Taste Test #1 (with update)

Robert Burns’s poem To a Mouse should be amended to “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men ‘an optimistic cooks / Gang aft agley.”  I’ve yet to tackle the Vegetable Lentil Soup, but that’s mainly due to the logistics of the size of our fridge; I can bring the soup to boil, but I’ve no room to store it. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to try my hand at green lentils tomorrow night, though, before my week (and life) gets away from me.

Here’s a quick recap of my conquests since Saturday night. I thought about snapping pics of the finished product as well as the disaster I make of our kitchen, but if you know anything about food, you know it’s a booger to photograph, so I shall use my words instead.

  1. Herbed Quinoa: Sooooo good. Please make this. I followed the recipe really closely, and I suppose my only recommendation is that if you’re going to squeeze the lemons Giada-style (squeezing with one hand while the other catches the lemon seeds), you’re going to be fishing around your chicken stock for errant seeds (*ahem*). Perhaps a juicer or other method might be more sanitary…
  2. Caramelized Onion and Grapefruit Salad: Making this recipe is me being adventurous and trying new tastes to broaden my healthy eating horizon. I don’t love grapefruit. In fact, I don’t recall the last time I ate one before today. But, I’m willing to try something new to break out of my salad rut (mixed greens, tomatoes, blah blah). [Note: I used red grapefruit because the store didn’t have pink.] Further, I really dislike liquorice, and the recipe calls for fennel, which, in case you don’t know, tastes very liquorice-y. However, I figured for $2 I can give the fennel a whirl. I tasted a piece. It was OKAY, so, to be brave, I popped a few slivers into the salad. It’s much more inoffensive all mixed in, so next time I’ll use more. Well, a tiny bit more.  And I will be making this salad a lot. I caramelized the onions the night before and stored them in the fridge, and they add such wonderful flavor. This salad is super-healthy (the only fat is olive oil, I think), and wow, so delish. I can’t wait to have it for lunch Monday!
  3. Homemade Granola Bars: I’ll know tomorrow if they’re any good. But man, they sure smelled awesome. However, I remain less than confident until the taste test (upon slicing) tomorrow morning. Fingers (the ones I haven’t burnt yet) crossed!

So here we are. No guarantees that I’ll keep up the updates, but I’m confident I’ll be keeping up the cooking. I have lots of herbs leftover from the quinoa, so I’m thinking I’m going to make an herbed omelet tomorrow morning.

Weird. I feel like a need a signature sign-off like “Bon apetite!” or “Yummo!” but none are coming to mind. I suppose that, along with the granola bars, is TBD.

—- UPDATE —-

The granola bars taste REALLY good, but, I think I need to make them again before I’m comfortable about giving them away as a gift. This is a common occurrence with baking for me. With cooking, I often can hit the ball out of the park on the first try. With baking, I almost always have to try the recipe twice before successful completion. I should just start buying double the ingredients in anticipation of this. Ugh.  Anyway, the bars turned out a bit hard, which is because I should have taken them out of the oven as soon as they were “golden brown” as the directions suggested rather than sticking to the “25-30 minutes” in the oven. I guess I was more comfortable following the objective directions rather than subjective. In the end, the bars are more brown than golden. So, I did what any normal person would do. I brought them to the office! My office mates looooove goodies. Actually, I think this is pretty common in any office setting, but in any rate, my colleagues are happily munching the granola bars.  My friend will just have to continue to wait for her healthy holiday treat!

Eggs: Last night (earlier in this post) I mentioned I would use the leftover herbs to make eggs this morning. WOW! So good! This idea was actually inspired by a menu item at Martha’s in Hermosa Beach, CA. I took thyme, Italian flat leaf parsley, scallions, and basil, chopped up the herbs, whipped up the eggs, and dropped in a slice of Laughing Cow cheese. What a decadent, luxurious and dignified start to my day! I think I’m going to be keeping these herbs on hand from now on. That is how scrambled eggs should always be eaten!

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