Sunday, August 31, 2008

Cooking


Well, I figured we are all just a bit tired of politics, and it'll be beaten into the ground in the next few months, so I thought I'd swing the conversation a little bit.
I am not a very good cook.

I'll admit it. My specialty is brownies (the box kind) and mac and cheese (again, the box kind).

I would be a better cook if I had time, but I don't. I do like cooking when I get time. I'm just not the greatest at it. I would say I do ok about 50% of the time. The other 50% something is either over-cooked, under-cooked, burnt (which I guess qualifies as over-cooked huh), bland, too spicy (scratch that, I hate spicy food, my food is NEVER too spicy...), or just plain gross.

Krista is also the queen of measuring errors. I hate to measure. I will when I have to, but I would rather know just about how much.

Take mac and cheese for example.

The box says to put X cups of water into the pan. Uh, ok, am I the only one that just goes to the spicket and fills it a little over half full? Do you REALLY measure out the water??

My husband does. *groan* It infuriates me. But at least he is helping to cook...

Seriously, you are just going to drain the dumb water anyway.

So this morning, I was making frozen strawberry squares. It is a recipe I got from my mother-in-law, and they are SUPER yummy. They are light and fun and cold like icecream but not heavy on your stomach. A great summer treat!

I've made these things many times. I get a little better at it every time. We have small groups this evening and I thought it would be a fun dessert to bring. I decide to make it this morning, before church, so it can freeze all day and be perfect by this evening.

So... I start with the crust. I put the 2 cups of flour in the bowl. I add the 1/2 cup of brown sugar. What is the next part? 1 1/2 cups of butter. So, I remind myself that each stick of butter equals a half cup, and being the mathemetician I am, I calculate that to be 3 sticks. That seems like a lot, but I just move on. Good so far right?

I melt all three sticks of butter, then dump the melted butter on top of my flour and sugar.

Uh, problem. Something registers in my brain that makes my stomach tighten. There is too much better. The mixture is goopy instead of breaded.

I recheck my directions.

Crap! 1 1/2 STICKS of butter, not CUPS.

My solution? Brilliant I say, just brilliant. I add 2 more cups of flour and another 1/2 cup of brown sugar. I make a double batch. Disaster averted.

And, now I have crust for another frozen strawberry square delight to be made sometime this next week.

Moral of the story? When you screw up baking... just double the batch:-)

Do you have any cooking horror stories? Any advice for us idiots out there that don't follow directions well?

6 comments:

sheriboeyink said...

Oh, this is a great post. Now, I'm a freak of nature (my blog is a log of it, road biking insane amounts of miles, etc. etc.)---anyway, back to THIS blog.... Most people are like you, Krista, like to cook, just don't have the time.

I am SOOOO not like that. If I had all the time in the world, I'd rather eat out every single night. LOL. Seriously, I don't enjoy cooking. BUT, after stepping into my role of wife and support to my husband, I began trying.

One day I was trying to boil eggs. Ok, did you know that you're supposed to heat the egg WITH the water? Ok, so I didn't. I was bringing the water to a boil then dropping my egg in there. I just couldn't understand why it was exploding each and every time.

Yes, yes, I'm not joking.

Oh, and then there was the one recipe where it called for ONE chipolte pepper in adobe sauce to be chopped and put in the mixture, well, I read that as ONE CAN of chipolte peppers in adobe sauce...yeah, that's like EIGHT peppers.

Somehow, we just survived our 12th wedding anniversary....:-)

Krista Phillips said...

Uh, not sure I would say I LIKE to cook. I like the IDEA of being a good cook.

When I'm in the mood, I do like to make a mean dessert.

other than that, it's all down hill. My spaghetti consists of regular noodles and out of the jar sauce warmed up. (I never understood why my mom went to the trouble to add meat when the sauce says 'meat sauce'.)

My idea of a fancy meal is a Stouffer's Lasagna. Yum! My family feels like they are eating gourmet:-)

Jeffortune said...

I guess I am the freak. I love to cook and do so about 95% of the time in our house (me, wife, 2 boys). Not trying to toot my own horn, but I am good at it too. Atleast everyone I cook for tells me so. I love to experiment in the kitchen too. I am addicted to the food network. I watch like 10 hours a week.

No horror stories really. I learned to cook early because the rule when I was growing up, if you cook you don't do dishes. I lothe dishes. So I learned to cook.

My youngest is following in my footsteps. He is eight and can cook an entire meal by himself (with me watching over his shoulder. The meal he can ccok - Shrimp with a Lemon Pepper Butter Sauce with Broccoli and white rice. Start to finish he can do it.

He entered a school science arts and crafts festival at his school..his art was food carving.

I'll post the pictures on my site.

Sorry to disappoint.

Amy Deardon said...

Krista, This is so funny! But come on -- you've got to post your strawberry square recipe!

I'm a pragmatic cook -- I love recipes that are really easy, but everyone raves over. BTW brownies are not hard, and taste better when made from scratch. I'll give you the recipe I usually use -- these are somewhat cakey, very chocolatey. (I love the chewy ones made with unsweetened chocolate but can't go there with the saturated fat)

Amy's Brownies

1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
3/4 cup cocoa
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
chocolate chips

Mix oil, sugar, vanilla, and eggs until smooth. Sift together and add cocoa, flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix in chocolate chips.

Pour into greased 13 x 9 x 2 pan (actually, I hate cleaning pans so I line it with foil and just pour the batter on that). Bake at 350 F about 35 minutes

Krista Phillips said...

I might be convinced to post it:-) I'll have to get it around... look for more posts later on that. They are super yummy!

As are my brownies... I don't mean to toot my own horn, or Betty Crocker's either, but yeah, my brownies rock, box or not. They even inspired a scene in my book. I may be convinced also to tell my secret of making ooey gooey goodness brownies too.

I'll have to try your recipe too though. I have to say, I am a lover of goo though. I usually wrinkle my nose at cake-like brownies. LOL I only tried from scratch brownies once, and yeah, they flopped. I went back to my box and stayed there.

So particular I am!

lindayezak said...

I love cooking, not that fond of baking. Word of advice? You can eye-ball it for cooking, but for baking ya gotta measure, like it or not.

My biggest cooking disaster? The day I made Chicken Kiev for my in-laws. First time I had ever cooked for them, first time in my new kitchen, first time with that blasted electric stove--they came out black on the outside and raw on the inside.

We ordered pizza.