Monday, March 29, 2010

Catie: I am The Kitchen MASTER.

Orrr... actually not.

Since my oatmeal cookies failed miserably.

Tip: Oatmeal cookies taste better with butter inside of them, as opposed to, you know, sitting on the counter..

My banana bread is on the verge of terrible failure as well.  It said to put it in a large loaf pan, but I knew better.  I shouldn't have listened.

There's a lot you can bake in a toaster oven without adapting.  A lot.  The only exception I know of is bread.  I guess I didn't expect quick bread to rise very much, but it did, and now it's but centimeters from the top element and although the top is VERY dark, the bottom isn't cooked.


Such good intentions.

Still, I had a few successes prior to the failures.  I made a triple batch of granola, which equals kind of a lot of granola and definitely a lot of work.  With a toaster oven instead of the real thing, it's a little more like making 6-8 batches of granola.  Granola is annoying, period, though, which is why I made so much.  I just hate being tied to the kitchen, stirring it every three minutes.

Still, it is worth it.  It's delicious and I've missed having it around.

I also made granola bars with dried cranberries, walnuts and pecans and some mini chocolate chips.   They aren't like store bought granola bars.  Maybe they're more like oatmeal cookies in bar form.  So, I guess it's just as well that my oatmeal cookies didn't turn out.  The granola bars are delicious.  And, so we won't feel compelled to eat every single one of them by tomorrow, they're in the freezer.

I also have my yogurt incubating, by now a regular Monday happening.  I can't believe we go through what must be a half gallon of yogurt a week, but we do, using it for buttermilk in recipes, and as sour cream in recipes and on other things like tacos.  It's cheaper than sour cream (8.00US for a tub) and tastes nearly identical, though it is a little runnier.  I make it with cream, though, so it doesn't have the thin flavor of regular nonfat yogurt.

On the stove, I have my second batch of chicken stock going and it turns out (duh) that it's a whole lot easier to pick a chicken if you just let it cook long enough.  Then it practically falls apart for you and it doesn't take an hour.

It's still disgusting, especially when I have to de-neck them (I don't for stock, but I do for roasting), but I'm getting used to it.

The difference between chicken broth and chicken stock, I found out today, is bones.  Stock has bones and broth doesn't.  I didn't know there was a difference, but I made stock.  I've boiled two whole chickens, as well as a couple carcasses leftover from roasting.  Also, I heard the tip somewhere that you should save all the ends and weird pieces from your celery, onions and carrots, and boil them for stock.  I have been over the past little while and it's so nice not to have to throw a real, live carrot, onion and celery in there.  It always felt like such a waste of a delicious carrot.  That, combined with saving the carcasses, makes homemade stock almost free!

And, the longer we're poor, the more I learn the value of FREE.

Especially when it comes to food since I like food.

Also on the stove, is some enchilada sauce for chicken enchiladas tonight.  It's a little more like.. chili or something, without the dried ancho chiles, but.. we do what we can.  We'll see how it turns out.

Speaking of enchiladas for dinner, I should go and actually make them.

Look who's coming to visit in two weeks!

I'm pretty much excited.

Hopefully we'll find interesting enough things to do...  The more I think about life here, the more I realize that chicken stock and granola are pretty much it.


It makes me happy.  I'll have to think of something more than that for people visiting though.

- catie


  1. I wish you'd come and cook for us. I, too, am tired of being creative. You could crumble the cookies and put them in the granola or yogurt. I made some brownies the other night and put them in the size pan the recipe said even though I was very skeptical. The middle ended up very gooey so I just elected to freeze them individually for scarfing later. They tasted fine gooey and I will just eat them frozen if need be.

  2. can you cook granola on the stovetop? Also, foil is your friend in the toaster oven, I had to use it a lot to cover breads so they wouldn't burn, as much. I made all the muffin-ey things to try to help the burning problem, and little pans, so everything gets done. Toaster ovens! I also thought you should crumble the cookies.

  3. YAY! Also, did you notice the tiny tiny smiley face to the right of your blog? it's a baby.
    am I crazy? it's there, right?

  4. It IS there Melly...I see it too.