This blog serves as a log of my success and failures as an independent adult, "attempting" to survive on my own and hopefully not burning down the house in the process.
I have been having a hankering for chocolate chip cookies… a lot. The problem is when you are baking for one, there is a limit to how many cookies you can eat. Shocking I know. So how do you get homemade cookies on demand. Well the trick is to freeze the dough.
The cook book above has the recipe for the most delicious chocolate chip cookies I have ever had. They melt in your mouth, buttery and flakey. They are the epitome of chocolate chip cookies. In fact, I have never made something out of this cook book that wasn’t delicious.
So now when I come home from a grueling day of sitting at the computer and writing code I turn the oven on and pop in three cookies, pour myself a glass of milk, and enjoy.
The only crink in this plan is the way I froze the dough. I rolled the dough into balls and placed them in a bag and then in the freezer. Unfortunately this caused the balls to all freeze together. I have to wrestle and pry and cut out three balls of dough. Now in the future what I will do is lay them out on a cookie sheet and place that into the freezer until they are solid THEN place them in the bag.
It is also important to note that you shouldn’t keep the dough for more than two weeks (per the directions of the cookbook not my own personal gauge of healthiness which is obviously not the most sound).
So I’m pretty sure I’m very lucky I didn’t ignite the apartment on fire tonight. Chicken, once again, was my arch nemesis that I couldn’t say no to.
So the plan was to make BBQ Chicken thighs with sweet potato fries, corn on the cob, and baked beans. YUM! I am trying to push myself to eat more than just pasta. Of course chicken thighs take longer not only to defrost but to cook in general. So my timing is all off from the start.
Now my goal is to sear the chicken and then bake it. This is all going fine and dandy. I’m starting to get the hang of how long to leave it on, and one out of the four thighs looks very well seared. Then of course I’m going to sear the last one and drop it splat on the floor. There is no ten second rule in this kitchen, seeing as we have no mop or broom. Well, that’s one less piece to worry about I guess.
Then I turn the burner off, but since it is an electric stove the coils are still really hot. The pan is really cooking, and I want it to stop so I don’t set off the smoke alarm. And here is where intuition and common sense don’t really meet. So intuition says, “I have a hot pan and I want it cold, add water.” However, common sense says, “Hot oil in a pan plus water equals potential for a ball of flame.” Now I am very lucky that I did NOT ignite a ball of flame. I merely engulfed the kitchen and thus the whole apartment in a cloud of smoke. This of course set off the fire alarm, which is so irritating in that it speaks. “Warning! Fire in the utility room! Evacuate!” I KNOW!!!! Stop rubbing it in stupid alarm.
Thankfully, after opening all the windows and door the smoke dissipated.
Now I mentioned that my timing was off. Well in the past I’ve made chicken breasts, which take about the same amount of time that sweet potato fries do. So I had my fries all lined up to bake right alongside the chicken. Now of course thighs take longer to cook than breasts. So at the 15 min mark, when I applied more BBQ sauce I was forced to take the fries off. Honestly though they were a nice snack before the main meal. Plus I had rubbed them with a salt and pepper mixture and they were delicious.
But the really kicker of this whole story is that it was really really delicious! The chicken had a yummy crispy skin with the glaze of BBQ sauce. The corn was perfect, and nothing really says summer like fresh corn on the cob. In fact the most underwhelming part of the meal was the baked beans, which weren’t quite warm enough.
Why do I always keep coming back to you? We do this little tango where you sound so yummy but then are so darn difficult. And then one day you decide to work perfectly fine.
Maybe it is that you don’t like being given the cold shoulder, relegated to the freezer to be pulled out at a later date. Maybe you find the machine-like efficiency of reheating in the microwave heartless and lacking care and attention.
Whatever it might be I think this relationship may be becoming unhealthy. I worry constantly about whether you are well-prepared and if I have cleaned thoroughly enough.
Just know it’s not you, it’s me… Okay well really it is you. Maybe I’ll turn to turkey for my protein or dare I say it… tofu.
Meat lover who is jonesin’ for a simple meal that is healthy and easy
This post was supposed to be a victorious tale of how using a couple easy make items from the store can step a meal up from drab to fab. But of course best laid plans…
Well let’s first say that my meal was supposed to be chicken with risotto and peas. First off I was much more successful at defrosting my chicken. I kept it in the original packaging when I first froze it!!!! This made defrosting so much easier, and the weight is posted on the package making defrost by weight a breeze. That is until I decided that I was so afraid that it would cook in the microwave that I took it out three minutes early. Leaving the chicken still a little icy. More on this later.
Then I moved to prepare the risotto. The first instructions are to sautee the rice with butter. Never in my life have I sauteed rice, but I gave it my best, shuffling the rice until the butter melted though probably not long enough. I then added the rest of the ingredients and waited until it boiled. Now I think here is the point in the recipe where I’m supposed to let it boil for at least five minutes before putting it on low heat. This wasn’t written anywhere on the nice box so it didn’t happen. I put my rice on simmer and enjoyed the delicious smells of the seasoning.
With the chicken in the oven and the risotto on simmer I sat down to wait the allotted time. In this time did I make the peas, you may ask. No clever reader I did not make the peas or even think of them.
Now when I pull the chicken out it has this… interesting texture of what I will describe as rubber breast. Worried that the chicken wasn’t fully cooked I pulled it out to cut it open and see if there was any pink. Every time I pressed the chicken and appetizing foam of bubbles seeped out. It was cooked all the way, but turns out icy chicken equals rubber chicken with bubbles. At least on the inside it wasn’t the same rubbery texture.
I scooped up my food prepared for at least some delicious risotto with marginal chicken. As I took a picture of my food I noted that the plate sure could have used some green. Then it hit me, that is why I had bought peas the other day for THIS meal. Well too late now. My first bite of food was… crunchy. Alas the risotto was not fully cooked. The chicken was surprisingly juicy and flavorful, but with no starch to pair it with it was a lost cause.
In the future I think I’ll be sticking to couscous, but at least now I can successfully defrost chicken breast (or at least next time I should be able to).