Saturday, November 15, 2008

I'm Back, People!

Dear Readers,

I totally apologize for my absence. I have been so incredibly bogged-down with a class I was taking that I had no time left for the good things in life: cooking, blogging, keeping in touch with my online blogger community.

The good news is that my class ended - and I got an A. God, do I love an A. I simply must have it!

What class did I take, you ask? I took a class in Web design, and learned how to make a Web page using Dreamweaver. I also learned a lot about Photoshop. I'd like to now learn flash.

For the most part, though, I was completely overwhelmed with class and work. I didn't think the workload was going to be as big as it was. So, I'm left glad that I took the class, but glad that it's over!

During my absence, I did get to do a few things, but I was unable to post the good ones, and unwilling to post the experiments that had gone wrong.

For the Days of the Dead I made sugar skulls for my students and they decorated them after school one day. Oh, and I kept one for me.

But since I was running behind, I didn't even think of getting a chance to post about it until now. The holiday was two weeks ago. So I'll save the recipe and such till next year.

Lets see, I also made my first tamales ever. They were based on a recipe for butternut squash and goat cheese tamales. I made it a bit more Mexican. I added sweet potato, poblano peppers, and replaced the goat cheese with queso fresco:

But you know what? I wasn't so pleased with them and I didn't want to post the recipe I used. I do want to make them again, but I think I need to make them more fattening. It was sort of a light recipe and I didn't like the dough. But I will chalk it off to being a great learning experience and I'll make better tamales next time.

Then there was the day that I was going to make a gateau de crepe. I made a stack of crepes (they were good) and a pastry cream:

But I turned my eyes away from the pastry cream to take a picture of something else, and the cream curdled. I tried to save it, but I wasn't happy with it, and had to toss it with the hopes of having more success next time.

Oh, and there was the ganache I made.

It was a pumpkin ganache - actually had pumpkin in it. And some pumpkin-type spices too. I was going to make truffles with it. But it seemed a little too delicate. I think the cream to chocolate ratio was too high in the cream department. It was okay in the fridge, but less okay in the room temperature. So I ate it, little by little with a spoon. But ultimately, I threw most of it away and vowed to try again another time.

A few weeks ago my husband took a business trip to San Francisco. Lucky him! I would totally LOVE to go to San Francisco. But during the school year a trip like that is out of the question.

What did I want from San Franciso? Chocolate, of course. So I chose a chocolatier on line, and sent Joe on a mission. He visited Christopher Elbow chocolates for me, and they were wonderful. I will post about them within a few days or so.

I also had recipe success with a roasted parsnip soup. That was just a few days ago, and I still have a little left over. I will be posting the recipe very soon. I just don't like the pictures I have of it, and it's rainy now, so the light doesn't make for a good picture.

Oh, and I want chives for the picture. So when Joe left for the grocery store about an hour ago, I put chives on my list. Can't wait to get them on top of that soup!

Today, though, I'm dealing with some severe back and neck pain - probably from the stress of finishing my class. I'm taking some very strong meds. I hope my writing doesn't show that I'm really out of it! But as soon as I'm able to chop some vegetables, I'm going to make a moussaka - a lamb moussaka. I just know it's going to be good. I'll post that too, now that my dance card is open.

So hi, everyone! It's so good to be back.


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