Tuesday, November 16, 2010

She Bakes!

To all of those that bore witness and sacrificed their taste buds to my French Toast Casserole last Sunday......... and also on my second attempt the following Thursday....... I apologize.

You see, I'm a pretty slow learner in the kitchen. Any recipe that is no bake, no fry, no saute - basically if is doesn't involve heat or fire I can almost guarantee I won't fudge it up too badly. But I'm not terribly comfortable in the kitchen. For starters there was a time I thought that kitchen appliances were just accessories - like big art installations in the room where I stored my left over take out.

I mean, it wasn't too long ago that grocery shopping or doing the dishes qualified as "prep work." These days my cabinets have a nice stash of the staples and most of my counter space is visible at all times. Progress has been made you guys. I'm more and more comfortable in the kitchen these days, though I still consider myself a novice, at best.

I learned MANY valuable lessons with the French Toast Casserole (the FTC, if you will...). Chief among them is to never debut a recipe at a brunch you host. Make sure you know what the fuck you're doing. OR have a backup dish at the ready. Either way. This way you know how much time to allot for baking and also what to expect from the dish itself. Is it suppose to be that color??? Should it be that runny in the middle?? And what's that smell???????

I took note of my mistakes made from my first two attempts, regrouped, and tried the FTC for Stef's Birthday this past Saturday. Stef has taught me a large majority of my cooking know-how. The differences in chopping vs cutting (dicing, slicing, etc...), flame management and basic tool instruction, I learned most of it working in her kitchen. When she broke her hand and I helped out in the kitchen, she was still WAY more efficient and productive than I was. WITH ONLY HER LEFT HAND.

I was determined. I was also inspired because Stef said if I can nail this recipe I have the basics DOWN for a great bread pudding. Who doesn't love bread pudding?

And who doesn't love learning for your mistakes?

I used a smaller dish, baked it for longer and (I think most importantly) I let it rise to room tempature after letting it sit overnight in the fridge. Oh, and I added blueberries and walnuts for good measure.

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmm. It was good.

Photos courtesy of one fabulous Sabrina. AKA my personal photographer.

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