A Life Askew

Bumbling Through One Day At A Time

Cooking D’uhs and D’ohs!

While I was making breakfast this, uh, morning..  While I was making breakfast today, I had to keep reminding myself to walk away from the potatoes and let them cook.  I have a terrible habit of hovering over them, while stirring too often, and then wondering why they take so long to brown…

Which got me thinking about all the really stupid things I do when I’m cooking that I totally know better than to do.  So, I’m making a list of “D’uhs and D’ohs” that we either all do, or you’ll say, “D’uh!” as you read it. 🙂

I wanted to try to add snazzy pictures, but I’d have to steal them, and well, that’s stealing.  And I haven’t gotten into the habit of photo-journaling all my stupidity yet, but I’m getting there.

Anyhow, here goes:

The 10 Biggest D’uhs! and D’ohs! of My Kitchen

  1. If you want really brown pan fried potatoes, without nuclear high heat on your stove, walk away.  I have to force myself to stay away from my potatoes to let them brown.  Often I still don’t and I get over mushed, hot, still not brown, potatoes.
  2. DO NOT walk away from your grilled cheese.  I always get distracted and come back to a cheese filled briquette.  If I could some how switch my cooking methods for the grilled cheese and potatoes, I’d be fine.
  3.   Plug in the appliance you’re working with.  I cannot even begin to count how many times I have turned on my crock pot and walked away without it being plugged in.  Or hit the on button on the mixer to actually be surprised that nothing happened.  Or got mad that dinner wasn’t even warm after 30 minutes on the stove, that wasn’t on.  Or waited an hour for coffee.  Or even got mad that my computer wouldn’t turn on (without a power supply).  Anyhow, you get the idea.  If you want something to work, plug it in and then turn it on.
  4. Plan ahead, a little, at least enough to get out a big enough bowl the first time.  I would probably have 1/3 less dishes to wash if I would just use the right pots and pans and bowls and utensils the first go round.
  5. This is kind of more, 4a… Plan ahead again, but this time, for things that are time sensitive.  Like slicing the cheese for your grilled cheese sandwiches BEFORE you put the buttered bread in the pan.  This could also help with number 2.
  6. Make sure you open the right part of your spice containers.  For example, the McCormick spice tins have both “pour” and “shaker” openings.  Mixing up the two could be disastrous.  Or, rather, it IS disastrous.  And you never, ever, live it down.
  7. Don’t EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER leave potholders on the stove top!!  I used to be really good about that.  And then I had a kid and my brain fell out.  And I have a really bad habit of-
  8. Making sure I am turning on the correct burner.  I have burned more potholders, and rice, and other low temp things because I’m an idiot and turned the wrong burner on high.  I’m lucky I haven’t burned down my house yet.  I’m gonna claim innocence on a couple of them after my range was replaced.  Why can’t they just put those damn nobs in the same order on all of them!!
  9. Not all sticks are made equal… Make sure you know what increments the products you’re using come in.  Like, when switching from stick butter or margarine to stick shortening.  They are not the same measurements….  And will make your brownies greasy.  (Okay, this one wasn’t me, but it’s still funny true.)
  10. And last, but not least, make sure you have all your ingredients before you start anything.  I’ve gotten halfway through more cookies, cakes, dinners, breakfasts…  Well, you get the idea, I do it a lot.  You’d think I’d know better by now, but it’s usually eggs or milk.  Things that other people use and don’t mention we’re out of.  Things that I naturally assume we have on hand.  And then we don’t.  Things that I have to drop everything for so I can drive 30 minutes to the store to get.  (I should just buy chickens and a cow.) Things that are stupidly easy to look in the fridge and verify we have….

And that’s it for now.  I’m sure there are about 50 more things that I commonly screw up, but luckily for my sanity I can’t think of them.  Ten should be enough for now anyhow. 🙂

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I Guess I’ll Have a Cookie.

For the last week, I’ve been craving Kripsy Kreme donuts like nobody ever should.  I went so far as to pick up some donuts at the store the other day, but they were, well, disappointing.  Kroger donuts ain’t got shit on Krispy Kreme.  Oh, for a warm, slightly cripsy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, donut.  With glaze so sweet your teeth run for hills in anticipation.

Unfortunately for me, it’s at least a 4 hour drive to the nearest Krispy Kreme.  (I would completely be okay with moving closer…)  With no good donut options, and because making them would be a disaster, I decided to settle on cookies.  But not just any cookies, chocolate-oatmeal no-bake cookies.  And not just any chocolate-oatmeal no-bake cookies, but the ones I grew up with.

Over the years I’ve tried a few different recipes and always wind up throwing away cookies (which I believe Moses said was a sin).  So, for the sake of my soul, I determined to make my mom’s (actually my great-grandmother’s, I think) recipe.  You would think, with some thing this important, I’d already have it, but alas, no.

The first step was to call my sister.  (My mom had some weird face issues going and I couldn’t get her on the phone earlier.  Or that’s the best I could get out of my brother.  My mom is probably fine.)  My sister was, of course, shocked and dismayed that I didn’t already have the recipe.  In fact, I probably should have remembered it.  Since we made it nearly once a week from the time we were able to safely use the stove (except my sister, she still hasn’t gotten there…)

After a little begging, she finally gave up the goods.  And they’re good. 🙂  So, without further ado, here is our family recipe for Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies!

Ignore the poor quality and smut book, focus on the deliciousness that is the cookie!!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4c cocoa powder
  • 2c sugar
  • 1/2c milk
  • 1/2c (1 stick) butter (I don’t know how margarine would work, I’ve never used it.)
  • 1tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2c peanut butter
  • 3c whole rolled oats (that is the only kind i’ve ever used, I don’t know how other types would turn out)

Directions:

  1. Mix together the cocoa powder and sugar in a sauce pan. (One that is big enough to hold all the ingredients.)
  2. Stir in the milk.
  3. Add the butter and turn on medium heat to melt the butter.
  4. Once butter is melted, stir occasionally until boiling.  Once boiling stir constantly for 4 minutes (forever).  Scraping the sides is not only fine, you probably should. 😀
  5. After the chocolatey gooey mixture has boiled for 4 minutes, remove it from the heat and mix in the vanilla and peanut butter.  Mix them in until the peanut butter is completely mixed in.
  6. Mix in the oats until evenly coated and mixed in.
  7. Using a spoon, spoon cookie size bloops of hot mixture onto a piece of foil laying flat on the counter.
  8. Let cool and set up (approximately an hour if you can stay out of them).

This makes about 18-24 cookies, depending on what size you make them.  It may appear to make less if you eat half of them before they’re done.  Just a warning.

And thus ends my first attempt at productivity with my blog!!

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