Monday, January 24, 2011

WEEK 2! restaurant pasta

Tonight was Spaghetti Carbonara. I'm going to be brutally honest about myself. I'm a bit of an idiot. I burned the bacon. And of course I only got enough for the one dish because I don't cook bacon that often so I had to go to the store to get more bacon. Now, the guy at the meat counter is kind of an idiot so for my second time around (which was during the after work shopping rush) I decided to bite the bullet and just get the pre-packaged bacon. Whatever.

Aside from that, this turned out great. Plus, yay because the bacon MADE the dish! Very flavorful and spicy.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day 5: woot

No, I didn't post yesterday. Yes, I did cook. I had a very long day again and had company all night and another early morning.

Last night's meal was Linguine (again) with a Tuna red sauce. I'm still pretty drained from today so I don't really feel like going to check the actual name of the recipe.

It really turned out delicious! Yay, again.

I'm not 100% sure I'm going to cook this weekend, there's a lot going on. My oldest brother is back in town from his deployment with the Marines. Church is tonight. I joined a gym so I need to get at least one workout in this weekend (for my own good). We'll see.

And you know, if I do end up cooking the next recipe, I'll be posting. Keep your eyes peeled!


Thursday, January 20, 2011


Tonight I had the privilege of cooking my 4th experiment for my good friend Abby. Tonight's meal was Linguine with a Red Clam Sauce (as opposed to last night's White Clam Sauce.)

It was really super cool to have someone to share it with, and have a girl's night on top! I haven't seen Abby for a few weeks and she's truly one of my favorite people and closest friends, so I was excited.

Alright, on to the meal. I actually remembered to pick up some french bread tonight and made a little salad at the same time. However, I apparently can't read because I missed the part where I was supposed to get some red wine for the "red" clam sauce. I happened to have some white cooking wine, so I decided to substitute that. Also, I'm an idiot. The prior recipe that first called for the crushed tomatoes (Pasta Puttanesca) called for one can - 28 oz. I misread and thought it called for 8 oz. No wonder it didn't turn out so great. Oh well. Now I know. Of course since I had saved the rest of the can, I was 8 oz. short tonight. I think a discrepancy of 8 oz. is slightly less obvious than a discrepancy of 20 oz.

Anyway, tonight's dinner turned out fabulous! Tasty! Fun! Yay! I can cook!

And although we discovered tonight that Abby's not too fond of clams, she still enjoyed the pasta and sauce. I don't think the wine she brought discouraged us from eating either!

After dinner we finished the wine and did the dishes... and of course gabbed.

Food is much more wonderful when shared with good friends.

A fabulous end to a full day!


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day three... ug.

To be perfectly honest, I just about didn't cook today. I certainly didn't eat much of my meal, but only because it's late. Wednesdays are always super rough time-wise. Most days, my life moves along pretty slowly. I go to work at job A for a spell, come home to rest a bit and change clothes, head off to job B, then possibly head off for a few hours at job C. It's really not all that demanding. Except for wednesdays. I pretty much work a 14 hour day straight through on hump day. I head into the bookstore at 7 AM (after waking up at 6), get off at 3:30 and head over to Hyde to pick up 5th grade H and then over to pick up 7th grade L from basketball practice, back to the house of H and L and then over to church to drop off L for youth worship, back to the house, back to church for wednesday night nursery until about 8:45. So all in all, it's from 7 AM to about 9 PM. 14 hours. UG. Now, today was slightly different... we got out a little early tonight. 7:45 instead of 8:45. Because of the freezing rain and the resulting sheet of ice covering our cars and the parking lot.


So after going back and forth in my mind on whether or not I really wanted to cook after the super long day I had, I decided to go ahead with it. Besides, tonight was a meal I was sort of looking forward to. I did need a few more things at the store, but it's on my way home so that really wasn't a problem. Also, as I said, I got out a little early, so - plus!

The recipe tonight was Linguine with White Clam Sauce. I couldn't for the life of me locate fresh Thyme (at little Dillon's) OR Clam Broth. But I did get some Thyme from the spice aisle and some vegetable broth. When I got home I decided to try and just use the juice the clams were in tonight and if I make it again I'll try the vegetable stock. (If I still can't find clam broth.)

I tried to make the picture bigger because there really are clams in there! Quite a few actually! It was pretty good. More flavorful than the last two nights. I also discovered that eating in front of my drafty window when it's below freezing outside makes my noodles cool off really fast. So my noodles were a bit cold by the time I was done, but that was my own fault not the recipe's.

Ok, Rachael... I have to give it to you. Not the tastiest, but I could definitely see me whipping this up for a family or myself after one of these 14 hour Wednesdays. That is IF they're still awake when I get home.

So sleepy......
Stay tooned for the RED clam sauce tomorrow...
ooo getting saucy with that sauce...

Oh I need to go to bed!



Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Day 2: Pasta Puttanesca

Ok. For starters, I realized as I pulled out my cookbook today, I've been spelling Ms. Ray's name wrong. Her proper name is Rachael Ray. Sorry.

Alright. So my pasta puttanesca was, I dunno, kinda blah. Forgive me if I maybe expect too much. They are, afterall, meals you can make in only 30 minutes, but I want something tasty! I thought as I was consuming my meal that the blandness may possibly be due to the fact that I usually (when making pasta) boil my chosen pasta in butter and a little Tony Chachere's. (Side note, Tony's is a great allspice mixture from Louisiana pronounced shash-er-ees.) So I think, even though Rachael's recipe doesn't call for it, in the pasta I make from here on out I'm gonna go ahead and use butter at least.

So aside from all that, it was much more flavorful than last night's Aglio Olio. Also I ran into some snags while shopping for ingredients. The recipe called for an 8 oz. can of crushed tomatoes. I could only find the big 28 oz. cans and of course my measuring cup was nowhere to be found. I ended up eyeballing it with a paper cup I had that looked to be about the size of an 8 oz. can. My second shopping issue was that the recipe called for capers. I am not a super chef. I have heard the word used on the Food Network shows, but I really had no clue what it was. The only capers I could find were with the pickles. Meaning they were, of course, pickled. I didn't really notice that they gave the dish much of a bad flavor so I don't think it really mattered. Of course the best part of the dish was one of the smallest. It called for a palmful of pitted olives cured in oil. I decided to grab some of those mediterranean olives and it turned out great.

I think that going forward with this cookbook I will be using my brain. As in modifying as I go. Well, I say that now but in a few days the recipes go from easy pastas to restaurant pasta dishes. So I guess we'll see!


Monday, January 17, 2011

LindsayMachine's home chef school: Day 1

Today was MLK day. I happened to have the complete day off from everything. At the beginning of the day I thought I'd just be a lazy bum and lay around watching shows in my pjs. However, around 3:00 I decided that I'd get to work on my new year's resolution (of sorts) and start making my way through one of my cookbooks. I have a few, but being a single girl who doesn't always get the chance to see her boyfriend and his son around dinner time, I decided to go with the first cookbook I ever bought myself.

I've tried a few recipes from this, but I haven't cracked it open for a long time. I opened the book to the first recipe - Aglio Olio: Garlic and Oil Pasta.

It was a pretty simple recipe. It called for anchovies. My first thought was "ick!" But I went ahead and soldiered through. Rachel Ray promises on the side of the page that we will not taste the anchovies in any of the recipes that call for them. Reassured as I was, I have to say, I did end up screwing up. I burned my first go 'round of the garlic and red pepper mix because I didn't read properly... of course. I regrouped and put a new mixture in the pan. From that point on things went according to the page.

I have to say that when I started consuming my creation, I found it pretty dry and flavorless. I had to add some italian dressing, but it still seemed to be missing something. I didn't add anything else this time, but since it is served in a salad-like capacity I think I may add some chopped tomatoes, possibly add in some grilled mushrooms or olives if I make the recipe again. Also, as I was getting through my meal, the red pepper decided to come out. My lips were on fire after I finished.

So recipe number one is out of the way. I have lunch for tomorrow and notes for next time I make it. It was very simple and indeed came out in 30 minutes or less, as promised!


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

"New Year New You"

That's what the sign above CGW 1 in Magazines is supposed to say. It doesn't, but what's new about that?

So Christmas came and went. The eve of the new year came and went. Here I am dragging my old ass straight into 2011. I still haven't figured out if I'm kicking and screaming or falling headlong into it. I look at where I am in life and think to myself:
"Well that makes sense."
Then I think about how old I am and, well, we don't really want to go there right now.

Christmas was good. David and Connor were a hit at my family celebration. My Great Grandma was there and as awesome as ever for being in the hospital not a week before. She actually just turned 97 on the 10th. Crazy! I won't mention what a hoot David's family and extended family turned out to be.

For New Year's Eve we acted like old people. (Laughing) No really, we had Connor with us so we stayed in a watched a movie or something (probably Buffy), played some scrabble and drank some adult beverages. Along came midnight, we toasted and immediately crashed. See, Laughter is appropriate!

Now I'm on the verge of 3 months, and then V-day. I've already booked a hotel with 2 beds in Lafayette during festival, so here's hoping that works out! Just kidding. It's suprising how much I really enjoy having them around on the weekend, but not suprising that I still relish my weeks alone. Still contemplating futures and all, but it's looking stable.

Also, trying to get back into school. Again. Can someone please pull the giant stick out of K-State's butt so they'll release all their shit along with my transcripts? Sigh. I'd like to at least be on the road to not being a failure by the time I'm 30. Which is less than 2 years away now.

I'm trying an experiment. I'm going to cook through my cookbooks. Hopefully. I just need some quality cookware now. Of course one could say that I need to prove I need it by actually doing this thing. But that person is not me and I say I need nice things!

As I'm typing this and finishing up, I'm listening to "Goodbye Sweet Dreams" by Roky Erickson and Okkervil River. Yeah, that crazy guy from the 13th Floor Elevators.

Check it out.

so there's my update. I'm feeling quite robotic today.
Lindsay Q.