Sunday, September 30, 2007

More Eating In

I spent most of today in the kitchen. I actually followed THREE recipes. Well, kind of. That's a big deal for me because I don't like following recipes, which is why I don't bake. I tend to think of something I want to cook, read three or four different recipes and then do my own thing. Or, at the most, I'll look at the list of ingredients and just kind of eyeball everything.

The first things I made were Pecan Cinnamon Muffins from Laura Rebecca's Kitchen. I really like her blog and these sounded great when I was doing a search for breakfast items yesterday. I also used the KitchenAid mixer for the first time all by myself. I don't bake - EVER, so I'd never had a need to use it before. Granted - Tim had to show me how to use it, but I figured it out. :) I thought the batter was really thick and I was concerned I had done something wrong, but they turned out great. Okay, I'll be honest. I did do one thing wrong. I forgot to add the vanilla. They taste fine, though, but I'm sure the vanilla would have put them over the top. We've each had one and we enjoy them a lot. I did double the amount of everything in the topping, like she suggested. I like a lot of the crumbly topping, so it was great.

The second thing I made was a marinade for chicken. My friend Scott sent me a recipe for a bourbon marinade a couple of years ago and we really liked it. After exhaustive searches on our emails, we weren't able to find it, but after doing some internet searching, I think we found the right recipe. Tim is going to marinade the chicken breasts tomorrow afternoon and we'll grill them tomorrow night. I figure we can have the chicken breasts and some sort of side dish tomorrow night, and may be salads with chicken the following night.

The third thing I made was potato salad. This is one of those times when I just looked at someone's recipe and used mostly the same ingredients and did my own thing. I left out the celery because I really don't like it raw and the scallions because we didn't have any. It's in the refrigerator right now kind of absorbing the flavors. I also used white potatoes instead of russets. I wanted a more waxy potato than starchy. This was from Simply Recipes - a site I consult quite often as a jumping-off place for a lot of dishes I make. I've never made potato salad before, so from the little taste I've had, I really like it. The real test will be tomorrow once all the flavors have soaked into the potatoes and eggs.

Speaking of eggs, I have found the secret to hard-boiling eggs without getting that nasty greenish hue to the yolks. The color doesn't affect the taste, but it's definitely not as pretty as when it's just yellow.

I did take pictures of both the muffins and the potato salad but they turned out terrible. How do people take pictures of food that don't look awful? Maybe I shouldn't be using white plates? Maybe I shouldn't be using my flash? I don't know - if you have a food blog and take pictures of food, I'd love to hear your secret.

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