Sunday, August 1, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Yesterday was glorious. As in homework free, sunshine-filled, and bread delectabl-ified (Merrian Webster would have been so jealous of this word) GLORIOUS.
[A golden crumb, a rosemary crown, a speckle of sea salt-- Ah yes, now I remember why I love this bread]
7:45 a.m. - Zing! Body channels inner cuckoo bird alarm clock. Ummm, excuse me little cuckoo bird, are you out of your mind? Apparently, my little birdie is not daylight savings friendly.
8:00 a.m. - Pearly whites were brushed clean, and hair was thrown in a quick pony tail, and I was supposed to start SAT practice. Unfortunately, there were more important things on my mind like...
8:15 a.m. - PANCAKES. Actually, while the homemade cinnamon buttermilk syrup that accompanied these babies was scrumptious, the hot cakes themselves were somewhat unremarkable. I still prefer Kittencal's pancakes over these.
12 p.m. - 24 Hour Fitness for a workout. Confession: I love the gym. Little kids get playgrounds with swings and slides. Big kids get playgrounds with treadmills and medecine balls. Sounds like a fair trade to me!
2:00 p.m. - Following the workout, I met up with M for a trip to Yogurtland.
Plain tart + berries = domination.
9:00 p.m. - No food for 7 hours? You must be out of your mind! I wasn't particularly hungry for dinner, so I snacked mainly on fruit (strawberries, apricots, cherries) while I waited for the best thing since sliced bread.....Homemade bread! This rosemary-olive oil bread was pure heaven and by this, I mean that I probably ate around half a loaf. Perhaps my version of heaven is a bit different from most...
[Did you know that bread can tan in the sun? Good, neither did I. Let's not question it.]
A few months ago, I made a similar bread in an attempt to recreate Macaroni Grill's rosemary olive-oil bread. Ironically, I wasn't attempting to mimick the restaurant recipe this time, but this bread was far closer in both taste and texture than the last. I ended up using Costco's wholegrain unbleached flour, and while I'm sure it isn't quite as good as true whole grains, the result was certainly pleasant. Though I normally use only 1 tablespoon of either butter or oil, this bread came out much more tender than most breads I've made. Whether or not the same effect could be achieved with a reduced amount of butter/oil, I'm not sure, but I'll be sure to report back seeing as I'm planning on making another loaf tomorrow.
[NOM NOM NOM NOM..need I say more?]
Veg Adaptability: easy
sub earth balance or other vegan margarine for regular margarine
sub soymilk for cow's milk
Crusty Rosemary Sea Salt Bread
Adapted from Allrecipes
1/4 cup warm water (100-110 degrees)
2 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 tablespoon sugar (I used sucanat)
2 1/2 cups flour (All purpose is fine)
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper ( Try not to get carried away in the pepper-cracking vortex like I did)
3 tbsp (may use more) fresh chopped rosemary OR 1 tbsp dried rosemary
1 tablespoon margarine (melted)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2/3 to 3/4 cup warm water
milk or soymilk
coarse sea salt
1. Combine water, yeast, and sugar in a small bowl. Set aside for 10-15 minutes or until the yeast has virtually created its own foamy bubble bath.
2. Meanwhile, mix together flour, salt, Italian seasoning, black pepper, and rosemary in the bowl of a food processor with a dough hook (if you're feeling super duper fancy) or in a regular 'ole bowl (if you're feeling like an average Joe).
3. If you're using a food processor: Add yeast mixture to flour mixture and pulse until gently combined. Add margarine and oil, pulsing a few more times to incorporate each into the dough. Then, with the machine running, slowly drizzle water in until a humungo dough ball is formed. Stop for a moment to scrape down the bowl and then return food processor to high speed, allowing it to work the dough for about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, check to ensure that soft and pliable but not gooey like a mysterious rosemary silly putty.
If you're feeling more like the average Joe: Stir together yeast and flour mixutre in a standard mixing bowl. Mix in margarine and oil. Add water until dough becomes workable. Begin kneading 5-10 minutes or until your hands lose all feeling.
4. Place the dough in an oiled and covered bowl.
5. Let dough rise for 1 hour in a warm place.
6 Punch down dough and form into 1 loaf. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
7. Allow dough to rise for one more hour. Brush the dough with a combination of milk and oil.
Sprinkle with coarse grain sea salt so you too can be a salty sailor.
8. Dough will have since expanded lik the Incredible Hulk. Bake 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees.
9. Devour half a loaf. Don't forget this step; it's definitely the most important!
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Tonight is the night that I am forever done with crazy, uncontrolled eating.
Again, I splurged, stuffing myself way too much without thinking. This time my partner in crime was mounds (or mountains?) of Indian food richer than Bill Gates himself. On top of that horrible gastronomical disaster, I then attempted to excercise. As you can probably guess, the stomach didn't agree with that so much, resulting in a, more or less, train wreck in motion. I must admit that I now know how it feels to be the Staypuff Marshmallow Man (a la Ghostbusters, of course!) on an ellyptical.
(I love this car. Some people idolize their parents. Me? I idolize this car.)
(Just kidding Mom and Dad; I love you!)
Unsuprisingly, the result was much the same as in Ghostbusters (namely the part where the Staypuff Marshmallow Man begins spewing chunks). TMI, i know.
Think happy thoughts, think happy thoughts, think happy thoughts. (Remember to breathe while doing so!)
Anyway, I've discovered that tonight is the night to start anew. I will and must be done. From here on out, I'm done with these relapses and ready to take the opposite fork in the road--the road to recovery.
To kickstart my new journey, I'm reminding myself that there are foods which are both healthy and delicious that make I love because they make me feel my absolute best, rather than utterly awful like tonight.
Just a few of my favorites...
(Juicy peaches grown by our semi-annoying neighbors. Lucky for them, these peaches tend to counteract their quirks and annoying-ness.)
(If you said, "I love _____!" in kindergarten, other kids used to sneer, "Well, if you love it so much, why don't you just marry it? Despite their best I attempts to make me burn in shame, I felt no such feelings at hearing this. In fact, I'd be happy to take any kindergartener up on that challenge, bearing anyone reading this as my witness. Please observe:
Dear watermelon, I do love you so. Will you marry me?)
These apples are amazing. Why you may ask?
They're miniature, and that's all there is to it!
Now that's what I call symbolism.
Good night my friends :)
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Amidst a steamy shower after the gym, I pondered this very question only to return to the exact same answer: baking should most definitely qualify as able to be defined as "eclectic."
Now, I could lie and tell you that my new found ability to describe my version of baking was born out of sheer innovation and amazingly complex flavors. Sadly, that would seem to make me a worse liar than I already am. Then again, maybe I could be an eclectic liar as well?
Mind-blowing, I know. Since, at this point, your brain is most likely exploding from an OD of eclectic-ness, let me alleviate your aching brains with a refreshing and, dare i say, eclectic creation.
I present to you the most delicious grape cake (which is actually chocolate) the world has ever known.
This cake was definitely good right out of the oven and the next day without frosting; however, I added a nonfat, but super moist, glaze that soaked into the cake, ramping it up to status of YUM-O. In other words, if serving this cake to omni's, I would definitely frost/glaze to ensure enough moistness/richness in the cake. I also sprinkled the top with coconut, making it somewhat reminiscent of a lighter German Chocolate. OmniMom, Dad, and Brother gave the cake the thumbs up and were surprised, but happy, to hear that it was "better for you than an average cake." So maybe I didn't tell them it was vegan or laced with the 2 week old and slightly pruney grapes in the fridge. After all, a magician never reveals his/her secrets, right?
Adaptability: none needed
My version: herbie
The "Grapest" Cake Ever
Barely Adapted from Susan Voisin's FFV Blog
2 tbsp. water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar [i used regular, distilled]
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Oil or spray your cooking pan(s).
Put the pureed grapes into a 2-cup measure. Add enough apple sauce to reach the 2-cup line. Add the 2 tablespoons water, vanilla extract, and vinegar to the beets and mix well.
Mix the dry ingredients together; then add the beet mixture and stir until well-combined. Bake for 20 minutes for a 9x9 or 35-60 minutes for a 9X13 pan. (I used a 9X13 pan, and it took 35 minutes.)
Thursday, May 13, 2010
I know, I know. This seems to call for punishment. Perhaps a time out? Or maybe a spanking? A scolding? Perhaps separation from fruit/vegetables for a week? Now THAT would be punishment.
So many thing have happened in a single year so rather than recap, I figure I'll start fresh.
Anyway, Day 2.
Today should have been wonderful. Honest to apples!
Today's was B's birthday; I can't believe he's 18. We must be getting old. Well, atleast that's what all the parents seem to say :)
D made Apple Dutch Babies that I ruefully avoided so as to stick with my fresh and healthy plan. That plan worked until 7:46 this morning when I was faced with steamy, hot bagels from the best bagel shop in town and ooey, gooey, dare-i-say-seductive brownies made by a class mate. Let's just say my stand against trans fat most likely went down the tubes today.
I really shouldn't have eaten even 1 because we all know what that leads to...
a bag of apple chips
1/2 of a Veggie Grill Burger w/ onion rings (i know; it gets worse and worse)
1 Brown Shenko Pear (breakfast)
Fruit Salad (breakfast)
1 very unhappy body
I'm so sick of not sticking with my goal and not exercising control when I eat. This NEEDS to change. In fact, my intent for writing this post was to create a promise to myself (and to you guys..nonexistent as 'you' may be!). I will stick to my plan this time. There's no looking back now.
Plan for tonight:
As I mentioned before, today is B's birthday. We're planning on heading over to Riptide Sushi, a japanese sushi-fusion place with great decos and some decent food.
M made cheesecake for the post-dinner celebrations.
Unfortunately, eating more is the last thing that I want to do.
So as to not talk about myself the whole time, I leave you with a recipe for being such a good sport in scrolling through my pointless jabbering.
I originally made this recipe for my French class with my friend Joanna as a part of a project. The class was downright ridiculous (as in the teacher was usually medicated while teaching) but the recipe turned out delicious. As in B asked for seconds. Unless there is copious amounts of butter, that NEVER happens. In other words, consider this a *miracle* recipe.
Adapted from recipetips.com
My version: Omni or Herbie
2 cups fresh raspberries (or any other berries)
3 eggs (Herbie version: 3/4 cup pureed tofu)
1 cup milk (Herbie version: soy, almond, rice etc milk)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar (scant)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
powdered sugar (optional)
To a better tomorrow, my friends! Directions