Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What Happens in the Kitchen . . . Should Really Stay There

So, tonight was a pretty sketchy food night, all in all. Dinner was a slapdash performance, and the recipe I used was called something like Chicken and Broccoli with Garlic and Parmesan. Not bad, right? That's what I thought, plus it was really simple and didn't require any freaky ingredients. There was just one problem . . . I have a chicken phobia. Well, sort of. I have a problem with handling raw chicken. I think it is nasty. I don't like seeing it, touching it, or knowing I have to deal with it. It just makes me want to throw up a little. Or a lot. Depending on the day.

Anyway, I decided that the chicken was not happening today. So I did ground beef instead (for anyone interested . . . no, I have no problem with raw beef. I know. I'm weird). Not that big of a deal, beef substituted for chicken, this is not a big deal for the most part. Yeah, some dishes don't cooperate well if you swap out the meat, but this is not one of them. Potatoes, broccoli, and the other ingredients work just as nicely with chicken or beef. So yeah, I followed the recipe (if anyone has cooked with me, you know what kind of a loose term that is for me. I don't use measuring utensils oftentimes), and it turned out fine. Just not . . . great. Out of the 5 people that ate it, Krissy was the only one that really liked it, I think. I was kinda on the fence, it was ok but not really good. Sammy liked the broccoli.

Well, when I was at the store earlier today I saw some graham cracker pie crusts and recalled that I've been in the mood for a chocolate cream pie for some time. So I got a pie crust, and performed some impressive chef skills by getting the pie ingredients ready to go at the same time as making dinner (no, I did not screw anything up. I was very meticulous). The only thing I changed was instead of unsweetened chocolate pieces (which I didn't have) I did the substitution thingy it said on the side of the cocoa powder container. And did know that if you heat up flour, sugar, milk, cocoa powder, and shortening that it thickens up? Who knew? And do you wanna know what a freaking !@#$% it is to separate egg yolks?! Holy crap! It would have been easier to just throw in the whole egg and take the consequences!

Egg yolks were separated (finally), shortening was melted (fun to watch), chocolate mix was thickening (O_o), managed to accost my sister in law on her way out of the laundry to assist in the grand "mix some of the bubbling chocolate mixture into the egg yolks and beat to prevent the eggs from cooking" attempt. It did work, I was pleased. So, I got everything all mixed together, got the vanilla and butter in, tasted the completely project, AND . . . meh. Didn't do it for me. I was very disappointed. It was too dark chocolatey, and I'm a milk chocolate girl. So I added in the rest of a bag of Hershey's chocolate chips and a handful of marshmallows, but they didn't really do much, sadly.

That lovely pie crust, all wasted now. Of course, I will eat the pie, and I will make everyone else help me, but it just wasn't fantastic. What a let down. I should have done the chocolate pudding recipe I had instead. You just can't fail with chocolate pudding. You also have a lesser chance of getting very small lumps with chocolate pudding . . . (the lumps were my fault . . . yes, you do have to start stirring the chocolate mixture when it starts to heat up. You don't wait for a minute, assuming it won't heat up that fast. *Rolling eyes at self*).

So yeah. There's my unstellar night of cheffing. I did much better a couple weeks ago, I made manicotti! Well, it was manicotti, but in giant shells instead of giant tube pasta. It was fabulous, and it was my first ever time using ricotta cheese! My mother is a die-hard ricotta hater, but I'm going to make her something tasty with it and change her mind.

Ok, this little cook is going to go check on her failtacular chocolate cream pie now . . . I should have gotten the heavy whipping cream at the store, I could have made whipped cream to pretty up the pie. Ah, well. Silly me. Happy cooking to all y'all out there, and good luck with any chocolate cream pie endeavors you take on!

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