Monday, November 30, 2009

Two weeks of baking

I know, it's been a while since I've posted. I'm going on a month of being sick...except it's not the same sickness. It's morphed like 3 times now, resurging last night when I remembered how I used to sleep with a humidifier. I definitely needed one last night.

I've been doing a fair amount of baking lately and have found some really great recipes, and some that are really flawed too.

I felt like venturing into making cheesecake last weekend, but didn't want a plain recipe. It was Martha to the rescue, though, with a margarita cheesecake recipe. I don't think I've made a cheesecake in the last 10 years, but I used to bake them with my mom. I was a little rusty, so I followed the recipe to a T. The pretzel crust was especially intriguing, and the water bath was confusing to me. It didn't make sense to me that a springform pan, which isn't all one piece, wouldn't leak when put in a pan of water. Well, I was right, and Martha was wrong. So after making a whole cheesecake, I made another. I edited the crust recipe (if you ever make this, use WAY more butter; I put in a whole stick, twice what she said). I also didn't use a water bath, which made it brown uneven and crack. So I improvised and made a lime sour cream topping, and voila! My first cheesecake in a while. Drew, Stephen and Bryan approved, and we ate it along with Canada geese (it actually tasted like steak) while watching/ignoring the KU-Texas football game.

Then came the loaf of bread. The last time I made/attempted bread, it was super dense. Kneading is confusing to me, because the dough always seemed to be sticky. So I went to Aunt Betty's house to make bread. We made everything and just hung out while letting the dough rise. I've been so busy with classes lately I haven't seen her in a while, but the end product was excellent. She lent me her pasta maker too, so that's my next project.

Thanksgiving meant some excellent desserts as well. Holidays tend to be hard for me, considering I don't exactly have a cohesive family any more. I went to Drew's house on Thanksgiving for the second year in a row, which means entering into a family with three boys (one was away), both parents, grandparents, four cousins and an aunt and uncle. It's a huge departure from any of my family, one side of which is seven people total including myself, the other of which never gets together in a large group. It's a great family, and I love being around them, but it's still a little weird. Sometimes I wish I could fast forward to a time when I have my own family and my own traditions that can't be dictated by others and I don't feel guilty about. There were some pretty great desserts though. Cream pie, apple pie, pumpkin pie, and even during dinner carrot souffle. Sounds gross, but it was great.

Last night was my most recent baking episode with chocolate chip M&M cookies. Pretty simple, but Taylor requested them.

Not sure what I plan on baking next. I saw a recipe for egg nog cookies, and boy do I love my egg nog. I have no idea when I'll be able to make them though. Two weeks left of school, and they're both completely booked!

And finally, with some Christmas cheer, Melvin the happy Santa cat (and by happy, I mean super pissed off at me).

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