It is hard for me to believe that in less than forty-eight hours, we will be entering February. Is this time-passing-at-warp-speed the end product of my own clock running down? It's all happening so fast lately. (Less than two years away and I hit my half century mark. But who's counting.)
Monday, January 30, 2012
Monday, January 23, 2012
The weather lately has been very January-middle-of-winterish. No sun. Spots of rain. Dark days. One day without sun in January in St. Louis is like a month of sunless days. Not that I thought it possible, but I think I'm actually getting "paler".
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Wednesday night is guitar lesson night. Dinner needed to be something quick and something I could either cook the heck out of the hour before I leave the house and just "leave" warm on the stove until I get home after lessons or. . . it's vegan grilled cheese and a can of soup night again.
I have been neglectful of my kitchen lately because of all the topsy-turvy remodeling taking place. I can't stand chaos and thus, was unable to "work" in such conditions. Now that all seems to be in order (this after a serious purging from the pantry and fridge)--I am able to navigate the possibilities for dinner more easily. (I could spend several posts on the virtues of keeping your kitchen in an OCD sort of way--but I'll wait for another time.) During this purge, I unearthed quite a chache of beans, rice and other pantry staples that had somehow been residing in either another time dimension or happened to pop their little heads out for the new kitchen unveiling. Either way, that's how the farro came into the picture. During one of my shopping trips to Whole Foods, I must have stumbled upon "farro".
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Vegan BBQ Chicken Pizza Five Minute Style (DIY: New Kitchen Cabinets with Optional Baking Station Included!)
It started out as a trip to the home improvement store to have a "look-see" at the new interior paints for 2012. It turned into a seven day kitchen-cabinet-remodel-plus-living-room-bedroom-painting palooza. S-e-v-e-n days. Non-stop. During the home improvement festivities, cooking took a hiatus. Well sorta. We survived mainly on the remains of daily rations of pizza dough from this: Artisan Pizza and Flatbreads in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. And now, having acquired all of the cookbooks in the Five Minutes a Day collection, I can honestly say, I LOVE this and consider it one the best. Not only did this book keep us fed and nourished during our remodel project, it also created some of the best pizza dough I've EVER had. (No disrespect to Peter Reinhart.)
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Last night I was in the mood for pastry and barbecue. No, I'm not pregnant. After throwing open five cookbooks and covering every inch of my kitchen counters with marked recipe pages and variations on a theme of a "stew" and of a "cobbler"--I came up with this recipe for a very tasty best of the best for a bake-until-bubbly sort of casserole dish. Sometimes it's the journey. My cooking mojo is doing combat with this post-Christmas (I finally relented and took down my winter wonderland Christmas lights, but not without some angst over the lack of snow!)--and it's been a challenge lately to come up with crafty and clever meal ideas. It's rare for me to find inspiration in one cookbook anyhow. I need a collision of at least a half dozen books sometimes to figure out what might make for a singular yummy meal.
Thursday, January 5, 2012
This is a very "crumby" coffee cake: I love it to pieces! Literally. It's baked with tons of good-for-you whole grains and a yummy cinnamon-y, crunch-y topping that, as it sits, gets better by the day. I've had this for breakfast, lunch and dessert. For evening time, if you have a hankering for something sweet, but want to feel "healthy" about it, then this cake's for you! The added bonus are those antioxidant-rich blueberries. I'd probably add another cup of berries the next time I make this, but meantime, thought it totally worth sharing. If you wanted to make giant muffins out of this, or even regular-sized muffins, you could. But you'd need to adjust the baking time and keep an eye on them during baking. Either way--the flavor in this is outstanding.
Sunday, January 1, 2012
This was the last thing we ate in 2011. I couldn't have been happier.
Hubby and I spent the last day of the year at the zoo. When we got home, we were ravenous, so he put together his man-chili (mostly beans and NO tomatoes) and I sat around thumbing through all my cookbooks looking for just the perfect food for ending this horrendous year. Uh. Chocolate was mandatory. I went all baking-bonkers and spent the next four hours in the kitchen creating a chocolate New Year's Eve for us to enjoy. This chocolate loaf cake exceeded all of my chocolate-loving expectations. I found it in my search in Nigella Lawson's cookbook, Feast: Food to Celebrate Life. A cookbook I've had on my shelf now for the past few years. That's why it's good to collect cookbooks. You just never know where your next inspiration will come from.