Thursday, 22 September 2011

get your shit together

JennieI feel like I've typed a million of these posts. You know the one. The "I'm going to cook more!" post. The one that turns into, "I love cooking!" that turns into "I haven't been cooking as much as I'd like," to "We've ordered pizza for dinner for the past six days!" to "My pants don't fit!" to "I'm going to cook more!"

It's a vicious cycle, is what I'm saying, and I'm stuck somewhere between "My pants don't fit!" and "I'm going to cook more!" only we're moving in a month so YEAH I'm probably not going to be cooking more for at least a month and a half. But I can try.

The first thing I do, before trying any recipe, is I Google the hell out of any and all variations of it because WHAT IF THERE IS A BETTER RECIPE OUT THERE. I have a problem, and the fact that practically all information EVER is at my fingertips is not helping. Eventually, I stop searching and decide on a recipe. Then I read it and Google anything I don't understand, like roux or braise. The Googling process can take a while. It's sort of like internet dating.

Anyway. Today! Today we are baking Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting. I know. Hold onto your butts. I was going to type the recipe for you but just click on that link instead, OK? Lazy.

Since I already picked out the recipe and I think I know what all of the instructions mean, the next step is to check the kitchen to see what ingredients I already have. Usually I have, oh, about none of them, so I have to go to the grocery store, which is one of my least favorite things to do on account of all the people there, all up in my business. The one thing I do like about going to the grocery is that I get to make a list.

Once I buy all of the ingredients, I head home and realize I'm too tired to cook anything because OMG YOU GUYS I WORK FOR A LIVING AND ALL I WANT TO DO WHEN I GET HOME IS WATCH RERUNS OF MAD MEN UNTIL IT'S TIME TO SLEEP.

Ahem. OK, this DOES sometimes happen, but usually I can shame myself into cooking by thinking about all the money I just spent and how the food might go bad if I don't cook it right then.

Time to start cooking! I learned from Kat that you should always start by getting your mise en place, which means "get your shit together," basically. I put all the ingredients on the counter (usually in the order I need them! nerd!), as well as any measuring spoons/cups I might need. Then I read the recipe like five times because it's usually at this point that I think I've forgotten something really important. But I don't think that I did this time. I guess we'll find out.

I made the frosting the night before the cookies because I can only handle so much cooking in one night. After I made the frosting, I had to restrain myself from taking a spoon and eating it all right then and there because it was SO GOOD. I mean, it's cream cheese, butter, a ton of powdered sugar, and MAPLE SYRUP, how could it NOT be good? I'm glad I made it early, though, because it was a bit runny and needed to be in the refrigerator to set, I think. Oh! If you do this, make sure to take the frosting out of the fridge so it can get to room temperature before you try and ice the cookies with it. Otherwise it'll be all hard and unspready (technical term). Although, I let mine get to room temperature and it was still too runny, so what do I know? Whatever, the first time you try a recipe, it doesn't count.

Time for the cookies! Wheeeeee! Actually, I'm not really sure they're cookies. They taste like muffin tops. But let's call them cookies because I'm not sure what else to call them.

After making the frosting, making the cookies shouldn't be all that hard, right? You just mix all the shit together that you didn't already mix together for frosting, bake it, and BOOM cookies. Midway through whisking all the shit together, I remembered that I have a super fancy stand mixer that I probably should have used but I was too busy pretending I was in Potions class so let's move on, shall we?

Don't be frightened if your batter looks like vomit.
Also midway through, I tried one of the cookies. This was a huge mistake because A) I hadn't eaten dinner yet and B) IT WAS DELICIOUS. So delicious that I wanted to eat the rest while I waited for more to bake AND I HADN'T EVEN ADDED FROSTING YET.

So after like a million hours, all of your cookies will be done. Let them cool and be careful not to burn yourself. If you're like me, when you do inevitably burn yourself, stick your fingers in the frosting that's still cool from the fridge. DOCTORED.

Burny. Except not really because these aren't cookied yet. BURN. YES. Nailed it.
The cookies will take what feels like forever to cool and you'll want to eat them all but DON'T. Or do. I don't care. It's your life. If you don't eat them, though, slap some frosting in between two of them, squish them together, and EAT THEM ALL LIKE YOU ARE THE COOKIE MONSTER. Or Whoopie Pie Monster. Whatever.

I meant to take a picture of the finished product but I forgot. This is why I leave the professional food blogging to Kat. Just go look at these pictures some more.

Recipe is from Brown Eyed Baker. All shitty pictures are from ME.


Kiti said...

I just have to say that I'm shocked at how people don't know how to cook anymore. I don't mean you specifically, Jennie, because you make an effort and do fine, but I mean young people in general. [I'm old and crotchety.] People don't know what roux is, or how to make it, and they don't realize how many recipes are based around it. People don't even know how to steam rice in a pot on the stove. It's crazy. My mother made sure all her kids knew how to cook from scratch. So, you know, I KNOW how to cook, but I'm generally too lazy to do it. I never even get my vicious cycle started.

Jennie said...

I don't know, I don't consider myself a young person, really, anymore (not that I'm super old, either) and most of my friends don't know how to cook from scratch. My mom didn't even know how to cook when she got married. I think it just depends on the's awesome that your mom taught you how to cook!

kat said...

food blogging is hard! honestly a lot of the reason i don't post more is because at some part of the process i've forgotten to take pictures.

those whoopie pies sound AWESOME and i want one RIGHT NOW. maybe with some bacon in the middle.

Jennie said...

Bacon makes everything better! Also, I would never think of that. I bow down to your cooking prowess.

mysterygirl! said...

You always make the best picture captions.

I am 32 years old and I don't know what roux is. And I'm not going to look it up :)

Jennie said...

FYI we ate these at lunch and I wish I'd made double. Triple. No, like, a million of them.

Sally said...

Pinterest is my new bestest friend. And, not just for all the great pins, but oh my goodness, the recipes! And, boy have I found just a few that I actually printed and are in my purse (for those times I might wander into a store for milk). Annnnnyway, the best one is salted carmel frosting. Yeh, there's a cake to put it on, but I figure I can buy a Sara Lee frozen chocolate cake and just make frosting to slather on it.

Oh, and there is a blog where the gal drinks and cooks, which is what I do, when I cook. And, IF I cook. Just set your video on a tripod. Should be a fun blog to watch.

Kiti said...

I can blog and I can cook, but I've found that I can't blog about cooking. Seriously. This one time, I started a post about baking bread and I never finished it because my mom told me that I should post some recipes to illustrate what I was saying about bread, and I was like, "What? Everyone knows how to make bread." But it turns out, there are some people who have never baked bread, ever. It blew my mind. But it also explained why grocery stores have big aisles full of processed bread: people buy it because they don't make it at home. I sound like a cooking snob, and I'm totally not, because my son and I eat a lot of cheese and crackers, not to mention ramen. But I thought there were some things that everyone just knew how to do, like sew on a button and bake a loaf of bread. Turns out, that's not the case.

My mom doesn't love to cook, but she does it well anyway. She made sure that all her children learned to cook, including the boys, because she said that her sons would get married for love, and not just because they needed someone to cook for them. A prescient woman, my mother.

You can call me, 'Sir' said...

I cook all the time, but stopped posting stuff about it because of the picture-taking conundrum: Taking pictures of food in various states of cookery requires pausing during the action, which is poor form when you have The Hunger.

Also, there are pangs of laziness that may or not be part of that 'no posting' equation', but I didn't come here to point fingers at myself.

Jennie said...

Everything takes so much effort. I need an assistant.

I am currently taking resumes. I can't pay you but you can play with Max all day.

eclectic said...

Please make and send me these ASAP. I'm making a really cute and irresistible pouty please-face at you RIGHT NOW!

P.J. said...

Don't feel bad. If you think about the nature of cooking up until about the womens liberation , it was meant to be done by someone who could focus on it. That person could be a chef, or a stay at home mom. Either way, this whole cooking thing was not designed to be done after a 12 hour work day.

Go watch mad men, and enjoy your pizza. =D

(and another thing, why do we have to be cute, sexy, independent, emotionally available, and able to cook? Can I do a rant post with you on that?)