows
2. Fancy Cake
3. Tart
4. Caramel
5. Panna Cotta
6. Sourdough Bread
7. Gumbo
8. Pizza
9. Prickly Pear
10. Jam
11. Risotto
12. Croissants
Bonus Points: Ginger Ale

Most of these I know are simple, but it's always funny the things that hold you back. That unnatural fear of rising pizza dough or self-sealing canning lids. Of actually being precise while baking and trying to match my Grandmother's gumbo glory. Yet, this will be the year. The year where all those niggling little foodstuffs will be tackled and filed for good. No more hiding behind a dirty kitchen.

So who else has plans?