Saturday, October 21, 2006

Recent adventures in cooking

Although I've had GPG's handy-dandy Olympus digital camera for the past couple of weeks, I have been pretty bad about actually taking pictures with it. It sat in its box for quite a while before I finally resolved to be better about documenting things I did. I have yet to take pictures of my knitting, but I was much better about taking pictures of my cooking this past week.

I have been trying a lot of recipes out of The Best Light Recipe by the good folks at Cook's Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen. I like that the recipes are relatively healthy, but more than that I like the fact that the recipes are for fairly complete meals. (The regular The Best Recipe, which I also have, has less useful recipes for someone cooking for one. Many of those recipes are for components of larger meals, like vegetable dishes, meat dishes, etc. This is not an entirely bad thing, but it's a bit trying when you're pressed for time. The Best Light Recipe has more one-pot meals, so I've been using it a lot more than The Best Recipe.)

One thing I've been trying a lot of is the stir-fry recipes. They are fabulous. Below is an attempt at chicken and broccoli with a hot-and-sour sauce:

Unfortunately, I don't think that the hot-and-sour sauce is one of the best sauces in the book. So far I've tried the oyster sauce and garlic sauce, and those are damn tasty. But the hot-and-sour sauce is only so-so. I probably won't make it again unless I'm in a pinch.

I also tried the peanut butter cookie recipe for a dinner party I attended last Thursday. The cookies had a fairly decent texture, but they weren't terribly pretty:

At least, not for peanut butter cookies. They were also not as peanutty as I would have liked them, but this is probably because the recipe only called for 2 tablespoons of peanut butter (in interests of cutting down on fat and calories). The cookies weren't so bad, but I probably won't make them again unless someone I know is hankering for low-fat peanut butter cookies. If I'm making PB cookies for a crowd, I'd be more inclined to use the full-fat recipe from The Best Recipe just for taste's sake.

Despite the rather negative comments I have about these two recipes, I've had a lot of success with everything else I've tried from this cookbook. I'll just have to try to document those attempts a little better from now on.


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