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View Full Version : Anyone eles love baking? Cooking in general?



Calvincrowe
Mar. 18, 2012, 08:05 PM
I love to bake! My momma made sure I could sew, but cooking was my thing. I was in 4-H, and made it to state twice for cooking competition, baking, etc. My friends all thought I was crazy in college, as I'd make big meals and invite all of them over. I was "weird" and old fashioned. I make a big Sunday supper every week, usually complete with something baked for dessert.

Today, it is crockpot pot roast with mashed potatoes from the garden (the last of them..boo! I'll roast up some broccoli and I have some peas I'm putting a butter and mint sauce on and apple pie. Just put two pies in the over -made my own pie crust (I like lard in mine) and used my teeny tiny cookie cutters to decorate the crust. Today it was apples and leaves.

My friends all wonder why I don't weigh a ton, what with all the home made dinners and goodies. That's what barn chores are for!

Anyone else happy in the kitchen?

Event4Life
Mar. 18, 2012, 08:15 PM
I love cooking, and baking. In uni my flatmate and I alternated weekend baking duties for our other flatmates. We also used to do flat meals - roasts, I made an amazing spinach caneloni, she made delicious veggie chilli with baked potatoes, etc. We also did homemade pizza and fajita night, then one day we decided we needed a smoothie maker so we could make our own cocktails! It was so much fun, I miss those days. I had a group of friends (the "foodies of the uni hillwalking club") who would get together at least once a month at one of our flats for mini potlucks...everyone would bring a course or alcohol. You're not weird or old fashioned - in the UK it is really common for uni friends to get together and cook for each other because after freshman year there are no meal plans and eating out is expensive.

And the reason you don't weigh a ton is because since you cook it, you know exactly what goes into it :).

BlueEyedSorrel
Mar. 18, 2012, 08:18 PM
I like the mix of precision and creativity in baking. And the accessories: my KitchenAid mixer, digital scale, nut mill, tart pans.

I come from a long line of German & Hungarian bakers....my mom, grandmother, great-grandmother and assorted other relatives. Mom still makes dozen different kinds of cookies at Christmas, plus a torte. Over the years Mom has taught me how to make most of the cookies, strudel, and some of the cakes. I still have to learn the more elaborate ones.

I am not traditionally feminine in any other way. I don't like to clean, don't like babysitting or small children, don't wear a lot of makeup or fuss with my hair. I assumed I wouldn't like baking either until I tried it. Now sometimes I just get the urge to bake something. Stress relief and close to instant gratification!

My solution to the question of how to bake without having it all go to my hips is bake for others, not myself. Always volunteer to bring dessert to any gathering!:) Last year I was on call at the hospital on Easter Sunday. I made a cake for the team:)....very appreciated at 9pm.

BES

Laurierace
Mar. 18, 2012, 08:23 PM
I love to bake and am very good at it for the most part but I mainly do it because I want to eat it myself! I do share and give some as gifts but even then I am licking the beaters etc. If I am not careful I will weigh a ton since I no longer have barn work.

carolprudm
Mar. 18, 2012, 08:27 PM
Love to cook and bake, wish my family was around moare often, hate to clean.

Cooking for a mostly single pre diaetic isn't much fun though

Calvincrowe
Mar. 18, 2012, 08:27 PM
I also "donate" my baking--I've learned not to bake and eat it all myself. Granted, there are some things I LOVE and force myself to give away. I refuse to bake "low fat, low sugar" crap--full on butter, lard, etc. I also cook that way, too-- last night I did a pork tenderloin with apricot sauce. I served it with Israeli Couscous, and copied a recipe from a local restaurant for that. Roasted veggies are a big hit for Mr. CC and me. He loves my roasted Brussel sprouts. We eat the loose leaves like chips.

I have a bit of a reputation among my students (middle school teacher) for my "World Famous Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars". They all think they are amazing. You know what, I'm lazy. I whip up CC dough, pat it into a 9 x 13 and bake it. Amazing! They are crunchy and gooey all at once. I challenge my classes to all pass at the end of each trimester and reward them with pans of cookies. Better education thru bribery! :lol:

MistyBlue
Mar. 18, 2012, 08:30 PM
I love both cooking and baking.

And I don't really like sweets, LOL!
So I bake for everyone and everything else...fund raisers and bake sales and just for fun to drop off to people. :)

Cooking and baking relaxes me.

Chezzie
Mar. 18, 2012, 08:31 PM
Oh, man, do I love to bake. I like to cook...but I LOVE to bake. I used to blog about it here:

http://spoonwood.tumblr.com/

But I stopped when my horse started complaining that I was letting myself go. ;)

And for my fellow bakers, you have to try this recipe. They are the best chocolate chip cookies in the world. The recipe calls for sixlets, but I use a combo of semisweet chocolate chips and chopped bittersweet chocolate. Worth every delicious, chewy calorie.

Yummy cookies (http://www.loveandoliveoil.com/2012/03/jumbo-sixlet-cookies.html)

ohrebecca
Mar. 18, 2012, 09:36 PM
I adore baking. I started late, about 5 or 6 years ago. My mom has baked forever but I really didn't have any interest for a while until I got my own place. Started baking muffins and entered the state fair that year, and my banana muffins won best in show for all muffins! I was pretty stoked, and I still use that recipe to this day :) I've been doing a lot of baking lately, cookies and cupcakes, probably nesting :)

Oh, and my BO hired me to make 60 cupcakes for her this past week. I have been trying out some cool recipes (brown sugar cupcake with salted caramel filling and salted caramel frosting, for one!) but in the interest of making it easier on me, I made a batch each of chocolate, vanilla, and banana cupcakes, and then made about 10 different frostings for them. SUPER FUN! I'm thinking about getting a booth at the farmers market and selling cookies/cupcakes/muffins/horse&dog treats, too.

lovey1121
Mar. 18, 2012, 09:37 PM
I love both cooking and baking.

And I don't really like sweets, LOL!
So I bake for everyone and everything else...fund raisers and bake sales and just for fun to drop off to people. :)

Cooking and baking relaxes me.

LOVE cooking, like baking. I'm a throw-together kinda cook, and I rebel a bit against the precise measurements in baking, so DH and family gets some tried-and-true cookies and banana bread (Gramma's recipe, straight from Hawaii, and THE best).

I'm not so big on sweets either. I crave mostly salty and fatty. IE - bacon, cheese, great bread.

LOVE cooking. I think DH figured out something really smart early into our relationship-say its delish and I'll cook for you anytime.PRAISE=MORE FOOD. Smart man;)

faybe
Mar. 18, 2012, 09:47 PM
LOVE baking! It's my stress release and my classmates are forever grateful. I'm another "bake and donate"- I bring to class, the hospital and the barn, or else I'd eat it all (or at least a lot more than I already do!). My latest attempt was a Guinness cake with Bailey's buttercream frosting- delicious! It was a good St. Patrick's Day treat :)

bits619
Mar. 18, 2012, 10:11 PM
I almost never bake or cook, which is unfortunate because when I do, i usually enjoy it. My obstacles are lack of energy, time and space to cook in. My kitchen was designed by attention deficit gremlins. The cabinets were literally an afterthought, there's a broken oven built into the house that's probably older than myself and mrb combined (and yet it's the sturdiest thing about the entire structure of the house....). Plus there's usually 5 dogs loitering for dropped crumbs and/or trying to sabotage my every turn around the room smaller than a two horse bumper pull.

Also, this will only remedy itself with practice... But it takes me SO LONG to chop and prep. Which cuts into the time and energy part...
In the past I was a lot more eager to practice when I was the only one to taste the results. No pressure!

In Ireland this winter i was visiting my best friend who has become a fabulous cook. It was confidence-inspiring to cook with her :-)
I really enjoy it and have pride in myself when it turns out right.... I just have to go and do it more often!!

foggybok
Mar. 18, 2012, 10:11 PM
I love to bake! My momma made sure I could sew, but cooking was my thing. I was in 4-H, and made it to state twice for cooking competition, baking, etc. My friends all thought I was crazy in college, as I'd make big meals and invite all of them over. I was "weird" and old fashioned. I make a big Sunday supper every week, usually complete with something baked for dessert.

Today, it is crockpot pot roast with mashed potatoes from the garden (the last of them..boo! I'll roast up some broccoli and I have some peas I'm putting a butter and mint sauce on and apple pie. Just put two pies in the over -made my own pie crust (I like lard in mine) and used my teeny tiny cookie cutters to decorate the crust. Today it was apples and leaves.

My friends all wonder why I don't weigh a ton, what with all the home made dinners and goodies. That's what barn chores are for!

Anyone else happy in the kitchen?

I think you are only a few hours from me.... we'll be there for dinner! :)

I love to cook too, it's the clean up afterwards part I hate.....:(

lovey1121
Mar. 18, 2012, 11:01 PM
I almost never bake or cook, which is unfortunate because when I do, i usually enjoy it. My obstacles are lack of energy, time and space to cook in. My kitchen was designed by attention deficit gremlins. The cabinets were literally an afterthought, there's a broken oven built into the house that's probably older than myself
In Ireland this winter i was visiting my best friend who has become a fabulous cook. It was confidence-inspiring to cook with her :-)
I really enjoy it and have pride in myself when it turns out right.... I just have to go and do it more often!!

I feel for you bitsie. You need some basic good equipment and some tried- and-trues. Happy to help with some not fancy but good and easy things to make. PM me if you'd like!

Next OT day we should start a basic good stuff recipe thread.

Calvincrowe
Mar. 18, 2012, 11:07 PM
Foggy- any time you are in the PDX area, you are very welcome! I do amazing things with meat off the grill, too! We have a homegrown (well, my friend's home) steer in the freezer, along with my nephew's market lamb-which I cut and wrapped myself!! That was a new culinary adventure. I like cutting up large carcasses, I've found.

I garden, love to bake, have blueberry bushes that produced 14 gallons of frozen berries last year:eek: that's a lot of berries for two people. I make a blueberry sour cream cake that is super easy and unusual-kind of like a coffee cake, but not.

I have this cookbook from the Rose's Delicatessen here in Portland (the original, not the cheezy knock off of today) written by Rose Naftalin herself. My. Good. God! She was German and Jewish and an awe-inspiring baker! The 16 layer cake is an awesome undertaking, but if you ever want to impress someone.....it begins with " 1 pound butter" "1 dozen eggs"....you get the picture;)

rideagoldenpony
Mar. 18, 2012, 11:07 PM
I LOVE baking! More than regular cooking, but I mostly enjoy that too -- if I don't have so many other things going on that it's just a pain in the neck, anyway.

I love eating things I've baked, too. I love trying new recipes!

I'm looking for a recipe for chocolate muffins. Not cupcakes -- something denser and .... better. I don't like cupcakes, and rarely like cake.... I'll take a chewy cookie or a sweet bread any day over cake!

And like you, foggy.... the cleanup is the part I don't like!!!

lovey1121
Mar. 18, 2012, 11:11 PM
RAGP, My work-swollen fingers hit on your profile- lovely golden pony! Gorgeous!

lovey1121
Mar. 18, 2012, 11:13 PM
Calvincrowe, care to share the blueberry cake recipe?

LexInVA
Mar. 18, 2012, 11:14 PM
I love to cook and occasionally bake but I mostly just cook for myself and family members.

CobJockey
Mar. 18, 2012, 11:16 PM
I love baking and cooking, and I am quite good at both, but my husband is better at it than I am and cooks way more often! I'm spoiled!

Calvincrowe
Mar. 18, 2012, 11:27 PM
For those who want it, here's the cake I bake when I'm awash in berries, and am sick of muffins!

Blueberry Sour Cream Cake

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar (white)
3 eggs
2 cups sifted flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup sour cream (I've use low-fat or regular)
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups blueberries (fresh are best, frozen work too, don't thaw!)
1/2 cup (or to taste) brown sugar

Preheat oven to 325. Grease/flour 9 x 13 (see note) pan.

Cream butter and white sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift dry ingredients and add gradually to the egg mixture alternating with sour cream, ending with flour mix. Stir in vanilla and 1 cup of berries.

Put 1/2 of batter into the pan, smooth. Cover with remaining berries and brown sugar, evenly. ( I've used a cup of BS here, and more berries). Add remaining batter and bake for 45-50 minutes, testing with a toothpick or the like.

NOTE: The batter is thick! I've used a smaller pan, like a 10 x 8, because it is a pain to get the top layer of batter to cover the BS/Berry mixture. Kind of messy. Don't worry if you don't cover all of the middle stuff.

lovey1121
Mar. 18, 2012, 11:33 PM
Thanks for this-- Cant wait to try it with Maine bloobs this summer.

Jumpthemoon16
Mar. 18, 2012, 11:34 PM
I LOVE to bake! I'm planning on baking up something tonight, if I can get all my schoolwork done first :(

TheHorseProblem
Mar. 18, 2012, 11:42 PM
I love to bake. It started when I moved from an apartment with a galley kitchen to a 1930's duplex with beautiful tile counters and black and white linoleum. I felt the kitchen was going to waste so I baked an apple pie just to see if I could.

Pies became my specialty. Apple, pecan, blueberry lemon, sweet potato--they are all delicious. I never bake one just to have around the house. It's always for an occasion or to take to a friend's house so that all I eat is one piece.

Around the corner from me, a neighbor has an apple tree whose fruit ripens at the end of June. It's a tradition now that I go and pick apples and make pie (the best apple pie I bake), apple sauce, and apple bread. Yum.

My husband is totally spoiled. He gets apple bread, but also banana, and I also make a blueberry lemon bread that melts in your maouth.

No. Margarine. Ever.:no:

PiaffePlease
Mar. 18, 2012, 11:46 PM
I love to cook and bake too. My mother never let me in the kitchen, so I had to teach myself. Im super creative, so I like to try new recipes and tweak old ones.

BlueEyedSorrel
Mar. 18, 2012, 11:53 PM
I have this cookbook from the Rose's Delicatessen here in Portland (the original, not the cheezy knock off of today) written by Rose Naftalin herself. My. Good. God! She was German and Jewish and an awe-inspiring baker! The 16 layer cake is an awesome undertaking, but if you ever want to impress someone.....it begins with " 1 pound butter" "1 dozen eggs"....you get the picture;)

CC, I remember you mentioning that book on a previous OT day. I have it on my amazon wist list :)

Some of my grandmother's oldest recipes (handed down from her grandparents and translated from Hungarian to German to English) are based around "egg weights." The idea being that historically, people often had kitchen balances but not accurate scales. So recipes would have you put , for example, 3 (uncracked) eggs on one side, and weigh out flour or sugar until the two sides balanced.

BES

oharabear
Mar. 18, 2012, 11:54 PM
I like baking, too. Lately I've been getting into cake decorating. I'm not sure why, I just see things that other people have done and I think "I bet I can do that, too" and then I try it. :lol:

Here's my latest cake (http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2565804239432&set=a.1161903182783.20756.1683953176&type=1&theater) I made on Saturday (I know it was St. Paddy's Day, but I felt the need to make an Easter cake). It was lemon cake with lemon buttercream icing, the bunny was fondant. My basket-weave kind of melted- it was the first time I tried the lemon buttercream icing, and I'm not sure if that recipe is going to be a keeper... Tasted yummy, but didn't hold up that well.

(Hopefully that pic works- I set it to "public")

Ironically I HATE cake. I love cookies, so I rarely make those. I also make pies and misc breads. Today I was inspired to make a yeast bread of some kind, but turns out my yeast is expired and I was too lazy to go to the store and get more, so I just did very simple popovers to get the baking urge out of my system... :lol:

jumpytoo
Mar. 18, 2012, 11:59 PM
I love doing a variety of cooking. Baking is great, I like to do candy and can do most the wilton deco type stuff. I also am willing to do sushi and various fry,grill,smoke kinda things.. if I see something interesting on a food channel I will totally turn around and make it at home.
My old neighborhood had a ton of cooks and we did social food challenges and got together to taste each others ideas. I have done a few wedding cakes.. waterfalls and all. My current most asked for item is my gourmet marshmallows, lotta different flavors and not the rubber consistency of the store ones...sure I can pipe them into bunnies and ducks like peeps but that isn't the optimal size for the best flavor.

This year I'll be taking some goods to farmers market and my 'mallows and fantasy jellies will be available at a restaurant..just gotta finish out the label designs.

Fav thing to cook with (lately) ----> roasted Hatch chilies, candied jalapeƱos, any peppers, I like FIRE !

Calvincrowe
Mar. 19, 2012, 12:00 AM
Holy Moly, Oharabear!! That is amazingly cool! You could do that professionally!

I am always looking for a good frosting recipe, preferably buttercream. I am addicted to Divine Bites cupcakes (downtown Vancouver, WA) and would kill for their butter cream frosting recipe.

Anybody else go to a kitchen/cooking store and just wander and lust? Sur la Table in Portland is like a porn shop. Conveniently located directly across the street from Powell's City of Books, too. Like a double whammy of wonderfulness.

TheHorseProblem
Mar. 19, 2012, 12:07 AM
Years ago I had a piece of banana cake with maple frosting that was amazing. What a great flavor combination! I have never found a recipe for maple frosting that was any good.

Anyone?

IneedanOTdayAlter
Mar. 19, 2012, 12:07 AM
CC -- this is my favorite frosting -- though it is not buttercream: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/cream-cheese-frosting-ii-2/detail.aspx

gdolapp
Mar. 19, 2012, 12:15 AM
I don't care for baking, but, I love to cook and I love to can. With St. Patty's day and cabbage being on sale for .19 cents a pound I bought a bunch of it, neighbor and I have been making freezer coleslaw and canning cabbage.

Thus we can't buy a cabbage plant that cheap, we wouldn't know what the plant will produce so now we only need to plant just a few to see how they do and replenish what we eat between now and canning season.

goneriding24
Mar. 19, 2012, 12:20 AM
I have discovered cooking in general. That is what my below listed blog is about. Although, I'm working on something and haven't updated it in quite a while.

My adopted mom didn't teach me any girly stuff when I was young (I was too busy riding horses anyway) and so I was behind the 8 ball when it came to domesticity type things. Found out I can sew, and quite well at that.

I bought a "Joy of Cooking" cookbook and it explained things so easily and now it has a special spot in my kitchen. I also loff Amish recipes because they don't ask for weird ingredients from far flung place, mainly what I already have in the pantry. I also love Allrecipes. From plain jane to fancy-schmancy, it's all in there!

Today I watched a hoot of a show called Nadia G's Bitchin' Kitchen (or similar). Honestly, a lot of the time I couldn't understand what she was saying but when it came down to the ingredients, she was very clear. Her accent changed, I thought. I loved her food she prepared though. Going to try to find the recipes online, just haven't looked yet.

stolen virtue
Mar. 19, 2012, 12:26 AM
I cook and bake all the time, I don't buy premade anything unless it is super special.

Thanks Calvincrowe, I'm going to try your cake when I get more berries !

Lone
Mar. 19, 2012, 12:28 AM
It's great to see a few other people on here have cooking blogs! I have one also- Annie's Cooking Lab (http://anniescookinglab.com). I've been baking for a while, but it's just been in the last couple years I've started really cooking too. I love experimenting with different recipes. I just saw one on Pinterest the other day for egg salad made with avocado rather than mayo- I'm really excited to try it!

I'm just finishing up a bowl of Baked Potato Soup that I made tonight- yum!

goneriding24
Mar. 19, 2012, 12:38 AM
It's great to see a few other people on here have cooking blogs! I have one also- Annie's Cooking Lab (http://anniescookinglab.com). I've been baking for a while, but it's just been in the last couple years I've started really cooking too. I love experimenting with different recipes. I just saw one on Pinterest the other day for egg salad made with avocado rather than mayo- I'm really excited to try it!

I'm just finishing up a bowl of Baked Potato Soup that I made tonight- yum!

I've been going through potatoes like no ones business. Hubby has an obsession with potato salad. To the point I'm making a bowl's worth every day!

Good thing I'm learning how to belly dance to burn off calories... :yes:

Tha Ridge
Mar. 19, 2012, 12:48 AM
Yes. Love it. I really enjoy planning our dinners at home and shopping for ingredients. My friends are always amazed at what I eat because they think it's such a chore and so time consuming, but for me it's just enjoyable. I do wish I baked more though.

Funnily enough, while my family ate well growing up, neither of my parents cooked a ton. They cook more now and my mom and I both baked a lot together the last few years I lived at home during high school.

Calvincrowe
Mar. 19, 2012, 12:55 AM
Tha Ridge- I like the planning and shopping, as well. I love doing big dinners for holidays or friends. I did a Mediterranean themed gathering in January--leg of lamb, village salad, roasted potatoes, the works! So good, and so easy! Big roasts are such a "wow" factor and yet so easy to do.

I started cooking at age 3 when I used a bar stool to gather all the ingredients for scrambled eggs (both butter and eggs!) out of the fridge and proceeded to use the same stool to reach the stove to begin cooking them--my mom had gone down to the basement for a second to grab laundry. She said she was shocked to see me squatting on the stool, making breakfast. But, I was doing it right, so she just watched me finish! Crazy!

I honestly can't wait for a grand kid or two to teach them to cook and eat. I hate picky people! Teach them to eat well and in wide variety from birth is my philosophy.

ESG
Mar. 19, 2012, 01:04 AM
:winkgrin:I first got interested inreal cooking by watching Emeril Lagasse. I loved his forthright approach to food preparation ("It ain't brain surgery - it's cookin'') A refreshing change from all those hoity-toity French chefs who exuded disdain toward anyone with the temerity to think they could cook like "the masters".

Ahem. :rolleyes:

If you can read and follow a recipe, you can cook. If you are diligent about being precise about your cooking and love making sure your measurements are accurate, you will be a great baker, as well.

I am a good baker. Or, at least, my friends and family tell me I am. Scones and biscotti are my specialties, p;lus a few off=the=rails cookies whose recipes I've personally developed. Unique flavors combined in interesting ways; like my double chocolate jalapeno chipotle biscotti; If I do say so myself, they rock. And no, you won't find them in anyone's kitchen but mine.

Problem is, as others have already mentioned, that I do like to sample my wares, which is why I give 90% of my baking away. If I didn't, I'd end up with the ass that ate Tokyo. My friends and neighbors love it when I'm in a baking mood; they're always the ones to benefit. It's gotten to the point where I'm getting requests. What am I - a disc jocke in the kitchen?!!?

Just kidding - I love that folks like my food.

goneriding24
Mar. 19, 2012, 01:27 AM
If you can read and follow a recipe, you can cook.

Beg to disagree with you, Esk. Ustabe, I could look at recipe and still not understand what it said. As an example: once I made a dish for the fam and it asked for garlic clove. I thought a garlic clove was the whole thing... I thought it was the bulb thing. Yep, I put the whole damn thing in the recipe. When everyone dug in, faces reddened and limbs flailed, I kid you not.

Then there was the time I didn't know what bread crumbs were and actually tore up white bread into pieces. I didn't know you could buy bread crumbs in the can. That chicken recipe is now called "Three Mile Island Chicken" due to the torn pieces looking like tumors. Actually, its' real name was Baked Chicken Maryland.

THAT is why I started my blog. To give some entertainment and show that it's not hard to cook. I once thought cooking was some sort of windmill waiting for someone to tilt.

Thank to Joy of Cooking and Amish Cookbooks, I am now a sort of success due to all the explanations!! :yes:

Simkie
Mar. 19, 2012, 01:55 AM
I love to cook, love to try new recipes and also believe it's all about some basics and following directions. Even if you don't know ANYTHING about cooking, you can look on youtube or just do a google search and get your questions answered.

Tonight I made Beef Rendang, which was fabulous, and used a TON of stuff I'd never cooked with before--coconut milk, galangal, star anise, lemongrass, tamarind paste....

Took some time, but it might be the best thing I've cooked in some time. Yum yum yum.

Dazednconfused
Mar. 19, 2012, 03:59 AM
I go through cooking phases and happen to be in one this week (mostly thanks to Pinterest!). Today I made rosemary shortbreads (adapted a recipe for chocolate espresso shortbread and went out and picked rosemary) Last night while most of my brethren were umm...enjoying the St. Patty's Day festivities I was slaving over a version of Julia Child's French onion soup. That turned out amazingly well.

OTOH, I made a baked spinach gratin from Pinterest earlier this week and it did not go well at all. The butter proportions were all off (if I say something has too much butter, you know it's true!). Oh well - better luck next time I guess...

I actually quite enjoy cooking but I rarely have time, especially during the week. Getting home at 7 or 8pm means if it can't get microwaved it ain't happening!

Polydor
Mar. 19, 2012, 05:15 AM
Yup love to cook and bake but am more known for my baking. Co-workers keep telling me I should become a baker. One co-worker somewhat dared me to make one cake a week which i loved and did do for awhile. But co-workers kept (half heartedly ) complained that I was making them fat. lol My response was " well you are walking yearlings 2Km a day .. think you will be fine!" and not to mention I was keeping fellow co-worker in business since she's also a fitness trainer :D

And speaking of which, I need to get making a pumpkin pie or two for tomorrow. First time making a crust by myself and don't have any lard ( small town Oz doesn't have it).

Pumpkin pie is also not heard of down here but have converted all my co-workers to it!

Calvincrowe- can't wait to try it out too!

P.

2DogsFarm
Mar. 19, 2012, 07:42 AM
LOFF to cook, baking - not so much, too precise.
I am presently tinkering with the microwave 3-minute chocolate cake recipe & have refined it down to 2min and subbed applesauce for the oil w/good results.
That's my kind of baking ;)

It's just me & I miss having someone to cook for. Love having friends over for brunch or dinners but that is hard to arrange since most friends are in the city - a 1h drive for them : (

I'll go through phases: cook like mad for a week, then live off the leftovers.

Last night was pan-seared pork chops with a maple syrup/mustard glaze & oven-roasted green beans.
I have discovered even frozen veg can be pan-roasted.

No cable/satellite TV, but I spend Saturday afternoons watching PBS cooking shows.
America's Test Kitchen is a fave & the spinoff Cook's Country.

Renn/aissance
Mar. 19, 2012, 11:30 AM
2dogs, I'd love the recipe for the pork chops, that sounds delicious!

I enjoy cooking when I'm in the mood for it, but half the time I get home too tired to do anything about it. Hence lots of pasta with mushrooms! I do love to bake, though. That gene comes from my mom's side. :yes:

2DogsFarm
Mar. 19, 2012, 12:24 PM
2dogs, I'd love the recipe for the pork chops, that sounds delicious!

:DGladly:
could not be easier - sounds like a lot of steps, but goes quickly.

Take 4 bone-in pork loin chops (I used boneless sirloin chops) - slash edges through fat so chops do not curl.

Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a skillet large enough to hold all the chops over medium-high heat until it starts to smoke.
Add chops and brown on 1 side - about 5-8 minutes.

While they are browning, mix together 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard, 1/4 cup cider vinegar, 1/2 cup maple syrup and 1 teaspoon fresh (or 1/2 teaspoon dried) thyme.

When chops are browned on one side, flip, add the glaze and turn heat to medium then cook to 145F - about another 5 minutes.

Remove chops from the pan, tent with foil to keep warm and reduce the glaze by turning the heat to medium-low and simmering until syrupy - about 5 more minutes. Add back any juices that come from the chops.

Be careful not to overcook the glaze, simmer just until a spoon leaves a faint track in the pan and bubbles are small & numerous all throughout the pan. The color will deepen slightly.

Serve glaze over chops : 9

Event4Life
Mar. 19, 2012, 12:32 PM
2dogs - applesauce instead of oil cake recipe please?! Sounds less guilt-inducing than the nutella microwavable cake I used to make...

jumpingmaya
Mar. 19, 2012, 12:50 PM
I HATED to cook or bake... up until the age of 24...

My mom is an amazing cook, my grandmother was OUT of this world (think french cuisine)... I had big shoes to fill.

Could have cared less... didn't even want to boil water.

Was a national sales rep for 2 years, living in hotels and on the road... stopped traveling and somehow found the urge to cook/bake.

Good news: I don't eat ANYTHING I make (in the sweets department)... I just enjoy making it for others.
Too many food allergies so never a weight issue for me ;)

Dramapony_misty
Mar. 19, 2012, 01:05 PM
My hubby likes to cook, and I like to cook and LOVE to bake! My mom was convinced that we would starve since I never really had the opportunity to cook and learn at home. I think I have had only 1 failed thing in the 7 months we have been married. :)

Oh! And our most treasured wedding gift is the KitchenAid Pro 600 stand mixer that was a gift from the "moms" :D

monstrpony
Mar. 19, 2012, 01:12 PM
Can someone give guidelines for roasting vegetables? The broccoli and brussels sprouts that have been mentioned here are both intriguing ...

2DogsFarm
Mar. 19, 2012, 01:23 PM
2dogs - applesauce instead of oil cake recipe please?! Sounds less guilt-inducing than the nutella microwavable cake I used to make...

LOL!
I'll trade ya for the Nutella one.
That sounds awesome!

Rationale: it only makes 2 servings at most, right? :uhoh:

Microwave Chocolate Cake for 1 or 2
In a cereal-size bowl or coffee mug mix together:
4 Tablespoons flour
4 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons cocoa
Stir in 1 egg until well blended
Then stir in:
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil (or melted butter or applesauce)
3 Tablespoons milk (I've used water when I had no milk - still worked)
Splash of vanilla

Nuke on high for 2 minutes - center may still look wet & if you used a mug batter will rise over the top, but not spill.
If you can, wait until it cools then turn out onto a plate & frost or eat straight from the bowl/mug with a spoon :D
I usually cut the bowl into 4 pieces and try to make them last more than one evening...

2DogsFarm
Mar. 19, 2012, 01:25 PM
Can someone give guidelines for roasting vegetables? The broccoli and brussels sprouts that have been mentioned here are both intriguing ...

I just spread them on a foil-lined cookie sheet (for easy cleanup)
sprinkle lightly with olive oil & salt, then roast at 375F until they start to brown (carmelize).
Works with fresh or frozen vegs.

MyGiantPony
Mar. 19, 2012, 01:28 PM
I love to bake. I enjoy cooking, but baking is my thing. I don't do it as much as I used to - I used to do wedding cakes, special event cakes, all kinds of stuff.

Don't have the large kitchen anymore, but I'll still knock out something special now and then.

Calvincrowe
Mar. 19, 2012, 01:31 PM
Roasted veg is easy!

Brussels: start with small ones (they are sweeter). Cut in half to speed cooking and provide lots of crunchy bits. I use a sheet pan (heavy aluminum), toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Put in preheated 400-450 oven. Leave alone for 10 minutes, then check and shake pan. Done when they begin to brown/caramelize, about 15-20 mins.

Same deal with broccoli, asparagus spears, green beans.

I love to do root veg, as well. You can add rosemary or fresh thyme to potatoes, parsnips, carrots, butternut squash, precooked beets. Roast until tender and browned. The best!

CVPeg
Mar. 19, 2012, 01:49 PM
I have always enjoyed baking - cooking not so much, unless it is for the holidays. Ex used in INHALE dinner. Used to get so mad that I spent so much time preparing something, only to see it scarfed down in less than 3 minutes. :mad:

Guess I also like baking because it is precise, and I can never seem to cook without a recipe. In all my years, I've only memorized a handful of dinner dishes!

However, I am so psyched because just about a week ago, I finally received something I've been wanting for DECADES...a Kitchenaid Mixer. Got a big mixer when married - didn't last that long - big label, but cheap construction. So I've continued to use the avocado hand mixer I bought as a sophomore in college! The one with the plug that constantly falls out??:lol:

My son was looking for me for something for Christmas. We agreed the mixer I'd always wanted was too expensive. Then he was visiting with his girlfriend at her parents' recently when her mother helped him buy it on sale online!! :winkgrin:

And they visited her folks this past week, and they helped him do his taxes! Love his girlfriend, too. If he ever does anything to mess this relationship up, I'm disowning him!! :lol:

But as a reward, last week I handed them 2 loaves of banana bread to take to her parents'. And I smile now every time I pass by my new mixer. ;)

Tapperjockey
Mar. 19, 2012, 02:46 PM
Roasted veg is easy!

Brussels: start with small ones (they are sweeter). Cut in half to speed cooking and provide lots of crunchy bits. I use a sheet pan (heavy aluminum), toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Put in preheated 400-450 oven. Leave alone for 10 minutes, then check and shake pan. Done when they begin to brown/caramelize, about 15-20 mins.

Same deal with broccoli, asparagus spears, green beans.

I love to do root veg, as well. You can add rosemary or fresh thyme to potatoes, parsnips, carrots, butternut squash, precooked beets. Roast until tender and browned. The best!


Same thing I do.. But instead of olive oil.. I make those on days when I plan for BLTs for lunch the next day.. and I cook a bunch of good bacon.. and toss the bacon fat over them. (not nearly as healthy, but I don't like the flavor of olive oil. I will use the flavored ones I get at the shop in Napa, or at The Olive Pit. The garlic one is good for pasta salad and on veggies, and on bread!!!).



I'll share a recipe that's pretty easy:

"It's Hot and I'm Crabby Pasta Salad"

2 boxes Rainbow Rotini
1 can large black olives (sliced preferably)
8 oz co-jack (marble jack works) cheese (cubed)
4 oz smoked gouda or smoked FRESH mozzarella (cubed)
1 head broccoli (chopped)
1 head cauliflower (chopped) (optional)
1-2 thinly sliced summer squashes (I like to use one yellow, 1 green)
1 english cucumber thinly sliced
1-2 tomatoes (fresh is best.. how many depends on size)
1-2c chopped meat (imitation crab, cocktail shrimp that are thawed, chopped ham or spam.. and I hate spam.. but it works in this, bacon, or pepperoni, chicken.. whatever is on hand. Optional, but turns a side into a main dish).
1 1/2 bottle French Dressing (I prefer the wishbone creamy french)
EVOO (I prefer garlic flavored, but i'm a bit odd on EVOO)
White Wine or Rice Wine Vinegar or 1 tbsp lemon/lime/etc juice. (really, almost anything acidic will work).


Cook 2 boxes of rainbow rotini per package. use a "spider" or slotted spoon when done and transfer to a large bowl (metal works best). DO NOT rinse!!. You want them slightly al dente. The box I get says 11-14 mins and I go for 12 and it works. drizzle with EVOO (I use the garlic one but regular is fine) and mix to make sure all noodles are coated with the evoo. Put in Fridge to cool.

keep water bowling. Put in one head of chopped broccoli for 1-2 mins (just blanching it... not cooking). put in fridge to cool w/ pasta but don't mix yet.

do the same with cauliflower (to taste.. some people like cauliflower in this, some don't).

While those are in the fridge cooling (about 30 mins)..

cube the cheese, meat (if using), chop tomatoes, slice the olives (if you have whole not pre sliced), cucumber and summer squash.


Take cooled ingredients out of fridge. Mix the cooled pasta, veggies, tomatoes and meat well. then add the olives, cheese and 1.5 bottles of french dressing, 1 tbsp of your "acid component" (I use Rice Wine Vinegar), and 1 more tbsp of olive oil, mix well. Return to fridge for at least an hour.. (even better over night).

(my favorite meat to use, is spam... i know it's gross.. but this is one of the only 2 ways I'll eat spam).

I don't always put all the veggies in. Depends on what's ripe in the garden, fresh at the farmer's market, etc.

Bacardi1
Mar. 19, 2012, 03:05 PM
Cooking is, & always has been, my "thing". I'm a hard-core cookbook collector (have hundreds - from old vintage first editions to current stuff), & have hundreds of recipes saved from online. Have done a little personal chef/catering in my time, & love trying new things.

Baking, however, has never been my forte. It always seems to be hit or miss, regardless of how careful I try to be.

kookicat
Mar. 19, 2012, 03:14 PM
I adore baking. I've been playing around with breads and cookies.

vxf111
Mar. 19, 2012, 03:29 PM
I love baking and cooking. When I worked at a small chambers, I used t bake weekly and bring food in and we'd share it. Now that I work at a much bigger place, it's not practical to make enough for all... so I don't do that at all. I miss it.

Event4Life
Mar. 19, 2012, 04:21 PM
LOL!
I'll trade ya for the Nutella one.
That sounds awesome!

Rationale: it only makes 2 servings at most, right? :uhoh:

Microwave Chocolate Cake for 1 or 2
In a cereal-size bowl or coffee mug mix together:
4 Tablespoons flour
4 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons cocoa
Stir in 1 egg until well blended
Then stir in:
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil (or melted butter or applesauce)
3 Tablespoons milk (I've used water when I had no milk - still worked)
Splash of vanilla

Nuke on high for 2 minutes - center may still look wet & if you used a mug batter will rise over the top, but not spill.
If you can, wait until it cools then turn out onto a plate & frost or eat straight from the bowl/mug with a spoon :D
I usually cut the bowl into 4 pieces and try to make them last more than one evening...

Mmmm that looks like itd be fun to try with the kids!

Here is the link to the Nutella one: http://blogs.babble.com/family-kitchen/2011/03/15/nutella-mug-cake/ soooo yummy!

Event4Life
Mar. 19, 2012, 04:25 PM
Oo and for anyone who likes baking:

http://risingsunbakery.wordpress.com/2010/02/23/harvest-bars/ these are amazing, I love them for when I'm going hiking as the oatmeal fills you up well and they have a kind of granola bar feel. This is my friends bakery blog - she has some other awesome recipes!

I was very proud of myself when http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1356/dark-chocolate-and-orange-cake this was successful & soooo delicious - it tasted like a Terrys chocolate orange! Luckily it was for a friends birthday cake, and it all got eaten!

CVPeg
Mar. 19, 2012, 08:12 PM
The day I received my new Kitchen Aid mixer, I watched an interview with the author of "Marshmallow Madness". Am fascinated by the possibilities! And homemade marshmallows actually look, and were reportedly, delicious! Once they said you really need a large mixer like a Kitchen Aid, I knew I had to order the book. ;)

http://www.amazon.com/Marshmallow-Madness-Dozens-Puffalicious-Recipes/dp/1594745722/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1332198629&sr=8-3

It just came, and even the cover is puffy! :D Never really been a candy maker, but looking forward to seeing what I can do with these.

In addition to the traditional, of course there are several chocolate versions, but...

How about raspberry? Key lime?

Buttered rum, fuzzy navel, margarita & creme de menthe?

Or maple-bacon? Pineapple rosemary? Sea salt caramel? Mango -chile-lime?

This should be interesting!:cool:

ESG
Mar. 19, 2012, 09:00 PM
However, I am so psyched because just about a week ago, I finally received something I've been wanting for DECADES...a Kitchenaid Mixer. Got a big mixer when married - didn't last that long - big label, but cheap construction. So I've continued to use the avocado hand mixer I bought as a sophomore in college! The one with the plug that constantly falls out??:lol:

My son was looking for me for something for Christmas. We agreed the mixer I'd always wanted was too expensive. Then he was visiting with his girlfriend at her parents' recently when her mother helped him buy it on sale online!! :winkgrin:

And they visited her folks this past week, and they helped him do his taxes! Love his girlfriend, too. If he ever does anything to mess this relationship up, I'm disowning him!! :lol:

But as a reward, last week I handed them 2 loaves of banana bread to take to her parents'. And I smile now every time I pass by my new mixer. ;)

I'm ashamed to say that I had my turbo-charged KitchenAid stand mixer for at least ten years before I started using it regularly. :o Now, I don't know what I did without it. Cookie batter, cake batter, anything takes about half the time it did to prepare without the mixer. Love me some KitchenAid! :yes:


The day I received my new Kitchen Aid mixer, I watched an interview with the author of "Marshmallow Madness". Am fascinated by the possibilities! And homemade marshmallows actually look, and were reportedly, delicious! Once they said you really need a large mixer like a Kitchen Aid, I knew I had to order the book. ;)

http://www.amazon.com/Marshmallow-Madness-Dozens-Puffalicious-Recipes/dp/1594745722/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1332198629&sr=8-3

It just came, and even the cover is puffy! :D Never really been a candy maker, but looking forward to seeing what I can do with these.

In addition to the traditional, of course there are several chocolate versions, but...

How about raspberry? Key lime?

Buttered rum, fuzzy navel, margarita & creme de menthe?

Or maple-bacon? Pineapple rosemary? Sea salt caramel? Mango -chile-lime?

This should be interesting!:cool:

I'm not a marshmallow fan, but that sounds like it's too good to pass up. I love mixing savory and sweet (the bacon jam recipe that Coreene posted a few OT days back has been a staple in my house ever since), and the salted caramel and maple bacon 'mallows sound heavenly.

Off to order! :D

nevertoolate
Mar. 19, 2012, 09:52 PM
I also cook that way, too-- last night I did a pork tenderloin with apricot sauce. I served it with Israeli Couscous, and copied a recipe from a local restaurant for that. Roasted veggies are a big hit for Mr. CC and me. He loves my roasted Brussel sprouts. We eat the loose leaves like chips.



ETA: Disregard! Just read the rest of the thread and saw you already posted! Thanks.

Calvincrowe - how do you make the Brussel sprouts? I hated them as a kid, but have heard so many folks raving about them now, I figured I should try them again. Just bought some from Trader Joe's, but have been afraid to cook them yet!

carolprudm
Mar. 19, 2012, 10:52 PM
I go through cooking phases and happen to be in one this week (mostly thanks to Pinterest!). Today I made rosemary shortbreads (adapted a recipe for chocolate espresso shortbread and went out and picked rosemary) Last night while most of my brethren were umm...enjoying the St. Patty's Day festivities I was slaving over a version of Julia Child's French onion soup. That turned out amazingly well.

OTOH, I made a baked spinach gratin from Pinterest earlier this week and it did not go well at all. The butter proportions were all off (if I say something has too much butter, you know it's true!). Oh well - better luck next time I guess...

I actually quite enjoy cooking but I rarely have time, especially during the week. Getting home at 7 or 8pm means if it can't get microwaved it ain't happening!
LOL, a few weeks ago I made Beef bourguignon ...Julia Child's Beef bourguignon It was WAY better than my mom's. I cook on the weekends and eat leftovers all week

The first book I bought for my Kindle Fire was Julia Child's Kitchen Wisdom.

And I love to shop....love Staub pots and www.copperpans.com (http://www.copperpans.com)

lovey1121
Mar. 19, 2012, 11:13 PM
The day I received my new Kitchen Aid mixer, I watched an interview with the author of "Marshmallow Madness". Am fascinated by the possibilities! And homemade marshmallows actually look, and were reportedly, delicious! Once they said you really need a large mixer like a Kitchen Aid, I knew I had to order the book.

How about raspberry? Key lime?

Buttered rum, fuzzy navel, margarita & creme de menthe?

Or maple-bacon? Pineapple rosemary? Sea salt caramel? Mango -chile-lime?

This should be interesting!:cool:

Oooh, homemade peeps! Just in time for Easter!:yes: