Back in the kitchen


If you know me well then you know I love to bake and cook. Some people find their time in the kitchen to be stressful and just not fun. I on the other hand love it. For me it is actually a highly enjoyable experience. I love being able to focus on creating food that others can enjoy. I like the challenge of making things from scratch and trying new recipes. If I am stressed cooking or baking can actually help relieve my stress. Since this whole life change began back in May I haven’t been able to spend nearly as much time in the kitchen as I would like. Now that we are finally settled in our new apartment I feel like I might be able to finally get back in a groove.

Which brings me to today. Today my kitchen was a disaster. It looked like a bomb went off, pots and pans everywhere, splatters around the stove, drips on the counters. It was great. A messy kitchen is a happy kitchen because it’s being used. During my free time between nannying in the morning and afternoon I sometimes start dinner prep so when I get home we can be ready to eat. Today I’m recreating this meal that I blogged way back in 2007. And do you want to know something insane? I made mayonnaise today. Who does that?! Apparently me. I was short 1/4 cup of mayonnaise for the coleslaw so I googled it, I found a recipe, and I made mayonnaise. It was surprisingly really easy. And here is how I did it.


Mayonnaise
(Adapted from: Confections of a Foodie Bride)

Ingredients

1 egg, at room temperature
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp white vinegar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup canola oil

Directions

Add the egg, lemon juice, vinegar and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Turn on and process. Very slowly stream the oils into the food processor. After adding all of the oil, process another 30 seconds. Place in a covered bowl, with plastic wrap pressed onto the surface of the mayo, and refrigerate.

So You Grew a Garden… Now What? 11

** This post was imported as a part of my top 30 from my old blog – What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen**

Anytime I find out that I can “home make” something I get excited. There is just something very rewarding about making something that you would normally have to buy at the store. The other day a coworker and I were talking about our gardens and I told her that the plants that were doing the best were my pepper plants. My Serrano pepper plant was probably the healthiest plant in my garden this summer. Of course, the one plant that I really had no plans for when I planted it. I just planted it for fun. So my coworker mentioned drying the peppers and my eyes lit up. I can’t believe I didn’t think of this before. Making my own red pepper flakes!


After doing a little research online I decided I wanted to go the quickest route and dry the peppers in the oven. I started by collecting all of my red colored peppers, which included serrano peppers, slim red chile peppers, and then some banana peppers that for some reason had turned red. I cleaned them all and cut the tops off. Then I put them on an air bake pizza pan and then in the oven at 170 degrees. I planned on leaving them to dry over night but Jesse was uncomfortable with that. So I dried them for 5 hours, then let them rest in the OFF oven overnight. The next evening I turned the oven back on to 170 and let them go for another 4 hours. So total it took about 9 hours.


After the 9 hours of drying in the oven, I let the peppers cool and rest and for a few more hours. Finally, I put the dried peppers in a ziploc bag and went to town with a rolling pin. I am storing the flakes in little .5 cup rubbermaid containers.


*I have to warn you. For the first few hours the smell was POTENT. The whole house smelled spicy and I felt almost like I was covered in hot peppers. I would recommend turning on a fan and opening a window. Luckily after a few hours it mellowed out some.

*I think this would make a really cute gift in a homemade gift basket. You could even use empty baby food jars and decorate the lids. I plan on putting together a few of these for Christmas.