Monday, May 17, 2010

Cheater Peter Meringue Pie Eater

Ok, so I know that I thought that I should stick to the Martha cookies. But I had a major joyous turning point today. As you know, I have some pretty severe health problems. This is why I haven't done a post in a while. I lost my insurance, too. But my state caseworker has informed me that I now have state sponsored health care! Yippee! The villagers rejoice! Now, just about more than anything else, I love pie. I love pie more than life. So, I thought that I would make lemon meringue pie. Yes, that's right. I said meringue. Maybe my 1st meringue attempt was a fluke. This recipe is not from M.S. And I did receive some help, yes, cheating. I used a frozen pie crust. I had a can of lemon pie filling, in addition to a jar of lemon curd that I had received from my best friend in California. Straight from England. I mixed the 2 together for the filling. But I did follow the directions for pie meringue in the Betty Crocker cookbook. It took a lot longer to get glossy, curled peaks than the book said. But I prevail again! So the meringue saga ends, and, Lord willing that I don't have any more immediate health problems, I can move on to another recipe. Look at that pie! Isn't it glorious?!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Meringue Porcupines

Let  me say at the outset of this blog, that I cannot make meringue in any way, shape, or form. All previous attempts have been an abyssmal failure. I don't even know what stiff peaks look like. I have never seen them before. But Martha put a recipe in it for meringue, so by golly, if she can do it, so can I! I will not concede to failure! I put all the ingredients in my kitchenaid mixer exactly like they told me to. I beat the eggs at just the speed and the length that I was told. I almost started crying. Imagine the scene before me when I found stiff peaks of meringue formed at the bottom of the bowl. After I did my happy dance and sang "We Are the Champions", I scooped them on the paper on top of my cookie sheet. Using 2 large metal spoons work great for this. Then I made my porcupine quills by taking my offset spatula, dipping into the top of the meringue, and pulling it out. Only problem is, they  say to bake it at 200 degrees for 1 hour. They are supposed to crispy on the outside, but the consistency of marshmallow on the inside. I don't know if it is my oven, the elevation, or what, but it took a maddening 2 hours to bake! Then I made the almond cream, which isn't particulary sweet, just almondy. I had to indent the bottoms of the meringues to fit the cream into the indentation, and then slather the other side with apricot preserves. Then you may shmush them together. Pros: They looked beautiful, just like in the picture. They were a light cookie, but not too sweet. I liked them.
Cons: Ridiculously long baking time. It only makes a few cookies. If you don't eat them within 2 days, you have to throw them out. My father and husband decided that this is "interesting"' which is man translation for crap. Well I liked it and that is all that matters. So ha!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cutout sugar cookies 101

Well, I attempted to follow the recipe in Martha's Cookies book for cutout sugar cookies. I was planning on making them for my married friends' anniversaries, instead of buying them presents, which I have no cash for. First I forgot to seperate the flour/dry ingredient mixture in a second bowl. My butter wasn't exactly room temperature. Who has time for that? Then, when I tried to take it out of the mixing bowl to seperate it into 2 saran wrapped individual quantities, it was sticky. Is this common? I put it in the fridge. Then I spread flour everywhere on my movable dishwasher to attempt to roll them out. They stuck to my rolling pin like mud sticks to a hog. I had to knead them with considerably more flour. I cut them out, and proceeded to decorate with red/pink/white/lavender/chocolate sprinkles. And baked accordingly. Oops! I forgot to freeze the cutouts on the cookie sheets. Crap! And I didn't use the baking adjustments for high elevation! I did line the cute cookie tin with silver paper and put a bow on it, though. I have a memory only for the trivial. The obvious completely escapes me. Upside: They looked decent. Downside: They were as hard as rocks. Maybe mine didn't turn out right, but I think that they would only really be useful for decoration, i.e. baby shower favors, Christmas tree decorations, etc. I  had to send the recipient a note stating that she should put them in the microwave, they were supposed to be crunchy, or dip them in coffee.
Next time, I think I will try the chewy sugar cookie recipe. What the heck is sanding sugar?! I'm pretty sure that my grocery store doesn't offer that.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Question of the Day

Is Martha really that perfect in her home life? Is it only only because she has staff? Is she or could she be just as neurotic and periodically as lazy as me?

My Mission Statement

My mission, should I chose to accept it, (very Bond-esque, don't you think?) is to accomplish all of Martha Stewart's recipes from her cookie book within 2 years. Is this a shameless rip-off of Julie and Julia? Quite possibly. But I was so inspired by her journey of self-discoverment, that I had to start my own. I daresay that I won't ever get to meet her, be on her show, talk to her, or have my own book or movie. But I am in a point in my life where I have had a nervous breakdown, diagnosed as bein bipolar, and I am waiting for my disability to kick in. Needless to say, I have a lot of down time. My hubby and I have been married for 6 yrs this May 2. I have a teensy tiny home, and I can only do so much house chores. My housekeeping leaves something to be desired anyway. But anyhoo, if there is 1 thing that I know that I can do, it is bake. I am starting with her sugar cookies. I have decided to make heart-shaped sugar cookies for all of my friends' anniversaries in cute tins, as I can't afford anything else. So today is a beautiful, clear spring day in Western Colorado, and I wake up with a cold! Aargh! Is the universe conspiring against me?! I had big plans to make a daffodil bed, clean out my other bulb bed, and go on poopie patrol. I guess that they will never bloom. I have 2 mini-schnauzers named Milo and Sophie. We are physically incapable of having kids, so they are my life. Well, that is all the needless info you need about me for now. Please feel free to post any observations or questions.