Google Amy's Cooking Adventures: May 2020

Saturday, May 30, 2020



It’s time for this month Food N Flix!  This month’s movie is Midnight in Paris, hosted by Debra at Eliot’s Eats.


This is a new to me movie and I am so glad Debra suggested it!  I’m no good at writing synopses, I always leave them to the experts, (why reinvent the wheel?)  here’s synopsis from IMDB:


Gil and Inez travel to Paris as a tag-along vacation on her parents' business trip. Gil is a successful Hollywood writer but is struggling on his first novel. He falls in love with the city and thinks he and Inez should move there after they get married, but Inez does not share his romantic notions of the city or the idea that the 1920s were the golden age. When Inez goes off dancing with her friends, Gil takes a walk at midnight and discovers what could be the ultimate source of inspiration for writing. Gil's daily walks at midnight in Paris could take him closer to the heart of the city but further from the woman he's about to marry.


 The movie was quirky and funny.  I loved the sense of whimsy, the 1920’s setting, and everything.  I loved that it made me realize that so many of the great writers and artists of that time would have known each other and interacted on a regular basis.  It’s amazing!


I didn’t notice ton of food while I was watching (maybe I was too interested in the story to pay attention to food).


However, I did notice some baguettes in several scenes.  So I decided to make my own baguettes.  And I also remade croissants!


The baguettes I made were super delicious (I used this recipe from King Arthur Flour), but they didn’t look like the picture!  How to people get their bread to rise and brown like that?!?  I even bought a baguette pan this time around!


Long story short, I’m going to keep trying on the baguettes until they look like that picture.   But if you’re not worried about picture perfect - definitely make these baguettes - they are delicious!


Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Arroz con Coca-Cola (Brown Rice with Coca-Cola)

Oh boy.

It’s Cook the Books Club time and this one was a doozy.

The book follows the history or what is sometimes termed “hippie food” (as the title suggests).  Here’s the thing though, with the internet and the sharing of cultures, are brown rice, lentils, and brown bread (and the like) still even referred to as hippie food anymore?  Regardless of what it’s called now, in the 1970’s when these foods really started to take off in some subcultures in the US, it was called hippie food.

As I started reading, there were certainly some interesting tidbits, but between those tidbits, it was a slog, almost like reading a textbook.  I got about halfway through the brown rice chapter when I started skimming.  I read most of the brown bread chapter (as a bread baker, I thoroughly enjoyed that chapter.  And after that I just lost interest. 

One of the most interesting things I noted as I read was that the trend of hippie food started as a pursuit for optimal health and longevity...while on copious amounts of illicit drugs.  Kinda mind boggling.

As luck would have it, right as I decided to be finished skimming the rest of the book, I came across a brown rice recipe as I was researching for a different blog event. 

Friday, May 22, 2020

Wookie Cookies

It’s time to continue on with the last of this year’s Star Wars themed recipes: Wookie Cookies!

I kept this one simple.  I used my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and played with the chocolate chip ratio a bit - plus decorated them to look like wookies!   So fun!  

Wookie Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup brown sugar
¼ cup white sugar
1 (3.4 oz) package vanilla instant pudding
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
¾ cup mini chocolate chips, divided
2 tablespoons Mallow Bits (or while chocolate chips)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line baking sheets with parchment.

Place the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until smooth and creamy.  Add the pudding mix and mix until combined.

Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix each one thoroughly; stir in the vanilla.

Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the baking soda, salt, and flour. 

Stir in ½ cup of the chocolate chips.

Use a 2 tablespoon scoop to drop the cookies onto the prepared sheets.

Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool on wire racks.

Melt the remaining chocolate chips.  Use a piping bag or zipper bag with one corner cut off to pipe a face and bandolier.  Place Mallow Bits across the bandolier (alternately, melt the while chocolate and pipe white onto the bandolier).

Makes about 36 cookies

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Spinach & Caramelized Onion Bread (Star Wars Portion Bread)

Last week, I started sharing my Star Wars themed recipes from my Star Wars Day meal, with my Roast Porg (Cornish Game Hens).  Then I started binge watching Westworld in my evenings and had no time for blogging (daytime is spent distance learning and child-wrangling).
But now I’m done watching Westworld and back to Star Wars…

My real goal here was to make food that was iconically Star Wars without having to take a huge stretch of the imagination or anything gross.  There are tons of Star Wars Themed snacks and desserts out there, but not many main dishes.

Even portion bread exists out there.  Most of the recipes are more like a mug cake, as a nod to the quickly cooking portion bread seen in The Force Awakens.  Since portion bread is green in hue, most recipes color the “bread” with food dye or matcha powder.

I’ve never cared for the texture of mug cake (or bread) and have never used matcha powder (I probably will someday, but I’m not even sure if it’s available locally!)  So I wanted to try and create a portion bread that my whole family could enjoy with ingredients I had readily on hand.

I realized immediately that I would have to forgo the “quick cooking” aspect of portion bread.  I definitely wanted to dye my bread naturally, which left spinach.  However, I didn’t want it to taste like spinach, so I also added caramelized onions and garlic.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Koledna Pitka (Bulgarian Christmas Bread)

Welcome to this month’s Eat the World Recipe challenge!  In this group, Evelyn from CulturEatz hosts by picking a country of the month, then we take to the internet to find an authentic recipe to make, enjoy, and share.

This month’s country takes us deeper into Eastern Europe to Bulgaria.  I was very excited to be headed to Europe again.  European food tends to be more familiar to me since my ancestry is European anyway.  As I was researching, I found many recipes I wanted to try and couldn’t narrow it down to just one!

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Supa Topcheta (Bulgarian Meatball Soup)

Can one ever have enough delicious soup recipes?

I don’t think so.

As I was researching for another event (coming soon), I came across this recipe and knew I had to try it!

Supa Topcheta is popular is Bulgaria and is one of those soups with TONS of variations - it seems that everyone has their own version of this.  However, several aspects show up in all of the recipes: meatballs (usually a mix of pork and beef), simple vegetables (carrot, onion, celery), and a yogurt-egg mix to finish.

Other recipes include potato, vermicelli, or rice, a more complex spice mixture, and/or more vegetables.

After a lot of research, I landed on a recipe that I would call a “middle of the road” version of this soup.  I added a nice flavor profile to the meatballs, but kept the vegetables simple - and, of course, added that yogurt-egg mixture in at the end.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Cornish Game Hens, or Rotisserie Porgs for Star Wars Fans!

Last year, I made Cornish Game Hens with Orange Glaze for the first time and they were super delicious.  

Shortly afterward, we were watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens and noticed that the Porg that Chewbacca Roasts looks remarkably like a roasted Cornish Hen.


Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Chicken Divan

About a month into social distance/quarantine, I decided that I was going to start cooking my way through my cookbooks as a way of keeping myself challenged and entertained.  Plus it keeps me from falling into a food rut, plus I’m finally pulling out those cookbooks that I’ve never (or rarely) cracked!

I was gifted this cookbook, even though I’ve never seen an episode of Cook Country.  But I have to say, after perusing this cookbook, I might have to check it out.  I had numerous recipes marked as “might try”.  I made 4 of them and they were all amazing!

The Complete Cook's Country TV Show Cookbook Season 7The Complete Cook's Country TV Show Cookbook Season 7 by America's Test Kitchen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fantastic cookbook! I've never watched Cook's Country, but I love the cookbook. All the recipes I cooked from this cookbook so far have turned out perfectly! Can't wait to try more!

View all my reviews

The first recipe I decided to try was Chicken Divan.  In the very early days of blogging, I made two approximations to Chicken Divan.  I loved both at the time.  They were quite easy and used ingredients I was familiar with at the time.  Some of those ingredients aren’t even available anymore and a couple are ones I just don’t use on a regular basis anymore, since my own cooking skills and confidence have grown in the 9+ years since I started blogging.  



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