Sunday, April 06, 2008

A little shift toward the kitchen

Well, my friend Laura over at The Spiced Life (a very impressive cooking blog that I've referred to before as "food porn") tagged me (actually tagged whoever) for this meme. I figured I'd give it a shot, although I haven't taken much time to cook lately. :-\

Kitchen Meme

What three kitchen items do you use the most often?

Microwave, Fridge, and a good set of knives (you can tell by the first 2 that I don't spend as much "quality time" in the kitchen as Laura does.

What kitchen gadget do you wish you had?
A good food processor. I have a little Black & Decker one that chops pretty nicely, but I lost the slicing wheel years ago.

What kitchen gadget do you never use/wish you hadn't spent the money for?
Since I have a small kitchen with very limited space, I keep my kitchen arsenal lean and mean -- no room for one-trick ponies. I did have a bread machine that my mom had picked up at a tag sale, but I gave it away because I hardly ever used it. Besides, kneading your own bread dough is very therapeutic!

What is your favorite cookbook? (Link if you can!)
Unlike Laura, I don't have a huge cookbook collection. If I need an asparagus recipe, I usually head to the internet. I do have a couple of tried-and-true favorites: The Joy of Cooking is certainly a staple. I also have a great book called How Cooking Works -- lots of good info about the chemistry of cooking (dumbed down for those of us who had to drop college chemistry because it was too damn hard), plus practical knowledge, like substitution suggestions. Last I heard, it was out of print.

Who is your cooking inspiration?
Senia, who first taught me how to cook (at the age of 7 or 8), my parents, who allowed me into the kitchen (and entrusted me with use of everything in it) as soon as I could reach the counter, and my Aunt Helen, who first taught me how to bake bread.

What are three recipes that you use all the time?
1. A good chicken and black bean chilaquiles recipe from Cooking Light (although I've tweaked it significantly)
2. A recipe for honey whole wheat challah that once appeared in the Baton Rouge Morning Advocate. I haven't made it in a long time, but it makes a wonderful all-around wheat bread.
3. My mom's recipe for M&M cookies -- even though I don't have a tremendous sweet-tooth, these are the best. Loaded with brown sugar and butter -- makes me want to get out the mixer right now!

Can you share a cooking secret?
It's more of a philosophy than a secret per se -- if you can read and follow directions, you can cook (and with practice, you can learn to tweak recipes and improve upon them with your own knowledge and experience). Don't be discouraged by the occasional kitchen disaster -- I doubt that even the most accomplished chefs hit it out of the park 100% of the time.

What is your greatest cleaning secret?
Trying to get someone else to do the cleaning. ;-)
No, really -- if you have a pan with really stubborn baked on crud, try soaking it in hot water and baking soda. My mom found this out a few years ago and shared it with me.

What is your favorite thing to clean?
I'm not sure the word "favorite" belongs in that question. That would imply that I like to clean.

What is your least favorite thing to clean?
The kitchen floor -- not a fan of mopping.

What is your most embarrassing housekeeping moment?
I'm not sure if there's a particular moment, but I know my place is a pigsty right now (it was a busy week). So I guess I'd better wrap this up and go tidy up!

Who do you tag to do this next?
I'm issuing a blanket tag to any readers who do any cooking. :-)


Blogger jennsquared said...

Your friend's link doesn't work!!!

This is a cool meme. Maybe I'll give it a try.

6/4/08 11:19 AM  
Blogger Anne said...

Oops! Sorry -- link fixed.

6/4/08 11:22 AM  
Blogger KnelleyBelley said...

'M out! So not a cook. Maybe someday when I grow up.

Like your crud soaking idea. I'll try that next time I'm forced to cook.

6/4/08 3:34 PM  

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