Monday, April 06, 2009

Foods I can't ever make right

While I am a fairly decent cook and can follow most recipes, there are a few things I just stink at. I know the list is actually longer than this, but these were the dishes I could easily think of. I think many of my problems are a result of being a vegetarian for 10 years. I am quite new (ok, so I've been cooking with meat for 5 years now) to meats, especially red meats. Considering I wouldn't even touch ground beef with my hands when Matt and I got married, I think it's a good accomplishment that I will try to make these things! (Oh, and Matt always makes our hamburgers. I think I can season them decently, but he always cooks them.) I'm just glad that Matt doesn't require red meat every night (or even every week!). When I was in high school my mom once asked me what I'd do if my future husband wanted a steak. I said, "Well, he'd better make it himself!" It's honestly not that far from the truth. hehe.

Meatballs. If I were to eat meatballs, I honestly would rather buy the pre-mades at Costco since they taste better (and are easier) anyway. But don't get the pre-made meatballs from Target (archer farm brand). Those are much worse than my not so great meatballs.

Meatloaf. This was one of my most despised meals growing up. Not like I ate it since I was a vegetarian. But the thought of it made me sick. I have attempted to make it a number of times (with different recipes) since Matt likes it, but it always ends up resulting in a loaf of edible but not great tasting or great textured meat.

Steak. We really don't eat this often at all, but when we (and I use that term loosely since Matt usually ends up with a steak and I have a portabella mushroom or something) do make it, Matt has to do it so I don't over cook it.

Beef and Broccoli. This is partially because I can't slice the beef as thinly as I want it. I should try getting the butcher to slice some very thinly for me.

Soups in the crockpot. I blame this on bad recipes. The veggies and/or beans always end up overcooked and it's a soggy, disgusting mess. I especially dislike any soups that call for a ham bone. They end up totally greasy and unpalatable.

Coconut cream pie. I've only tried making this 3 times (with 3 different recipes), but none have turned out well. I am going to chalk this up to bad recipes for now. I got a recipe from a lady in our ward who (I hear) makes a killer coconut cream pie. If I fail on that attempt I will then blame it on my poor custard skills and beg her for a coconut cream pie baking class for enrichment! I hope it turns out well (I'm thinking of making it for Easter dessert), though, because it's one of Matt's favorites.

Since I don't want this to be a totally self-depreciating post, one thing I totally made well this past week was a perfect loaf of (3 hour) french bread. The pictures and tips on that post helped out a lot. It was super delicious. We used it for garlic bread one night and toasted club sandwiches the next. Yuuuuuuummmmy. The only thing I did differently than the recipe states is add 2 tsp. of sugar. I just can't fathom using yeast without sugar since that's what it feeds on. I baked both of my loaves at the same time on my 12 in. pizza stone for 20 min. and it was at the very hottest the bread *should* be at by the end. The crust was darker (though not burned) than the one pictured on the recipe, so I would probably do it only 17-18 min. next time for my oven.


leethie said...

Celia, Matt is dang lucky to have a cook like you, I say! You have a great repertoire. I made the coconut basil chicken recipe from your cookbook the other night it was SO good! Seeing the things you cook gives me more ambition.

Also, I'm kind of non-purposefully turning vegetarian lately. I like to eat meat alright, but cooking it is not so fun. I made pancakes this morning with some freshly ground soy flour and brown rice flour. They were so delicious!

Celia Marie (W.) B. said...

Do you just grind soy beans and brown rice in a wheat grinder? Very interesting. Sounds good!

Celia Marie (W.) B. said...

OH, and just to make it clear, Matt's never complained about any of these items. It's all self criticisms.

Ashby Family said...

If there's three things that I can make well, it's steak, meatloaf, and meatballs!!

what's your email and I'll email you some recipes that my carnivorous hubby loves!

dcashby @ gmail . com

without the spaces

Erin said...

I don't know about everyone else but I would love to hear the story of why you became vegetarian and why you aren't anymore.

Anyway, I think you are a fantastic cook and are probably too hard on yourself! :)

leethie said...

Yep, its an electric wheat grinder.

randa_joy said...

This has nothing to do with food. I don't know if $8 sounds like a good price for you for a hooter hider but at

you can put in the code: onefree to just pay for shipping.

'sposita said...

have you tried freezing your beef (for broccoli and beef) and then very slightly thawing it before slicing it? I got that suggestion from a cookbook for another recipe, but it works great for getting thin slices of beef!

Celia Marie (W.) B. said...

Thanks Leeth.

Ashby, I'll email you later today hopefully.

Erin, I'll do a post about just that soon.

Randa, that's a good find. I do already have one, and I probably could make another for under $8 if I wanted a second. Though knowing me, I'd probably get some cute fabric that's not on sale and it would end up being more expensive!

Celia Marie (W.) B. said...

sposita, i've never tried it, but that sounds like a good tip.

Anonymous said...

I think there is always one food no one can make right. Mine is fried chicken. I could burn the dadgum chicken but it would still be raw on the inside.

Celia Marie (W.) B. said...

True deep fried chicken (and even oven fried chicken) has always turned out a total bust for me too!

This past week I made some baked chicken fingers that turned out well. I let them marinate a couple hours in fat free plain yogurt that was diluted with milk to a thick cream consistency. Then I seasoned some panko bread crumbs (mixed with a few ritz since it wasn't quite enough) with garlic salt, basil and oregano. I just sprayed the cookie sheet and the top of the breaded chicken with olive oil and it was by far the best it's turned out. I think I baked them at 375 for 15-20 min. or something turning them over at about 8 or 9 min. Matt even ate the leftovers cold the next day.

Amanda said...

google Thai chicken Crockpot soup for a delicious, easy recipe. you will thank me for this one trust me. i'm typing with one hand while nursing, but i still have to say, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!" you are so talented and nice, and i love you.