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11/27/2006

I'm No Martha Stewart

Those of you who know me are aware that I rarely cook. Okay, that’s not entirely true if you call throwing a chicken breast in the toaster oven or heating up a pot of soup “cooking.” And baking is usually out of the question. I don’t know if I became inspired by the delicious brownies I made last week…even if they were from a box mix...but last night I not only baked an apple cake, which did come from a box, but required cutting apples, but also some homemade molasses sugar cookies that did not originate in powdered form in a rectangular cardboard storage device. I actually purchased a cookie sheet for the project. Since E and I essentially eloped all those many years ago, I never did the wedding gift registry thing and have crappy, hand-me-down kitchen supplies.

Anyway, I didn't stop with the baking, but also proceeded to make some homemade spicy chicken tortilla soup, complete with tortilla strips that I cut and baked. E loves this soup and has been requesting it for a while now. Since we started having cold nights recently, I thought the time was right. The soup was a hit and E ate several bowls of it. I wasn't too happy with the chicken I used, but it was okay. I made a double batch so there is quite a bit left over to eat on for the week.

The baked goods results were mixed. I brought the apple cake to work today and it got eaten. I think the top turned out just perfectly crunchy, but the rest of it was a bit too mushy. I'm not sure if it was undercooked or if that's just how that mix turns out. The cookies were the big experiment for me. They have always been my favorite of the cookies my mother bakes every holiday season. I've even had her make them and send them to me before. I way overcooked the first batch, which promptly went into the garbage. I made two dozen more and they were so-so. Much thicker and not as chewy as what Mom makes. *sigh*

I called my mom this morning to problem solve with her what I may have done wrong. The first mistake might have been not chilling the dough long enough. Her recipe said "several hours." I assumed three hours would be plenty, but apparently it wasn't. Also, I cooked it at the temperature according to her instructions. (I have a thermometer in my oven, so I know that was okay). Well, she chills her dough overnight and possibly bakes the cookies at 25 degrees less than on the recipe. The recipe that she wrote out by hand and mailed to me. I'm sorry, but I don't improvise or interpret real well in the kitchen. I need clear, specific instructions.

So, maybe I'm not cut out for all this kitchen domesticity, which was my original hypothesis. I will be giving the cookies at least one more go, using the revised recipe and see how they turn out. I brought those in to work also and did get two sincere compliments.

7 comments:

ren said...

i bet it was all good but you are comparing to memories so you think it's not quite what you remember.

i wanna try that soup!

(i did have a wedding registry but most of my cooking stuff is hand-me-down too. we just call it "well seasoned".)

Jodi said...

Thank you, but the cookies were definitely "different." I think I had some of hers as recently as last year.

"Well seasoned" is one thing...look at my pan that the tortilla strips are on, but my electric mixer is ridiculous. The cord constantly falls out and it smells like the motor is burning up, which it very well may be. It's been around since the 70's I believe.

ren said...

ha! i only recently got rid of my 1970's harvest gold hand mixer, but i still have a 1950's -ish stand mixer because damn those things are expensive!

madretz said...

Keep on experimenting, it's one of those things that just gets better the more you do it.

Cold weather is perfect for this type of cooking/baking. Sounds like thru it all you still enjoyed the process. Mostly at least. :)

Dianna said...

I have given up on trying to cook as good as mom lol Shoot, I have given up on cooking all together lol

justJENN said...

I use my $300 Kitchenaid mixer every week. It's worth every penny.

Anonymous said...

Yum.......you had me at tortilla soup.

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