Do you have an area of your life you want to excel in but for some reason you just can’t? Mine is the kitchen. I have so many dreams of creating my own recipes and making gourmet meals every night but I have to realize that’s not going to happen.
I try, honestly I do and I can do so well for a few days then BAM, something happens. Like the time Don told our friends Chef Michael and his wife how great my homemade pizza was so we invited them over for dinner. Michael was suppose to cut out white flour and sugar from his diet or at least cut back so I was proud of myself, I made the crust using whole wheat flour. I really didn’t know that whole wheat four makes a dough stiffer so you need less of it but that was no problem. I just added a bit more water and everything was good. I assembled the pizzas in the morning and when our guests arrived I had the oven preheated and ready to go. The pizza usually has to bake about 20-25 minutes and the cheese is just starting to get a few golden specks on it. I put the pizza in the oven and within 10 minutes it was dark brown. It took a few minutes for me to figure out I’d left the oven on pre-heat.
Since Don’s Cajun I was so excited when I found a recipe for crock pot Jambalaya. The recipe called for onions, green peppers and canned tomatoes with garlic and tobasco sauce. I couldn’t find the tomatoes with garlic but I did find tomatoes with chili’s. In my mind chili’s were peppers so I added garlic powder and eliminated the green peppers. When we went to eat it our mouths spewed flames. It was so spicy we couldn’t eat it at all and we were afraid to give it to the dogs. It was then I realized the chili’s were chili peppers NOT regular peppers. Don made me promise to never make that dish again.
Now I don’t want you to get the idea that I can’t cook. As Don says the things I make that are good I excel at but then some things I need to stay away from. He’s also quick to tell me that I do great when I take my time but it’s when I get in a hurry that I mess up.
Last week our grocery had lobster tails on sale. I love lobster and know it’s one of the few seafoods Don likes so I decided I was going to buy 2 along with a couple of nice THICK steaks and we’d have surf and turf on New Years Eve. With some direction from Candy at Serendipity Mommy I butterflied those things and grilled them outside. I made garlic clarified butter and it was one of the best meals we’ve had in a long time.
I have mastered the art of making homemade potato chips, I can make the best homemade chicken and noodles (just like mom’s) and he raves about my roasts whether I make it in the oven, crock pot or top of the stove. He loves when I cook outside and tells everyone I make a steak as good as one you’d get in a restaurant and last year for Chef Michael’s birthday I made Cajun Chicken Alfredo and Jimmy’s Favorite Garlic Bread, both from Guy Fieri’s cookbook. Chef Michael and his wife raved about it and Don said it was restaurant quality. Of course making the garlic bread I learned how NOT to roast garlic. You can NOT do it in a toaster oven. It’s suppose to bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. In less than 30 minutes the house reeked of garlic and when I opened the foil I had a charred mess. I had to run to the store and buy more garlic and this time I did it in the oven and it was perfect.
What I’d love to be able to do is create my own recipes but have no idea where to start? How do people know how much liquid and solids so a dish isn’t too dry or too mushy? How much sugar is too much and how much is not enough? When using eggs, how many is too many? When do you need to use baking powder or baking soda and when do you need both?
Do you have a signature dish that everyone asks you to make? Have you had any mishaps in the kitchen that you’re willing to talk about?