If cooking is a game, I lost last night. And I don’t mean a close game against a good team where the last team with the ball wins – I mean an all-out trouncing by a D2 school.
I swear, someone must have been sticking straight pins into a Foodie Bride-shaped Voodoo doll this evening. My kitchen could have been temporarily cursed or perhaps invaded by a ghost. I was a dead-ringer for that little girl in Poltergeist in my second or third grade school picture… maybe “they” are here!
I made ricotta cheese that turned out, well, not as great as it did last time. It was a little dry – not that big a deal because I could hide the dryness with the egg in the ravioli filling. The second batch of browned sage butter sauce turned out great. The second batch. I turned my back on the browned sage butter sauce for only a minute – I swear! When I turned back around, I had a saucier full of liquid charcoal. We have a smoker!
My sweet, sour & spicy carrots? Blech. I mixed some OJ, brown sugar, a splash of red wine vinegar and 1/4-1/2 tsp of Chinese hot mustard and poured it into a small roaster with carrots. The liquid evaporated before the carrots cooked though. I tasted it half way through cooking and the sauce was nicely flavored, I guess there just wasn’t enough of it. And then there was dessert.
Desserts are problematic enough for newlyweds as it is. No one makes a “Dessert for Two” cookbook that I know of. Baked goods don’t scale down easily – you can’t just cut a recipe in half and expect the leavening to be correct. You also can’t just bake an entire cake for only two people – it sits around for a week begging to be consumed. I work out of my home office quite a bit and I can hear the brownie sirens singing their sweet chocolate song to me even when I’m upstairs working. It’s almost a sin to throw away dessert so I keep a log of homemade chocolate chip cookie dough (minus the chocolate chips) in the freezer. I slice four 1/4-inch slices of dough from the log and set the pieces on a silpat mat while I make dinner.
After dinner, we mix in whatever we’re in the mood for into the dough (I keep dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and butterscotch chips, as well as walnuts and pecans on hand). We form the dough into balls, put them into the fridge for 10-15 minutes, and then bake ‘em up. Tonight, they baked flatter than anything I’ve ever seen before – think little chocolate chip crepes rather than cookies.
I’m actually glad Voodoo Kitchen happened on a Wednesday. I usually don’t cook on Thursday nights since Thursdays are basketball league nights. I’ll have a couple days to console my ego before I walk back in there again. Perhaps I’ll console my ego with a nice big bowl of La Madeleine’s Tomato Basil Soup while we watch Tivo’ed Gray’s Anatomy.