CoursebyCourseOnebyOne

August 16, 2010

A sad discovery…

Filed under: Chocolate,Dessert,Minor disasters,Pie,Uncategorized — by tastyace @ 5:40 pm

Alas darlings, I have some bad news. The chocolate pudding pie turned out to be an epic failure. It all went well up until the very end. But for some reason the pudding never set properly. I don’t know if my refrigerator was simply not cold enough, or if it had something to do with the type of pudding I used, but whatever the case, the end result was the same. I had chocolate pudding in a crumbly pie crust, not chocolate pudding pie. The pudding said it could be used for pies, so I don’t think that was the culprit. Alas, I may never know what went wrong. I guess this is just one of those live and learn experiences… Perhaps sometimes you just have to do everything from scratch to make it all work out in the end. Still, I’m not entirely discouraged; the cream pie was a huge hit and was devoured more rapidly that any baked good I’ve ever made. So I guess this means the whole incident was a draw. In fact, if you count my banana pancake/banana bread successes the score thus stands:

tastyace- 3

mean baking gods – 1

So there! I live on to cook another day! (Hopefully sometime soon this week!)

Yours always

–A–

Ps. Really sorry for posting this so late, life has been incredibly hectic since the great chocolate pudding pie debacle, what with the fall semester starting next week and all. I can only hope that once it starts, it won’t totally wipe out any chance I have of continuing with my baking/cooking/blog-posting  experiment!

wish me luck!

August 5, 2010

Note:

Filed under: Uncategorized — by tastyace @ 11:32 pm

I originally started this blog on tumblr but it just didn’t work out. So everything before the post “Week the first” was posted last week.

Quotes contd.

Filed under: Uncategorized — by tastyace @ 11:24 pm

“The story of barbecue is the story of America: Settlers arrive on great unspoiled continent, discover wondrous riches, set them on fire and eat them. ~Vince Staten”

Okay, so I might have…

Filed under: Uncategorized — by tastyace @ 11:23 pm

a bit of explaining to do. I stated yesterday that cooking really kind of scares me, and reading over what I wrote, I felt that I needed to elaborate. So here goes:

Fact 1) I really like food. Aside from the obvious reasons that it can taste amazing and fill my hungry belly, I just happen to have a lot of positive associations with food. Growing up, I loved helping my mom cook or bake. I loved holidays when everyone in my family got together and cooked and laughed and argued and ate. I also loved (and still love) the fact that there are some recipes that my mother will only cook certain times of the year. (She makes a mean hot potato salad, but it only makes its appearance during the summer months) While this food/recipe guarding might annoy some people, it always gave me something to look forward to. In short food and happy memories have always been closely tied together in my head.

Fact 2) Unfortunately food and I also have some issues. I have often loved food to much, to the point of excess, to the point where I got a bit chunky to say the least. And then I hated food for what it turned me into.

In the end, food and I have come to a grudging peace.

Fact 3) Even though food and I get along, the process of actually cooking food, has always proved a challenging one to me. I get distracted, I jump in without reading all the directions and I can occasionally lose my common sense. This has lead to some flour-y cakes, burnt cooking implements, and one incident (which I will never live down) in which I added the butter for macaroni and cheese, to the boiling water, and then once the macaroni was drained, I couldn’t figure out why the cheese refused to stick.

Yeah… It’s been interesting.

And so, to conquer my own fears mostly, and to prove to myself that food is not that complicated, I decided to go about with this experiment.

I should also clarify though, that I’m not going to start out by cooking four course meals. In fact I;m staying away from ‘dinner’ altogether. Because dinner often has a great many components.

And the more components, the more distracted and overwhelmed I might become, and the more likely I am to set the house on fire.*

So when I say I’ll be cooking one thing a week over the next 30 weeks, I mean I’ll be cooking one appetizer, baked good, or dessert most likely. I may venture past that if I find a recipe too tasty or simple not to try. But right now, I’m staying away from dinner and just working on figuring out this whole ‘cooking’ thing in the first place!

*People always say they’re worried about setting the house on fire when it comes to cooking, but I take that fear more seriously than most. You see, I don’t have the greatest family track record for that one. My father actually DID set the house on fire while cooking. He got distracted and wasn’t paying attention… and then the house was in flames. So you may joke, but it can and does really happen!

Quotes

Filed under: Uncategorized — by tastyace @ 11:21 pm

“Food is an important part of a balanced diet.
-Anonymous-”

In the beginning…

Filed under: Uncategorized — by tastyace @ 11:20 pm

There was this girl, impossibly smart, incredibly witty, and a bit of a darling (if she were to say so herself). She was/is brilliant, talented and like any sane college student, (any sane human being really) she loved food. But there was just one problem:

She failed at cooking.

Okay, so let’s face it, she is me and I am her… Or something like that.

And I don’t entirely fail at cooking.

Oh sure, I can fry an egg, toast toast, and cook meat long enough to avoid trichinosis/salmonella/other icky diseases.

But past that point, I fumble, falter and become… frazzled?

Inevitably, when called upon to cook or bake for some occasion, I resort to my old standards: boxed cakes, casseroles, and dips that occasionally come with the subtitle *Note, this is impossible to fuck up*

Now that’s not to say there’s anything wrong with this type of cooking. Believe me I love top ramen as much as the next Co-ed, and I tend to think of a well executed grilled cheese as a work of art akin to a Caravaggio.

But, and here’s where I tend to differ from many of my fellow students, sometimes I want more than that.

Unfortunately in this day and age, food and cooking seems to have been divided into two camps. There’s those of us who enjoy hamburger helper, and then there are… the other guys.

They use funny words, like ‘bitters’ and ‘sherry jus’ and ‘flambe’. And their ingredient lists include ‘fennel’ and ‘lavender’ and ‘muesli’.

Just glancing at their recipes gives me a headache. And when I find out that the pinch of saffron said recipe requires costs $315, I also loose my appetite.

Again, I’m not against intriguing spices or foreign methods and ingredients, I just feel like food should be approachable.

Is that so wrong?

So, I have devised an experiment to conquer my own fear of the kitchen, as well as to (hopefully) prove that food can be tasty, healthy, uncomplicated and cheap!

Starting the week after next, I will take on the seemingly simple (though probably immensely complex) task of cooking something that is not entirely* boxed or bagged or frozen just once a week.

I say not entirely, because I believe that I do have limitations. Making my own pie crust from scratch is one of them. As a new chef/baker/cook extraordinaire I don’t want to overwhelm myself. Not to mention I have to balance this fun little exercise with being a full time college student on the dean’s list, as well as having a part time job, and a *cough* social life.

For every recipe I bring to life, I’ll include the original recipe and source, as well as how many changes I made to it. I’ll also include pictures of the process and tell how much my ingredients cost. During the in between time I may write about other meals I make outside this experiment, as well as (possibly) how-to’s for simple cooking tasks.

I will include my successes, my failures, and my thoughts and rantings.

Along the way I hope to have fun, and perhaps create some tasty, approachable, good for you, cheap food!

Wish me luck!

-A-

Blog at WordPress.com.