Monthly Archives: February 2011

>Cookin’ Up A Storm

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I really, really want one of those flour sifters. My mom used to have one. They are the bestest. I also always look this put together when I’m baking. No, really, I swear.

It snowed again today. Just when I thought spring was on its way, we got a foot of snow. What’s that saying…”God laughs?” Yeah, that. But I dealt with it well. I didn’t freak out that we would lose power and freeze to death or that some other tragedy would befall us. I got things done around the house and took it in stride.

These past few weeks I’ve been doing a lot of cooking and baking. I am currently obsessed with Joy The Baker. I used to read her blog regularly but then I stopped reading most blogs altogether. I’m glad I started again though, because hers is amazing. She is about to come out with a cookbook (which I’m sure I’ll buy) but I hope she makes a lot of money off of it. Otherwise I’m going to feel really bad when I ask her to pay for my lap band surgery from eating all of her delicious baked goods.

Tonight I’m making cappuccino cookies with espresso and white chocolate. Recently I made her peanut butter pretzel brownies for my derby ladies and it was pretty unanimous that they were super freaking delicious.

Yesterday I made Smitten Kitchen’s pumpkin waffles for Jack and I. Fabulous. Here’s something you must know. The key to light, airy, crisp waffles is in taking the time to beat the egg whites and fold them back into the batter. Yes, it takes longer. Yes, you will end up with more dishes, but I promise you it’s totally worth it.

Tonight I made a potato and sunchoke gratin. It was good but the recipe asked for more cream than it needed, and anyone who says a gratin only needs 30 minutes to cook is a damn liar. Overall the recipe was good and I’m not complaining that I have leftovers either.

Chris will put two new jerky flavors in the dehydrator tonight. The last time he did teriyaki (with a homemade sauce) and this time he’s doing half with Guiness Stout and the other half as margarita flavor. I’m excited to try both tomorrow.

I realized tonight when I was mixing my ingredients together, that baking is a legacy for me. My mom used to bake all the time, and often for no special reason. She’d make an entire Texas sheet cake on a Tuesday just because she felt like it. Chris was telling me earlier that we don’t need cookies. I agree. It’s not even that I plan on eating all of these either. It’s just that I really like doing it. I used to like painting for the same reason. You take a bunch of nonsense and make it into something awesome. I like awesome.

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>Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Tomorrow Chris and I are going out to breakfast for Valentine’s Day. It’ll work better with his work schedule and my practice schedule and we won’t have to deal with crowds or a sitter. I love breakfast, but brunch still wins out as the best mealtime ever.

So, I’m rostered again…Come see me this weekend! I will eventually get around to talking about the first bout.  Really there is just so much to say, it’s hard for my brain to try to narrow it down. Every moment was amazing and surreal.

I think I saw tiny buds on the branches of a tree in our yard. This makes me excited and a little worried. I can’t wait for all this crazy snow to be gone, but it means that time is marching quickly ahead and there is much work to be done this spring/summer. Also, we now have more projects to add to the list because as some of the ice was melting on the roof over the kitchen, water leaked in and stained parts of the ceiling. Gah!

The new Martha Stewart Living has a whole section on growing your own food. I love this so much. I hope it inspires more people to grow their own food. I hope people look at their lawns and say, “I don’t need this much lawn, it would be much more delicious to grow tomatoes over there!”

And lastly, for now, I heard a woman at the farmer’s market telling her friend she moved out of town recently and onto her own small farm. She was talking about all the animals and how it’s been her dream for so long to have a farm. She was beaming with happiness. It made me happy for her, but I was also jealous. My Barnheart flared up, especially when she was discussing the adorable things her goats do. I have such a soft spot in my heart for goats. Part of me felt like I could cry at any moment. Patience, patience.

>All The Cool Kids Are Doing It.

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Excuse the poor image quality, it’s just a screenshot of my Word doc.

Garden planning, that is.

Today I got out issues of Mother Earth News, The Backyard Homestead, and trusty Google search to help me with garden planning. Pretty much everyone I know who will be having a garden is already planning and seed shopping. It’s hard to get motivated when the snow outside is as tall as your Weber grill.

It needs to be done though. Stuff needs to be ready to go out there by mid May. Seedlings will need to be planted in a few months, which means extra seeds need to be ordered. Before I know it all the countertops in the house will be covered with seed starts.

We learned a few important lessons last year:
-Broccoli hates weather variations, and will bolt.
-Summer squash is boring and takes up too much room.
-Tomatoes are like the Incredible Hulk of the vegetable world. They may seem like mere plants but grow to have enough strength to topple heavy garden stakes and rabbit fencing.
-Peppers really, really need to be in lots of sun.

This year there are some veggies I really want, and some I’m not sure of. I don’t know if I should grow onions, leeks or scallions. I’m not sure which herbs, or if I should put some in the garden and some in pots.

I do know that I want to vertically grow the cucumbers, and have several types of tomatoes. I also want to grow the radishes that I never got around to growing last year. Plus I will do succession planting. Last time I had an entire row of mesclun mix and arugula that all came up at once. Not very smart. I will only plant a few of each this time and plant new ones every couple of weeks.

When Chris wakes up I’m going to have him look at it so we can figure out what to put in the empty space and to see if things need to be adjusted. I also wish I could actually go outside and measure the space, but considering I can’t even get to my compost right now, I don’t think that’s going to happen.

At least we’re planning this year and the space has already been turned over. We just need compost for the new half after the thaw. At this point it really feels like there will never be a thaw.

>What I’ve Been Doing On This Epic Snowday

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I should note that it’s actually sort of lackluster where we are. It’s stopped snowing, at least for now. It honestly doesn’t seem that bad out there. I’m not complaining or wishing for more snow, but does the weatherman really need to get me all worked up like that?

Since Jack didn’t have school, I slept in. Got up, made coffee and ate some breakfast with Jack while we figured out how much money was in his piggy bank. Yay for learning coins, Boo because it’s barely over $4 so he can’t get what toy he wants just yet.

Chris is sleeping because he goes into work tonight but he needed me to start the pork rillettes that he’s bringing into work for their Meat Party on Friday. He’s using Anthony Bourdain’s recipe. Bourdain is Chris’ fictional boyfriend, just so you know.

This is a pretty big deal because I don’t cook meat. I’m afraid of raw meat. The most I can do is cook ground beef. Granted, what I did this morning wasn’t hard, but more than I would do voluntarily. Basically our butcher did the hard work for me, I just had to dump the stuff in a pot and turn the stove on. When Chris wakes up, he’ll finish it up.

Then I made banana bread. This is most definitely in my comfort zone. I used the recipe from Martha Stewart and added some high-quality dark chocolate chips. It’s in the oven now and smells wonderful. I imagine it’ll be good. Martha doesn’t put her name on crap. Homegirl’s been to prison and she’s more successful than ever, there’s a reason for this.

Later I’m going to make “Peanutella.” I randomly stumbled across this recipe today. Perfect timing actually because I just used the rest of my Nutella yesterday and this Saturday happens to be World Nutella Day.

Tonight I’m going to roast up lots of our root veggies. There comes a point during the winter where you become buried under these things. Every time you open the fridge there’s a million beets just staring at you. I already filled a bowl with beets, carrots, turnips, kohlrabi, and potatoes. Later I will roast them with olive oil and rosemary.

Later on I’m going to keep tackling my knitted sweater. I never got around to it last night.

Stay warm people.

>I Have This Problem, You See….

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I’d like to know how I’m supposed to get anything done when the complete episodes of The State are on Netflix instant view.

The problem is two-fold.

First-I think of all sorts of stuff to post during the day. Stuff that inspires me, or that I want to make, or that bothers me, or that I think is funny, or that I have made, cool things Chris has done, weird things Jack has said…..but when I’m at the computer I…

(here is where problem #2 kicks in)

mostly just waste a lot of time. Part of the time I’m doing work of various sorts. A lot of the time I’m just reading stuff in forums, commenting on people’s Facebook posts or reading other blogs. By the end of the day I just want to numb my brain with stupidity and nonsense.

Sometimes I do nothing more than find a great series on Netflix (they have all the episodes of The State on there!!!) and just watch it while I become one with the couch. Me, the dogs, a beer, my laptop, and the TV. Occasionally I feel like a big bum when I do this. I try to remind myself that I do accomplish a significant amount of stuff during the day though. The really important things always (well, usually) get done in a timely fashion and I’m allowed to just let my brain rot sometimes.

So, there you have it. Tomorrow it’s going to snow like a beast so I’m going to force myself to post something since I’ll probably just be sitting here going slowly insane. I will tell you about the bout, because it was awesome and you should know about it. I’ll also tell you about the banana bread Jack and I will be making, and another upcoming baking endeavor.

Oh, and if you simply can’t get enough of me loving the hell out of derby, I’ve created a Tumblr blog so that I am not always cluttering up this space with info about it.

Now I think I’m going to hunt for my recent Martha Stewart mag to get her recipe for hot cocoa mix. Then I’m going to make some. Then I’m going to work on the sweater and find something new on Netflix. I know, I live one heck of a wild life.