Welcome to Cooking with Paddy! Nope, the utensils survived my shining the camera at em and here we go, first post in what most likely will be an ongoing survival course. Seriously.
To put it bluntly, I don't know how to cook, at all. I could burn water if given half a chance. So I thought it would be fun to give it a try, I am following safety measures and I have a fire extinguisher! What I also have, is the best darn cook backing me up. Okay, I am trying this whilst she is at work, but she is just a phone call away! It will be fun and you can laugh right along with me, even at me, but I will try and I will have fun.
So a couple days ago, I tried my hand at brownies. Well, a brownie mix right out of the box. How hard could it be right? There is even directions on the box! I read the instructions carefully and put the box on the counter top, took a deep breath and started. First thing I grabbed was the fire extinguisher, just in case. Then I grabbed all of the ingredients I would need that don't come in the box. Egg, oil, water, a mixing bowl and mixing spoon, pan for cooking, oh and non stick spray, cause better 1/2 warned me to spray the pan first. Since I have been organizing the kitchen and pantry, I found everything just fine, even the measuring cup.
So I preheated my oven to 350 like the box said, and started mixing. Now I should state that I do know enough about cooking to be really dangerous. In other words, I have watched from afar enough, and been watching Food Network, that there are some things I think I may know. So I am happily mixing along, practicing folding batter like Alton Brown, and there are lumps! So I smash down with the spoon and furiously mix, there are still lumps, and I know this is bad, leads to weird goody with weird, non-cooked pieces parts. So I furiously whip it again, still lumps.
So I am standing there, thinking I failed a frakkin brownie mix, staring at the box. Then it dawned on me, hey the box says chocolate brownies with real chocolate chunks. Ha! By golly those aren't lumps, those are chunks, they are supposed to be there, woot! I continue, my hands shaking from the pounding I gave that poor batter, and I poured it into my pan. Now after watching Mr. Brown, I know you just jiggle the pan to get it to settle, no patting! So I do that and stuff it in the oven!
I look at the clock, I got 28 minutes to bake, the Red Wings are on, and I am gonna try to catch a bit of the game while waiting. Next thing I know, one goal later and its time. I grab the hot pad and pull it out, it looks good, but I know you are supposed to check it with a toothpick, make sure it baked all the way through the center. Drats! I can't find any toothpicks, but ha! there are plastic forks in the drawer. I stab a couple times, no icky batter, I think we are good. Time to cool.
At this point, the techno-tyke wanders by and asks if the goody is done. I say nope, gotta cool, then we can frost em! He looks at me all squinty eye, and says rather nonchalantly sure Dad. He was playing in the living room, I think trying to stay out of the line of fire. He had that look on his face like I was nuts, but I am used to that.
After about a half hour, I grab the chocolate frosting and smear it on, just before the chief chef walks in the door. She was surprised! She says well then, let me make dinner, then we'll try a piece. So we ate hot dogs and tater tots, fave food of the techno-tyke and we were ready for dessert, Brownie a la Paddy.
Hey! I took the first piece and ate it, just in case. I thought they tasted okay, not as good as better 1/2's, but not bad. She liked em, so did the techno-tyke. The two older boys scarfed them down over-night so there was barely a crumb the next day. But that is no indication of anything, they are eating machines and eat just about anything.
First time doing it all by myself and no utensils were damaged, no fires or food poisoning and I even cleaned the kitchen. Not bad for a box mix. Not bad for a first time either. I do know there is a cake mix calling my name in the pantry, I think that will be my next victim, er, project. I think I'll be okay with box mixes and I can use them to get familiar with the kitchen and how to operate stoves and such. Seriously. For now, my fellow wanderers and cooking enthusiasts, I bid you farewell.