A bit more on cookin’

Last weekend I suddenly felt like cooking, so for some reason, before I went to bed, I ended up making a large batch of banana bread!

It turned out a little heavier than I would have liked, but it was tasty enough – at least it vanished from the office common area in less than 30 minutes!  I made 2 trays – one batch in a bundt pan, and the other in a traditional pan.  The bundt was the dish I shared at work since slicing was easy, and I…. I confess I ate most of the pan batch myself… (I actually just finished the rest of it today (>_<;

Images below!  (for some reason, it rose extremely well… but after cooling went back down drastically)

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Also, I’ve never realized how much of a difference a good knife makes in cooking.  Yesterday before heading out in the morning for running, I put in the remainder of the Christmas chicken (hey, it was pretty big and took a long time to eat!) into the slow cooker, chopped up carrots, parsley, onions, garlic, and potatoes.  Chopping was EASY!  I’ve always cut my veggies with an old knife that I’ve had for years – and chopping with that could get frustrating because it never sliced straight, and I would always have to put my whole weight down to get it to cut anything.

However, I recently got a new knife from the local supermarket.  They were running a promotion in which every 1,000 yen spent also got you a point.  With 25 points + 2,000 yen, you could get a nice new knife.  Now, I didn’t go and spend 25,000 on groceries just for a knife!  I was lucky – when checking out with my groceries one day, a lady saw me getting my point and offered me about 12 points of her own – apparently she had already gotten her knife and didn’t need these any more – she looked like she had at least 2 kids so I imagine that her grocery bills were much higher than mine, hence why she had so many spare points.

Anyway, I got my knife and boy was I impressed.  It cut through taters and carrots as if they were butter.  It really cuts down on time and frustration!  (“cuts down” eh? pun? Me so witty.. :P)

Doesn’t the pot of veggies look good thought? I let it cook away for roughly 16hrs and at the end also tossed in a can of cream of mushroom soup.  The combo was nothing fancy, but very filling and has already given me 2 full meals – and I’ve still got enough for another one or two bowls.  (unfortunately forgot to take a picture of the finished dish… was too hungry and just dove right in)

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Oh, and also included are some pictures of chocolate chip cookies I made.  A couple of friends had birthdays recently and I figured I’d bake them some cookies.  Not sure why, but the end result (again, forgot to take pics post-baking) turned out really flat… these were the 3rd batch of cookies I’ve made and the first two turned out nicely, shape-wise.  These tasted good enough, but somehow really flattened out.  I wonder if I used different butter than the one I did last time… that’s the only thing I can think of.  I miss easy access to Crisco… (and no I did not eat any cookie dough – WHO WOULD EVER DO SUCH A THING… though it tastes so GOOD… I mean… not that I would know of such a thing, of course…)

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One comment

  • January 11, 2010 - 19:49 | Permalink

    Wow, reading that has made me hungry; everything sounds and looks so yummy. I can almost smell/taste those cookies 🙂

    Trying to figure out why your things went flat after cooking…did you use the right amounts of baking soda/powder/salt? If either the powder or soda was the wrong amount or old, that will affect your cakes and cookies. Did you take it out of the pan to cool shortly after cooking? What recipe did you use? Here’s one from PDub: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2009/08/just-a-recipe-banana-bread/

    We also recently got a new knife – same brand I think. It is amazing what a difference a good knife makes. Slicing, mincing, dicing…so easy and did you know, sharp knives are actually safer!

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