Monday, August 31, 2009

Casey's Birthday Banana Cream Pie!

My husband's 29th birthday is today (yeah...he's old. KIDDING!). I started asking him a few days ago what kind of "birthday cake" he wanted and gave him a while to think. He reports to me yesterday that he wants a banana cream pie for his birthday! Having never made a cream pie anything before I instructed him to find me a recipe while I made the week's shopping list.

Casey came back with this recipe for Banana Cream Pie!
You start off making the pie crust with graham crackers, butter and a little water. This is all well and good....until you go to mush it in the pie pan and realize that the crumb mixture barely covers the bottom...and I do mean BARELY. The recipe says to mush the crumb mixture a half inch up the sides! Well, to do that it would take a miracle...or more ingredients. So, after my second batch I finally get sides to my crust and can thicken the bottom crust a little since you could read a newspaper through it from the first batch alone! I popped it in the oven for 10 minutes and TA-DA!

The next step was very infuriating! I went through 3 packs of unflavored gelatin to get it to dissolve correctly. Basically you added a pack of unflavored gelatin powder to 3 tbsp of boiling water and stir to dissolve. Easier said than done might I add! All I kept getting was a big clumpy mess. No matter which way I tried it, it was a disaster! Finally after throwing a mini-fit I got it dissolved enough...or ran out of patience. One or the other...and I'll let you guess which.

Casey helped make the "pudding" part of the pie while I was throwing my mini-fit, and he did a good job! It turned out perfectly and I guarantee I would've never lasted "stirring for 10 minutes, constantly." Aren't husbands great? While he finished the pudding mixture and let it cool slightly I decided to get fancy with the banana slices in the bottom of my pie! While nobody but you will see it...I decided it was the thought that counts, right?

We then poured the mixture over the bananas and let it sit in the fridge and harden for 3 hours! After hardening I made the "whipped cream mixture" to decorate the cake. To get enough to decorate around the sides of the cake and make a few decorations I had to TRIPLE the ingredients! (Is it just me or did the recipe writer smoke a little somethin' before writing all of this mess down?)

Don't judge me on my lack of "piping" skills. This is the first time I've used my new Pampered Chef "Easy Accent Decorator." And while my piping skills OBVIOUSLY need some work, I have to say the use of this tool was rather "easy" to use and I got the hang of it rather quickly. Next time I promise I'll try to make it not look so horrible...but then again...this blog is about being a klutz, so you get to see my failures as well! Aren't you lucky?

We let it sit overnight...because Casey wasn't allowed to eat his birthday "cake" until today! Anyway, I sliced it up...and it was...okay. I think my bananas should've been a little more ripe. They were quite tart! Other than that, I think it worked quite well...if only because Casey actually ate it!

Anyway, it was a nice little adventure...just challenging enough without having the urge to pull out my hair. I'll try to make anything once for my wonderful husband...and I'll even try making this one again! I LOVE YOU HONEY....HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Here Souffle, Gone Tomorrow!

Last week, my husband Casey and I were watching Alton Brown's "Good Eats" on Food Network. (Casey is addicted to this show and I find it very entertaining!) This show was about "bubbles", and Alton was making a cheese souffle. Casey mentioned that he had never had one and I figured, hey...this looks complicated enough, lets see if I can make one!

We looked up the recipe for Alton's Cheese Souffle online and went to find a souffle dish and all the ingredients!
I laid out all the ingredients and got to work!

It was a little hard to get the cheese to melt over no heat like the recipe I cheated and put it over heat and we finally got it to melt! HOORAY! I had also never had to separate egg yolks and whites, so that was quite special. I got the hang of it after the first one took some skill.

We poured the mixture in the prepared souffle dish and popped it in the oven...waiting anxiously to see how horribly I had screwed this up. After 30 or so minutes I peeked in the oven and IT ACTUALLY WORKED!!! I was pretty shocked....if you can't tell. Just look at how tall it got! I was SO PROUD!

We took it out and it fell just a little, which it was supposed to do. It looked just like it was supposed to, I didn't screw it up! Nothing I make EVER looks like the picture! Isn't it pretty?

Here's a pic after we sliced it up! I have had a souffle before so I knew what to expect, but I'm not the biggest fan ever of sharp cheddar cheese so it wasn't my favorite. Casey was okay with the souffle itself, but we want to try another one WITHOUT the sharp cheddar cheese. It's a little "sharp" for us. hahaha. Anyway, I want to make another! Anybody have any recipes for me?

Welcome to My Blog!

I have been inspired by my friend Amanda and the movie Julie & Julia to start my own "food/cooking blog". I invite you, whoever the heck you are, to share in my culinary adventures!

Over the past year I have been trying more new and exciting "culinary creations" that I've either thought up by myself or seen on TV/in magazines/found online. Please feel free to suggest recipes for me to try! I don't promise many successes, because I am quite a klutz...hence the blog name. If there is something within a 12 mile radius...I will find it and trip over it. I am always finding new ways to injure myself.

Since I have recently acquired a new "big girl job", I'm rather exhausted when I return home each day. My goal is to share with you one dish a week that I feel is at or above my level of cooking. I promise to share EVERYTHING with you: my opinions, reviews, questions, comments, accidents and disasters. When I get the chance, recipes and pictures will be included.

Here are some pictures of a few "culinary creations" I have made in the past year. A big thanks to my amazing husband for helping in the creation of each of these dishes, cleaning my messes and of course helping to eat the food!

Amanda's French Toast

Crepe w/ Blueberry Sauce

Blueberry Cream Cheese Braided Loaf