Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Cooking Successes and Failures
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.
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