Thursday, October 20, 2011

On Cooking:

Banana Muffins, for our muffin brunch.  Delicious
Pineapple Upside-down Cake, Based on Psych
The other day, my friend Dan pointed out that my blog was quickly becoming a cooking blog, which is somewhat true.  I don't share my recipes* though, so it's really more of a "showing off what I do" Blog, or maybe an Eating Blog.  I find it's interesting when people tell me that I'm good at cooking, because most of what I call cooking (especially baking) is just following simple instruction carefully.  I guess that's a skill, but I don't find it all that impressive.  Really it just requires some desire to do it and willingness to spend a little bit of money on having the right ingredients.  I think one of these days I'll figure out how much money I spend making food for other people.   This week I'm planning on making lasagna, and that was not the cheapest thing I've ever shopped for, hopefully it'll turn out well.

I think actually being good at cooking requires more skill and creativity than instruction following.  A while ago I planned on buying a new vegetable every week and cooking something good with it in order to become more versatile in my cooking ability.  Due to financial and time constraints, this hasn't quite happened, and most time I end up eating sandwiches and cereal every day but sunday.  It's going though, I bought carrots this week and I'm planning on doing fun stuff with that.  I know carrots aren't all that exotic, but i've never really cooked with them, so that makes it fun.

*It's worth mentioning that these two and almost all my recipes end up coming from this book, by Cook's Illustrated.  I got it last Christmas and I've used it extensively.  It's the only cook book I've ever owned, and probably the only one I will ever own, so when I say it's the best cook book you could buy, it comes from extensive personal experience.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Further Adventures in Cooking

Apple Pancakes
I've done a lot of cooking so far this week, and it's only wednesday.  I think I'm making up for the disappointing lack of both brunch and my typical extravagant dinner.  For Fhe on monday we had a sort of cooking challenge. Each team got 3 dollars and 45 minutes to go shopping and make food.  In addition to what they bought, we said flour, sugar, milk, eggs, and half a stick of butter were all fair game.  Our group made pancakes, with sort of caramelized apples on top.  They were really good, but could have been a lot better.  Definitely something to try in the future when I have more than 10 minutes to make something for pancakes.

Fries Quatro Queso Dos Fritos

Cheese Fries
Today in celebration of Psych's fantastic return, we made the Fries Quatro Queso dos Fritos.  They were really good, but the recipe we found was not very practical.  We have a lot of ideas for how to make it better, but it is a ton of work for what is basically just a deep fried baked potato with cheese, so it'll probably be a while before we try it again.  Actually, half way in we decided to just turn out potatoes into cheesy fries.  And those were really really good.  So that's how it went.  Now I feel all greasy, i need to take a shower and eat some yogurt.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


 I love the fall, it's wonderful, but recently Provo decided to skip fall and go on to winter, and I've found myself very lethargic.  Yesterday i just ended up in bed till noon.  That probably also had a bit to do with the fact that I was out till 1:30 playing games and then stayed up another little while doing nothing in particular.  It's just tough feel motivated to go outside on cold rainy days when I'm going to be biking all over.  But life's been fine.  I made keylime pie this week, and that was more or less spectacular. I don't know if I like the work to eating ratio on pie though.  It takes quite a long time, and I only ended up with a few pieces.  But giving people pie gets you crazy brownie points.  Ironically, more than making brownies.

 I happened to run into my last district from the mtc at conference.  And they were all grown up, still waiting on their visas in salt lake city.  It was pretty cool to see them as missionaries in the field. In other news, life shuffles on.  I discovered that bike polo is one of the funnest and hardest things I've ever tried.  I'm finding that bikes are taking up more and more of my life.  I just spent around 75 dollars on a bunch of bike stuff that i've needed to buy for a long time, and admittedly some stuff I don't need per se, like two jerseys, one for warm and one for cold, but most of the other stuff (a small bike pump, a little saddle bag, a front light) are necessary.   I'm planning on doing a 100 miler with cami this weekend around utah lake.  Basically all that's left for me to buy is clipless pedals, but I'm putting that off for a little bit, I want to buy another little bike first to ride around campus this winter without getting my road bike all torn up and/or stolen.
Other than bike stuff, cooking is becoming a legitimate hobby.  I realize that popcorn making doesn't really count as cooking, but I definitely bought a popcorn popper from DI for 3 dollars.  Best purchase ever.  I actually bought two, but the first one smelled horrible.  You should always smell DI purchases before committing to them.  I also bought beaters (which made keylime pie possible) and a waffle/pancake iron.  DI appliances are wonderful.

P.s. - It's been one year (and two days) since I started this blog.  Hooray!