Friday, October 19, 2012

julie, julia, & me

i have never been a good cook- like ever. one time i made rolls and drop a bit of an eggshell in and thought "oh no one would notice - if i mix it up enough you won't be able to tell". wrong- they just broke up into smaller and smaller egg shells that ruined every bite. one time i accidentally made cookies and mixed up the salt & sugar ratios- and made some yummy salt cookies. another time there was some cat food in rolls [what's up with rolls in our family??]. and basically, almost everyone i know refers to burning food as melissa-ing it.

so how in the world did i get to be so good all of a sudden? ok, ok, 'so good' may be an exaggeration but i have learned a couple things and have discovered valuable resources that have made me a changed woman.

some tips i've learned- most often the hard way
1- don't be afraid to try something. that's why god invented take out.
2- don't be too particular about measurements, trust your instincts. for ex, the pancake recipe below i always add a bit more flour. you know what pancake dough should look like/what tastes good/what you like so improvise.

*how i write recipes and what they should actually look like - really, you can't even decipher it
3- ask for advice and tips from friends. see what they like and use. i've always been so afraid of certain foods but by trying my friend's dishs, i've expanded my pallet. for ex, i've never had fajitas or chicken salad sandwiches a year ago. now they're one of my favorite dishes.
4- don't be afraid of a dish because it has something foreign in it- like a spice you've never used before. it's surprising but you'll end up using it again.
5- avoid distractions as much as you can. that's how things get burned or overcooked. when in doubt, cook on lower heat.
6- when in doubt, call your mom. i still call mine 2-3x when doing a new recipe.
7- don't trust baking times. i can cook a frozen chicken breast in my slow cooker on low in 3 hours. everywhere else sats 5-7. elevations and appliances have minds of their own.
*here are some great food specific tips i found online

here are some of my tried and trued recipes i lurv-  because i love new recipes

this is my go-to pancake recipe, which i make at least once a week.
speaking of breakfast, this is my favorite breakfast blueberry casserole- but i add strudel on top. i make this any time i can- most recently for general conference.
this is our fancy once-a-year breakfast treat - puffy french toast. worth every calorie.
man i'm giving you a lot of breakfast recipes, but this is more a dessert. the best cinnamon roll recipe ever- including my mothers. and she agrees.
this is a delicious sloppy joe recipe and a fun way of doing quesadillas differently.
i am a huge beef & broccoli fan and this is the only recipe i've found is true to take out.
i love pizza hut deep dish pizza and this crust is soo good. uses dry milk- so different.
yummy banana nutella bread- a special weight watchers friendly treat. i'm quite heavy handed on the nutella.
my favorite sugar cookie recipe- which i won't ever roll out. i just make round balls which works perfectly.
my world famous [and by world, i mean my world] chicken salad sandwiches & pasta salad.

my favorite cookbook- our best bites [they're a blog- check them out here]- pioneer woman is quickly on the rise too!
aren't you sad i cut off the bottom half? believe me, you should be - caitlin,  the original chef
and my most ultimate tip ever- never take the first bite. i don't taste my cooking at all while i cook, which many people disagree with but i hate hate hate it. if i let justin try it first, i know it's safe to eat. it's like i'm the royal queen and he's my food tester to make sure it's not poisoned. because i'd rather he die first. i'm too pretty to die.
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1 comment:

Caitlin said...

Hahahahaha!! So glad you put this pic of me up. Rawr!

I'll have to try these recipes. I'e tried your chicken salad....and it is the worlds best. It really is!

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