Thursday, July 22, 2010

Better late than never

I don't consider myself that great a baker or cook. Here's why: It is consummately easy to follow a recipe, which I do the vast majority of the time I bake (recent honey wheat cookies: exception). If you can pipette a solution containing E. coli or plate some yeast*, you better damn well be able to bake something. As far as cooking goes, I'm not so much into the strict following of recipes, but most of my dishes are at least inspired by a recipe I've seen, so it's not like someone with a little less kitchen confidence or experience couldn't just follow the inspiration more closely.

Luckily, I do have the so very special ability to mentally divide recipes by whole numbers and deal with possibly awkward recipe fractions (who the hell has a third of a tablespoon measure?). This is necessary when, as occurred today, I encounter a tasty-looking brownie recipe that calls for a pound of butter. If Andy and I consumed a pound of butter's worth of brownies between us, there would be problems, so I divided the Ina Garten recipe's portions by three, browned the butter, and had at it. Originally, I'd planned to make cherry walnut brownies, but then Andy said he preferred his brownies sans nuts, and the cherries** tasted so good on their own... so we're sticking with plain, folks.

Dinner was pizza, sticking with the crust recipe I used last time. I loved the cornmeal crust, but it doesn't give you as much flexibility with the toppings. The mozzarella, spinach, fresh basil, and olives I wanted to put on this just don't go well with cornmeal, at least according to my palate.

What can I say about how it turned out? I followed a crust recipe, and it's hard to go wrong when there's mozzarella and basil involved. And a bunch of other toppings.

Check out the big, cheese-covered dough bubble on my pizza.

Close-up of Andy's first pizza.

The last pizza had to use up all the remaining toppings, so things got piled a little high.

Making sort of a crust.

The array of toppings. Underings consisted of olive oil and tomato sauce.

The only thing is... I didn't have much room for pizza after eating about a pound of cherries. No, I'm not kidding. No, I have no regrets.

*I realize that not everyone has tried their skills at this, but believe me, it's not too hard.
**I don't impulse-buy clothing. I impulse-buy fruit. Thus, while purchasing these cherries as planned because I saw that Shaw's had organic cherries on sale for $2.99, which is pretty much the best you're going to get around here, I also bought a watermelon, because it, too, was on sale for $2.99, which is also the best you're going to get.

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