Saturday, September 27, 2008

German Potato Salad (p. 168) and French Toast (p. 648)

I finally got Duchess to the pet expo that we were trying to go to last week. The pet expo was fun, I won two tickets to mini golf in the raffle, and Duchess enjoyed sniffing at other dogs and getting tons and tons of treats.

They had biscuits, hot dogs, and carrots frozen into big chucks of ice for the dogs to gnaw at--it was a BIG hit with Duchie.

The next day we took her to the Doggie Olympics where she competed in various contests. She did pretty good considering she had never competed in anything before. I was particularly impressed by how she did on the jumps on the agility course!

Since starting TJOTJOC I've noticed there is a whole set of foods that I should already know how to cook, but I have never made for myself. I say "for myself" because the vast majority of these foods are things my mom cooked, so why should I bother? French Toast (p. 648) is one of these things. When I told my mom I didn't know how to make French toast, she pointed out that I don't LIKE French toast, which, while true, wasn't helpful :)

Easy enough start--half and half, eggs, sugar, vanilla (after the drunken frosting, I stay away from rum in recipes), and salt. Some whisking later, this is what I had:

Bread is added to the egg mixture:

And the eggy bread is placed gently (or in my case, slopped) into the pan.

This is where I ran into problems. The recipe just says to "brown the bread on each side in a hot well-buttered skillet". So I had the heat on my pan fairly high. Unfortunately, this was burning the bread while not cooking it through (so it was still grossly soggy). Josh came into the kitchen and pointed out the problem--the heat was too high. I lowered the heat and it seemed to mostly solve the problem. I eventually ended up with this:

I hate these clear plates but I do like this picture because it looks like the French toast is levitating! How was it? Okay I suppose. I still don't like French toast, but at least I know how to make it. Josh insists that he can make it better so I seriously doubt that I will make this recipe again.

Onto food...I wanted something quick to eat while watching The Amazing Race and German Potato Salad (p. 168) seemed just perfect. Josh dislikes potato salad, so I knew this one would be all me (even though I tend not to like them either).

Easy enough start...boil potatoes, while at the same time frying up some minced bacon (I really recommend mincing the bacon with kitchen shears--otherwise they are pretty difficult to cut). Remove the bacon.

Onion and celery are then added to the bacon grease.

Chopped dill pickles are added (how could Josh not like this recipe? Bacon, potatoes, pickles? What could be better?!?). In a another pot (this recipe is not afraid to make a ton of dishes) the dressing is made (broth, vinegar, sugar, salt, paprika, and dry mustard).

I noticed after I had dumped the potatoes in the water that I was supposed to leave the skins on...whoops! My potatoes were yukons and they didn't keep their shape very well when sliced. The potatoes are added to the onion mix.

The bacon was added and the dressing was poured on top.

I didn't take an "after" picture but the potato salad was really really good (if you like vinegar). I really enjoyed the bacon and pickles and I like vinegar, so it was a great combination.

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