Thursday, May 6, 2010

Abducted by Cooking

This week I found myself abducted by the overwhelming desire to bake! When I allowed myself to completely surrender to this desire I became more and more excited by the possibilities.
As much as I really do love to cook, I don’t do it often. My problem lies in the fact that I hate shopping for groceries. It is so frustrating buying certain ingredients and I use them once and before I can get around to using them again they have expired. Luckily, the recipes I found to experiment with this week, for the most part, used the same basic ingredients.
I have never been able to find a recipe for chocolate chip cookies that I really liked. Well, in reality I think I’ve only attempted to make the recipe off the chocolate chip’s bag. But I really like Alton Brown, one of the chefs on the food network, so I wondered if he might have a chocolate chip cookie recipe that would impress me. I chose to use his recipe called “The Chewy”. One of the things listed on the ingredients list was parchment paper. This was to be used on top of the cookie pan to keep them from sticking to the pan. The only problem was I didn’t have parchment paper I only had waxed paper, but I figured hey, what’s the difference. Well apparently the difference is that parchment paper doesn’t melt when you put it in an oven heated to 375 degrees. It doesn’t melt, therefore it doesn’t fill your kitchen with a very smelly smoke. Within 5 minutes my whole kitchen was filling with smoke and I was rushing to open the front door and trying to keep all the smoke out of the hallway so I wouldn’t set off the smoke detector. After avoiding that crisis I then had to transfer the cookies that had baked halfway onto a fresh cookie pan. The cookies turned out not looking that great, but they tasted delicious! And the batter was really good too!
I have had a box of frozen fish in my freezer for almost a month now that I haven’t had the courage to do anything with. Tonight, I excepted the challenge. The fish I was using was called tilapia. I made a mixture using crushed up cornflake crumbs and a non-salt seasoning. I dipped the fillets in lemon juice and then in the cornflake mixture and then baked. I also made French fries from a frozen bag so it was like I had made my very own fish and chips. The fish was soooo good. Again, a very simple no nonsense recipe but the results were incredible!

One of Alton Brown’s favorite memorized recipes is for something called “popovers”. They are a very basic kind of roll that pops up kind of like a muffin, but they turn out hollow inside. Now, Alton’s recipe calls for kosher salt and I just used basic table salt so they did turn out to have a slightly salty flavor but it wasn’t overwhelming at all so they were amazing. I plan on taking some of them with me to work tomorrow for lunch. I am going to eat them with my spaghetti o’s, but don’t tell that to Alton because I don’t know if he would approve.

The last item I am choosing to attempt to make this week is PB&J pancakes. Another recipe I got off the food network that is basically peanut butter pancakes with blackberry syrup. Now, as much as I have enjoyed cooking this week I just wasn’t up for the task of making my own syrup for now so instead I just bought strawberry syrup so it still fulfills the “jelly” part of the equation.
Okay, the pancakes did not turn out as well as I had hoped. This is very disappointing because I really wanted to make them for my book club the next time I get to host. My absolute favorite thing to have for dinner, is breakfast! So, when chapter 17 makes its way back to my apartment that is exactly what I want to have. Breakfast for dinner along with Mimosas! I loved the idea of PB&J pancakes but it just didn’t translate very well in my kitchen. The pancakes had a really strange after taste to them. I’m not sure if it was the peanut butter or what but it just didn’t work.


Kate @Midnight Book Girl said...

You know somebody has a birthday coming up, and that same somebody loves chocolate chip cookies (the same somebody already owns parchmant paper!) lol. Great pic, B! I really hate fish, but I know how good it is for me. I honestly would try your fish dish if you ever make it for me (although please do not send the fish with the cookies... you know, if that's something you decide to do...).

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