I didn't do very well studying yesterday. I went shopping and cooked and socialized... and procrastinated.
I went back to Entrée Vous with a friend and got Coq au Vin and Chicken Piccatta. The dishes I got last time had mixed results. The Beef Adobo was fine, but the beef unevenly cut and the sauce more tomatoey than I prefer. The first attempt at cooking it, I accidentally boiled off more of the liquid than I was supposed to. The second time, I may have had the temperature too low, because I had to cook it for much longer than the instructions said, trying to mellow the sharp taste (could have been the tomato, or the garlic, which I generally love). The Moroccan Chicken was good, and not difficult to cook. The Four Cheese Penne Casserole I did not really like, something about the flavor or maybe because I'm not familiar with casseroles with breadcrumbs. The Chicken Marsala was overly sweet, perhaps because of the sweetness of the Marsala.
I went to a birthday party last night, and was planning to bring a side dish. I had just seen Giada make a delicious looking Fennel and Potato Puree. I had to go out and not only buy the ingredients, but a food processor and an iron. (Heh, no, the iron was not for the puree.) I had been planning to get a food processor for a while, but lacked an excuse. Now I had one! The iron I needed because my previous one, about 10 years old, just crapped out last week and I need one for my work clothes. I can only do without my button-down shirts for so long.
After the shopping, there was cooking the puree. It was pretty easy. I saved the liquid the fennel and potatoes cooked in. I think I can use it later as a base for a potato leek soup. Anyway, the puree turned out great. The mint did not give it a minty flavor, merely fresh, or herby. The marscapone gave it a great creaminess. Speaking of the marscapone, this was the first time I knowingly ate the Italian cream cheese and it won't be the last! I loved it. It's like a cross between regular cream cheese and clotted cream. Yum. (Oooh, just got an idea. I think I'll make scones and have marscapone and jam on them.)
The party itself was very nice. I got to talk to a bunch of family I haven't gotten to see in a while. I got mistaken for a high school student (admittedly, I was dressed casually and had my hair up in a youthful or juvenile fashion and she was an elderly lady). I got to talk to my dear brother and his girlfriend, both of whom had spent all day house hunting. And dessert was a delicious bread pudding with bourbon sauce.
Today I'm doing much better at studying. I already finished the book I was reading and took a practice exam (80%, passing). I'm taking a lunch/blogging break right now, then it's back to another practice exam before switching to another book. I am feeling pretty comfortable with (as shown by my practice exam results) about 80% of the material and I think it'll only take a little brushing up on the rest. Interestingly, increasing my study time from the typical 3 weeks to 4 really gave me the time to do that brushing up. However, using a 4 week typical would have added another 6 weeks to the schedule. Something I not only did not want to do, but didn't need to do (all passes so far).
Well, the break's coming to an end. Back to the grindstone...
Later: Didn't make scones, 'cause my Bisquick is waaaaaay expired (two years!). I did, however, clean the bathtub and studied. And in making the latest Entree Vous dish, Chicken Piccata, I once again screwed up the cooking instructions. Saved the day with orzo, but in the long run, it was too lemony for my taste. Scones, on the other hand, I'm sure would have been perfect. Darn Bisquick.