Valentine Day for the Romantically Challenged

February 15, 2009 at 12:42 am (Food and drink)

I’ll be the first to admit that my romance gene was omitted when I was born, but lucky for me I do know how to take notes.  For the longest time I didn’t have to worry about the whole day, but when it became imminent – I didn’t want to follow the usual flowers/candy/card routine because that’s just the business industry drumming up extra money for themselves.
Naw, cooking is where it’s at.  Yes, I do openly admit I took Home Ec in jr high and yes, I can find my way around a kitchen….. just don’t expect it to be pretty.  One criteria so far is to make something special each year which means no repeat dinners.  The other must is that I must use fresh ingredients.  Other than spices, I do the chopping and dicing, mixing and stirring, and all the tedious grunt work.  I mean, it’s the only way right?
What was on the menu this year?  I’m glad you asked.  Main dish was Almond Chicken with Sauce, with twice baked potato and some green beans in oil.  There was also a little bit of wine – but just a little since neither one of us really drinks the stuff so we haven’t developed a taste for it.  :p  But it’s the thought! 
It turned out really interesting and only took me 3 hours to prepare and cook everything.  I hurt myself a little bit trying to eat too much (the chicken turned out very tasty indeed) since I probably could have made a complete meal from the huge potato.  Add to that two pieces of chicken and a double helping of the beans…. you get the idea.  The chicken should have been enough for 4 servings… but there is only one serving left.  I wonder how the leftover is going to taste. . . hmmm. . .  I’ll let the wife tell me since she has first dibs on it. 
I hear you out there…  and don’t think I left out the dessert because I didn’t.  You may shake your head at me and point at the rule of no prepackaged crap… but I couldn’t pass up the cookie brownie mix. mmmmmmmmmmmmm.
My wife wants to know what holiday I’m cooking for next. . .   :p

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Cooking a Meal

June 29, 2008 at 10:04 pm (Food and drink)

This weekend marked the wife and I’s 2nd anniversary so I was thinking about something nice.  Instead of going out though, she wanted me to whip up one of my "gourmet" meals.  Granted I do cook and I’ll get elaborate (with fresh ingredients and weird things like cooking down) but on short notice I was caught a bit flat footed.  I did do my best though and found a little recipe for fillet mignon that I thought I would go ahead and try.
I try not to repeat my meals and always try something I’ve never actually eaten before so my experiences always tend to border on… unexpected.  Because, let’s face it, anniversaries and special occasions should have something to make it really ‘special’.  My first obstacle was trying to find exactly what cut of meat is used for fillet mignon because if you’re going to do something right… well…  you know.  Unfortunately I’m really good at following instructions but the knowledge thing sometimes eludes me.  In a pinch though, you can always get the fillet mignon already wrapped in bacon which is probably just one step less in the whole scheme of things.
I will admit right up front that when it comes to food, I am probably one of the pickiest people – tending to dislike a majority of tastes which should really hamper my cooking skills.  So when I go about and start grabbing things I don’t normally eat, my stress levels begin to rise a little bit.  But what could be so harmful with a handful of ingredients?  >shudder<  That’s why I usually tamper with original recipes.
To keep my meandering story in check, back to the meal.  So I get everything ready and within reach so I don’t have to stop and fiddle with measuring and what have you.  When it occurs to me that the recipe itself is a bit sketchy in the direction department and the measurements really don’t seem to be fitting.  I mean, if the end of recipe says to use the sauce as a topping to the meat… there really should be enough to have a sauce.  Stress.  Can’t stop now because the meat has already been seared on both sides and it’s time to add the Brandy and A1 sauce.  I figure the brandy is probably good enought because I don’t care much for alcohol, but I doubled the A1 sauce and quailed at how much minced garlic appeared to be in there.  I also threw in a few mushrooms as well, but this "sauce" wasn’t looking like it was going to hold out much.
Anyway,  in the end I cooked the meat for much longer than called for and the sauce was… well… let’s just say I always thought sauce was suppose to be at a consistency where it would drip instead of clump.  I made the plates up (green beans with a hint of brandy and potatoes on the side) and sat down in hopes that a hospital visit wouldn’t be imminent.
It turned out okay.  But I really think the sauce needed more to it and probably cook the meat a little more before adding the sauce ingredients…

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Delayed Valentine’s Dinner

February 19, 2006 at 12:58 am (Food and drink)

Yes I know that it’s four days late, but it was agreed upon that I would cook my girlfriend a dinner on the weekend (when there’s enough time).  I don’t usually cook unless it includes removing film off potatoes and microwave for 3 minutes.    This tends to instill the belief that I don’t know how to cook..  >ahem<  However, as long as I have instructions I can cook… and tonight I cooked Lemon Chicken and Crostini.  I am happy to say that it turned out pretty good!  (I fib a bit… it turned out great).  It’s amazing what recipes you can find out there on the web.

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