Monday, June 21, 2010

Carrots are naturally sweet, they don't need sweetener, fools.

At long last, working in the kitchen is fun.

A goal of mine for this summer, in terms of self-improvement, is to gain some proficiency in the kitchen outside of eating and doing dishes. At least, this was a passive goal of mine, until my mom heard about it and decided I would be making dinner.

So anyway.

Meatloaf kind of has a bad rap. It's what I think of when asked to picture disgusting diner food, it has this mysterious brown gravy that oozes out of it, and even conceptually it lacks class. It's just a brick of ground up meat. Yum? Either it's too dry and crumbles, or it's too wet and crumbles. It's just bad news. Despite all this, I made meatloaf for dinner. Also, carrots.

It was actually quite delicious. Probably because it had apples and cheese in it, oh yes. Also, mixing with one's fingers is fun. Just throwing that out there.

As I learn more about cooking through trial and error, I've garnered a few questions. Like, oh dear kings and principalities, could someone please explain why the world feels the need to put sweetener on their carrots?! It's like those midwestern moms who put marshmallows on their sweet potatoes. I mean, seriously? I don't want dessert during my meal. Localize your sugar usage!

In abrupt conclusion, I'm a huge fan of Eatocracy.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I can't keep Bruschetta and Prosciutto straight.

(I recognize that that's only meaningful if you know how those are pronounced.)
Oh. My. Gosh. My family had the most amazing lunch/dinner today. Here's a look:
On the way home from church (another new one for the first time, it was cute) we stopped at Panera bread and picked up some small loaf stuff. When we got home, I grilled them (high heat, spray the bread with olive oil, don't grill too long) and my dad made toppings. Then, we ate bruschetta.
Maybe you can't see it in the picture, but the toppings were by far the best part. Instead of making one type of bruschetta and serving it as an hors de vour, we had a plate full of every type and we could mix and match as we pleased. There was tomato chutney, roasted peppers, avocado, basil, ricotta cheese, prosciutto, lemon (for the ricotta) and... if you're wondering what those roll-up things are in the picture, tomato and basil wrapped up in mozzarella cheese.
The really nice thing about this is that it's actually pretty simple: bread, and whatever you feel like putting on the bread. Nothing is massively complex, and the assembly-line-meets-buffet style of eating provides the same conversational atmosphere as fondu typically does.

Later this week: Grilled pizza

Saturday, June 12, 2010

I don't love animals

There is exactly one thing stopping me from being a vegetarian: Steak.
Not beef. Steak. I can live without lunch-meats and hamburgers, but any vows made to stick to a vegetarian diet would be broken immediately if steak was being served.
It's not like this for other meats. I'm practically kosher when it comes to pork, fish doesn't taste like anything unless go to a ton of trouble to season it properly (and, at that point, tofu would be the same), chicken only tastes good with salad anyway - so you could just have the salad. But steak is delicious, however cooked or seasoned, it is delicious.

You know how there are different levels of vegetarianism? Vegan being the most hardcore, some people allowing eggs, some fish, ... I keep hoping there's some level which will allow steak but not everything else. But there isn't. That's just called being a "picky eater". Nobody respects your dietary choices when you go around saying, "Oh, yeah, I'm a vegetarian. Except for steak. I'll eat steak." "No. Dude. You are not a vegetarian. Steak is like, the symbol of meat. If you eat steak you eat meat."

So I can't be a vegetarian, because of steak.
(Guess what we had for dinner tonight)
(Oh, yeah. Thanks to Hayley for letting me write here.)