Monday, May 3, 2010


Well, I didn’t break up with Martha after last week’s dinner.  I took her back and made her frittata.  And now I think I’m ending it for good.  Really.  I might hook up with Rachel Rae.  Or Julia.  We’ll see.
I was sans children when I went grocery shopping today and I was still in a hurry!  That’s because I waited until mr came home so I could leave the kids since they have colds.  That meant I had to shop as quickly as possible so I could go home and cook our one good meal for the week or we wouldn’t be eating until like 9:00 and then EVERYONE would be crabby.
So, I suppose you know what that means.  I know I say this every single week, and one of these times I think I may take my own advice, but this week was not one of these times.  Yep.  I just grabbed a recipe that I set aside to try without reading it through.  It’s this recipe for Pasta and Cheese frittata, courtesy of Martha (if you didn’t already guess that).  So when I started shopping for ingredients, I realized that I was supposed to have made half of this recipe the night before so I could use the leftovers tonight.  Obviously, I didn’t do that.  So I didn’t have the recipe for the pasta dish I was supposed to have used in the meal and I had to improvise.  The recipe said the dish was a pasta and tomato sauce meal and the picture showed tortellini type pasta, so I went with it.  Basically that means I did things a little backwards.  We will be having leftover pasta that we didn’t use all of in tonight’s meal, tomorrow.
I followed the recipe right up until it told me to pour the mixed up items into a large skillet that is oven safe.  Um, oven safe?  I asked the recipe.  Couldn’t you have warned me about this sooner?
Because, yes, you’re correct, I don’t have a large skillet that is oven safe.
I was pretty much at a loss for what to do.  mr told me I’d just have to transfer dishes in order to put it in the oven, and as I had nothing else to make for dinner, I agreed.
I cooked it up for the allotted six minutes.  Then, I cooked it up for 6 minutes more because I noticed that the burner hadn’t actually been lit so all I was doing was gassing it, not cooking it.  I then had to try to transfer the not completely cooked egg dish by flipping it into a round pie dish so I could put it in the oven.  Which is all well and good, except that the top ended up on the bottom, obviously, which means that the part that was already cooked was now going to be broiled, instead of the part that still needed cooking.  I decided to try baking it for a while.... but the bottom remained uncooked.  So I took it out and flipped it, once again, into a different round pie dish, so the top was, once again, on the top.  After flipping some of it onto the floor, I pushed it into the oven (once again) and set the timer so I wouldn’t broil it too long.

As it turns out, the timer didn’t really prevent that, though.  When I took it out of the oven, instead of being a “golden brown” as the recipe promised, it was really more of a “charcoal briquette” color - but only on half of it.  The rest of it was ok.
It didn’t taste ok though.  This is when I discovered that my parents lie to me.  They thought it was ‘great.’  Now, if by ‘great’ they meant “pretty disgusting in texture and bland in taste, but we’ll eat it anyway because our daughter made it and besides I’m hungry because all I had today was slimfast” then, ok, it was great.  Sure.  But I think they were really just trying to pacify me.  Because later on tonight, mr came up to me and told me that he agreed with me.  Martha is loosing her touch.  He said he too was detecting a pattern in her dishes. (That pattern being that they disappoint us.)
Now, here is where I tell you in full disclosure, that I may be partly to blame.  Maybe cooking it in a large skillet and putting it in the oven right from the stove without flipping it around first was crucial.  (If so, they really should say that on the recipe.  You know, “if you don’t have a skillet, don’t attempt this.  No substitutions,” something like that.)  I, for one, don’t think that has much to do with flavor, though, and the flavor was only so-so at best.  I say, skip this one.  Unless you really like frittatas, because maybe you’d enjoy it anyway then.

For a side I made Bruschetta toasts.  I’m aware there are probably thousands of recipes out there for this, but I used
this one from recipezaar.  I’ve never made bruschetta toasts before and I LOVE bruschetta.  I would totally make this recipe again, because it was easy to do and did I mention that I LOVE bruschetta?  mr helped by cutting up the tomatoes.  I let them soak in the balsamic vinaigrette and garlic while I broiled the Italian bread.  

(mmmm... I would eat this right out of the bowl)

I rubbed the bread with garlic (did you know that garlic kind of melts into hot toast??  Weird, huh?)

(notice those two burnt pieces I made just for my dad?  
No, not really.  But he does like burnt pieces...)

topped with the tomato stuff and cheese and broiled again.  YUM.  Too bad for mr - he’s not a fan of bruschetta.  This meal was a bust for him.

But dessert was pretty good!  It was something of my own design.  I knew I would need to make something easy as I was so pressed for time tonight.  I decided to just use things I had on hand.  You may know from my earlier post today that I made this dessert called “triffle” yesterday afternoon.  I had split up my pound cake into two loaf pans and only used one loaf, so I pulled out the other loaf and did this:
Primo Pound Cake:

1 loaf pound cake
*1/4 (or a little less - I’m bad at guesstimations) small jar of chocolate fudge
*1/4 (see above) small jar of caramel
**the kind you put on ice cream
1 pack strawberries, washed, cut up and sprinkled with sugar (refrigerate for at least an hour so it makes its own juice)
A few scoops whipped cream
Poke some small holes in the pound cake.  Drizzle with hot fudge and caramel.  Top with strawberries and syrup and dollop with whipped cream.  Enjoy!

Easy shmeezy and yummy!  It was a hit, I did very little work on it and I used up the pound cake loaf that I wasn’t sure what to do with.

So, in short: 
1.  Use the correct tools for the job (I should have learned this when I was about 19 and helping my best friend move into her new dorm room.  I was unscrewing the back of a little lamp to put batteries in it and I couldn’t get the screwdriver on her swiss army knife to work right so I just used the knife itself and ended up with 6 stitches sewing on the tip of my finger which I had cut off save for a small strip of skin... wait.  Was that too much information?)  Anyway, this also means using an oven safe skillet when you need to instead of improvising.  Unless you know a better way to improvise than I do.  In which case, you should tell me.
2.  It’s totally cool if you like Martha still, but I’m calling her last three dinners at my house FLOPS.
3.  Garlic melts.  (Who knew?)
4.  MOST IMPORTANTLY:  Leave room for dessert.  bug has this down.  Three bites of dinner and he’s ready for the best part. 

(mini looks on enviously during dessert...)

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