I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t inspired by Julie & Julia… but that isn’t the only reason why I’ve taken this cooking challenge. 🙂

When I first started cooking I was very limited to scrambled eggs, bok choy with soy sauce, and can’t forget the college staple food, ramen.

Well now I’m 25, living on my own and too far from home to rely on my family to have dinner ready for me, though they do send food home with me when I come to visit. 😀  So what better time to start than now.  Better late than never, right?

I started this challenge at the end of September when my friend, Pauline, and I went on a mission to find an instructional cook book at borders.  Who knew there were so MANY cookbooks!  We browsed through various “How-to” cookbooks before landing on “Martha Stewart’s Cooking School”.  It had everything we were looking for, tips, techniques, tools, pictures, step-by-step pictures on what the dish is supposed to look like, how could we go wrong!?

I hastily read some tips and tabbed the recipes I was anxious to make…

9.28 - Basic Chocolate Chip Cookies

9.28 - Basic Chocolate Chip Cookies

I brought some to my niece and she said “NO!”  Few minutes later she comes to me with cookies in tow! 😀 Test, successful!

09.28 - Beef and Stout Stew

09.28 - Beef and Stout Stew

A little bit of Guiness Stout and a couple hours of simmering can go a loong way.  Chuck roast, bay  leaves, thyme, onions, garlic, potatoes, carrots, and a touch of dill.

10.04 - Pot Roast

10.04 - Pot Roast

Searing the chuck roast.  Need to work on the searing so that the black smoke and black bits don’t appear, but I think I got it off in time so that the roast wouldn’t taste burnt.  It did take a day or so for the burnt smell to escape the place.

Pot Roast

Pot Roast

Braising the roast in red wine vinegar with a little bit of flour, bay leaf, thyme, onions, and carrots.  Turned it every 30 minutes with the help of my boyfriend! 🙂

Pot Roast

Finished Pot Roast

Sliced pot roast and potatoes.  Served up with a little bit of rice.

10.12 - Omelet

10.12 - Omelet

Monday morning holiday breakfast.  Cheese omelet with toast for 2.

10.12 - Buttermilk shortcakes with plum compote

10.12 - Buttermilk shortcakes with plum compote

Sugar coating the plum compote.

Buttermilk shortcakes

Buttermilk shortcakes

Sweet buttermilk shortcakes cooling off.  It wasn’t as flaky and airy as I’d like it to be, notes for next time.

My plate of dessert!

My plate of dessert!

Buttermilk shortcakes topped with plum compote and whip cream.  At least it’s supposed to be whip cream.  Tasted like it, but didn’t have the consistency of whip cream.  Next time I better beat more air into it

10.14 - Poached eggs with bacon over toast

10.14 - Poached eggs with bacon over toast

First attempt at poaching eggs.  I didn’t think it went well at first, because the pot was a mess of egg whites, but after spooning the egg out of the pot, it looked great and tasted that way, too.

10.14 - Roe's Diner

10.14 - Roe's Diner

Decided that it would be nice to open my own restaurant, for a day at least 😀

10.14 - Hamburger

10.14 - Hamburger

Onion and garlic hamburger, topped with more grilled onions and bacon. Can’t forget the toasted buns.  However, I did forget the cheese, but I didn’t miss it.

10.14 - Dinner

10.14 - Dinner

Hamburger and fries with a side of pickles.  Homemade fries with a little salt and pepper! My goodness, delicious.  Next time I’ll brine my own pickles.

That’s it for part 1.  More foodie to come.

Advertisements