Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Busy Weekend in the Kitchen

I did a lot of cooking this weekend, probably making up for the fact that I hadn't done much of anything over the last week and a half.

Friday night it was basil chicken and dill new potatoes.

That picture really doesn't do much to wet your appetite, but it sure is good.

Saturday was green beans, mashed potatoes and steaks with bleu cheese and bacon. No pictures because we ate it all before I thought about it.

And then came Sunday. I've got three things going today - another Baking with Dorie cake experiment, Garlic Steak and Peppers and Baked Buffalo Chicken Strips. I'll post recipes later, but at least this gives you an idea of what I've been up to.

All the peppers ready to go -

Then you add round steak that's been browned on the stove -

Then you pour a yummy mixture of soy sauce, fresh ground ginger, ground garlic, beef brother and a few other things and cook it in the crock pot for about four hours. Here it is done in the crock pot. It smelled soooo good as it cooked, and now all I have to do tomorrow is make rice and dinner is done!

And then the big Dorie cake experiment. You may remember that I'd previously tried one of her cakes, and it didn't turn out as well as I wanted it to. This one is holding much more promise. There are two things about Dorie's beautiful cookbook that I don't like. First, she writes all the recipes in paragraph format and when there are like 30 steps to a recipe, it'd be easier to follow if they were more bulleted. The second thing is that she doesn't include high altitude adjustments. I had to look some up, and I am still not sure the cakes got as puffy as they should have. But anyways, here's the results.

Here's her version -

And here's how I got to my version. The cake alone took over an hour to put together and was about 19 steps -

The frosting was hard because you had to be able to do several things at once and quickly.

Here's the egg whites working -

And while the egg whites were whipping up, a mixture of sugar, water and cream of tartar was boiling on the stove. The recipe called for it to be a specific temperature so you had to use a candy thermometer. Thankfully mom had brought one to me just last month!

Then when the sugar/water thing got to its specific temperature, you quickly poured it into the whipped egg whites and beat for five minutes. I am soooo happy to have my wonderful stand mixture because I just set a timer and let it go!

I layered it and crushed one layer for the topping. Here's the finished product. I didn't realize Dorie didn't put the crumb topping on the top and couldn't figure out why mine looked so dark. But I'm guessing it'll still taste yummy!

And the finished results -