Monday, February 07, 2011

Domestic Goddess

It turns out that what I thought was a whale-shaped cookie cutter was actually a snail-shaped cookie cutter. Phew. This makes sense because all the other cookie cutters were woodland creatures. So a whale would have been kind of weird.
Anyway, I've been holding up my new year's promise to try and cook, and I have already learned a lot. So far the most important thing I've learned is that every kitchen is different, so recipes are more like guidelines than set rules. Also I've learned that I don't have the arm strength to mix cookie dough by hand without working up a sweat. I ordered an electric hand mixer from amazon with my Christmas gift certificate, but I had to have it shipped to the states so it won't be here for a month or so. But I am definitely looking forward to that.
These sugar cookies were the first things I made, with this deceptively simple-looking icing recipe. I had to clean the counter REALLY WELL before I could use it to roll the dough, but it was worth it because it was super fun to use my new cookie cutters. The icing was a lot more difficult to control than I thought it would be, and it turned out real thick so I had to add extra milk and corn syrup. Also I couldn't find "light corn syrup" at the grocery store, only "golden" and "lily white" or something. Golden had slightly less sugar so I went with that one. It was fun to make different colours with the food colouring, and my roommate Bonnie came along and helped. The icing was tough to manipulate but it dried hard and shiny and pretty. Here are some of my favorite ones that I did:

A green squirrel riding a green bear.

A radical 80s fox.

A bad picture of a morphed, icing-challenged moose.

A gradient of hedgehogs.


The cookies and icing both tasted quite good! I was pleased. I was less pleased with the breadstick dip I attempted to make. I got the recipe from the college cookbook my mom got me for Christmas. The book is good but I think I fucked this one up by not draining the tomato after chopping it? I mean maybe I shouldn't have put all the liquidy tomato stuff in, I think that might be why it turned out so runny. Not sure where all the bubbles came from though. That was weird. It was still liquidy and bubbly after being in the fridge for a day. So. I'll try this one again and adjust some things because even though it looked gross, it still tasted pretty good. I will include a photo only because want this to be a thorough report:

Thankfully the roasted tomato recipe from the same book turned out much better. Eventually. Here they are pre-roasting, all set out on aluminum foil on a baking sheet:

When they first went in the oven I was a bit alarmed at the loud sizzling and popping sounds being emitted, but I thought it was probably just the olive oil on the aluminum. After a while I started to notice some smoke so I opened the oven and some more smoke came out. I turned off the oven and took them out and opened the windows and main suite door and ran around with my Totoro fan hoping that the smoke alarm wouldn't go off and make everyone hate me. Luckily there was very little smoke so it was fine. I did some research online and spent awhile reading about the smoke point of oils. It was moderately interesting and I found out that since my olive oil is such poor quality, the smoke point is probably lower than 400 degrees, which is what the oven was set to. Then I read all about olive oil and felt very educated and accomplished! So I went back to the kitchen and set the oven for just under 350 and tried it again. It took longer to roast but they turned out pretty well.

I liked them but next time I will use less garlic, since the garlic was hella strong. Hella strong.
It was around this time that my first knife injury occurred. It actually happened while I was washing the big Ikea knife I got, not while I was using it to cut things up. So a little bit lame, but it was at least kind of bloody.

Today I made peanut butter cookies! They were simple and fun to make (except for the arm-killing time-consuming mixing part) and they turned out really well. I gave a bunch to my friends who live down the street.

I recently bought a $65 wok at Canadian Tire for $19.49! They have good sales and I got the very last one. My hands are suuuuuper dry and weird now from all the dish washing plus the Ontario winter. I want to get some of them dish washing gloves.
That's all! The Weakerthans and Jim Bryson were amazing and a Toronto band called the Sunparlour Players opened for them, and they were amazing too. The concert was in Lee's Palace, which was used in Scott Pilgrim! The next evening I went ice skating in the snow in Nathan Phillips Square and only fell down once, and afterwards we went to Rifqi's to warm up and play Monopoly. I lost horribly. It was fun though! Baaiiiii!


Always Something said...

Oh my goodness, you have left me hungry. The icing on the cookies is so lovely and glaze like and shiny! I promised to cook better this year too; I make apple juice pork chops almost every day (haha.)

ian said...

you can never have too much garlic

Claire said...


claire said...

that lovely teal on the bear/squirrel looks just like the color I produced when trying to make purple for your rainbow penis cake!

I think it actually looks a little better though since it was probably intentional.