I have cooked artichokes myself exactly twice. Both times steamed. Both times just kind of winged it from a “how to cook artichokes” I found online that says to put a clove of garlic, lemon slice and bay leaf into the water to add some flavor. My first outing was successful enough. 1 artichoke in the steamer for 15 minutes, and I had an edible artichoke. The second time, however, was a slightly different story. You see, I don’t measure the water when I’m steaming stuff. And I’m not an expert steamer. I just don’t steam things very often. Anyhow, I put the artichoke in the steamer basket, set a timer for 20 minutes (why did I change from 15 to 20? I have no good answer. What I learned though? If 15 is good enough, stick with 15… or add more water if you want to go 20). I walked away to do some things. Easy enough, right?
When I returned I smelled smoke. Not huge billowing amounts, but still a little smoke. The kind of smoke smell you get when you walk outside and a neighbor has a fire in his fireplace. Not a bad smell, but not really what you want to smell in your kitchen. I removed the lid from the pot and a puff of smoke escaped. Uh oh. The artichoke looked ok enough… just a little smokey. So I tried it. It had a slight smokey flavor but was not bad. The pot though was not a happy pot. The water had completely evaporated and there is a semi-permanent char on the bottom that no amount of scraping has helped. I am currently working through these steps from eHow. So far no change, but I am trying to salvage my poor pot. I’ll let you know how it goes.
But while I’m scrubbing, here is a round up of a few things that caught my eye this week:
– Bakerella is up to her usual magic with these Easter basket cupcakes. Too cute!
– Maple pan-roasted baby carrots from Noble Pig. These look delicious and would be a perfect side for Easter supper.
– Katie from Salt and Chocolate asks “Who wouldn’t want some cheesecake?”. You know, I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t love a slice of this vanilla bean cheesecake. I know I’d love a big slice of it right now. For dinner. And maybe dessert too.
– And because I’m kind of on a “back to basics” kick lately in a lot of my life, I am really interested in trying to make my own butter like Amy from Angry Chicken did. I mean, I love butter. How bad could homemade be?