Posts Tagged ‘Recipe’

“I don’t know how you get anything done.”  – my mom

“I don’t.” – me

I actually have really great kids, good kids, but what I wouldn’t give to have two more arms and hands.  I would be totally be ok with all the staring because I know everyone would be looking at me with envy.  I would have used those extra appendages to hold my unusually fussy baby while trying to make raspberry mango jam I was working on with my mom this afternoon.

Eyes in the back of my  head would also be handy for so many reasons that I know my fellow parents would recognize.  Today I would have used those eyes to watch my daughter swinging on her indoor jungle gym when she said, “Mom!  Look at meeeeee!”  while simultaneously stirring the raspberry mango jam.

What did I learn today?  That doing  all the above AND make granola at the same time may not have been the best idea.  At one point in the afternoon I asked my mom, “How did YOU get anything done with three kids?”

“You were all angels.” – mom

OK, that is a total lie.  I know, I was there, so she must be suffering from some sort of parental amnesia, whatever, it wasn’t helpful.  But things were done and now we’re all pooped and the kids went to bed pretty easily.

And so will I.

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I have made no secret about  my love of toast so this small batch will not last long at all in my house.  While very easy to do, I still find myself a little intimidated by the whole canning process. It’s that element of danger with all those bubbling, boiling fluids.  I only got splattered a couple times so I’m calling the day a success.  My goal is to continue with small batches to increase my confidence.  Luckily between my mom and my foodie sister I will be a pro in no time.


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  • That my daughter met a new friend at the Farmer’s Market.  At four years of age they were, of course, instant best friends.
  • My husband is putting the baby to sleep more often.
  • Said baby isn’t hesitant to let us know her wants or not wants as the case may be.
  • Smiling faces upon waking since I am a grouch immediately upon waking.
  • Blossoms in the garden.
  • The excitement when an eagle is spotted on the property.
  • The young deer meeting up in front of our house and keeping away from the garden.
  • Finding a use for all the stinging nettles, a little late in season but I’m going to try cooking.  Apparently these area  powerhouse of nutrients and by golly I plan on making the most of this prolific weed as it’s growing more successfully than anything in my garden right now.
  • Bread baking tomorrow.
  • Canning next week when my mom visits for the week.  She was worried we wouldn’t have much to do – little does she know…!


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This new oven has a massive window which was a selling point.  I’ve never had an oven with a window on it so I went for the gusto who buying appliances for the new place.  I enjoy the art and science of food.  It’s good for the kids to see too.

This though, is torture.

Cookies I can handle – they don’t take long to bake.

Bread – whoa, I’m dying here.  The smell!

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It feels like so many things.  I have been busy but nothing post-worthy.


I’m trimming down a chocolate peanut butter chip cookie recipe that I will claim as my own as it’s my belief that if you trim off 1/3 of the amount of butter a new cookie results…

While edible, I  made a white cake with white whole wheat flour:  hev-eee.  Plus, it took way long to bake.  It called for a chocolate filling – I don’t even like fillings in my cake.  I’m blaming PMS craziness.  Salvaged by Hershey’s chocolate frosting recipe which when put on anything take it to a whole different chocolate level.

I’m excited to say that I am this close to perfecting my bread recipe.  Sofia and I will make another batch this week:  it’s looking promising.

Lots of time in the garden, the library for storytime and visits from out of town family and impromptu dinners.  There are four wine bottles on my table right now.

Three are empty.



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With my phone back, so are the pictures I’ve been taking (and been meaning to back up on my computer, ahem).  This is good for many reasons, one of which, though I unpacked my camera, it was only to find it without a memory card – strange.  When I asked Jon if he had seen or unpacked any extra SD cards his reply was, “Yeah, I saw one somewhere around here.”

Well, now.  That was helpful.

While we still have a few remaining boxes to be unpacked we’re now in the stage of:  Do I Really Like This Here?  Is This Where I Want This Item to Live?

I’ve momentarily given up on finding the SD card…

But here’s what I have on my phone:

I love this bread recipe.  It’s a labor of love that I am continually working on perfecting.  I doubt I ever will, but I am getting braver.  This go around I didn’t realize I was out of bulghar.

There’s not much you can substitute for over a pound of bulghar, but here’s what I did – I put in an equal amount of quinoa, knowing that the soak would soften the quinoa but did not appreciate until later that it wouldn’t soak up the water like the bulghar does.  When I got to the step where I added the extras in went sunflower seeds and, new for me in bread, chia seeds.  There was a LOT of extra fluid, so I put in a few (several?) handfuls of oats which thankfully did the trick.  No exact measurements but I must say that I was proud of myself for making it up as I went along – successfully.  Yes, I should have prepped ahead of time because working in batches this large, once I start I’m kind of committed.  So it is with a sigh of relief that this worked out.  While I’ve made this bread several times over and bread can be/is very forgiving in many ways it wasn’t until the second rise that I felt like this was going to work.

I’m buying some bulghar this week but will maybe split the amount with the quinoa and keeps some of the oats – the texture was great!

Before forming...

Before forming…

Plus one more that I already cut into!  I am soooo bad about waiting until they cool completely!

Plus one more that I already cut into! I am soooo bad about waiting until they cool completely!

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I few months ago I sent my cellphone through the wash.

It didn’t survive despite being encased in a waterproof (though not resistant) case.

Now, I’ve gone and “misplaced” it again.  Like on a whole different level than the usual:  losing it in plain sight, in a basket of laundry, between the driver’s seat and the emergency brake, between the driver’s seat and the front door, the passenger seat and the front door, my purse/the abyss…

You get the idea.

I’ve been taking most of my blog pictures with my camera – so handy, so convenient – and had big blog posting plans for the those pictures.  Because writing about a new recipe without pictures doesn’t really have the same impact and a few accompanying shots does.

But here goes:


Lisa over at It She’s Losing It sent me a link to a recipe she posted that looked simple and yummy.  Curry has always been mysteriously exotic to me – really intimating actually.  While intrigued I have been at the same time put off by the pungentness (Spellcheck says this isn’t a word but I’ll bet you totally know what I’m talking about!) of this spice family.  Admittedly, the entire time I was preparing this dish I kept saying to myself, “Sofia is so not going to eat this.”

Sure enough she said it was too spicy for her four year old palette but honestly, I was surprised that she even tried so I still consider it a win.

As per usual I didn’t have all the listed ingredients but I do believe I followed the method stated!

Caribbean Red bean, Spinach and Potato Curry

Here’s what I changed:

  1. No potatoes but I had some leftover rice.
  2. I added cauliflower and was very happy I did.
  3. I didn’t have red beans exclusively, rather a trio mix which was just fine.
  4. I added about half again as much water but this recipe is forgiving plus, I like things saucy!
  5. I added a handful of raisins and here’s why:  I thought the flavor was a little harsh with the curry powder I had on hand and the raisins really added that little something that smoothed out the flavor.  I was going to add an chopped up apple but the raisins were easier.
  6. Used white vinegar for the lemon.
  7. No hot chile knowing my 4 year old would be put off by the spice to begin with adding a chile would so  not go over well with her.

I really, really liked the cauliflower in this dish and would definitely throw in more spinach next time maybe tofu instead of the beans…

And there will be a next time – this recipe is quick and easy AND tasty!

Thank you Lisa!

I know, it’s not the same with out pictures, right?

The right answer would be to make it again and take more pictures.  Seeing as we just moved I’ll admit I haven’t found my beloved camera yet amongst the boxes nor was I eager to unpack it since there is still a lot of construction dust about.  Likely it was in this dish as well now that I think about it…

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In the process of becoming unprocessed I’ve come up against a bit more resistance than I thought I would.  Mostly from my husband.  With the three year old it’s simply a matter of telling her No and offering her something else enthusiastically to sway her.  I’m talking about treats/dessert in particular.  As a self proclaimed choc-aholic I’ve come to appreciate the term ‘die-hard’ when it comes to converting him.  So, I’ve slowed things down a bit and have taken more baby steps than leaps and bounds with the process and have treaded very lightly when it comes to chocolate treats!

I made these brownies the other day but it called for a pan size I didn’t have so I guess-stimated and was ok with the results.  I own a baking bracket the lines the edge of the pan – I use it specifically for brownies but you can use it for sheet cakes too.  I first used the bracket in pastry school – you can find them at restaurant supply stores.  It just makes the edges way cleaner and there’s less waste when cutting which I think is important given the amount of butter and chocolate involved – those more expensive ingredients.  Because there are so few ingredients in brownies there’s not much to make less processed.  I swapped out the AP flour with Whole Wheat Pastry flour in equal parts with no problems.  It’s also my opinion that because of the simplicity of the ingredients list trying for a lower fat/fat free alternative will result is something so different from a true brownie that it’s just not right to even call it tha,t rather, one should simply stick to a trusted original recipe and eat in moderation.  I put mine in the freezer after cutting them which slows my husband down a tad.  I did manage to eat a couple before they were all gone and I have to say these brownies are(were?!) damn good and I rarely swear when it comes to food – that’s how good they are.  The original recipe is the Barefoot Contessa’s Outrageous Brownies.  I find it laughable that she sells these in a boxed version.  Brownies are about the simplest baked good you could make!

Here’s the original recipe.  The changes I made were cutting it back to about 3/4 measurements (give or take) to fit a half sheet pan AND the 1:1 swap between AP flour and WW pastry flour.  Otherwise follow the recipe word for word and you won’t be disappointed.  Oh, and I cut mine into about 2 inch square serving sizes.  They’re super rich so you’ll be more than satisfied with this size.  They also turned out a little on the thin side for my liking but that’s just my aesthetic taste.  I would definitely include the walnuts, it helps mellow the richness a bit.

Outrageous Brownies

Oh, PS:  I forgot that instead of the semi-sweet chips mixed in at the end I chopped the equivalent weight in bittersweet chocolate.  I think that’s what took the brownie to the next level.  Chopping chocolate isn’t one of my favorite things to do but I’ve never been disappointed with the results.  Try it!

This was my second attempt with photographing the brownies.  I had plated two more earlier, then Jon came home and promptly ate them!

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