I've learned that the weirdest thing about cooking is that it's exactly like life: you don't know what you're capable of until you try.
Was I capable of making a pumpkin pie, stuffing, and turkey (okay, fine, turkey filet) a week ago? Probably, but now I know for sure. Was I capable of making a marinade and then baking a chicken in it? Most definitely. I found that out the other day. I tried a recipe for teriyaki chicken (from dearest Fran), that was, in a word...delish! Soy sauce, butter, brown sugar, water, and chicken...they all had a party in my oven, and then a party in my mouth. Mmm.
Am I capable of making a "perfect roast chicken" (recipe courtesy of Flo). I think so. That's next on my to-try list.
All this cooking comes with a learning curve. Today I Googled "bulb of fennel" because I truthfully didn't have the slightest clue as to what that looks like, and there are just some things I won't ask of a Norwegian grocery store employee.
I learned my lesson of knowing when not to ask when I was looking for 'shortening' - which Google Translate translated incorrectly, which I then horridly mispronounced. As sweet and helpful as the guy was trying to be, he ended up walking away dumbfounded. I wandered the store for another 20 minutes, mistook a can of anchovies for a pot of Crisco and miraculously stumbled upon Matfett -directly translated to 'food fat'. Right - the only combination of words I didn't try. I was practically playing Taboo with the poor guy. I tried: fat; white fat; white fat that comes in a can; fat that you cook with; lard?; uhm, it's greasy when you touch it...and it's white. He didn't know. I tried my 'phone a friend' option, which was my mother-in-law, who was equally perplexed. So now I do my research before going shopping.
I baked cookies last night, too! Delectable cookies...and I got the recipe from Auntie Diane. She always makes the most amazing platter of Christmas cookies every year, and she gave me the recipe for my favorite one: Peanut Blossoms.
For my bridal shower this past summer, all the women brought a recipe to give me. I took a picture with each woman, and the pictures and recipes were put into a book. This book (I apologize for my terrible photography!):
This was Auntie Diane's page with her Peanut Blossom recipe:
So I set off to baking. The recipe calls for Hershey's Kisses, but I can't get those here, so I had to make do with Freia's Melkerull chocolates. Not nearly as charming as the Hershey's kiss, but there's something incredible about Norwegian chocolate that only your tastebuds can tell you about.
|Ready for the oven!|
|My Norwegian chocolate substitution.|
'Et lite stykke Norge' means: A little piece of Norway.
|Finished! Missing the 'kiss' look, but just as tasty!|
I realized after these came out of the oven that the recipe called for 48 chocolate pieces...I had just baked 12 cookies and used half the dough. Needless to say, I made the cookies smaller before putting them into the oven.
These were...heavenly. And happiness - all in one bite.
Thanks Auntie Diane!!!
(I took them to work and they were a big hit!)