Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Cupcakes!

I mean these sweet girls, of course. Sunday was Amy's baby shower (she's the one in green) at Christy's house. It was really fun. I wanted to share a few shots to show there is more to my life (eg blog) than food!
Christina, Karis and MarciDarrah and Erin -- the Gooden girls!Ok...there were a few cupcakes there...8 different kinds! Marci was so cool and went halvsies with me so we could taste more. Fantastic, especially the carmel frosting.Knee update: So, yes, there is a small tear in that hard to heal tissue in my knee, some inflammation and some generally wonkiness that I'll need to stabilize, but I'm going to do everything I need to get it healed. No running, yet, but I had a great bike out at the lake today. Good gravy, I do love White Rock Lake in the springtime! It's amazingly beautiful. :-)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Auntie Em who?

For more detailed instructions see: Steph Chows. Or just check this great blog out for whatever cool things she's making now. :-)

Wheat pretzel dough proofing in a marginally warm oven. Yeast is cool. It eats sugar and burps out CO2...which makes rise. Love it.
Shaping.Stretching. Gluten is fun!Ah, that classic twist! It comes from the ancient prayer posture with arms crossed in front.Pre soak in hot baking soda water.Post soak, plus seasoning. 9 minutes at 450 later....Do I hear angels singing?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Leaven

On Sunday, Jordan preached about leaven, the insidious fungus of which, under proper conditions, even a tiny amount can grow enormously. I believe he was citing when Jesus talked about heresy. But here, we're talking about bread! In this case, of course, the leaven is deliciously fragrant and works a magic that produces beautiful bread.
This is the no-knead variety, which I've made before, but following the inspiration of Kaitlyn in the Kitchen, plus letting it rise almost the maximum time, this is my prettiest result.
And if you'd like a quick easy fantastic treat: melt a little butter in a saute pan, add a spoonful of brown sugar, once it gets bubbly, add sliced bananas, turn them once and serve over a slice of bread smeared with peanut butter. Wiggling your hips with a "thank yuh, thank yuh very much" in your best Elvis impression is optional.
Since Charlie was on my last post, I figured I'd let the other fuzzy, Charlotte, get a little face time.

In other news, I decided to finally get my sore knee looked at, after almost 3 weeks of no running on it, hoping it would get better by itself. And of course, the doctor immediately says *no running*. Just like that, but he actually wrote it in all caps too. I even got an MRI yesterday on it. If you've never had one before, imagine slowly being sucked deeper in a little tube to loud, alarm-sound repetitive noises. I felt like saying, "Mother, what's happening?" (Alien reference.) But I think the knee is on the road to healing. :-)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Nana's Waffles

A hot, crunchy, buttery, syrup-drenched waffle is the apex of breakfast food. Nana made it so. She made the best ever...with melted butter in the batter, and Papa Jack would make sure there was more melted butter and warm real maple syrup to generously moisten those crunchy brown crevices. Oh, the joy whenever I would arrive in the kitchen to see the waffle maker ready to bake breakfast bliss!
The fabled waffle maker is now mine, and it is so full of good memories. In an attempt to not return to the roly-poly physique of my childhood, I substituted some of the butter for applesauce and half the white flour with wheat, and the results were still magnificent. But Nana's waffle maker helped.
Waffles - modified from Betty Crocker's Cookbook

2 eggs
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 3/4 cups skim milk
4-5 tbsp melted butter
4 tbsp applesauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Beat egg. Gently add other ingredients until mostly smooth. Allow batter to rest for five minutes before cooking.

Charlie Bear was very curious about the steam coming from the waffle maker. I'm sure, for him, it was a hot jet of delicious smell...but sadly, no waffles for puppies.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Smashing Pumpkins + Visa

A few moments ago, I heard a Visa commercial play, "Today" from the Smashing Pumpkins Siamese Dream. Appalled speechlessness ensued. That song, that album, the Smashing Pumpkins were the backdrop to my adolescence. Even after I had grown out of them, when nothing else held my thoughts, that guitar refrain and the lyrics: "Today is the greatest day I've ever known. Can't live for tomorrow, tomorrow's much too long. I'll burn my eyes out before I get out" would play in my head. It was the salve for an unformed identity craving passion and stature in this life. Until I saw them in concert my sophomore year and realized he was a total jerk, I believed myself in love with Billy Corgan. And now they have prostituted themselves with a Visa commercial.


Speaking of adolescence, I saw "Twilight" yesterday. LOVED it. I must eat crow for mocking all the hype, the book, etc. I actually did try to read the novel a while ago and thought it was smarmy. But I will be checking it out from the library now, oh yes, I will. :-)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Multisport

4 weeks til the triathlon, so I'm getting my swim and bike on. Yesterday, I did my first long bike ride, and it felt so good to get a long hard workout in, especially since I'm not running to let my runner's knee heal. And it was a great day to bike out at the lake. Spring is coming! I love the flowers and new leaves...so pretty, and when you're biking, you have to be aware of your surroundings, so I get to take it all in. Plus, I really enjoy biking, even if I was tired by the fourth time around. It's just too fun going whoosh whoosh around the lake. And, I'm not hating swimming like I thought I would. I just swam for a hour...and it was painless. I mean, staring at the bottom of a pool with limited oxygen can't really be fun, but it's a good low-impact exercise, so I can't complain.

And I did a little baking too (this is for you, Jen!). I made these Mocha Chocolate Chip Muffins from My Gourmet Love Affair. This time, I added a little vanilla and some more cocoa, along with substituting half whole wheat flour, so as to pretend that all those chocolate chips don't make them junk food...but whatever...they're great warmed up the next day...especially with coffee. :-)Also in good news: with Spring also comes Spring Break! Week after next...wee! And, since I donated to the March of Dimes, I get to wear jeans to work for the next month. Yee haa!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Observations from Hico, TX

Hico, TX: it's a small town, claiming to be the death place of Billy the Kid, near Fossil Rim. There, I consumed an unnerving amount of fried food and gravy (one place actually served me a BOWL of the stuff with my chicken fried steak). The bed and breakfast we stayed in (Casey & I, and my parents) was quite nice...it had 26 chickens in the kitchen, in various forms--plush, brass, labels on tins, plates, ceramic statues--and it became a game to find them all. We also read books and played cards and lots of backgammon.We drove to Glen Rose, saw some buffalo and elk at the entrance of the wildlife preserve. Later, Casey was very excited to visit the Creation Evidence Museum. Casey hoped that there would be people there trying to convince him that the Genesis story is a literal, and so the earth is only 7000 years old, and people lived at the same time as dinosaurs. Hence the fossil with a dino footprint and human footprint. Personally, it makes no difference to me...but Casey was disappointed to find no wackos to speak of.

At the other Fossil Rim museum...they had very different dates for the earth, but we paid them no mind. I did impersonate my favorite dinosaur, though. The anklosaurus:

video
Overall, it was a very nice and relaxing little vacation. But we were happy to get home to the puppies. Casey Gooden was nice enough to feed the while we were gone...but I don't think they got their cuddle quota. So we're working on that now. :-)













I also made a cake for Hilda's birthday tomorrow. It may be the first layer cake I've made. I know the devil's food cake part is good. And the seven minute frosting (which I made 4 batches of!) is very good too. Hopefully together, it'll be super-good.