I've been teaching myself how to cook and bake for the past few years. I'm still fairly mediocre at it, but, with practice, I may master it yet. This week I slightly adapted a Food & Wine recipe: a fusili dish with goat-cheese and eggplant, to which I added asparagus. It came out rich and delicious and I'm mighty pleased.
As a European by birth, I am obsessed with good bread. American bread is often processed and vile; I can't believe people actually ingest the so-called "wonder bread" without vomiting (I could also say this about processed yellow American cheese). Since it's not often convenient for me to go to the bakery for fresh bread, I decided to try my hand at baking it. I purchased Jim Lahey's My Bread, a beautiful book with idiot-proof instructions. Mark Bittman, the author of one of my favorite cookbooks (How to Cook Everything Vegetarian), popularized Lahey's method and I was eager to try it. After a 24 hour+ rise, voila! My first loaf! I feel like a kid at Christmas.