dreamcatchings: (misc: once upon a time)
It's another weekend full of baking for me. So far I've made Casatiello bread, which takes about 6 hours and thusly should never, ever be started at 9pm. Next time I make it I'll endeavor to remember that. I am currently baking a New York style cheesecake, which is hugely tall and has to be left in the oven for five hours after its cooking time of one hour ends. Tomorrow or tonight I have plans to make gumbo as lunch for the upcoming work week.

I need to figure out plans for this week's breakfasts, but I might just eat the Special K meal bars I bought. I meant to get more of the protein shakes, but I forgot them each time I went to the store.

I've been trying to get my ebooks in order. It's a much larger endeavor than I ever would have imagined, but it really needs to be done so I can easily locate things and stop adding the same files to Calibre over and over again. That gets annoying because then I have to go through and update the book information anyway. Grrrr.

Nothing much happening. I'm ready for winter to be over any minute now because the threat of snow and ice is getting totally old. I should move somewhere warmer. I just hate moving.
dreamcatchings: (Default)
It's another weekend full of baking for me. So far I've made Casatiello bread, which takes about 6 hours and thusly should never, ever be started at 9pm. Next time I make it I'll endeavor to remember that. I am currently baking a New York style cheesecake, which is hugely tall and has to be left in the oven for five hours after its cooking time of one hour ends. Tomorrow or tonight I have plans to make gumbo as lunch for the upcoming work week.

I need to figure out plans for this week's breakfasts, but I might just eat the Special K meal bars I bought. I meant to get more of the protein shakes, but I forgot them each time I went to the store.

I've been trying to get my ebooks in order. It's a much larger endeavor than I ever would have imagined, but it really needs to be done so I can easily locate things and stop adding the same files to Calibre over and over again. That gets annoying because then I have to go through and update the book information anyway. Grrrr.

Nothing much happening. I'm ready for winter to be over any minute now because the threat of snow and ice is getting totally old. I should move somewhere warmer. I just hate moving.
dreamcatchings: (scully: smart is sexy)
Here comes the snow. When I woke up I was a little disappointed with the news forecasters because there was just a light dusting over things. Now, though, the flakes they are a-coming. I am glad that this storm didn't occur until I was off. Woo! I won't have to call in or stress myself out over driving in it.

Things I'm planning to cook this weekend:


  • chocolate chip sweet rolls
  • eggnog
  • queso
  • Asian chicken and steamed veg



That's the plan anyway. I may end up making some bread, too. We'll see. I tend to make bread and then not really eat it. Add to that the fat that I'm been eating Special K cereal for dinners when I get home after work and Special K protein drinks for breakfast during the work week and then likely ruin the good strides over my weekend when I want to play and try new things. The thing I'm most looking forward to? Using my dutch oven for the first time. The sweet roll recipe calls to make the dough in the dutch oven. Yay!

I need a cooking/baking icon stat! Or if I can't find a good one, I might need something from Pushing Daisies.
dreamcatchings: (Default)
Here comes the snow. When I woke up I was a little disappointed with the news forecasters because there was just a light dusting over things. Now, though, the flakes they are a-coming. I am glad that this storm didn't occur until I was off. Woo! I won't have to call in or stress myself out over driving in it.

Things I'm planning to cook this weekend:


  • chocolate chip sweet rolls
  • eggnog
  • queso
  • Asian chicken and steamed veg



That's the plan anyway. I may end up making some bread, too. We'll see. I tend to make bread and then not really eat it. Add to that the fat that I'm been eating Special K cereal for dinners when I get home after work and Special K protein drinks for breakfast during the work week and then likely ruin the good strides over my weekend when I want to play and try new things. The thing I'm most looking forward to? Using my dutch oven for the first time. The sweet roll recipe calls to make the dough in the dutch oven. Yay!

I need a cooking/baking icon stat! Or if I can't find a good one, I might need something from Pushing Daisies.
dreamcatchings: (tara: just like me)
Things I need to invest in before Cookiepalooza 2011:

Cookie sheets - I currently have three cookie sheets, but I will only use two of them. I guess that you could say I really need more jelly roll sheets because that's the sort of sheet I use for, well, everything. The third sheet I have is a typical "cookie" sheet in that it doesn't have any sides. I am clumsy. If there are not sides on things then whatever I'm baking is going to fall off either onto the floor or into the oven itself where it will undoubtedly catch on fire and start the sort of mess that will become "an event" of terribly epic proportions that I would give me something entertaining to talk about but would also be the worst thing ever. Not to mention the fact that pans with sides give me something to hold onto. Let's reexamine that point about me being clumsy and then guess why pans with sides are important. So, yeah, I currently only have two pans that I like. They are both nonstick, dark coated, high sided sheets, and they are wonderful. They not only saw me through last year's Cookiepalooza and this years so far but have been in the family for years. There are four of these babies total but my dad has the other two. We split them when I moved into the apartment. Alas there is no brand name on them anywhere I look so I cannot simply add to the collection. Anyone have good jelly roll sheet recommendations?

Stand Mixer - This is not one of those "My stand mixer is two years old and no longer the current model" needs. This is more of the "My stand mixer is older than I am. Way older. My stand mixer is from the 60s if not the 50s, and despite the fact that it has managed to begrudgingly plow through everything I have thrown at it so far is going to die one day." thing. I can only imagine that the more times I throw Cookiepalooza at it, the shorter its lifespan becomes. This year it is seriously straining and getting way hotter than before. I'm wondering if maybe it needs to be opened up and oiled or cleaned or, well, something, but I have no idea how to do or check on any of that. (If anyone reading does know please feel free to share.) I've been doing research on stand mixers, and I know that I do not want a KitchenAid. From everything I've read, they're not going to stand up to my demands. I'm thinking about a Bosch, but I also saw a review that someone did on a British brand that I can't recall the name of that I might need to check out. I like the idea of the Bosch a lot even though it is upwards of $400.

I'm going to need a baking icon soon.
dreamcatchings: (tara: just like me)
Things I need to invest in before Cookiepalooza 2011:

Cookie sheets - I currently have three cookie sheets, but I will only use two of them. I guess that you could say I really need more jelly roll sheets because that's the sort of sheet I use for, well, everything. The third sheet I have is a typical "cookie" sheet in that it doesn't have any sides. I am clumsy. If there are not sides on things then whatever I'm baking is going to fall off either onto the floor or into the oven itself where it will undoubtedly catch on fire and start the sort of mess that will become "an event" of terribly epic proportions that I would give me something entertaining to talk about but would also be the worst thing ever. Not to mention the fact that pans with sides give me something to hold onto. Let's reexamine that point about me being clumsy and then guess why pans with sides are important. So, yeah, I currently only have two pans that I like. They are both nonstick, dark coated, high sided sheets, and they are wonderful. They not only saw me through last year's Cookiepalooza and this years so far but have been in the family for years. There are four of these babies total but my dad has the other two. We split them when I moved into the apartment. Alas there is no brand name on them anywhere I look so I cannot simply add to the collection. Anyone have good jelly roll sheet recommendations?

Stand Mixer - This is not one of those "My stand mixer is two years old and no longer the current model" needs. This is more of the "My stand mixer is older than I am. Way older. My stand mixer is from the 60s if not the 70s, and despite the fact that it has managed to begrudgingly plow through everything I have thrown at it so far is going to die one day." thing. I can only imagine that the more times I throw Cookiepalooza at it, the shorter its lifespan becomes. This year it is seriously straining and getting way hotter than before. I'm wondering if maybe it needs to be opened up and oiled or cleaned or, well, something, but I have no idea how to do or check on any of that. (If anyone reading does know please feel free to share.) I've been doing research on stand mixers, and I know that I do not want a KitchenAid. From everything I've read, they're not going to stand up to my demands. I'm thinking about a Bosch, but I also saw a review that someone did on a British brand that I can't recall the name of that I might need to check out. I like the idea of the Bosch a lot even though it is upwards of $400.

I'm going to need a baking icon soon.
dreamcatchings: (Default)
Links to the Cookiepalooza recipes for this year. A couple of things to keep in mind. I don't measure vanilla and by that I mean that I always add more than is called for. I also make sure to let both the butter and the eggs reach room temp. I also typically add cinnamon and cardamom to most doughs even if the recipes doesn't call for it.

Gingerbread Cookies: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Gingerbread-Cookies-II/Detail.aspx
Peppermint Shortbread Cookies: http://thelunacafe.com/peppermint-stick-shortbread/
Eggnog Chocolate Chip: http://whatscookingmexico.com/2009/12/17/eggnog-cookies/
Chocolate Chip: http://savorysweetlife.com/2009/10/alices-chocolate-chip-cookie-recipe/
Lemon Poppyseed: http://annies-eats.com/2009/09/16/lemon-poppy-seed-cookies/
Oatmeal Raisin: http://www.quakeroats.com/cooking-and-recipes/content/recipes/recipe-detail.aspx?recipeId=474
Peanut Butter: http://www.jif.com/Recipes/Details/960
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip: http://www.lovintheoven.com/2008/12/day-2-pumpkin-chocolate-chip-cookies.html
Snickerdoodles: http://www.bestrecipesevar.com/best-snickerdoodles-ever/
dreamcatchings: ((default))
Links to the Cookiepalooza recipes for this year. A couple of things to keep in mind. I don't measure vanilla and by that I mean that I always add more than is called for. I also make sure to let both the butter and the eggs reach room temp. I also typically add cinnamon and cardamom to most doughs even if the recipes doesn't call for it.

Gingerbread Cookies: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Gingerbread-Cookies-II/Detail.aspx
Peppermint Shortbread Cookies: http://thelunacafe.com/peppermint-stick-shortbread/
Eggnog Chocolate Chip: http://whatscookingmexico.com/2009/12/17/eggnog-cookies/
Chocolate Chip: http://savorysweetlife.com/2009/10/alices-chocolate-chip-cookie-recipe/
Lemon Poppyseed: http://annies-eats.com/2009/09/16/lemon-poppy-seed-cookies/
Oatmeal Raisin: http://www.quakeroats.com/cooking-and-recipes/content/recipes/recipe-detail.aspx?recipeId=474
Peanut Butter: http://www.jif.com/Recipes/Details/960
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip: http://www.lovintheoven.com/2008/12/day-2-pumpkin-chocolate-chip-cookies.html
Snickerdoodles: http://www.bestrecipesevar.com/best-snickerdoodles-ever/
dreamcatchings: (paige: all i am)
For some inane reason I have started doing something I affectionately term cookiepalooza wherein I bake an incredibly stupidly large amount of cookies and then take them to work as Christmas gifts for people. I did it last year, and I'm going it this year as well. It's one of those things that sort of wears me down, especially right now. For reasons unknown to me I am entirely more emotionally and physically run down this holiday season than last year, though I think part of that might have to be attributed to the weather. The winter weather has already been worse this year than previous years, and it makes me paranoid and worry prone and just tired. Not to mention that the bad weather makes me even more prone to stay home and away from people. All in all I find myself a little more depressed than last year. It's not even the jagging crying all the time depression, either. It's the heavy, weight "I don't want to do anything or see anyone or go anywhere. And all these things I usually adore don't matter much at all." Work has a lot to do with it. Work and some developments with a few of my personal friendships. People seem to be passing me by in leaps and bounds, and it's disheartening and painful so I retreat into being numb. Unfortunately I have a tendency to get myself completely locked in the numb state with no real way to claw my way out. It's one of those terribly viscous cycles.

I was originally planning to make batches of nine different cookies (pumpkin chocolate chip, chocolate chip, eggnog dark chocolate chip, lemon poppyseed, snickerdoodles, peanut butter, oatmeal raisin, gingerbread and peppermint shortbread), but I'm not sure I can do it. I've got the lemon poppyseed, snickdoodle, eggnog and pumpkin dough already made and proofing. I'm going to make the oatmeal raisin dough before I go to bed tonight. The peanut butter dough does not proof well. I learned that the hard way when I did it last year and the peanut oil started separating from the dough and getting everywhere. It was a terrible mess so I'll make and bake that one. I like to give most of the cookies at least overnight in the fridge because it does mature the taste, esp. on chocolate chip variants. I'm also supposed to make pies for a work party, but I might just cave and buy those if I go to the work party because tonight I cannot face the idea of baking all of this without just shattering into a million tiny pieces.

Work was terrible this week, and I'm probably being overly sensitive. They're cookies. No one is going to be terribly upset if I leave some of them out, but it makes me feel like I'm a failure and a disappointment before I even start. The holidays are stressful, but I mostly do this to myself.
dreamcatchings: (Default)
For some inane reason I have started doing something I affectionately term cookiepalooza wherein I bake an incredibly stupidly large amount of cookies and then take them to work as Christmas gifts for people. I did it last year, and I'm going it this year as well. It's one of those things that sort of wears me down, especially right now. For reasons unknown to me I am entirely more emotionally and physically run down this holiday season than last year, though I think part of that might have to be attributed to the weather. The winter weather has already been worse this year than previous years, and it makes me paranoid and worry prone and just tired. Not to mention that the bad weather makes me even more prone to stay home and away from people. All in all I find myself a little more depressed than last year. It's not even the jagging crying all the time depression, either. It's the heavy, weight "I don't want to do anything or see anyone or go anywhere. And all these things I usually adore don't matter much at all." Work has a lot to do with it. Work and some developments with a few of my personal friendships. People seem to be passing me by in leaps and bounds, and it's disheartening and painful so I retreat into being numb. Unfortunately I have a tendency to get myself completely locked in the numb state with no real way to claw my way out. It's one of those terribly viscous cycles.

I was originally planning to make batches of nine different cookies (pumpkin chocolate chip, chocolate chip, eggnog dark chocolate chip, lemon poppyseed, snickerdoodles, peanut butter, oatmeal raisin, gingerbread and peppermint shortbread), but I'm not sure I can do it. I've got the lemon poppyseed, snickdoodle, eggnog and pumpkin dough already made and proofing. I'm going to make the oatmeal raisin dough before I go to bed tonight. The peanut butter dough does not proof well. I learned that the hard way when I did it last year and the peanut oil started separating from the dough and getting everywhere. It was a terrible mess so I'll make and bake that one. I like to give most of the cookies at least overnight in the fridge because it does mature the taste, esp. on chocolate chip variants. I'm also supposed to make pies for a work party, but I might just cave and buy those if I go to the work party because tonight I cannot face the idea of baking all of this without just shattering into a million tiny pieces.

Work was terrible this week, and I'm probably being overly sensitive. They're cookies. No one is going to be terribly upset if I leave some of them out, but it makes me feel like I'm a failure and a disappointment before I even start. The holidays are stressful, but I mostly do this to myself.
dreamcatchings: (mulder: nerd)
I have officially managed to make a buttercream frosting. I've done cakes from scratch before and even cream cheese frostings but this was my first ever attempt at buttercream. It turned out pretty well. Actually, it turned out pretty great. The frosted cake is setting up in the fridge right now and will stay there probably until I take it to work with me on Tuesday.

On another note, my buttercream adventure has made me realize how much I love my new icing spreader. Up until the St. Patrick's Day cake, I had been making due with my silicone spatula. It was working okay, but it wasn't the best thing. So I went to Target and bought a lovely icing spreader with a pretty blue handle. (I would have gotten a pastry knife at the same time but they only had one with bent wires. If it's going to have bent wires, I'm going to be the one to bend them damnit.) The St. Patrick's day cake had store frosting so, yeah, not a challenge. The buttercream made me appreciate my new kitchen tool.

You see when I moved out of my dad's house, there was the usual sort of kitchen implement divide. There were the things that were definitely mine (the bread machine, the stand mixer, my coffee maker), there were the things my dad begged me to take (the full set of mugs stolen from the cafeteria at my college) and the things that were definitely his (the Cutco set I got him as a present). I bring the Cutco up because I am in love with the spatula spreader in the set, which had been my go to tool for cake icing while living there. I would still loved to get my own but Cutco is crazy expensive. Someone send me a salesman I can try and make a deal with. Please.

Anyway my new icing spreader is pretty nifty. And so is my buttercream.
dreamcatchings: (mulder: nerd)
I have officially managed to make a buttercream frosting. I've done cakes from scratch before and even cream cheese frostings but this was my first ever attempt at buttercream. It turned out pretty well. Actually, it turned out pretty great. The frosted cake is setting up in the fridge right now and will stay there probably until I take it to work with me on Tuesday.

On another note, my buttercream adventure has made me realize how much I love my new icing spreader. Up until the St. Patrick's Day cake, I had been making due with my silicone spatula. It was working okay, but it wasn't the best thing. So I went to Target and bought a lovely icing spreader with a pretty blue handle. (I would have gotten a pastry knife at the same time but they only had one with bent wires. If it's going to have bent wires, I'm going to be the one to bend them damnit.) The St. Patrick's day cake had store frosting so, yeah, not a challenge. The buttercream made me appreciate my new kitchen tool.

You see when I moved out of my dad's house, there was the usual sort of kitchen implement divide. There were the things that were definitely mine (the bread machine, the stand mixer, my coffee maker), there were the things my dad begged me to take (the full set of mugs stolen from the cafeteria at my college) and the things that were definitely his (the Cutco set I got him as a present). I bring the Cutco up because I am in love with the spatula spreader in the set, which had been my go to tool for cake icing while living there. I would still loved to get my own but Cutco is crazy expensive. Someone send me a salesman I can try and make a deal with. Please.

Anyway my new icing spreader is pretty nifty. And so is my buttercream.
dreamcatchings: (g/c happy)
Making my own jambalya from scratch today. I just added the rice, chicken stock and some water, but I tasted the brotch that was created from cooking chicken, spicy sausage, green bell pepper, celery and onion down and it was amazing. I've flavored it with cajun spice, garlic and crushed black pepper, and I'm pretty sure that it's going to be so much better than any of the stock mixes I've used before.
dreamcatchings: (coffee)
My crawfish etouffee from last weekend turned out so well that I decided to make more food along the same lines today. I'm going to make chicken creole, which is basically a spicy, tomato based gravy over rice for those of you less than familiar with this type of food. I was originally going to make it with shrimp, but shrimp does not keep or reheat nearly as well and I need these for lunches at work. As soon as I get some coffee in me I'll start working on it.

Oh, yes.

Crawfish Etoufee Recipe )

There we go. Now you guys have that if you want it.

Yesterday was spent getting Gir all up to date on security and things of that nature. It took forever. So I played Rock Band. There were new songs! I now have an Oasis pack, an Offspring song and a Scene Pack, which includes Angels & Airwaves and Fall Out Boy. I am so tempted to spend the twenty-five dollars necessary to get the giant The Who pack. Mmmmm. Amazing Journey and Behind Blue Eyes. I might cave today. I might. I might.

I probably will.
dreamcatchings: (genius)
So this is something that I didn't set out to make. It just sort of happened when I was trying to figure out what to eat with the jerk chicken I was making.

I was telling [livejournal.com profile] mizzmarvel about it because I was thinking it was something simple that she could make and might like. Then I decided to just toss on here for anyone interested.

Jerk Chicken:
1 bottle jerk marinade (I am lazy)
chicken

I marinate my chicken in a plastic bowl with the cover on at least overnight. Then I lined a pan with tin foil, preheated the oven to 350F and cooked the chicken (pre-cut into tenders) for 20 minutes.

Then I made a single serving of linguine. With the linguine in the strainer, I used the same pan for sauce.

Roasted Garlic Butter Sauce:
olive Oil
garlic
italian Spices
butter

In the still warm pan from the pasta, I tossed in a small amount of olive oil and then added about two teaspoons of chopped garlic (from a jar because I'm lazy). I then stirred the garlic until it was roasted. At this point, I put in about one and a half tablespoons of butter and shook a lot of the Italian Seasoning Spice into the pan. Stirring continuously, I waited until the butter melted, removed from heat, tossed the pasta into it. Then I cut up the chicken, tossed with the pasta, added salt and pepper to taste and ate.

Simple. Fast. Delicious.
dreamcatchings: (heroes)
There is stew in the crockpot at home. I put it in before I left for work, and it should be delicious and ready for when I return. I also have a bottle of Marcella wine that I think would go splendidly with a beef dish.

At work, I am able to find the time between calls to read my book (more Michael Cunningham, I love Michael Cunningham), surf my RPG forums and work on Sudokus, which I refuse to try any above the "easy" designation as my work is stressful enough.

Outside it is sunny and breezy, cool without being cold, warm without making sweat stand out on my skin, windy without snarling my hair into unmangable tangles.

Also, I have made myself simply come to terms with some things that had me in depressive fits. While this does not cancel out the fact that there are some things I need to do, some things that must be done, it at least stops me from making myself so miserable that I do not want to move.

Plus, it's Saturday. Tomorrow is Sunday and then Monday. Those are my days. I love them dearly and, in my mind, they glitter as though encrusted with diamonds around the edges of their sunrise and sunsets.
dreamcatchings: (beer)
Hi, random subject line.

Only not.

See I decided to make some beef stew because, well, I love beef stew. Only this time I've added a twist. Rather than making it with water, I decided to do a twist on the Guinness beef stew I had at the Irish pub in Louisville. So I went and bought some Newcastle last night after work. Dumped one bottle of that and a can of beef broth into the crock pot with about two pounds of stew meat, potatoes, carrots and seasoning. It's cooking at home as we speak. I should be able to eat it tonight and shall then update you on how it tastes. I think it shall be nummy.

I'm likely gonna obsess about this all day long.
dreamcatchings: (wandering)
Red Wanting Blue coming up on my Windows Media Player is bittersweet. I love the group. I love this song. But Red Wanting Blue was college music. I can't even remember how many times [livejournal.com profile] tsylyst, [livejournal.com profile] norachan and I put this CD on and listened to it while doing whatever. Hell, my burned CD is on its last legs we played it so much.

ETA: In cooking news, though, I made a recipe from the cookbook [livejournal.com profile] tsylyst sent me. (With a few modifications like adding in garlic and more paprika.) I made the mustard chicken. And it was yummy. I had to cook it a little longer because I used five breasts, but it was good. And it didn't require me flying any ingredigents in from New York or the like.

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