Friday, February 24, 2012

Another Day, Another Thing Ruined

image via
Ode to my whistling teapot:

You sat on my stove
So shiny and black
You whistled so sweetly
And never talked back

Til one day I asked you
To boil water hot
And I couldn't hear your whistle
My poor black tea pot

Then from the kitchen
There came a smell
I bounded up the stairs,
and yelled, "Oh hell!"

I'd left you on "hot"
til the water was gone
And now you're dead
my shiny tea pot.

Damn it.

Here is my teapot, forever immortalized on Good Morning America:

Thursday, February 16, 2012

"Don't DO That!" tip #1: Don't Crowd the Mushrooms

wordridden via Flickr

"Don't crowd the mushrooms!" was one of my favorite reoccurring lines in the adorable Julie vs. Julia movie. What it was in reference to was browning mushrooms for a super tasty dish.

So, my tip here?

Make sure you're using a big enough pan for what you're cooking.

Although there are exceptions, if you're not sure, always go with the bigger size. A couple pork chops may look lonely browning in a huge skillet, but they'll still cook better than if you tried to cram them together in a tiny one. Nothing sucks more than trying to cook something and having it all go wrong simply because you didn't use a big enough pan.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Elusive Baked Potato

image credit: Chion's Run via Flickr
As I mentioned in my intro post, I came into cooking seriously lacking. Even a baked potato was something I needed written instructions for. For the record, never microwave a small one for 8 minutes. The smoke is black, the smell is terrible... really, it's just not pretty.

Fortunately, oven baked potatoes are ridiculously easy. You don't even need to dirty a pan! For the most basic way to do this, you seriously just need potatoes (russet is most common) and an oven.

Set your oven at 350°F.

Clean your potatoes... get dirt off of them, and using a knife or even a clean fingernail, take out any little weird looking parts.

Now, here comes the choices -- you can either just stab a couple holes in it with a fork, or wrap it in tin foil, and then just stick it in there, right on the rack.

An hour later (1 hour, 15 minutes if you're doing 4 or more potatoes, usually), you have a baked potato.

Seriously, it's that easy.

Now, if you wanna fancy them up a little, it STILL doesn't take much effort. After washing them and cutting out anything funky, rub or roll the outside in olive oil, then cover in kosher or rock salt. THEN bake, again either just on the rack or in tin foil, either way.

So simple even I can do it. And I have yet to really screw them up since the microwave incident...

Is there anything you do differently?