Thinking back when I was younger, I have memories of trying to bake cakes or cookies and trying to help out Mom when I could (taste testing!) When I hit my teenage years, I was side tracked with growing up and dealing with the issues that come with that and lost interest in cooking/baking among other things.
When I hit my 20's, I had grown tired of always eating out for most of our meals and remembered how much I enjoyed spending time in the kitchen. I started slowly and made a lot of mistakes along the way. Many of which we did eat (ugh.... not so good memories!), but I've been getting better over the years I think. I've learned from reading many cookbooks, over the internet and picked up quite a few tips from television shows on PBS and FoodTV. I'm not a professional cook by any means, nor do I try to be. I certainly don't get paid to do this and I am truly just an amatuer trying to be the best I can. Do I someday wish to do this professionaly? Maybe, but right now I'm happy with where I am at.
We send along pictures as we go, and while we don't have expensive equiptment we do strive to make them fun or interesting. They don't always look how I want them to, or they may be pretty plain, but that's just how it is. We enjoy playing with digital cameras, but soley on an amatuer basis - we do it for fun and learn as we go.
I'm here to share the recipes we try (be it a success or failure), new products we might find and our adventures in the kitchen. If you happen to come upon a recipe you haven't tried and love it, great! If we talk about a product we bought that you didn't know was out there, cool! I still have a lot to learn, try some of the many foods we have not eaten, and I'll share some of the tips and tricks we learn as we go. We're always open to input, tips and suggestions!
So if you are still with us, let's get to dinner!
We have made quite a few casseroles or stratas that call for cubed bread, using sourdough or french. Tonight's dish, English Muffin Strata with Ham and Cheese, uses these firm and spongy-on-the-inside muffins. I used a Whole Grain version we've seen in the store before - it added a nutty flavor and a more hearty texture. They are first split, cut into wedges and then half of them are placed in the bottom of a baking dish. Salty Canadian bacon and rich Swiss cheese are layered over and then the remaining wedges are arranged on top. This is left to soak in a slightly spicy mixture of plain soy milk, eggs, mustard and cayenne for a few hours. After the trip in the oven, the mixture puffs up from the eggs and a crisp outside crust forms on top. The inside is firm, but a bit creamy from the amount of liquid. This will make for an excellent lunch tomorrow.