Highs and Lows

Some weeks everything works out. I get home from work at descent times, the pets all behave, I avoid whatever cold virus is going around and the food I cook works. Some weeks, I get sick, the cats keep me up half the night, I spend way too many hours at work and the food just doesn’t come out the way I expect. This week was a little of both.

I started out with a great idea – goat cheese risotto. I was so excited seeing as how we loved our cheese basket this month. But what sounded like a good idea, and started out looking pretty fantastic

20131021-203648.jpg just did not end up working. Both Bob and I were feeling a little under the weather by this point, so the pungent, heavy goat cheese (not your typical fresh, mild goat cheese) overpowered the dish to the point that we just could no eat it. The roasted orange peppers didn’t help any. Talk about a clash of favors. On the up side, the pizza we ordered was good and we had leftovers for the next day when not only did I get out of work way too late, I also succumbed to Bob’s cold.

After that mild disaster, I was a little reluctant to try something totally new again. I do this. Something doesn’t work and I get scared to try again. I loose confidence in my palate and cooking skills. But … Once I felt better Sunday, I tried again. Oh, not the same thing, but a new experiment – curry!

I took some chicken thighs and just browned them a little; I took them out of the pan and added chopped garlic and just sautéed that a little. I then added tomato paste, chili paste, and curry powder. Mixed all of that together then added coconut milk and some chicken stock. I let that mix and simmer and was tempted to chuck it (whole lack of confidence thing) then added salt, pepper, a little more curry powder and a cinnamon stick. I let that boil and then simmer for about 15 minutes then added the chicken back in along with some chopped tomato, zucchini and carrots. I let all of that cook for about 20 more minutes and then put the whole thing over some left over faro. The result …. Spot on flavor, but a thin sauce. I added too much chicken stock (about 1.5 cups to one can of coconut milk) and didn’t let it thicken enough. But the flavor was really good. Bob loved it and I got my kitchen confidence back just a little. Enough to attempt peanut brittle today!

Peanut brittle sounds simple – sugar, corn syrup, water and peanuts. Just get it all up to temperature, add some butter and baking soda and you are good. But …. I am impatient, so the waiting was torture and then I realized I was having a hard time stirring because … well …. plastic handled scrapper is not the best instrument to use when getting candy to 300 degrees.

20131021-204918.jpg Yep – totally and completely bent it. So the handle was bending and not stirring anything. My favorite one too – perfect size and all. But of well. I did manage to get the syrup to go from this

20131021-205038.jpg to this

20131021-205108.jpg and then finally this

20131021-205133.jpg It’s not clear candy like the picture, but it does taste fantastic. So I’m ok with cloudy candy for a first attempt.

And the coffee pot started to die this week. It wasn’t a total death, but the seals were splitting and whenever I made a pot of coffee (as in every morning) there would be a puddle of coffee to accompany my cup. So Bob found a fancy new coffee pot

20131021-205356.jpg that lets me customize just about everything from how much, to strength to intensity. I can make a whole pot or just one cup

20131021-205452.jpg which really is very neat. But it is taking some getting use to and part of me misses the old coffee maker. But really, I just want my morning cup of coffee.


One thought on “Highs and Lows

  1. Emmie says:

    Love the coffee pot! And, I’ll send you non melty utensils for some of that peanut brittle.

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