As I’ve mentioned in the past, cooking and baking are stress relievers for me. When I need to regain some balance in my life, one of the places this happens is in the kitchen. Family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors have all benefited from my getting back into balance.
This weekend I’ve spent a lot of time in the kitchen.
Yesterday had a purpose for cooking as we had our inaugural neighborhood Multicultural Food Festival. We wanted to celebrate the many cultures of our neighbors while helping develop a sense of community. For it I made Hungarian Goulash, which was planned, and added some rosemary bread to go with it. I also helped the hubby with his dish by being his Sous chef.
Today, after sweating to death mowing the grass in 1000% humidity, I went back into the kitchen.
We have a potluck on Tuesday for some team members who are leaving. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to take at first. This morning I decided I’d make my brownie boats, which have been a big hit in the past. I’m mixing up the filling and the icing though. The filling will be blackberry preserves topped with a white chocolate buttercream frosting.
After the brownies came out, I decided it was time to make some no-bake cookies. What I didn’t take into account was the high humidity, which was felt inside even with the a/c on. I followed my usual recipe, but the cookies had a hard time setting. Once I’d placed them on the parchment paper, and seeing how soft they were remaining, I remembered this has happened last year with similar humidity. I’m adding this little (major) note to the recipe so I don’t repeat this error again.
It was on to jambalaya next. This had been on my plan for a dinner this week, but we got off schedule a little. If I didn’t make it today, the meat would’ve gone bad as I was already pushing it a bit. I used a new ingredient, rabbit, that I’d never used before. The rabbit was whole, and honestly, I don’t think I got as much meat off of it as I could’ve had I known what I was doing. When I had the grand plan of rabbit over chicken, I thought it would be as simple as cutting up a chicken. But alas, nothing could be farther from the truth. If I use rabbit again, which I will because it tastes good, I’m going to see if I can order it cubed or in strips.
Once the jambalaya was done, I thought I was finished for the day. My plan was to relax a bit and watch some Olympics. It would have been nice to sit outside, but the humidity hadn’t really lowered.
My brain had other plans for me. It kept reminding me of the strawberries and blueberries just waiting to be used in our smaller fridge. Strawberry pie and blueberry muffins were planned for them. I had wanted to make Oreo crust, but I discovered we were out of Oreos. The hubby pointed out we had graham crackers, which make a nice crust for strawberry pie too. So, I made a strawberry pie.
Since I made the pie, I figured I may as well make the muffins.
We now have strawberry pie for dessert tomorrow, plus blueberry muffins for breakfast. There are no-bake cookies in the cookie jar (the jar has been empty for a little while since pound cake doesn’t fit well in a cookie jar). I’m having what is left of the jambalaya for lunch tomorrow. Goulash and rosemary bread leftovers will be a dinner this week. Plus the brown boats will be ready for the potluck on Tuesday.
Hope this week is less stressful. Otherwise, there might be more treats in the house next weekend, which will not be good for my waistline.
On the bright side, the house smells quite homey right now.