Tuesday, September 25, 2012


So last week my roommate and I went thrifting, and I found a set of ten nestled anchor bowls that were nested. It has made my prep work so much easier! 

All of the chopping

I have been working on making sure I have my Mis-en-place (french for everything in it's place) when I am cooking, and I have to say, It makes for much easier cooking. (The downside is the amount of dishes) But I'm also finding it's easier to clean as I go with them. 

So today's my day off, and I started off by roasting this chicken: 
Hello, chicken, you are tasty.

Then, I started with a riff on the Pioneer Woman's White Chili, Which i think is perfect for the fall weather that we've been having.   Now the stock is simmering on the stove, and my ingredients (above) are patiently waiting to become Chicken Corn Chowder. 

If only my other day off activities were this rewarding and delicious.  However laundry, it is not. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ten Things That Are Making Me Happy Right Now.

1.  Rainy days, with the day off, making corn chowder (and probably cookies later)
2. My awesome roommate, who rocks on multiple levels, and having some time to spend hanging out with her. She went on a buisness trip last week, and I really missed her!
3. Instagram

4. This song, played over and over and over again.

5. Having some time, and space to do the things I want to do. 
6. My camelback water bottle. You have to bite down to get the water! It's like a sippy cup! Very strange. But awesome.
7. Doing research for upcoming projects.
8. Baking bread. Lots of bread.
10. Living in Hampden, and spending more time hanging out with Jackie because she's so close! You know, even when she demands I cook things for her.

What is making you happy right now?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

#10: Learn How to bake bread.

Ok, I am totally going to say this. I can bake bread, but I have not Mastered bread baking.  But I still think I got this one done (and since I'm scarce on having list items done this year, I'm taking it as a win)

If you have been around any sort of cooking/baking blogs in the past few years, I'm sure you know this recipe.  It's made the rounds- mostly a few years ago, and I think I made it back then, but wasn't 100% impressed.  It's Jim Lahey's no knead bread. 

But I have been having a hankering for bread lately, and the minute it cooled down a little (and I had a couple of days off)  the concept is pretty simple; a small amount of yeast, and a long proofing period develops the bread with some awesome flavors. You mix together flour, yeast, salt, and warm water, stir, and let it sit on your counter for 12 hours.  Then you punch it down a little, form it into a ball, and let it rise for 2 more hours, at which point you bake it in a preheated cast iron pot.  And ta-da! Bread!

This bread is awesome. It's crusty, and chewy on the inside, and if you put a little butter on it- MAN, it is good.   I made the regular recipe, and then for the next one, I chopped up some kalamata olives and put them in.   This is what it looked like:

isn't that sexy?

Then, for breakfast this morning, I took the remaining regular bread, tore it up, put it in a casserole dish with custard base made with vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon, dotted it with butter, and then shook a little cinnamon sugar on top.  I don't have a picture, because it was devoured so quickly- but it was so good. the insides were eggy and warm, and the top was crisp with the toasted bread pieces, and the cinnamon sugar made the outside crust crackle a little.  Having made it once, I can't stop thinking about it, and what changes/improvements I can make. (next time I'm going to sprinkle the top with maple sugar, I think)

But I'm back in the saddle again, and I can't start to bake more of this bread, especially because it is so easy.  It is totally worth the burns I got mishandling my cast iron pot.