When I was a kid, in Wyoming, I played a lot of sports. That may be because my dad liked sports, or because I was a competitive person, or because there was really nothing else to do in Wyoming.
Looking back, some sports had built-in moments that could crush a player’s confidence: spine-chilling moments. These were plays where the weight of the whole team’s success would be on your shoulders. The best example I can think of is taking a penalty kick in soccer.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with soccer, let me give you the breakdown. For most penalties that happen within 18 yards of the goal, the attacking team gets to take a penalty kick. This, more or less, should be a free goal. A soccer goal is 24 feet wide and 8 feet high. The penalty kick is taken from 12 yards out. With just an average kick, there’s no way that even the best goalkeepers can stop it.
If you’ve ever seen a penalty kick, it might seem like it would be stressful to be the goalkeeper, but trust me, it’s not that bad. All the stress is on the kicker because it should be a straightforward goal.
When you miss a penalty kick, it’s crushing. More than once, I have missed the goal entirely. It’s pretty sad to miss a 24 foot wide target… I remember once being inconsolable for days because of a muffed game-winning penalty kick.
The only real way to restore confidence after one of these mishaps is to try again. In fact, my coach had a rule that if you missed a penalty kick, you had to take the very next one. My coach was a good guy. And it worked. Once you make one, you forget about the mess-ups.
What does this have to do with cooking?
Confidence has a huge roll in the kitchen. One of the top reasons I hear for why people don’t want to cook is that they don’t feel comfortable in the kitchen. The entire meal is depending on them getting it right? If you’re cooking for a crowd, it can be a lot of pressure.
Betsy loves Tex-Mex. And make no mistake that it ranks pretty highly for me also. So a lot of times something in the Tex-Mex category is my default if I’m looking for a meal. This is a recipe that I make every once in awhile and realized recently that I’ve never posted it. What’s nice about it is that it’s actually pretty quick to make even though it tastes very elaborate. The rice and bean mix uses mainly canned ingredients which speeds up cooking and you could even take some more shortcuts if you were pressed for time.
It’s also fun to stack layers of spicy rice and beans between freshly fried tostados. Depending on your hunger you can stack as high as you want!
I’ve made various versions of rice and beans before and I’m always experimenting with new ways to do it. For this one I used whole spices which added a great flavor to the dish. I think I’ll probably start doing that from now on.
If I want to get my morning started on the right foot, I’ll reach for a bagel and coffee over almost any other option. It’s not too much food, but it’s filling. It works great for casual weekend breakfasts or if you’re in a hurry. Seriously. Who doesn’t like a good bagel?
I realized recently that I’ve never made bagels before, but I knew the process was somewhat similar to pretzels. For my first bagel attempt I went with cinnamon raisin. They are probably my favorite basic bagel.
Worth the work.
This recipe produces fantastic bagels. I might be willing to put them up against any DC bagel I’ve had. I’ve definitely had better in New York, but not by much. They are really quite good.
The recipe calls for an ingredient that isn’t very common: malt syrup. I happened to have a jar of it laying around because a neighbor at work gave it to me because she didn’t know what to do with it. I kept it in my fridge and figured I would need it someday. I was so right.
Each winner will get both books! All you have to do to be eligible is leave a comment below with your favorite Thanksgiving dish, please only one comment per person though. Don’t be that guy. I’ll pick a winner at midnight tonight (EST) so get your comments in today!
Winners! There were 61 comments eligible when I got some random numbers from random.org. The winners are #23 Niki and #40 Kenneth! I’ll be emailing you both with details!
I decided I wanted to make chili this weekend but I’m kind of torn on the variety.
How to Keep Your Herbs Fresh- Ihave a serious problem with fresh herbs. I buy a lot of them. I cook a lot with them, but inevitably have leftovers that go bad. CHECK OUT this solution that Jason came up with for my little issue. Good stuff! (@ Well Done Chef)
Have a good weekend everyone! Leave a comment and maybe win a few books!
There was a tie in last week’s poll so I went ahead and used some editorial powers to break the tie. Shepard’s pie is good, but I was really intrigued by the golden onion pie recipe so I was glad to see it near the top and decided to give it the winning tie-breaker vote.
The idea of a pie made almost entirely of onions is kind of odd and Betsy will attest that it will make your entire house smell like onions for awhile. So open some windows if you make this! But the onions end up being very delicious and with a few other ingredients they form a really rich and almost sweet, but still savory, pie.
Onions are so awesome.
The crust for this pie is much more substantial than your normal crust for, say, an apple pie. It’s a yeasted crust so you have to let it rise. It’s also much easier to work with than a normal butter crust.
The last time I was at Betsy’s house for a family event, there was an unassuming tin container of snickerdoodles off to the side. I passed by them a few times without too much thought, but later in the day I was hankering for a tiny snack and grabbed one as I walked by.
It stopped me in my tracks. It had the perfect amount of crunch to it, but was still chewy in the center. It was a bit sweet and packed with cinnamon flavor. I immediately started being the annoying food blogger – asking everyone I bumped into if they knew who made those snickerdoodles. Eventually, I found the maker, Betsy’s Aunt, and she was kind enough to give me the recipe to share with all of you.
Thanks Aunt Judy.
Crispy and chewy at the same time!
I made this for the Food Blog Spooktacular Bake Sale last weekend and they sold out pretty quickly I think, so thanks to everyone who purchased them if you are reading!
Ok. I’m not sure that I actually have Swine Flu. In fact, I’m pretty sure that I don’t have it. I have been sick for about a week though with a few of the symptoms (sore throat, aches, cough, etc.)
But whatever happened to just having a cold? Is it possible that I just have a sore throat? Every time I mention to someone that I’m sick, they insist that I have H1N1. Do I have to have Swine Flu? Maybe I’m just in denial…
Oh well, the point of this post is to say that I was in no mood to write an entire post today.
So, instead, I will post a photo of Tipsy who I caught playing dead over the weekend.
Seriously. How could this be comfortable?
And if you happen to be sick and browsing through the Macheesmo archives looking for a good recipe to make that will instantly cure you (more or less), I think it’s a three way tie between: