Gingerbread mischief

December 10, 2011 at 17:54 | Posted in Desserts, Experiments, Tried and True | Leave a comment
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This is Rapunzel's Tower!

Hansel and Gretel caused a cranky old woman to come to a bad end by enjoying a life-size gingerbread house. Despite the bad precedents, gingerbread houses are a traditional holiday food craft enjoyed by many modern Americans.

This is my favorite. It appears to be from Alice in Wonderland.

The smell of spices is an olfactory hit of holiday nostalgia, taking many of us back to childhood and rolling out gingerbread dough, using Lifesaver candy as windows, and an abundance of frosting to hold the thing together.

Every December the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner hosts a Gingerbread House Contest. The community embraces the opportunity to display their creativity with candy, frosting, baked goods, and an abundance of patience. Thematically most embrace the holidays, though some are simply exercises in imagination.

A delicious Mt. St. Helens.

I love judging. I have been known to look down my nose at things like gingerbread house kits, but they are a good idea for the family that isn’t comfortable in the kitchen, but wants to participate in a tradition.

This is a storybook castle. Regular. Run of the mill awesome.

Why didn’t I enter the competition with an Occupy North Pole offering?

Maybe next year.

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I hear you’re easy.

November 9, 2011 at 19:54 | Posted in Main dishes, Tried and True | 7 Comments
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How do you eat your eggs? Or do you eat eggs? Some people are really funny regarding that. My husband likes them over easy which, to me, is pretty gross but I learned to cook them that way just for him. Next up is learning to poach so I can make true carbonara.

I didn't make this but it illustrates the fluffy way eggs should look. Like fabulous hair on this complete breakfast.

I like to scramble my eggs for breakfast time. Or dinner time. There’s a lot of argument, between friends, about the best way to scramble eggs. I maintain that adding milk to the eggs and beating them before you put them in the pan is the best. A medium heated, slightly greased pan cooks the milk out as you stir, with a fork, the eggs while they’re in the pan. This leaves them fluffy, yellow and pretty. In my opinion this also makes them perfect for omelette-izing. I picked up this tip from my mom. Maybe I’m biased.

Don’t leave them cooking alone! They’ll burn and be yuck. I’ve found that foods, like most people, needs constant baby sitting while it’s working towards a final goal.

Quick, easy fluffy eggs are a great protein source.

This entry is brought to you by the letter E, the number 2 and The Incredible Edible Egg.

36 degrees and windows down

October 8, 2011 at 21:56 | Posted in Desserts, FAIL, Tried and True | 8 Comments
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Having your windows down in the car when it’s slightly above freezing because you’re hot may not be the best plan, but in Alaska it’s like that. I think I may have invited a little cold into my head.

Chocolate chip cookie dough

Cookie dough I made yesterday. It's best to refrigerate it after you make it.

I have lots of things to do but I took a sick day.

Between the sniffles and the dental work, I think this week is ready to end.

I made this cookie dough yesterday with the intent on having some almond flour in the house by now, but the road to all-purpose flour is paved with good intentions. Or something like that. I used the recipe on the package of chips. They’re kind of fun because I used white chocolate chips and regular semi-sweet chips. If the store had had peanut butter chips I would have used those.

Cookies are a little burnt

I burnt these a little because I didn't set a timer. It's part of why I'm a horrible baker.

I can make thumbprint jam cookies really well. I think because those are more like making bread and don’t require such specific measurements. Disappointing. I really like baking in the fall, so there will possibly be a lot of baking in the future.

I’m going to keep trying to make baked goods, but I’m a bad baker. Something about the level measurement of cups and tablespoons doesn’t really click with me. It’s why I’m a better cook than baker. I aspire to delicate french pastry and cookies, braised butter and homemade candy. It’s frustrating. I think I need to take a class.

Pancakes: A short history

September 24, 2011 at 23:22 | Posted in Main dishes, Tried and True | 3 Comments
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Click here-> This is a map of a short history of pancakes.

This is the kind of pancake I don't have to aspire to because I have this down pat.

In a previous entry I implied there were pancakes I aspired to and I wanted to clarify that it is not all pancakes I aspire to. I have these pretty well in hand. They are 100x better than your typical Bisquick laziness. This is near and dear to me because it is what my grandma used to make me as a kid.

Recipe

Short and sweet

September 21, 2011 at 20:50 | Posted in Sauces, Tried and True | Leave a comment
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This week has been gorgeous. I’m terribly behind at school, but I didn’t want to leave you hanging until the weekend so here’s a little something.

I like a good vinaigrette. They pull double and triple duty if you use them as a marinade or sauce on a cooked dish instead of just as a salad dressing. The second best part of this recipe is the cruet. It has oz and other measurements on the side of it. You can also make this recipe in any old container with a lid. The best part is the dressing.

Required:
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar, 2/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1/2 tsp garlic, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1-2 tbsp parmesan cheese

These ingredients can be combined in any order and then shaken or stirred. The ratio of oil to vinegar is the only part of the recipe that should not be played with. The other ingredients can be increased or decreased according to your taste. Do not refrigerate this dressing because it will become weird and not good. You can enjoy it right away or let it sit a day to let the ingredients really infuse into the oil.

If you’re feeling adventurous I recommend putting this on a chicken breast with some sage and cinnamon and baking it. If you aren’t feeling adventurous just stick with it as a salad or bruschetta topping.

Happy Wednesday!

Rated G

September 18, 2011 at 00:22 | Posted in Main dishes, Tried and True | 9 Comments
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The phrase of the day is:
Some people just need a high five… in the face… with a chair.

That should sum up where I’m coming from over here. I wanted to make something easy and satisfying, so I went with trusty old enchiladas. Because few things smell better than onions sauteeing in butter.

This is one of my favorite recipes. I started making it a few years ago and have been modifying it ever since. The recipe gets its roots here. I found it on my Dinner Spinner App one night while trying to impress my then boyfriend (now husband). Maybe these are magic enchiladas. Maybe, I should write to Glamour and let them know the Engagement Chicken prize has been usurped. Maybe if I get crazy hair and a new attitude, I can have my own cooking show!

Maybe not.

This recipe is super fast and simple because it requires minimal prep work. Just chop some onion and green pepper because everything else comes from a can! You may find that a bit distasteful, but it’s actually tasty. Ask anyone in my office. They all enjoyed them and not just because they were free.

Discrepancies from the movie and the ingredients shown in the movie are:
-I used 2 cans of Rotel even though only 1 is shown in the photo.
-I used 2 cans of enchilada sauce even though only 1 is shown in the photo.
-The tortillas are burrito sized. They are in the photo, but are behind everything else.
-The cream cheese is not shown in the photo at all. It is one of those individual packs of cream cheese.

This movie is one of my first forays into the land of iMovie. For some reason, I feel like I am going to change something about this movie, but I’m not sure what.

Happy cooking everyone!

Click to see a little something extra

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