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Lisa Marie Wilkinson
June 29th, 2010, 10:14 AM
It's very unusual for me to instigate a discussion about cooking because I am a terrible cook. No...really, I am. I'm not trying to garner sympathy or have you reply... "oh, no, Lisa Marie, I'm sure you can cook."

I take no prisoners when I cook. It either comes out okay or I have to drive to the nearest Burger King and buy everyone in the family dinner that night.

The reason I decided to bring up the subject of cooking is because I've had a bee in my bonnet about making a pot of beef vegetable soup for a couple of weeks now, and I stopped at the grocery store last night and got all the ingredients for said pot of soup.

I got up early this morning (I'm on vacation this week, so please acknowledge my noble sacrifice of not sleeping in, LOL) and I got to work scraping and chopping vegetables. All the ingredients are now simmering in a slow cooker, and others will be added according to their individually required cooking times. Except for one piece of carrot which our cat, Blue, decided would make a very interesting toy. I still cannot find that piece of carrot.

Yes, I'm sure you noticed that I'm making a pot of hot soup in 90 degree summer weather. I am also a seasonally challenged cook who craves cool salads in the winter and hot dishes in the summer. (To tell the truth, when you have only a few dishes in your cooking repertoire, there aren't many options and cooking according to the season becomes a somewhat exotic pursuit).

So, how about it? Are you a good cook? A great cook? Should we start sharing recipes on this thread? Can you suggest some dishes that I can successfully pull off?

Lisa Marie

AnnaRose
June 29th, 2010, 12:42 PM
Actually, beef veg soup sounds kinda difficult to do (mostly because I have no clue what to do with meat) - so congrats that you're going for it! My boyfriend is the one who cooks around our place - and he's really good; always looking for new recipes to try, watching the Food Network, etc. His signature dish is meatloaf, and it always comes out really well- he even impressed my parents by bringing it to a family dinner! One thing is he's big on organic meat - no hormones, free-range, and you can really tell the difference when compared to regular grocery store meat (we get this organic meat from a family farm).

So I don't know if I have any recipe or cooking tips per se, as I am usually on the couch, curled up with a book, while he is in the kitchen :) But I do bake - my specialty is cornmeal muffins with strawberry jam in the middle - great with tea!

Lisa Marie Wilkinson
June 29th, 2010, 12:57 PM
Hang on to your man...there's nothing more wonderful than a man who can cook and doesn't think it's "woman's work." ;-)

My sister is a wonderful baker. She makes the most delicious baked goodies. Will you share your recipe for your cornmeal muffins with strawberry jam in the middle? They sound yummy.

Lisa Marie

AnnaRose
June 29th, 2010, 01:39 PM
So, I dug up my old recipe (from 8th grade home ec!) and it's all in metric - so you might need a conversion table if you're used to cups and tbsp's (although I looked up that 250 ml = cup, so that's a starting point). Also, I goofed a bit - it's not cornmeal - but for some reason I remembered cornmeal - I think my brain fixated on these wonderful cornmeal muffins I bought from a bakery and transposed them onto these muffins! But, if you decide to try them, they are still quite good.

Ingredients:

400 ml all purpose flour
100 ml sugar
15 ml baking powder
2 ml salt
1 egg
200 ml milk
75 ml vegetable oil
50 ml jam (* any flavour, but strawberry is best!)

Directions:

1. Preheat over to 200C (400F)
2. Grease 8 large muffin tins
3. Mix dry ingredients together
4. In a seperate bowl, beat egg with milk and oil
5. Add to dry ingredients all at once, stirring with a spatula just until moistened. Batter will be lumpy.
6. Fill muffin cups about half full. Spoon 5 ml. of jam onto batter in each cup, top with enough batter to fill cups.
7. Bake in preheated oven 20 min.
8. Remove immediately from pan.

* Note. If you have a 12 cup muffin pan, fill the remaining empty cups with a bit of water, so the 8 muffins cook evenly.

I'm sure your sister has lots of wonderful recipes as well; I guess this one is partially nostagic for me, since it was back in the days of home ec :)

Enjoy with tea!

Lisa Marie Wilkinson
June 29th, 2010, 01:57 PM
I'll have to try your recipe, the muffins sound really good! Thank you so much for taking the time to get the recipe ingredients and post them here for all to enjoy!

I have a friend from England who periodically holds a high tea afternoon and she bakes all kinds of wonderful things and makes salmon and cucumber finger sandwiches...and sets out things I'd never heard of before she invited me to tea...like Devon Cream and Lemon Curd.

She sets out several teapots with different kinds of teas for everyone to sample, and her guests pig out and talk girl-talk all afternoon. It is so much fun! She's also a terrific cook (as you can probably guess), and she knocks herself out making wonderful dinners when she invites her friends to her house for dinner.

Even if I can't cook, my friends keep me well-fed (too well fed, LOL).

Lisa Marie

AnnaRose
June 29th, 2010, 04:17 PM
Mmmm - those sandwiches are so good...I love high tea - there are a few hotels and inns here that put it on, and I've been a few times, but it's probably much better when someone you know makes it!

I actually just got back from the library...and picked up Mastering the art of French Cooking - I had it on hold. Such a popular book to try and get, especially after Julie and Julia came out. I don't think I'll actually make any of the recipes (well, unless something really draws me in) but wanted to browse through it mostly.

brandyzbooks
June 29th, 2010, 04:35 PM
maybe try a stew or lasagna it is easy with directions also Lo Mein is easy...

Lisa Marie Wilkinson
June 29th, 2010, 04:41 PM
:clap:
I actually just got back from the library...and picked up Mastering the art of French Cooking - I had it on hold. Such a popular book to try and get, especially after Julie and Julia came out.

Did you see Julie and Julia? I really enjoyed that movie. I didn't think I was going to because I thought all the cooking references would be over my head, but I thought it was well done (to borrow a cooking term, LOL).

Lisa Marie Wilkinson
June 29th, 2010, 04:49 PM
There is a delicate aroma in the air. I believe this soup is going to turn out well. I mean, it smells very good!

It has been cooking in the slow cooker all day. I started with a base of stew beef, 1 onion, beef broth and added salt and pepper. While that was cooking, I chopped carrots and potatoes and added them, plus about two cups of water. About two hours later, I added about 1/4 head of one small cabbage (shredded), some yellow summer squash and some green beans. About an hour ago, I added a small can of creamed corn. The pot is now dangerously full and will tolerate no more ingredients. :hungry:

It looks like a very hearty, nutritious concoction, and it actually smells like something someone might want to eat (which is not always the case with my cooking).

AnnaRose
June 29th, 2010, 10:40 PM
I loved, loved, loved Julie and Julia. I read the book too (first, then saw the movie). I usually like to do that - if there is a book-movie tie in. Generally, the book is better, but in this case the movie was so much better - really funny and well done (the only other time this happened was with the Jane Austin Book Club - I couldn't even make it through the book, but LOVED the movie).

I'm glad that your soup was going well at last update - let us know how it turned out in the end!

Jennifer Shirk
June 30th, 2010, 06:21 AM
Hey, Lisa! I love to cook. Well, I LOVE to eat, hence I cook. LOL!!
Do you like shrimp or salmon? I have some easy and yummy recipes that are quick too.

Lisa Marie Wilkinson
June 30th, 2010, 10:10 AM
I loved, loved, loved Julie and Julia. I read the book too (first, then saw the movie). I usually like to do that - if there is a book-movie tie in. Generally, the book is better, but in this case the movie was so much better - really funny and well done (the only other time this happened was with the Jane Austin Book Club - I couldn't even make it through the book, but LOVED the movie).

I'm glad that your soup was going well at last update - let us know how it turned out in the end!

I really enjoyed The Jane Austin Book Club movie, too. If you like light comedy-romance, I highly recommend the movie "Leap Year." We rented it over the weekend, and I really enjoyed it.

And now....for the final soup update (drum roll and blaring trumpets here....) :fridge:

It was delicious! There was only a small amount left in the pot at the end of the evening. I was happy that something so nutritious actually went over so well at dinnertime.

Tonight, I think I'm going to attempt a pasta dish...wish me luck!

Lisa Marie Wilkinson
June 30th, 2010, 10:13 AM
Hey, Lisa! I love to cook. Well, I LOVE to eat, hence I cook. LOL!!
Do you like shrimp or salmon? I have some easy and yummy recipes that are quick too.

I like both! It's hard to find fresh seafood at my local stores, though, so I usually order it when we eat out, so it's really a treat! (And also a good excuse to go out to eat, LOL).

AnnaRose
June 30th, 2010, 11:17 AM
Yay! Congrats on your hard work - it's always a great feeling when a dish turns out really well!

Good luck on your pasta dish for this evening, and I haven't seen Leap Year yet, so I think I will check for it next time I visit the video store.