Friday, October 15, 2010

Cookies, Contests, and Chaos

The kitchen is my "thoughtful spot" where I ponder, create, and procrastinate.  This week was especially full of cooking and baking projects, giving me time to stand at the sink and think.  One by one, I washed and rinsed the aftermath of dishes, pots, and pans, my mind a-swirl with how I've been spending my time and what I'd like to change (at many levels).

To make cookies twice in one week is a rare feat for me, since I try not to bake when the kitchen is a mess.  Therefore I seldom bake.  But chaotic or not, my husband's birthday was on Monday, and I was signed up to bring cookies for a school event on Thursday.  Snickerdoodles are my husband's favorite cookie, but when one is still buying groceries at 5:00 p.m. for that night's dinner, shortcuts are in order.  I grabbed a Betty Crocker mix and didn't confess how they were made...until days later, as my husband was still gushing about how delicious they were!

I felt guilty that I'd cheated and used a mix for my husband's birthday, especially since I made the second round of cookies from scratch.  It seemed to take forever to get the dough prepared and the cookies baked (25 minutes per batch!).  But they did turn out well.  The recipe I used is here.

Besides cookies, I busied myself with figuring out what to do with all the kale in my refrigerator.  Though I had seen my mother-in-law juice it, I had never tried cooking it before.  It's an intimidating vegetable.  After experimenting with it, I finally found a way to prepare it that the whole family like.  Look here for the winning recipe.

Perhaps owing to my background in science, I love to experiment and develop new recipes in my kitchen.  My long-suffering husband and children get to test the results.  I've entered a few recipe contests in the past (sample recipes here and here), and I would love to keep trying, both for the fun and profit involved.

As much I enjoy trying new recipes though, I need to make sure my creative endeavors don't get in the way of more important things, like having dinner ready on time.  It's quite a challenge for me to get dinner on the table by 6:00 p.m.  I'm hoping to reach that goal every night next week!

Do you have any similar goals for meals?
Perhaps we can encourage one another toward our desired ends.


Anonymous said...

I'm so bad with experimenting in the kitchen. I love cooking but I usually stick with a recipe with measurements until I feel comfortable with it. =p That's why my dad kicks me out of the kitchen whenever I went to learn to cook from him as a kid. "You just need a pinch of this, and some of that." =p Happy birthday to your hubby!

Unknown said...

My goal is usually to be able to make something the whole family will eat so I am not having to serve my kids chicken nuggets while we eat something else. A whole week of that would be divine...

One More Equals Four said...

My goal is just to have everyone around the table at the same time so it is worth cooking! that seems to be quite the feat these days! I love to make cookies...but when I do, I'm the one who ends up eating them while my children dive into store bought Oreos or something, it drives me crazy!!!

Have a great weekend!

Katharine said...

I love to "tweek" recipes to include healthier ingredients... my family is very tolerant, some of the results have been interesting!
Blessings on your day!

CindyC said...

My creativity generally has to do with working with what is on hand, and taking parts of different recipes and combining them into something I think (hope) will work and still taste good. I have a fair success rate.

The way I meet my goal (also dinner at 6, give or take 10 minutes) is by doing as much prep work as possible during my toddler's afternoon nap. If there's no nap, I announce that it's either leftovers or grilled cheese and canned soup for dinner!

Shelley said...

My goal is to make "home made" meals each night. When I am having an "uneventful" week home-made is easy but when I am having an "eventful" week-it's a whole different story. I generally create 1 dinner that has many dishes. I choose a day I have a "window" of time to prepare the dishes. Now here comes creativity I take the elements of each dish and work into different dinners. A Roast turns into a tacos, turns into burritos, turns into protein salad, turns into a sandwich.