Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Cooking Successes and Failures

I've always enjoyed baking; however, I wasn't always sure about cooking meals. I was spoiled in Portland 'cause my friends are amazing cooks. Shasta, Krista, and Angel all taught me a lot about foods I've never really tried or been familiar with.

Since moving to Denver, I've had a lot of time to practice my cooking skills. There is also an extra challenge. Doug cannot eat certain foods for health reasons, so I've learned how to substitute a lot of ingredients for flour and dairy products.

So my successes since trying have been flour-less chocolate cake (though obviously some dairy involved), pie crusts (pumpkin and pecan), pine-nut cookies, lemon glaze cookies, and strawberry roll cookies. I've also learned to use cornmeal instead of flour for things like meatballs and meatloaf too. I've learned about guar gum and xanthum gum to make things stick and I'm sure I'll learn more as I go.

I've been surprised at how well everything has turned out. BUT like most new enterprises, I have had some failures too. Those pine-nut cookies... the first time they were more like peanut brittle than cookies. Another example is Doug's birthday dessert. I tried to make homemade pudding with a few substitutes. This time I don't think the disaster had anything to do with the ingredients... I don't think I'm a good whisker. When it was time to take the pudding out of the refrigerator, it was more like a sauce than a pudding. It still tasted good but did not have the right form. So instead of putting the sauteed pears on top of the pudding, I ended up putting the "sauce" on the pears and sticking the candles on the pears. We both think it still tasted good but it definitely did not turn out like I'd hoped.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


The Denver Victorian Theater

As a gift, I got Doug tickets to go see Educating Rita which is a play. We had to forgo the original date 'cause I was coughing up a storm but we finally got to see it this weekend.

The play itself was about a woman in England who desired to become educated to see the beauty the world has to offer. She is tutored by a reluctant professor at the university but he needs money so he goes ahead and gives her an education. It turns out that they both teach each other over the year... he learns more about living life and subjectivity and she learns how to critique literature.

Although it sounds very dry, the play was enjoyable. The actress was funny and witty and knew how to play up all the jokes as well as her ignorance and the actor played a cynic very convincingly.

The unique part about the play was that it was performed at the Denver Victorian Theater. The theater is located in a residential area due to the fact that the theater is indeed a Victorian house. The actual stage is in the basement and in the 1920's was a Shakespearean theater. It was a fun environment to watch the play. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys plays and a new experience.

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