The way to a man's heart....

I was lucky to have a family that cooked, and where holidays meant huge dinners where everyone pitched in. Plus, well, I really like to eat. So I had an inclination and opportunity to learn about cooking and baking. Afterall, it's just tasty chemistry!

It was at home where I learned early cooking wisdom. Don't try to make mashed potatoes with a mixer in a teflon-coated pan. Never confuse red pepper with nutmeg. Popcorn balls cool really fast and then you can't shape them any more. Chili does not take 2 tablespoons of chili powder. Luckily both my mom and step-mom were patient with my occasional snafus, so I've attained a certain level of skill in the kitchen.

I cook basic, Midwestern food. Roast with potatoes, carrots and onions. Green-bean casserole. Baked chicken. Meatloaf with mashed potatoes (the non-teflon kind). Maccaroni & cheese & hamburger dinner. Brownies, apple cake, apple crisp, pies, sesame braid bread. But lately, I've been trying to branch out some. I've become a fan of Food TV and watch it often. I'm trying hard to eat healthier with less sugar and carbs, so this is probably a bit of escapism for me. But it's led me to cook more and to experiment with some new things.

Eve's recent food experiments
* I made butter from scratch! Room-temp heavy cream plus a lot of shaking!
* Cheese a la Eve! Boil whole milk+ salt, then add some lemon juice, and voila! Very neat.
* Spun sugar sculptures. Not my best effort. I ended up with a burned hand, a slimy collapsed greasy mess of sugar, and a pan of rock-hard sugar. I want to try again!
* Scones. With a little advice and help from my friend Liz, they turned out great!
* Multi-bean and meat casserole. My friend Kynn actually made this, but I watched and helped some! It was a church pot-luck recipe and very tasty.
* Irish soda bread. Inspired by my recent trip to Ireland. Yummy! But buttermilk is gross.
* Rutabagas! Another discovery from Ireland. Man, these things are tasty. See the recipe of the week, below, for one way to cook them.

Recipe of the Week
Rutabagas are Good Food! I made this and it's very good. Recipe courtesy of FoodTV.

Braised Root Vegetables:
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound packaged baby carrots
1 rutabaga, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced
Salt and pepper
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

Heat a skillet with a cover over medium to medium high heat. Add butter, carrots, rutabaga and onion. Cook veggies 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add broth or stock, bring to a simmer, and reduce heat and cover. Cook vegetables 15 minutes or until fork tender. Remove from heat and set aside.

Previous Recipe's of the Week
I haven't cooked this one but it sounds wonderful: Raspberry Tart May

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