Tag Archives: tasty treats

Conquering Dough

I’ve always been a cook.  I like to cook.  I like it when the food I make tastes good.  I can also bake, I make good cakes, frosting, brownies, and what have you.  But there is an area in my baking that I have always lacked. Dough.

My dough’s suck.

If it’s a batter, a sauce, or souffle, I can do it. But for some reason anything that is a dough I can’t do it.  So, I’ve been striving to figure it out.

Thanksgiving I decided I needed to figure out pie crust. I did a lot of reading about what goes on to make a good pie crust.  After that I found a recipe that looked promising and I followed it VERY carefully (with other types of cooking I can just kind of throw it together and it works out great, as that had not EVER worked for dough I thought I would try the normal method) and what do you know, I made the BEST pie crust I have ever tasted.  I made pecan pie, my favorite.

Next on my list was rolls.  I can make a passable loaf of bread, if you go for the dense and heavy loaf, but that never flies with rolls. I applied my same method.  Lots of reading on the internet and then carefully following the directions.  They came out good.  Not great, but good.  I tried again last night and I got what I wanted.  They are not the best rolls I’ve ever had, I think Shanan’s rolls hold that title, or maybe Bri’s, but they are good.  Quite good.

Today is pizza dough.  I have the dough shaped and pre-cooked.  I tasted a little bit to get an idea if was going to turn out.  It tastes promising.

Up next, pasta, or maybe biscuits…

Do you have a area of cooking that is a challenge for you?  Do you have any dough recipes I should try?

Egg on my face

So, I learned a few lessons yesterday.  First, you can’t hurry mayo.

I was assigned to make a potato salad for a family dinner last night.  Now with all of the milliontyone things I have attempted to cook in my life, I had never made potato salad for some reason.  So I thought cool, I make something new.  I looked up on the internet a bunch of recipes and got and idea of what to do.  For some reason the day totally got away from me and less then an hour before the party I started to make the potato salad.  Now I know all you potato salad makers out there are laughing at me, but that’s what happened.

So I get into it and I realize I don’t have enough mayo and I think to myself “Self, you can totally just wip up some mayo from scratch, you can make hollendaise sauce and Alfredo no problem, mayo will be a snap.”  Now all of you mayo makers out there are laughing at me as well.

So I look up a recipe really quick, and just start going, I’ve got like 15 minutes before I’m supposed to be at the party so I didn’t take the time to look up and read carefully like I should.  I just threw everything in the blender, sans oil, turned the blender on and started pouring. 

Now I don’t know if my math was bad for tripling the recipe, or if the recipe I grabbed was bad, but the thing NEVER emulsified.  Also, I poured the oil in WAY too fast, and that’s all on me, I knew better.  So it’s all broken and gross.

So then I start looking up ways to fix broken mayo.  They all say add another egg yoke.  So I do…nothing, so I add another…nothing…and another….and another.  At this point I leaning over the blender and getting egg all up in my face while I’m trying to see if it’s finally thickened up.

I gave up.  I grabbed the little bit of mayo I did have and put it in, mixed and ran out the door.  Husband said I should just give it some fancy name and no one would think anything of it. 

I wasn’t going to let mayo beat me in the long run, so the next day I actually took the time to read more carefully how to fix broken mayo.  I was able to make about 1 cup of mayo with only two more eggs.  I still have three cups of eggy oil in my fridge that I need to figure out what to do with…but that’s a different problem.

TA-DA!!!

Lunchmeat is talking much more now.  I don’t know if anyone outside the family can understand a word he says but about a third of what he says is actually English.  He’s also decided he likes to draw like the girls do.  Unfortunately, the likes to draw on the cabinets and the fridge and we haven’t been able to break him of that yet.  What is really funny is whenever he finishes a picture he holds it up or frames it with his arms and shouts TA-DA!!!

Mo Bacon

I recently talked about the power of Bacon, so when I came across this I just had to share.

Bacon Lollipops!

Yes folks, you read that right, Bacon Lollipops.

And of course, my all time favorite bacon quote by Mo Roca from Iron Chef…

“We are on our 8th plate of bacon, so if I don’t make it out of kitchen stadium alive, I just want you to know, I really love your Irish Bacon!”

Dressed up Grilled Cheese

I mentioned a while back about how I dress up my Mac and Cheese.  Well, I also do the same thing to my grilled cheese sandwiches.  It’s partly from my food hero Alton Brown and partly from one of my sister-in-laws.  Alton Brown puts mustard on his grilled cheese.  My sister-in-law sprinkles kosher salt on the outside.  Put those two together and you have a more mature grilled cheese sandwich.

Do you do anything to fancy up grilled cheese?  As I asked when doing that Mac and Cheese post, what other foods do you fancy up?  Come up with anything new since then?

The Bacon Law

I have this Theory, a theory about Bacon.

That’s right, Bacon.

Bacon has magical powers.  It can turn anything it touches into an Über food.  Any the only people I know who can resist it’s power are people who eat kosher.  Even vegetarians have a vegetarian bacon, they couldn’t resist the power of Bacon, they had to try to create a substitute.

Have you ever noticed that if something on a menu contains bacon they ALWAYS mention it?  It’s because the restaurants understand the magical powers of Bacon and are trying to harness it.  One top of is fine, diced in is good, but the way I think that Bacon’s full power is unleashed is when you wrap food in Bacon.  Many people don’t like asparagus, so they wrapped Bacon around it, vola, you can get anyone to eat it.

A friend of mine recently posted a recipe that I really have to try which uses Bacon wrapped hot dogs!

Even comedians know about the power of Bacon.

The down side of it’s tasty goodness…Bacon contains nitrates.  (As do a lot of other foods) So when I’m pregnant I try to avoid things with nitrates, which includes Bacon.  But soon, I will eat Bacon again.

So, I have an assignment for you.  Be ready with your tasty Bacony recipes so I can try them all when I call for them after the baby is born.

Any my second assignment, go eat some Bacon for me.

Dressed Up Mac & Cheese

If you are a mom like me, then you will probably consume Mac and Cheese at least forty times a year.  I’m not big on making different meals for the kids and myself so I usually eat what they eat.  We have Mac and Cheese about once a week,  it’s quick, cheap, and the kids will eat it!  What’s not to love?

Mac and Cheese, as I’m sure you will agree, is not a sophisticated food.  And when you eat what your kids eat, most of your food is that way.  So I decided to find ways to make that unsophisticated food a bit more interesting.  That way I can feel more like a grown up even when eating “kid food”.

Here’s what I do to Mac and Cheese.

I take a regular box of Mac and Cheese and cook it like normal.  Then in my helping I add a pinch of kosher salt, some cracked black pepper and a couple of shakes of Tabasco sauce.  I also always make garlic toast to go with it.  I often make a Mac and Cheese sandwich with the garlic toast.

You can’t feel like your eating kid food when it’s got Tabasco in it.  You should give it a try the next time you make Mac and Cheese.

Sometime I’ll tell you what I do to grilled cheese sandwiches.

So, how do you spice up your boring foods?