Random Chatter: 2/11/14

Well, last week I decided to quit cooking through The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. It was fun at first, but it was becoming a drudgery and I decided there’s no point in continuing to do it if I dread doing it.

Some of the recipes I cooked – some hits and some misses!

I cooked about twenty recipes from the book and would only make a few of them again. The consensus on many of them was that they were “OK” or “fine” but not really something I would ever want to make again, you know? And there were serious editing issues in nearly every recipe that were kind of driving me nuts. I did learn from it, but it wasn’t something I wanted to continue so I gave myself permission to quit. :)

Now, I think I’m going to focus on cooking new recipes from the Cook’s Country subscription that my sister-in-law gave me for Christmas – it’s a bi-monthly magazine so I’ll focus on cooking what’s in each issue for the two months that it’s “valid”. Maybe not every recipe, though. The Melting Potatoes from the December/January issue were a huge hit, but last night I made the Chicken Mulligatawny Soup from the February/March issue of Cook’s Country and it was a flop according to the family. I liked it, but not even Jeremy wanted a second bowl. I think they didn’t like the flavors in it, because there wasn’t anything “wrong” with how it turned out. Oh well.

Well, the odds have turned and it’s no longer a guarantee that when you find hair in our house, it’s mine. There’s as much blond little girl hair as there is of my darker curly hair. Not that I like finding hair everywhere, but hey, at least it’s not ALWAYS my fault now. ;)

We have been watching lots of the Olympics – the winter games are definitely my favorite of two Olympic seasons! Though, I have to question the legitimacy of the team figure skating – seems like a ploy to get one of the most popular sports more TV time if you ask me. And the fact that the gold, silver, and bronze standings were locked before the final round is pretty lame.

Also, both Jeremy and I keep finding ourselves confused because of the way they tape-delay coverage and pick and choose who they are going to show. We are forever asking each other if this is the final round or if they have another, or who is this person that’s in first place that they never even showed? I get the need for tape-delaying but it seems to be super-confusing this year.

Last weekend I heard two references to that weekend as “Valentine’s Weekend”. Wait, people – Valentine’s Day isn’t until this Friday so doesn’t it make more sense, if we must have a Valentine’s Weekend, for it to be this coming weekend? My prediction is that soon Hallmark and FTD will lobby Congress to make Valentine’s Day on a Friday every year so that there’s an excuse to have two Valentine’s Day weekends. For that matter, I’ll bet it will be locked into a Wednesday because then there are definitely two Valentine’s Day weekends.

Can you tell that we aren’t into holidays like this? :)


  1. I’m sorry to hear that you haven’t enjoyed Smitten Kitchen’s Cookbook. I’ve made about 15 or so recipes and have loved them all! (The coffee toffee was a huge hit!) I’ve even repeated a few. Which ones did you like? Do you follow her blog very much? I’m a regular reader so I’ve learned to read her “style” and maybe that’s why I didn’t notice any presentation issues.

    • The coffee toffee was one of my favorites, too. :) I definitely need to make that again soon! I loved the brioche pretzels, but felt it was a serious error to tell people to mix the dough with the paddle instead of the dough hook. (If you google that recipe, you will see a lot of stories of people breaking their mixer on this very recipe.) I liked the Apple Cider Caramels, the broccoli salad was good, and the grilled cheese was delightful.

      I really wanted to learn from the cookbook, so I followed the directions exactly and I think that’s part of where I got frustrated – there were a lot of lacking instructions, like not telling people to cut up the butter before working it into a dough, the dough paddle thing on the brioche, etc. The wild rice gratin recipe called for “wild rice” when it was clear from the pictures that she was using a blend of wild rice. There was a recipe that said to bake for a certain amount of time without saying what to look for to know if it was done. The lamb chops recipe called for “lamb chops” and didn’t specify which kind of chop. Just various things like that that were driving me nuts. :)