Thursday, January 29, 2009


I thought I'd get back to my baking day. The pitas were hit. I got the recipe from here, one of my favorite baking sites. Here I've flattened the dough after rising 90 minutes.

With the thinness of the dough (1/8"-1/4") and the heat of the oven (400) they start to puff up pretty quickly.

And the final product. We split these open and stuffed them with romaine lettuce and salad dressing or leftover pork. The remainders were smothered with butter and honey and devoured.

We liked them so much I made a triple batch today. I figured they'll be great for sandwiches or mini-pizzas. I made one change. I subbed in some whole wheat flour to give it a bit more bite and texture.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Baking Day

I've been trying to find one day a week to do some baking lately. Nothing tastes as good on a wintery day and it warms up the kitchen nicely.

Number one on the list is Susan from Farmgirlfare's delicious Oatmeal bread. You can find the recipe here. It's a very good multigrain bread. I substitute a few of the cups of white flour for whole wheat and have even gone up to ratio of 1/3 oatmeal, 1/3 whole wheat, and 1/3 unbleached white flour. Wonderful as rolls. Freezes well.

My second item is usually muffins for L's Ketogenic Diet. I understand a recipe like this won't do much for most of you but in case someone Googles in.

Keto muffins--individual serving 3:1 ratio

8g cream
6g of bananas OR 18g of strawberries OR raise Splenda to 3.5g and add 1g of Hershey's cocoa for chocolate muffins
2g Splenda (not the mixed with sugar kind)
7g coconut flour
5g flax meal
36g eggbeaters (You can use eggs instead but they will come out less in volume on the calculator. L's on a low cholesterol diet so I switched off of eggs and butter. Note how many eggs are used. These flours have no gluten and the egg is used to bond everything together.)
8g canola oil
16g Hellman's mayonnaise
.5g baking powder/pinch of salt
shot of vanilla (or other flavoring..banana/strawberry/etc)

I usually mix this up good (it's important that the fruit is really crushed well so it can circulate all through the batch if you're multiplying this) and bake in a greased ramekin at 350. This is very moist and browns and rises well but you have to leave it in longer than you would normal muffins or it will be mushy inside. If you have any left after 2-3 days, refrigerate to keep mold away these are very moist.

Those are my constants. If I have time I try to add an extra every week. I might make oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Or I might try my hand at homemade yogurt (more on that another day). I might make a batch of Peter Reinhart's Neapolitan Pizza dough.

Today I'm trying Pita bread. I'll have to post more on that later this weekend. Hopefully I'll have some pictures to go with.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Joni Mitchell, Windpower, and Birthdays

We've been trying to visit my husband's grandmother in Minnesota for a month. The wonderful arctic breezes--while keeping some of the snow at bay--have caused us to cancel week after week.

So 2 weeks ago we decided that was it. I checked some CDs out of the library. Charged up the Gameboys. Packed a few videos and the Keto scale.

It was a long trip driving alone, but I had Joni, Ray, and Bob to keep my company. My husband drove his little Honda to sell to a cousin. About 45 minutes into Minnesota I was fed up with Bob Dylan. Yes, the man's a genius but 10 minutes of heartbreak alley with no musical nuances and a gravelly voice just reminded me of how trapped I was. I flipped to the next CD.

Coming over the horizons to the strains of Joni Mitchell's "All I Want" windmills turning in every direction.

I am on a lonely road and I am traveling/
Traveling, traveling, traveling/
Looking for something, what can it be
How beautiful.

The boys are shouting...and counting. I'm trying not to get into a wreck as I gawk in every direction. Wondering how Quixote could have mistaken them for grotesque giants instead of lovely flying swans.

It was just as beautiful on the way back, traveling down 90 between Austin and Rochester. I want some in Wisconsin.

Since then we've been living a life of sugar, friends, and presents wrapped furtively in the night. We had two birthdays in early January and I usually don't consider Christmas completely done until we've hit these milestones.

Now I feel I can relax from Christmas cheer, put myself on a micro-diet, and finally get to those gardening catalogs. They've been piling up.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Blog pass-along

I read blogs for many reasons. I'm on the computer a lot. I like to connect with people. I like to get new ideas for my own gardening and life endeavors. I like to laugh. It makes me feel like I'm visiting in Massachusetts, England, Florida, Canada, Minnesota (well, I feel like that half the time anyway ;) ), Illinois, Missouri, or Washington. Not in a tourist kind of way, but in a backyard and kitchen kind of way.

This past week I was going over my blog roll and read a very interesting post in Daphne's Dandelions. She's revamping her indoor grow site and purchasing new lights. LED lights. Blue LED lights. And she spends a fascinating post going into the wavelength of blue LED vs. red LED and other junior science stuff. Basically the kind of new stuff I always enjoy picking up from the knowledgable veterans out there.

I'm a bit jealous just cause of how purty they are.

I'm not revamping my set up this year. Other than I'm probably moving the peppers and basil upstairs. They did not do well in our 58 degree (F) basement last spring.

Perhaps this obvious reminder of March and Spring to come is making me a bit more excited about seed catalogs and ordering. Garden thoughts are sporadic at best lately.

Still, in the white outside my window dried oregano pokes and flowers keep their heads above the snow. Spring will come. I think I'll enjoy a few months of fires, blankets, and dreaming.