good intentions

Tonight I went to Borders and bought The Bread Baker's Apprentice. It's basically an artisan bread cookbook. I really wanted to get it because I really want to learn how to make this type of bread. 
Right now I feel kind of like someone who is just starting off on a new project and buying a bunch of stuff that they need to complete the project. And normally I think that this is as far as a lot of people get. And I'm afraid that this is as far as I'm going to get. 
Hopefully I do actually make some of these recipes soon.

French Toast

I never realized that I was so bad at cooking....tonight I made a pb&j with French toast. When I made the French toast, i used the same burner that I made the chicken on last night. Apparently I didn't clean it as well as I thought because halfway through cooking it caught on fire.
And the sandwich wasn't very good. Peanut butter, jelly, and French toast should not be eaten in sandwich form. Good thing I was only cooking for myself.


Now that I’ve attempted two recipes, I think I should make more plans. I think that I’m going to organize my list and maybe add some too it. When I created my list of what to learn how to make, I went through all the cookbooks in our apartment and picked out things I thought I should know how to make. I’m sure there are still many things that need to be added to the list, and perhaps I should take some things out of it. I guess what I’m going to do it start putting things in order of when I’m going to make them and/or group things by food types.


Tonight I made lemon chicken. It was a near disaster, but with the help of my roommates, I survived. The chicken is battered and fried, and I just don’t do frying very well. I didn’t know how to tell if the oil was hot enough, so I called my mom and she said to put a little water in it to tell if it was hot enough. So I put some water in a cup and poured a little bit into the pan. Unfortunately, I put more water in than I thought, and it was pretty explosive. Nothing that couldn’t be cleaned up though. I don’t think I cooked most of the chicken at the right temperature. Making the sauce wasn’t too big of a problem. Overall, I would say that it tasted pretty good, but not good enough for the work involved. Maybe I just didn’t make it correctly. I do know the chicken could’ve been better had I cooked it right, but I don’t know how much of a difference that would’ve made in the overall taste, since I didn’t cook the chicken completely wrong. Because we love each other, my roommates and I ate it for dinner. (We had brown rice, peas, bananas, and Creamies too…)
What was learned:
1. I now have about a 20% understanding of how to fry pieces of chicken.
2. Use a big pan when frying. I felt like the pan was way too full of oil, and I think a lot of the oil mess could’ve been avoided had I used a bigger pan.
3. I need to use a whisk that can reach the entire bottom of the pan.
4. Instant rice is nasty.
5. Creamies are the best.


On Tuesday I made focaccia. The taste was fine, but it was too lumpy. I’m not sure my yeast is the best, and I think I needed to knead the dough more, but I had to go to a class. Basically, six of us ate it that night, but it still wasn’t the best. I’m not sure if I am going to try the recipe again or look for a better one. I’m considering buying a bread cookbook that would probably have a better focaccia. If I do buy the book then I will definitely not make this recipe again.
What was learned:
1. Kneading bread without Mom’s KitchenAid mixer is much more difficult.
2. Don’t rush bread.
3. Grate cheese in larger pieces when putting it in bread because otherwise it’ll be too mixed in to be very noticeable.


For my New Year’s resolution (actually, more of a result of Relief Society on the 4th and then some other things that happened around that time) I’ve decided that I am going to become a better cook. I made a list of things that I do know and can make, and then I made a list of things I feel like I should be able to know how to make. Now my plan is to learn how to make all the things on my list. What I want to focus on is the basic things that everyone expects you to know how to make, learning how to cut vegetables, fruits, etc., and also how to make decent bread. And when I say decent bread I mean mostly artisan bread. Nothing in a bread machine or anything like that.

The few things I can make:

  1. French Toast
  2. Chicken & Mushroom Dijon
  3. Cranberry Chicken
  4. Apple Pie
  5. Blonde Brownies
  6. Snickerdoodle Cookies
  7. Spaghetti
  8. PB&J Sandwiches
  9. Top Ramen
  10. Omelets
  11. Beef Chow Yuk
  12. Chicken Enchiladas
  13. Tacos
  14. Pumpkin Pie

The other list:

  1. Lemon Chicken
  2. Fajitas
  3. Fettuccine Alfredo
  4. Monte Cristo Sandwiches
  5. Waffles
  6. Roast
  7. Pizza
  8. Mashed Potatoes
  9. Scones
  10. Meat Loaf
  11. Real Macaroni & Cheese
  12. Funeral Potatoes
  13. Gunpowder Chicken
  14. Chicken Chowder
  15. Sloppy Joes
  16. Rolls
  17. Cinnamon Rolls
  18. Zucchini Bread
  19. Banana Bread
  20. Poppy Seed Bread
  21. Blueberry Muffins
  22. Lasagna
  23. French Mint Brownies
  24. Molasses Cookies
  25. Sugar Cookies
  26. English Toffee
  27. Caramels
  28. Guacamole
  29. Scalloped Potatoes
  30. Hamburgers
  31. Meat Balls
  32. Sweet & Sour Chicken
  33. Chicken Cordon Bleu
  34. Burritos
  35. Pancakes
  36. German Pancakes
  37. Peanut Butter Cookies
  38. Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
  39. Rice Pudding
  40. Hawaiian Haystacks
  41. Quiche
  42. Whole Wheat Bread
  43. Corn Bread
  44. Orange Rolls
  45. Biscuits
  46. Lemon Meringue Pie
  47. Orange Julius
  48. Smoothies
  49. Chicken Noodle Soup
  50. Teriyaki Chicken
  51. Quesadillas
  52. Crepes
  53. Potato Salad
  54. Bread Sticks
  55. Shepherd’s Pie
  56. Chocolate sauce
  57. Caramel Sauce
  58. Whipped Cream
  59. Ice Cream
  60. Gelato
  61. Sherbet
  62. Sorbet
  63. Ice Cream Sandwiches