Tuesday, February 26, 2013

This is why I don't cook

Once upon a time I used to bake a lot. But then at some point I became a klutzy and lazy. And I got married and allowed my husband to stake a claim on all things kitchen. Since becoming vegetarian I have slowly made my way back into the kitchen. I've had some success and some failures. Today was more catastrophe than anything else.

I am pretty picky with the recipes I'm willing to try. The ingredients can't be *too* weird or hard to find. The recipe can't be too complicated or time consuming. This rules out many recipes. However, today I had found a few different things I wanted to try.

(picture from original recipe,
not my watery mess)
I started with the crockpot honey lentils. This recipe is straight forward...and while I don't really like soy sauce at all, and I'm only 'meh' on honey, it looks like a good take-to-work lunch. My honey had crystallized so I put the jar in a bowl of hot water and moved on to the brownies. No big deal, right? Except that when I went back to the recipe I skipped a line and forgot to put in a whole can of beans. I did wonder why it was so watery but figured it would chunk up in the crockpot. Hours later I realized my error and have now thrown in the beans. Oops. The end product is ok. Not fantastic in my opinion. For whatever reason, mine ended up more watery than the recipe picture and I'm just not a huge fan and neither is my husband. Part of this may be that while I like honey, I don't *love* honey. Next time I will cut back on the water and maybe use maple syrup instead.

And the black bean brownies....This recipe also matched my above requirements and came recommended. While they have a great taste, the texture is *way off* because my blender couldn't handle it so I added a teensy amount of almond milk. The result? Brownies that won't cook through. I don't know that I will make these again because my blender isn't powerful enough. I skipped out on the coconut and sprinkled chocolate chips on top. I didn't tell the husband that they had black beans in them until he did the taste test. I did warn him that they weren't 'regular' brownies in advance. He said they are pretty good and convinced me not to throw them out due to texture. And he said that black bean brownies are better than no brownies...so they passed his test.

I also made Vegan Mocha Chocolate Chip Muffins. Mine didn't rise all nicely, but it's likely due to something I did wrong. The taste is ok but I wasn't wowed by them and because of that, I'm not sure that I would make them again. However, they did turn out better than the brownies. My husband thought they were ok but he also wasn't super impressed. And if you can keep a secret, I will tell you that the batter for these muffins tastes pretty good. Not that I tried the batter or anything....

Lastly, I made Garlicky Mushrooms and Kale from Appetite for Reduction. I'm not a huge fan of kale, and only tolerate mushrooms. But I made this recipe anyway because it didn't have too many weird ingredients. It turned out ok. I don't love the flavours but I didn't expect to since kale isn't my thing. I was surprised though at how crispy the kale ended up considering it looked kind of soggy. And man does that stuff shrink down as you cook it!! I would make this again being that it's healthy and I can share the kale with the bunnies (who seem to enjoy it). It is paired with a potato and tofu with sauce. My husband skipped out on the kale experiment.

And I realize that these four almost-flops make it look like I'm a disaster in the kitchen. But I can sometimes crank out something awesome. Like oreo truffles, or skor bars, or cheesecake. I do have my 'specialities'. They are just unhealthy and in no way vegan (and I do realize that not all of my shared recipes have been vegan so I don't need that pointed out). So, there you have it. My day in the kitchen.

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