Friday, January 29, 2010

The Buttermilk Dilemma

Here's the problem for me when it comes to buttermilk . . . I always end up wasting way too much of it. You see, I have one recipe that I make consistently that calls for buttermilk, but I don't make it often enough to use a whole carton of buttermilk, and since it only comes in 1/4 gallon cartons, and the fact that buttermilk goes bad pretty fast all adds up to a lot of wasted product and money; neither of which I am a big fan.

So lucky me that while I was complaining about the dilemma the other day it was suggested to me that I could make it myself . . . score one for me! I quickly went home and found this recipe for buttermilk:

4.5 teaspoons white vinager or lemon juice
1 cup milk

Pour white vinager or lemon juice into measuring cup and then fill to one cup with milk. Stir and let set for 10 to 15 minutes until it starts to curdle. Use or refrigerate.

So now, not only can I cut down on waste but I can also use all of this lemon juice that I now "begrudgingly" own!!! Score two for me

* I haven't made the buttermilk yet because I don't have any need for it at the moment, but I'm dying to give it a spin . . . who wants cupcakes!

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Baker's Hope

One thing I aspire to in my "kitchen skills" if you will, is the ability to measure things without actually measuring them. I want to know how much olive oil is enough simply by sight, and how much salt is enough simply by weight. It's something I've long since envied in all the "professionals." So this year I've decided to take it upon myself to teach myself the proper amount just by the feel in my hand (for the dry stuff of course).

Now most of the time when it comes to baking precision is a must because your looking for the proper chemical reaction, so for now I'm just practicing with salt and vanilla . . . because my philosophy is you can never have too much vanilla!!! And the salt, we'll that I've been pouring into my hand, and then from there into the measuring spoon to see how close I am . . . I'm pretty excited to say that so far I've been almost spot on ever time, so maybe it will be an easier skill to teach myself than I thought!

For now I'm off to bake some cupcakes . . .

Monday, January 18, 2010

Mizithra and Brown Butter Pasta Dish

Tonight's dinner was Mizithra and Brown butter over some sauteed chicken and pasta . . . delish!

The mazithra and brown butter is my favorite thing to order from Spaghetti Factory, and on one of my sister's visits out we brought home the leftovers, where cut to the next night, she browned some chicken and threw together a delicious meal for us!

Well shopping the other night I saw mazithra cheese and decided on a whim to throw it in the cart, and lucky me that I did!

Tonight I tried my hand at browning butter for the first time, which I've been wanting to try for a while now, and it turned out perfect if I do say so myself! And it's super easy at that, just throw a stick of butter in a pot and wait till it browns . . . it started foaming up at the end so I had to stir it to see the color, but it was perfectly golden brown. Once the butter has browned chill bottom of pot in cool water to keep the butter from burning. I fully expected to have to try it at least twice, but once was all it took!!!
I sauteed some cut up chicken in olive oil, cooked some pasta, grated some mizithra and what do you know; I had a super yummy, fairly easy dinner that felt both fancy and restaurant esq!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

One Left-Hander's Kitchen Adventures

I've decided to start this new blog dedicated solely to my love for cooking and baking. This year I aspire to increase my skills, talents and risks in the land of the kitchen and want to share these with all of you! From here on out, I'm striving to better myself in the kitchen, make more things from scratch, make thing with my twist, and to just have a lot of fun. I'll be using this blog to share my adventures, quotes or whit, books, recipes and anything else that pertains to the subject at hand.

To start, I came up with the name of this blog based on a left handed spoon my mother bought me for Christmas (or maybe it was from Santa!) two years ago . . . if you know me, you know two things . . . I'm left handed, and I love being in the kitchen! I often point out the fact that the world is made for all you right handers, which makes life in the kitchen a littler tricker for us "south-paws!" This particular spoon is angled for a "lefty" and makes the life of a stirrer much easier!

I hope you enjoy this journey as much as I do, and if your lucky you may be the recipient of my creations, I'm always in the market for samplers! For now I'll leave you with this little quote . . .

"Relationships are complicated, cooking comes with instructions"