Tuesday, March 21, 2006

chef dreams

If the opportunity came up I would be the host of my own cooking show in a snap. Man that is so my dream job. Cook all day, have other people clean up after you, be on tv, eat good food, write a cookbook!! Ya man, I WISH!!

So in the past few weeks these are some of the things I have made: Ok but first let me tell you that baking pans were buy-1-get-1-free at Zellers so I got a Bundt pan (aka tube pan, aka pound cake pan) and a loaf pan. This all means that I obviously tested them out. SO... I made:

Blueberry pound cake - gluten free AND no milk products

Aw crap, I may have forgotten to mention that at the moment my cooking audience involves 2 people who can't eat gluten (found in wheat) and 1 that can't have any milk products.

Ok Ok, stop for a second. Cooking gluten-free has probably been one of my biggest cooking challenges so far next to finding a mixing bowl with rubber on the bottom. It's difficult at times and I usually just try to avoid flour because using substitutes isn't always the best. Gluten free flour tends to be quite soggy at first and then extra soggy and crumbly after a few days. It also means that I have to make my own flour because there isn't just a straight up substitute for flour. That means that for cakes and pastries I use one combination flour (rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, corn starch, xanthan gum) and another for breads and things like that (starchier flour - 2 rice flours and tapioca flour). this is all because different combo flours produce different results. Ya this is all boring to you but it's what fills my mind everyday. As for the milk, it's best just to avoid it.

So...

-Blueberry Pound cake - gluten free and milk free
-White Chocolate Orange Cranberry Pound cake - gluten free and AMAZING!!! I will post this recipe soon as it deserves everyones attention
-Orange Cranberry loaf - gluten free
-Meatballs!! SO EASY and SO GOOD
-Vegetable Barley soup (barley is a wheat, sorry champ!)
-Spaghetti with tasty EASY meat sauce
-cranberry chicken - easiest chicken recipe you could ever come by

Tonight I am making porkchops with homemade apple sauce, found the recipe in Rachel Ray's 30 minute meals cookbook. Takes only 30 minutes!!

So as you can tell my head is constantly filled with cooking and baking and everything related to it. I look forward to grocery shopping and even more to leftovers. Everything I make usually takes no time at all as I usually make it during the week when I get home from work at 5:30.

Tomorrow I have to make (ok I don't HAVE to but I'm GOING to) 3 loaves of banana bread, 2 to freeze and 1 to eat right away!! On Thursday I'm going to make another type of loaf that will be gluten free so that everyone is happy. This is an unusually busy cooking week but that's because I'm going to the cottage this weekend and wanted to have something to bring.

So to end off, here is my favorite recipe for cranberry chicken:

4 chicken breasts (I use boneless-skinless, your choice!)
1 can cranberry sauce (pureed or with whole cranberries your choice - I think it's 16 oz)
1 pkg dry onion soup mix (no name brand is like $0.57 a package, what a deal!)
Catalina salad dressing - a few healthy swigs (if you want, I don't use it but my mom does)

Dump cranberry sauce, soup mix and dressing into a casserole dish - mix well!
Place chicken into dish and coat well with sauce. Try not to stack chicken, doesn't cook evenly this way. You can stand them up on their sides if there isn't much room just no stacking!

Put cover on dish and refridgerate for 4 hours or overnight. I usually make it the night before because it takes 5 seconds to put together.

Preheat oven to 350F. Bake for 1.5 hours, take cover off for last 15 minutes.

And as my mom says "goes well with rice and a vegetable!"

That's all folks! If anyone actually makes this recipe please let me know what you thought!!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

the long and slow learning curve...

So now that I've had this blog for almost 2 years I'm finally starting to figure things out. For example I know now how to put links on my sidebar and can also put links right in my post like this! I'm honestly the worst person to ever have sat in front of a computer so being able to use html is a big deal to me even if it's just cutting and pasting. In any case I've decided that with my obsession of cooking, baking and all things kitchen I'm going to start putting recipes on here that I've tried along with the everyday (or every month as it is turning out to be) banter.

So to start, I usually use this site to get my recipes however this one is fun as well, though way less content. I prefer baking over cooking and bundt cakes over pies, oatmeal over peanut butter and starwberries over everything. If you are looking for a recipe let me know and I will most likely be able to find one for you!

My favorite cooking shows where I get TONS of ideas from are Sugar with Anna Olsen, Everyday Italian with Giada De Laurentiis and Rachel Ray's 30 Minute Meals, all can be found here with links to a few of their recipes too!

Oh man, I totally just spent 30 minutes getting those links to work so you better use them!!

For now I should get back to work.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Bananas

I have decided that I like bananas for the following reasons:

1) They smell good. Not too potent but nice and almost calming
2) They taste great and even melt in your mouth
3) They are very easy to peel
4) You can throw the peel out the window
5) Even though the peel may appear bruised and weathered, the inside is usually safe and protected (Unlike apples)
6) You can watch them change colours – it happens so fast!
7) They are easy to throw in your purse
8) They have high potassium, low sodium, low fat, and high fibre!
9) They are cheap
10) They are cheap year round
11) Banana bread is great and easy, especially the part where the banana goes rotten and you freeze it and then mash it to make bread!

In conclusion, bananas are great.