I'm getting back into cooking/baking finally. It's nice to know I still have the ability to experiment, improvise, reach beyond my comfort zone, and end up with tastiness.
Recently it was a British coworker's birthday. She is always doing nice things for other people and I wanted to make her a special dessert, so I asked a mutual friend what she'd like best. He told me a dessert name and I was scared to google it at work, so he gave me a link. It's a steamed pudding. I've never made a steamed pudding. I've never seen suet before. I got a local meat market to order me some. I wasn't sure how to chop suet, so I blended it with the milk. I converted everything to U.S. measurements, tied the pudding in parchment paper and steamed it. And steamed it. And steamed it. Once I was late to work, I gave up and finished it in the oven (which Google told me was acceptable). I didn't make the custard that is supposed to accompany it and I didn't even know what it was supposed to look/taste like. The birthday girl was still really happy to have a taste of home. :-)
I offered to make a dessert for an Eagle Scout court of honor. I wanted something individually sized for convenience, but not cookies. I make banana cream pie with Nilla wafers as a crust (not crushed, just whole cookies lining a pan), so I made bite-sized ones. Nilla wafer, banana slice, banana pudding (made with 75% of the milk), and whipped topping. I used ziploc bags to squeeze on the pudding and whipped topping, which is how I fill my deviled eggs. It was very quick and popular. I made more for friends the next day.
Memorial Day clearly demanded amazing dip, and I was torn between two very tasty recipes I've had pinned for awhile. I opted for the Loaded Baked Potato Dip. At the suggestion of my foodie sister Tammy, I did part cream cheese instead of all sour cream. I also added smoked Gouda because I had a little chunk in the fridge. It was salty but very delicious, especially heated up to the melty-goodness stage. No picture. I never wanted to stop eating in order to take a picture. It lasted through several people, several days, and more than one bag of potato chips.
Tonight I made fruit salad and potato salad for a church Young Women picnic. I needed one more edible item. I had some turkey lunch meat and cheese slices in my fridge, left from camping (whoops, still need to blog about the Grand Canyon!). I made whole wheat pizza dough with Italian type seasonings (basil, oregano, onion powder, freshly ground pepper medley). I rolled it out, brushed with olive oil, layered on meat and cheese, and folded over the crust like a giant Calzone. Brushed it again with olive oil and sprinkled liberally with cheap Parmesan and lightly with salt. I also fork-stabbed each Calzone. After they rose for 30 minutes, I baked at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. I sliced them into 1-2" slices. I thought they were very tasty...sorry no pictures, but you should really try making them! The flavored crust is key.