COOKING ADVENTURE #92: Blackened Salmon with Mango Avacado Salsa
Let’s be clear: this winter didn’t want to end. It was/is clinging to Maine like a bug clings to the outside of a speeding car, air rushing against it. That’s how much we wanted winter to go. It’s like it was trying against all odds to stay and make us miserable. Now that I’ve made my point, I’ll also make the point that because of this weather, my diet has consisted primarily of delicious comfort food…lots of pizza, pasta, and of course, chocolate. And that has made several pair of my pants feel just a tad too tight for comfort. So, I decided that I was going to try and get back on a healthy track and start preparing some food that was better for me overall. On the list of foods that are fabulous for you: salmon, avacado, and mango. And wouldn’t you know it, I came across a recipe that utilizes all three. I was delighted. And admittedly, a little nervous. I hadn’t cooked fish in a long time. I hadn’t eaten salmon in practically five years. I wasn’t sure I was going to like this even if it turned out brilliantly. I like being surprised in a good way. Love it in fact.
And you were expecting Honey Cake. Hate to disappoint… Yep. The edges are a tad blackened but honestly, how does one not immediately start salivating like a hungry hyena upon looking at that decadence? Simply one of the funnest and tastiest desserts I’ve had the pleasure of pulling off for Cooking Adventures. And while it took me close to two hours to prepare the entire thing and bake it, I’d happily do it again. I have a weakness for pie. While I’ve made many, many cakes here on Cooking Adventures, pie really is one of my favorite things, no matter what kind. So, I kind of wanted to step up the idea of just a basic apple pie and do something a bit more creative. Even if being “creative” means slaving over a hot stove for a half an hour waiting for sugar to melt. But it wasn’t just the caramel that made this pie “adventure” worthy. It was the crust. The damn basket-weave crust. I’m not a weaver of anything much less pie dough. So that…that made things interesting.
COOKING ADVENTURE #87: Asian Lemon Chicken Tenders
Anyone who is anyone can appreciate fried food in some shape or form. Usually, I prefer to think of fried goodies as “the lazy treat”, something that I can order out somewhere and enjoy without any cares in the world except for how said fried goodies will affect my skin. I was expecting the act of frying chicken tenders in my own kitchen to be somewhat of the same joyous feeling, a blissful extravaganza of fun eating and feeling as it I had not a care in the world. If only that were meant to be. Let’s be honest: frying food takes a lot more work than people make it sound. Unless you happen to own a deep fryer and have incredible disposable methods for all of that dirty oil, frying food at home is kind of a hassle. And for me, it took longer than it probably should have. Figures.
This week, I decided to kick it up a notch. I made a batch of cookies last week. I figured I could step it up and do not just one but TWO cooking adventures this week! Albeit one was more of a “cooking frolic” than the other (and NO, it’s not the one you think!) Never the less, I’ve discovered two incredible recipes that I intend to remember for the future. Plus, there was enough of each that I could eat/drink them for multiple meals. Score! Although, I will point out that this wonderful food (or any food for that matter) isn’t quite as enjoyable when you have a giant, stinging canker sore on the inside of your bottom lip…which I’m pretty sure was caused by the smoothie. Ulcers abound in my life, I swear…
COOKING ADVENTURE # 82: White Chocolate Chip Peppermint Cookies
Let’s admit it. In winter, especially one as bitterly cold as the one we’ve experienced in Maine, we instinctually gravitate toward foods that make us feel comfortable, warm, and wonderful. This tends to be things like tea, hot chocolate, cake, lasagna, and, of course, cookies. I found myself with a particular hankering for something different than the average chocolate chip or peanut butter styles. I had a bag of white chocolate chips just sitting on my shelf and an almost forgotten bottle of peppermint extract sitting high upon my spice shelf. I knew such combinations were bound to produce beautiful results. That is…until I looked at my brown sugar and discovered it wasn’t about to make anything easy for me.
Ah, 2014! Another prospective year for Cooking Adventures. I got way off base last year and didn’t keep up with my expected blog posts; one new recipe a week. I’m hoping to keep myself up to my first year’s standards of telling entertaining kitchen stories as I learn to cook and bake on my own. This week, my challenge was to tackle a trifle. Not literally. That would be rather messy. Now, I’m all for layering desserts. They just mean some of the best little desserts being combined together into a mega dessert. This time, I decided I was going to make almost everything from scratch (with exception of the blueberry muffins–I’ll explain why). This means homemade lemon custard and whipped cream. Devilish and delicious, those two are… Never did I think I’d spend my evening saving drowning egg yolks and wrangling with a possessed hand-mixer. Every day is a new adventure in the kitchen…
Hello, folks! As I sit here sipping my coffee and enjoying the scent of fresh peppermint chocolate scones, I’ve decided to unveil to you one of my New Year’s resolutions: BLOG MORE! I totally dropped off the earth with both my cooking and music blogs this year and that put me in a bit of a funk. So, this year, I’ll be returning with new weekly Cooking Adventures blogs, and Inspiration Through Music blogs. Having taken the last several months of 2013 away from the blogging scene, I’ve uncovered a dazzling array of glorious new recipes and inspiring music to share with you.
I’ve also got something else for you today: a copy of my first book, “Vox”, free on Amazon Kindle! And, later on today, the sequel, “Aequitas” will be available for 99 cents! Too good to be true right? In exchange, I ask only a favor. If you enjoy one or both of the books, would you please consider leaving a review on Amazon? Reviews are quite helpful to us struggling authors. It lets us know what you (the reader) likes (or doesn’t like) about our work and helps us improve ourselves in future projects.
Holy Hades. I’ve decided that marshmallows dethrone onions as the most evil food ever. You may have noticed that I’ve done several different recipes this year that have included marshmallow. Why, you might wonder? I don’t typically eat marshmallows. In fact, I don’t really like them other than in s’mores or toasted over a firepit. But I do enjoy them more than their gelatinous, detestable cousin–Fluff. So when I happened upon this recipe for No-Bake Pumpkin Cheescake, I figured I could substitute the fluff ingredient for marshmallow. No. NO. NOOOOOOOOOO. *epic facepalm* I now have what is very likely a dead mixer because of its sly, demonic stickiness and an oncoming migraine. But Happy Thanksgiving. Really.
Oooooooo! What do we have here? A rogue Cooking Adventure after several months without one. For that, you have my sincerest apologies. All I can say as that I’ve had a pretty full schedule. But now that things are finally starting to slow down, I’m intending to get back into my “one new recipe a week” routine. This week, since Halloween is right around the corner, I decided to get together with Cooking Adventure vetran, Celena, and do yet another one of our stupendous cakes. This time, though, we got some frightful inspiration from this boo-tiful cake made by Martha Stewart. Though I had every intention of making the cake just as big and glorious as Ms. Stewart’s, we were unable to because of some crippling ingredient-missing happenstances. And let’s not forget the marshmallows. Tasty little suckers that they are, they are not the most cooperative treats. It’s almost as if they were really possessed.
So… it’s been a while since I posted anything. Fall always unleashes a creative surge in me that I find it hard to quell. Last year, that creative urge was all about cooking and writing blog posts. This year, I’ve been channeling it into my writing, which has been excellent, but…it leaves you guys wanting. I apologize for that. September has been a month of thought, trying to work out what I’d like to change in order to help benefit my career as an author. Several positive things have happened this year, things that I’m grateful for. I’ve had several book-signings, met some talented and wonderful writers, got a pretty fancy literary nomination, and, in less than two months, I’ll be self-publishing my third book, Night Time, Dotted Line.
But, I haven’t been able to focus on the actual marketing of any of my books and that, as we all know, is kind of important. I’m not going to lie; it’s been tough this year keeping up my self-esteem when it comes to my writing. I’ve constantly felt as though I haven’t had enough time on my hands to get things done and when I do, I am exhausted. I know I’m not the only one who has ever dealt with this feeling; it plagues many other writers or really anyone creative. We want to be able to come home from a long day and relax before we go absolutely bonkers. And, in allowing myself some time to relax, I’ve neglected this blog, for which I feel sorry for.