Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Why I Can't Write a Cookbook, (Erin).

In short, because my food doesn't always turn out. And sometimes it's a down right failure. (If you're interested in the details, read on.)

Adventures in the kitchen continue...

But unlike most Mommy-Blogs that pridefully boast over all the amazing stuff they cook, today's post comes with a hefty dose of reality: like that dinner party I hosted when we lived down town and my angel food cake that I slaved over turned out to be one giant salt lick.

It's true: my 'stuff' doesn't always work. Just ask my friend Caitlyn about the salty-foodcake debacle.

Take yesterday's meal plan for example: Mexican Food -- Onion & Red Pepper Fajitas (with steak for Danny), black beans and cilantro lime rice. A first attempt at whole wheat tortillas, with fresh homemade salsa and guacamole (plus the fixins')

Sounds pretty tasty right?

Here's the reality:

Grilled veggies anyone can make - and quickly - and they turned out fine.
The guac and salsa, pretty much easy-peasy.

The tortillas? Hit and miss.

How do you roll out a circle? My first attempt did not quite work...

A few later, I kind of start to figure it out...

The finished product (albeit made with butter instead of lard. Though I think I will try with olive oil sometime too.) I almost can't believed it worked...
Well some of them worked. The first one was more along the lines of a crispy tostada than a soft shell tortilla... but there's a learning curve in my kitchen.

The rice and beans did not have fate smiling upon them. My rice was too lime-y, not to mention still crunchy. How hard is it to use a rice cooker? Apparently really hard when it comes to my talent set or serious lack there of.

The beans? Besides the fact that the pot boiled over TWICE (you think I would've caught on after the first round.)...and they cooked for close to 2 hours plus soaking time, and they still were not cooked enough. Ugh!

How does Cafe Rio do it?

Thankfully, Holden will pretty much eat anything -- so he enjoyed the beans & rice. And Danny was so tickled I cooked red meat for him (I honestly can't remember the last time I made cow for this man), that he declared dinner a success. But the truth is, even with a biological grandma born in central Mexico, I did obviously NOT inherit the Mexican cooking gene.

Better luck next time? Or maybe I just ought to stick to making cheese quesadillas.

PS. Erin, thank you for your vote of confidence. But I mostly just steal everyone else's ideas and try to do it myself. You are too kind, but very good for my self esteem friend.


Caitlyn said...

A salt lick that cake was, but most of all it is just a great story. The rest of the dinner was delicious. I'm loving all your posts about your food adventures. Keep them coming I think your ambition maybe wearing off on me... maybe.

Alicia said...

Sometimes I think the disasters are what make us appreciate the mean. I still recall (and this is when I was employed as a cook at Red Butte) making what I still refer to as, "The Pot of Crap" for Mikey shortly after we were married. The ingredients were fairly benign...broccoli, chicken, some other stuff..but the result was truly a horrific, disgusting, acrid smelling debacle that will forever live on in infamy in our household.

Meesh said...

I can't stand those "perfect picture" lives that so many try to paint with their perfect kids, perfect meals and houses on their blogs. You learned a lot about what you made. Next time you can soak the beans longer and the rice, easy fix, just add a little more water to the cooker and give it time to steam. I think that it sounds like a success. Cooking is ALL about trial and error. I think that what ever I make takes at least the third try til I get it right! The tortilla's looked good. I want to try them.

Ashlee said...

Just found your blog! Fun to have a fellow blogger close by. I've missed your bouncy nature now that we're in the midst of P's yearly sick time... Anytime you want to come over and cook it's one of my favorite things ever! And for successful tortilla's you need to use the shortening, sorry to say, this is one area where butter and oil won't cut it. Sorry!

WIKKY said...

I love that you atleast try. I go straight to the tortillas from costco and making cheese quesadillas! Suite, you are great!

Erin said...

Whatever. I still think you should. :)