I’m just tryin’ something here-Cooking breakfast in a breadbowl.

My boyfriend sent me this text one night a few weeks back:

“Will you make me dinner?”

My heart started beating fast, beads of sweat broke out on my forehead. I could feel my anxiety take off like a jet plane.

“Sure. Any requests?” I responded.

“Anything. Your house specialty.”

And this is when I really started panicking. I have mentioned that he can cook. He can follow a recipe but he normally does his own thing. He experiments a lot. Even his bad meals are tasty. I have yet to eat something he has made that I just haven’t liked.

My house specialty would probably be shake and bake chicken strips and some roasted vegetables. Or any kind of scrambled eggs and toast. Don’t ask me to season anything and don’t ask for anything exotic. I have zero confidence when it comes to cooking, let alone for someone else, let alone for someone that I’m really into.

The thing is, he would eat anything I made no matter if it wasn’t great. I put too much unnecessary stress on myself to be good in front of someone I really respect and enjoy. It’s definitely something I need to work on.

The mass texting to my best girls for recipes began the next day and so did the Pinterest stalking. 3 weeks later I found a recipe for breakfast in a breadbowl. This combines all my favorite things. French bread and breakfast foods.

Breakfast in a Breadbowl Recipe:
http://www.perfectingthepairing.com/2012/03/customizable-bread-bowl-breakfast.html?m=1

I bought French bread rolls, spinach, cherry tomatoes, cheddar cheese, and eggs. I carved out the breadbowl a and buttered them and then inserted the filling items. I then put the egg on top. Two of the eggs overflowed and two I managed to fit it all in. Then you bake it. I recommend checking halfway through as it cooked down and you could put some more of the cheese and spinach and tomato inside to be more filling. Also, the egg looks like it still has a ways to go but is fully done at 25 mjnutes so, if you like runny eggs like me, take it out sooner.

The same time I was making my breakfast, my man was conducting an experiment with the rest if the rolls. He did a curry French toast roll filled with scrambled eggs and my other fillings plus chicken. He also did a normal French toast roll with the same insides as the curry one.

Towards the end of the cooking time for all, I sautéed two bananas with a little cinnamon. They still stuck to the pan, even with the butter, and I got frustrated. And a little pissed off. Can’t one dish go off without a hitch? It’s all the simple ones I totally blow. I ended up taking a deep breath and did my best to let it go.

Breakfast is served! And it was enjoyed my myself, my boyfriend, and his dad. In fact, his dad said it was restaurant quality. All of us loved the dish. And the other experiments were really good as well. It was a yummy meal with lovely conversation.

I think breakfast was a good way to start. More in my comfort zone and not as much pressure (in my mind). Compliments or not, doing three kitchen projects this week was good for me.

I over think things. I stress about stupid things. I put pressure on myself when I shouldn’t.

I found that when I was in the kitchen I was able to relax a little. I didn’t think about anything but the task at hand. A great relief.

It also meant a lot to my guy. He couldn’t stop gushing about my meal and my sweet treats and I think it really meant a lot to him that I made him a meal. And that in itself is very satisfying.

I’m just tryin something here- Baking key lime pies in a jar and lemon blueberry bars

A coworker of mine was having people over this past Tuesday night for apps and B movies. He is super nice and has done lots of nice things for me over the last year and I wanted to do something nice for him. He is the biggest lover of key lime pies but has yet to find a good one in this city.

Challenge accepted.

And, because I am on a lemon blueberry kick, and because I wanted a backup in case I butchered the pies, I decided to make lemon blueberry bars.

My man was nice enough to have bought the key lime juice when I first mentioned my interest in doing this for Dave. I grabbed that, and the rest of my ingredients (plus the cute and tiny mason jars I should have bought when I set out to bake the lemon meringues!), and headed home to get to work.

Side note: I need to put a television in my kitchen. The time I took to move the television, and then the cable box, and the television and cable box two more times was stupid. March madness and the How I Met Your Mother Finale were worth the fuss of moving it all though.

That done, I set out to make two desserts.

Lemon Blueberry bar recipe:
http://unihomemaker.com/2013/08/22/lemon-blueberry-bars/

Key lime pies in mason jars recipe:
http://www.kitchentreaty.com/key-lime-pie-in-a-jar/

The crusts are slightly different so I made them one after the other and then did the same with the fillings. Both were surprisingly easy to make. The whipped cream for the pies took the longest and even that wasn’t bad. I barely sweetened the cream and I also added lime zest.

It started smelling so good in the kitchen and I was getting excited by the fact that it looked like I was not only going to pull off one dish but two.

Both were very well received. The key lime pie was the hit of the night. I am still getting compliments on it. And everyone loved the personal portions and the presentation. The jars are where it’s at!

I would like to do the lemon bars again but with the lemon curd instead of the condensed milk. The lemon curd reminds me of the lemon bars my mum used to make so it would be more me recreating warm and fuzzy memories than my personal feelings on the recipe I used. The recipe is good.

The response I received really boosted my confidence and encouraged me to look for more interesting recipes to try.

Baking, with or without a television or music or company, is very good for the soul. It’s calming and mood lifting. This feeling I get from a good baking session is exactly what I need in my life right now. I just need willing taste testers.

Side note: if anyone wants to enjoy a bad but fun B movie, check out Blast Vegas. Anyone who lives and/or has visited Las Vegas will get a bigger kick out of it.

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I’m just tryin’ something here- Baking Lemon Meringue Pies in Little Jars.

I’m not the most patient person.
I love baking.
I don’t bake very often.
That’s going to change.

Baking requires some patience. Correct measurements, a certain order in which to add ingredients. exact baking times…

I haven’t tried anything besides cookies in years. And even in those years, I can count on one-maybe two?- hands how many times I have made cookies. My first effort in this new era was to be the lemon meringue pie. In a jar. Trendy, blech, but cute and personal sizes and, hey, whatever gets you in the kitchen, right?

I love commas. Please don’t judge me.

Or judge. 🙂 Just keep reading.

My journey to my new self had to begin with a de cluttering of my stuff. The car, my room, my office. All the excess had to go. And then it was the online de cluttering which ended with my Pinterest boards. Pinterest is magical. I love it. All the ideas, the beautiful things, the wonderful recipes. Once i reorganized my boards I realized I had all these jar desserts on my dessert board. Lemon meringue pie in a jar was the first to meet it’s fate.
The link to the wonderful recipe I used.
Lemon Meringue Pie in a Jar

I was so surprised how easy it was to make. I didn’t get, at first, the proportions to the jars. There wasn’t enough. Then there was the, “ohhhhhh” moment.

Noted #1: you got the wrong jars.
Note to self: buy smaller jars.

That’s ok. I can still make this work. Sure, there is too much lemon curd for the amount of crust but the meringue will save it.

Noted #2: You need to have more patience to make meringue.
Note to self: the guy at the farmers market told you today to use room temperature eggs and do it by hand.
And to be patient with it. Sigh. That word again.

I put the meringue on top of my lemon curd and then I baked it. And baked it. And then baked it too long, perhaps.

But it was still pretty good for a first try and I have my notes for next time to make it better. I will try again for Easter, I think.

Baking breaking in. Check.

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I’m just tryin’ something here.

My boyfriend can cook. He can bake. He can fix things. He can build things. He can invent things. He’s creative and inquisitive and impulsive.

Me?

I dance. Irish dance. But that’s about it.
I love it but I don’t want that to be it. I don’t want to be one note.

My mumsies died last year and I went into quite the funk. It was bad. Nothing worth sharing besides that was bad and I couldn’t pull myself out. And I suppose it could have continued on with that except I started hearing my mum’s voice in my head over the Christmas season. She’d always said that I needed a good kick in the butt to make a change. Among the many, many, many other things she said, I kept hearing her say, “consider this your kick in the arse.” So I gave myself the rest of the year(3 weeks) to sulk and pity myself. I cried a lake

at midnight on New Years and then put that sad, negative me into the past, letting it go along with 2013.

So this year is about coming into my own. Trying new things and not being so hard on myself if they don’t work out. Not being so scared. And believing in myself. That I am good enough as I am regardless of how it all turns out.

This little corner of the Internet is going to document my little adventures, my coming into my own, my thoughts, and maybe some dreams coming alive. We’ll see.

I am hopeful.

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