Now that I have a break in studying, I’m really eager to catch up on hobbies that I haven’t been able to do very much. Today was my first foray into baking cookies. I’m afraid of baking because I HATE having to follow directions to a tee. The wrong proportion of baking soda to butter to salt to flour and you end up with something completely different with less than satisfactory results. I managed to transcend these fears today though when I made a batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies following a Cook’s Illutstrated recipe. I’m still not very fond of baking. It just seems like very exact and complicated. As I said, I hate following directions. The recipe called for 2 cups of sugar (half light brown, half white). That just seems like waaaay too much sugar to me! My teeth would ache eating that! So I used marginally less sugar: 1 cup light brown, 1/2 cup white)/ It still came out a bit too sugary for my liking. They seem to be a success though. I left a large bowl of cookies on the counter when I left for dinner with friends and when I came back there were only 4 or 5 left.
I also braised a pork roast. This was a piece of cake compared to making those cookies and I only used one large aluminim skillet! First I rubbed the roast with kosher salt, then I blanched the pork first in some boiling water. I seared it a couple minutes on both sides, added water, poured light soy sauce over the pork, added two dried chilli peppers, and two star anise, a little dark brown sugar, and some more water, then simmered it about 1.5 hours, turning it over about 4 or 5 times. The result: tender savory pork! Yumm.
For dinner I went to China Bistro with Leaf and Angie for dumplings. I think these are the best dumplings I’ve had in a while. And I really love dumplings. You can really taste the freshness of the ingredients. I practically gorged myself on them. I brought a few of my cookies to dinner and they had a good reception. 🙂