Tag Archives: How to Cook Everything

Pablo, my other love

29 Jan

Despite the glorious convenience of online food resources, I really can’t live without my cookbook collection. Obviously I love checking out the daily food porn on foodgawker and scoping out everyone else’s food blogs, and I definitely use google searches for recipes in a pinch. But something about flipping through the pages and tangibly identifying ingredients I have on hand rather than bumbling through an online idea of a page is much more accommodating to my meager little brain. So for the most part, cookbooks it is.

If you’ve read anything on here it is immediately apparent that I am totally obsessed with How to Cook Everything. Well, maybe obsessed isn’t the right word. If How to Cook Everything were a man, it would be that reliable, sensible, never-fails-you but a little on the traditional side of things kind a guy. I want to marry How to Cook Everything. But recently I stumbled upon the Bon Appetit cookbook at the Goodwill and purchased it, read some recipes, and immediately developed an unbridled crush on it. If I’m already married to one cookbook, surely my interest in the more exotic, adventurous cookbook is cheating. It’s lacking in some basic I-Need-You departments, but it has all the flair of a TGI Friday’s employee vest. Well, minus the tackiness. Plus the dazzle-you factor. Sorry, I just got home from a long and crazy night working at the bar and now I feel a little punch drunk. But seriously, the vest analogy makes sense, right? I thought so. The Bon Appetit book just has that little umph that I’ve been wanting THIS WHOLE TIME that I’ve been with How to Cook Everything!

Well, my BF4E (wow!) came over before work and I made her and C dinner from the Bon Appetit book; basil and goat cheese stuffed chicken. I don’t know if it was because I was listening to Riley (and in the background, C watching “Willow” [!?!?]) or because I always fail to read instructions thoroughly, but in classic uh-oh-sally form I realized AFTER I had finished assembling the damn things that I had done it ALL WRONG. I was like, “oh, la, la… mixing all the things together to mash onto the chicken, then roll it up, bake it, voila, time to talk about GIRLY STUFF!” but then realized that no, these creations were distinctly of the not-impressing-your-guest variety and now it was TOO LATE. I guess the egg and breadcrumbs and butter and what have you were supposed to act as a coating before you tied the little suckers up in kitchen/camping (whatever’s on hand, man!) twine, but now all that junk was smeared onto a nearly-flattened chicken breast, rolled, and tied in three places and there’s NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT! But what would you know, I made some mushroom-wine reduction with an absolutely ludicrous amount of butter, served the chicken medallions over rice and even garnished the dish, and it was good. No, it was fucking good. So there. Turns out you didn’t even need the recipe from your exotic, foreign boyfriend on the side cookbook ANYWAY. You got this alllll figured out.

Jealous of my own creation

16 Sep

Not to toot my own horn or anything, but seriously. This cake… whoa. This cake has built an empire in my imagination because I didn’t eat ANY OF IT. So I can only imagine how lovely it was. And as long as we’re forced to imagine it’s greatness, I might as well assume it was the best. Thing. Ever.

My pal at work asked me to bake a cake for our friend’s lowkey surprise birthday gathering, so even though I had plans to galavant around San Juan Island, I agreed to make it anyhow. I almost got really lazy and thought, “I’m not even going to be there…and no one will even notice if I buy the mix!” But honestly THAT’S NEVER TRUE and I wasn’t doing much that day besides watching Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares on netflix, so… it’s not like I was swamped or anything. As usual I turned to Bittman’s How to Cook Everything,┬ábecause it is my bible and I trust every word it says. Some serious pan flouring, egg white whipping, and chocolate melting later, here we were.

 

The only problem was that I had to drop off the cake in the morning since I was leaving for the island in the afternoon, and by 10 am the strawberries were all I’M TIRRRRRED and plopping off the cake left and right. Refrigerating it seemed to make it worse, but luckily C thought of toothpicks (toothpicks? Really, I couldn’t have thought of that? STUPID.) to hold the berries in place until the evening. Everywhere the strawberries fell they left a trail of gooey chocolatey slime, which actually tasted amazing but was hell to look at… nothing some paper towel couldn’t take care of. Realistically this cake was probably “good!” but I’m going to go ahead and assume that everyone’s reaction upon taking the first bites of my cake were, “HOLY BALLS I NEVER TASTED ANYTHING SO MAGICAL IN MY LIIIIIIFE!” Here’s hopin’.

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