Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Experiments. Delicious, delicious experiments

I got a little.... carried away.

My relationship with baking is tenuous at best. When I am cooking, I tend to never follow a recipe. I am the proverbial bull in the culinary china shop; I just blow through, smashing everything into the pan without regard.

When I'm baking, I research a recipe, measure out all my ingredients, and begin my well intentioned mixing.
Halfway through, I don't see things coming together in any desirable way and I start to panic.
Then I try to over correct.
Then I just end up with a mess on my hands.
I feel like there's a "That's what she said" joke involved there. 

So, for more than one reason, it's strange that I would pick one of the hottest weekends of the year to suddenly decide that I needed to bake.
But I just needed to create something; to try something I had never tried before. Something slightly challenging.
It started out pretty simple:

Olive Oil Flatbreads with Pecorino, Thyme, Sea Salt and Honey

(I can't take credit for any part of this recipe. My roommate likes to entice me with recipes and this is one she sent me that marinaded in my brain. The flatbread was simple: it didn't require any leavening, it baked in less than 10 minutes, and is versatile enough to be topped with just about anything. I used pecorino (My favorite cheese!) and fresh thyme (my second favorite herb!) and some sea salt, then positively drown them in some local honey I found at the market. Nutty, spicy, sweet and salty. It was like a carnival. I have all ready repeated this dish more than once.)

Then it escalated:

Bourbon Chocolate Chip Cookies
(Instead of a tablespoon of vanilla extract, I used half a cup of bourbon.) 

Then it just got out of control.

Chana Dal Masala. With plain yogurt and cilantro.

(Indian cooking frightens me. I don't really know what spices to use and the process seems really tedious. But I bought a bag of Chana Dal beans in a hers and hers specialty grain order with K a few weeks ago and was eager to spread my wings. So I have a whole container of cardamom pods now that I need to decide what to do with. This is a very very good option.)

Not pictured is an extremely unsuccessful attempt at peanut butter swirl brownies. I followed the recipe to a T and still managed to make the outsides burnt and the insides completely molten. The only saving grace was that K came over while I tried to rectify these atrocious treats and we watched Viva Las Vegas, since we both idolize Ann-Margret. There are worse things to do on a Saturday than ruin a pan of brownies.

The day ended well, I made my way on foot to Highland Park and enjoyed an unbelievable cookout with Kelly, Thrill, Aaron, and many more. We grilled, made bourbon sweet tea from the mint Aaron grew, and basked in the beautiful sunshine.


No comments:

Post a Comment