Tuesday, December 20, 2011

2012 - My Year of Eating Dangerously

I haven't been a very good blogger, which is abundantly clear to anyone who has ever looked at this blog.  Part of it is the challenge of not having a good camera, part is that my original intent has been overcome by the reality of life with a full time job, two kids (or three if you consider the 52 year old who also lives in my house), sports, laptop issues, you name it.  I know there are plenty of bloggers who are able to pull it all together and blog regularly but I don't seem to be one of them.

So I've decided to change my approach and do something different for 2012.  Because I've been in such a rut, I'm going to try some new things, in fact, I want to try at least one new thing a month for the year then write about it.  A couple of things I'm thinking about are almost embarrassing for someone who claims to be a foodie - I want to try Korean food.  Yeah, I know, it is so last year but I've never had it and think it is something I ought to experience.  I'm also going to try my hardest to like fish in some form other than battered and fried.  That one might be a harder sell than Korean but I'm going to give it a shot. 

I already took a leap, which sounds completely lame to anyone who is a die hard foodie, but I ate a Cuban sandwich not long ago.  I always thought they sounded good but I'm not a pickle lover so I avoided them because of the pickles.  Anyway, Jane, Barbara and I went to Bryan Voltaggio's new lunch place in Frederick and I tried the Cuban.  I won't say the heavens opened and the angels sang but it was tasty enough that I was sorry I waited this long to try one. 

Here's a picture of Chef Voltaggio, who just happened to be working the counter the day we were there.  He's mighty cute in person, ladies.  Oh, yeah, mighty, mighty cute.

And if there's anyone out there who has any suggestions for more dangerous things for me to eat, I'll take them.  And if there's anything interesting that happens in between dangerous posts, I'll blog about that as well.  

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A most excellent lunch, reheated for breakfast

Quesadillas are one of those dishes that you probably don't want to admit you love.  Here's a dish with no foodie cred that Rick Bayless cringes when he sees on a menu, but come on now, who doesn't love flour tortillas, melted cheese and grilled chicken?  Seriously, come clean, you love them, you know you do.

So I went to lunch yesterday with three of my coworkers - a special treat because normally I lunch alone and we tried a Mexican/Salvadoran restaurant that I've seen many times but never went into.  The food on everyone else's tables looked great, fresh and tasty but everything looked so huge I thought I'd order something small like a quesadilla.  Ha!  When it came, the thing was the size of a hubcap!  I could hardly lift the box it came in.  To top it off I ordered a pupusa, a Salvadoran treat that looks like a pancake but is actually a masa cake filled with cheese cooked on a griddle.  Wow!  Supermegadelicious.

All that being said, I made my way through the pupusa and about a quarter of the quesadilla before I threw in the towel.  I brought the rest of it home and amazingly it survived the night and was still there this morning, begging for me to eat it for breakfast.  Twenty minutes in a 350 degree oven and I had a toasty little meal that left me full, well, for the whole day.  I haven't eaten lunch yet and its 3:00 pm.  I love it.  

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Why I quit blogging and why I've decided to give it another shot


That's it in a word.  I don't have a good camera and I won't be buying one any time soon so I've allowed myself to be intimidated by the glorious photos I see on so many other food blogs.


There's a second word.  I originally started this blog to talk about baking but I just haven't been doing too much of it lately.  I love bread but nobody else in my family does so I end up baking and eating too much then throwing out the rest.  Not a good thing in an economy where wasting food is really a crime.

So I've changed my mind about how I'm going to blog going forward.  I'm taking the pressure off myself and if I get a good picture, well, that's a bonus.  And I'm going to blog about cooking of all types, not just baking.

I'm free.

I think...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Today's word - speed

I'm really struggling with whether or not I can recommend this recipe but I will give it one thing - speed. Normally, I am a slow girl. Seriously, I like to plan ahead with my baking and give my doughs a lot of time to rise and develop flavor. This recipe is the opposite of slow. You mix and torture the dough then bake it within a few hours of when you start.

I'd say this bread is not bad when hot out of the oven but it doesn't keep. If you have unexpected guests and want to get bread done quickly to go with a meal, go for it. Otherwise, if your expectations are low, you won't be disappointed.

Two Hour French Bread

1/2 cup warm water
2 Tbsp yeast (2 packages)
3 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp salt
1/3 cup oil
2 cups very hot tap water
6 cups flour

Dissolve yeast and sugar in 1/2 cup water. In a large bowl, combine salt, oil, and 2 cups hot water. Mix in three cups flour. Add the yeast mixture. Mix in remaining 3 cups flour. Stir down every 10 minutes for 5 times (keep bowl covered with a towel in between so it doesn't dry out). Shape. Raise until double. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Makes 2 loaves french bread

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

In a Word - Comfort

I've decided to participate in National Blog Posting Month again and this time, I'm determined I will post every single day in March. This month's theme is "In a Word" in which you select a different word each day and blog about it. So for me, the word today is comfort.

Most people's comfort food reminds them of their childhood but my mother wasn't much of a cook when I was a kid so my only real food memories are of things I'd probably rather not think about (like ham, onion and sour cream casserole - dear god! what a disaster!) I'm not sure where I developed my love of Tex-Mex but for me, when I really crave something comforting, food-wise, this is where I go.

With all that's been happening professionally in the past few weeks, I've gone to the chili salad well more than once but this time I finally took a picture. Its a pretty simple thing - romaine, avocado, tomato, chili of some variety, cheddar, salsa and sour cream, plus a few tortilla chips for crunch. You can make it fancy if you want to but you really don't need to - this one has Tostitos and store bought chipotle salsa rather than homemade tortilla wedges and fresh pico de gallo. And it is still delicious.