Tuesday, June 4, 2013

I've still got it in the kitchen!

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.


Amy said...

I think I should live at your house. I am amazed at how daring you are to try a recipe for something you haven't seen or eaten before. So thoughtful!

Jaime Jenkins said...

You had someone order suet?? You are amazing.