Upcoming cooking endeavours

Posted: November 5, 2012 in Cooking, Supportive Partner Woman, Weight loss

I’ve posted a lot about cooking over the span of time I’ve worked on this blog. I’ve shared some of my recipes, I’ve shared some dishes that I really liked. I was thinking that a post about some stuff I’m planning on trying to make might be a good idea. Ideally, I would make a vlog of it… I still might.

I hope mine will look this good.

The big one I want to tackle is jambalaya. I’ve liked Cajun cooking for some time… especially since we have a well-regarded Cajun restaurant within shouting distance of us. I like alligator and blackened catfish and the unique spice blends in that style of cooking. Ironically, I never tried to make jambalaya. That will change. I’d like to make it with shrimp and chicken, since alligator is a little hard to come by around here. I’d also like to find where I can get the best andouille sausage.

It’s also time to make some of my halfway famous clam chowder and beer chili. Dishes like these go well in the colder months… it’s hard to appreciate a good, thick soup when it’s 90 degrees outside.


I also need to do some baking. My coworkers usually appreciate when I do a batch of chocolate chip cookies. I tend to make mine on the soft side and they get very puffy. I work with a Nestle Toll House recipe that I tweaked… use 2 1/2 cups of flour and instead of butter, I use Imperial margarine. The butter does add a slightly richer taste, but I like the way the margarine helps the dough rise. The extra flour stiffens the cookies enough that they don’t get limp. I also make sure I whisk the dry ingredients together and add slowly to the wet. That’s mainly due to the fact I don’t like to clean up the flour spillage afterward.

The other key ingredient is the chocolate chips themselves. I only use semi-sweet chips. I find the milk chocolate chips to be too sweet and the white ones just look freaky. As for brand, you can’t go wrong with Nestle and I’ve also had success with Trader Joe’s brand and Wegman’s brand chips. Not a huge fan of the Hershey branded chips and using M&Ms is like using milk chocolate chips.

Supportive Partner Woman (Excellent baker!) also likes to make her granny’s cut out cookies. These are really thin, very crispy and very omnomnom. There’s something like 8 cups of flour in them, it’s carb central, but damn. I like that they are not too overtly sweet, but just crazy good. SPW (Crafter of yummy soups!) has also announced plans for a batch of her cream of chicken orzo soup. Yay!

So, yes, autumn usually brings a cooking frenzy to the Nerd Lair kitchens. Pictures will accompany these delectable noms, and maybe some video on how we make them. It would certainly be something different. Granted, they say the camera adds 10 pounds. Better get my tubby ass to the gym more often. I know these might not be the healthiest things ever (cookies? seriously?) but the jambalaya can be made healthier by substituting turkey sausage and brown rice, as well as no salt broth. I make the clam chowder with fat-free half and half as well. As for the chili, well, the beef gets drained of excess fat before it even gets added to the chili. I suppose I could use a bottle of light beer, but, naaah. Recipe calls for beer, not swill.

Most recipes can be adapted to be healthier without giving away a huge amount of taste. Remember… spices are your friends.


  1. That jambalaya looks AMAZING!

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