Thursday, August 26, 2010

Move over Betty Crocker!

Since I've living on my own for the past year, I really feel like I’ve been channeling Betty Crocker, or probably more like Grandma Betty Smith, (and it's not so much channeling as it is calling her and asking her what to do- Thanks Grandma!). I’ve branched out and tried cooking much more than I did in college. I attribute this to the fact that I have more time now, and I also cook a lot for Cody. He gets to try out my new dishes I invent. However, he will eat pretty much anything.  I could make him a cheese sandwich, and he would declare it the best cheese sandwich he’s ever had. The first thing I made for him was lasagna, and when he came over he was confused as to why the lasagna was not frozen and there were mixing bowls involved. Poor kid, he didn’t have a Grandma Betty. Anyway, I’m proud to say there have been many successes, very few failures, and nothing that has been truly inedible. I’ve been really impressed with my ability to make stuff up on the fly. I’ve also made conscious efforts to eat more vegetables. Much to my family’s disbelief I’ve even started to eat green beans. I’ve also grilled a lot of asparagus. However, many of my failed dishes have to do with some sort of vegetable….

Some of the failures include:
  • Green beans – Maybe it’s because I still don’t really like them, but I can’t ever cook them to where I think they’re right. The texture is always off.
  • Stuffed green peppers – These weren’t bad, but not that good. I went through a “cream cheese would be good in everything” phase, and I thought that if I filled a hollowed out green pepper with some cream cheese, cheddar cheese, ground beef, and a bunch of spices it would be really delicious. It was just really weird, and I need to look up an appropriate recipe for stuffed peppers and try again.
Luckily, the success list is much longer!
  • Cuban pork sandwiches – my mouth just waters thinking about it. I’ve really come to love mustard and pickles lately.
  • Pie Crust - although it still needs some tweaks
  • Baked Pasta - This is frequently called Rachel’s Surprise because I usually end up using leftover meats/cheeses/whatever is left in the fridge, but it’s always been yummy!
  • Mayonnaise bread – this sounds completely disgusting but believe me it is the most delicious cheese bread I’ve ever sank my teeth into. I started out trying to recreate cheese bread I have had before (Corineah if you read this, I was trying to make your bread). I couldn’t remember the ingredients. so I just guessed. It started with cream cheese, because it seemed like that should work (plus it was during my cream cheese phase). It was good, but just not quite right. Thanks to The Pioneer Woman I came across this recipe and found the missing puzzle piece was mayonnaise! Who woulda thunk? Make it if you have a few extra calories to spare…..
  • Whiskey cream sauce – another Pioneer Woman recipe, but I tweaked it some, and it’s soooo yummy on a nice, thick ribeye steak.
  • Alfredo sauce – so delicious and yet oh so bad for you
Wow it really sounds like I’ve just been loading up on calories doesn’t it??
  • Banana cream pie – I don’t know if I’ve ever had banana cream pie, but it is Cody’s favorite so I attempted it for his birthday. He said it was good. I think it could be better.
  • Enchiladas - again thanks to Pioneer Woman.
  • Shrimp pasta - Maybe my most favorite dish lately. Just cook up some shrimp in some olive oil and then toss with peas and pasta.
  • Beef Brisket - in my crock pot
The list goes on. My most recent successes happened a few weeks ago. I had a lazy Sunday and decided it was the day I would tackle homemade rolls. I had only tried this completely on my own a few times, and the previous tests had not turned out well. This time I was determined to be triumphant! Cody had also never had ham and noodles so I made those as well. The food was as good as my kitchen was dirty….

I bet Betty Crocker never made as big of a mess as I do though, and she probably remembers to take pictures of the final product. Making bread and noodles was an all day affair, and by the time both were ready to eat I was much too hungry to be bothered with pictures. I also demonstrated just how much like my mom I am. I had flour everywhere, complete with two flour handprints on my behind. Thanks for teaching me that, Mom. The rolls were definitely a success this go around. The only thing I would change next time is that I made them much too big and they spread into more of a loaf than a roll so they didn’t raise as high as they should have. This did not stop the two of us from eating 4 pans (small pans) in less than a week. I definitely ran a few extra miles that week!


Ben and Corineah Williams said...

Haha, its cream cheese and butter you silly girl! I bet it turned out great....I printed off your version to try it out!

Rachel said...

Really?? It never tasted like the way I remembered yours did! For my version I've never used green onions, but it might be good with them.