- Oh damn, my first bullet point was going to be about Google Buzz, but then I kinda just said what I was going to say about it.
- We made another recipe. See, Wednesday night is sort of "Cooking With The Swell Fellow Night" because it's a night I don't have doggie classes and he doesn't have table tennis. Yes, he plays competitive table tennis. Anyway, on Wednesday we made salmon with spinach sauce (I'd link to the recipe but I think it came out of a cookbook. Like an actual paper one.) and steamed vegetables (you don't need a recipe to make steamed vegetables). Actually, he made the salmon and the sauce, with minor help from me, and I made the steamed veggies. We didn't really pay attention to the presentation, so the photo isn't fabulous, but here it is:
- I made the sourdough bread. I didn't think I needed the vital wheat gluten Crystal had recommended (even though I had bought it ... see below) because I was using white flour. But the loaves still didn't rise well, growing out more than up. But it tasted great. I didn't take a photo of it. I'll wait for a loaf that doesn't look weird.
- Valentine's day! Best one in ages! I got flowers, made cookies and we even made a vaguely heart-shaped pizza:
The cookies were just your average shortbread cookies, and I had meant for the royal icing to be smooth and more red. But I didn't have enough red food coloring and I didn't make the icing runny enough to pipe on properly (the recipe said "not too runny," but I think whoever had written it was thinking it would be used for flowers and shapes. So tip: for cookies you want the icing runnier.) After I wrestled with the decorators bag (I think the hardest bit was getting the icing IN the bag! Is there a trick? Mine got soooo messy ...) I decided that rather than getting the icing out of the bag, making it runnier and 'then putting it back in, I'd just spread the icing with a damn knife.
- I made a cake yesterday, but not just any cake: it was an extremely ambitious cake. I used this recipe. It would have been far easier and less time-consuming to have tried a recipe that used lemon extract, but no, I had to aim high. I think I may have zested a lemon before, but I had never pithed one. By the fourth one I had gotten the hang of it and stopped cursing so much. Anyway, I think the cake was fabulous. It looked OK, too:
I realized only after I baked the cake that I don't own a cake plate, or even a regular plate large enough for a cake. I also realized after I wanted to transport the cake that I own nothing suitable for that purpose. I had only just purchased the bundt pan at a thrift store ($1.99 at Cause For Paws) last week when I decided I would try to make the cake.
- So last week I bought the vital wheat gluten, something that's not cheap ($5.99 at Kroger) and for which I had no coupon. I also had to buy cake flour ($2.99), which was another non-coupon item. I was dreading the relatively expensive grocery trip, but then I got my quarterly Kroger coupons in the mail. Every quarter Kroger sends out coupons along with a dividend voucher based on how many "points" you earn through purchases. My dividend was $9, plus there was a coupon for $1 off my next order. I used those plus a few other coupon/sale deals to make a batch of groceries that rang up at $28-something (from memory here--I've misplaced the receipt) cost $13-something. Here's the haul:
The Oreos were free--I had gotten a coupon for becoming their fan on Facebook--and the Whoppers were on Manager's Special for $1 (I have a recipe I was thinking of trying that calls for malted milk balls). The Kroger mailing contained a $1 off $4-or-more fruit coupon, so that covered the apples and lemons, and a $1 off $4-or-more veggie coupon for the broccoli, asparagus and carrots. The chicken broth was on Manager's Special, and the Purex was a sale+coupon deal that made it something like $1.50. I didn't have a coupon for trash bags so I bought the smallest el-cheapo one, but that was a mistake because they really suck.
So, Wednesday night will be another cooking adventure, and it's my turn to pick the recipe. I have no idea what to pick. I'm open to suggestions. I was thinking maybe toad-in-the-hole, but that seems so unhealthy after this weekend's pizza, cake and cookies. I think something light may be in order. Any ideas?