It’s so great to be back in the kitchen again. And while I always feel a bit nerdy taking photos of my food, it’s great to be taking pictures of my creations once again.
Since I’ve been home, I’ve eased away from the daily meal of rice and beans. Instead, I have been enjoying baking and cooking things that are not rice and beans.
So here are a few kitchen experiments of the last three weeks.
I brought some shelled, roasted cocoa beans from Costa Rica that I thought I could make into chocolate. It didn’t exactly work as I envisioned…We don’t really have the right kind of machinery, but I was able to grind it up enough and bake some chocolate cookies.
This ended up being several hours of trial and error. I tried a coffee grinder which got clogged up. Then the blender which still didn’t get the cocoa small enough. I used a rolling-pin which worked well, but took an extremely long time. In the end I dumped the remainder of the cocoa beans into the blender and sifted out the larger bits which I blended again. At this point I had given up on making smooth chocolate, hence the decision to make cookies instead. I did make a few “chocolates,” which had good flavor, but were a bit grainy (make that a lot grainy). The cookies turned out quite well. In fact so well, that they were gifted away/consumed so fast that I have no pictures of them.
And speaking of not having photos, I don’t have photos of the eight perfect bagels I made. The machinery at the local grocery store was down the day my mom and I went to buy bagels. And of course the packaged bagels have a bunch of preservatives and unpronounceable ingredients. So, I searched for a bagel recipe. I told my mom I was going to make bagels and of course she assumed that it was a lot of work and would take a long time. Actually for a bread product, bagels don’t take much time at all. I had it done from start to finish in about three hours. That includes the rising time. Moral of story: Try baking some bagels. It’s not as hard or time-consuming as it may seem.
I looked up a couple of recipes for stuffed butternut squash and combining the ideas came up with this. Continue reading