Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Foodie Adventures...

I figured since I gave updates about my reading challenge that I would do it as well for my 2016 Food Challenge as well....  Here is a link to the Full Challenge

2.  Learn a new cooking technique.

     I made Baked Alaska in February for Baked Alaska Day, February 1st if you were wondering.  It was adventure!  The new technique came with the meringue that would be topping the dessert.  This is what I learned, sometimes the right tool can make all the difference!  I had two batches of mini Baked Alaskans and with the first one I used a hand mixer to whip up the heated egg whites and sugar.  I mixed and mixed and mixed and finally got it to what I thought was the right consistency and applied it to the ice cream and cake.  When they came out of the oven, they looked like bunny slopes, not mountain peaks......  Round two, I figured out a way to heat up the egg whites and sugar in my bowl of my kitchen aid mixer and then used the whisk attachment and whipped up the meringue in no time flat and when they came out of the oven, mountain peaks!!!!  If you want a more details and photos, here's MORE

3.  Go meatless on Monday for a month.

     In January, I made a point of eating more vegetarian meals, not just going meatless on Mondays, but at least 2 other times a week as well.   I continued this in February, March, and April...

40. Do a pantry clean out challenge.  (Don't buy anything except fresh veggies for a month)

      The month of February was when I tackled this and will do this once a year...  Details about it are here....

19. Learn how to sharpen a knife.
24. Learn a new French knife skill.

       On March 9th, I took a Knife Skills class at Harmon's, who knew they had a cooking school, but they do and it's AMAZING!  I learned how to sharpen knives and a whole lot of other great tips.  It turns out that the way I had been holding my knife was not the safest and the difference in the grip while cutting is huge!  I got a new knife out of the class, plus I got to take all of the veggies I had chopped up while learning home....  A great experience.

1.   Clean out and reorganize your fridge.

      This has been  on going and was also partnered with my Pantry challenge.  I found I had 7 different bottles of salad dressing in my fridge.  One of them had solidified....  I now have one and am working on eliminating that one by finding a homemade version I love.  I used up items and really thought about my preferences and tastes.  The best part about it, I know exactly where everything is in my fridge at the moment...

7.  Slow cook something.

     Even though I do not eat a lot of meat, I still find on holidays that I go with the traditional meal, which is generally founded on meat.  St. Patrick's Day with its corned beef and cabbage is no different and I make mine in the crock pot.  Throw it all in the morning and 8 hours later, dinner!  That is why I love slow cookers and use them often!  And if you are a vegetarian, don't feel left out, there are a ton of cookbooks for slow cooking vegetarian.

41.  Master pie crusts

     I made a HUGE step forward in this on pi day, March 14th, when my crust turned out both delicate and flaky!  It was a big improvement from my last attempt.  I found a recipe on Pinterest, of course, that walked me through the consistency part (how much water to add so you have enough to hold it together and not crack, but not so wet that it gets tough).  The other thing that I did was a 1/2 ratio of cold water and cold Vodka.  The vodka keeps gluten from going berserk when beginner crust makers like myself work dough.  I'll make another one this year and see if it holds, but this just makes me happy!

31. Create a well-stocked pantry.

     My pantry challenge made me realize what I want and need in my well-stocked pantry.  This was an eye opener, but now I can make multiple dinners with items I keep on hand.
15. Cook dinner at home at least three nights a week for a month

     I view going out to dinner as an event or gathering with friends, so on a daily basis, I cook and eat at home, so this really is not much of a challenge for me.  I achieved this in January, February, March and April and will probably achieve it all the rest of the months of the year.

16. Make perfectly poached eggs.

      Eggs Benedict, here I come....April 16th was Eggs Benedict Day, so that's what I had for dinner and poached eggs are necessary to that meal.  I can't say they were perfect, but they were pretty well formed and were cooked to the right consistency.  :)  Tip of the day...don't crowd the pan, do them in batches...

25. Pack your own lunch for a week.
35. Follow a recipe to the T without making any changes.
47. A salad for dinner at least once a week

     I won't go into details on these as it would be a bit boring, but they were done.

14. Deep-fry something

      This is something that I do not do often, but I have frozen mozzarella steaks in my freezer that I made that need to be fried, so viola, I deep fried something.  It's a quick easy meal that I pare with a salad.

36. Grow something.

    My early garden is in with peas, carrots, lettuce, radishes, kale, and broccoli thriving, and with May here, my other veggies will be going in

This has been an interesting adventure that has made me think more about the food I buy and prepare.  I still have quite a few to go but if you are looking to mix up your eating and food routines, try a food challenge....

Still cooking,


  1. I ask again, when are you going to move in with me and prepare my meals?

    1. how about you come stay here for a bit? If I head up there, I arrive with a lazy basset hound and a grumpy cat....


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