Feast of Holidays

And we’re back and better than ever! (Or something like that)

Tonight (last night) we’re celebrating all the holidays around the world and having a fest of nations, including Chinese New Year, Mardi Gras, and Spain (as all these foods made our dinner be much later than normal).
On the menu: baked honey garlic (sweet & sour) chicken and rice, and for dessert: the highly revered, highest on the pedestal cookies aka macarons.

First up: chicken
B learned that scissors for cutting meat do indeed exist. We began by rinsing and cutting the chicken into little nuggets and seasoning with salt and pepper before dipping in egg and panko. The chicken went off without a glitch. The sauce, however…. I think we’re both going to be warding off vampires for ages. The popping from the gas stove ignition caused B to leap into the air with fright, but 8 gallons of garlic later, the sauce was finished.

Next: rice
I’m not sure it’s possible to mess up rice, and this time was no exception. A nifty little tip from the back of the package told us to soak the rice in cold water and then reduce the boiling time, so we tried that trick. Not sure there was any difference in taste, but it was nice not having to make sure the water didn’t boil over as long.

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Finally: macarons
Sift. Sift. Sift. Sift. Are we done sifting yet? No.
All we did was sift. Sifting takes a long time. Have industrial-sized sifters been invented, and where do we acquire one? For our first attempt at macaron art, I’d say we did pretty well despite a forgetful person adding the green batter to the piping bag before putting on the piping head.

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Most of the green halves turned out lovely. We won’t mention the purple halves. No one knows what happened to those, but upon further inspection it appears the greens were more smoothed prior to baking.

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Also, we gave up on the gold trim. Edible gold glitter is now everywhere. I even found it in the basement.

 

Now for the taste tests:
Chicken: Great plain but could use some sauce.
Sauce: First bite–fine. Oh wait. Did I mention the garlic? Addition of extra honey could not help that sauce. If we never saw/smelled/tasted garlic again, it might be too soon. Tried to mask it with wine. While wine makes everything better, this job was a bit much to handle, and it only marginally helped.
Rice: tastes like rice. There is no other explanation.
Macarons: Delicious little devils. Worth the effort, but we wouldn’t be mad if there were a better method for sifting.

 

Next day update: The chicken and rice was much better with just sriracha and honey drizzled over the top, and the macarons go great with coffee.

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Or is that wine?

 

Recipes:

Baked honey garlic chicken: http://damndelicious.net/2014/07/25/baked-honey-garlic-chicken/?m

Rice: back of the bag of Basmati rice (but really, who doesn’t know how to cook rice?)

Macarons: http://www.hgtv.com/design/make-and-celebrate/entertaining/mardi-gras-macarons-recipe

 

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Be One With the Banana

After much deliberation, the foods decided upon for this week’s edition of 2 idiots in a kitchen were banana bread and avocado & pomegranate crostini–slightly healthier choices compared to last time’s potatoes and cupcakes.

 

Blakely began with the banana bread.

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Mashing the bananas with her hands was more fun than using any other tool to do so, and she even deemed them good exfoliators.

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To properly make banana bread, one must “become one with the banana.” Otherwise, the banana bread will not turn out properly.

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Into the pan the mixture goes.

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Oh crap. “How essential is the vanilla?” Back out of the oven to add the vanilla extract.

 

Despite the 3 minutes of baking before vanilla addition, the bread turned out very pretty.

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Let’s see what guest food critic, Jennifer, has to say about the bread.

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After careful deliberation, the banana bread was given a 7.5 out of a possible 10.

These were her comments:

Appearance: Light brown, slightly charred brown outsides, 6 out of 10 for appearance

Texture: Light, soft, 7 out of 10 for texture

Taste: 8 out of 10, “I now like banana bread.”

(The overall ranking is not an average of scores. There is a much too complex formula used to compute the overall that would take 12 more posts to describe.)

 

Next up: the Avocado & Pomegranate Crostini by Jaclyn

We begin with mixing sliced avocado, lime juice, salt, pepper, and pomegranate seeds.

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Brown the bread slightly after brushing with olive oil and adding salt, much to Blakely’s liking.

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Feta cheese was later added to allow Blakely the option of tasting some without cheese as cheese repulses her.

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Once again, these were ranked by guest food critic Jennifer. Keep in mind she does not like new foods usually.

“Wait. I don’t eat the seeds, right?”

 

Appearance: Bright, vibrant, 7 out of 10

Texture: Crunchy crostini, makes sense, 7 out of 10

Taste: Bright, tart, 6 out of 10

Overall: 7 out of 10, “Good for me not liking new things”

 

Recipes used:

Banana bread

Avocado & Pomegranate Crostini

 

 

Breakfast Potatoes and Sugar Cookie Cupcakes

In the first edition of 2 Idiots in a Kitchen, Blakely and Jaclyn tackle the wonderful combination of breakfast potatoes and sugar cookie cupcakes.

 

First off, the potatoes:

While Jaclyn skillfully wielded the knife, all passerbys were lucky to escape with all limbs as Blakely attempted to slice and dice the potatoes. Nevertheless, the potatoes were prepared without any loss of blood and put into the oven to be goldened to perfection.Image

 

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Meanwhile, the cupcake batter was prepared with only a minor slipup of spilling some flour in a nearby lunchbox, but thankfully cupcakes do not require knives. These were also baked to maximum fluffiness before being removed to cool and enjoy.

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Due to laziness, no frosting was prepared for the cupcakes, and the jar of fluffy white pre-packaged was used instead. Still just as enjoyable.

 

Yumm.

 

Here are the recipes used in this edition:

Potatoes: http://kacina.wordpress.com/2013/07/17/oven-roasted-breakfast-potatoes/

Sugar Cookie Cupcakes: http://lecremedelacrumb.com/2013/11/sugar-cookie-cupcakes.html

 

 

Stay tuned to find out what they will make next time!