Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ma belle laitue!

I'm on my way to the perfect sandwich! Bread: check! Lettuce: check! It's so tasty, I'm not sure I can ever go back to store bought! Added bonus, they seem really hardy. I forget them on a regular basis! Maybe if I can start remembering to water it, it'll grow a little faster? Even my daughter gobbled it up! And without Ranch, that's really something! What's that about a picture's worth a thousand words? 


Slowly but surely, I'm making my way through this book and and alas, slacking on my updates. The important thing here is, drum roll please, my ciabatta rocks! The crust is so much softer which is nice for my kiddos. I love the crustiness of the classic boule, however my kids have a hard time getting through it sometimes. And it's just plain fun to gluten coat and spread out. Rather than the floury dough of the boule, with the ciabatta you get your hands nice and wet and stretch out the dough. It feel fabulous! And then you can chase your kids around with gross, sticky hands. Added bonus. Here are some pictures of my masterpiece!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Worth the dough?

I've finally conceded that this is the shape and size my body will be now. And as I say that, I adore my two body widening punkins more than words and would make that trade any day! Alas, my favorite jean skirt didn't grow with me. So I'm on a quest! Here's the current forerunner:
Boden Favourite Mini
I love that this is a "mini." Really? It's almost to her knees! I should have been British- we're so on the same page.  This is as short as I'd go! It would look good with my boots....

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Ahoy Mate!

Loving this LOFT sweater!
I'm feeling the nautical love this fall, but not sure how best to rock the stripes. I also don't have the shoulders to properly wear a boat neck top. As my endless online window shopping continues I have found this top that I really like. Let's see if I can get the picture on here...need to work on my skills... Striped Sweater with Corsage hmm... that gets me the link, but not the picture. Woo hoo! I got it! So how cute is this sweater? A bit nautical, very gray (I love my gray), works with jeans and I'm thinking could be dressed up a bit too? It rarely get very cold here, so this would work for the majority of "winter."

Friday, September 10, 2010

Things I love: kids version: Tell Me a Story

As my daughter has just spread these cards all across the floor, I find myself smiling and thinking what a wonderful toy this is and that I might share it! What it is is a collection of cards, playing card size, but thicker, with beautiful pictures on them. We have the Fairy Tale Mix-Up, but there's also Mystery in the Forest, Little Robot's Mission, Circus Animal's Adventures and possibly more. You put them together to make up a story! No batteries, no markers, no mess, fit in your purse/pocket (my husband's pockets, not mine.) We've used them in the car for long trips, at a restaurant (easy to use in small spaces and can be wiped off) and today we spread them about 3-4' across the floor and took turns making up our story. We each used a card to add to the story, back and forth till we got through all of them. Each time it's better; so much fun! I have a number of Eeboo products and love them. But these I love enough to share about! The whole family can play, she can play by herself, even my toddler likes to look at the pictures and swirl them all over the table/floor/tray! I fully recommend these!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Got fashion?

15 items. 30 days. Well this assumed a few things I didn't. 2 things in particular, 2 people I should say were not factored in. 2 darling children that I adore that have a gift for destroying my clothes. I try to do laundry every day and still have a hard time making it work! Also, no matter how much you love a shirt, if it doesn't look good on you, you're not going to wear it. Let it go. Big sigh. Good bye Gap sweater T. I loved you well. Alackaday, you did not return my love. It just doesn't work on me! So off it goes to the preggo closet (it'll be perfect for the first trimester or so.) I swapped it for a gray tank top and a pink cardigan set as it's getting cooler. Not cold by any means, but 80s in the day. I've also found myself profoundly bored with these clothes. I love, LOVE, that this project has gotten me out of the yoga pants; I've realized the benefit of taking 5 minutes to put an outfit together. It really makes my whole day better. So I'm adding some items in. My new plan is to add 1 item each Sunday. And I must wear that item during the week at some point. So I'm still finding new outfits I already own, but adding in some more clothing I already have. I believe the spirit of the thing is the same and damn it, it's my challenge, I'll do it my way! This past Sunday I added a white Gap ruffle tank that looks a lot like this, but the ruffles don't come down so far. Only about half way down the shirt.
I'm hoping to try to layer it under a great cardigan later this summer/fall as I can. Lastly, there is another shirt in my group that I love, but find myself not wearing. It looks cute on, that's not the problem, I just don't know what to wear with it:
Pencil skirt? Denim? I also swapped out that item for a jean skirt that actually fit (including breathing.) The new one is too light for this. Khakis? Feel like I'm in a uniform. Shorts? Camp counselor. Waiting for some divine inspiration on this one. Or it may go the way of the warrior as well.

The Bread Chronicles

Some interesting discoveries and results in the last few loaves. First, I can not hold a double batch of dough in my container. can NOT.  This finally stops overflowing and I put the lid on it and put it in the fridge to relax a little. This is my next discovery:
You have to appreciate- this is after I've taken the exploding container out. This is part of what's left. part. The lid has flown off and dough. is. everywhere. Surprisingly, the dough (in the container) was still ok. It felt air hardened and I worried it would be any good, but mixed it in and gave it a go and it was tasty! 

Next discovery- the steam is absolutely crucial to the great crust and must be started immediately. As in, not 10 minutes after the bread goes in (even if it's a 30 minute bake.) You can still eat it the other way, but the crust is much chewier and distinctly less fabulous.
failed baguette/awesome batard in process

Discovery 3: I make a great Bâtard. Alas, what I was trying to make was a baguette. Interesting side note, Bâtard is French for the word it sounds like. This is stolen from the Yankee Pot Roast. It's so beautiful I must share it:
It's the end of our date, that awkward moment where we kiss good-bye and I hope it's not really good-bye.

"Would you like to come upstairs and make sandwiches?" Lucy asks me.

"Oh yes. Yes, I would."

"I have many varieties of meats and cheeses," she whispers. I lick my lips.

We walk up three flights to her apartment and I'm getting hungrier with each step. She unlocks the door and before we even reach the kitchen, I'm rolling up my sleeves.

She opens the fridge. I grab a knife. We slice some Genoa salami, very, very thin. We slice turkey. We slice turkey ham. We slice turkey balogna. Slice, slice, slice. She pulls out some muenster, some Swiss. We're slapping slices on bread. We're squirting mayo, squeezing ketchup, splashing mustard. Spreading everything evenly. We're pushing our top breads onto our bottom breads. We've made great, big Dagwoods. I give her the knife and she slices her sandwich diagonally. Then mine, likewise. And then we raise our sandwiches and, at the same moment, we each take a hearty bite, as much as our mouths can handle.

"Mmmmmm," she mumbles through a stuffed mouth. "This is delicious."

"Mmmm," I say. "Mine too."

- Josh Abraham, Yankee Pot Roast

Now that is just hot. I have to go make bread right now.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Boots, Glorious Boots!

I'm having a love affair with a pair of boots I've never touched. It's a long distance relationship. But as I find myself online yet again, praying to find a similar pair with a much less similar price I thought I might post them here. Perhaps the shopping gods will see this and bring me a fabulous pair of knockoffs! (Or a 75% off coupon, that would work too!) Here they are in all their glory:

I can't seem to get a photo on here though. Let's try this:  woohoo! It worked! Though only tiny. Que sera. They really want to be mine, can't you hear them? However their price tag of $278 screams just a bit louder. Why is it so hard to find fabulous, simple boots? No buckles, no straps, no bling, just great boots?

A friend of mine suggested a "things I love" section. This may be because she hates shopping and is hoping I'll do the leg work for her, and I'm okay with that. Let the Glorious Boots begin the Things I Love collection!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

It crackles!

The Book (I feel it begs capitalization, yes) says your bread will crackle when it comes out of the oven. Well, sure, maybe their bread. But yesterday it did! I felt like the old Rice Krispies commercials- I just sat hunched over the bread listening and grinning like a 4 year old! Which happens to be an excellent grin. This second batch is significantly better than batch 1! So the question must be, is it the weird rising? It rose more, in all the wrong conditions, but none the less, it rose more. And this morning it received it's highest compliment. My husband was slicing some to take with some chili for lunch to work and asked, "can I just take the rest of the loaf with me? Are you making more today?" <insert said proud grin here.> My kids devoured it, the crust was better (I think that lies in the steam- when you remember it that is), I of course love it, but now a new fan! Hoorah! I can't wait to see how the baguettes turn out! I still have 2 more loaves worth of dough in the fridge before I attempt those. Though, these loaves are going pretty fast... Also, I'm really loving the herbs in it (rosemary & thyme.) I was a little worried they might add too much flavor, but no, it's just perfect! All in all I'm still loving this book! The authors have another book, Healthy Bread in 5 minutes a Day that I may have to try after this one, though I don't know where on earth the dough would fit in my fridge!

  • Something wonderful has come of this project, lettuce! A friend of mine mentioned on FB that she was planting lettuce and there are few things in the world as tasty as really good, really fresh lettuce and I was inspired. So off to the dreaded Wally World (this is where she obtained hers, so I followed suit, I am generally not a fan of the place.) and they are planted and looking lovely on my potting table! Where is this all headed? Hopefully to the worlds greatest sandwich! I have a dream...avocado, turkey, still warm bread, fresh lettuce, tomatoes, sprouts maybe, a slathering of mayo, a suggestion of mustard, The pure joy that only comes from a kick ass sandwich.