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Archive for the ‘kitchen fail’ Category

FRIENDS!

It’s been awhile, eh? Since the last time I was here, a lot has happened!

1. FINALS HAPPENED!

Culinarily speaking, I spent a few weeks subsisting on cafeteria lunches, cafeteria lunches, and bottles of wine after 9 p.m.

I was also introduced to this beauty

Hello, mocha coconut Frappucino!

The stars aligned and Starbucks held a week of Frappucino Happy Hours to celebrate the MoCo’s arrival during finals… and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t indulge a few too many times than advisable for most consumers.

I’m going to end up suing Starbucks for making me obese/caffeine-crazed, like those chicks did to McDonalds.

2. I roasted a chicken!!

Pictures to come. If I took any. Blog Secret: I CAN’T EVER REMEMBER TO TAKE PICTURES OF MY FOOD BEFORE I EAT IT, I get too hungry.

But yes, Miss Kind-of-Vegetarian bought a whole chicken, prepared it, cooked it to near-perfect doneness, and turned its leftovers into chicken salad and chicken stock for soup.

Just slap an apron on me and call me Betty Crocker.

3. I spent a week in Michigan!!!

This would usually have nothing to do with food…. buuuuut my little sister was graduating from high school. There was a graduation party. I spent Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday purchasing, handling, and eating food.

The theme: Mexican Fiesta

The menu: Make-your-own tacos & nachos and desserts

THE TWIST! Graduating sister is vegan. Other sister is gluten-free and allergic to garlic.

HOLY CROCK POTS!

4. I started using Pinterest to keep track of my recipes.

Pinterest is so overwhelmingly addicting, but in a kind of useful way. Like Facebook. Easy to lose an hour or so, but you don’t want to give it up because it actually helps your life somewhat?

It’s basically a way to store a bunch of links, but with a picture for each. This makes meal planning a little more appealing, like having your own personal cookbook with those big glossy pictures to entice you.

You can peek at what I’m cooking this month here.

5. I made this really awesome quinoa salad.

I got this recipe from Eat, Live, Run. It’s a variation on that favorite summer salad: black beans, corn, red onion, and tomatoes with a citrus-olive oil vinaigrette. This version adds red peppers for crunch, avocado for bliss, quinoa for heft, and grapefruit for an unexpected zing.

And isn’t it gorgeous?


Oh, wait. That’s not my citrus salad. It’s Jenna’s.

This is my citrus salad:

Mixed in with a bowl of defrosted frozen berries.

As I was walking out the door.

Yes that is my angry fist.

Anyway! My trusty roommates helped me clean up (read: cleaned it up while I washed my messy foot and cried in the bathroom)

It feels good to be back. Hi Lindsey!

First order of business: go home and take the photos off my camera and look for food pics to share with you!

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epic pie fail.

So, this pie baking competition? Training has started and it’s going… OK. I made the nectarine pie you saw earlier, and an apple pie using my mom’s recipe. I tried to make a peach pie with local peaches for some friends this week, and I thought to myself, “I should follow Alton Brown’s advice.”

Image from Busy Bee Blogger.

Alton Brown, for those not blessed with cable, is the smarty-pants science chef on Food Network. On his pie episode of “Good Eats,” he said you should bake a bottom crust for a little bit ┬ábefore filling it, so it doesn’t get all soggy when you put in your toppings. Smart man.

You can buy pie weights for that, or, Alton tells viewers, you can just use beans.

“So clever!” I thought, loading up a baggie with bulk black beans. “I’m gonna be a genius in the kitchen.”

Yeah, maybe I would have, if I had remembered the crucial step: LINE THE PIE WITH PARCHMENT PAPER BEFORE YOU PUT IN YOUR BEANS.

Instead, I just had a bean crust. Booooo.

Back to the drawing board.

-Lindsey

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Just a quick update as I run off for a long weekend with friends and loved ones in The Big City.

How do I know I am becoming my mother? Because last night I spent a good 45 minutes hollering to myself, “WHERE IS MY GOOD PYREX?”

Via akitchenstoreandmore.com.

The fun never stops Up North.

-Lindsey

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Whoever decided to boil sugar and water and call it SIMPLE syrup should really be punched in the face. Probably by me.

Simple. Easy. Easy as boiling water… with sugar in it.

“Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity.” Just as reading the works of Mr. Thoreau make living in the woods with nothing but your bootstraps seem easy, fun, and desirable, so does the promise of that Simple Syrup.

1 & 1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup water

2 tbspn butter

Boil until a delightful yellowish, caramelish, color

Things recipes fail to mention:

1) Boiling sugar is very hot and very scary and the bubbles look like they might spill out onto your stove and eat you alive

2) You can’t see what color your syrup is because there are too many scary burning bubbles

3) Stirring is not a desired activity. In fact, if you stir your syrup before or after it cooks, look what happens!

4) It’s really hard to get crunchy, solidified sugar out of your saucepan. Especially when it’s your only saucepan and your cake STILL needs frosting, and your boyfriend is coming home in less than an hour and it’s still his birthday whether you fail the cake or not.

So about that caramel corn.

The recipe looked easy. 1 & 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup water, 2 tbspn butter, Boil until a delightful yellowish, caramelish, color, pour over popcorn. But again, I was deceived. Simple Syrup, overcooked, with butter, right?

But I got scared of the scary bubbles, pulled the pan off way too soon, didn’t want to let it cool (recalling that last fateful batch of crunchy, cooled “syrup”), and dumped a sugary slurry right over my bowl of popcorn.

The result was frightening. Not the most offensive popcorn I’ve ever put in my mouth, but when each kernel is caked in crunchy sugar lumps, the teeth can only handle a few bites.

Or bowls.

Well, I couldn’t let all that popcorn go to waste!

After throwing away a mountain of sugar-corn, I tried again the next morning. I was patient. I didn’t succumb to fear. I let it boil and boil and boil until it turned brown! And I poured it over my popcorn, laid it out to dry, and then it was delicious.

What The Recipes Don’t Tell You:

5) Make a half batch. In fact, make a quarter batch, especially if you are home by yourself for a week and have little motivation to eat real food. Otherwise, you will eat 1 and 1/2 cup of sugar in less than 48 hours.

Recipe from Smitten Kitchen, minus the peanuts and spicy stuff, because I didn’t have any peanuts, and I’m afraid of spicy-sweet things. Also – be judicious with the salt! It doesn’t stick to the hardened caramel real well, so if you don’t add it to the caramel, then you’ll have to settle for licking it off your fingers at the bottom of the bowl.

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