Have I mentioned before that I like to cook?
Oh, I haven’t? I like to cook. And bake.
I’ve also probably mentioned (a thousand times) that I like to try new recipes. I’d say that I try, on average, three or four new recipes per week.
But I also want to be the person who has a good arsenal of stand-by recipes. Things I can whip up at a moment’s notice and be confident that they will be terrific.
I think of Bart’s grandma who makes, without question, the best dinner rolls I have ever had. I myself have a pitiful track record when it comes to dinner rolls. But as a special Mother’s Day gift, the rolls I made on Sunday actually turned out phenomenally, and I am now, possibly, brave enough to attempt Bart’s grandmother’s recipe. And if they turn out, I will probably never try another roll recipe for Sunday dinner as long as live (lies! all of that last sentence is lies!).
Here are a few of the things I have made many many times and always feel happy about:
- Chicken Pot Pie (I turn up my nose at pot pies with cream of anything in them. My mom ruined me for life)
- Brownies (Bart, who had, just weeks earlier told me how he wasn’t really a brownie fan, now mentions these brownies on a weekly basis)
- Baking Powder Biscuits
- Banana Pancakes (no need to go crazy with teh chocolate chips, although it’s certainly not a terrible thing if you include them)
- Whole Wheat Pancakes
- Oatmeal Pancakes (yes, I make a lot of pancakes. You want to say something about that?)
- Waffles (the non-yeast kind. I have been disappointed in the yeasted waffles I have made thus far, not to mention that most of the recipes I see for them are swimming in butter, and I generally try to keep my breakfast items somewhat nutritious)
- French Bread (worth the effort of all the mixing and rising)
- Pepperoni Pizza
- Carrot Puree
- Ranch Dressing
- Wheat Bread (the first recipe)
- Blueberry Coffee Cake
- Skillet Chicken Orzo
- Artichoke Dip
- Chocolate Ice Cream
You all should come over for dinner and I’ll show you how awesome they are (or more likely breakfast – we’ll have a pancake buffet. Also, my secret to cooking perfect pancakes is to make the batter and then make Bart actually cook them). (My other secret is to stop using dumb substitutes for buttermilk; man up and buy the real thing. It’s like the difference between margarine and butter, people. You’re fooling yourself if you think they are the same. And I clearly feel far too strongly about this and also maybe should take some medication).
I am working on perfecting a beef stew recipe (Bart told me a year or so ago that he’s been searching for years for the best beef stew. I laughed outloud and asked him how many beef stews he’s made (you can guess the answer was “none.”)).
And I am really on the warpath for a completely trustworthy chocolate chip cookie recipe (I made a version someone swore by a few weeks ago and they were, once again, a disappointment. WHY am I such a failure at this basic cookie?). And while I am certain the NY Times one will blow my mind, I also need one that I can whip up at a moment’s notice. This one from Annie’s Eats is my next trial.
It’s all so subjective, of course. Someone raved up and down about their pizza dough recipe and then I tried it and Bart was all, “Um, what IS this dough?” and I replied “Something I’m never making again. Yuck.” Which is all to say, you might hate my pancakes (you would be wrong, but we could possibly still be friends).
Anything you make that you are certain is the best ever of its kind?