Delicious

Dinner: Steamed carrots, leftover homemade tortillas (from taco Tuesday), curried chickpeas and tofu, spinach, cucumbers and avocado topped with ricotta and a squeeze of lemon juice (currently my favourite salad dressing).

Very yummy.

P.S. I promise to try to edit my photos before posting them. I try so hard to be mindful of the borders of the picture when taking them, but I always end up with floor or camera cord. :S

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Bagel Making

I found a recipe for bagels on Pinterest the other day. “Huh”, I thought, “That seems simple”. So, last weekend I tried it. I didn’t actually use the recipe I found, because I tend to not trust random bread recipes for some reason. Instead I checked in my copy of Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Breads Every Day. Surprisingly, it was one of the easiest recipes I have come across in the book so far. There were no strange techniques that required a lot of reading. All I did was:

1. Mix a teaspoon of yeast with a sprinkle of salt and a spoon of buckwheat honey (the recipe actually called for barley malt syrup or some other substitution which I didn’t have so I used something I had, since I have no idea what the real ingredient tastes like I just picked something to put in). Add a cup and bit of water (I used about a cup and a half because I used a third whole wheat flour which really sucks up the water). Mix this all together and leave it a couple of minutes.

2. Add three and a half cups of flour (again, I used 1 cup whole wheat, the rest ap). Mix it until it looks like dough, then knead for 3 minutes. It should be stiff.

3. Let it rise for about an hour

4. Separate it into about 6-8 balls, then poke a hole in them. Stretch them out into bagel shape. Lay them out on a greased cookie sheet, covered in a silicone mat.

5. This is where I deviated from the recipe, which almost led to disaster. The book says to leave them in the fridge overnight. Since I wanted them sooner than that, I left them on the counter to rise. This is how they looked when I came home from the mall:

 

Yikes! I would recommend doing the fridge thing.

6. Boil a big pot of water. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Once the water is boiling, add a teaspoon of salt, one of baking soda and a tablespoon of your chosen syrup/honey. Drop the bagels in. I did two at once. After a minute, flip it, after another minute, put it onto the regreased, covered cookie sheet. Once they’re all done, drop the temperature down to 450. Bake for 8 minutes on each side.

 

7. Enjoy!

 

Lentil Loaf

This is one of my fairly regular dishes. I like it because it’s similar to a regular meat dish, but way healthier. Also it’s great for lunches for a few days, which is always a huge plus for any recipe. Like usual, I don’t have exact measurements. I usually cook a cup of lentils. While they cook I mix together 2 eggs, a squirt of ketchup, mustard and any other seasoning stuff (herbs, spices) I feel like adding. I grate in a zucchini and a carrot. The other night I didn’t have a carrot so I threw some raw spinach in instead. Once the lentils are cooked and have cooled a little, I throw them in. I mix it up then add in some bread crumbs until it looks like it will hold together. If I don’t have bread crumbs or I’m feeling a little oatey, I add some oatmeal in the mix. I put it into a loaf pan and grate some cheese on top (I use whatever kind I have on hand). I bake it at 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes, or until it feel solid (I usually cut a small line in the middle to check if it’s set).

I like to eat mine with ketchup, Kurt eats his with barbeque sauce. You should try it. You will love it, I promise!

P.S. I use green lentils, I’ve recently heard rumours about red lentils but have never seen them to confirm they exist.

 

Dinner for One

When I’m alone for dinner, sometimes I have a stack of these:

Delicious. I love breakfast foods the most. Lately I’ve been using a pancake recipe I heard on Jamie Oliver’s Christmas show. It’s super easy and good.

a cup of flour (whatever kind, I usually use a white and something else mixed together)

a little baking powder (Jamie used self rising; I figured it was a British thing)

a cup of milk (sometimes I put half milk, half yogurt)

an egg

Mix it up, drop them in a pan, add some fruit, cook, top with gorgeous Canadian maple syrup, eat.

I’ll probably have a green smoothie later to make up for it, but right now, I’m happy.

A Messy Craft

I stumbled upon this craft that was basically gluey yarn wrapped around a balloon. I have a lot of yarn lying around so I decided to give it a try. It was fun, in a messy, frustrating kind of way. If you decide to try it make sure you cover the floor really well, make sure there are no pets around, and make more of the mixture that you think you need. I ran out and had to make more half way through which was a big pain.

Step One: Blow up your balloons to whatever size you want the yarn balls to be. Don’t make them too big unless you are going for the balloon shape. Then hang them up somewhere with a tarp, or newspapers (or if you just recycled everything like me, old cardboard boxes)

Step Two: Mix plain white glue, water and corn starch. I really didn’t measure, but the websites I’ve found said a bottle of glue, 1/2 cup of corn starch and 1/4 cup of warm water. I put a lot more water because I didn’t have much glue. It didn’t seem to make a difference.

Step Three: Spread some vaseline on the balloons. This is as weird and gross as it sounds. I’m not sure if it was completely necessary, but it probably made things easier later on.

Step Four: Dunk your chosen yard into your glue mixture. I squeezed it out a little as I went to avoid clumps. Then wrap it around the balloon starting vertically and slowly going horizontally. This step was made much harder for me by Homer stealing my ball of yarn several times.

Step Five: Once it looks beautiful, cut the string and tuck the end under another part, preferably on top where it will be less visible.

Step Six: Leave it to dry. I left mine about 8 hours. It was stiff and dry. Leave it as long as you want though . Pop the balloons. Then wiggle the balloon skin out.

Step Seven: Some people spray paint them, but I liked my colours. Find a home for them! I hung mine from the weird wood overhang over the fireplace surround.

Image

This is the website I used: http://ruffledblog.com/diy-string-wedding-chandelier/

Two new recipes

This week we tried a couple of new things. Both were very well liked, for the most part.

First we tried wheat berries. I have been meaning to get these for some time, but always forgot. I finally saw them at the bulk store (labelled wheat kernels). I’ve been coming across them in a lot of recipes, but never really knew what they were. They looked a lot like popcorn kernels. It may have been my imagination, but I really thought they also smelled like popcorn while cooking. I just cooked them in water like any other grain. I wanted to make them by themselves so that we would know whether we liked them or not. They took forever to cook. Here they are with a side of basa fish and green beans with ricotta.

As I said, we really liked it. The problem came a little afterwards when I became very sick. I think it’s because of the bran. I’ve always had a problem with bran. Anyone else have this issue?

The other thing I made was veggie shepherd’s pie. I forgot to take a picture of this, but it was basically vegetable and barley stew with corn and mashed potatoes. It was very good.