Thursday, May 13, 2010

Come back cooking mojo, come back ...

I've lost my cooking mojo. To be honest, I'm not entirely sure I've ever had cooking mojo (I kind of just wanted an excuse to use the word), but it's true that for the past three years the vast majority of our meals have been home-cooked by me.

This last month has been unusual though. We've been eating lots of pasta with jarred sauce, egg noddles thrown in water flavoured with a bouillon cube, and lots of burritos with not very interesting fillings.

But yesterday I officially became bored with all of that. I'm also probably lacking some essential vitamins from mainly eating wheat ...

When I see a problem, I like to try and solve it, so today I made Spinach and chickpeas and yesterday was Pan roasted broccoli. Both were very simple to make.

I've made a list of next few dinners I'm planning to make. They are vegetarian, won't take too long, have a minimal amount of exotic ingredients (I can't find a lot of the cool stuff at my local store), and don't look like they would suck. It actually took me a long time to find ones that fit those requirements, so I hope you can get some use out of the list too.

Roasted asparagus.

Really simple baked butternut squash.

Goat cheese toasts. I've made these several times. Slice a baguettes width wise (about 4 per person), brush the top with olive oil and put it under a grill. Take it out after a few minutes, then put a slice of goat cheese on the side of the bread that wasn't brushed with oil. Keep it under the grill until the cheese gets bubbly, serve on salad.

Lentil Curry.

Ginger fried rice

And speaking of loosing mojo, this week's bake-along is biscuits. Booo. Failed again.

I looked for over half an hour for a recipe for American biscuits in UK measurements. Half an hour at least, it might have even been an hour since I go into a time vortex whenever I "look up" something on the internet.

I never found one, though I did find some amusing sites discussing what is the British equivalent to a biscuit (the closest is a scone). It's hard enough finding recipes with measurements in ml and oz for American foods, but the term biscuit over here means cookies, so searching "American biscuits" brings up recipes for cookies that are made in America ...

Anyway, after my pop tart disappointment last week I was sure I was going to nail this one. I knew what went wrong last time and found a really good YouTube video on how to make biscuits, and announced on twitter "I think I can do this". It was going well at first, I had put the butter in the freezer, and was able to mix it with the flour just fine, and then I put in all the milk. It wasn't until it was properly mixed that I realized something was wrong. It was far too sticky. I'm kind of encouraged actually that I was at least able to tell what was wrong. In any case I added more flour and mixed it some more, and by doing that it got over-mixed. Sigh.

The lovely J says she likes them, but honestly they just don't taste right. I'm not going to give up though, in a few days I'll modify the recipe and try again!


  1. What time is dinner? If you ever need a taste tester let me know! =)

  2. I've never gotten biscuits right, either. Mine always taste too floury. Haven't tried the pop tart recipe yet, but have heard a lot about it.

    Thanks for the kind comments.


  3. I could use some good cooking mojo myself. I have flopped many a biscuit.