Frank’s Red Hot ruined my breakfast

I have the same thing for breakfast every day:  egg whites on toast with a banana and coffee.  Even though it never changes, I love my breakfast.  Maybe that’s WHY it never changes.

But sometimes I do wonder if it’s a little boring.  For a few weeks I added cheese to my egg whites and that was fun and all, but it wasn’t conducive to my postpartum weight loss plan.

Suddenly it clicked: I’ve heard from a lot of people that Frank’s Red Hot is great on everything.  I’ve also been told it’s phenomenal on eggs.  So it was decided: today I would try Frank’s Red Hot on my egg whites.  I like Frank’s Red Hot.  I like egg whites.  How could this go wrong?

…….

Yeah, it went wrong.  I shouldn’t have listened to that “lot of people” who said the sauce was great on everything.  I’ve also heard from a lot of people that sushi is delicious, but I hate sushi and you couldn’t pay me to eat it.

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Nope.

I didn’t care for Frank’s Red Hot on my eggs.  I still ate it because a) I’m breastfeeding and need the food, but b) I was too lazy to scramble another pan of eggs.  But I won’t be doing it again and I won’t be getting experimental with my bottle of Frank’s Red Hot.  If it’s good on everything, “everything” must mean just chicken.

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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Ooey Gooey Gruyere

I came to a stunning realization last night:  I am no longer a terrible cook.

That’s not to say I’m a “good” cook.  I feel I haven’t yet risen to that status.  But to say I suck at cooking would, at this point in time, be a pretty inaccurate statement.  Therefore, I feel I must start a new chapter of my culinary chronicles.  I have stumbled through some pretty ridiculous moments, but I’ve gained enough experience that I feel it’s time to get real about cooking.  Say hello to the two newest components of my blog:

Ingredient of the Week:  Each week, I will select one ingredient with which I have had no prior cooking experience, or that I am not familiar enough with to feel I could use it without a recipe to guide the way.

Two-Week Technique:  Every two weeks, I will select one cooking technique or method that is new or unfamiliar to me (or one that I’ve plain failed at in the past), and I will give myself two weeks to master it.  The goal will be to use the technique at least three times in a two-week period with recipes as a guide, and then to use it at least once on my own, without a recipe, to see if I’ve adequately learned the technique or method.

Having said that, this week’s Ingredient of the Week is Gruyere cheese.  I’ve been watching more of the Food Network lately and it seems like Gruyere is being used in all kinds of recipes.  Of course, I had never tasted the stuff (as obsessed as I am with cheese, it’s amazing how many cheeses I have never tried; it’s borderline ridiculous).  I went on a hunt this weekend and found some (holycowexpensive) Gruyere and used it last night when I made Giada De Laurentiis’s Baked Gruyere and Sausage Omelet.

As I grated the cheese, it was a given that I had to have a sample.  My one sample turned into two, and ten or eleven samples later I finally added the grated cheese to the whisked eggs and milk.  WOW, that stuff is GOOD!

As the omelet was baking, my parents stopped by for a few minutes.  When I took the dish out of the oven, my dad’s response was, “That looks really good!  You need to take a picture of it!”  Consider it done:

By the way, something random I learned that I should have known all along:  that stuff continues to cook after you take it out of the oven if whatever it’s in is still hot.  My mom explained this to me as I fretted over whether or not my toothpick test indicated that the omelet was too runny.  I let it sit for a few minutes and once I dished it up, the debate was over.  The eggs were the perfect consistency and the omelet was phenomenal.

Later this week, I’ll be making some Gruyere-and-ham stuffed potatoes cooked under the broiler.  Oh yeah, by the way:  my first Two-Week Technique is broiling.  Because, you know, the first time was kind of…meh.

Here’s to hoping I have more successful posts in the near future!

BACON!

I did it, I did it!  I cooked bacon!

I know, you’re probably thinking, “Wow, does this lady also celebrate peeling carrots and closing Ziploc baggies?”  But those of you who have been following me for awhile might recall that I had never cooked bacon and just the thought of it had me shaking in my boots.  Well, last night I put on my bacon-makin’ boots!

I needed to cook bacon to use in a Green Chile and Cheese Egg Bake.  Before I got started, I asked my fiance if he would coach me through making bacon.  This was the conversation that ensued:

Me:  So, how do I start?
Fiance:  Get the pan hot and put the bacon in it.
Me:  [Sets pan on burner] What heat setting do I use?
Fiance:  High.
Me:  HIGH?
Fiance:  Yeah, it’s going to sizzle and pop.
Me:  [Turns burner dial to High] Do I need to use cooking spray?
Fiance:  No, it’s going to get nice and greasy.  Let the pan get hot first!
Me:  [Stupidly touching the surface of the pan to make sure it’s hot] It’s hot.  Do I put the bacon in now?
Fiance:  …….yes, put it in now.
Me:  Do I put it all in at once?
Fiance:  Well, no, don’t put it all in in one chunk.
Me:  I mean, do I put all of the strips in the pan at once?
Fiance:  No, you can only fit four or five at a time.
Me:  [Peeling a strip of bacon off of the chunk in the packaging] Okay, here it goes.  [Gently lays bacon in pan]  AAAAA, oh my god, it’s sizzling!
Fiance:  [I can’t see him, but I’m sure he rolled his eyes] Make sure you flip it when the fat starts to curl up.
Me:  Flip it?  What do I use, a fork?
Fiance:  No, use the tongs…
Me:  Oh.  Tongs.  Duh.

Cluelessness aside, making bacon turned out to be a thousand times simpler than I had imagined.

(Note the pig tongs that match my pig whisk.)

Once I crossed the bacon hurdle, I prepared the rest of the egg bake using a NEW, larger whisk.  I was nervous at first that it was a wee bit too runny.

I had to bake it for about ten minutes longer than the max time in the recipe, but the finished product looked (and tasted) pretty good.

I can’t complain about two days in a row of successful cooking!  Tonight, I’m tackling Cornish game hens.  *Fingers crossed*

My first omelet

When I was a child, I hated eggs.  Sometime during my teen years, I decided I liked scrambled eggs.  But I’ve remained admittedly closed-minded about eggs over easy, sunny-side up, poached, and soft boiled alike.  In fact, until this past weekend, I had never had an omelet.

I’ve been eating a lot of scrambled eggs as of late–plain scrambled eggs with a generous sprinkle of pepper.  How boring is that?  So, I did some reading and used this video as my guide and made my very first omelet.

I like mushrooms about as much as I like vomiting, so I chose to fill my omelet with sliced cherry tomatoes, minced garlic, spinach, and fresh Parmesan.  Since I have never cooked nor eaten an omelet, I felt like I was trying to tie the laces on a pair of sneakers after only ever wearing sandals.

Once my omelet was plated, I couldn’t believe my eyes.  I can be so CLUMSY with eggs, but my tiny little omelet looked beautiful!

I sat down with my omelet and a cup of coffee and readied myself for inevitable deliciousness.

Woah…got ahead of myself there.  Sad discovery:  I do not like omelets.

I want to say it was my selection of ingredients that made in unpalatable.  But the taste itself wasn’t bad.  It was that the way the eggs stick together gave me the impression I was eating yellow rubber instead of eggs.  I ate half of it, just to be a good sport, and then made myself a replacement breakfast of raspberry oatmeal.

I really wonder if playing with the ingredients and incorporating more flavors/seasonings would make me like omelets more.  Maybe I need to taste a well-prepared omelet at a restaurant before I know for sure.  But what I can say is that I made an omelet, and I did not care for it.

Sigh.  Culinary discovery can be a real bitch.