Egg-stremely Disappointed

I love eggs.  When I was a child, I couldn’t stand them.  But as I came to enjoy onions, yams, squash, and yogurt, I also decided at some point that eggs are the bomb.  Hard-boiled eggs are my favorite.

What I don’t care for is peeling hard-boiled eggs.  I’ve tried the so-called “tricks” that claim to remove an eggshell in one fell swoop.  I call BS, because no matter what I do, peeling an egg always ends in a pile of eggshell confetti.  I also can’t peel an orange worth a damn, so maybe it’s a case of operator error.

You might recall I was recently gushing about my new Ninja system.  It came with a book on healthy eating, which contains some recipes, and I chose to try out a recipe for egg salad that uses the food processor attachment.  I boiled a dozen eggs like it was no big thing, not thinking of the fact that I’d have to peel every last one of them.

The first egg gave me little trouble.  I prayed it was a good omen for the remaining 11 eggs, but it turned out to be a cruel joke.  Most of the rest ended up looking like this:

IMG_0709The recipe called for 12 egg whites, but taking into account all the egg white that peeled off with the shell, I’m lucky if I had a grand total of ten.  I’m also lucky I still had the skin on my right thumb.  LORDY, egg shells are sharp!

I added the only other ingredients to the food processor, along with the eggs:  light mayo or hummus (I chose hummus), and a little Dijon mustard.

The good news is that the food processor attachment performs excellently.  Within seconds, I had a beautiful egg salad ready to eat for lunch every day.

IMG_0712The bad news is that it tasted like crap.  More accurately, it tasted like nothing at all.  Which is equivalent to tasting like crap, as far as I’m concerned.  I peeled twelve bleeping eggs and nearly tore the skin off my thumb, all for an egg salad that, in the end, I couldn’t bear to eat.

I guess that’s one of the challenges of cooking:  that sometimes no amount of effort can prevent the fact that some recipes are just plain awful.

Luckily, my Ninja and I had redemption soon after this disappointing experience.  I’ll be sure to tell you allllll about it in my next post.  😉

Before you go, here’s the newest Barf of the Week:  Pee Cubes!  They’re really almond milk ice cubes, but let’s be honest, they look a lot like pee.

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Ninjas and Gingahs

Christmas was quite good to me this year. My parents’ gifts to me and my husband were a Ninja Mega Complete Kitchen System and a set of embarrassingly nice steak knives. I’m not lying to you when I say I almost cried when my husband unwrapped the Ninja set. As soon as we returned home, we packed our old blender and its components into a box and threw it in the big trash can in the garage.   Good riddance.

I haven’t yet cooked anything that requires the use of the new steak knives, but my Ninja is almost the coolest thing I’ve ever owned. All of this is to say, you might expect it to make some appearances on the blog in the near future. I mean, the things that system can do!

For Christmas, I was tasked with preparing dessert. My father is a diabetic and a dialysis patient, so his diet is extremely limited. Since gingersnaps are among his favorite cookies, I chose a recipe from the DaVita dialysis website for some soft ginger cookies. Remember my recent post about my peppermint cheesecake cookies that tasted delicious but fell horribly flat? Well, I’m happy to report that I actually learned something from the experience. Here’s what I did differently with the ginger cookies:

  • Used butter softened at room temperature—not butter melted in the microwave.
  • Was ridiculously careful not to overmix the dough.
  • Chilled the dough in the fridge for several hours before baking it.

The cookies were so, so soft and didn’t fall flat at all! YAY!

Fresh out of the oven...

Fresh out of the oven…

Cooled, but not flat!

Cooled, but not flat!

Once they cooled, I transferred 28 cookies into a gallon-sized Ziploc bag. After Christmas dinner, the five of us—my husband, my stepson, my parents, and myself—busted into the cookies as we played Aggravation. By the time the game was over, only four cookies remained. Five people, 24 cookies…you do the math.

Now, I will leave you with the Barf of the Week, courtesy of the above cookies:  Diarrhea Dough!

If only real diarrhea smelled this good.

If only real diarrhea smelled this good.

Not-Ruined Potatoes and the Barf of the Week

If you’ve read my past blog posts, you’re probably more than familiar with my disturbing ability to ruin potatoes.  POTATOES, of all things.  If you’re a new reader, let me tell you:  I usually couldn’t cook potatoes if my life depended on it.  I’ve always claimed I must be cursed, as I could dice a potato into half-inch cubes and bake it at 400 degrees for five hours and it would still be raw.

No matter how badly I ruin a recipe for potatoes, a certain amount of time always passes before I try again.  Things never get any better.  I truly deserve an award for perseverance, if nothing else.

Recently I found a recipe that instructed to dice the potatoes, place them in a bowl with a small amount of water, and heat them in the microwave for 6-8 minutes.  I’m one of those weird people who uses a microwave only as a last resort–call it a paranoia thing.  If anything classifies as a last resort, it’s cooking potatoes in the microwave because no other method works for me.

To my surprise, the potatoes did cook in the microwave–but they were a wee bit overcooked and slightly crumbling into a diced potato-mashed potato hybrid.

Tonight, I made a salsa chicken recipe I’ve cooked a few times.  Usually I make a side of rice or salad to go with it, but tonight I stepped outside of my comfort zone.  I not only decided to tackle microwaved potatoes again, but I didn’t have any kind of a recipe.  I was wingin’ it.

I diced the potatoes and placed them in a bowl with a little bit of water and a tiny chunk of butter.  I checked them every few minutes until they were perfectly done and then I tossed them into a preheated grill pan.  I sprinkled them with salt, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and BBQ seasoning, and tossed them until they just barely began to brown on the outside.

Pretty sexy, huh?

Pretty sexy, huh?

Not only was my husband impressed that the potatoes couldn’t have been more perfectly cooked, but he complimented me on how good they were several times as we ate.  Score one for my ego!

So, with the success story out of the way, it’s occurred to me that while the end result of cooking is often delicious and beautiful food, there are plenty of aspects of cooking that are truly barf-worthy.  Therefore, each week I will post a “Barf of the Week” picture to share how disgusted I am by some of the things we have to deal with in the kitchen.

This week’s Barf of the Week:  Congealed bacon grease!  EWWWW!

It smelled worse than it looked.

It smelled worse than it looked.