Thursday, October 29, 2009
Like Sylvia Plath, I cook when I'm anxious. I hope I come to a better end. Living alone has gotten bothersome. I bake inappropriately. Bread, scones, and cookies in the last twenty four hours. I keep bringing plates full of cookies to David's sister and foisting them upon David. Today chocolate chocolate chip cookies. Without the melting chocolate hard part. I sort of made them up, as much as you can make up a chocolate chip cookie recipe. They go like this:
1 stick of butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Mix these things together. Make tea. Get distracted. Call your father.
1 cup and a tablespoon of flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp cocoa powder
Sift these things into the other things. Mix. Eat a lot of dough. Feel a tad ill. Drink more tea.
Add about 1/2 c. of milk chocolate chips. Mix more.
Bake at 350 for about ten minutes. Maybe less. Check. Eat. With tea. Do not put head in oven and die with your cheek resting on a dish towel. That is a bad bad end.
Do you think baking would be more fun with an Aga? I suspect it would. And the westie could sleep on a little pillow next to it.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
They're not lying. That kneadless bread. Mark Bittman is kind of the man. Make it. Eat it. Weep with joy. Awesome bread. No time. No money. Love.
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.
1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.
2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.
3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.
Monday, October 26, 2009
I have discovered Overstock.com's jewelry shenanigans. I want a lot of shiny ridiculous jewelry. I don't really wear jewelry that often; going out earrings, the occasional inappropriately large ring. But I really like shiny crazy objet. To look at. Hang on the wall.
1. Luminous Earrings, $169.99
2. Banging Filigree Earrings, $13.94
3. Incredibly Cool Coral Necklace, $20.69
4. Pretty Silver Earrings, $17.99
Thursday, October 22, 2009
David and I went to Massachusetts for my college homecoming; we hit a three hour detour on 84 in Connecticut; I got food poisoning and cried and threw up; our car broke down on the way back down from CT and we had to spend 24 hours in Vernon waiting for it to be fixed; my westie was attacked by much much bigger dog that bit her in the neck at the kennel while I was stuck in CT; I got home, felt very lonely and cried some more.
Also this week: I got to eat three meals here with David, it's our new favourite place in the country. For serious. I made Giada De Laurentis' Pancetta Balsamic Vinaigrette with pasta, and it tasted like magic. Susie wasn't seriously injured and we spend more of yesterday together snuggling, good excuse; someone referred to me as David's wife, which was nice; we got to spend an extra 24 hours together talking, which was nice. And I discovered Kate Szabone who is now my favourite jewelry designer and makes these insanely awesome bangles. And possibly all her rings. Just saying
Thursday, October 15, 2009
I believe in picnics. They should involve cookies. And soup. Seriously. This sandwich only shenanigan just don't fly. Soup in thermoses. Clutch. and cookies in glassine envelopes. Yerm. This weekend David and I are going to my alma mater for homecoming. We're making the rounds, meeting each other's homies. I'm making brie, basil and tomato on baguette tomorrow morning and I have already made these cookies from Heart-of-Light and I made an incredibly luminous Carrot-Ginger Soup from The Best of Cooking Light which is one of my top five fave cook books. Make this soup. Eat it. Put it in a thermos and take it in the car.
Carrot and Ginger Soup
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 star anise
2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 1/2 cups chopped carrots
2 cup water
2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans vegetable broth
1/3 cup chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons honey
1. Place first five ingredients on a double layer of cheesecloth. Gather edges of cheesecloth together. Tie securely.
2. Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion; saute five minutes or until tender. Add minced garlic; saute one minute. Add cheesecloth bag, carrot, 2 cups water, and broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and cook 1 hour or until carrot is tender. Discard cheesecloth bag.
3. Place ginger and 1 tablespoon water in a food processor; process until finely minced, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Place ginger mixture on a double layer of cheesecloth. Gather edges of cheesecloth together; squeeze to extract juice to equal 2 tablespoons. Add ginger juice, milk and honey to carrot mixture. Pour into a food processor and blend until smooth.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
I'm officially stating that Project Runway sucks hard this season. I have loved it until this season, I stuck by it through its slow start and bland contestants, through its boring challenges and its inconsistent judging, and were it not for my unwavering love for Tim Gunn and Michael Kors I would have stopped episodes ago. But now here we are, week whatever, and it sucks. so. bad.
Tonight was a bridal dress challenge with THE BIG TWIST: the "brides" were all recently divorced and they wanted to turn their wedding dresses into a hip, new outfit. To this I say congrats on moving on with your life, but really? REALLY? Although I've never been in this position, I can't imagine that if I was I would want the next phase of my life to include my wedding dress. I actually think that I would not want any part of it in any way, shape, or form. Taste level of the actual challenge aside, can we please talk about the judging?
Thank GOD for Michael Kors. If it weren't for his snide comments, I don't know how I would even be able to sit through it. Gordana won the challenge, which I do think I was deserved, as her dress, although not really my style, was clearly well constructed and looked lovely on the model. It came down to Epperson and Logan and although Epperson's dress maybe wasn't the most attractive thing in the world it looked like a ball gown compared to Logan's mess of an outfit that included possibly the most ill-fitting, unflattering, UNFINISHED trousers in recent memory paired with a lumpy, shiny top that was LUMPY and SHINY which did absolutely nothing for model's figure. Epperson, the one with the FINISHED garment, was sent home. This, my friends, would NEVER fly in previous seasons of Runway. NEVER. This I cannot cope with.
That being said, I'll probably watch until the end, and by probably, I mean I will. But I will complain. Be warned.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
I TOLD YOU! I have a well documented and inappropriate love of tutus. I want to wear one around. David and I are taking his niece and nephew trick-or-treating and when we do Susie's going to wear a tutu. People *AHEM MARY* keep telling me that tutus are not for grown ups, to put down the crackpipe and settle. I will not settle. I love tutus. I want this one. Try to pretend that isn't a beautiful tutu. Go ahead and try. You can't. See? Tutus. They're a major thing.
Susie and I are hunkering down for some serious job searching. For her, this means sleeping on a big pink pillow at my feet. For me, it means an entire pot of tea and this table in our kitchen. There are flowers on the table. This makes cover letters less terrible. My feet are chilly, slippers would help too.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
I live, as I have said before, in my parents' summer house due to the miserable economy. I have people over to this summer house. I make dinners. They eat them. At one of Those Tables (apparently it's quite a 'nice' table, so I am told). It's hideous. Table clothes feature prominently in my consciousness. It is a big table, not just ugly but big. In a red dining room. I feel like this would make my dinner party tomorrow a lot nicer.