Sunday, September 27, 2009

When things don't go as planned

An alternative title for this post could be "This is Why You Do Not Bake On Wax Paper".

Now that everyone sees where this one's going, let's dive right in.

So this past week, I decided that a quick and simple dessert would be cake mix cookies. Cake mix. Rolled in sugar. Baked. 

Sounds easy. 

Too easy. (Well, for me. For any other person on the planet, right now they would be reading this shaking their heads enjoying a delicious cake mix cookie. I know how it is.) many of my ingredients are already in this pale yellow pile! This is great!
cake mix

I should point out now that I was making lemon cake mix cookies. I'm sure they could be made in any cake mix flavor, but I've really only seen them in lemon and chocolate. 

Maybe the chocolate mix would not have betrayed me so. 

So. I really did read the instructions of the recipe (and it got so many rave reviews that I really can't put any blame on anyone but myself). And I began to roll out the cookies into little yellow ever-so-slightly-lemon-scented orbs. 

And the dough began to ever-so-slightly glue itself to my hands. My now yellow and lemon-scented hands. 

Spiky sticky cookies

I then got the idea (uh oh) to dampen my hands in between cookies. Which did help, as the cookies turned out smoother and my hands were less glued to every surface within 4 feet. 

Brilliance at work
used to clean sticky dough off hands

So my plan (a Kitchenphobe, a plan, Panama?) was to form all of the cookies, then roll them in the sugar. When I tried lifting the cookies off of the sheet, well, even I had predicted what was going to happen.

Sticky cookie residue
sticky dough residue

I persevered, maintaining a "let's see what happens" attitude. 

Okay, looking better...
rolled and sugared

Oh boy, that looks like a mess. 
a bit of a mess

This pan looks like even more of a mess, because I had gotten frustrated with putting cookies in rows at this point. "They're baking where I put them, damn it!"
a bit more of a mess

Okay STOP. Imagine the sound of screeching brakes here. Or, more accurately, imagine the sound of a smoke alarm here. Or, you don't even have to imagine it. This is what happened, oh, about 12 seconds after I put the cookies into the oven, and persisted throughout the entire baking process, irregardless of magazine waving, window opening, and flat-out ignoring by/near/of it. 

(Wow, how messed up was that last sentence?) 

Why, oh why, did this happen? Please refer back to the alternative title of this post. Oh, you don't have to refer back, I won't make you do that. "This is Why You Do Not Bake On Wax Paper".

Why don't you bake on wax paper, my friends? 

Because this happens. 
Typing mmm or yum would be such a lie right now. 


Gross, right?

Oh and the whole house began to smell like lemon plastic. My mom asked if they could be known as Lysol cookies. 

Do you guys have disinfecting powers?
the cookies did expand

As you can probably tell, I didn't even let the cookies bake all the way. The smoke alarm was beeping. I had declared the cookies a disaster. 

At least I didn't have to wait for them to cool to store them properly
headed for the trash

I think if I had been baking for an actual occasion, I would have probably been more upset over my un-servable cookies. I chose to look at it as a learning experience. 

And what was the moral of this story?

Don't use materials that can melt as a surface for preparing food (particularly where heat is involved). 

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Breakfast of Champions

Originally uploaded by Kitchenphobe

I know, I know, I didn't make this (was the content itself a giveaway, or the ubiquious paper wrapping?). I also didn't construct the streetlights in the last photo.

But (another teaser?) I will be back in the kitchen soon, once again taking the various baking items out of the pantry. Promise.

However, I couldn't resist sharing my absolute most favoritest breakfast EVER with the internet. It's a small world after all...

This, if you are looking at my meal questioningly, is a taylor ham, egg, and cheese on a bagel. And oh, is it good.

Does this exist in other parts of the world? I hate to think that this is just a regional staple, but I have a slight inkling that it might be. Consulting an information go-to, Wikipedia seems to confirm my suspicions. (Actually also, when typing in "Taylor Ham" to the search field, it automatically pops up with "Pork Roll". While these terms are considered synonymous elsewhere, in my head they are not. And yes, I am well aware I am opening this up for a great battle/debate/throwdown of Taylor Ham vs. Pork Roll (and perhaps the ever-popular Hero vs Hoagie vs Sub vs Whatever Else It's Called In Your State/Town/House debate).) 

Anyways...if this doesn't exist by you, I'm very sorry. Because it is simply the best way to start your day, no matter what you call it (although I personally will hold fast to my naming beliefs). 

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Originally uploaded by Kitchenphobe

I like this picture. I like that you can't tell where it is (not that there's anything to hide). I like that all of the glowing lights are ever so slightly different.

I didn't even take out my camera with the intent of the vague streetlights - my camera was still on the macro setting and I thought "why not?"

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Adam!


I really didn't mean to leave you guys hanging with a mere tease of dessert for that long. I could make excuses, say that I didn't want to reveal the birthday dessert treat before Adam's actual birthday occurred, as to not ruin the surprise. 

I'm not going to make excuses - that's lame. 

What I will do, which is decidedly (decided by who? me.) not-lame (which makes it instantly lame by calling it that), is show you several pictures of desserty deliciousness and call it a day. 

Yup, that sounded good to me too. Perfect. 

So what did I decide to make for Adam's birthday?? 

Ready? Let's go. 

I would like to start off by saying that I HAVE LEARNED FROM MY MISTAKES. Having dealt with baking things that just would not let go of the pan, I refused to let that happen again. I read AND followed the "preparing of the pan" instructions. 

I know, that's really pretty remarkable for me. 

A vertiable fortress of non-stick
learning from my mistakes

Look at that greasing of the pan and aluminum foil job. Nothing's gonna stick there. 

(It's probably not a good sign how much of a look of satisfaction I had already)

Dry ingredients
dry ingredients

before melting


This totally gross-looking picture is sugar and vanilla. And by the looks of it, I'm pretty sure I would be able to have the bowl all to myself. Yay. 
sugar and vanilla

Four eggs. 'Cause the recipe said so. I'm such a good listener.

The batter beginning to come together
getting the batter together

Hey batter batter batter batter...okay I'll stop now.

The brownies, all baked
baked brownies

[For accuracy purposes, you can now stop here and come back in a day to finish the recipe. That's what I did.]

[Also for accuracy purposes, you can totally not realize you don't have powdered sugar on hand until you've already mixed together part of the topping. Or you can be totally prepared with all ingredients on hand. Someday I'll be like that. Ha.]

Oooey gooey topping. 

Oooey gooey topping, meet brownies
with the frosting

Bashing candy with a wooden spoon is fantastic for letting out all that frustration at yourself for not realizing you didn't have powdered sugar. 
crushed candies


Oooh. Ahh. 
candy candy candy

Let's take a closer look, shall we?
a side view

Check out that topping action
gooey goodness

Happy birthday Adam!!!
the platter

So was the birthday boy happy?

Adam (entirely un-prompted for the blog, btw): Have I ever told you that your brownies make me happy I'm alive?

I think that's pretty good praise, don't you? 

Friday, September 4, 2009

A bit of a tease, really

Originally uploaded by Kitchenphobe

So Adam's birthday is rapidly approaching, and I have been pondering the celebratory confection for some time. Should I make a cake? Cookies? A pie?

I have an idea in mind....but he (and by proxy, you as well), will have to wait...

(Oh yes, and so this post wasn't entirely me being vague, here is an incredibly close picture of a leaf. Enjoy, and have a safe and fun holiday weekend!)