Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Kitchen Adventures

As I've gotten more comfortable making old favorites in my kitchen, I've discovered that I like being uncomfortable. I like trying new things. I like making a mess, screwing up, figuring out what went wrong, and then trying again.

I've recently started baking. I've tried making whole wheat bread a couple of times (it didn't turn out either time). I've made pita pockets (picture and link below), pizza crust, and I'm working on creating a sourdough starter (more on that in another post). I would love to try making other new things, like bagels and tortillas and assorted dinner breads, as well as conquering the darn whole wheat bread! Someday I would like to get a Bosch mixer to make baking a little easier. My sister gave me her bread machine, but I can't really use the dough cycle on it because I have had to add extra flour to all my recipes lately. At this point I wouldn't even mind a KitchenAid mixer (although I didn't really like the way the dough hook performed on one I used), but I think I'm gonna' hold out for the Bosch.

Not only have I been baking, but I've been busy trying other things. Sweet potato fries, pizza sauce, pickled bean sprouts. On the To Do in the Future list are yogurt, crackers (wait, would that be baking?), cream soups, cooking with whole grains (barley, quinoa, brown rice), and trying lots of new recipes.

I'm not sure how my hubby feels about all my experimenting. I know the kids don't always appreciate having something new at dinner. But I'm having a good time, and my family is being exposed to lots of new foods. Plus, I am making what we are eating. It isn't coming from a box, which is not only more healthy, but it saves us money too.

So, anyway. Here are some pictures of things I've done recently:

Sweet potato fries. I got the basic instructions here, on The last time I made these, they got pretty burned on my metal pan. So this time, because I had too many to put in a glass 9x13 pan, I used parchment paper on my metal pan. Not only did it make clean-up A LOT easier, but it kept the fries from burning. I'm not a big sweet potato fan, but I couldn't stop eating these. Pita pockets. The recipe came from Tammy's Recipes, one of my favorite blog/cooking websites. Here is the link to the actual recipe. Sierra loves these pita pockets. She will eat these sometimes with nothing in them, and sometimes for breakfast she wants one with just peanut butter. And yes, that is a napkin in that pita pocket. No, we didn't eat it. I just put it in there to hold it open.
Pizza sauce. Sierra's friend was coming for a sleepover, and I was making mini pizza's, and I realized I had no pizza sauce, and no money to go buy any. So I found these basic instructions, and made my own. The great thing about this sauce was that I had everything I needed right at home. It used canned tomatoes, tomato paste, onion, garlic, and spices. I used my cheap little stick blender to smooth it out a little, since my kids aren't fans of big chunks of tomato. I made too much, so I put the extra in a quart canning jar in the fridge. I used some last night to make pasta for dinner. I also thought about freezing the extras in Ziploc bags, 1 cup each, since that is about how much we use on a pizza. The mini pizzas I made. Everybody got to make their own. The one on the left was Tyner's; that's a face made out of pepperoni. The one on the right, Jason and I shared ('cause I knew we would be eating the kids' leftovers). My part just had pepperoni, and his had chicken and red onion.
Well, that's all the pictures I have for now. Next time I will have pictures of my pickled bean sprouts and my sourdough starter. Hope you enjoyed this peek into my kitchen. Now I need to go do my dishes before I post anything else.


Heather said...

wow you are turning into betty crocker. lol. That is so awesome all the stuff you are making. I might have to try some of those recipes.

Kimi said...

those pita pockets look yummy. i might have to try them. i wish i was more into experimenting. maybe someday...