Long busy day yesterday!  In baking lab, we made sticky buns and cinnamon rolls.  Chef also asked me and my lab partner to make biscuits for the class.  He asked another group to make scrambled eggs so we could have breakfast.  The biscuits turned out very well, as did the scrambled eggs.  I had my eggs on top of the biscuit halves with a little Tabasco and some salt.  It was awesome!  The sticky buns and cinnamon rolls both turned out really nicely.  The only problem was clean-up.  Sticky buns have a topping that is basically a carmel, and that crap does not want to come out of the pans!  We used muffin tins, and they were a bear to clean.  One of my classmates, Mark, said that if he ever makes them again, he wants to try to use muffin liners.  I don’t know how that will work or if there’s a trick to getting the sticky off the tins.  Maybe just more butter.

Earlier in the week, I made salmon for dinner.  My mom bought a 2-pound fillet, and I cooked it two ways.  I cut it into pieces and marinated half in a sesame ginger dressing then baked it in foil packets.  The other half I just seasoned with salt and pepper and fried it in a pan with olive oil.  The second way is my favorite way to cook salmon because it’s fast and easy and is pretty consistent.

I also baked some Quiche Lorraine scones that were really yummy.  They have bacon, swiss cheese, and green onions in them.  I’ve thought of a few ways to alter them already.  I’d like to replace the swiss with a Gruyère or a smoked cheese, maybe a gouda, or even cheddar.  I’d also like to play around with a red onion or a sweet onion instead of the green onion.  The green onion was a little mild for my taste.  I could smell it, but I couldn’t taste it as much as I’d like.  I also think it needs more bacon.  The recipe called for only 7 slices of bacon, but I think that I could have cooked the entire pound and been happier with the finished product.  Next time I make them, I’m going to ratchet up the cayenne (or change it to black pepper), add more bacon, change the cheese to a sharp cheddar, and use diced red onion.  Really, this recipe has a lot of possibilities, and I think I’ll really like playing with it.

My next culinary investment is going to be a digital kitchen scale.  My parents don’t have one, so I need to find something that will allow me to practice at home what I’ve been doing in the baking lab.  America’s Test Kitchen recommended one that had a pretty good-sized capacity, and you could pull out the little thing that tells you the weight so that you can use all kinds of different containers.  I think it’s OXO.  I saw an OXO one recently that looked like I remember the ATK-recommended one looking, but I don’t remember what brand that one was, so I can’t be sure.  Good thing the internet exists!

This weekend is going to be pretty relaxing.  I have beer and wine on Saturday, but my parents will be out of town Saturday night.  I love them, but it will be nice to have a little quiet time.  School has been very busy – I didn’t realize I was taking so many credits, but I’m up to 22.  For a quarter, that’s a lot, even if some of them are easy.  My sister’s birthday is Saturday; my parents are going to Toledo to see her and go with my youngest brother to parents’ weekend stuff at Boling Green.  I’m making a more grown-up version of Oatmeal Scotchies for my parents to take up with them.  It’s from ATK, and they usually have good recipes.  Martha is still my go-to for baked goods, but I stumbled on this and wanted to give it a try since it’s her favorite.  You melt the butterscotch chips instead of adding them straight to the dough.  They’re a bar cookie, and there’s also a butterscotch glaze that you pour over them while they’re still warm.  She may not like them as much as she likes the original, but it’s something new to try!

I’m making friends (slowly), but it’s still weird being back here.  There are a lot of things I miss about Maryland – my friends of course, my favorite Chinese restaurant, a good place for Greek food, a high-end liquor store where I can get recommendations, the liberal slant of most of the people.  But, there are also good things about Southern Ohio – the people certainly are friendlier, it feels safer, Donato’s Pizza, it’s more laid-back and comfortable here, and I get to attend culinary school for not a lot of money.  Once I get a job, I’m going to start thinking about moving out of my parents’ house so that I have a space all my own again.  Until then, it’s nice to not be the one who has to worry about paying the bills on time.


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