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Lemon Curd

Day three of Fridge Chronicles. How much longer can I drag these lemons out? Thankfully not much longer. The thought of skinless lemons just sitting in my fridge bothered me. I searched for recipes that called for lemon juice, but didn’t feel up to going through all the effort for most things. Lemon curd sounded amazing, but most of the recipes seemed complicated/labor intensive. Enter King Arthur Microwave Lemon Curd. Now I’m pretty sure I failed this one. I tried to halve it since I really don’t need to eat two cups of lemon curd nor do I have enough lemons. I realized I had no microwave safe bowl big enough (add that to the growing list of kitchen supplies I need– toaster, baking dishes, bowls), so I used my glass measuring cup. I’m pretty sure I over cooked it. The egg whites congealed on the top. I think I also went over the cooking time by a minute or two. It got all boily and hot and sticky. Which is part of the curding process I’m guessing? I have to wait for it to cool and then sit in the fridge for a bit before it’s achieved proper curdness. I’ll try some on an English muffin in the morning. The egg bits just make it better, right? Next time I’ll make a full recipe. Or one that’s cooked on the stove.

Cooking Movie: Elementary

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Lemon Shortbread

Lemon ShortbreadDay two in the chronicles of Let’s Make Something Out of Whatever Is In My Fridge. When I bought lemons for fondue and hummus crusted chicken, they had a four for two dollars deal. One got used for the fondue, but as you know the hummus crusted chicken has yet to be made. So I had two lemons just hanging out. What to make? Shortbread! I made the first recipe that came up on Google from Pinch My Salt. Super easy recipe. I like it. I halved it since there’s no possible way I can eat five dozen shortbread cookies (though I probably would try). I went ahead and used all of the zest from two lemons as everything lemony I make seems to lack true lemon flavor. I won’t be bothered if I over do it.

So far the batter tastes good, but I really think it’s impossible to mess up butter, sugar, and flour. I did have to add extra butter though to the halved recipe. The batter wouldn’t come together. It stayed crumbly. I added three tablespoons of melted butter and then it obliged me by forming into a ball. Smells good. I cut my slices a little bit thinner, so the cooking time was a few minutes shorter. They are good. Buttery and crunchy. But again that lemon flavor I crave so badly escapes me. Maybe it’s just me and my taste buds wanting everything lemony to taste like lemon curd. They are pretty lemony though. And good with tea!

Cooking Movie: Pride and Prejudice

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Baked Apples

Baked ApplesI finally finished rereading Emma yesterday. Anyone who has ever read it will know that Miss Bates goes on and on for pages about apples and Mr. Woodhouse’s insistance that the best way to eat them is baked. I even did a presentation about food in Emma where my partner and I baked apples for the class (And we only got a B. What kind of impossibly high standards?). I’ve finally gotten my appetite back and got the urge to cook something. There were two apples in the back of my fridge needing to get eaten, so apples it was! I found this Emma inspired recipe on the PBS website.  I’m afraid I’ll disappoint Mr. Woodhouse by not baking them three times. Just 30 minutes. I also have no nuts (which is astonishing. I always have nuts! Time to replenish my stores) and no raisins (ick). My apples are just stuffed with cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar. Tastes just like a baked apple. Definitely not as good as Mr. Knightley’s apples, but it’ll do. I have a feeling I’ll try my hand at this again in the future, so next time I’ll get the proper fillings. And ice cream!

This was just right for an impromptu nudge back into cooking. I also like the idea of literary influenced dishes. Part of my problem is that I’m floundering to come up with good things to make every week. Maybe that would be a good direction. Maybe at least one literary inspired thing a week? Unlike Miss Bates, I don’t see salted hindquarter of pork in my future. And my literary pursuits are going to be fairly 18th century focused for quite some time. I’ve vowed to get through Udolpho. I want to reread Clarissa. Finally read Cecelia. And on and on. I just need the time!

Cooking Movie: Persuasion (Only suffering through it for Ciaran Hinds. My heart is aching for Anne)

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A Longish Absence

Apologies for going so long without a post. I have not abandoned you or my quest. I promise that the thought of the veggies and other foods that have gone bad in my fridge in the wake of this tragedy is torture enough. And the left over birthday cake I didn’t get to eat. I sadly contracted food poisoning. Something I ate on Tuesday. Not entirely sure what, but I have my theories. I was unable to cook anything for a day or so and then just completely unwilling after that. I haven’t quite gotten my appetite back. And I figured nobody would be interested in a post about Trader Joe’s chicken soup (I would recommend a pass on that. The rest of it is ok, but the chicken itself is icky), Trader Joe’s apples and cinnamon oatmeal (a surprise success!), or crackers. My Jasmine mint tea was a life saver.

So here’s hoping I’ll get my appetite back soon and be back on our regularly scheduled program. Hummus crusted chicken– soon!

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Cheese Board

Cheese BoardNo cooking again today. But it’s my birthday. Surely I can be excused? I did put together this awesome cheese and hummus spread for my friends tonight. I got Wegman’s double cream buttery brie. It was delicious. I may have eaten at least half the wedge by myself. The goat cheese was herb flavored. I liked it better than I thought I would. The cheddar was kind of a grab bag. It was an impulse buy at Giant when I ran in to buy the hummus. It’s called Old Croc and is made in Australia, so I had to try it. It promised to have a bite to it. It definitely was sharper than most. I liked it, but it didn’t get much action. The hummus was also all gone at the end of the night. And followed it up with another round of my Grand Marnier cake! All in all, a good time.

Tomorrow I hope to make Hummus Crusted Chicken, but it’ll depend on how I feel after work. But know it will be coming this week!

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Swiss Cheese Fondue

Swiss Cheese Fondue

I do fondue fairly often, but not often enough to recover from a miss if I try a cheese mixture that’s too daring. I’ve never been able to perfect cheddar fondue. Brie may be my ultimate love, but it failed me as a fondue. Swiss has always been the old tried and true. I usually go with a Gruyere, but decided to at least be a little adventurous this time. I went to the fancy cheese store a few days ago to pick out the cheese. I tasted a few of the stronger ones before settling on Appenzeller. I tried out a few of the milder ones, but decided to stick with the good old Emmentaler. It was a hit. We’ve never had cheese mix so well together and become the perfect consistency for fondue so fast. We usually have to stir for awhile before it complies. We will definitely be doing the Appenzeller again. I apologize for the pictures. We were way more concerned with eating it than posing with dippers artfully poised on our fondue forks. It’s eat or don’t. The cheese does not last long.

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Eggs and Grits

Eggs and GritsDear Reader, forgive me for yet again posting about making eggs. It technically isn’t cheating because I am cooking on the stove. It’s just not very exciting. It still kinda feels like cheating. I fully intended to bake something amazing yesterday. I wasn’t feeling well for most of the day. By the time I finally mustered up the energy, I decided that it was more important to clean the apartment. It is spotless. And now I’m afraid to use the kitchen because I don’t want to dirty it. I wanted to bake something tonight, but after having to dig my car out of the snow and a long day of work I just don’t have it in me. Plus this special about the National Theater came on PBS and I was gone. The eggs helped keep me going all day. I put pepper and Penzeys Fox Point seasoning in them. That’s my favorite seasoning from them. I put it in a lot of stuff. The grits are the microwavable kind with a little salt and butter added. The tea is Russian Earl Grey, kinda like a Lady Grey.

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