Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Food Flops

I’ll be the first one to admit I’m not a great cook. How I’ve made it 52 years, nearly 53 {gulp} and never learned to cook, I don’t honestly know.

All I can tell you is – I’m trying.

If you’re an experienced cook, maybe you’re used to flops. Maybe you like trying new recipes and it doesn’t bother you when they don’t try out. Maybe you can take a look at a recipe and know it won’t work.

Not me, obviously.

Since it’s Fall, even though the 90 degree weather is hiding this fact, I wanted something Pumpkin.

Mom had a recipe.


Mom has boxes and boxes of recipes. It’s her hobby – rippin’ and tearin’  seemingly yummy directions out of magazines and newspaper.

This looked like a good recipe for Pumpkin Muffins. Look at the date – 1990. She’d kept it for 10 years. I figured she must have made it numerous times.

I figured wrong.

First I had to find some muffin liners, since I’m in her kitchen.


I thought these were sooo cute. Probably from before I was born. That’s back in the 50’s, folks. I didn’t want you to have to count this morning.

Old, very old. Just like I’m feeling today.

I’m not showing the recipe. I’ll show you the muffins though.


Don’t let this fool ya. They were horrible. Horrible!

Dry, no taste, bland. Blech!

What really bothered me, though, other than I wanted a nice, sweet muffin, was that I opened a huge can of pumpkin. I only used 1/2 cup, but that left me with the rest of the can.

A big can of pumpkin at Safeway was $3.98 last week. Four bucks? For pumpkin?

And then to have it not turn out? I was more than bummed.

And I followed the recipe. I did!

Mom always asks me that. Did you follow the recipe?

Okay, forget this recipe. I still have some pumpkin left and found a potential candidate for yumminess. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Poached Eggs – FastaPasta Style

I’m not usually a gadget person. I don’t different kinds of complicated tools that do the same thing.

BBH loves gadgets. The more, the merrier. Mom loves gadgets. Mom gives BBH gadgets when she upgrades to a newer, ‘improved’ gadget.

So between my mother and my husband, we have a ton of gadgets.

There is one area where I’ll admit to loving them, though – the kitchen. Somewhere, in my pea brain, lies a belief that gadgets will make my cooking/baking better.

It doesn’t work that way, I know. But it makes me feel better in the kitchen. And I’ll take all the help I can get, thank you very much.

So Mom has been pretty sick for a while now. Getting food down her is a daily struggle, but she a necessity. About the only whole food I can get her to eat is a poached egg.

I love poached eggs. I even have a poached egg pot with four little egg holders and it works great. But it’s packed up. With the rest of all of my wonderful kitchen gadgets.

But I’m staying with my mother. She has more kitchen gadgets than I do. Ah, but there’s always room for one more, right?

Allow me to introduce you to FastaPasta.


Mom saw it on QVC and had to have it.

We could write a book on QVC.

We shop there. A lot.  

But let’s get back to the FastaPasta. I actually did cook some pasta in it and it turned out fine. Why they call it ‘fasta’, I have no idea. Seems to me like it takes as long as cooking it in a pot on the stove.

But you don’t need a strainer/colander/drainer thing. And you don’t need to wash a pot. Just the little plastic shoebox-lookin’ thing.

Ok, fine. But Mom wanted a poached egg. And she was sure she saw them make one on QVC.

So I looked on their website video. No poached egg. I read their recipes. No poached egg. I googled it. Nope.

Well, how hard could cooking a poached egg be, anyway?

You know, I quit asking those questions years ago because in my personal experience, just about anything can go wrong when I’m in the kitchen.

But, come on. One egg. It couldn’t be that bad.

And, Surprise, Surprise – it wasn’t!


I put some water in the box. No instructions, so I just guessed.

There are little lines on the side of the box to measure your water for pasta. Not for poached eggs, though.

I cracked a couple of eggs. I figured if it turned out halfway decent, I’d want one too.


I nuked the water and eggs for about 2 minutes. Mom’s microwave is super powerful, so it’d probably take a little longer in mine.

And I’m looking at this picture and the lid is on. You’re not supposed to cook with the lid on which makes me wonder if I did. Or did I put the lid on to take the picture. Now, why would I do that, though? Hmm . . .

At any rate, the eggs looked pretty good – even thru the lid that wasn’t supposed to be on there.

Wait, maybe I put the lid on there to keep the steam in. No. I think it was to drain the water.

Yeah! That was it.


See the little drainer vents?


I was sure the egg yolk was gonna break. But it didn’t.


After the water was drained.


This was the only issue – see the white rectangle? That’s cooked egg white that settled in the bottom of the box.

It was fine, though. Tasted good. Wasn’t overcooked or undercooked.

In fact, I think I’ll go make a couple more right now.