Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Any way you slice it

It's Tuesday.  Know what that means? It means that I haven't gotten to the point where I'm half way through the week so I'm just struggling to get to that point.

Wait, no. That's not true.  I'm not struggling to get through the day.  But my cooking is.

Mondays and Tuesdays are really hard days to motivate myself to do much in the kitchen.  I suppose it could be because after the weekend you get so used to relaxing and then when you go back to work you get overly exhausted just by doing the norm.  So when the day is done, I want to veg out. Have a beer and a simple meal.

And that's just what I did today. Simple. Easy as pie (which is HARD btw). Pizza pie.

"Margherita" Pizza.  I guess that's what it is.  That's what the recipe said. So we'll go with it....yeah.

Speaking of the recipe...This is the first time I felt confident in not trusting the amounts of the ingredients.  Bam. Tasty pizza.  So tasty in fact that I'll be making a variation of it on Thursday or Friday.

Just wait til tomorrow by the way.  Pulled pork and trivia night! Wish me luck!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Zombie Jesus Day

When people think of me, I worry sometimes that they view me as some sort of emotionally underdeveloped person who is stuck in their childhood.  Mostly because I enjoy things like dying Easter eggs and watching Disney movies.  Playing board games and acting a fool all over the place.

But then I realize that there's nothing to worry about because I have friends in my life who completely 100% get me.  Not only do they get me but they sort of fuel my crazy.

They go out to bars with me and let me ramble on about how the human centipede works and why it'd be worst to be stuck behind a dude in that situation.  (Let's just say there was a paper representation of balls in my explanation...ahem)

Then the next day they turn up at my door to dye eggs and bake sugar cookies for my office.  I love it.  And in honor of my love for it I tried to watch the Human Centipede on Netflix with them but it wasn't meant to be. Shucks.

Oh well.  The ladies and I did manage to create some lovely art.  Including such gems as kitties on eggs, cute swirls, and oh...you know....a zombie egg.

Do you think zombie chicks eat brains too?

On a lighter note than the undead....I baked some cookies for my officemates as well.  Tasty sugar cookies.  Sorely lacking in frosting but still tasty.  Maybe next time I'll ice them.... big maybe.

Out of like 200 cookie cutters in my kitchen, the only Eastery ones I had were a bunny and an egg.

I'm still planning on instituing a "Treats Day" once a month in the office wherein I bake something I've been wanting to try and bring it in just so that I can convince people to like me more.  But moreso it's because I have a stack (mental stack) of recipes I want to try out for baked goods but I don't want to sit around eating 24 Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes on my own. Probably.

Side note, or rather...end note.  I've got two new recipes to try out this week in the neverending saga that is "Amanda learns how to feed herself".  I'm super excited about both. Om nom noms will be had this week. They WILL.

Monday, April 18, 2011

I feel like chicken tonight!

Honestly, I'm still pretty euphoric over tonight's dinner.  I tried a recipe that I've never made before and never seen anyone make before so it was truly intimidating.

Tonight I made some absolutely delicious chicken parmesan.

Food photographer I am not. (yet)

I had to do an egg wash on the chicken breast tenders. Coat it in my breadcrumb parmesan mixture. Fry it. Then bake it in tomato sauce.  I'm so proud of myself!

True, the whole time I was doing it I was terrified the chicken would come out raw or burnt.  Or that I had forgotten some key step.  But all in all I'd say it was a complete success.  And I fully plan on making it again if anyone ever wants to come over for a home cooked meal.

A home cooked meal that isn't entirely consisting of appetizers.  Or baked goods. And I have leftovers that I'm actually looking forward to!  (Btw - the meatloaf leftovers were a no go and got pitched)

Man. What should I cook next?  I need recipe suggestions for simple but tasty things to make so I can go buy the stuff to make it.  Right now I only have the stuff leftover for turkey goulash.  Which still doesn't sound appetizing at all.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I would do anything for love.

Oh, meatloaf.

When I was a kid, we ate meatloaf a lot.  It's one of my mom's Sunday night dinner staples so it holds a lot of sensory memories for me.

However, based on the shor and impresise directions I had on hand it also presented a bit of a challenge.  This afternoon there was a lot of "She said breadcrumbs but not how much....throw more in there!" type of talk spewing from the kitchen.  Yeah, I don't deal well with a lack of direction and precise amounts.

As an inexperienced cook it's hard to feel out what needs to be added and in what quantities when you've never made it yourself alone in the kitchen before.  Luckily I've helped my mom out enough (read: sat on the counter and distracted her while she did it herself) to know a little bit about what I was doing.

Paradise by the dashboard light.

Despite John's suggestions to shape it like a baby head, I'd say it came out looking pretty close to what it was supposed to.  And the fact that it took an hour and a half to cook allowed us time to take Ash dog to the park and come back to a wonderful smelling apartment.

Overall, I'd rate it a success.  It was tasty enough but lacked a loafy texture.  The end piece fell apart, but mine maintained it's consistency.  I might try it for leftovers tomorrow to get the day after effect.  But in all, I don't know when I'll be making it again.  But it's nice to have a traditional meal in my arsenal of known recipes.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Whatcha got cookin?

As a self proclaimed 'baker', it's difficult to admit that I don't know the first thing about cooking.  I'm not sure what it is about the basics or the feel for cooking, but I've just never really grasped the concept.

With baking, it's very precise. Almost scientific if you will.  But cooking? Man.  I guess it's more about knowing what you're doing from the get go.  Feeling out when to turn the heat up or down.  Sensing what spices to throw in the mix.

Even talking about cooking feels unnatural to me.  But I'd like to learn.

I'd like to be able to really cook.  Know some sweet recipes and have people envious of my meals.  Because that's how I feel half the time. Envious.  So in order to remedy this, I'm embarking on a challenge of my own to learn how to make some sweet meals for myself.

I fully expect to have failures.  I mean, come on, this is the girl who burns rice on occasion.  I wouldn't even qualify what I do as cooking per se.  Moreso....heating things up.

For example, tonights meal shows where I'm really starting from.  I made...wait for it...

Rice pilaf with smoked turkey sausage.


Honestly? It was decent. Simple enough. (heat heat heat!) And there are leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, I'm going to the grocery store.  I'm going to buy the fixings for meat loaf, turkey goulash, and (cross your fingers) chicken parmesan.  All of it sounds easy enough, right?  So maybe I'll be able to really cook something impressive by the end of this whole ordeal.  Perhaps I'll find an appreciation for the art of meal making.  Really, I'd settle for not burning half the things I make.
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