Posts tagged cooking
Posts tagged cooking
More hubbard squash deconstruction.
In the center you see a sketch Tyler made of his “plan,” he was really the brain child of this event. If you click on the pictures, I wrote captions for all of them, with blurbs explaining what’s going on.
We made pasta, which was a first in our household, and have made it one more time since, making some real nice squash-filled tortellini (although we didn’t figure out how to make the correct shape until we we halfway done making them). I made a squash pie, with the help on Lindsay, and we were able to feed lots of bellies that evening with our baby hubbard. It wasn’t too big of a time investment, for what we got out of it, and from our one squash, in addition to every thing we made that day, froze three and a half quarts of squash puree that we will continue to enjoy throughout the fall and winter.
Back when nobody wanted to give a girl with a good teaching resume a chance in a food services, I checked out an internship at a really good bakery/cafe in Boston. Said internship didn’t have space for me at the time, but it was cool to see the back of house, even if only for a couple hours. One thing I took away from my stage (see: Wikipedia) experience there, was that they let very little go to waste, I really liked that.
One such example was that before slicing and juicing their fruit, they zested them first, and froze the zest. They actually had a lot of frozen zest, but I’m sure they go through it. Sometimes I’ll need a lemon just for the juice, so now, when I can remember, I’ll zest it, label it, and pop it in the freezer. This way I always have lemon zest on hand.
Let me say zest one more time.
I may have mentioned it before, but I’m not much of a cook, and by that I mean, I don’t really do it, ever. I can boil water, and heat things up (although we don’t have a microwave) and I’d say I make a make a mean salad and really do love peanut butter sandwiches. However, if left to my own devices, I would probably continue to eat like a kindergartener, all the time (see this or most recently, this gem of a meal). I like making pizza, and have shared that a lot on this blog, but usually it’s with a lot of pre-made things. Tyler is a great cook, and he feeds me well, but I really want to gain some more savory skills… So Tyler wrote me out a recipe for pizza sauce, illustrations included!
Now I have a confession to make… I have made it through 26 years without ever cutting an onion (I know…. I know). I just haven’t had the desire to prepare a food that that I don’t really like in the first place that causes me pain to be around. Let me tell you, I hated it. Every second of it. I whined the whole time, but I understand it’s purpose mixed with other things to get a desired flavor, so I did it. I cut an onion.
And then I made pizza sauce…
Tyler says I stir like a baker, which is probably true. I automatically mix as if I’m combining dough. I remember when I was helping out at my friend’s pop-up restaurant, the chefs commented on the awkward way I hold things, in general. C’est la vie. Or whatever.
That was honestly the extent of my *cooking. But it’s a start. We then made 2 very different pizzas, Tyler’s was a full on hurricane of flavors (2 pizzas in one).
And I decided to keep it simple. I did after all cut an onion. Baby steps.
I actually made a full dinner this week, but I didn’t take any pictures. I made vegan baked polenta and used the sauce I made for the pizza, but added some tomato paste and put it through the food processor so it was less chunky. I made a salad to go with it, too. And I served it to 4 people! (including myself). It was a pretty big deal.
BMS Paper Co Jamaica Plain, MA
How have I not told you about this before?! There is this magical store full of restaurant and cooking supplies and 5lb tubs of Fluff and lots of other things things in bulk and balloons and party decorations and more! and it is literally right down the street from my house. I was there recently getting a chinois for Tyler, because we pretend we have a professional kitchen and so we sometimes buy fancy kitchen things.. I swear we’re going to get a blender and food processor soon. I really like being in the store and someday I’m going to need to go there to buy things for my own bakery, or something.
I am one lucky gal. I get to eat wonderful meals all the time. Tyler’s very good at feeding me lots of great foods. Pictured are some snapshots of breakfast this past Saturday. Tyler made scrambled eggs and piles of potato shreds (I don’t know the actual name). We also had grapefruit and oranges, orange juice and sun tea. Sometimes I contribute, lately I’ve been making salads. I even made my own dressing this time with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, grapefruit juice and salt.
Way back in the fall of 2009, when I started officially working at my school, Lisa and I had a plan. Lisa, a teacher I work with (and a friend of mine), was going to help me learn how to make myself dinner and then we would go to Zumba together once a week. I was newly out of college, and even though I had been living on my own for 5 years, I wasn’t much of a cook (actually, I’m still not). It was really a great idea at the time, but long story short.. we mostly ended up staying at school late to get work done and eating a quick dinner (usually of leftovers or PB sandwiches and yogurt) and then going to Zumba… Those were the days. We (sadly) don’t go to Zumba anymore, and I still don’t cook much. But every now and then we have a wine and chat night. This time, it was accompanied by homemade mac ‘n cheese.
We made a white sauce and added extra extra cheese. Cooked pasta like normal, and then poured the sauce onto the pasta and put it in the oven until Lisa said it was done. I paired our mac ‘n cheese with a white wine from New Zealand. It was all dee-licious. We talked, we ate, we did Zumba on her Wii in her living room… yaknow, good-old-fashioned-sleepover-for-girls-in-their-mid-twenties.
Cinnamon Oatmeal Pancakes (also a sneak peak at my new kitchen thus far)
Yesterday, Tyler and I were supposed to wake up early to do a 5K but it was pouring cats and dogs so we decided to forefit. Since I was already so awake so early on a Saturday morn, I decided to make pancakes. I approximately followed a recipe found on Martha Stewart, but played a lot with the ingredients and I don’t have a food processor (yet) so the texture was different. I’ve never had an oat-based pancake before (at least not that I can recall), and am glad I found another use for oatmeal. They weren’t super sweet, but tasted great with confectionary sugar and syrup or jelly (even though I halved the recipe, there was still enough to try lots of different toppings).
If you can’t figure it out, the first picture has my computer resting on a music stand. We picked it up for free on the side of the street a while back, and thought it would be great to use as a recipe stand in our new kitchen. It worked out super for me! The move is going well. We’re officially both out of our old places and all of our belongings are in the new place. We just have a lot of sorting and decorating left to do.
As I mentioned earlier this week, I went to a cooking class at The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. It was a vegetarian tapas cooking course, and I had a lot of fun. I don’t cook much so it was a great opportunity to have to do it, and the instructors were very happy to answer all of my silly questions (like what I should stir something with and what does it look like when water is technically boiling). So many different tastes and I got to take home all the recipes too! I definitely enjoy cooking, especially in good company, I also like it because I feel like I have a lot to learn and I like learning, but I don’t like it as much as I like baking. The two are so different to me.
Here’s a picture of my new knife that I got at a tag sale! Actually, it was a gift since we don’t have good sharp knives in my apartment, this was purchased for me at a yard sale. What a bargain! I went to a cooking class last Friday (more on that once I get the pictures) and realized I really don’t know how to cook much. Yes, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen baking, but not cooking. I heat things up, I use boxes, I follow directions, I use the microwave as a tool too much, I am not a cook. I had so many questions and was nervous to do anything without an okay first by the instructor. While there, I used a good knife for maybe the first time in my life, I had no idea what I was missing. I haven’t really been a fan of sharp objects but having a good knife makes all the difference. I used it to chop up my pecans for the zucchini bread. I’m excited to have a good knife now. I’m going to get better at cutting foods and I’m going to cook more. Maybe.
Today was my first Easter without parents. I was in Austin visiting a very dear friend of mine, whom I have known since I was 10. She decided to host a brunch for some of her friends who also weren’t doing the family thing this year and it turned out to be just great.
We decided to make quiches. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, but I’m not much of a cook. I am good at following directions which is great for baking and sometimes convenient for cooking, and you make quiches in the oven so it’s kind of like baking so that was mostly my job.
We used a recipe
which I will link to once I get it found here and it was full of lots of veggies.
Making quiches is so much easier than I thought! Especially since we didn’t make our own crust (we only had so much time). First you sauté a bunch of stuff, add some salt and pepper, pour in on the crust, and cover it with eggs and milk! Just like that, right?
Miss Kristin Alice mixing up the eggs. We (well, I) actually ended up filling the crusts with too much stuff that we didn’t have a lot of room left for the eggs, but it all worked out*
In addition to the quiche we had fresh fruit, pasta salad, asparagus wrapped in ham (and some other stuff), cheese and fancy bread and mimosas! Great spread.
*it overflowed a bit in the oven and then the kitchen got all smokey and now we know to fill less and put tinfoil below the next time.