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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I must confess...

I haven't been cooking lately...I know I'm horrible. Thats why i haven't updated. The truth is, everyone has been cooking for me. It's been pretty awesome. Tonight, my mother-in-law made her home made spaghetti sauce, which is by far, my favorite thing that she cooks. I love pasta. Last night, while I was working, my husband made red beans and rice with sausage. (Also one of my favorite things to eat.) Sunday, we ate at the in-laws. It
was some type of stuffed salmon, which was quite tasty. Saturday night, Jon (my husband), Joe (our friend) and I went to Jon's parents' house because both of their birthdays were earlier in the week. Jon made chicken Alfredo from scratch and I made a German chocolate cake from scratch. (Even the icing) they were both quite delicious. We all ate too much food. I can't remember what we had before all of that awesomeness. I'll update when I actually cook something, which should be soon. This can't last forever right? On a side note, we still haven't figured out the bread. However, I need to take a trip to Allie's house so I can get a bread-making seminar from her and Ross. I can't wait.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Everyone Makes Mistakes

I'm adding this post to show one of my mistakes. I attempted to make bread this evening. It did not go so well. The bread tasted ok but was not the intended texture. The picture shows the ending result and no, it is not pretty at all. It did not rise properly first of all. The lesson I take from this is to read my recipe thoroughly BEFORE attempting it. The recipe called for 2-3 tsp of iodized salt and 1 tsp of sea salt. The recipe then said to add salt. So I added ALL the salt. Later in the recipe, it said to sprinkle the sea salt on top of the bread. I'm sure that did not help. And it tasted a little salty. Another problem here is that it was not cooked all the way. I now see this. When it first came out of the oven, it was hard for me to tell.

So to sum it up, here's what I take away from this:

1. Read the recipe before beginning.

2. The bread was undercooked.

3. I did not let it rise long enough.

More to come on my adventure with bread. I will try again tomorrow. Good night.

Cleaning Products

I mentioned earlier that I will now be making my own cleaning products. It's actually pretty easy and SO cheap. I will never again buy pre-made stuff at the store.

Today I made laundry detergent (which is very expensive but cheap to make). It takes a little bit of time and effort but nothing unreasonable. Here's the recipe I used.

I also made all purpose cleaner, which is even easier than the laundry soap. There's tons of recipes out there. I used this one. I'm making glass cleaner next. I usually like to have an all purpose cleaner and a cleaner specific for glass.

I don't know about you but I am horrible about cleaning my bathtub. It always seems to get skipped every time I clean because I spend so much time on other more pressing things. I recently made this as a potential solution. I will update on how it works out.

Here's another good one to get the water stains off the ice/water dispenser.

I found all of this on Pinterest by the way. I've found tons of good stuff on there but you can just google it if you do not want to set up an account.

That's all the cleaning stuff for now. I will be adding more as I run out of things such as dish washing soap.

Post Holiday

Now that the holidays have come to a close, I'm actually home on the weekend. We've been out of town the past 2 or 3 weeks so it's been pretty crazy. There was lots of cooking going on over the holidays but mostly not my doing so nothing significant to report there.

On New Year's Eve, I decided to start by making some Cuban bread. A friend of mine, Joe, who is from Florida (and half Cuban) brought some of the pig they roasted for "Noche Buena." From what I understand, it's a traditional Cuban celebration around Christmas time where a pig is roasted in someone's backyard and lots of good food, fun and family time is had. I'm not sure if it is their family that does this, but I think it's a Cuban thing. Joe and I had been talking about making Cuban bread for awhile now. According to my friends from south Florida, the bread is what makes the Cuban sandwich so I knew we had to master this. I found a website awhile back: Taste of Cuba. This website has authentic Cuban recipes and of course had the recipe for Cuban bread. I'd never successfully made bread before so I was a bit nervous. It came out great. Those of us who didn't know any better thought it was perfect. Joe, however, said the taste was spot on but the texture needed to be changed a bit. We brought in the new year with delicious Cuban sandwiches and a good time.