One Herbivore's Dilemma


I have moved
22/02/2010, 22:25
Filed under: Uncategorized

Check me out at my new address: www.withjamandbread.wordpress.com!



Bread 2.0
22/02/2010, 00:11
Filed under: Baking, Techniques | Tags: , ,

Wow. 2 posts in one day; who would believe it? Well I have made my second loaf of bread, and I must say that this loaf kicks my first loaf’s butt.

1) This loaf had a much better rise. I’m not sure if you can tell by the photos, but this loaf is much taller than the first loaf I baked. I think this is because it used a starter (which proofed for 4 hours), instead of just yeast. The bread is still just a white bread (it is called Shepherd’s Bread in my cookbook, The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook).

2) It has a very nice texture. The outside is crusty, but the inside has a nice open crumb to it, with lots of air pockets, which makes it taste fluffy. This is also a result of the starter. If you look hard you can see the texture in the picture below of a buttered slice.

3) It tastes really, really good. Ian agreed, when we tried it our unconventional post-dessert “bread course” (read: the bread wasn’t finished until almost 10).

The next bread in the book is a wheat bread. I am really looking forward to trying it.



My Newest Purchase
21/02/2010, 16:18
Filed under: Products | Tags: , ,

Look what came in the mail yesterday!

These are my awesome new mesh shopping bags. Over a year ago, I switched to cloth shopping bags for my trips to the farmers’ market and grocery store, and I really like them. The bags I own are part of a set I bought on Amazon. They are large green cloth bags and they fit a lot of things in them. One is even insulated.

However, what I still didn’t like was needing to use bags for produce. At the market, I usually dont need bags except for with greens and beans and the like. At the grocery store, though, using bags is standard and often necessary. I was really happy when I found these bags, also on Amazon (can you tell where I do my shopping?)

Here are the bags again, with one of the last of the year’s pears (the farmers’ cold storage supplies are running dry) for reference. This is only half of them; there are 4 small green bags, 4 medium yellow bags, and 2 large pink bags. They also fold down nice into one of the green bags.

See?

Unfortunately, they didn’t arrive in time for shopping this week, so I will be waiting until next week to try them out. I can’t wait!



A Change is Gonna Come…
18/02/2010, 23:59
Filed under: Ramblings | Tags:

In honor of my return to writing, I have decided to give my blog a total makeover; title, header, layout (maybe), everything.

Stay tuned!



My First Loaf of Bread (plus an apology to my blog)
17/02/2010, 22:14
Filed under: Baking, Ramblings, Techniques | Tags: , ,

Dear Blog,

I have neglected you. I am very sorry. I realize this when I read my last post about what I am doing with my summer, and look outside at all the snow on the ground. It’s not like I haven’t thought about you. There have been plenty of meals that I have wished I had photographed so I could tell you about them, but I forgot. But enough with the with the apology.

I am writing you now because of a very special event. Last night, I baked my very first loaf of bread. Mind you, I do have a bread machine (which I have had since my birthday last November; I don’t just procrastinate with blogging). I do not consider using my bread machine cheating. I am a busy woman with many demands on her time, and the bread machine will allow me to have my freshly baked bread without worrying about kneading and proofing myself.

For my first loaf of bread I followed a simple recipe: Homestyle White Bread from The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook. It was easy to follow and it came out good. As Ian said, “It tastes like bread.” I didn’t want to try anything too complicated, because I was not entirely sure what I was doing.

So there it is. Yummy, right? I thought so. It made a good egg sandwich for breakfast this morning and was really tasty spread with my homemade apple butter.

The only problem I encountered was that the mixing paddle baked itself into the bread. Has anyone else had this problem? The cookbook suggested greasing the paddle first as a solution, and I will try this next time, which will be soon.

And Blog, I promise to tell you about it.

Love,

Your Author



What I’ve Been Doing with My Summer Vacation
24/07/2009, 15:32
Filed under: Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , ,

I really expected to have a job by now. However, I am still unemployed, and I have had to find ways to keep busy. Then, I see all the pictures on facebook of the cool places that people have gone this summer and I get jealous because I didn’t go anywhere cool. But I have been doing things. So, here is a quick update about what I have been doing.

The Fruits and Vegetables of My Labor

The Fruits and Vegetables of My Labor

These are the preserves (and pickles) that I have made so far this summer. From left to right (most recent to oldest):

  • Fig Jam (I only have one tiny jar of this)
  • Pickled Beets
  • Rhubarb Marmalade
  • Tart Cherries in Syrup
  • Cherry Walnut Conserves
  • Cherry-Blueberry Preserves
  • Raspberry Jam
  • Raspberry Chocolate Sauce
  • Strawberry Jam

If you want any, let me know. For some of the preserves, I have many jars available. Variations including peaches, blackberries, and tomatoes will be forthcoming. In my opinion, I have far too many red jars. I need to change it up a bit. Pickles would help, also.

I have also been trying my hand at vegetable gardening, but alas, a my thumbs are far from green. My tomato and pepper plants are still (somewhat) alive, but something tells me that the yields will be meager. I do have a few tomatoes (three), and one pepper, forming already. If you saw my plants, you would be surprised that there were any fruits, so I am going to claim whatever I can get from them as a success, and hope to do better next year.

Hanging Plum Tomato

Hanging Plum Tomato

Beefsteak

Beefsteak

Pepper

Pepper



Back in Action with “Fried” Green Tomatoes

Hey everyone! I have not written in a couple weeks, mostly because I was in Florida for a week and a half, and then when I came home, I didn’t really cook anything right away. I have a number of backlogged entries to post, including strawberry jam and a review of restaurants in Florida, so I will be writing a lot in the near future to catch up.

However, here is tonight’s dinner: “Fried” Green Tomatoes with Remoulade Sauce and Vegetarian Gumbo over Rice, followed by Fresh Peaches with Ice Cream

The appetizer and main course

The appetizer and main course

I love fried green tomatoes, and so does Ian, but taking a perfectly good vegetable, breading it, and frying it is not necessarily the healthiest thing to do. So I went online to find a healthier alternative, which I did. I read a bunch of different recipes for breaded but baked green tomatoes, along with eggplant and other vegetables, so I could get an idea for what to do.

The Recipe

  • 2 green tomatoes, sliced 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/8 cup fat free 99% egg product (or 1 egg, beaten)
  • 1/2 cup corn flour
  • Cajun flavored seasoned salt

    My particular brand of Cajun seasoned salt

    My particular brand of Cajun seasoned salt

  • Fresh black pepper
  • Parmesan Cheese (0ptional)
  • Cooking spray
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and spray a foil lined baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Mix the corn flour, seasoned salt, pepper, and cheese together in a shallow bowl. Pour the eggs into a similar bowl.
    Eggs...mmm

    Eggs...mmm

    The flour mixture

    The flour mixture

  3. Dredge the tomatoes in the eggs, and then the flour, then lay on the baking sheet.

    Ready to be cooked

    Ready to be cooked

  4. Spray the tops of the tomatoes with cooking spray.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, or until they start to brown. If parts still look a little “dusty” spray them a little more and then cook for 5 more minutes. Then flip, spray the other side, and bake for about 5 more minutes.
The finished product

The finished product (I'm not sure why the pic is so small)

I served these on lettuce leaves with a remoulade sauce. The lettuce leaves were not purely decorative; while Ian did not eat them, I wrapped one of my tomatoes with one, and I thought the fresh, crisp taste was a good addition. The verdict: while not as amazingly delicious as regular fried green tomatoes, these were a good substitute for everyday occasions, especially with the remoulade. I see a sandwich in my near future.

The Recipe

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp prepared horseradish
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp spicy mustard
  • 2 tsp chopped capers
  • 1 smallish garlic clove, minced
  • salt
  • pepper
  • juice of 1/3 lemon or so
All the ingredients, before mixing

All the ingredients, before mixing

Mix well. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving.

Just a dollop

Just a dollop

Note: This is just my remoulade, mixed up with whatever I had on hand, and is not a definitive recipe.

Originally, I was going to write up the whole dinner in one post, but I am tired now, so I will leave the rest until tomorrow…




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