Ask and you shall receive!

In the last post about my kitchen, Claire asked to see my floor and who am I to deny a faithful reader!

I don’t remember if I’ve told everybody about the troubles we went through with this floor. It’s actually black granite and white marble. Now, I did not set out to have the most luxurious kitchen floor per square foot of apartment space, it is just that it’s actually impossible to find foot-by-foot square black and white tiles, made out of  any substance, that do not have a texture or pattern or some other abomination to them.

So black granite and white marble it was!

My dad put the tiles (including a chipped one!) down soon after I got back from my trip and grouted them, using black grout to match the black tiles. Unfortunately, it turns out (and he did do his research before he started the project, but nothing he read warned about this) that marble is very porous and needs to be sealed before the grout is put on. I think you can see where this is going… Long story involving all sorts of salvage attempts that didn’t work short, he ended up having to hire a tile guy to come in, pull up the now-stained white tiles, seal the new white tiles, and then lay down the white tiles (using white grout this time).

So it set the entire kitchen project back about a month, but I think it was worth it in the end. The tiles are beautiful and shiny and I’m terrified that I’ll spill or drop something on it, but I love it!

And as you can see, so does Arthur who desperately wanted to be in the picture – I tried to get Josephine to be in the picture, but she was asleep in their house (tuckered out from hiding under the bed during the wind/thunderstorm last night).

May Daring Cooks Challenge!

Yes, you read that correctly, this month marks the first EVER Daring Cooks challenge! Since I have more trouble with my cooking, I decided to sign up in order to challenge myself to try new techniques and just to make myself cook more, in general. I’m not sure how the vegetarian side of this will work – the Daring Bakers are very accommodating and the Daring Cooks seem to be no different, but, frankly, if a host decides they want to do a crown roast, I’m not sure how that’ll work. Maybe we’ll just get an entirely alternate challenge? Or it may be that I just don’t know that much about actual vegetarian cooking – meat-free cooking, I can do, just not actively vegetarian – and tofu can actually be sculpted into a cunnng replica of a crown roast…

But, at any rate, here is our first month’s challenge, hosted by the founders of the Daring Bakers themselves, Lisa of La Mia Cucina and Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice: Ricotta Gnocchi!

I ended up doing this in two days – letting them sit in the fridge overnight to set up a bit more. They were tasty – very cheesy – and not terribly difficult to make (though it was a bit frustrating having to work with such a moist, sticky ‘dough’), but I don’t know that I would make them again. I’ll freeze the ones I have left and enjoy them later, to be sure, but I think that might be it for me. (It doesn’t help that the sauce takes an entire stick of butter to make and I feel like I ate more than my fair share of it draped across my serving of gnocchi.)

The sauce was our main way of personalising these – the basic recipe given to us consisted of a stick of butter and a few teaspoons of water. I got rid of the water and added lemon, basil, and garlic to the butter – making a sort of pesto-type thing, I suppose – which was very tasty.

So, yes. Not a failure – quite the opposite I’d say (please forgive the bad photos – I had to use Edward since my mother has taken her camera on holiday with her – though they really serve to obscure the true, hideous shape of my gnocchi…) – just not something I’m entirely thrilled with.

I don’t think we have a Daring Cooks blogroll or icons yet, but click on the Daring Kitchen logo above to check out the website!